RED ELF

RED ELF

As a bad researcher, unfortunately I was unable to find a pearl that I wanted to show you: it came back to me hearing about the House of Gucci set everywhere.

Ridley Scott is filming in Italy between Gressoney, Milan and Como and rumors about the cast are going crazy, which boasts a remarkable roster of characters: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons…

But I would like to focus on Patrizia Reggiani: reading that she was annoyed at not having been contacted by Lady Gaga, I immediately thought back to the interview during which I had got to know her in all her resolute personality.

November 13, 1993: one of Harem’s guests is Patrizia Reggiani and Catherine Spaak, with that touch of perfidy hidden under her smile, interviews her in particular about the separation.

Patrizia Reggiani tells how Maurizio Gucci noticed her at a party as a “red elf” because of her dress, and adds that she initially made him believe she was the daughter of a “truck driver” only to specify that her father had an important transport company.

I remember one of Catherine Spaak’s comments: “I would have continued to be the trucker’s daughter a little longer …”

But the crescendo comes when Spaak asks “has she already had a lot of money, the house here, the boat there … isn’t that enough?”

Answer: “Gucci assets have been rated xxx, what do you think?”

Well, obviously I don’t remember the figures or the details, but the response phrase and the tone of the “what do you think?” remained impressed on me as if I had heard them yesterday.

And I imagined them as a frame for the statements against those who will play her on the big screen.

I want to clarify, but promise me not to ban me for this, that I do not like Lady Gaga … well, I said it.
I am talking about the singer, because I have not seen A star is born and therefore I do not comment on acting, which, moreover, has been praised by everyone.

But meeting the person to be interpreted is not the rule.
Do you remember examples of this?

The vision of the film will give us the arduous sentence …

Speaking of visions, in case you, who don’t have all my springs, have never seen Harem, I suggest you recover some excerpts: at the time the interviews with Catherine Spaak gave various goodies, making people known a little more in detail a variegated parterre of characters.

Find a selection here

If, on the other hand, you want to get a personal idea of Patrizia Reggiani, you can review the interview with our lady Franca Leosini for Storie Maledette.

And, just in case, as always: correct me if I’m wrong.

STARTUP “IN BAG”

STARTUP “IN BAG”

If I say work, what do you answer me?

I would like the answer to be positive and satisfied, to be able to draw up a sort of countertrend in this BLACK period from the working point of view, and not only, of course.

The mass media repeat the statistics according to which the most women lose their jobs, which even before it is not that they were widely used as resources … and then thoughts run, ride, we do not give up!
Yes, but what do we make up?

Start up.
According to the Mise the Innovative Startup is a young company, with a high technological content, with strong growth potential.
Do you know any of them?

In my wandering I literally bounced on the Bouncing Bags by Elisabetta Viola that I find a stroke of genius in the field of upcycling I highly recommend you take a look at the site and the concept.

What struck me most is the idea.
Undoubtedly made with impeccable style.
Pure quality. Chapeau.

But I also had another love at first sight.
I admit, it was first of all for the name: I sew so I don’t kill people … what could I ever add? With a brand like this he has already won everything.

But no, and it is to be expected: originality is creativity and therefore Marianna Andolfi offers us a very particular process through two ancient techniques.

Waxing with untreated beeswax and hand printing with carved stamps. Here you can find the procedure.

Philosophy and a pinch of magic.
I absolutely agree, after all, as far as I’m concerned, bags undoubtedly represent a magical dimension …

I always joke about the contents of my bag, indeed, I take the opportunity to relaunch the idea of the world that bags can hold abat jour included or excluded? What do you say? After all, you never know …

CHOP SUEY!

CHOP SUEY!

Chop Suey! It was voted best metal song of the 21st century, first of 100 songs selected and voted by Metal Hammer and obviously I can only be happy.

And to think that as usual “with the last train” I found myself listening to System Of A Down a bit by chance: during one of my researches that start very far and then follow absurd paths, but soooo profitable in this case!

In case you haven’t done so yet, I recommend you check out their site and to listen to their appeal for the people of Artsakh through the Armenia Fund to help displaced civilians, young and old, affected by the horrific war crimes inflicted on Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

It is for our ancestors, our culture and our nation” Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan are strongly linked to their Armenian origins and in November they released two songs to keep attention on the acts of war in the Nagorno Karabakh carried out in September 2020, frankly ignored by the mass media engaged in their monothematic communications …

The name of the group itself comes from a poem by Daron:
Victims of a down
As the century nears its formidable end, our global experience of universal proportions, predicted by many greats, will arrive at our solar system, to our system of a down.

Their music in general is absolutely recognizable for the influences that represent an enrichment and give the feeling of a very special journey.

You understand it immediately by listening to Aerials: it is impossible not to be captured by it, even if my absolute favorite is Toxicity which at first listen immediately became part of the songs I love.

But back to Chop Suey!
The name of a Chinese dish chosen because it represents the idea of cutting: to chop and because suey resonates with what was the original title: Suicide.

The text, very intense, also contains verses from the Gospel as a symbol of a sort of request for help that connotes the human side, and was considered as a protest for how the media treated the death of Kurt Cobain

Serj stated «The song is about how when people die, they will be regarded differently depending on the way they pass. Like, if I were to die from a drug overdose, everyone would say I deserved it because I abused drugs, hence the line ‘Angels deserve to die’.»

