So you’re Sicilian. Are you in the Mafia?

“Mummy, why are the baddies English?” my son asked me last week. He was watching “Rio”, a cartoon film about parrots in which the bad parrot, from the Brazilian jungle, inexplicably talks with a very posh English accent. “Well, it’s just one silly cartoon,” I reassured him. Then he listed all the English baddies he … More So you’re Sicilian. Are you in the Mafia?

Padre Puglisi has been Beatified. Can we PLEASE talk about the Mafia now?

In Sicily, if you open your mouth and say something about the Mafia, if you just pronounce the word Mafia in public, the reaction will be sharp intakes of breath all around you and horrified silence. It is a social gaffe even more hideous than meeting your new mother-in-law with your flies undone whilst going … More Padre Puglisi has been Beatified. Can we PLEASE talk about the Mafia now?

Crony Capitalism: The Sicilian Disease goes Global

The Americans and British are doing a lot of talking about Crony Capitalism. The economic woes of Italy, Spain and Greece are blamed on the cronyism they seem addicted to. Meanwhile the indignant Americans and British are gradually realising that their own politicians and businessmen are chronic cronyists too. In the UK, being one-time Labour … More Crony Capitalism: The Sicilian Disease goes Global

Is this Racist?

I discovered recently that Dolce & Gabbana have created their Summer 2013 women’s fashion collection with an exuberantly Sicilian theme. It has also come to my attention that American and English journalists are calling it “racist”. Is it racist? Let’s have a look at it first, so we know what we’re talking about. Here’s a dress: The … More Is this Racist?