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Some thoughts about the series “Strappare lungo i bordi” by Zerocalcare

November 2021: On Netflix is inserted “Strappare lungo i bordi”, Zerocalcare’s animated series, a famous Roman cartoonist. This miniseries traces the life of the author, over the eight episodes proposed, touching cross-cutting issues to an entire generation.

Through an ironic language and with youthful modes and styles of communication, it criticizes modern society, increasingly projected towards an unbridled capitalism and less attentive to the well-being of the individual: finding the right job, earning, buying a house, having a family…  All these things are socially imposed life goals for the protagonist, with a constant pressure on the individual that generates anguish and resentment.
The story of this boy, born in the ’80s, is an example of how the pre-constituted life models too often leave people trapped in a kind of limbo from which they continue to send curriculum, as if looking for any job was the only chance for not feeling like a loser, finding your place in the world.

<<We thinked life goes in this way – says Zero –  that it was enough to tear along the flat edges, to follow the dotted line of what we were intended for, and everything would take the form that had to have.>> But no. This form seems (luckily) never to arrive, with the risk, however, to leave us constantly anxious in pursuing a road that we did not draw ourselves but that the company has glued on us with the attack, so much so that we feel wrong when the edges are torn “bad”. <<The hurry to make things happen it’s a capitalistic thing, then gave us cocaine to keep up.>> as Zero says.

It isn’t only Zerocalcare that doesn’t find itself in such a de-humanized reality, in such a grey area…. because it is the same area of an entire generation, anchored to parents even in adulthood, always in conflict between being and having to be and anguished by the fear of failure. << I spent my time looking for work – the author tells us – because I needed it to survive, but when I found it, I just wanted to kill me rather than litter. Which then is a great synthesis of how three billions of people live in this world! >>
But is this really the goal of the existence of a human being? Always pursue the same models of life? To walk already traced roads in the job, in the affections, in the free time? To surrender to an existence from a pawn and not from the protagonist?

Maybe Zerocalcare is trying to tell us that this cannot be the meaning of our being in the world.

If by now we live in a “showcase” society as exhibits objects, in which we must always be perfect and must always wear a mask when we leave the house (as Pirandello said), maybe it’s time to look for more. Maybe it’s time to try to think that each of us should be free to realize himself in the world, chasing his dreams, should be able to fight to become the protagonist and not the appearance of his own story.

Desiree’ D’Autilia

Emanuele Gardiolo

Samuele Visalli

(Studenti della classe 5BS del Liceo scientifico G.B. Grassi di Latina)


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