OK, I don't worship Satan, as I don't worship anything (I like to call me a knowledgeable atheist, someone who has a bit of knowledge before choosing his religious beliefs - or the lack of them), but as one of my photos was referenced in relation with Satanism in a recent flamewar on the ambassadors list, which nearly ended with one resignation (it was not my fault, I swear it!), I felt the need to put out my views on it.
This is the photo that started it all:
And the comment I left on Nelson's blog (at this very moment awaiting in the moderation queue until he is asleep):
I was busy in the last days, so when I saw the discussion on the mailing list didn't follow it (lacking the time) but since I am the photographer who did it, let me give some input.
First, let me say I am fully aware that *no matter what* body gesture you use in a photo, there will be at least one region of the world where it will be considered offensive, the world cultures are so diverse. As a consequence, in many cases the advertisers restrain themselves to "safe" but (IMO) boring pictures, where they don't show any gesture. I think this spoil a lot of the fun, but I am not a marketer, I don't sell anything, I am just an amateur photographer doing it for fun.
Now let me tell the story behind this photo: it was made at the Berlin FUDCon in 2009, when my Italian colleagues and friends wanted a group photo, so I took a series of shots where they behaved freely while having fun, it was not posed at all. From this series I choose one that came focused and framed best and put it online together with many other pictures from the event. Later, when Mairin formatted the one page release notes, she probably considered the photo illustrative for the fun we have doing Fedora and used a crop from it.
No one intended the picture as the horns sign and, honestly, it is not: it uses different fingers, as I can see it was already pointed on the list. I would hate a Fedora community where we watch over our every little gesture, afraid of offending someone (but at the same time, I am know for my habit of challenging the "political correctness" with my former webcomic and such).
PS: not that the comment on Nelson's blog I fired, I regret only letting out a small detail: I am an amateur photographer with a heavy (East) European bias.