But Serj also said “it’s quite interesting how involved coffee is in a lot of people’s lives …”  laughing
here he is preparing Armenian coffee… and what cups!

COLTAN

COLTAN

Treccani tells us that Coltan is a term which, by contraction, identifies columbo-tantalite, a black metallic mineral composed of columbite and tantalite. It is one of the combinations in which it is possible to trace tantalum, the metal with which small but very efficient capacitors are made (therefore essential in portable devices such as mobile phones and computers, as well as in automotive electronics), which is why coltan has become a highly sought-after material.

In Congo, and in particular in the border area with Rwanda and Uganda, there are the Luwow mines notorious for the exploitation of workers and the horrendous scourge of child labor.

Amnesty International reports a UNICEF estimate of 2014 but we can assume that the number is underestimated, given the continuous exponential increase of electronic devices in circulation.

We all still have the name of the Belgian Congo imprinted in our minds, which brings us directly back to the control of the territories which has ceased in recent times, as this video from the Istituto Luce dated 1960 also testifies:

A memory that for me is placed on the desks of elementary schools is: Zaire, the new name since 1971.
The decision is made by Mobutu who, in a sort of political whirlwind between the alternations of Republics and de facto dictatorship, remained an ambiguous figure until 1997 in contrast between: the role of father of the homeland he intended to cover, and an authoritarian and corrupt profile.

The newly formed Democratic Republic of Congo, however, does not see peace looming, and the rush to grab coltan aggravates both the already severe internal conflict on ethnic grounds, as well as that with neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

By the statement of its President of 2 June 2000, the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to establish an expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a period of six months, with the following mandate:

  • To follow up on reports and collect information on all activities of illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in violation of the sovereignty of that country;

  • To research and analyse the links between the exploitation of the natural resources and other forms of wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the continuation of the conflict;

  • To revert to the Council with recommendations.

With this letter dated April 2001 Kofi Annan presents his Report of the Expert Group on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A 2003 UN Security Council report denounces that the proceeds from the exploitation of coltan by the opposing states have served to finance their armies against the Congo itself.
In addition to the fact that the search for and extraction of coltan by rebel forces has caused serious environmental damage in Congo within reserves and national parks.

The main multinationals basically declare that they are not connected to exploitation, but basically it would be enough to go up the stream from company to company to get to the source.

Afrewatch mentions a cause:
Last December, a US lawyer filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 13 Congolese families in a Washington court. In particular, he criticizes Apple, Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla for using cobalt despite knowing that it was forcibly mined by children. This lawsuit could push commodity miners and tech companies in need of cobalt to forgo sourcing it from artisanal miners. Glencore, which dominates the market, is following this strategy to no longer be associated with child labor.

Glencore website in fact, speaks only of Australia or Canada presenting in the home sustainability, international day of women and girls, international day of education and human rights.
The same goes for Trasfigura that comes with a responsible program and supply chain.

But then, where does Congolese coltan end up, which is estimated to represent the largest percentage of total production?

This chart by Il sole 24 ore is quite exhaustive.

Similarly, Reuters details the profiles of some Chinese companies: China Molybdenum Luoyang Co Ltd  and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd  and also in this case the wording appears at the bottomChina’s Huayou Cobalt will not buy artisanal cobalt from two mines in Democratic Republic of Congo until it is sure the material they produce is free of human rights abuses according to standards to be decided by the industry.”

Who knows if we can hope that theory will follow practice.

I have already mentioned organizations, associations, safety councils, companies and so on, yet in the Luwow mines people, and even children, continue to be exploited beyond all limits, for all to see. Or maybe I should say under everyone’s screens, including mine, from which I’m writing to you.

On the cobalt DRC case International rights Advocates writes: on behalf of the child miners, the lawsuit demands that the companies pay reparations and fund rehabilitation and education programs for the families of child miners killed or maimed by the horrific conditions in the cobalt mines. Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla are among the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world.

These companies purport to be green and futuristic, but their products are Powered by Blood Cobalt. Consumers buying these products should demand that the companies fix their supply chain rather than spend years fighting in court to avoid responsibility for the Blood Cobalt their products currently use to operate.

We are the consumers.

I conclude with the quote that Massimo sent me
The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind happiness
not always being
so very much fun
if you don’t mind a touch of hell
now and then
just when everything is fine
because even in heaven
they don’t sing
all the time

The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind some people dying
all the time
or maybe only starving
some of the time
which isn’t half bad
if it isn’t you

Oh the world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t much mind
a few dead minds
in the higher places
or a bomb or two
now and then
in your upturned faces
or such other improprieties
as our Name Brand society
is prey to
with its men of distinction
and its men of extinction
and its priests
and other patrolmen

and its various segregations
and congressional investigations
and other constipations
that our fool flesh
is heir to

Yes the world is the best place of all
for a lot of such things as
making the fun scene
and making the love scene
and making the sad scene
and singing low songs and having inspirations
and walking around
looking at everything
and smelling flowers
and goosing statues
and even thinking
and kissing people and
making babies and wearing pants
and waving hats and
dancing
and going swimming in rivers
on picnics
in the middle of the summer
and just generally
‘living it up’
Yes
but then right in the middle of it
comes the smiling
mortician.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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