Beppe Grillo

Beppe Grillo

Monday, February 11th, 2013

When I first heard that name I thought of some new outdoor cooking product or a cleaning product for same. But if you are in Italy or have an interest in the bizarre world of Italian politics you are familiar with Beppe as a comedian – going into the really strange and comedic world of politics. In 2007 and 2008 he organized V-day in Italy. V in this case stands for vaffanculo (“fuck-off). This seems to be the start of his real political movement outside of his increasingly political comedy routines.


If you imagine if, say, George Carlin had decided to go into politics and had established a movement which claims millions of member is Italy – a country of about 60 million inhabitants. Actually given Beppe’s body type maybe John Goodman would be a better comparison.  The most recent polling prior to the elections due February 22 shows the M5S party polling 13% which puts it as the 3rd most popular party in Italy. This could make it a significant force in Italian politics if that translates into seats in the Italian parliament.

I’ve read a number of things on the web including Beppe’s Blog (there’s an english version if you’re interested) and don’t really know what to think of him. But of course I am always perplexed by Italian politics. It definitely seems corrupt. Not that’s we’re squeaky clean in the political environment in the U.S. but the Italians really raise it to a spectacular level. Still the M5S seems to have some good principles mixed with some questionable ones. Shaking things up a bit could be a good thing and hopefully the movement will not become like the idiotic obstructionist Tea Party movement here. Regardless, with Beppe and Silvio Berlusconi in the election this should certainly be entertaining.

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