I have been waiting, the forty years that I have been in Italy, to read something like Francis X. Rocca's article ("That Idiotic Television") about the bimbomania of Italian TV. I have, in vain, encouraged friends who are Rome correspondents for American publications to write about the bizarre Italian quiz shows in which as many as eighteen semi-nude, mindlessly smiling, mute bimbos are on stage from the beginning to the end of the show. They neither sing nor dance; they just stand there. The government-owned TV, one suspects, is paying them for more than just standing there. The Italian TV bureaucracy obviously enjoys fringe benefits. Italian taxpayers apparently have nothing to say about their squandered contributions to bimbomania.
Years ago, when Richard Gere appeared on national Italian TV to make an appeal for Tibet, a horde of nearly naked, mindlessly smiling, bimbos flooded the stage. The stunned and overwhelmed Gere exclaimed "What is going on here?" to the embarrassment of his Italian interpreter who was accustomed to Italian TV bimbomania. Gere continued, "I have come to make a serious appeal, and unless you get these people out of here, I am leaving." That was the end of the cheesecake spectacle. The overkill of Italian bimbomania appalled a leading world sex-symbol!
When an Indian actor, most popular in Italy, and his English wife were interviewed on Italian TV, the interviewer insisted that after their high praise of Italy that they also express what they disliked. Only after considerable pressure, the English wife reluctantly stated that she could not understand how in an allegedly Catholic country national TV could reduce hordes of women to ridiculous sex objects. She implied that the harems of the Muslim world seemed to have spilled over into the Italian mass-media.
The English-speaking world has nothing like the mute, do-nothing, Italian TV bimbos, because, I suspect, that the women of this cultural world would not accept such demeaning treatment.
In a country where the Catholic church has something to say about everything, one fails to understand the absolute the silence of Italian prelates and clergy about the degrading role of Italy's TV bimbos. The most charitable assumption is that they have no time for watching TV, or are too poor to afford TV sets.
-- John Navone, S.J.
Where has the daily Prowler piece gone for the last two days? Please resume.
-- Wayne J. Roques
The Editor replies: Sometimes the Prowler is taken into custody and it takes time to raise bail.
GOOD PLACE TO START
Re: George Neumayr's "Liberal Catholicism's Just Deserts": Thanks for the great article. I plan is to pass it around. I am Roman Catholic (57 years old), very sad and very shaken by the horrible sex stories. You really gave me a tool and starting point to understand how this could have happened.
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
Re: Dave Shiflett's "Not On My Watch": To a kindred soul (my watch was stolen 25 years ago; I have never replaced it, nor do I miss it) time does have a gender: Father time.
-- Jim Stevenson
MAN TO MAN
Re: Evan Gahr's "A Bad Case of the Huggies": Worse than hugs are the bizarre handshakes. I can understand a traditional "secret handshake" among athletes and gang members who share a common experience and unity, but what does an "outsider" do when the outstretched hand is not thumbs-up on a straight-out or slightly lowered arm? It's weird. Have I suddenly stepped into a foreign country where the customs are different? Do I adjust to their customs or do they adjust to mine?
-- Joe Lawrence, visitor from an older civilization.
Re: Washington Prowler's "Fallout From Utah": Check out the past several days worth of the Boston papers: Mitt Romney is going to, it seems, run for Massachusetts governor, challenging Swift. He has retained his legal residence in Massachusetts, and is a delegate to the MA GOP convention in April.
-- James L.J. Nuzzo
DANNY PEARL'S LEGACY
I just read Jed Babbin's assessment of Mr. Pearl, and I have to say that I concur. He was in way over his head, no doubt playing from a strong sense of what is right.
The first rule of a philosophical discussion is that both parties agree on the terms of the discussion. It is naive to think that we can insist on our enemy to speak our language (e.g., Marquis of Queensberry), so we must speak their language. Clearly, succinctly, and then back it up, clearly and succinctly.
God Bless you and yours, Mr. Pearl.
-- Mike Ryan
Re: Mark Goldblatt's "Heady Times for Cop-Killers": They are not the only ones for whom Christmas came early. Below is a copy of an e-mail I sent to the author of the piece.
"On 12/20/01, David Degondea, convicted in 1994 of murdering Detective Luis Lopez, was granted a new trial by NYS Supreme Court Justice Marcy Kahn. There is no question of Degondea's guilt; he advanced a self-defense claim predicated on his assertion that he did not know that Lopez was a PO, and the jury quickly rejected it.
"The judgment was vacated on the dubious ground that the original trial justice, who had died some years after the trial, had been inattentive during jury selection and had wrongly denied a challenge for cause to a particular juror. More information about the case can be found at the site below. The case received some coverage in the New York Post and New York Daily News of 12/21/01.
"Unfortunately, I cannot identify myself. Please do not let my insistence on anonymity put you off this story. Thanks."
I was forced to read [a competitor] for a while. I even read "The Nation" by mistake! Sweet lord! At any rate, I am glad that you are back on line.
-- Lamar Johnson
I have been with you since I saw a link (I think in the WSJ Best of the Web Today). It has been a worthwhile association.
-- Jack Sides
I'm so glad I came across your site. I have really missed the wit and insight from the old TAS. I hope this site works well for you. I will eagerly look forward to a daily prowl. Thanks again.
-- Ben Wood
I am delighted to have found you courtesy of Lucianne.com. Keep up the great work!!!
-- Chuck Yeiser
Like you for you -- keep going. A suggestion -- get some commentary by Camille Paglia on your site. I know she writes for "Salon," but she's right up your alley.
-- Ginny Yanyar
Thank God you are back in action on the net. I love it!!!! -- We need "The American Prowler" now more than ever,
-- L. Cusick
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s writing is unlike anyone else's and it's a thrill to read! I look forward to reading more of his work. Tkx.
-- Liese N.
Kudos to Mark Hemingway for his article on a great American patriot, Admiral John Poindexter. As usual Mark is right on the mark (excuse the pun) in pointing out the absurdities that abound on the journalistic and political scene. As an old friend of the Hemingway family, my admiration of and affection for Mark continues to increase with each new article that he publishes. Also "The American Prowler" is to be commended for the quality of your articles. Keep up the good work.
-- Roger Clawson
Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)
This is obviously the work of a highly talented, gifted writer -- with excellent genes.
-- Bill Hemingway