January 7th 2024
I would like to stay a few extra days in Berlin, to enjoy the strikes along the streets. The mob is not guilty this time, the initiative comes from respectable farmers whose hard work should provide the food on the tables of the aristocracy. Since we do not have an aristocracy anymore, but a bunch of upstarts who managed to get power in the most unethical ways, the so-called aristocrats of the XXI century do not care about what they are going to eat tomorrow. They prefer to follow the latest fashions, aimed to make the human body weaker and weaker, alongside the mind. The farmers, the honest farmers, whose only ritual is to observe the shape of the moon to decide in which precise week they shall drop the seeds, are constantly reproached for what they are doing. With the stigma of polluting the environment, they are forced to retire at the advantage of some new global players producing their food in the labs. That is perhaps the magic of alchemists, of modern Rasputins who, before having learnt how to manipulate the genetics, they have been perfectly instructed to play with the minds. I should not feel too much involved, but it reminds me of what I, and my successors, did in Russia. It was not Holy Russia anymore, but the Soviet Union. A land so far blessed by the Almighty, transmuted into hell. Germany has not received the favour of God since decades, perhaps the Reunification was a small sign of benevolence, but the majority of the population does not take care anymore. Atheism is spreading silently.
The art dealer
Celebrating New Year’s Eve as expected, I took a flight to New York. Of course I avoided compensating my CO2 emissions by paying a bribe to an unknown company. An anonymous organisation that shall plant a tree somewhere in the world. If I had a large house with a garden, I would plant a tree for sure, but it is not the case right now. Even the Moma is concerned with ecology and architecture, claiming that around forty per cent of CO2 emissions are coming from architecture. It could also be the truth, but I am wondering if, without housing, human beings can decently survive. Yet the pictures of the exhibition are appealing and the so-called artists exhibited are somehow interesting. They are not actually artists, but architects and one of them is Buckminster Fuller. That is a name not totally unknown to me. I think it is on the New Yorker that I have heard perchance, for the first time, about his accomplishments. He should have been an original, envisaging structure where it is possible to dwell, made of hexagonal and triangular geometries. That makes sense. One of the most interesting creations is the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine. More similar to a spaceship, like those in the 1950s SciFi movies. Perhaps it can also be comfortable. It is also a distraction from my usual tours, from Alex Katz who has once again released yellow flowers on a black background. The style is still brilliant and the American artist has not lost his flair despite age and repetitiveness. However, I am beginning to get bored.
It is a week since I have reached the town of Rho. A location that always sounded exotic to my ears. For the New Year’s Eve everything was closed and my only possible choice was to go along the mediaeval streets of the city centre and look at the buildings from the outside. I thus located the house where my grandfather lived, just in the years after WWII, when he came back from Greece. As people are coming back from holidays, I managed to gather some information about my family. Even the Graf von Pazze moved here, bringing with him his diaries. The local association gathering the surviving partisans and their sympathisers, allowed me to access their databases. That was the only institution still open during the holidays. Perhaps because, being a leftist organisation, they wanted to avoid celebrating Christmas. According to some rumours I gathered while walking, and by small talk in the bars, those so called partisans have made a reason for living out of their engagement. For some, most of them, it is also a valuable source of income. Perhaps they should pay a tribute to Mussolini, without whom they would be just ageing retirees, nostalgic of a past that has not survived the cold war. The Graf von Pazze incurred the risk of being executed by the partisans, for the only reason that he was German and an aristocrat. My grandad however managed to intermediate and set him free. As a consequence, the Pazze’s descendants, who are still living in the town, enthusiastically welcome me. They also shared his diaries, where I could quickly have a look at the story of Heidi's book. The gift was intended for my grandad, because of a member of my family who, in the past, was the commanding general of the Moscow garnison. After Lenin's death, Heidi's book ended up in the archive of the general. Apparently because of the mistake of an illiterate servant, perhaps the choice was intentional. There is no better hiding place than the archives of an unknown prominent. The book caught the attention of a white officer, who, to escape a patrol of the red army, hid himself in the same building where the archives were kept. When the loyal soldier of the czar recognized Lenin's autograph, the brave officer secured his discovery and began to look for a surviving relative of the general. He eventually reached my grandfather, in Greece. There is no logic in that, but there is no logic in Lenin's mummy that will come back to life either.