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A Writer's Ode To The Victims Of A Pitiless Economy

Essay: The small tragedies of the economic crisis have begun to creep into the daily headlines. Reading about a business owner's suicide, an Italian columnist learns it's not always easy to find the right way to speak -- and write -- abo

In Florence, everything must go (Curran Kelleher)
In Florence, everything must go (Curran Kelleher)
Massimo Gramellini

A motorcycle dealer hangs himself because he can no longer pay his employees. A retiree throws himself off a balcony after receiving a 5,000-euro claim against him from the national insurance board. These are tales from the daily Spoon River of a crisis that seems to fall harder on the newly impoverished than the perennially poor, creating fear and panic among those suddenly thrust into uncertainty: a lost job, company, home, status.

I must admit that I too am at fault. In my writings I deal with this fear far too casually. Every story of the ongoing breakdown, though legitimate, becomes a brick in that wall of anguish against which the most desperate minds are bound to crash.

Too many years of falsely joyful and ever foolish optimism have created a counter-reaction of dark and hopeless realism. Right now, beyond the accountants, we would need to find the poets. (Preferably not the apocalyptical ones.) By now the news reports are war bulletins: taxes, firings, recession. It is, in the end, an X-ray of our reality. But X-rays alone have never healed anyone. We need prescriptions instead; and the best prescriptions are stories of the ones who have healed.

It is better to become indignant than fall into depression. Better still are those who keep pressing on, and evolve. "This society eats everyone up" said the priest during the funeral of the motorcycle dealer. It is the fear that consumes us. And so from here on, whenever I sit down to write something on the topic, the implicit message of each article will be: Let's not get eaten.

Read the original article in Italian

photo - Curran Kelleher

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Gaza Fighting Resumes, Quick COP28 Deal Signed, Longest Hit Song

Palestinians inspect damages after an Israeli airstrike destroyed a house in Rafah, southern Gaza, as hostilities resume after a week-long truce between Hamas and Israel.

Emma Albright & Valeria Berghinz

👋 Alò!*

Welcome to Friday, where fighting resumes in Gaza after the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expired, a COP28 deal is signed for a fund to pay for climate damage in poor countries and a rapper breaks a billboard record with a flute. Meanwhile, Mastercard is arriving in China following Xi Jinping’s “dinner diplomacy” last month in San Francisco, reports Chinese-language media The Initium.

[*Haitian Creole]

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