Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Open letter to Father Lucie

It's taken me some time to write this letter as I am a devout believer in Christ and Moses just as our Maltese saviour was. So I take my time to send off missives to errant clerics. I'm doing exactly like Moses, who took his time with Aaron, his erring brother and Christ, who waited till quite late to do something about the Judases in his midst.
We have lost our own upright anchorman—Joe Grima— just because he told you to go get some pervs to show you the ropes.
I find it mystifying and gruesome and horribly unchristian that the ropes of some bells have put our sturdy Joe in this position. And even worse is the thought that our Joseph—a leader of amazing strength and unwavering principles—has had to accept the anchor's resignation.
It's so fitting that these two big bulwarks of straight talking both share such a great name. Joseph was the biblical boy who first shot to power and stardom under the Egyptians then went on to get the Jews out of their slavery and into some form of liberation. Exactly the same as Joseph and Joe are destined to do here on this barren, weather-beaten rock which has withstood the ravages of a Gonzi-led clique of evil-doers. Only a Joseph and a Joe can see us out of our suffering and deliver us back to the land of old and plenty. Then you come along and with your words of disrespect cause all this mayhem.
He—our Joe Grima, anchorman supreme—showed class even in his oratory and words against you. You—who were ordained and thus supposedly holy—are ordinary and crass.
Our Joseph—the leader—is amazing. And he said something beautiful. Yes, because his words are pure poetry. All his deeds are those of prophets, seers and supreme beings. Only he can don the mantle of the Dom and give us back our hope and our belief in ourselves. Malta needs hope and mellifluous words. And we have it in Joseph.
Joseph has stated that the face of the labour party is not that of Joe Grima. Now I hope you will not go and scribble (tħarbex sounds ever so more apt) some silly words about this face of the labour party. Mind you no one ever reads your newspaper which should speak of our saviour (the Dom) in reverential words if it is really a Christian paper. I, for one, never even read your article about our beloved saviour, but if Joe Grima has asked you to be damned (in, I accept, much more melodious words than mine) then I know, without doubt, that all you have said is bilge and slimy stuff not worth reading.
I expect you to ignore me and write about this face image our leader used, which, you will undoubtedly find easy to say, has a few strange connotations. You will now surely say that the face of the movement might not be of Joe Grima but deep down if you scratch away the face you get Mintoff's old-style party, replete with brashness and complete disregard of what is sensible and sensitive. I know you wish harm on our party and our real leaders. You will write that if you remove the veneer, the outer covering of smiles and good-natured ways, you will discover a world of rabid mintoffianism.
I imagine your rag will also claim that if Joe or Joseph are ever in power they will do what Mintoff sometimes used to do and ban some newspaper or other because they think it is fomenting untruths about our glorious island. You might also say that we will try withholding this perfidious internet and the ways of the modern world from being left to rampage in modern Malta. You will obviously mention the lie that Mintoff, in his infinite wisdom, had tried stopping faxes and computers from being widely available, or at least that he made it infinitely expensive to buy and use them.
Who uses the fax now anyway? Who even knows what it was used for? See—Mintoff was a genius even in that—he didn't want us hooked on something which was going to be useless a few years later. We saved a lot of money because of him. He was a saving saviour in all senses.
Dear Lucie don't you dare keep fomenting hatred and lies about our glorious past. Because of you we have lost one of the most important voices to appear on our super One station.
We await the election results to turn the tables with Joseph to take over as Prime Minister. He will then immediately call you to come to Malta for a prize. He will immediately bestow on you the first honour of persona non grata. This used to happen often in the times of Dom when we showed the world we feared no one. The Prime Minister will immediately pass on the reins of TVM to he who deserves it most—Joe Grima—who, with a bow and a few expletives, will accept the post.
May you become truly Christian in thought, deed and scribbling.
In Dom we trust,
Lead soldier

