The Null Device


Apparently, the Italian/European name for Twisties is "Fonzies". Perhaps the Happy Days trademark wasn't valid there, or perhaps it has to do with the Italian infatuation with post-war US pop culture.

A graffito seen on two adjacent payphones along Via Nazionale. Either the gigolo culture is alive and well, or someone wishes it was.

A rather unfortunately named brand of calculator, for which there are ads all over Rome. Apparently they make mobile phones too, which promises even more possibilities for poor taste.

Seen in fashion shop windows.

As I mentioned before, the Italians seem to be rather fond of American pop culture, at least of the post-WW2 variety. Where the French are muttering darkly about McDonalds, the Italians openly embrace Coca-Cola (which is more popular here than in Australia, it seems), Disney and the like. The image to the left, a montage of three rather retro icons of American consumer culture, was seen in an Italian café. Elsewhere, you find Disney icons everywhere. Near the Colosseum, a street vendor was selling Mickey-and-Minnie-Mouse puppets which danced to music. The music in question was a rather tinny Eurodance loop, which cqame out of a boom box; for a moment, though, I thought that the embracing-Mickey-and-Minnies were fitted with a chip that plays Eurodance as they move, which would have been even more postmodern.

Another thing the Italians are into is small motor vehicles. Those 2-seater Smart microcars are everywhere here, and seem to be quite the fashionable way to get around. And, of course, there are motorscooters everywhere, ranging from ancient Vespas in various states of decrepitude to shiny new models, both Italian and Japanese.

italy photos rome 2