Archive for dicembre, 2020

28 dicembre 2020



Il Corriere della Serxa:

Davanti a sé, sostengono diversi componenti dell’esecutivo, il presidente del Consiglio ha una serie di sondaggi che premierebbero un’eventuale lista Conte con una forbice «tra il 15 e il 20 per cento»; oltre a una serie di rilevazioni sull’ipotesi di un «Movimento Cinque Stelle a guida Conte» che, stando ai sondaggisti consultati, potrebbe risalire la china fino al 30”.

D’accordo, certi giornali sono servili. Però si possono permettere di scrivere queste castronerie solo confidando nell’atavica avversione dei loro lettori alla matematica, alla statistica, al buon senso. E’ noto che la perdita di consensi del M5S deriva da un vizio genetico: la permanenza di un DNA di destra e sinistra nell’elettorato che gli diede il 33% nel 2018, quale voto di protesta. Da allora, la componente di destra dell’elettorato M5S (diciamo la metà) ha ritirato il suo consenso, facendolo confluire su Lega e FdI. La componente di sinistra si è anch’essa smagrita, sia pure in misura minore, riconfluendo sul PD. Grosso modo, diciamo meno 12% a favore della destra, e meno 5% a favore della sinistra. Dove cavolo andrebbe a prendere i voti Conte, se non dalla destra?

Appurato che questa è pura follia, rimane una sola ipotesi: un massiccio rientro di truppe contiane dal limbo degli astenuti. Fra astenuti e schede nulle, nel 2018 ci furono circa 13 milioni e mezzo di aventi diritto al voto che non si pronunciarono, ossia il 29%. Pertanto, per raggiungere il 30%, il sig.Conte  dovrebbe recuperare non solo 5 milioni di voti dalle destre, ma altri 5 e più dagli astenuti. I quali, per amore di Conte, porterebbero l’astensione al 12%. Roba da anni ’50.

22 dicembre 2020

John Reed – Insurgent Mexico (1914)

IN the early dawn, when yet the low gray houses and the dusty trees were stiff with cold, we laid a bull-whip on the backs of our two mules and rattled down the uneven streets of Jimenez and out into the open country. A few soldiers, wrapped to the eyes in their serapes, dozed beside their lanterns. There was a drunken officer sleeping in the gutter. We drove an ancient buggy, whose broken pole was mended with wire. The harness was made of bits of old iron, rawhide and rope. Antonio and I sat side by side upon the seat, and at our feet dozed a dark, seriousminded youth named Primitivo Aguilar. Primitivo had been hired to open and shut gates, to tie up the harness when it broke, and to keep watch over wagon and mules at night, because bandits were reported to infest the roads. The country became a vast fertile plain, cut up by irrigating ditches which were overshadowed by long lines of great alamo trees, leafless and gray as ashes. Like a furnace door, the white-hot sun blazed upon us, and the far-stretched barren fields reeked a thin mist. A cloud of white dust moved with us and around us. By the church of the Hacienda San Pedro we stopped and dickered with an aged peon for a sack of corn and straw for the mules. Farther along was an exquisite low building of pink plaster, set back from the road in a grove of green willows. “That?” said Antonio. “Oh, that is nothing but a flour mill.” We had lunch in the long whitewashed, dirt-floored room of a peon’s house at another great hacienda, whose name I forget, but which I know had once belonged to Luis Terrazzas and was now the confiscated property of the Constitutionalist government. And that night we made camp beside an irrigation ditch miles from any house, in the middle of the bandit territory.


The old man shivered and drew his wasted body nearer to the fire. “I have often wondered,” said he mildly, “why the rich, having so much, want so much. The poor, who have nothing, want so very little. Just a few goats. . .”. His compadre lifted his chin like a noble, smiling gently. “I have never been out of this little country here—not even to Jimenez,” he said. “But they tell me that there are many rich lands to the north and south and east. But this is my land and I love it. For the years of me, and my father and my grandfather, the rich men have gathered the corn and held it in their clenched fists before our mouths. And only blood will make them open their hands to their brothers.”

18 dicembre 2020


Grosse Fuge op.133 – Quartetto Italiano, intorno alla fine degli anni ‘60
18 dicembre 2020


Wolfgang Windgassen
17 dicembre 2020


Al pianoforte Pleyel va, probabilmente, parte del merito. Sia come sia, questa è l’interpretazione migliore.

17 dicembre 2020


Stasera Rai5 ha mandato in onda la Nona diretta da Abbado nel 2001 alla Philharmonie. Si tratta di uno dei direttori da me più stimati, ma se fosse vivo vorrei chiedergli: per quale motivo un “Adagio molto e cantabile” dovrebbe diventare un Allegro moderato? Purtroppo non avrò mai la risposta. Posso sempre, però, riascoltare l’interpretazione di riferimento (qui sopra).

16 dicembre 2020


Ci deve essere una ragione per cui la musica negli ultimi decenni si è inaridita.

