Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The problems with definition in our folk-family: Part 2


It should be clarified that there are many layers of "identity," from the individual, family, clan, close associations, district, province, nation, and so forth. Naturally this is in reference to our "folk family." Apart from the individual or family, pride of your heritage is partly based on living up to the best of what your ancestors accomplished or stood for, and it should evolve within the individual over time.

When thinking about our Cisalpine folk identity, from an American point of view, we should see that we are very much a small "numerical minority," especially for being descended from a people who dramatically affected the world in so many ways over time. When looking at the book 'Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950' (Murray; 2003), it's quite evident what the Cisalpine people are one of the greatest, if not THE greatest people in world history. Certain peoples were great for one period of time, but our people have been at the very top in every area of human endeavor for about six hundred years. I remember once as a child, I saw a coffee mug which had the words "Italian Mug" on it, in which the handle was on the inside. I know, big joke. "Can't you take a joke?" Yes, but it's only funny if there is at least one single ounce of realism attached to it. The mug joke simply wouldn't apply to the Cisalpines. Being able to laugh at oneself is a good thing individually, or in a group-concept, but it must be PURE.

Getting back to the Charlie Sheen roast, which was very funny, I was reminded of another more minor problem area as far as "definition" goes for our people. I wasn't really familiar with Kate Walsh. I was momentarily mesmerized by her combination of beauty, manner, wit, and humor. By today's standards as far as entertainment personalities go, she is a pretty upstanding women. Upon viewing her Wikipedia page, she is from San Jose, California, and she is of part "Italian" ancestry. In other words, she is very likely partly descended from Cisalpines. There are many examples of famous people who we are not certain of this fact.

I had originally wanted to place some entry on this blog, based on articles over many years, about what is usually referred to as "famous Italian baseball players from San Francisco." Of course today, there isn't a whole lot that is "Italian" in San Francisco anymore, but it is a part of our heritage. I'm guessing that many of those players were Sicilian or Southern Italian. For example, Joe DiMaggio was of Sicilian ancestry. I recall, not too long ago, seeing a mural in the Crocker-Amazon Park in San Francisco, of a baseball player from that era named Marino Pieretti. I have no idea of his family genealogy. He could be Genoese, Lucchesi, or Calabrian. I gave the example on the other blog of how common Italian suffixes had been added to local surnames, over the centuries, in regions in the north; and, of course, with so many common Italian first names, can make at least make many names sound so ambiguous.

Another individual, who fits this issue for us, is Mike Colalilo. He received the Medal of Honor in World War II, and seems to be very well-known even as far as the recipients of the medal are concerned, based on his bravery in battle. He is from Duluth, an area which had many immigrants from Lombardy, and is very likely a Cisalpine, but we're not 100% certain of that. Jon Volpe was a big star running back in the Canadian Football League. I can recall that he went to college at Stanford. Originally from Upper Michigan, and having a Lombardian/Tri-Veneto surname, is almost certainly a Cisalpine, but we really are not positive. Author and researcher Michael Cremo is someone whom I am familiar with. He co-authored the book 'Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race' (Cremo & Thompson; 1994). The surname "Cremo" is very rare, but seems to have origins in Piedmont, but again, we are not certain. Unless an individual is actually from "the homeland," we can only guess. Sometimes it's just obvious, sometimes not. These are just a few of the individual examples.

Now, again, as far as the history of famous Italian baseball players from San Francisco, there are articles which can be easily found online, including a new book on the larger subject of famous Italian-American baseball players. However, these resources are ripe with socialogical references which simply do not apply to our people. We are, comparatively, a very distinct people with very distinct inherent ways. We are certainly not some "transitional group" between Southern Italy and central Europe. Culturally yes, there is an element, from the era of Romanization, of being somewhat "culturally transitional." However, we are not "ethnically transitional." There is no basis for that. Even hard science can prove that now.

This paradigm just is what it is. From our standpoint, it has to be dealt with. I have a cousin, and a few years ago she learned standard Italian. She was likely the first member in the history of my family to speak Italian, which is distinctly the Tuscan language. They were from rural Alpine villages and spoke the Lombard language. This language is part of the Romance family of languages, but it is not a dialect of Italian. There is really no "Italian." That language is intrinsically Tuscan! It did gain a certain status in the Middle Ages, almost like Latin; and did migrate, among the better educated segment of society, into cities in places like Lombardy. To be Cisalpine is to have a genuine connection to the related cultures of the "northern nations" as they existed. There is little negative about the Cisalpines. There was some bad politics for a time, the Venetians had pushed a few people around, the traffic certainly isn't great. What else?

Many Italian-American organizations have complained about the MTV program 'Jersey Shore'. It's a fair enough grievance, but from our point of view, nobody from that program even looks or acts like a Cisalpine anyway. It's not our fight. However, I say that with acknowledgement that there are people whom we would consider "Padanian-Americans" who are partly Southern Italian or Sicilian. There is a point where you have to examine where your heart lies.


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