Thursday, March 27, 2008

If you weren't Italian

If you were an American student studying Italian, what would you have to say about these?

Interesting. Soon after I published this post, the veltroni video disappeared from YouTube. To see it and read about why, click here.
And as an Italian? What DO you have to say?

As an American in Italy I'm speechless.


N.B. Take a look at the comments. Which Italians use YouTube?


Alberto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alberto said...

Simply awkward.
At the beginning I was sure (I hoped, at least)they were just satire videos.
We could tape a video for LSC, ha ha ha!

Marta said...

Well..if I were an American student in Italy I would say..are these people joking??!!Who are these crazy joung people who sing the praises of this or that candidate as if they were their recuers? Do they really believe in their "heroes"? I've seen similar images of joy and celebration for all-worthy people like Karol Wojtyła, so I honestly think these videos are quite ridiculous..They provide an idea which, in my opinion, doesn't really mirror reality..I think the majority of Italian joung people are almost disillusioned about nowadays politics.. and I personally would never say "Thank you Berlusconi/Veltroni, we can stand up again with you!". I think that the disappearance of the Veltroni video from YouTube could be quite significant..especially when you read that the original song YMSA had already been used by the Pdl and nobody complained about that..I agree with Sarah: I'm speechless..

Ps: Alberto, nice idea! It would be definetely better than these video! Ha ha ha!

elenacarlet said...

I hope this political campaign will finish soon...I don't know what politicians still could invent to get votes; I'm sure that if they continue with this ridiculous campaign a few people will go to vote them.That's all folks!:(

Elena B said...

I completely agree with what Marta said. When I watched these two videos, I felt quite uncomfortable too. Berlusconi and Veltroni are praised to be like the long-awaited heroes landing on Italy in order to save it! It’s such a nonsense... Thinking about the reality of politics in our country, the videos are completely ridiculous. Everybody is disillusioned by politics and disgusted by the privileges of politicians and all the lies coming out from their mouths. As far as I know, the majority of people think that neither Berlusconi nor Veltroni will solve the problems that we, as citizens, try to cope up with everyday. In my opinion, both of them will act out of self-interest at the expense of the population. Well, this is only my opinion, but in my experience I can say that a lot of people share my view… So, when I laugh at these videos, I laugh because I think that we’ve reached the rock bottom…

Claudia said...

I can't believe they've really done it...

elenavi said...

What? Meno male che Silvio c’è? Are they joking? Are they foolish? And what about Walter? After Obama’s “Yes, we can”, this time it’s Village People’s “YMCA” to be copied! And then they say the PD will bring “innovation” and “freshness” to Italy!!! It’s so sad!

As an Italian, I can only say that these videos are a mockery from start to finish! I can’t believe there are people in Italy who are able to think and do such things… What kind of Italy do these “actors” represent? They make fun of the majority of Italians; people who work hard every day to get by and don’t trust politicians anymore!

As Marta and Elena B. have already said, these videos misrepresent Italy and the opinion Italians have about politics. We are completely disillusioned and sceptical about our politicians’ false promises, and these videos try to hide this sad truth. If I were an American student, I would totally misunderstand the real attitude of Italian people – above all the young – towards politics and Italian future in general.

Just one word…Bah :-(

ElenaCosta said...

Guys, I couldn't help laughing! Of course it's a bitter laugh: I must acknowledge that I generally disagree with these forms of propaganda that transform the electoral campaign in a sort of show. I don't want to be unrespectful, but I've always watched with sceptisism the images transmitted by American televisions in which the candidates kiss babies, shake hands and show T-shirts and badges with their name. Now this is happening in Italy as well. I'm not saying it's wrong, I just think that it's useless, at least in my opinion. It's part of a well-studied political strategy that is often mixed with rethorics. Maybe this can help people to get more involved in politics in a moment in which most of us are quite disillusioned. However, I really think that facts are far more important than words: parties and politicians could even record CDs with their songs, if they were able to do what they say. Substance, not appearance, is what really matters.

veronica bozzato said...

Like Alberto, when I saw these videos I immediately thought they were only satire videos! It's unbelievable what sort of thing do candidates to get votes! I agree with Marta, Elena B. and Elenavi when they wrote that these videos misrepresent the situation in Italy... Many people are disillusioned about the political situation and the future of Italy after the elections...

Serena Santi said...

If we were in a normal country these videos would seem a kind of mockery of the American election campaign. Unfortunately we have to face the cruel reality. This is Italy. But let me say that those people in the videos do not represent the 100% of Italian youth.

Eleonora said...

LOL! Wow, these people really do not know how to do in their spare time....

stella´s blog said...

Wow this political campaign is really a show! This show us how important and serious is politic here in Italy. I hope they won't enjoy so much when they will be asked to govern:) Lol

Anna B said...

Please tell me it's a joke!!! It's so embarrassing!!

Giada said...

I totally agree with Anna..It's really embarassing! I fell ashamed for those young people who partecipated to the videos...I would understand if they were paid, but I suppose they did it for free (isn't it?),which is really sad!

Letizia said...

I agree with all of you!!! I can't believe Italian people do videos like these!!! I'm speechless!!!!
If I were an American student studying Italian I wouldn't believe in Italian politicians!!!

Silvia Lovato said...

LOL! I couldn't stop laughing... I was pretty sure it was a joke when I listened to the first one. Then I realized that it wasn't... I agree with Anna... It's so embarassing!!!

But, as I always do, I tried to find the positive aspect of these videos... Here it is. Italian people are so creative and inventive!!! I mean, in this case they did a pretty embarassing video. But, I must admit that the second video is really well done if we consider that the budjet was only 65 dollars.

Then, I don't completely agree with Elena. Why do you think that these videos are "useless"? I mean, these videos won't convice us because we are quite "learned" in this subject. BUT I think that these videos are more effective than any rethorical speech for their communicative force. They are a part of a planned strategy. It seems to work in America with the video of Barack Obama... Will it work in Italy?

What impresses me at most is that I am pretty sure that many people who watch those videos can be convinced by the message.Probably, the saddest thing is not the embarassing video but the audience. If these videos are created and published that means that peopole do want them. The fact that they're among the most views is what make me speechless...

see you on Monday


Silvia Lovato said...

P.S. When I watched the first video I noticed something strange but then I forgot about it because both the videos were completely weird. Do you think that one could write "meno male" as a single word as they do on the Berlusconi OFFICIAL (!!!!????) video. I checked it on two dictionaries and I couldn't find it!! I only found the fixed expression "meno male" as two separate words.


Camilla said...

Well, pretend they're joking, isn'it? A couple of evenings ago I saw the two videos on the news, and they were presented as jokes...but actually, I'm not so sure they were jokes for those who made them!
Moreover, I don't think politicians must act like celebrities, they're supposed to be serious people, and their supporters are supposed to listen to them, not to act like fans of a pop band! Well...I'm speechless... you are!

Marta T. said...

I can't believe that people can make videos such like these!!! In this particular time Italian politic does not persuade nobody! but I have to say that the second video is more funny than the first one...
because we are in "parcondicio" I have to say:
"menomale che Silvio c'èèèèèèè!!!!"
(clear, It is a joke)

Zara said...

I think that Youtube is uploaded and watched mostly by youth. However older people - watch Di Pietro's vids- do the same, I'm quite sure.
As an Italian I cannot say I'm positive. I think that, as Marco Travaglio says, some politicians have understood that image and appearances are more valuable than contents. What is shown and forecasted is assumed to be true...even if we are all ready to say that contents are more important than appearance.
If I were American, perhaps, I wouldn't be that surprised about the song, because I think -and maybe I'm wrong- that this aspect of this Italian political campaign recalls an American use of music in politics. Remember the recent 'Yes we can'. What is surely different from Obama's feat. is the inappropriate ironic tone used in the song. Nowadays Italian politics shouldn’t be explained with enjoyable and funny music. Politicians ought Italians clear speeches where they explain their effective intentions and ways to attain REAL improvements. During the last months our Government failed -once more-, Mastella, a parliamentarian, and his wife have been under investigation, and, due to the aka Calderoli law, we aren’t actually free to vote the charge of Prime Minister.
Finally, I’d say that the need of seriousness from our politicians is not only my opinion. In 2004 an European parliamentarian tried to express his POV on Italian politics, but received an absurd answer to his observations. If you want to watch yourself the vids dealing about it, these are the addresses:

Zara said...

