Back in September, a 42 minute video rant was released in which the Islamic State (IS) mentioned that “this will be your last crusade, we will invade you, and God willing we will destroy the cross, conquer Rome and take your women.”
Without in any way forgetting the many people who have atrociously died at their hands, around these parts this fairly forgettable boilerplate barbarians-at-the-gate proclamation would likely have run its “15 megabytes of fame” course if it hadn’t been for one word in there… Rome.
Now, let us put aside for a second that any reference to “Rome” in the oral-tradition of Islam explicitly refers to the Eastern Roman Empire, capital Constantinople (now Istanbul), obviously long-gone.
Also, put aside that nowadays, at least in the minds of these Middle Eastern End-of-Days millenarians, Rome interchangeably means Christianity, the West, the infidels, America, and/or its allies.
Despite all this, or perhaps due to this (in some contorted circular logic), there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the IS militants would be more than happy to very concretely follow through with their “symbolic” threat on the actual tufo, travertine, and cobblestone Rome itself.
And in fact, many Romans took this threat at face value. Except they responded in a very Roman way.
How? Well, Romans pride themselves on letting nothing surprise them. The idea is that they’ve been through 3000 years of history and so have seen it all. When confronted with something new for example, the standard “excitable” reaction (say 10% of the time), will be a lukewarm “Anvedi.” This is roughly equivalent to disinterested “Huh.. look at that.” On the unflappable spectrum, this sits a sliver short of “who gives a s#%t.” The rest of the time, Romans will crack a crude joke.
Which is exactly what happened in September in reaction to the IS threat. Of course this being the era of the interwebs echo chamber, this caught on to the point that the Washington Post wrote an article a few days ago about the Romans’ “reactions.”
Trouble is, the Roman cracks that WaPo published were the milk toast versions, either due to editorial censure or because they didn’t look at the original reactions from back in September.
We would like to set the record straight, and list some of the original ones. For anthropological reasons, of course. (Disclaimer: while these comments might put smiles on our faces, let’s keep in mind all those who are suffering and have suffered at the hands of the IS.)
– Se ce fanno no squillo buttamo la pasta. (If they give us a jingle as they get close, we’ll put the pasta to boil.)
– Se arrivate verso le 5 del pomeriggio, nun fate er raccordo, rimanete imbotijati! (If you get here at 5 pm, don’t take the GRA ring road, you’ll get stuck in traffic!)
– Scegliete un giorno che non c’è lo sciopero… (Choose a day with no strike.)
– Appena scoprono chi governa in Italia ci chiedono scusa e ci aiutano (As soon as they see our politicians, they’ll say sorry and give us a hand.)
– Saranno soprattutto disarmati dalla coglionaggine del nostro sindaco (They’ll be disarmed by the idiocy of our mayor.)
– Alla prima cartella di Equitalia sti stronzi tornano a casa loro!!!! (At the first Tax Collectors letter, these assholes will run home.)
– Se te porti via mi moglie la croce c’è l’hai tu a vita. (If you take my wife, you will have a cross to bear for life.)
– Vogliono la mia donna? Sia chiaro quello che se pija, dopo nun se riporta! (They want my woman? Let’s be very clear though, no returns!)
– Oh, mi socera ve la incarto (Hey, I’ll gift wrap my mother-in-law for you.)
– Finalmente se tromba (Finally, I’m gonna get some around here.)
– iihh… ma pure quelle de na certa?? (Oooh… us elderly girls too!??)