Today you will, I am afraid, be served a small lesson on Italian pop music of the Sixties (pre Sixty-Eight, of course). I chose these years because they were the last decade by which the vast majority of the population saw itself strongly anchored to traditional values (even then, it must be said, when from inside the Church the obsession to please the “young” was raging).
Would you please, if you feel like it, listen and look to this:
This is one of the most popular Italian love songs of the Sixties. As you might notice (particularly if you understand the lyrics) there are a couple of elements which clearly emerge:
1) The song is extremely romantic. It is about love, and tenderness. At the same time it is not effeminate or cretinous, but just beautiful.
2) The chap singing (the unforgotten Nico Fidenco) is – as always in those years – formally dressed, perfectly behaved, of spotless appearance. This tells us something of another era; an era when respect for others, and self-respect to boot, expressed themselves as neatness of appearance, of behaviour, of speech, even of thought.
3) Those were what we would today call “macho” years, with a mentality that would scare to death (but secretly excite) every overweight, ugly, resentful feminist of modern times. Make no mistake, the men of that generation wore the trousers all right. Also, if you’d understand the lyrics you’d find them astonishingly politically incorrect. Needless to say, the women ot the time – living in more enlightened times, and thinking with their own heads – didn’t mind a bit.
4) Still, such songs were popular not only among women, but among men too. Love and affection are – and always will be – central in the Weltanschauung of the maschio latino. These were men who accepted commitments with a maturity unknown to the present generation, men grown in a world where you had only one go (bar a rare annulment, or your separated wife being so nice as to die young). These men knew what qualities they wanted in a spouse. They actually demanded them. As always, the females of the species who were interested in marriage registered these priorities (which were, mind, perfectly in accordance with their religious upbringing) and behaved accordingly.
Please listen to the man again and try to see in those four minutes the thinking of an era. The video tells you a lot about the way people interacted with each other, the way they wanted to be seen, the clear separation of roles (yes, I’ve said that…) they expected. But it also tells you of gentleness, respect for women, desire for values, and warmth, and simple, honest-to-God domestic serenity.
This song was, as I have already mentioned, extremely popular. As it was the case in those years, those songs remained a favourite of radio and TV for what today would seem an eternity. This song has been, no doubt, the soundtrack of many happy engagements and subsequent happy marriages; engagements of people who knew how to be romantic, but never confused this with being childish, or selfish.
This was the Italian society of the Sixties. No divorce, no abortion, no rudeness of language, no “whatever”-dressing. You were expected to dress, talk, behave in a certain way to be considered a mating prospect. Strangely, exactly the qualities modern feminists accuse men of lacking.
Fast forward to the United States of modern times. Let me find for you a video of a song popular among young people.
Hhmmmm, let’s try this (you’ll have to copy and paste I’m afraid)…
Please compare the gentleman (yes, this is very ironic) in this video with the man of the video above. Please compare the way they dress, the way they move. Please note the way they talk. You may also want to notice whether the rather fetching lady contained in the second video is seen in a remotely romantic way, and what the video suggests of her role and, let us say, function in life.
Yes, you will say; but this is not a love song, and the chap featuring therein is not considered a role model. I disagree partially on the first count (it is not that there are no romantic songs anymore; it is rather that it is *this* kind of songs that influences and probably shapes the “romantic” thinking of an entire generation of boys and, consequently, girls) and I totally disagree on the second, at least after having googled around and having found this:
Here, the very same chap entertains the audience of a national TV chain (no doubt, with worldwide audience) about his cars. Once again, notice the way he dresses; the way he expresses himself; the way he behaves. The nicest thing that can be said of the gentleman (yes, I am being ironic again) is that he is, in plain English, a boor. The problem is that such a boor is obviously broadcast as a role model and seems to think his status a perfectly natural and fitting one. No doubt, an army of young people is influenced in their growing up by people who think, talk, dress, act like him. Someone might say that the chap is the fruit of his upbringing, but to that I say: bollocks. No human being can be such an animal as to not understand what the most basic decency is. And please, please no crap with the skin colour. A boor is a boor is a boor. Skin colour is no excuse.
Now let us compare the two generations of young boys.
The first one grows up in a system that doesn’t tolerate divorce, or abortion. A system teaching to every boy that important choices will have to be made; choices that will influence the rest of their lives; that therefore, the choice of the right companion is the most important matter of their lives, and the necessity to avoid tragic mistakes an absolutely vital one; that to this effect, they will have to behave, dress, talk, and think in a certain way, a way more likely to find them the right companion. Tutto si tiene, or everything hangs together. In such a world, a person expressing himself like the chap above would not be tolerated in a zoo, much less on national TV.
The second generation grows in a system that knows and tolerates every perversion under the sun, and for which divorce is simply understood. He is, in fact, likely to be the child of divorced parents himself; this, of course, if he had a male parent in the first place. As there is divorce, he doesn’t really understand the need of commitment. As there is easily available sex, he also doesn’t see why there should be one in the first place. As there is abortion, he won’t care about taking responsibility for the consequences of this easily available sex. As sex is easily available, he won’t have any need to be on his “best behaviour”, his “worst behaviour” probably helping him more in this respect. As a result, he will dress like an idiot who has pooped his trousers and talk like a sewage without any fear of negative consequences. He won’t even need to speak in properly intelligible English, as this might rather damage his mating chances.
There is no prize for the one who guesses which one of the two systems is more likely to produce happy families, serene children, respected wives, and honoured fathers.