Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: germany

Fraught with blind spots

On yesterday’s printed copy of La Repubblica, Barbara Spinelli, a well-known journalist and the daughter of Altiero, reflects on the role of Germany in Europe. What I found most interesting is her position on German political memory which, she argues, is fraught with blind spots. People in Germany, for example, remember very clearly inflation under Weimar, but they tend to forget the deflation and the austerity under Chancellor Brüning (1930 to 1932), which paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s electoral success. Similarly, people remember very well National Socialism but forget what came after it: the reduction of German debt, generously granted by 65 states including Greece in May 1953.

Clean Lorenzo

Home again after ten days in Slovakia completely disconnected from the world. Good to find on my desktop the pictures of the OCEANS Annual General Meeting I attended in Berlin at the beginning of July. All these pictures are made by and belong to Enrico.

Warschauer Platz

Alcune note scritte di fretta dopo il mio fine settimana tedesco sulla strada tra Bruxelles e Trento.

Berlino. Di giorno ho visto molto poco: Friedrichstrasse, la Hertie School of Governance e il ristorante panoramico in cima all’Alexanderplatz Tower – gran lusso e interni posh, ma cibo mediocre. Pur frettolosamente, mi sono tornate davanti le immagini della capitale tedesca vista la scorsa estate assieme ad Iris. Piuttosto nuove, invece, e mi rimarranno impresse nella mente, le immagini notturne di Warschauer Platz, l’area appena fuori il nostro hotel. Prima d’ora difficilmente avrei potuto figurarmi uno scenario del genere. Migliaia di freak, concerti improvvisati in ogni angolo della stazione, sotto i ponti, nelle gallerie, amache per strada e musica elettronica fino alle 11 di mattina: una cosa che neppure Ciccio-Bobac e l’altro coinquilino di Giulia di cui non riuscirò mai a ricordare il nome. Raramente, forse mai prima d’ora, avevo assistito a una simile conquista degli spazi urbani.

E a corredo dei miei scarabocchi aggiungo anche un commento di critica letteraria gentilmente inviatomi da Old Tom.

A proposito di Berlino, ho appena finito di leggere “Violette di Marzo”, di Kerr, ambientato lì nel 1936. Battuta di clou di un testimone al detective privato protagonista: “Mi fa piacere vederLa quanto a Goebbels essere inculato da un ebreo”.

Spero di poter tornare a Berlino, almeno per qualche settimana, prima di sfondare i 30 anni.


The President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, often speaks of the special nature of the Icelandic people. In his mind, the most treasured commodity among Icelanders is their “Viking” spirit—their passion and enthusiasm for conquering new ground and reaping the benefits of their adventurous and courageous natures. This is obviously a load of nonsense and has absolutely nothing to do with FM Belfast, who just just to be your friend.

It took this outstanding icelandic band to change me like the weather over the weekend. I was moody and listless on Saturday morning, when I left for Dusseldorf. I went with Matic, Vaida and Asgård who kindly invited me to listen to their colleague Egill, one of the frontmen of FM Belfast who was about to play at the Open Source Festival. Egill is indeed a very nice guy and a one-man-show, who you can see portrayed in some of the pictures below.

We stayed for the whole festival, which lasted for about 12 hours. We even made new friends playing table football. FM Belfast’ concert was an energizer. The band is astonishing when performing live. Their secret is not being Vikings. As they write on their biography, they do not pillage and plunder. Instead, they give, and they care. With simple, delicately crafted melodies, unpredictable beats and humorous lyrics, including the one that follows.


We drove back to Brussels after a very long night and we were back on Sunday leaving one man behind. I am staying here until Thursday and then I will be off to Germany for a long weekend before flying back to Italy. While counting the days, I won’t necessarily have to run down the street in my underwear. But I might, if I am to listen carefully to FM Belfast’s Icelandic wisdom.

Late morning update: Asgård noticed that both Egill and us made it to the headlines.

Sushi and gulaschsuppe

I just spent a very nice weekend in Munich attending my second OCEANS Network conference where I learned a lot about alumni associations, long-distance cooperation, event organization, lobbying and, well, pig races. I took some random pictures on Sunday, before departing.