Monday, 18 June 2012

He comes from Barcelona

He comes from Barcelona

Anyone who loves laughing can't not have heard of that Basil Fawlty catch-phrase in the title above. Times have changed drastically—the series ended, John Cleese married a few dozen times and now I doubt if the watchdog checking all drama, comedy and skits would allow such a racist slur in a programme. The idea that all Spaniards are idiots—even if I would love to hear it often—just can't be aired on TV.
A real waiter from Barcelona recently served us in a seaside restaurant. No I won't be naming names as I don't want to be fed for free—or actually I would want that so anyone who would like to feed me please feel free to do so. I might then plug you if you are worth saving or unplug you if your service or fare is less than serviceable. The place I went to was great and the waiter was even greater. He was very polite with beautifully spoken English with a siesta feel to it.
At a certain point this waiter—let's call him Pedro—said that he wasn't really a waiter. So we all piped up with—are you studying? No says he—I'm in TV production. So, we asked, what brought you here? Love seemed the reason to one of the diners now getting all curious. No—I come from Barcelona Pedro explained. Basil could not have said it more eloquently—but what's wrong with that we asked, while trying desperately hard not to laugh at his unintended joke. Oh he said unemployment is really bad and I didn't—couldn't—get a job. So I came to Malta. Hopefully, went on Pedro, I'll be able to get into TV. But in the meantime I'm learning a new line. I've learnt English and I get to meet a lot of interesting people. I think he added the interesting because he did wish us to tip him well. But he was courtesy personified. So tip he deserved a few times over.
Besides the obvious laugh that he comes from Barcelona a few things struck me while being served by Pedro. One is that unlike a lot of us in Malta Pedro thinks that being a waiter is not a servile job—it gives you dignity and it also makes you learn about food, you meet people and you learn the different ways of people from various lands and cultures.
The other striking thing was that our friend from Barcelona felt it would be easy to come here and get a job. In fact he even asked a friend—also from Barcelona and unemployed—to come over. They now both work here and have a life worth living, much better than remaining at home without a job. I know we have problems—or rather a load of problems—on this rock of ours but shouldn't we be thanking God (or whoever we all thank nowadays) for our many blessings?
Thank you Pedro—you helped me enjoy a great dinner and you made me love our little isle with all its foibles and faults a little more fondly.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mankind not inclusive enough

Now I'm going to venture on to religious ground—not physically of course—so if you're scared or worried about me being blasphemous or irreverent please move on to a more erudite and religious blogger. He talks loads of sense while I talk and jabber useless twaddle.

But remember twaddle is hardly always useless. I mean, we humans sprang out of dust so even dust, that most undignified of materials, is quite important and if it wasn't for it we'd have remained a playful thought in God's inner mental chambers. Of course I'm not sure if the Almighty does have any such chambers, and less sure what the connection between twaddle and dust is.

Anyway let me get to the hot part of my thought process seeing I am hardly divine and definitely not an illuminated being. My gripe of the day is this: do we still talk of mankind being saved by Christ the Son of God? What about Androids? Aliens? And machines? Have I really lost my marbles I hear most of you say. Should I be pelted with egg, stoned to death or given some new life sentence to pass my time down in a Vatican dingy dungeon?

Before you damn me, hear me out—and please stop grinning about my marbles. If mankind (or is that womankind?) has been saved by Jesus Christ we are forgetting the rest of the universe and outer universe which now, it seems, is teeming with planets. These could harbour life in any sort of form—either super-intelligent and so will not bother with us who are, to them, unbelievably primitive, or else super-dumb and cannot communicate with us as they are like our vermin, carrots or hamsters. They do not necessarily bear the shapes of these latter species but the end result is that they do not—and cannot—communicate with us. Just as hamsters do not talk to us or understand why we enjoy seeing them poke fun at us by going round and round in a wheel while conveniently caged and fed by humans.

End result is that when Christ came down to save Man he forgot the possible and now probable aliens. Is that a slight, but rectifiable, omission? Should the scriptures be re-written and some little mention made of inhabitants of the planet Zork and other such still-to-be-discovered lands? Now let's hear you laugh out even louder. What if machines and androids develop further and become thinking beings with a soul? This is serious so do please keep a straight face. Today all this sounds like utter garbage and a madman's bilge.

Take a leap back millions of years and if you look in the mirror you'd see yourself as a tiny—or large (I know not whether our propensity for obesity was already in our genes then)—fish with hardly any thought of humanity, civilisation or a soul. But we fought, we managed to not get fished out of the huge pond of the oceans and we evolved out of the sea and into some crawling, then walking, being. Down the line we descaled and turned from fish to ape I know not how. Then we stood slightly erect and became apes and somehow made the final evolutionary leap to homo sapien-hood.

Just as we moved on and progressed—or regressed—into humans, machines and silly robots might one day evolve and turn into something else which will then, most definitely and defiantly, have a soul. When you exclude everyone else from the equation of being in Christ's thoughts and plans do keep in mind that mankind is hardly being kind to all the other species which could need salvation and entry into the gates of heaven.

So let's scrap the use of the word mankind, womankind and humankind and add on all beings who one day might have feelings and hate us for offending them so awfully by excluding them from celestial bliss.

If I have offended your religious sentiments because you deny the theory of evolution and think that the story of Adam and Eve is a literal story please forgive me. If I have offended any other religious sentiments or described evolution quirkily or wrongly I apologise profusely. Finally if you are an atheist, well I can't do much about that.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Can the world wake up and admit Malta is its centre?

