The case for Comedy by James Thurber

[… ]humour is a sickness, a sign of inferiority complex, a shield and not a weapon.

To Modern morbid playwright seem to have fallen for the fake argument that only tragedy is serious and has importance, whereas the truth is that comedy is just as important, and often more serious in its approach to truth, and, what few writers seem to realize or to admit, usually more difficult to write. It is not curious but a natural thing that arrogant intellectual critics condemn humour and comedy, for while they can write about Greek Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy with all the flourishes of pretension, they avoid a simple truth, succinctly expressed by the Oxford Classical Dictionary in its discussion of Middle Comedy. “Before long the realistic depiction of daily life became the chief aim in Comedy. Ordinary, commonplace life is no easy subject to treat interestingly on the stage; and Antiphanes constrasts the comic poet’s more difficult lot with the tragedians’, whose plot is already familiar, and the deux ex machina at hand- the comic writer has no such resources.


It isnhugh time that we came of age and realized that, like Emily Dickinsons’ hope, humour is a feathered thing that perches in the soul.


My home town

In my village there is nothing. Only old people and mushrooms.  Everybody leaves. You do it as soon as possible. Parents already know that when you are turning 9 12 months you are not really learning how to walk but to escape. Let s say you love Mushrooms. Well this  cannot be a reason to stay because you can always go to my village, you pick them up but then you LEAVE.  The only unique reason why you decide to stay in my village it is not because you love old people, (creepy) but because you like to see them die.

How to tell a stuffed leaf insect from a leaf insect


My nerdy brother started a conversation about how to distinguish a stuffed leaf insect from a normal one.

“You have to check their eyes” he was saying . “The stuffed insect will have them always open, while a normal leaf insect could have them close or open”.

But I interrupted him “Come on Matteo, this is a very ridiculous conversation. Nowadays, how do you get to see a stuffed leaf insect?”.  He continued “Well,  first of all, your eyes have to be open!”.



Il contadino sfortunato

Nella campagna al Nord delle montagne bianche viveva un vecchio contadino assieme alla sua famiglia. Le sue giornate brulicavano di piccoli lavoretti nei campi di sua proprietà. Con il periodo primaverile alle porte Pino cercava invano da giorni di seminare un po’ di pomodori. La cosa non sembrava avere un buon seguito. Lo spaventapasseri forse non era abbastanza alto, o le cornacchie si stavano facendo troppoo intelligenti e gli mangiavano i semi appena si rincasava. Qualcosa sembrava andare storto perchè nessuna piantina era ancora spuntata dopo giorni di semina. Pino continuò ad abbeverare il terreno fino a quando decise sul da farsi “Devo comprare altri semi e riprovare di nuovo!”. E così fece. Compro’ altri semi nello stesso negozio di sempre e si mise all’attenti con le cornacchie. Erano le sei di pomeriggio. Semi in mano e temperatura ottima, Pino cominciò la semina. Dopo qualche  passo fece attenzione ai semi: non cadevano a terra. I semi prendevano il volo. Pino rimase esterrefatto. Semi in volo, cosa stava succedendo. Si stropicciò gli occhi più volte per vedere meglio. Prese in mano un altro pugno di semi e tutto venne confermato. Nessuna brezza, nessun venticello poteva spingere i semi così  lontano.  Pino appoggiò il sacco di semi a terra e infilò la testa dentro per esaminarlo meglio. Non vide nulla se non semi di pomodoro. Tornò di corsa a casa dalla moglie che  lo stava aspettando per la cena e le raccontò dell’accaduto. La moglie divertita gli disse “Incredibile! Sono le sette in punto.Sei tornato giusto in tempo per la cena, sono sorpresa quanto te con i tuoi semi volanti. Ora mangiamo.”

The Nature department

In another. life I will be a counselor for everyone who needs help. Anyone in nature, but humans. Here some of my precious advice and my first clients.

Dear Carla. I am the sunshine. This is the first time I ask for help down to Earth. I have noticed that during spring and summer time, there is something down there that keeps staring at me. What is it? Usually humans can only look at me properly with sunglasses. I am sure that thing does not have sunglasses.  His or her obsession with me starts freaking me out. Please help.

Dear sunshine. It’s the sunflower. This kind of flowers will follow you across the sky. I want also reassure  you that sunflowers don’t wear sunglasses. Keep shining.

Dear Carla, I am the rose. I am 5 years old, delicate scent with slim white petals. For unknown reasons I don’t have any thorns yet. This is really embarrassing me. I also think this is the reason why people  enjoy plucking my petals. They all seem to repeat the same weird words to me, while they do it. Why do you think they do this to me?

