I’m the first one to dissuade people from believing in the stereotype of the greasy haired Sicilian Mafioso who swindles shopkeepers out of their hard earned money with threats and extortion. Something I am finding difficult to do thanks to the antics of one certain Catania born boy which have tainted the image of Sicilian in the press.
After watching the pathetic soap opera created by Fabrizio Corona I am convinced in the existence of the ‘tabloid Mafioso’ who has created his own tough guy image in a bid to create endless publicity and product placement.
It’s been difficult to ignore the Italian presses obsession with this self styled and proclaimed paparazzi pin up over the past few years as his image has been stuffed down the viewing publics throat.
Corona started off his career as a paparazzo, in two thousand and seven he became a central figure in a series of extortion scandal known as Vallettopoli, which involved many Italian celebrities. He was arrested and spent seventy seven days in prison but was later released into house arrest.
Mr C. has revealed himself to be a shrewd manipulator of the press using his infamy to his advantage creating a bad boy image which he has been making a living off ever since thanks to: book deals, a fashion line which uses his name as its calling card, reality shows, modeling, television appearances, being featured in documentaries, relationships with show girls, a rap album and more charges for blackmail.
The latest publicity stunt recently comes after being convicted by an Italian court and sentenced to five years in prison. Corona promptly skipped the country driving to Lisbon, Portugal where he gave himself up to Portuguese police after claiming his life was in danger if he returned to Italy. He has since been deported back to Italy and is facing extended jail time.
I don’t want to be accused of kicking someone when they are down but I need to say Corona’s fate was brought on by himself as he was playing the same game of other well known VIP’s like Paris Hilton or Linsey Lohan who desperately want to hold onto the spotlight no matter what (be it in a more extreme mode). The hunger of fame is an illness and a cry for help from sad insecure people who don’t feel loved or even love themselves.
Not only is there this culture that hungers for fame but in our post reality t.v culture there is also the phenomenon of becoming famous without any valid reason. Some actresses, actors and reality t.v survivors have become victims of media hype to become extremely popular or well known for no particular talent and so are destined to burn out. It’s a vicious cycle when the media creates synthetic fame only to chew up people and spit them out.
Corona for me is to be pitied, a poor schmuck who wants all the attention for himself. Lets hope he grows up a little, gets some character and tries to do something valuable with his life rather than selling his soul to the highest bidder.
The biggest shame is how his behavior inadvertently reinforces the Sicilian stereotype.