Willie Peyote and Pippo Civati ​​have a problem with politically correct

Willie Peyote and Pippo Civati ​​have a problem with politically correct

We interviewed the unusual couple behind "Where's Willie?", the dialogue-book published by People: we talked about how a certain cultural conformism cuts the wings of creativity, post-Sanremo controversy and the political class Italian, but also much more

(photo: Chiara Mirelli) There is Turin, and with it the macrocosm that revolves around the orbit of the Piedmontese capital: Juventus, Toro, the tsars of the suburbs, holidays in Spotorno, but not only. In Where's Willie? , a dialogue between Willie Peyote and Giuseppe Civati ​​published by People, there is above all the life of an artist in constant evolution who tries to understand himself as time passes. And no, of the two he is not the founder of Possible.

In 140 pages, Guglielmo puts Willie Peyote aside and talks about himself, about what is going on in his head and about the choices he has made: from his dismissal at the time of the call-center to the stage in Sanremo, his every decision was a claim, a manifesto of intent that does not take into account the opinion of others.

Which of the two came up with the idea of ​​putting your chats on paper?

Giuseppe Civati: "The idea came to me and in truth it is at this juncture that I met Willie for the first time. We have a mutual friend, whom we call Ippo, who has been trying to get in touch for years and eventually succeeded. In the book I tried to leave a lot of space for him, also because a classic book of interviews is hard to read and it is also not very rap ".

Willie, when Italy went into lockdown you had just started the tour. In the book you explain that this also slowed you down in the creative process: what was the path that led you from isolation at home to the Ariston stage?

Willie Peyote: “It was a strange journey, very alienating. What I want to talk about, both in the book and in pieces like "Depression is a time of year", is that I was afraid of "everything will be okay". To me this rhetoric that we have to find solutions to things we do not know is very frightening. This discourse is also present in the passage from Sanremo: we often answer questions that we did not understand ”.

Never say never opens with the quote from Valerio Aprea's monologue in the last episode of Boris' third season. In 2021, what are the music and what is death? But above all, does the search for the “locura” still exist?

WP: "The passage opens with that sentence there because applied to Sanremo it is even more fitting than usual, so I decided to insert it because of the impact it would have had. On the one hand, I can tell you that "a country of music while death is outside" is exactly Italy during the week of the Festival, especially this year. On the aspect of the "locura", in my opinion, the cards have been a bit mixed up: the idea of ​​rejuvenating the tradition of which Aprea spoke in the monologue has found a less classical form, in the sense that it has rejuvenated it without making it traditional. that it wasn't. We all left Sanremo exactly as we entered. This is a great merit of Amadeus and the artistic direction: they gave a much truer image than that seen in other editions ".

In Sanremo you have been at the center of the controversy for comments on other singers in the competition. Is it so difficult for a prominent artist to always say what he thinks?

WP: “In my case, I chose a less understandable cut if extrapolated from the context in which those sentences were pronounced, so I understand that when put in black and white they take on another meaning. I tried to be both inside and outside the Sanremo system at the same time (with the columns on La Stampa and Radio24, but also with the Twitch live broadcasts), without realizing that at that moment this double role cannot be played. For the rest, I tried to clarify privately with those directly involved, but I think it is important to take responsibility for the things that are said, even when they are misunderstood and somewhat decontextualized ".

Balancing what one means and the danger of someone being offended is very difficult: can this be a brake, both in music and in politics?

GC: “In the book, which is not a philosophical treatise but offers ideas, we analyze this theme in depth. Not only today we can no longer say anything, but communication is denied. I can only speak of a 45-year-old white bourgeois male: if I allow myself to speak of something other than myself, I enter a minefield. This is legitimate from the point of view of differences, but the relationship between people cannot be denied. Willie's text in Sanremo was very critical, but if you limit this power of criticism, then you also limit creativity. This is also true in politics, which is a very creative area ”.

WP: “The point is that we always speak in categories. They asked me if I thought about running with Possible, as if I couldn't talk to Pippo without an ulterior motive. I would not like the message to pass that I do not accept objections, quite the contrary! My job is to find the best way to communicate, so I treasure all the criticisms. The problem is that we always try to personalize matters. It's as if I get angry because someone talks about what rap is according to him: but sticazzi! In an era in which we are all opinion makers, we think that every opinion is a judgment, but it is not so. Even if you call me a jerk it's not a problem: you will have your own way of seeing things, but an opinion is legitimate, come on ... ".

Also in the book you explain that you don't want to be anyone's spokesperson: do you think fans have begun to understand this or do they still see an overlap?