Sorry Elenavi, I see now you already talked about 'Yes we can'.

Raffa said...

Hi Sarah,
I've just found out that this afternoon there's going to be a bus strike from 16.30 til 20.30 therefore I won't be able to come to your class!
Sorry about that, but I'd have no other means to go back home.

elenas said...

Where's Silvio in this video???
maybe he was playing the guitar or conducting the singers...

Davide said...

no words!please wake me up, that's a nightmare!!!!

Davide said...

I've just seen the other one....well I AM ASHAMED FOR THEIR SAKE....I AM ASHAMED TO BE ITALIAN.these are our f...politicans
see ya

Davide said...

Sarah...I forgot...Now I'm in Altavilla Vicentina cuz I have to participate in a meeting (it regards the master in retail)
See you on Wed

Elena B said...

Looking at the three videos, we noticed that the American one is completely different from the Italian ones. First of all, while in the American video the singer is an attractive girl who seems like a pop star and plays the role of a sex symbol, the Italian videos are sung by young people who are representatives of the population of Italy. Italian videos show different aspects of the society choosing people with different jobs. On the contrary, in the Obama girl video Obama himself is represented and showed a lot of times. He is seen as a sex-symbol too and the girl interacts frequently with him focusing her attention on his physical appearance. In the video of PdL there is no reference to the opponent candidates whereas in the video of PD the other politicians are mentioned and there is a comparison with them. In Berlusconi's videos, the characters are all young and they probably belong to the same social category (middle class). They are all shown while they are at work. On the other hand, in Veltroni's video, one of the singers is an old man and there is also a family so maybe the video is addressed to a wider range of people. We think that the choice of young characters is due to the fact that these videos are mainly watched by young people who are able to use Internet and visit Youtube; in this way, the audience can identify with the singers.

Elena Boscaro & Sara Babetto

Silvia Nicolini said...

"Meno male che Silvio c'è" video:

- common people with ordinary lives taken from everyday situations (working, doing sports...) who think that Berlusconi could be the fulfilment of their dreams

- it wants to convey the idea of a country sharing the same ideals and united in supporting Berlusconi's policy

- there are only white people

- opponents are not mentioned

- there are several scenes of squares and streets full of people strongly supporting their leader

"Obama girl" video:

- Obama and Obama girl are represented as superheroes

- They are the only two characters (there aren't common people)

- Obama is a sort of a rockstar and Obama girl behaves like a crazy fan, crying aloud his name, kissing his posters, waving banners, wearing T-shirts with his image

"I'm PD" video:

- it attacks some of his opponents (Berlusconi, Dini, Mastella)

- key words of Veltroni's platforms: "premiare il talento, aumentare i salari, più stabilità, si può fare"

- only political slogans are presented whereas politicians don't appear

Group 1

monica said...

The American videos seem to be like a satire and their aim is just to provoke and make people laugh while the Italian videos are supposed to convince the electors to vote that party. In the former, a fundamental role is played by the girl half naked while the latter is more realistic and it faces the more common
aspects of the Italian life such as underpayed workers. The music used in the videos is different: Obama girl's song is more pop while Berlusconi's hymn is more traditional and Pd's song is very famous among all the people in Italy although it is not an Italian track.

As we know that Italian politicians are very 'pure' there are no half naked girls and no big breasted women. Moreover, there are no immigrants because they can not vote and so it is not important to attract their attention.

giovisperotto said...