Oh no. Today I am lost; completely and utterly lost. When we changed to summer time I verified the time on the world clock website and Malta is not listed.

Well—for the petty ones amongst us— if you search for Valletta you do get the time and date but it doesn't stare you in the face. You have to search for us while Fulda, Targu and even Arkhangelsk are there. Does anyone except maybe Mr Wikipedia or his geography professor know where those places are?

As I said I was jolted and hope all us true Maltese people—readers, bloggers and all those who comment regularly online—will join together and protest most vehemently.
How dare these idiots not list—where it can be seen immediately—the time of day of our dottiness? This is an outrage worse than the worst snide remarks lashed against us implying that we think we are the centre of the world. We don't think, we know and we are.

Where in the universe do they have leaders like ours? Who matches our style or singing capabilities at song festivals dedicated to shrieking and wailing? In this country we can now read porn at university at our leisure with no rector hectoring us heroically to save our soul and stashing some poor literary hack into some faraway dungeon.

Stitching as a play, which anyway no one really wants to watch, can now safely be staged with the actors cavorting in their undressed shame, with no shining buckles to come in the way or bore us to our dearth. As I said we can watch dramas where directors can say to actors to hell with your ludicrous dresses to hide your gloriously glutinous behinds. We are now a true land of the free and the liberal.

As our minister of culture said, our carnival is now to be unfettered by any arcane laws or rules—which didn't even exist anyway— and we can have a proper free-for-all in jokes and mirth as long as it is done only in those five days of carnival.

During the King's reign—why don't the feminists protest against this yearly injustice of having a king but no queen to head the mayhem during our most unpolitically correct carnival?—no one will arrest you if you wear a wig in Vallettaville looking impolitely like some discarded politician or if you go around walking aimlessly like an empress down Nadurway.

We are the centre and we know it; just because some idiot at this infernal world clock site—a shambolic shame of a site if ever there was one—thinks time stood still a few hundred years ago we will not let that affect our mood or fun in the real centre of the world.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

When giants ruled our world

What's with this world? As the giants of our public life go off to a pleasanter after-life, some of the ones who remain seem like little gnomes.

Censu Tabone and Peter Serracino Inglott have left this vale of tears—or rather left us to bewail our tearful situation. Strange that when the giants strode we hardly realised how they were changing our way of life and what giants they were. But then maybe the way of our life is to realise how much we love something only when it is taken away.


The circus at the Sliema local council goes on with a councillor resigning a few days after he was voted in by an electorate seemingly bent on inflicting more harm on itself than is inhumanly possible even in the vale of tears that is becoming Sliema.

At least this councillor had the decency to leave and not join the opponents. And he is not playing some other game more in tune with a Tom & Jerry cartoon as is happening in the more august and imposing parliamentary buildings.

Poor mayor of Sliema having to go through all this just a few days after his triumphant election to rebuild the pieces after the mess of the previous council. From past experience I can attest that the mayor is a most adept, capable and trustworthy person who will, I have no doubt, manage to succeed. But the situation has not been made easy for him.

And maybe this is where this seemingly insignificant event can be seen through national eyes—and the small man syndrome kicks in. Most commentators called for the exclusion of the Sliema councillor who erred terribly when he said pejorative stuff about his labour employees and all other labourites. But the party erred on: they just asked for his forced apology and kept him on the party ticket.

This to me smacks terribly of trying to add sugar and sweet syrups to apples which are bad. The party needs to wake up and whenever possible it needs to do some proper and serious weeding to avoid throwing bad apples at us.


Just to keep this piece fully balanced: both parties seem to be hell-bent on causing themselves unending harm.. In Attard the local councillor who polled most votes on the Labour ticket was the self-same one who willfully, and in a rage, damaged the balustrades in front of the Attard church.

That the rest of the council, in a fit of fitting consensual fraternity, forgave the councillor for his past misdeeds is irrelevant. It is the party that has erred —and the electorate seems yet again intent on perpetuating the choice of these bad apples. Maybe we, the voters, have an innate love of anything surreal. I mean isn't it normal to go on a rampage and destroy parts of church property, get convicted and subsequently get voted as councillor of the village?

With such stalwarts and giants of destruction in our midst—especially the parties' candidate sieve—I do feel like having a good weep for the old times when the circus came to town just once a year and it was thankfully staged only in a tent.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Of women and CoWs

I will stray from politics as some are uber-annoyed when I as much as mention politics. I thought the august, austere and awesome world of politics needed a bit of a smile, even just my kind of twisted and forced smile.

