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Rock Star Berlusconi (Not For Musical Merit)

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November 27, 2009 News & Oddities, Politics No Comments

Oh, for the love of God. Leave it to the italian version of Rolling Stone Magazine to come up with the simultaneously most shocking and entertaining cover in decades. It shows Prime Minister Berlusconi, whom they have named Rock Star Of The Year, intrepidly smiling while tearing to pieces an Italian flag. In a brilliant move, this backhanded compliment is a provocative critique of the Prime Minister’s lifestyle.

Alas, while the doubtfulness of this honour will not be missed by neither friends nor foes, it may well be lost on Silvio himself, who is likely to claim that his triumph is now complete.

We already knew that he was “no saint”, a conveniently broad description which eluded any attempt at categorisation. Thankfully, now, his new title provides clarification and pins him to a much more precise spot, a spot which is by definition completely and unshakeably opposed to sainthood. Lest the person in question has atoned themselves by creating mindblowingly divine music. Not quite the category in which we would place the collection of Neapolitan love songs recorded by Prime Minister Berlusconi, and believe us, we have tried.

It is a shame, though, that mainstream media are running this story without mentioning its provocative nature, which we think is essential to the story. Luckily we have proof, straight from Rolling Stone Magazine, that they are not handing him this title for his musical merit, or for admiration of his ability to be a Prime Minister and Rock Star all at once. The American cover artist, Shepard Fairey, had the following to say:

In my work, I sometimes try to call authority figures into question, especially when they seem to have dubious motives underlying their actions. Everything I’ve heard and read about Berlusconi leads me to believe he fits that description. My Italian friends have often told me that Berlusconi is to Italy what George W. Bush was to the U.S. – a leader who is not a uniter, but a divider and tears at the social fabric of the country for the financial benefit of its wealthiest citizens, including himself. I think people also draw the comparison because Berlusconi and Bush have a similar brand of arrogance. In my Berlusconi image, I tried to capture the arrogance through his facial expression, and show the damage of his arrogance as he tears apart the Italian flag. (Rolling Stone Italia)

Sources: bbc.co.uk, rollingstonemagazine.it, stuff.co.nz, blog.taragana.com, scaryideas.com

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