Sofia’s Choice

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Sofia’s Choice
On the shoulders of Spartacus, Gramsci, Pasolini, Rosi, my Italian father and my mysterious Holy Ghost Mother, all of whom made a choice
by Arnold Pepper(oni) of impelus@gmail.com

Okay, Sophie’s Choice. Same difference… playing with words.

If I discourage people from traveling to Italy that’ll cost lots of people plenty.

On other hand, if I permit travel to take place as per present momentum, spirit… lots more will pay lots more. Suffer infinitely more. What I am talking about here is NOT the choice of two unbearable options. Rather, it involves the decision to choose the only bearable option.

Yes, this is different than the dilemma in Sophie’s Choice. If you don’t know the Styron story you can sneak a peak at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie%27s_Choice_%28novel%29 or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie%27s_Choice_%28film%29. Just be forewarned, THIS IS A SPOILER for those who haven’t read the novel or seen the Pakula film.

Speaking of spoilers, the second option above — to clarify — is truly no option at all. [Pause.] Is it? The clear answer must be a resounding NO! For if we go along the route we are on environmentally at present, we will do much more than spoil, soil the apron of Mother Earth. We will… well, you know.

And so the thing to do is to find out — to take one case, concern out of many — what Michael Leonardi plans to write about in his upcoming book about Italy. [Forgive the lack of segue, per favore.] If he only plans to delineate more downsides of The Dark Side of Italy, we won’t be putting that essential dent into the “dilemma” of travel to Italy, the dementia which keeps air travel in general… an option.

Nay, rather, we will be publishing politically correct, conscience-soothing documentation which… documents us to death. Conscience-soothing posts which appeal to the general left-of-center environmental mentality, meant to make a difference… but which — in fact — makes no difference at all in our horrid momentum, does not stem the tide. Does NOT, though something MUST. Yesterday.

What? What will it be? [We are not just talking about air travel here.]

Something truly radical which remains — for starters, if not longer — legal, nonviolent and with a low public (personal) profile for all core members who participate in pushing the envelope. That kind of radical. Getting down immediately with the personal shifts called for.

From Michael’s http://www.counterpunch.org/leonardi01212011.html:

The Italian economy is in turmoil, the public eduction system is being dismantled and the health care system is under attack while being wrought with corruption. Civil unrest over the past several months has led nowhere but to heightened tensions with an increasingly militarized police state. The country is divided and while a growing majority is crying out for change a large minority still supports the despicable leadership of the neo-fascists running the country.

Yes, Italian society… their tourist industry… can ill afford a blow to their relentless attempt to generate income. And yet each country needs to be exposed… so that tourism is more honestly addressed. For obvious life-and-death reasons. So that air travel itself can be adequately addressed, confronted in a meaningful way. [Pause.] As part of a larger package of… lifestyle alteration.

Carbon offset plans — proffered by the likes of guide books like what Lonely Planet puts out — are disingenuous, to say the least. To say more, they guarantee our demise. One simply cannot reconcile continued air travel as things stand (which include consideration of offset trading). If one round trip to Europe from North America entails energy use equal to a year’s worth of household gas and electricity climate impact… well, let’s be real for once, okay?

So back to Michael. What’s the planned volume about, Michael?

You hold the cards for dealing out a hand that begs to be played. And in that sense you are in a very special position. With singular shoulders on which the fate of my children rests.

I will not rest whilst it is possible to influence the next publication, the next lecture, the next seminar, the next film. And so on. I trust that the reader gets that our Michael is not important here, though ALL the well-meaning Michaels are.

So that we have a shot at going on. [Pause.] My friends and I have some suggestions which might create a watershed in history.

Interested? I’m talking about the trip of a lifetime.