I am tired of getting emails and notifications with links to the "What if Steve Jobs were born in Naples" story.
It's not that I am offended by criticism towards Italy or whatever. It is the cult of personality which I can't stand. Success belongs everywhere, it just takes different forms according to the local culture and conditions. Determination is an universal factor for success, and it would have helped Steve Jobs in Naples, Zürich or Beijing as well – perhaps on doing something else with his talent. Or he would have simply moved to a place where his dream made sense.
On the other hand, I can't help wondering what if other people were born in the Silicon Valley.
Eduardo De Filippo would have earned a wage by teaching public speaking skills.
Pino Daniele would occasionally perform songs by The Eagles or Simon and Garfunkel at some large corporate party, occasionally and timidly interspersed with some funny creation of his own – barely tolerated by the celebrating crowd.
Anna Maria Ortese would have edited speeches and textual contents in powerpoint slides.
Antonio De Curtis (Totò) would have gained some success, as a YouTube sensation, for a couple of weeks. Actually, this could not have happened in his time, meaning that he'd probably either had migrated to Broadway or, driven by despair, would have become a homeless drunkard.