Readying myself for the seemingly inevitable return, or rather regurgitation, of il Cavaliere once L'Unione cock it up, I am whiling away my afternoons with Paul Ginsborg's useful Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony (Verso, 2004). Alongside the narrative of the systematic project of cultural mutation (or, in Pasolini's more rebarbative terms, "anthropological genocide") that allowed Berlusconi to engender a nation (well, half at least) of Last Men (and women - 44.8% of housewives voted for Forza Italia alone in 2001), there are gems such as the following, culled from an article by Alberto Moravia (of The Conformist fame) in il Corriere della Sera:
Television, I think, is something like sleeping or eating: a physiological need, which reading obviously isn't. In any case, the record for the disassociation that television produces between me as pure image and me as a writer came some days ago in Verona. In the main square of the city, a girl came running up to me and exclaimed: 'How happy I am to make your acquaintance: who are you?'