La creatività italiana non ha limiti. Una nota carrozzeria milanese è riuscita a far crescere una Cinquecento fino a oltre 5 metri per trasformarla in una limousine e soddisfare così un capriccioso collezionista newyorkese.
La “crescita” è stata resa possibile modificando il pianale con una base più lunga in carbonio e metallo capace di ospitare batterie abbastanza potenti da distribuire energia elettrica per la miriade di comfort presenti nella vettura.
Il tetto è stato rialzato, gli interni completamente personalizzati con otto posti a salotto e bar, ma non solo, questa invenzione milanese è completamente personalizzabile passando dal rivestimento in legno per barche sino al retro senza portiere. Insomma tutti gusti – tutti frutti per la modica cifra di 120.000 euro…
Andrea Zappa per Grismonchei srl
A carwash is about the last place I would expect to find myself on a very, very cold Sunday morning, but there I was last weekend.
After the crew was done with my car, I took out a pair of scissors and a roll of white ribbon and placed bows on the mirrors and door handles. Then I swung by my apartment building, where my partner was finishing decorating her own freshly washed car, and we did something else I never would have expected to do: we voluntarily placed ourselves in heavy Moscow traffic for more than an hour and a half.
The occasion was a protest against the Russian government staged on the Garden Ring, the 16-kilometer-long road that circles central Moscow.
As we turned onto the Garden Ring, we placed ourselves behind a compact Citroën while a Lexus SUV got behind us. Both were adorned with white ribbons, which have become the symbol of Russia’s protest movement. As more cars joined in the drive, our speed decreased, until we had white-ribboned cars in lanes on either side of us and the traffic had slowed to a standstill.
My 10-year-old daughter sat in the back seat cutting segments of white ribbon, which we handed out to drivers of cars that had apparently joined the protest on a whim. The spirit of the protest was pure joy: The sun was shining; big Mercedes Geländewagens and 6 Series BMWs (and even a single red Bentley) mingled with the less flashy Kias and Ladas; onlookers stood in clumps on the sidewalk all along the route, waving white ribbons and scarves at the drivers.
Some of the cars drew appreciative honks for clever decoration. My favorite was a compact BMW emblazoned with the slogan ‘‘Snow White Against the Gnomes’’ — a reference to Vladimir Putin’s and Dmitri Medvedev’s short stature.
Around the time that the circle of protest cars closed around the Garden Ring, the police told journalists that there were 20 cars in the protest. Later in the afternoon, they revised their estimate upward to 300.
‘‘What is this, the Goebbels approach?’’ someone exclaimed at the after-protest party I attended. ‘‘‘If you tell a big enough lie, people will believe it’?’’
Actually, no. The bizarre aspect of much of Russian state propaganda is that its intended audience is private, not public. It is not the thousands of people who took part in the protest, or the thousands more who saw us, or the hundreds of thousands who have watched videos online who are being told there were only 300 cars in the street. It is the boss.
The Moscow police are telling this lie to their chief who will feed it to the mayor who will feed it to President Medvedev who will feed it to Prime Minister Putin: this is the true order of subordination in the country.
All of these men appointed one another, in reverse order. None of them was actually elected — though, de jure, the president was — so none of them is accountable to anyone but the single person who once picked him for the job.
This is how Russian elections work as well. My sources tell me that the country’s 83 appointed governors have already been instructed on the expected results of the March 4 presidential election. In all likelihood, a majority of them will report exactly the results they have been told, down to the percentage point, regardless of how people actually vote.
This, in all certainty, will lead to ever-more numerous protests about which officials high and low will continue to lie to themselves and to their superiors — until they can lie no more, because they and their jobs will have been swept away by the rage they are trying to lie out of existence.
Masha Gessen per International Herald Tribune