|  July 2, 2018


After spending his life as a crime boss, Joey ‘The Salami’ Ciccone suffered a near death experience after an assassination attempt and decided to change his life. He moved to the East, where he now preaches his own brand of home-cooked spiritual street smarts and also hides from the FBI. Listen up, if you know what’s good for ya.


What is the difference between the world’s many great religions? Besides the funny hats and hairdos, I mean. Okay, shut up, I’ll tell you. The truth is, there’s nothing really different. There, I’ve said it. They all have the same basic purpose, and that is this: to get everyone to stop raping and pillaging and killing each other all the time.

I know that might sound strange, given the state of the world today, but really, things could be a lot worse. Sure, the Middle East is a mess and Christians are mean to gays and the Hindus and He­brews won’t let anyone into their private casino of the soul. But on the whole organised God-fatherhoods have done a pretty good job of forcing people to get along better. And remember, though pa­ganism now enjoys a kind of hippie re­bellious status, real pagans ate each oth­ers’ babies and humped animals: poor, defenseless little bunny rabbits and chickens. It chokes me up. Gimme a minute. Okay.

Thing was, most of the big religious organisations popped up around the same time — just when city living got popular, about 2000 years ago. All kinds of people who lived in crappy little vil­lages and were ugly and never bathed suddenly found themselves living in a big metropolis with other people who were also ugly and stunk, but in a dif­ferent way. So they tried to kill each other. And it looked like the whole big city idea wasn’t gonna work out so good. So the big bosses of all the big families got together and said, “How we gonna get these people to get along so we can start making some serious moolah al­ready?”

What they did was, they invented big religion. They figured that the way to get people to get along was to make up the idea that killing was bad and that you should always be modest and hardworking and not screw your neighbour’s wife even if she was begging for it and all sorts of other crap that even still sounds kinda funny today. But people back then were pretty easy to lean on, and they bought it, no questions asked. Imagine how many thumbs you’d have to break nowadays to do the same thing. Trust me, it would take forever.

Back when I was a young mob boss, I tried to use some of the same enlight­ened attitude to make sure that people respected each other. For instance, when Carlo’s Minimart was selling liquor to the neighbourhood kids I increased my cut of his profits so much that he went out of business. Kids should not buy booze. It’s dangerous and illegal. They should get it for free, in exchange for doing their homework or mowing the lawn or something.

See, sometimes you gotta do a little bad to do good. People in power do this all the time. It’s called Machovellianism. Most people are small-minded and self­ish, so you gotta trick them into doing the right thing. If religion never hap­pened we’d all still be living in mudhuts, throwing rocks at the family down the street. Sure, the church stole a lot of money and killed a lot of people and lied about a lot of stuff, but their hearts were in the right place. They just wanted ev­eryone to get along and get rich. Things aren’t so different in the mafia.

Of course, now that I’m old and out of the mob, I think that maybe big organisations controlling your life isn’t such a good idea. It’s hard to force people to be nice – especially by yank­ing out their fingernails and stuff. Best thing is this: just be nice yourself, and hope no one calls you a fairy or shoots you in the back ‘cause they think you’ve gone soft. You know that ‘Do unto oth­ ers’ stuff. It’s called the Golden Rule. It’s a good rule, even if it doesn’t actu­ally have anything to do with jewellery.

One more thing: you gotta forgive people like the mafia and religious zeal­ots and government types for imposing their power on you. Lots of them are just trying to do the right thing, and sometimes they’ve got your best inter­ests at heart. Usually they just ‘know not what they’ve done’. But people like that always end up getting a third eye

As my mama always told me: you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. But you’ll catch even more than that with bullshit. Nothing wrong with that.

Thinkabouddit. Ciao.

You can find Swami Salami at: