mercoledì 12 marzo 2014

Schettino’s Concordia Show Shunned by Islanders

By an article appeared on the newspaper "Corriere della Sera" of last february 28th.

Francesco Schettino’s face is not the face of Italy. On the eve of the captain’s return to the Concordia, there had been misgivings but the reality was worse. It would have been better if we - the press and viewers at home - hadn’t been there. We would have been spared the embarrassment you experience when confronted with something that is profoundly, indecently wrong.
You don’t beat a drowning dog, and Captain Francesco Schettino is a man in evident difficulty, yet it was humiliating to watch him reply to the few questions with toe-curling chutzpah, setting himself up as a public prosecutor determined to investigate and “verify the concomitant causes” that caused the deaths of thirty-two passengers on the Costa Concordia.
Those deaths and their tragedies have the aura of the sacred. There are some things you just don’t try to profit from. It’s a fundamental conditions if we are to stay human with a sense of what we are and what we seek to be. The scene we were witnessing on the quay of Giglio harbour was tantamount to sacrilege and it is infuriating to think that the media were part of it. Francesco Schettino was counting on us to relay lies that without a right of reply resonate like irrefutable truths, or at least rub balm into his bruised image. “I am the only one who stepped forward to be tried and find the truth” was just one of his many jaw-droppers. No, Schettino, you sought a plea bargain with such a low sentence that it was refused. There is a difference.
Francesco Schettino has a right to defend himself by all possible means, preferably in court, where he stands alone in the dock. But the memory of the disaster is still fresh. Individual revisionism cannot be taken to the point of denying the monstrous idiocy at the root of the tragedy or the hurried abandonment of the ship. Yet neither is it fair to turn the captain of the Concordia into a template for Italy’s worst faults, despite the amount of material he has provided. Let’s hope that his lawyer’s photographs and the selfies he took on the bridge of the cruise ship were inspired by pathological insensitivity and not commercial gain.
In January 2012, not some time last century, divers were lining up the victims’ bodies on the exact spot where we witnessed this shameless performance. No one is going to take him to court over it but Francesco Schettino’s brazen display has lowered the bar of decency by another couple of notches.

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