Waiting for Christmas

Fingers crossed. While we are busy stocking up our pantries for the coming holidays - good things, perhaps, prepared with our own hands, like the preserves in the photo - we continue to keep an eye on the pandemic data and imagine possible future scenarios, we follow the development of the world economies, the increase in the price of energy products and raw materials, the scarcity and difficulty of supplying components and products, and we remain vigilant by monitoring the development of ongoing geopolitical and social crises, as well as the sad repetition of increasingly chilling news stories, from feminicides to deaths at work...

In managing this sort of schizophrenic normality, a residual but tenacious dose of love for oneself, for others, for one's country, for God, for one's studies, for work... and of cheerfulness, which manage to give a certain epos to our daily lives, comes to our aid.

In this context, it is a great effort to distinguish real news from false and plausible ones.

The desire to deceive and manipulate people is a long-standing vice, but its proliferation and uncontrollability is a fact of today.

And if in the past it was the States and the strong powers that fed collective fears, today, thanks to the web, it is individual practice.

On the other hand, we are all in the same network, either on the side of the liars or of the deceived, aware of the indifference to lies, of the fact that all it takes is a little time to forget what has already been said and already disproved.

For example, as Michele Serra writes of people who are convinced that Covid is a fraud of power:

The driving force behind them is not grullery at all. It is its opposite. It is the cult of (their) intelligence, which lifts them a few inches from (our) mediocrity. [...] But they don't buy it. They know how to read between the lines, unlike us morons who only read the lines. They have 'independent' sources of information that we can't even dream of.

Indeed, go figure out who these champions of counter-information are referring to...

The technique of disinformation has never changed, moreover: starting from some incontrovertible little truths, one puts in the field alleged 'friendly' experts - and I say alleged - one stubbornly re-launches the false news, counting on the fear of many to challenge the taboo of freedom of expression.

Disinformation proceeds like a bulldozer, taking no account of criticism. And there will always be someone who, for the sake of a little visibility, will not go into the merits of the matter, but will make themselves look good (oh, alas souls as well!) by underlining only those aspects that are not essential or decisive.

The deliberate distortion of the truth and reality of facts, which has the effect of spreading erroneous opinions or biased judgments, in fact benefits from the credulity of others.

This is useful not only for misinformation but also for catastrophism, i.e. the tendency to make pessimistic predictions for the future. The secret here, too, is to start from false data and ride the emotional wave that certain events invariably arouse in us.

Many people are so accustomed to talking badly about everything that others do not do, that they also talk badly about what others do.

We experience on our own skin (or that of others) the state of degradation of the planet, and we can well say that the fear of forever altering the balance of our ecosystem is among those provident fears that have allowed humanity to survive. But nevertheless, this fear can hide others and, above all, conceal what is being done to find a solution in the light of the complex problems that are reality.

In short, the eternal antagonism, so dear to Greek mythology, between Epimetheus and his brother Prometheus is renewed: the former is as 'late in the game' (according to the etymology of his name) as the latter is farsighted. So much so that, although warned by Prometheus not to accept gifts from Zeus, Epimetheus welcomed the beautiful Pandora sent to him by Zeus and thus became responsible for the misfortunes of mortals (the Encyclopaedia Treccani states).

Well, what more can be said?

Just Merry Christmas to all... with lots and lots of fires, bonfires, nativity scenes, trees, good wishes, gifts and... sauces.