Category: Stereotype-in-English

Mahi Binebine, “the big jump” of suicide bombers

Photo by Bantersnaps on Unsplash

“Maybe Hell is the inability to change things. Instead faith made us see Heaven”. A kamikaze speaks and does so in the book by Mahi Binebine, a former student and professor of mathematics in Paris and today a painter and writer in New York. Born in Marrakech in 1959…

Security Contractors, not heroes nor mercenaries

The history of this security contractors is relatively recent and has, at the very least, questionable roots. In 1989, in South Africa and Namibia, the apartheid is about to collapse and the army of these two countries will be reorganized soon. Among the new unemployed soldiers there is Eeben Barlow, former colonel of the Civil Cooperation Bureau, a unit (basically a death squad) responsible for the murder of many political opponents.
Barlow decides to put his strategic know-how at the service of privates, foreseeing the business potential: war zones are always a lot and, after the Cold War, less and less ideological…

New media, old issues

We’re used to think that first internet and then the social media revolutionized and democratized the entertainment and the information world, making any other previous media obsolete. But that’s not fully correct, because, if the tool is surely way faster and more widespread, dynamics behind its use are basically the same as always…

A quick history of soap

Known to Babylonians and many other populations three thousand years before Christ, soaps as we use them today come from the Arabian Peninsula and specifically Alep. The area was rich of olive and bay trees, whose oils were necessary for their preparation. Once luxury goods, soaps began to be produced industrially and therefore popular in the XIX century, also thanks to the progress in chemistry…

A joke is a serious thing

Jorge da burgos nome della rosa

Jokes have a double reputation. If many people consider them the heritage of a long gone sense of humor, other ones underline their historical and popular value, like any form of culture passed down orally, a sort of collective patrimony made of folk songs, proverbs, traditions, maxims and principles…

Genoa, stingy and generous

Closed, cold, grumpy, but also tenacious, prudent, gifted… every great city and Italian region has its own, and these are the first negative and positive stereotypes that you hear about the Genoese. “Some are Sampdorians”, someone jokes. But above all they are said to be stingy (the famous “little short arm”), and at the same time, they are said to be generous… but the negative stereotype is often more famous! And that’s all the proof we’d need of the fallibility of the stereotype itself, being able, over time, to affirm everything and the opposite of everything…

Our brain takes 66 days to adapt to change (more or less…)

Health, economics, how to balance the two aspects in these pandemic times. All crucial topics, as well as a less debated one: how to keep mental sanity in a lockdown. Of course, there are many possible situations to have a univocal reality, but psychologists underlined the necessity to create new habits in order to maintain a balance, reduce stress and anxiety and get ready for a new “normality”…

Entertainment and its responsibilities

It’s been a little while since more recent or older movies and TV series get watched with current standards. The last victim is Gone with the wind, that has been suspended from HBO catalog and will reappear with disclaimers for “ethnic and racial prejudices” and “product of its times”. But even popular and apparently harmless shows like How I met your mother and Friends had been criticized for their (alleged) sexist, homophobic, transphobic messages and/or fat shaming…

Princesses, (social) mirror on the wall

Beautiful and thin, graceful and harmonious, romantic and always in search of love, kind and helpful, affable and loving, obliging and attentive. The Italian (and English) provide an infinite number of synonyms to describe the gender role, always the same, of fairytale princesses: characters that are basically unreal in which, however, many girls still try to mirror themselves. But it is useless to blame the choices of the last century. From 2012 things have changed more in the entertainment rather than in the women’s head…

Tourette’s Syndrome and the stereotype of coprolalia

amadeus tourette

Tourette’s syndrome had been diagnosed for the first time in 1884 by the French doctor George Gilles de la Tourette, but its causes are not utterly known, unlike the symptoms. The main stereotype concerns the association with coprolalia, a compulsive behavior that forces to use foul language. Coprolalia is surely one of the symptoms, but is not the only one and it’s not that frequent. Case studies can be really different, too much to have a typification…

Diary from a Roman quarantine… and a half

We are (almost) done. Maybe. And we are here to tell our point of view… without taking into account the deaths, the infected, the people without home or job, or both, the deep discomfort for a lost freedom, fear, uncertainty of the present and the future… we are “fine”. Even if this “emergency” seemed to regard only Italy in the “Western world”, we had the record of deaths. Actually all the world was involved since the beginning. It was just a matter of time. All the countries that lost time now have reached their “records”…

The bat is not a “plague-spreader”, it’s more like an “antivirus”

pipistrelli habitat

Medically speaking, bats are behind all the viral epidemics of the last decades. SARS in China, MERS in the Middle East, Nipah in Malaysia, Ebola in Africa, now Covid19. The pattern is always the same, the virus goes from bats to an intermediate host and then there is the spillover towards humans. Once again, bats have to shake off their negative reputation: they’re not the problem, they can actually be the solution…

Coronavirus, why Italy?

Just yesterday the official confirmation from an Italian study conducted by Sima: “We can confirm that we have reasonably demonstrated the presence of viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 on atmospheric particulate matter”. This increase “the persistence of the virus in the atmosphere as already hypothesized on the basis of recent international research. In the so-called ‘phase 2’ it is necessary to take into account the need to keep particulate emissions low”. And this explains better why Lombardia in particular…

Coronavirus, how to navigate the confusion of data

An English study has recently claimed that there will be like 6 millions of infected only in Italy. Others say that they are now probably around 1 million. Everything is plausible, but most of the numbers that we chase everyday, fed by journalists, are only a guess that must be taken with a grain of salt. Especially today, every “expert” claims this while giving new data. So what should we look at to better understand the situation? The few certain facts and one deeper study that can give a far more positive perspective…