Marco Damilano, "The horse and the tower"?  Here is the only merit of the program

Marco Damilano, “The horse and the tower”? Here is the only merit of the program

Giovanni Sallusti

Political-pedagogical TV can be turned into a show, glowing and one-sided, and it is for example the case of a Michele Santoro. Or it can evaporate into a self-referential homework, which extends the usual ideological soup in the chronicle of good feelings and good intentions, with only one Moravian landing: Boredom. She was the one who ended up eating both the horse and the tower, in what was to be the grand debut of Marco Damilano on Raitre. The primetime strip in the organic network par excellence on the left, the chance of a lifetime for the former editor of L’Espresso. He decides to waste it by inventing a non-reportage from Pescopennataro, a Molise village of 233 souls, from where he informs us with the enthusiasm of a real-life neophyte who is taking “a walk among the rocks” while meeting “ancient people, similar to fir trees and stones ». Yes, there are places in the beautiful country other than television studios and Roman terraces, there are places like Pescopennataro, there are the forgotten internal Apennines and old “living memories” of a twentieth century in the province, and only for a radical-chic dedicated to a temporary safari in real Italy can be news.

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Then there is the message, of course, Damilano does not think with McLuhan that he is already in the middle, rather he is the latest epigone of a long tradition of progressive pedagogy under the Raitre brand, and therefore he lingers, alludes, orients the story. These nice villagers whose existence he did not know are not only ancient but also “resistant”, of course, now and forever. He drops the quote from a famous letter from the intellectual-partisan Giaime Pintor to his brother Luigi (one of the founders of the Manifesto) always pregnant, but which has to do with cabbages as a snack, or as Damilano in Pescopennataro. After that, he embarks on a mission, always with the discretion hovering over the hypocrisy that has made him a parsley of the mainstream: convince the undecided to go and vote. For the Democratic Party, of course, but with tact. Only that the canvas explodes in his hand, because everyone, from the almost centennial Gennarino who “always voted for the left” to the stonemason craftsman who regrets Pertini, all profiles that on the paper of the editorial meeting were excellent, reject him with losses. «There are no longer those people of once …» sighs the first. “I no longer have any reference points,” the second truncates.

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And even with the probed boys it is no better, everyone declares confused ideas. Like those of the authors of “Il Cavallo e la torre”, who close the episode with a pistolotto by Damilano addressed to the “dear leaders” on the “forgotten people” of which “the electoral campaign does not speak”. Welcome Damilano, he is one detachment that has been shaking Italian and Western society for years, it was enough to leave the ring road. The program, however, has one merit: it stages a television void perfectly mirroring the “political void” it complains about. At the next yawn.

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