In late September 2006 I went to the US Consulate in Naples to get my passport renewed. I arrived early, and naturally I walked around the building and took some pictures. Soon a grim-faced young Carabinieri carrying a Uzi approached me and demanded my documents. Why was I taking photos? Well, I replied, that’s what I do inasmuch as I am a professional photographer, and besides isn’t everything lovely in this early morning light?
When I got inside, I managed to get off one quick shot of the pistol-packing security goon before he confiscated my camera and cell phone. After passing through a scanner, I entered the foyer. Above the elevators was a portrait of George Bush. Grinning. He had a lot to grin about because in 2000 he’d been awarded the presidency by the US Supreme Court in Gore vs. Bush, and then he won again in 2004.
Many times my Italian friends asked me the same question: “How is it possible that Americans elected an idiot to be president? Not once, but twice?” I could only answer that I had no clue. But I was glad I was here in Italy, rather than in America, because if I were there I wouldn’t be able to stand it.
Below are some photos I took on the long walk along the waterfront from Porto Beverello to the Consulate.