As 25% of an Italian-American, it is disappointing that our holiday has been hijacked into a forum not only for fair criticism, but also for people who sincerely believe Western civilization has on the whole been a bad thing --- a remarkably stupid position to take, yet millions do. Again, I'm no Columbus fan, but we should either get a "clean" holiday (may I suggest Fiorello LaGuardia Day?) or no holiday at all. Just give everyone a day off in the middle of October and don't get into the reasons. But we have to stand and watch our guy used as a punching bag.
It is ever thus for Italians. We have to put up with insulting caricatures like Vito Corleone, Father Guido Sarducci and Silvio Berlusconi. The National Italian-American Council tries to stop it, but they're the Washington Generals of advocacy groups. If a TV show has a black lawyer, he has to win every case or else the NAACP organizes an advertiser boycott. NIAC can't even stop Super Mario.
One Italian stereotype is especially hurtful. I refer, of course, to the Roman Moronie character from Johnny Dangerously. Not only is he a murderous gangster, he also mangles the English language. They never flat out say he's Italian, but come on, look at the mustache. He calls Johnny a "fargin sneaky bastige" and a "somanabatch" and accuses a Congressional panel on organized crime of "violating [his] fargin civil rights."
The night I watched Johnny Dangerously, in which Moronie's conviction is followed by a newsboy handing out papers with the headline, "Moronie Deported to Sweden: Claims He's Not From There", I gently bedewed my pillow with tears and dedicated myself to a life of activism against 20th Century Fox and the Great Lakes Mall Cinema. The next morning, I came to my senses and laughed myself silly, and later watched Johnny Dangerously several times on video. It's a hilarious movie and Roman Moronie is the most memorable character. There are kids going around calling each other "fargin' iceholes" and they don't even realize where it's from.
|Roman Moronie threatens to crush Johnny Dangerously's bells in a meat grinder|