Nuje simmo serie… we belonged to death!

The bitter irony with which the incomparable Totò marked his poetry ‘A level, as even in death there is no shortage of differences in wealth and servility in behavior, it has found an opportunity to become current again. Yesterday morning the news of the suicide of General Claudio Graziano it left institutions and the media world dismayed. In recent months, and during the initial phases of the war in Ukraine, the senior officer had achieved a certain notoriety even among the general public, due to his lucid and balanced comments. And just in the last few days the reporters had reported his precise and well-documented positions from the Turin Economics Festival.

The general, moreover, had an authoritative and very delicate profile. He held positions of maximum responsibility at the top of the national armed forces, and was coordinator of the joint forces group; now he was president of Italcantieri, perhaps the most important public company, for its strategic logistical and technological supplies to countries around the world. His disappearance could not, immediately after the discovery of his body this morning, not leave a trail of confusion and mystery. With a relative shock on the stock market for the stock of the company he presided over. Immediately dissolved by the unequivocal scene that presented itself to the rescuers: next to the body a pistol, still warm, and a note with the detailed reasons for the gesture. A few months ago the president’s wife passed away, leaving him in a state of profound prostration from which he probably was unable to recover.

Precisely the disorientation and haze of uncertainty that had enveloped the death of the senior officer at the first announcement, with the consequence of an immediate initiative by the Rome prosecutor’s office, which opened a case for inducing suicide, would have demanded clarity and precision in ‘information. Instead, the screenshots of the websites of the major newspapers – “Corriere della sera”, “Repubblica”, “Sole 24 ore” – competed to speculate on the dynamics of the disappearance, even going so far as to describe the scene in detail, with the inevitable mass of clues that led to the inevitable conclusion of suicide, but without ever explicitly using the term “suicide”. At its most audacious, “Repubblica”, in its web news report, went so far as to report, halfway through the report, the fact that the general took his own life.

Now, in the same screens of the same newspapers, there was news of a quadruple suicide in Italian prisons, rightly told for what it is: the tragedy of a suicide, of a desperate act of human beings who reach the conscious decision, more often than not, to take their own lives. Act which is called, in Italian, precisely suicide. A term used daily by journalists on all occasions that require it and in which normal citizens are involved. However, when the victim of such desperation is a person of high birth, we take refuge in twisted and anodyne definitionswhich leave the cause of his disappearance undefined.

It is not a form of respect or attention. It’s just the legacy of old prudence and caution, imposed by precise police circulars at the time of fascismand which today are to be charged to a instinctive order reflex from which journalists – who rightly claim a role and centrality in an infosphere increasingly polluted by digital reproductions – should, with strength and determination, free themselves. If only for a matter of seriousness, as Prince De Curtis explained in his poem: “These clowns ‘and they filth’ and live: we are very serious… we belonged ‘to death!'”.

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