«Vicienzo» De Luca, the capopopolo and character of himself (who has his nemesis in Schlein)

By Chicago 7 Min Read

It happens, in the commedia dell’arte: if you are not the great Eduardo, the mask prevails over the actor, and almost eats him away. So, you try to interpret for thirty years the character of “Vicienzo”, a mocking, scurrilous and much-loved popular leader by his family, while remaining at the same time that young philosophy professor who in the early seventies went to the Persano countryside to lead the peasant revolts under the beatings of the Celere. By dint of insolence, gritting his teeth, giving the “pee” to uncomfortable journalists and electrocuting his political opponents with a “porti seccia” (bad luck), Vincenzo De Luca has become his own character actor. In a script that in the last pages foresees his Nemesis, played by the most distant from him that has ever appeared in politics, Elly Schlein.

atindigestible secretary Bolognese-Swiss-Americanwhich has them the party from Campania with a man from Bergamo expansive like a block of sandstone (the excellent Antonio Misiani), he therefore dedicated the last insolence of the catalogue, «cacicca ante litteram», and the last stab, «Pasolini was unaware of color schemes, an hour with the color scheme is two-thirds of the minimum pension»: even if, as observes Enzo D’Errico on Southern Courierwith our hero it is better to be cautious and always speak of the “penultimate sortie”, because perhaps the last one is being fired right now, while you are reading these lines.

Certainly, the governor of Campania he really got into the part. And it was very believed. «Vicienzo c’è pate a nnuie»: Vincenzo is our father, recite, paraphrasing Scarpetta, the placards hoisted by the commoners of the districts who descended as far as Palazzo di Città, on the evening of his third, prodigious, re-election as mayor of Salerno in 2006, as a maverick and against the center-left.

He is conquered that mournful crowd by reclaiming the alleys of the center previously impracticable, leading the traffic police, this time on the other side of the truncheon, against drug dealers, non-EU citizens and in general «racailles», to quote Sarkozy. It becomes «Vicienzo ‘O Sheriffo» and the script begins like this. He foresees long lectures from the pulpit of Lira TV (with pilloried films for those who leave the “rubbish” out of place), a family-party to be projected into the future (Elly’s second blunder is having removed his son Piero from him as deputy group leader in the Chamber), a certain megalomania (with the dream, later turned into a joke, of his own mausoleum in piazza Libertà, in the heart of Salerno), the contumely as truncheon in major politics.

Thus, Rosy Bindi, who as president of the Antimafia puts him among the “unpresentable” for an abuse of office from which he will be acquitted, becomes “unpresentable, in every sense”, “to be killed”, only to then reclassify the sortie in an “act of journalistic delinquency” by threatening lawsuits.

The pentastellato trio, Di Battista, Di Maio and Fico, are branded with a «three half-pippe, miracolati» («but also in the Democratic Party I found pippe and fior di scoundrels», specifies ours, to follow). Di Maio is an easy target: De Luca calls him “Charlie Brown”, recalling that in his Pomigliano he got 60 votes, “he had to be a carpenter, then he got lost on the road and we find him vice president of the Chamber”. When he leaves the Five Stars and becomes a possible ally, however, rehabilitation takes place and now, as an envoy in the Persian Gulf, the good Gigino is “an Italian to whom a great responsibility is assigned by Europe”, amen.

In short, inspiration can push «Vicienzo» to recite as a subject and at convenience. Crozza it is a revealing litmus test. If Bersani, completely devoid of communicative power, is forced to steal his “stainless jaguar” to make it the slogan of the 2013 electoral campaign and in short, to imitate his imitator to find an identity, De Luca reverses the paradigm: any gag of the Genoese comedian about him appears dull compared to the original, which is a commedia dell’arte, in fact.

Machista, politically incorrect, «Vicienzo» interprets «l’omo de panza» or «man of consequence», father of his people, a figure revered by the Neapolitans; except that, as an adopted Salernitan (he comes from Ruvo, Basilicata), he has a full-blown idiosyncrasy for Naples, almost as much as the one he has for the Democratic Party, as Simona Brandolini observes. Populist before populism was fashionable, sexist before Me Too set some limitsleaps into modernity by replacing Facebook with Lira TV. He calls Virginia Raggi a “dopey doll”, the minister Giulia Grillo claims that he spends all the time insulting her.

With Salvini, his natural theatrical antagonist, he has a lawsuit touch: «Capitone», «worn backside». Even the Northern League Captain, also used to distributing insults, appears dumbfounded: “It is unworthy to continue on this path”. Not to be offended, just remember that “Vicienzo” is not real. It seems that for the most part neither were the batons in the hands of his brigades. One of his disappointed lieutenants told it: “There were twenty real ones, the others were made of plastic, for photographers.”

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July 4, 2023 (change July 4, 2023 | 21:52)

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