This week there has been one item in the world news that I find too interesting to ignore. Pulling up my daily news sites and scanning quickly through the international section, I skim the posts about war and politics until I come to what has now become a daily treat of ‘he said, she said’.
The failure of a marriage gone wrong is indeed a sad occurrence, but when the people involved are wealthy, powerful and just happen to be a Prime Minster and his glamorous wife – well – that’s just good, dirty stories writing themselves. Veronica and Silvio Berlusconi’s opinions of each other and their marital dramas have been well documented over the course of the years, but it’s what being said recently that’s brought a bit of the fire back into the daily news reading.
The most fascinating thing for me is that it just keeps coming out. I’m certain that there are people within the Italian public that find what the two of them say about the other as shocking and consider it to be insensitive to the image of the nation. There are also those that probably could give two nuts. But if this kind of stuff were to go down in good ol’ Minnesota or in any good ol’ state it would be THE topic du jour, non-stop water-cooler, ‘can you believe that guy?!’ dinner conversation.
The Public Relation staffs’ roles and responsibilities of the Italian Prime Minister and the Frist Lady must be very different than those of the U.S. President. I can’t even begin to ponder what kind of back-lash, crack-out would happen if any U.S. First Lady publicly stated what Ms. Veronica recently penned to the public.
The latest is that Mr. Husband attended the 18th birthday party of a business friend’s very lovely daughter. He also reportedly presented the girl, who may or may not refer to him as ‘daddy’, with a diamond and gold necklace as a gift. Ms. Wife unleashed a furious statement to the press, “That’s enough, I cannot remain with a man who resorts with minors.”
She then added that his attendance at the party surprised her, “because he never attended the 18th birthday parties of his children, even if he was invited.” Now, she wants a divorce.
There has also been recent comments about Mr. Husband’s selection process for members of his office and other political bodies. Apparently, he has an eye for beauty and likes to surround himself with it. Ms. Wife doesn’t think that being physically attractive necessiarly qualifies one to be in the business of politics.
She said she finds the candidate-selection process to be “shameless rubbish” and that it is put on “for the entertainment of the emperor.” I tend to believe that she should know since she’s quite the looker herself and if she weren’t so glamorous and certain, she never would have landed the man she landed.
Yes, I’ve said it. I think she’s far to into the know about what goes down in her man’s head. Her 20-years older than her husband did, after all, dump his first wife to be with her after seeing her perform on the stage in Milan. Wasn’t she once one of the gorgeous young things that turn men’s heads?
Mr. Husband’s response to her recent comments was that she was being influenced and manipulated by the left-wing press. He has now also publicly demanded that she issue him an apology much like the one he made to her back in 2007 when his eye for beauty apparently caught sight of a passing showgirl. He later made this showgirl the Equal Opportunities Minister.
The Italian Bishops have done their duty as members appointed to the moral police and have issued a public statement critizing the back-and-forth parade made visible to the public. But, is it really so shocking? Is Mr. Husband simply not playing out who he is and who Ms. Wife knows him to be?
In her biography, Ms. Wife stated that she is “the perfect kind of wife for the kind of man Silvio is.” If she’s had her fill, then by all means, she should leave him. If she and he want to duke it out in the Press, that’s fine, too. Heck, it’s creepily enjoyable.
He’s the powerful man. She was the adoring wife until she became the woman scorned. She positions herself as an adoring mother and wife whose husband has made her life unbearable because of his adoration for the much younger woman. He’s the creepy old guy that can’t keep it in his pants. Nothing new here.
There have been mentions in the Italian media that the Italian public really doesn’t give a hoot about it. The editor of Il Foglio stated that Mr. Husband’s love and promotion of beautiful women “is a huge part of Italian society.” There’s even been the suggestion that Italians like this bit of spice to shake up the day-to-day grind.
Maybe I’ve been hanging out with the Europeans for too long, but I am not too distracted nor upset with a man’s love for beautiful women. It has always been and will always be. It’s been the catalyst for great works of art, music and literature. In the same way the unraveling of moral decisions, the crumbling of dreams and the distruction of the family unit has also contributed to the darker side of beauty.
Beauty is probably the last thing Mr. Husband and Ms. Wife think about these days, but amongst all the drama (which is just too deliciously nasty to ignore – dang! that human side of me that loves dirt) maybe they could find some peace in the fact that what they are so publicly displaying is nothing really new. It’s been there all along.