Women’s day was celebrated recently but I missed out on that great occasion to render homage to all the women in the world. Hurray, as the cliché goes, to all the so-called weaker sex: where would we be without mothers, wives, partners, sisters, girlfriends and the occasional calendar girl? I promise there is no gun pointed to my head to force me to admit this. I do think, believe and confirm that the opposite sex—let no one call them weaker— is gravely and constantly needed.

My duty done to all women I now move on to more important stuff. The Council of Women (COW?) issued a most interesting statement about the state of women in Malta. The bovine abbreviation is my invention and does not—in any way—reflect my feelings about the national council or women in general. As I stated above I have only awe and appreciation for women of all ages and sizes.

On to the statement now.

The Council of Women, as expected from most women in committees and other bodies like the EU, stated that quotas should be introduced through which more women would be chosen for parliament and other places like company boardrooms.

As various other commentators, employers’ representatives and more erudite bloggers—even women — have pointed out this is total garbage. If we need more female MPs why can’t women voters vote them in?

And if the Council of Women feels that not enough candidates are being presented by the political parties why don’t they join the fray? Get on with it, organise a women-only party and stand for election. Then you can take over this island’s government and get all our roads fixed and deficits dumped. We might see larger, more advanced places like Germany follow suit and put in women at the helm.

Asking and exhorting political parties to have quotas won’t solve much; the parties—who will do anything to garner votes— will ultimately get more women on board through these recommended and silly quotas. True, these women will be elected but only because the rules would favour them and stipulate their election. Most probably they won’t be too good at their job.

Whatever the Council or the EU says, if people are chosen not on their merit or qualities but just for their colour, sex or creed it’s as bad as authorising asses to run our country or companies or local councils.

I’ve just seen the local council results and it doesn’t seem as if women are coming on top. Pity: we sure needed a change from more boring male-dominated politics.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Changing our beloved San Ġwann to San Tumas

Will Tom Cruise come or won't he? This seemed to be the main question doing the rounds in Malta. Now it's back to politics, on-rushing meltdowns and oligarchs. Makes it all sound ominously like Putin's Russia.

In our isolated bliss we seem to forget the dramatic worries of other countries surrounding us. Now our wonderland is faced with a question of great import—will Tom Cruise come or not? This was meanly eclipsed by silly events like who sweeps our local roads best and who sweeps most problems under his local carpet in the most meaningful way. But we need to find out: will the Tom Thumb of cinematic world grace us with his presence and pay 12 million euro for a mega-mansion or will he not come here for even a few nano-seconds?

The problem is of world-shattering proportions and before Gonzi and his once merry men were thrashed at the local polls all our chattering classes and sub-classes were discussing the grave question regarding which house our Tom could have set his eyes and wads of dollars on. Celebrity gazing be damned and banned.

I mean do we really care what happens in Syria, Greece and Russia? So what if Greece is deprived of our hard-earned millions, the Euro falls and Greece wins back its Drachma? For all we care, or should care, they can go back to bartering. They can give us their Acropolis and we might give them our San Ġwann which would be the great barter of the year. Tom Cruise could go as part of the deal too.

San Ġwann is, in fact, where Tom Cruise will be living if his estate agent is to be given any credence. Yes I know the publicist said he isn't interested—which usually in celebrity PR terms means he is. That's what showbiz is—all glitz all glamour and all a façade, a mask for saying one thing and doing, and thinking, another. Sort of like our glitzy world of politicians—they say blue but they mean red.

But if dearest Tom comes will he move to San Ġwann? Will he stay long or just a few days? All is like mission impossible to find out: even the film industry in Malta, which till a short while back was all agog that Mr Cruise was filming his next film here, has now told us that this fact is hardly verifiable.

And back to San Ġwann. If Cruise crashes onto this place, formerly called Msieraħ, we then should change its name yet once more. This time change it to San Tumas (Tom in Maltese for all my English-only readers). This will be done in honour of its most acclaimed—and desired— resident-to-be.

Not sure if they have saints and such like in Scientology of which our intrepid Tom is a great believer and proponent. But for the sake of getting him here I'm sure we could turn San Ġwann first into a city then into a scientology experiment. After all when we had the Muslims here I'm told that most of us donned a few burqas and we hastily turned our prayers towards Mecca and Allah. And we're still here to tell the tale and we also won back our most Christian of ways. Pour in your millions Tom we will not worry about your ways or wayward religion. In fact you'll feel quite at home with our home-grown band of cranks.

For the sake of peace and comfort living, our Tom be praised and honoured soon in our own backyard.