No one noticed Satan hidden in this pop album

This story challenges your assumptions. I’ve kept this article on the back-burner for years. Had I published it 10 years ago it’d have had a different, less astonishing ending. I had many doubts about making my findings public; but I’m convinced that sunlight is always a good thing, especially when dealing with a subject that is distressing and possibly dangerous. Please, read the entire piece before passing a judgment: I’m a rational person, I don’t chase ghosts. This is the story of a scandal that never erupted.   A story from 15 years ago. First of all, let’s set the stage. The Festival di Sanremo (Sanremo Music Festival) is a 5-days…

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What do you think about the Bible?

Scene: Jehova Witnesses trying to convert Muslims (!) I’ve been asked to give a quick answer to the puzzling question of the title, by a friend who happened to witness a bizarre exchange between J.Witnesses and Muslims. I needed to write this down to try and prove to myself that I can be concise…   Observation #1: Evangelize/proselytize. Jehova Witnesses represent a case study in naivete. You wonder how could they possibly convert people, since they are found in jokes alongside doorbells, and they rejoice for every piece of news reporting about plagues, deaths, natural disasters and wars: they’re happy because when the world is in ruins it means Armageddon is…

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Acts of Mercy from the Monkey Church

Uno dei manifesti di contestazione a papa Francesco e al suo operato comparsi a decine in tutta Roma, appesi sui muri della città, 4 febbraio 2017. La foto a tutto campo riporta l'immagine del Pontefice con un'espressione particolarmente rabbuiata e accigliata. In basso, su fondo violaceo, la scritta con venature romanesche: "A France', hai commissariato Congregazioni, rimosso sacerdoti, decapitato l'Ordine di Malta e i Francescani dell'Immacolata, ignorato Cardinali... ma n'do sta la tua misericordia?". ANSA/ FRANCESCO GERACE

If salt loses its taste There’s a new Catholic Church today. A Church that is behaving like a monkey: aping the majesty and wisdom of God, drifting away from Him. It’s a significant part of the Catholic Church; you’d easily mistake it for the Church itself. But it’s something different. It’s a sort of gooey blob that took over many positions. But it won’t end like this.   For all its blabbering about mercy, this reality is far from the true Mercy that comes from Christ; they are watering down the Church teachings in order to appease everyone. “The pitiful mother causes the wound to fester”, an old Italian saying goes. Posing…

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The Trump Train vs. the station moving backwards

Donald vs. Francis There are 2 main “current events” subjects I want to cover in this blog: the US Presidency and the Vatican. Turns out I’m hardly writing about the Pope, and (based on the number of articles) people may think I’m fixating on Trump. The thing is, not only Trump represents a positive development, while the Catholic Church is depressingly close to its nadir point. The two realities move very differently. While “progressive” bishops are hard at work to destroy their Church from the interior, reflexively reacting in a predictable and passive manner, always manipulated or outmaneuvered by smarter players and pushing for ideas that were fashionable 50 years ago, the Trump…

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The US Media Circus & Trump, as seen from abroad

People attending Trump's Presidential Inauguration

Since I kept a close eye on the US Presidential Election, especially for an Italian, but I didn’t report of the events unfolding from the actual election itself on November 9 to yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration, many fellow foreigners may now ask: what happened during this transition? The short answer is “not much”.     The Trump team was busy putting together a cabinet that seems quite solid and trying to keep the promise of bringing a new approach to politics. Case in point, Trump nominated Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and this move was widely criticized because Pruitt himself previously sued the EPA (alongside many other…

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Trump is the answer to Obama

Barack Obama looking out of the window at the White House; the shiny figure of Donald Trump emerging

Today is the last day in office for President Obama. It’s been more than 2 months since the election, and yet his supporters are still moping and complaining because Trump won.   In many ways, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of Barack Obama: a reaction if you will. In other aspects, though, he’s a natural successor: another pop icon, the type of personality that could win after Obama paved the way for this new approach to politics and popularity.   Here’s some quick points to raise about their similarities and differences.         New media and the young vote. Barack was able to prevail over a decrepit adversary like…

