The war’s started.
No, not THAT war, not Putin’s unprovoked invasion of a peaceable if rather corrupt European state, which has filled Italy and other European countries with desperate refugees, caused the deaths and maimings of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians, and raised my heating bills.
World War One. I’ve been looking forward to it!
It’s 1914. Newly-industrialised Italy begins a long struggle against its imperial neighbour, the Austro-Hungarian empire.
There were similiarities, of course. The use of conscription, for instance, so ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men on both sides – just as in modern-day Ukraine. And a lot of the time troops were/are fighting from trenches, which must be miserable.
Unlike with Russia’s almost satirically-named ‘Special Military Operation‘, Italy’s war against Austria-Hungary was fought in the high mountains in the north-east of the peninsula. Our writer mentions that two-thirds of Italian troops who lost their lives in the conflict did so as a result of falling into steep ravines, or because of the cold, or disease.
History sucks, as does the modern world, sometimes, though Steven Pinker has argued differently.
Oh, there’s one thing though! In Bologna, where I live, the Comune (municipality) has recently announced that if citizens would prefer to be addressed by a name or honorific that better matches their gender identity, for instance on their library membership card, public transport pass, or – for public employees – their name badge, or the sign on the door to their office, well, that’s just fine!
EasyItalianNews.com carried the story in yesterday’s FREE bulletin. I’ll republish it here, for your edification and/or outrage:
Grazie alla Carriera Alias
ci sarà un pieno riconoscimento
del diritto all’identità
di tutte le persone Trans e Non Binarie,
le quali potranno così richiedere il badge
se lavorano nelle amministrazioni pubbliche;
l’indirizzo di posta elettronica;
la targhetta con il nome scelto
davanti al proprio ufficio;
la tessera della biblioteca;
gli abbonamenti per i mezzi di trasporto pubblici.
OMG! What is the world coming to???
You’re a biological female but would prefer to be addressed as Mr., because that’s the way you see yourself, the way you dress, and because going around with Miss on your bus pass would be embarassing to you?
An example of ‘woke’, according to one fearful EasyItalianNews.com now ex-subscriber (read the comment here.)
America’s culture war has been lapping at European shores recently (we’re also too ‘pro-lockdown’, apparently), aided and abetted by morons like Putin, who think that changing your gender identity should be illegal.
Italy does have plenty of anti-woke pushback of its own, which in part is what the story was about, if you know enough to read between the lines – the current national government is right-wing, Bologna’s municipality is left-wing, which explains a lot of why this is newsworthy.
Basically though, by U.S. standards, and with the notable exceptions of autocratic Russia and semi-autocratic Hungary, Poland and Turkey – none of whose governments are renowned for values such as free speech and human rights – most of Europe is what Americans would describe as a ‘blue state’.
It may seem to certain demographics and shades of political opinion on the other side of the Atlantic that large chunks of Europe are inhabited by ungodly degenerates trying to subvert right-thinking Christians.
I certainly hope that’s the case. Make love not war I say, which is a Vietnam-war-era slogan from better days, when young Americans inspired the world, or at least those who weren’t shooting it up did.
Anyway, back to the business in hand, which is the slaughter of millions for the greater, geo-political good. Proper, traditional values, indeed.
You’ll find today’s FREE article in our thirty-part Summer Series here:
(The first eight episodes in this series can be found on our History page. Scroll right down to the end to find them.)
N.b. All bulk email we send has an ‘Unsubscribe’ link in the footer. Don’t hesitate to use it, will you?
P.S. Final reminder – ‘Per colpa di una lettera’ (B2) -25%
Here’s a final reminder about the launch offer on our new ‘easy Italian reader’, ‘Per colpa di una lettera’, which ends on Sunday night.
Until then, save 25% on the usual price, paying just £7.49, rather than the new easy reader price of £9.99.
The level is B2 (upper-intermediate), and it comes in .pdf format (the default download), with .epub & .mobi formats available on request at no extra charge.
Use them on your computer, print the .pdf to study the old-fashioned way, or read the story on your Kindle or other ebook reader.
So, what’s the story about?
One morning, Albina gets an unexpected visitor – because of a letter!
“Arrivo, arrivo! Che diamine! Un po’ di pazienza!” strilla Albina con voce acuta e civettuola, mentre qualcuno bussa insistentemente alla porta della sua piccola ma elegante casetta a due piani. È convinta che sia uno dei suoi ammiratori che le porta un mazzo di fiori.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Remember, this being the first week ‘Per colpa di una lettera’ is 25% discounted, so just £7.49 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £9.99.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Have you read/listened to Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news?
Their bi-monthly appeal for donations seems to have been going well, so I suppose there must be lots of ‘woke’ people learning Italian.
Donations pay EIN’s bills, so help them help thousands of people around the world improve their Italian (no matter what their political views), each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
If you’re not a subsciber, why not sign up? It’s FREE, and each week you get three. especially-written-for-learners, bulletins of Italian language news (audio + transcript). Subscribe here.
If you’re already a subscriber, you could donate to help the EIN team pay their bills. They’d appreciate it.
And/or you could assume that everyone in the world should think the way red-state America seems to, get all huffy, and go find something better to do with your time.