In boca al lupo.

Tim Blair is right: Silvio Berlusconi rocks.
Berlusconi slaps down France over Israel trip

ROME, June 17 — Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told France on Tuesday it should ''shut up'' about his Middle East policy, further straining relations with Paris just as Italy is preparing to take over the European Union presidency.
''They missed a good opportunity to shut up,'' Berlusconi told reporters in response to French criticism of his decision not to meet Palestinian leaders during a recent trip to Israel.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said this week that Berlusconi had ''not satisfied the European position'' by holding talks only with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his June 9 visit to Jerusalem.
''I went (to Israel) as the prime minister of Italy. There's no way France can issue criticism over something that was the sole right and responsibility of the Italian prime minister,'' Berlusconi said, clearly bristling with irritation.
So much for playing Io to France's Jupiter.

With US tourism to France on a sharp decline, allow me to suggest our ally, Italy, as an excellent European vacation alternative. They're friendlier, they're funnier, they cook better, and they don't sing through their noses.


Matrix Reloaded

Greg finally talked me into seeing it over the weekend. I really don't see why it excited all the bad reviews. Yes, Keanu Reeves has exactly one facial expression and the same vocal inflections he sported in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure--but that's not exactly a departure from the first film, is it? For all I can tell, that's why they hired him. There was a substantial cheese factor in the action sequences, which bore more resemblance to dance numbers than actual fights--but that's not really a departure either. I didn't think it was unbearably talky, either (in fact, the dialogue was possibly less annoyingly pseudo-intellectual than the first installment). Stuff blowed up real good. Much black leather was worn, and much sunglass. There was a plethora of Hugo Weaving. This is all good. So what's with the bitchfest?

And please, I don't want to hear "they left the ending hanging." You KNOW it's the middle movie in a trilogy. Of course they left it hanging. Thank your lucky stars this isn't another Lucas wait-five-years-for-the-disappointing-ending-while-your-stars-age-beyond-recognition production.