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Believing your lyin’ eyes in the Age Of The Image

similaritier between fiction (Reservoir Dogs scene) and reality (Istanbul terror attack)

PARENTAL ADVISORY: some photos contained in this post may be disturbing for children.   In my last post I highlighted how easy it is to fall in love with a narrative, especially if it paints someone we don’t like as the culprit and/or it gives us the impression of being smarter than others. But in today’s media landscape, when you are bombarded with messages, photos and videos selectively perfected to capture your attention, where fashion models are routinely photoshopped and people merrily tweet and send unverifiable videos from war zones, a new question arises. Can you even trust your own eyes? Truth is elusive. The world is full of deception. Random…

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Oddities in the Berlin terror attack & a temptation to read more into it

Contrasts   Nowadays even wars are fought through the power of images. ISIS edits a glossy magazine where appallingly cruel actions get a polished professional presentation worthy of the National Geographic. Terrorists are recruited through internet forums, where propaganda movies are the basic staple of an exciting diet of strong imagery for the bloodlusty aspiring jihadist: think of the executions, where the hostages have been worn down through endless dry runs, so that they pose no resistance and appear completely subjugated to their murderers. Attacking Christmas is a natural choice for its symbolic value. Attacking a Christmas Market is even more incisive, because the shock effect is channeled through the…

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Chef Cracco, a 1500€ dinner and the EuroSocialist decadence

Carlo Cracco is a famous Italian Top Chef, better known for his TV appearences as a judge in MasterChef Italy. A controversy erupted in the social media in occasion of a New Year’s Eve prestigious dinner in Venice: 60 fortunate revelers had the privilege to pay 1500 Euros to get to an exclusive party dinner with performers, gondolas, fireworks etc. Cracco’s name was used to promote the event, but apparently he didn’t even go there: he only instructed chefs to serve one of his signature dishes. Critics hiding behind a keyboard were fuming. Here’s the bottom line. Proceeds: 90 thousand Euros, of which 10 thousands were given to Cracco to sign…

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Boy sells teddy bear to get something to eat

Blumudus insisted that I should comment on this piece of news. It’s actually from last summer, but I kept postponing it. Then Christmas Time comes and Blumudus goes: “Now you’ve got no excuses, do it.” In fact it’s a fitting story for the holiday season, when the media keep pushing feel-good stories and/or tear-jerker stuff, possibly with a child as the protagonist. He’s right, of course. Let’s do this.   In the small town of Franklin, Ohio, a police patrol found a 7-year-old boy wandering around alone, trying to sell his teddy bear to be able to buy food. He hadn’t eaten in several days. This episode was reported by Officer Steve…

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Why problems are either very easy or very hard

Natural hurdles, human hurdles.   Did you notice? It’s quite uncommon to face medium difficulty problems. In your everyday life you are sometimes tasked to solve issues that seem impossible to come to grips with. There are mysteries that seem way bigger than our puny minds. We often get to comment on issues that on the contrary appear quite easy to deal with, and you are left wondering why people are still struggling with them. But you rarely seem to encounter intermediate level problems. How come?   Let’s put down some examples (I’ll alienate some readers in the process).   Producing a new vaccine requires an excellent research team and years of work, and…

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Behold: a hoax buster in total anti-Trump meltdown

How to ruin your reputation. Paolo Attivissimo is a tech journalist and a semi-celebrity; he’s by far the most prominent debunker in the Italian language web. His work to dispel myths and conspiracy theories is well known and appreciated (including by yours truly): among other things, he and his collaborators created websites dedicated to debunking  9/11 conspiracy theories, or the Moonlanding hoaxes (in Italian). Well, he just became unhinged. A few days ago, he published an embarrassing, painful-to-read article against Donald Trump. Here it is (in Italian): FAQ: perché ce l’ho con Trump presidente? Perché sono un debunker (FAQ: why am I mad at President Trump? Because I’m a debunker). Its’ just pathetic: he sounds…

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