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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Hey, turns out I’m not a homophobe! Thanks Milo Yiannopoulos!

Here’s a guy who’s got a natural instinct for becoming news   Milo Yiannopoulos is a unique character, an emerging star, a young professional provocateur launched by Breitbart.com and your best opportunity to understand . A troll. Permanently banned from Twitter. He’s vocationally American, in terms of pop culture and main target audience; yet he’s British, born and raised. He’s Greek from his father side, Jewish from his mother’s (which is the definition of being a Jew, btw). He’s also a practicing Catholic, a fervent enemy of everything coming from the Left, and more visibly than anything else, an exuberant, histrionic gay man. Talk about diverse! He rails against feminists,…

Continue reading

It’s all Putin’s fault! (Shameless)

What can you say? It’s ludicrous. Problem is, all those journalists are serious, and lots of people still listen to them.   Hillary Clinton is ranting about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” since 1998. It’s one of her recurring circus acts. I’d say now it’s a good time: it would be advisable to finally let her go. She’s an ex. And yet, here she was, again on TV, railing against those damn fake news that caused Trump’s victory. Obviously the mainstream media were indignant and eager to follow her advice, calling for a new form of censorship-under-a-different-name, against all those unauthorized voices spreading lies all over the internet. Of course the same mainstream media…

Continue reading

Diversity, fake news and false empathy

University of Michigan map of the USA highlighting how in most of the counties Trump won

Diversity theater If you want to understand what it means to live in a bubble, consider this episode: a few days ago Vice President Elect Mike Pence fancied to spend a little time relaxing with his family and they went to a theater; to a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, no less. He got booed by people in the audience, then after the show the entire cast proceeded to scold him, with a sort of partisan official statement, under the guise of asking for an adequate protection for every citizen (and the planet!) in the name of diversity. In other words, you are racists, enemies of all that is good, by…

Continue reading

Anti-Establishment: sometimes it means NO to reform. The Italian Referendum case

Matteo Renzi perplexed

2ND UPDATE – DEC 05 – RENZI RESIGNS. FINAL RESULT: NO 59.11%, YES 40.89%   To be honest, since the result was already in the bank, after the initial projections I serenely went to bed. Here we are, the morning after a result that is slightly better than I predicted (57-58% in my FB wild guess). Kudos to Renzi for resigning immediately: this is not typical of Italian politicians, who tended to find excuses to stay in charge even after a defeat. He kept his promise instead.   Our future remains very uncertain, Italian politics is a mess, to put it mildly. We’ve got a PD (Democratic Party) that is still…

Continue reading

Thanking Fidel Castro for his biggest achievement

Oh, the ingratitude of the masses! People often fail to properly recognize your achievements. Face it: Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator that recently passed away, has done something extraordinary for us. He survived, living 90 full years. Ok, you may object that dying of old age is not exactly a big deal or something that you do (well, he didn’t die in one of the numerous assassination attempts… this requires a certain degree of paranoia, commendable preparedness and effective opposition squelching).   History should give him credit.   In fact, had he been executed by a firing squad in 1975, as a , you’d probably read about him only in…

Continue reading

The day when FiveThirtyEight and the pollsters bombed

Trump won, 538 experts lost.

This is a story of people looking down on you. More than that, this is a story of fake scientific data and deception. This is about those who tried to control the result of the election. And lost anyway. I’ve been dreaming of writing this very article for months. All those experts, day after day condescendingly belittling people like me, who wouldn’t be convinced to accept the reality of their data…   Now it’s time for a little revenge. A sweet opportunity to unload all the frustration of the last months. They won’t mind: they still have all the clout and visibility in the world, plus they have all the…

Continue reading