That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sky Italia and Dog Poop: The Un-Official, Uneducated & Unsubstantiated Comparison

Yesterday, I had another fun meet-up with a few ladies from Pink Italy where one of the topics discussed was the disappearance of the BBC Entertainment channel from Sky Italia S.r.l.'s platform. I'm not British, I haven't a Sky subscription ... I don't even watch the default Digitale Terrestre television much. But one needn't be British to appreciate British entertainment, one needn't be a Sky Italia subscriber to be annoyed by yet another example of poor customer service and finally, one need only walk a few meters in most Italian neighborhoods to see an accurate reflection of what is offered in terms of made-in-Italy programming - lots and lots of rubbish ... and dog poop. 

You might think that dog "memories" - as Italians sometimes call them - have little or nothing in common with the cancelling of a television channel ... but Brain would beg to differ. With a little imagination, there are some similarities to be extracted from both issues ... harhar. 

Both begin with an agreement - in the one case, an understanding or expectation and in the other, an actual legal and binding contract. Both require responsibility and accountability from all parties involved. Both involve the use of fines or penalties in the case of one or more parties not abiding by the rules and regulations of mutually agreed upon terms. Both have the end result of one smaller group having the benefits, advantages and luxury of doing as it pleases with little concern to others while a larger, much larger group, is left inconvenienced, annoyed and helpless to find any available or ready recourse. 

There's a Facebook page called, "Bring Back BBC Entertainment on Sky Italia!!" - and while at first glance, we might be inclined to think this is solely a British ex pat lament, it turns out that more than a few Italians, too, find the cancellation disagreeable. Actually, based on Italian forums on the matter, "disagreeable" is not entirely accurate ... but I use this alternative to refrain from using the many and varied profane adjectives and creative expletives that grace so many of these Italian sites' comments. In fact, many of the terms employed have a direct correlation to our other subject - poop, poopy, poop-like, pooped ... you get the idea. 

So, let's take the arguments I've mentioned previously and break them down, just a little more for comparison's sake ... Here's what I've come up with:

More after the jump ...

(obviously, not in its entirety, but mentioned, here, are only certain points that I, personally, believe are of importance and/or certain points that I, personally, have picked and chosen to support my biased and impartial opinion ^.^)

The subscriber agrees to regular and timely payment for services rendered by Sky Italia.
Sky Italia agrees to interrupt programs, modify or reduce the hours shown or altogether cease the distribution of a channel which is a component in the formerly established viewer's package only after adequate and timely notification to the subscriber. *Article 6.3 of Sky Italia S.r.l.'s Condizioni Generali di Abbonamento Residenziale

The dog owner, in virtue of his free and independent choice to own a dog, knowingly agrees to be a decent and proper human being insofar as the dog's needs, care and maintenance are concerned.  
The Italian government agrees to uphold its position as a republic where the supreme power lies in the political body of citizens voted by the public, and to which it is ultimately responsible.

Responsibility / Accountability & Fines / Penalties:

The subscriber is responsible for any and all payments due as required by the signed contract between himself and Sky Italia. 
Sky Italia is accountable toward its paying customers to possess and demonstrate the courtesy of following its very own set of conditions as stated in a very short section of an otherwise long document that is overwhelmingly dominated by the duties and responsibilities of its subscribers and the charges, dues and penalties owed should they, the subscribers, fail to comply. Rhetoric: What's the point in including such elaborately worded fancy shmancy company obligations if they are mere superficial affectations to be ignored and disregarded?

The dog owner is responsible for disposing of his pet's waste so that his right to own and keep a dog does not interfere with another citizen's right to freely walk, run and play on designated pathways and in public spaces without constant fear of touching, stepping on or falling into wet, smushy, sticky and smelly excrement. 
The Italian government is bound not only to create laws that oblige its citizens to act responsibly, but it is accountable in actually, actively and consistently upholding these laws by requiring its public service employees to, very simply put, do their jobs. Rhetoric: What good is having an abundance of the most civil of laws when the means, the competence and the inclination to maintain and enforce them are nonexistent?


The average subscriber will have chosen a viewer's package after careful consideration of preference, benefit, enrichment and costs. In one Italian forum, there is page after page of complaints by Race Car fans because after months of advertisements and related subscription promotions for an upcoming world race, the very channel on which it was to be shown, simply disappeared without warning, much like the BBC channel. And in a service that is predominantly attractive to sports enthusiasts, the BBC channel was the only one of its kind. Seriously, the only one. Italians, too, are outraged. Many of their comments echo the complaints of their English speaking neighbors while others are specific to Italian concerns. They mention good programming, well written plots, beautiful cinematography, intelligent documentaries and interesting, humorous or original shows. They also mention the fact that many had used the channel to improve and exercise their English skills; that it was but one masterfully crafted golden needle in a haystack filled with filthy, monotonous and identical hay needles, that is Italian television; that in a country longing for respect and respectability on the global stage, the absolute lack of original English language programming does little to encourage its citizens to compete with other more culturally aware, linguistically adept and modern forward moving nations. 

The (irresponsible) dog owner behaves as though all of Italy is his dog's personal toilet. The government makes a bazillion lofty ordinances and laws, but fails to enforce them. The average Italian Gio is left to scrape the digested remains of some pampered canine off his new shoes with an old newspaper or on the curbside, or attempt to remove what is humanly possible by dragging his foot firmly and repeatedly across random sections of grass springing up from cracked and uprooted pavement, all the while avoiding other, new deposits of la pupù.

So, it would appear that Sky Italia gets the last laugh ... or does it? Going against all hope, the Facebook group, as mentioned earlier, refuses to accept defeat. Its members have rallied together with the intended goal of making their voices heard and in the meantime have developed and forged new friendships which in turn has led to an even stronger and unified internet community. Yay@them !! 

As for the dog poop haters, there is a site (in Italian) where you can learn more about the existing laws regarding waste disposal. *glum But there seems to be little else we can do besides educating or reminding friends and family to be responsible dog owners ... informing perfect strangers that it is Italian law to dispose of their pet's waste will only get you mean looks, annoyed dismissals, clever evasion and possibly aggressive attitudes. Seriously, this is one I just can't wrap my head around. WHY do (some) Italians let dog poop be their national mascot ?!?! What other industrialized country allows this ?!?!


Cheri said...

"attempt to remove what is humanly possible by dragging his foot firmly and repeatedly across random sections of grass springing up from cracked and uprooted pavement" Ha! So well described!

I noticed dogs everywhere in Rome, even the homeless people seemed to have a pet.

nicolaredmond said...

How you put this piece together is genial! Hope you don't mind me saying that I liked the other set out of your blog, all this white is hurting my eyes

nicky said...

HAHA I think I've been here too long. I meant ingenious and not genial.

Mrs. Moglie said...

Hi Cheri -haha- So well described because of personal experience, I'm afraid.

NickyThanks Nicky - about the white -ugh- I've tried to make it a cream, but the html goes haywire on me and removes my background image, among other other things ... so, sorry, but white it shall remain :( for now -ehehe-