Thursday, September 30, 2010

Iabba Dabba Du! Buon Compleanno, Antenati!

One of the joys of my childhood was The Flintstones. Google's doodle today reminds us of an important event- the fiftieth anniversary of Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Bam Bam and Pebbles. Oh, and Dino.

Like almost everything else America has come up with, the Italians have adopted this cartoon prehistoric family, which they usually call "Gli antenati" (the ancestors.) However, when I moved to Italy in 1962 I underwent abrupt withdrawal from my Bedrock habit. At the time, Italy only had two TV stations, RAI 1 and RAI 2, both state-controlled. There was limited programming beginning only in the afternoon, with children's shows- "La TV dei Ragazzi." Along with being in Italian school and my little next-door neighbor Anna Maria Tartaruga (wonder where she is now?), this is how I learned Italian. The Flintstones and a slew of other American programming came to the Italians by the late 70's, courtesy of Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, and his private TV's. A lot of the hostility of the Italian Left to Berlusconi comes from his perceived role in the (further) Americanization of Italy.

(in the clip, Fred sounding like Fred, but Wilma not sounding like Wilma)