Irony on the World Stage


Comedic relief in time for exams

As another year winds to a close here at StFX, and the heavy weight of exams come bearing down on us all, a good whimsical tale can help alleviate the pressure. Or better yet, two recent stories from across the globe which serve to remind us that sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction. Or at least more ironic.

Massimiliano Fedriga, of the League party in Italy, has been vocal in his opposition to Italy’s policy of mandatory vaccinations of children since its inception. The mandate was put into law following a Measles outbreak in 2017, and it requires vaccinations against twelve diseases.

According to the legislation, unvaccinated children would be barred from pre-school and daycare, and their parents would face heavy fines.

Fedriga argued that parents shouldn’t be obliged to vaccinate their children. He even went as far as to say on one occasion, that the larger part of the ruling coalition government at that time, the Democratic party, was being “Stalinist.”

Recently, rather unfortunately and somewhat comically, Fedriga contracted chicken-pox — one of the 12 diseases requiring vaccination in 2017’s legislation.

Many were quick to point out the brutal irony of the situation on Twitter. But, to be fair to Mr. Fedriga, he claims that he was never a supporter of the anti-vax movement. As reported by The Independent, Mr Fedriga recently posted on Twitter, “I have always said that I am in favour of vaccines, but to achieve the result it is necessary to have an alliance with families not imposition.”

A well known Italian doctor, and operator of the website MedicalFacts, Robert Burioni first wished Mr. Fedrigo a speedy recovery. But, afterwards, he took the opportunity to highlight the importance of vaccinations, “The only way we have to avoid such tragedies is to vaccinate us all to prevent the circulation of this dangerous virus, which could have hit a much more vulnerable person.”

If that story was not bizzare enough, don’t worry, there’s more. In a turn of events that one would expect in a piece by The Onion, an Egyptian singer by the name of Sherine Abdel-Wahab has recently barred from performing in Egypt for implying that the country doesn’t respect free speech.

According to the New York Post, at a concert in Bahrain in late March, Abdel-Wahab was recorded saying “Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned.”

After this remark, a high-profile Egyptian lawyer, Samir Sabri, filed suit against Abdel-Wahab. The lawsuit accused the singer of using the music festival and foreign parties to speak ill of Egypt. The singer was then promptly banned from performing by the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, which licenses musicians in the country.

The Emirates Woman magazine reports that the following week, Abdel-Wahab made a public appearance to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, saying, “I am very tired. I made a mistake. I am sorry. I appeal the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who is our father. I feel that I was persecuted. I did nothing. I love Egypt.”

Despite the outlandish stories, we remind the reader that they are in fact reading The Xaverian Weekly, and they are not dreaming. Good luck with exams, until next time.