We might need to arrange a visit in person as I suspect you are a daisy. Roses are usually red. If what you hear is “she loves me, she loves me not” you are definitely a daisy.

Dear Carla, I am a lucky ant that lives in the biggest ant community under the big oak in Cambridge. In this period I feel a bit down because it seems that no one cares about my new ideas. Last week I proposed to collect all the leaves in a different way. Instead of just pilling them up in the store room, I proposed we should manage to recreate a tree with all the leaves we find outside. I proposed a big palm but I don’t think they will start doing it.

Dear  lucky ant. Unfortunately  I haven’t see your community as I live in Leeds. Your idea seems to me very original and it deserves recognition. A palm might occupy more space than just pilling leaves up. Your friends might agree with you with the time. Try to propose something smaller. Like a four leaf clover. Good luck with that.



My return at home after my holidays has not been as I expected or planned. Unexpected things only happen when they are not considered and in this respect they were planned to be unexpected.

On my way home I was thinking to empty my luggage in the kitchen, where my washing machine is located. I wanted to clean all the clothes I had in it and then reach my single room at the fourth floor. When I opened the main door no one was at home, as I knew my only housemate was working  that night. It took me less than few minutes before I transferred with a big hug all my clothes from the luggage to the washing machine. It was when I added the washing powder that I thought that cleaning also the clothes I was wearing in that  moment would have been something useful to do. So I managed to do it without a second thought. I was naked when I turned on the machine that started its own noise. Happy with my first thing all done I was approaching the stairs when just in front of me a man appeared  from the basement. I did not expect anyone from any place to materialize in that specific moment in front of me if that was not clear to the reader. He was my new housemate who just thought that somebody might have been in the kitchen. Unfortunately it happened to be me to confirm his assumption in a way that both of us did not expected. I was naked in front of a man who happened to be in the kitchen because of a noise.  We could not hold our mutual embarrassment. He didn’t know where to watch, even if thinking retrospectively, he could have at least pretend to look at the washing machine which was big enough to distract from my presence. I personally knew where to watch as I looked at myself and covered like a graph parenthesis my genitals with my arm. I don’t think that was very effective to the real cause, but at least I did not have an apple to induce him to the sin. I don’t think he was thinking about paradise or apples or something celestial. He was red as an apple and maybe this is why I am mentioning apples. It was for sure the most an embarrassing unpredictable noise that he could expect. As for me, I have got a new housemate.

Dawn Powell (1896-1965)

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                                                   Satire is people as they are;

                                          romanticism, people as they would like to be;

                                   realism, people as they seem with their insides left out.

                                                              In Turn, Magic Wheel

The modest modesty


When a man tells you you are modest don’t take it as a compliment. You are more likely to be a weak woman. When you are modest they will call you negative or depressed.

A cactus, a sunflower and a plant of peas

On a shelf in an apartment: a cactus, a sunflower and a pea plant. A woman pours some water on the cactus and leaves the house.


A cactus: I really don’t know what’s wrong with people. I really don’t get it.

A sunflower: What’s going on now again.

A cactus:  She gave me water again. Again! Why does she do this?!

A sunflower: When? I didn’t even see her coming!

A cactus: Of course, you don’t! Every time there is that burning sunshine outside the window you are all into it. You weirdo! No surprise that you haven’t seen her.

A sunflower: Oh, please stop whining. And be grateful that someone is taking care of you. No offense, but you are not the most attractive plant in the planet with those thorns.

A cactus: Oh, now I am curious to know what you would have said to me without that “No offense”. Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no plant more desired by human beings than us, Cactaceae. Every apartment with a decent standard has a cactus plant on a shelf!

 A sunflower (resting on a warm window): Oh, is that true?

A cactus: Well, yes! You sunflowers, you are seeds for porridge my darling. Nobody really cares about you, moving around the sunshine, like psychos. If they really wanted something that could move, they would have had a dog or a cat.  You should stop even making an effort about it! No one cares!

A sunflower: I kind of sense a sort of envy here. You cannot move and considering your shape I am not even sure it will be a pleasant thing to see. And nobody will even come next to you to smell your sent!

A cactus (interrupting): You really like to deny the evidence, don’t you? She comes everyday giving me water so, you are wrong! I would like to just be on my own, but they always come and bother me. Do you get it? “Thorns” hashtag “stay away from me”? I don’t want to look nice and beautiful for them. I just want to get fat and fat and get more thorns!

A pea plant: Shhhh!!!Stop shouting please. My beans are trying to sleep here. And if you could control your swearing it would be more than appreciated.

A cactus: Oh, there we go, here she is. Sorry, but this is a public space. I get water in the face when I don’t want it, he can swear and act like a weirdo and you unfortunately have to take it.