WP: "Well, not everyone has understood it, or rather, I don't know how much they want to understand it. People feel that they are orphans of representation and are therefore desperately looking for it. I am anxious about this constant research, because I myself have questioned my idols. I will try to explain as long as I can that I just want to be myself. They will always look for symbols. I take it as a compliment that they choose me as their spokesperson but I fight this trend: we can talk about everything, but together. I'm not here to teach anyone anything. I'm willing to change your mind, why the fuck would you take mine? ”.

What is the relationship between Giuseppe Civati ​​(the everyday one) and Pippo Civati ​​(the public figure)?

GC: “Actually my two personalities are quite overlapping. There are no big differences between what I write and what I do and what I am every day. One thing I never accepted was the logic of not taking lessons from anyone. A phrase for idiots: we accept lessons and for this reason we try to act and converse. I recently made a joke about the interview with General Figliuolo da Fazio and was overwhelmed by a shitstorm from his friends, which I didn't even know existed. I always try to be honest: if I have to make a joke I can't resist, but I try not to be heavy, even if sometimes I take fierce criticism. Once Di Battista said that I am "the mafia". He called me my worried mother ... well, maybe this overcomes the barrier of respect a little ".

And the one between William and Willie?

WP: “The context imposes rules on us both towards our audience and towards that of others. My thoughts are those that emerge from my pieces. In a context like Sanremo, everything becomes a scene. I think it's the same feeling that Pippo felt when he was a parliamentarian: everything you say comes out as said in a certain capacity, making you lose all the nuances between person and character. I'm in trouble because they are talking too much about me, but I hope the book shows that in what I do there are no ulterior motives for the ranking or similar bullshit ... I don't give a shit about getting anywhere. I'm the same person on and off the records ”.

GC: "If I may add one thing: there is a lot of intimacy in our dialogue, intimacy understood as the relationship between the two parts of ourselves. We talked about taboo topics such as feeling depressed or a little loser, without ever ending up in gossip ".

WP: “The fact is that the audience is missing a passage: the moment I see you as a character, then I always want you like that. In fact, when I get off the stage I would like to disconnect a little from this fucking job! My goal is to make it clear that I am without frills: in Sanremo I was dressed in a fairly ordinary way because I am just like that ".

GC: "This last sentence can be a title, huh ...".

WP: “You say it because you are a publisher, damn it!”.

What are Willie's political references and Giuseppe's musical references?

WP: “I don't know how to answer you precisely. I define myself as a leftist because I have trivially always voted on that side of the fence, but I have no real references. My political idea was formed in high school with Che Guevara. I remember that I was very impressed by his sentence "Always be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against anyone in any part of the world". I like politics, but I never choose a symbol ”.

GC: “This thing of not choosing bosses has been my problem in politics! Musically, however, I love to vary: lately I've been listening to Mozart's Don Giovanni, perhaps to get out of the very light Music loop. Among other things, I am a friend of Willie, but they memorize me with the song by Colapesce and Dimartino ... he goes to understand why. I really like Italian music, even trap, which can be intergenerational. Never say never in my opinion is very transversal, compared to other songs in which you can see that the singers have cultivated their own garden ”.

WP: “Well, this theme of transversality is at the center of my idea of ​​politics: we cannot speak for corporations. It is not true that the young speak only to the young and the old only to the old. I am always in the middle: between analog and digital, between new and old ... and what the fuck, let's give some dignity to 'this half! ".

The last chapter of Where's Willie? it is called "the end of the sex appeal of the left". Now Enrico Letta is back. Giuseppe, you who were the only one to intervene in defense of him in 2014, when Renzi replaced him at the helm of the country, do you think this is the right profile to make the progressive left return to play an important role in society?

GC: "Well, maybe sex appeal is not his best gift, but it can bring some order. I'm not worried about him, whom I respect and esteemed even when I didn't trust him because they were governing with Berlusconi, but rather by the fact that the others are always the same: Dario (Franceschini) remained, Debora (Serracchiani) remained ... Nicola (Zingaretti) also remained, despite his resignation letter being so harsh as to suggest a farewell to the Democratic Party ”.

WP: “I intervene to highlight the Italian tendency to prefer someone who brings order. Draghi was also appointed to do this, but I think we need a decision maker. For example, Churchill has been harshly criticized, but he has carried on important battles and for this he has gone down in history. Perhaps we are no longer used to politicians who take responsibility for even unpopular choices. Do we need a political class or someone to do the cleaning? ".

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