12 dicembre 2020

Pancho Villa emette moneta


VILLA proclaimed himself military governor of the State of Chihuahua, and began the extraordinary experiment—extraordinary because he knew nothing about it—of creating a government for 300,000 people out of his head. It has often been said that Villa succeeded because he had educated advisers. As a matter of fact, he was almost alone. What advisers he had spent most of their time answering his eager questions and doing what he told them. I used sometimes to go to the Governor’s palace early in the morning and wait for him in the Governor’s chamber. About eight o’clock Sylvestre Terrazzas, the Secretary of State, Sebastian Vargas, the State Treasurer, and Manuel Chao, then Interventor, would arrive, very bustling and busy, with huge piles of reports, suggestions and decrees which they had drawn up. Villa himself came in about eightthirty, threw himself into a chair, and made them read out loud to him. Every minute he would interject a remark, correction or suggestion. Occasionally he waved his finger back and forward and said: “No sirve.” When they were all through he began rapidly and without a halt to outline the policy of the State of Chihuahua, legislative, financial, judicial, and even educational. When he came to a place that bothered him, he said: “How do they do that?” And then, after it was carefully explained to him: “Why?” Most of the acts and usages of government seemed to him extraordinarily unnecessary and snarled up.

For example, his advisers proposed to finance the Revolution by issuing State bonds bearing 30 or 40 per cent, interest. He said, “I can understand why the State should pay something to people for the rent of their money, but how is it just to pay the whole sum back to them three or four times over?” He couldn’t see why rich men should be granted huge tracts of land and poor men should not. The whole complex structure of civilization was new to him. You had to be a philosopher to explain anything to Villa; and his advisers were only practical men. There was the financial question. It came to Villa in this way. He noticed, all of a sudden, that there was no money in circulation. The farmers who produced meat and vegetables refused to come into the city markets any more because no one had any money to buy from them. The truth was that those possessing silver or Mexican bank-notes buried them in the ground. Chihuahua not being a manufacturing center, and the few factories there having closed down, there was nothing which could be exchanged for food. So, like a blight, the paralysis of the production of food began all at once and actual starvation stared at the town populations.

I remember hearing vaguely of several highly elaborate plans for the relief of this condition put forward by Villa’s advisers. He himself said: “Why, if all they need is money, let’s print some.” So they inked up the printing press in the basement of the Governor’s palace and ran off two million pesos on strong paper, stamped with the signatures of government officials, and with Villa’s name printed across the middle in large letters. The counterfeit money, which afterward flooded El Paso, was distinguished from the original by the fact that the names of the officials were signed instead of stamped. This first issue of currency was guaranteed by absolutely nothing but the name of Francisco Villa. It was issued chiefly to revive the petty internal commerce of the State so that the poor people could get food. And yet almost immediately it was bought by the banks of El Paso at 18 to 19 cents on the dollar because Villa guaranteed it. Of course he knew nothing of the accepted ways of getting his money into circulation. He began to pay the army with it. On Christmas Day he called the poor people of Chihuahua together and gave them $15 apiece outright. Then he issued a short decree, ordering the acceptance of his money at par throughout the State.

The succeeding Saturday the marketplaces of Chihuahua and the other nearby towns swarmed with farmers and with buyers. Villa issued another proclamation, fixing the price of beef at seven cents a pound, milk at five cents a quart, and bread at four cents a loaf. There was no famine in Chihuahua. But the big merchants, who had timidly reopened their stores for the first time since his entry into Chihuahua, placarded their goods with two sets of price marks— one for Mexican silver money and bank-bills, and the other for ‘Villa money.’ He stopped that by another decree, ordering sixty days’ imprisonment for anybody who discriminated against his currency. But still the silver and bank-bills refused to come out of the ground, and these Villa needed to buy arms and supplies for his army. So he simply proclaimed to the people that after the tenth of February Mexican silver and bank-bills would be regarded as counterfeit, and that before that time they could be exchanged for his own money at par in the State Treasury.

But the large sums of the rich still eluded him. Most of the financiers declared that it was all a bluff, and held on. But lo! on the morning of February tenth, a decree was pasted up on the walls all over Chihuahua City, announcing that from that time on all Mexican silver and bank-notes were counterfeit and could not be exchanged for Villa money in the Treasury, and anyone attempting to pass them was liable to sixty days in the penitentiary.

A great howl went up, not only from the capitalists, but from the shrewd misers of distant villages. About two weeks after the issue of this decree, I was taking lunch with Villa in the house which he had confiscated from Manuel Gomeros and used as his official residence. A delegation of three peons in sandals arrived from a village in the Tarahumare to protest against the Counterfeit Decree. “But, mi General,” said the spokesman, “we did not hear of the decree until to-day. We have been using bank-bills and silver in our village. We had not seen your money, and we did not know. . . .” “You have a good deal of money?” interrupted Villa suddenly. “Yes, mi General.” “Three or four or five thousand, perhaps?” “More than that, mi General.” “Senores,” Villa squinted at them ferociously, “samples of my money reached your village within twentyfour hours after it was issued. You decided that my government would not last. You dug holes under your fireplaces and put the silver and bank-notes there. You knew of my first proclamation a day after it was posted up in the streets of Chihuahua, and you ignored it. The Counterfeit Decree you also knew as soon as it was issued. You thought there was always time to change if it became necessary. And then you got frightened, and you three, who have more money than anyone else in the village, got on your mules and rode down here. Senores, your money is counterfeit. You are poor men!” “Valgame dios!” cried the oldest of the three, sweating profusely. “But we are ruined, mi General!—I swear to you— We did not know—We would have accepted—There is no food in the village” The General in Chief meditated for a moment. “I will give you one more chance,” he said, “not for you, but for the poor people of your village who can buy nothing. Next Wednesday at noon bring all your money, every cent of it, to the Treasury, and I will see what can be done.” To the perspiring financiers who waited hat in hand out in the hall, the news spread by word of mouth; and Wednesday at high noon one could not pass the Treasury door for the eager mob gathered there.

(John Reed – Insurgent Mexico, 1914)

6 dicembre 2020

La piramide demografica