Shopping trolley in Campus Martius

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

 Rome, 23 May 2012

Seen on a poster on a wall in the Via del Corallo in the fifth ward (Rione V) in the historic centre (the classical Campus Martius) the words “WORK, BUY, CONSUME and DIE!” against a black background. Below, on a red background, is a stylised picture of a human figure pushing a shopping trolley along a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt suddenly comes to an end – and the homunculus, still clutching the trolley, plunges down into the void. The poster is signed “Zenit”.

We imagined initially that that Zenit must be a leftwing anti-consumerist organisation whose moniker derived from “Zen.it”, ie “Zen Italia”. That may well be so. However, on investigating, we find that, in any case, it is more than that. Zenit is a non-profit-making Catholic news agency. Moreover, its name has nothing to do with Japanese Buddhism. Zenit’s own website gives the following explanation for its name:

L’origine del nome “ZENIT”



Per i primi cristiani, che si rifacevano alle profezie bibliche, il sole era uno dei simboli per antonomasia di Cristo. A lui si riferivano come al “sole di giustizia”. Scelsero come data del Natale la più antica festa per eccellenza del sole, il solstizio di inverno, che rappresentava la vittoria annuale del sole sulle tenebre, il 25 di dicembre. I cristiani tentano di vedere il mondo con gli occhi di Cristo, dalla massima altezza raggiunta dal sole, lo “zenit”.

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 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

 1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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