What’s the relationship between blogging and the real world? At a time in which a large portion of world populations seem to be going off the deep end – spurred on by insecurity and fear-mongering segments of world press and media – how much sense does it make to write about one’s garden or privileged travels? favourite places and foods or daily micro events?
I follow a number of delightful blogs with enormous pleasure. They do the above beautifully, with words and pictures and thoughts that distract me from the horrors and worries of world news. But for my own posts, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to strike a balance between what’s happening in my own backyard and the world at large.
Is summer heat partly to blame for all the confusion? It’s globe-warming hot in much of the world in which traumatic events are taking place, just like it’s summer hot here in Rome. Our own local woes are on a smaller scale, but strike so close to home. The murder of an American summer term student on the banks of the Tiber, a senseless tragedy in itself, is a heartbreaking cataclysm for his family. My heartfelt condolences to his family: I attended the university he had just enrolled in, and got an excellent business administration education there. But the ugly underbelly of this otherwise beautiful city is just a few yards away from the places tourists rave about, under the bridges of the Tiber you’ve seen on dozens of gorgeous postcards. Romans know enough not to wander down there, specially at night.
So it’s hot, and we have a new Mayor and Municipal board. She was voted in simply as a “protest” vote for a supposedly break-with-tradition party, pretty much of a gamble considering the vagueness of her platform. Traffic, garbage and honesty. Ha. It’s no surprise that just putting together a municipal team has proved difficult and her “new” party’s infighting has been up to par so far with old-hat traditional political squabbles. Admittedly, she seems good at avoiding critical situations, like visiting the Pope with both her kids when the power mud-slinging got really bad, and turning up with her little boy (?) at the first official Municipal council, a savvy move to deflect attention from the fact she’d just reneged on her horse-trading and was going to oust her soon-to-be Chief of Staff – because the latter’s connected to her party’s competing faction … so she doesn’t’ trust her.
Besides, her party’s national leadership have announced they’ll fine their members € 150,000 if they don’t obey top-down directives. Do these “clean party” young people actually have that kind of money? And weren’t local politics supposed to be local? And is this even democratic and constitutional?
A bit of good news is that tomorrow’s bus and metro strike has been moved down to the end of the month, and bad news is that this week we’re in for a 48-hour garbage removal strike while the thermometer’s forecast to reach a humid 36°C.
But beauty in Rome also lives on. Not where you expect it though. Except for the smoggy, chaotic and noisy historical center teeming with tourists, outlying districts are quieter and literally awash with flowers of all shades and colours bursting out of trees and shrubs. And if you manage to find yourself on one of the less famous bridges, the sunsets this season are also a wonder.
Any thoughts on blogging, flowers and real life?
Flower photos © 14thcountry.com