"Meno male che Silvio c'è" and "I'm PD" videos:
- a trasversal political platform
- desire to involve every professional categories, from the teachers to carpenters, from students to ice-cream men, etc.
- typical karaoke layout, as the TV-programm
- images convey traditional values typical in the 60s, such as family, education, honest work, etc.
- they are all white and young, as to say immigrant votes don't cope

"Obama girls" video:
- parody of cartoons, music videoclip, heroes, etc.
-it seems to be more spontaneous, not ordered by the party leader
- naked and pin-up girls, like those of American TV-series
- seems to be more credible, because it shows a real young politician through the use of young forms of communication

Selena said...

We noticed that in both videos school and work are important values. In "Meno male che Silvio c'è" work is strongly pointed out as well and here the targets are clearly young people. "I'm PD" gives a lot of importance to family; there are actually a lot of women and children and the video is addressed to middle-age people too.

Selena and Elisa

alessandrasq said...

We generally agree with all the previous comments, but we would like to add one more thing that struck us so much. Look at the end of PDL's video: do you notice anything strange? In the background there is the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro; it was built during the Fascist Regime by Mussolini, and nowadays it's considered the symbol of fascism for the world. If you don't believe us, check it in Wikipedia. Do you think it is just a coincidence?? We don't. In our opinion it's a planned choice, made to transmit a particular message.

Alessandra, Elena, Martina

alessia f. said...


We found that the Italian video "meno male che silvio c'è" was really funny especially because of the song: full of rhymes and very easy to be remembered. While the American videos related to Obama are showing him and a very beautiful girl singing, as if it was a musical video, the Italian ones do not show the candidates but common people supporting them. Especially "meno male che silvio c'è" struck our attention since there are only young white people at work in order to point out that Berlusconi is on the part of workers.

Alberto said...

Group 2

In Italy we are now facing our political campaign and this year, for the first time, we can see videos on Youtube, supporting the two candidates. The funny thing is that comparing them with some American videos, the Italian ones seem to be more serious: they are not mockering the two politicians. They really try to communicate the main values and positive aspects of their parties to go to the hearth of the people. The purpose of the two videos is not to make fun of the candidates, but anyway, they make us laughing.

The images that the two parties use in the videos are quite different and represent the two main targets of the campaign:


- young and elderly white people

- no upper class

- working people and people in their spare time

- family situations


- just young white people (no elderly people).

- no upper class

- work

We noticed that in the Italian videos the two candidates do not appear, whereas in American political videos, they're in the centre of the scene.

Martina Urbani said...

"Meno male che Silvio c'è" and "I'm PD" videos:

1. Both videos try to seduce the masses and to be persuasive.

2. Actually the are very ridiculous and not very effective.

3. They are addressed to the electors and not the candidate.

"Obama girl" video:

1. The video seems like a pop video.

2. There are many sexual allusions.

3. The video is addressed directly to Obama.

group 5 and Stella Perchia

Eleonora said...

We agree with most of the things which have been said above.
Moreover, we noticed that "Obama's girl" is much more "technological" than the Italian videos.PD's and PDL's videos seem to be less sophisticated and more spontaneous.

Giovanna said...

I'm ashamed to be Italian. I'm wandering what people from other countries could think of us. Honestly, if these are the politicians that will act for us, I'm not going to vote for any of them.

veronica bozzato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
veronica bozzato said...


Music: we think that Obama girl's songs are pop songs, they have a pleasant melody that stay longer into your head than Pdl's and Pd's songs. Obama girl's songs are probably brand new songs, while Pd's and Pdl's sound more like a hymn and are very similar to popular songs (Berlusconi's song is similar to Ligabue's Certe Notti and Pd's hymn is a Village People's cover).

Characters: in Obama girl's video the attention is focused more on the girl than on the campaign; on the other hand in the Italian videos the characters are common people in their everyday life, there are no scenes in which the two candidates appear.

Our opinion: Berlusconi's video is probably thought for people who do not usually vote for his party. In his video people represent different work categories, while in Veltroni's video there's no reference to the characters' professions. In Berlusconi's video the attention is focused on himself as a very charismatic person, rather than on his party in general (as in Obama's and Veltroni's videos). We are particularly struck by the last scene of Berlusconi's video, where there are many young white people in front of a white builduing, which was actually built during the Fascism.