A pea plant: I am not going to accept that. These beans will be lunch very soon for our owner. They need a good sleep. I want them to be juicy and tasty. You keep your mouth shut, please.

A sunflower: Well, I don’t! So I don’t see why this should make a difference. I am not going to stay in silence when someone is offending the flowers of sunshine! Boring…

 A pea plant: Sure! Talking is all you can do,  lazy roots! Just doing nothing but photosynthesis, while I am food for them and this is a full time job.

A sunflower: Excuse me: I am in the most delicious porridge in every bar and Cafeteria, all over the world, and in the best oil in Aldi and Morrison and Asda. And if sometimes I enjoy some photosynthesis is not your business at all!

A cactus: Well, there is no plant more desired by human beings than us, Cactaceae. Every apartment…

 A sunflower interrupting: Oh, again with this boring chant.

A pea plant: I always thought that only moss could be the most boring plant ever, always showing off about directions, the North and the South, and the North and the South, before I had to listen to this green hedgehog!

A sunflower: Ah! Nice one!

A pea plant (staring at the sunflower): I thought I was the boring one. Apparently now it’s your turn

The plant of peas suddenly shakes. Little peas wake up and start crying.

 A little pea referring to the cactus: Mum, am I going to get bigger like him when I get older? I want to get bigger like him!

Another little pea: I want those thorns, I want those thorns mum!

Another little pea: Mum, when do I get green like him, mum? Soon?

The cactus (getting bigger and emotionally satisfied): See? All they can notice is me! Your little peas are very smart. I never thought peas had a brain actually.

A woman enters in the room, plucks all the peas and put them in a dish and start cooking. Than she grabs the sunflower and put them in a vase on the table. She pours some water on the cactus. 

 The cactus (exhausted): Why?

Moral: Once you have proved that you are right and everybody should finally agree, it is time for lunch.












Comedy and seeds


Comedy means to make it easy something very complicated. It means to keep your pain for yourself and give to the audience only sad eyebrows. You have to give the juice to people, while you keep the seeds for yourself.  Spit or eat them it doesn’t matter, but you don’t share this moment with the audience. Give to the audience the best moment of yourself, while you are drinking that orange juice. Possibly use a straw. A beautiful one. Taste and style are essential in comedy. This is what comedy is and what distinguish us from drunk people, babies and vegans.


Comedy clichès

I find men very naive when to take the piss out of “female comedians” they say we always talk about period, clothes and women stuff. If they only could listen to us once  they will finally understand that there is only one single topic: period has periods and according to which period our period is having, we will wear different clothes.

I sognatori e la realtà

Dreamers don’t want their dreams to become true.

They want their reality to became their dreams.

My ukulele way

I find stories and practical examples very boring. I like theory. Abstract thoughts turn me on. I am mainly an academic person without an academic career without any publication. I know you might think I am an unsuccessful academic person, but I think you are not considering the coherence that there is in my previous sentences, or life for practical people. I have a degree in philosophy. Basically I don’t want to apply my knowledge but just show off.

I am not happy about that. And that’s why I decided one day to learn to play the ukulele. So I went to buy a ukulele, a ukulele book. I read the ukulele book which was very interesting but it was more about the ukulele instrument and not about HOW to play it. Because I didn’t have a ukulele, I found it stupid to read those things like exercises and songs. So I decided to study only the chapters that concerned the  method of playing ukulele until I discovered that there were other six books after the first one.  I read all of them and now I know everything about ukulele I should go and buy a ukulele. I have never played it. I guess I have to make some research about which ukulele I should buy first.


Un albero secolare,

i cui rami e radici confondono profondità e orizzonti.

Un mistero tra le nuvole.


Donne Sorde: doppia identità o discriminazione?

Che cosa significa essere sorde, donne sorde in Italia? Possiamo parlare di doppia identità o di doppia discriminazione? Che cosa sanno le donne sorde del femminismo? Qual’è il segno LIS per “ruoli di genere”, “genere”?

Queste sono alcune delle domande a cui questa breve ricerca che segue ha cercato di rispondere.

Vedi PDF

Donne sorde

Stewart Lee and the observational comedy

Some art exists  to ask questions, and to play  with expectations. Some people want art to take them to a place they would never have imagined going to in the company of people they would never have imagined meeting. Bob Dyland, Samuel Becket and Reeves and Mortimer all do this. Other people want art to reconfirm the things they already know, and send them away feeling better about themselves. This is the job of Coldplay, Music Theatre and those kind of Comedy Store/Jongleurs stand up comedians wo invite the audience to think “Yes, that’s exactly what happens whenever I try to open a sachet of tomato sauce too, brilliant!

p 317-318, Steward Lee (2010), How I escaped my certain fate. The life and the deaths of a stand up comedian