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Post Mussolini's Earthquake-Proof Housing; The Art of Complaining
Created by John Eipper on 09/16/19 7:33 AM

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Mussolini's Earthquake-Proof Housing; The Art of Complaining (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 09/16/19 7:33 am)

John E asked about the earthquake-proof housing constructed in the Vulture region after the 1930 earthquake. The buildings stood very well when a new earthquake with the same force in the same area occurred in 1980. By now, new modern houses have most probably been built privately.

As you have seen from my last posting, Mussolini not only quickly rebuilt destroyed houses and built brand new towns; he also changed Rome. During my recent 5-day vacation I was in Etruria and saw the fantastic works and the new towns built in the Pontine Marsh. They are quite astonishing.

In the meantime the rubble of the earthquakes has not yet been completely removed and thousands of people are still without houses.  They remain in hotels or with friends. The few small temporary houses are too cold and the frozen water pipes burst last winter. Of course the houses are also too hot in the summer.

People still complaining, but finally we are lay democratic and antifascist--so what the hell they want?

A small correction to JE's comment: Mussolini is mentioned in the Italian Wikipedia article on the Vulture earthquake, when he praised the minister in charge of the reconstruction.

JE comments:  They don't build 'em like they used to?  This is probably an exaggeration, but it has become a commonplace in Latin America to lament that colonial-era buildings survive earthquakes, while anything built after about 1900 collapses with the first tremors.

Different topic:  Aldona and I raised the question over the weekend:  what nation is best at the fine art of...complaining?  I bet the Italians are great at it, as are the Poles.  My anti-scientific vote for the #1 spot:  Argentinians.  We Americans are trained to grin and bear it, as are our British cousins.  Please send your thoughts.

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  • And the Grouchiest Nation Is... (John Eipper, USA 09/18/19 3:41 AM)

    When appending my comments to Eugenio Battaglia's post of September 16th, I asked for WAISer thoughts on which nation is the best (worst?) at complaining.  I proposed Argentina as my candidate, with Poland and Italy close behind.  As a strict "FYI," Eugenio forwarded this piece from BBC Mundo (in Spanish):  "Franceses, los más gruñones"  [The French are the Grouchiest]:


    A whopping 93% of Frenchmen and women acknowledge that their compatriots are grumpy, and 70% believe they complain more than anyone else in the world.  Contrast this with a mere 15% of the Italians, 4% for the US, and 3% for Britain.

    We could complain endlessly about the methodology and scientific rigor of the survey, but that wouldn't be very American of me.  Eugenio (never one to complain himself) appended a brief comment to the article:  "useless information."  We might start our list of "concerns" with the following:  is "gruñón"/grouchy the same thing as complaining?  And the BBC piece is from 2010.  Can't we find something more recent?  The world has had a lot to complain about during the entire decade of the Teens.

    So where do we go from here?  I found this Quora item (my only complaint:  it's subjective) that proposes Turkey for the #1 spot:


    I'll stick by Argentina.  I just Googled "We Argentines Complain" (in Spanish) and received a cool one million search results.

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