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.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Busher than Bush?

Some local council electtions are in the offing. Most councils have been a total disaster and should be dissolved pronto. Some other form to govern localities should be put in place even sooner.

The Sliema council was disbanded, and about time too. But now—till my grand scheme of finding a new way for local government is concocted and stealthily put into action— we have yet to vote in newer, hopefully fresher councillors, to keep Sliema clean, functioning and tidy. Easily enough said but seems sadly impossible to actuate.
What’s with these councils? Do they attract the worst villains or is the villainy set in motion once they take the oath of office? Enough idiots, unscrupulous turncoats and alleged pilferers exist to last us a lifetime in Sliema. May the new ones who are voted in be honourable men and women.

I wish the contestants well—and may they all do their job with no whiff of scandal, petty fighting or unbelievable changing of allegiances. And please, if any contestant is already acting hideously—even before he takes his oath of office—let’s flush them out immediately. No apology is enough—get him out before he wreaks even more long-lasting havoc.

Another contender seems to have been offended because he was called a clown. Can we also have his candidature revoked? I always thought clowns made the best politicians anyway—only sad part is that politicians do not all wear fancy, colourful garb. And most politicians also wear much bigger shoes than are fitting for them: just like clowns.

I laughed out hysterically loud when I saw a few posters—and unbelievably, even a billboard—saying we should vote for someone called Busher, and proudly telling us she is a foreigner. No harm there I say—the more varied contenders we have in the field the more coalitions, failed majorities and musical chairs we can expect. The Sliema circus seems to be extending its run.

But hold on. Let’s analyse the British woman who is contesting. Can someone really vote for anyone who just by name promises to be Busher than Bush? Remember Bush the younger? He talked garbage and acted terribly, going into wars where no one should have gone and moving the world into its rotten state of today. If my name was anything close to Bush I’d have changed it even before I was born.

So she might mean well but the last thing I want to see in dearly cherished Sliema is someone in council who could further fan the fires of feuding in a locality whose name ironically translates as—I hope Ms Busher was told this—peace. Poor Ms Busher I really didn’t wish to bash her this way. She is more than welcome to fight for her seat in council and if she gets elected I am sure she will find nothing but heroic cooperation from everyone around.

But now let’s go back to the times when Malta kept leaping backwards even beyond third worldom. Back then our country was nicely put on a par with the worst regimes. And we also had a strange law to regulate foreign interference. No one could come to Malta and denigrate Dom or his minions or his millions of followers. I promise I’m not harping back to those times, lest I am accused by some of being tied to our recent, but thankfully buried, past.

I’m just mentioning a slight change in attitudes. Back then we had foreigners accused and roundly—and rudely—deported just for speaking up about what they saw as undemocratic and wrong. This happened just because they were foreign. Today these same foreigners can, in theory, become our Mayors and councillors. Thank god for the golden age of yesteryear.

Off you go now and if you do live in a locality that votes go ahead and do so even if local councils should be banned—it’s all we have for now so let’s keep our vote useful and a guarantee of our liberty. Even if they resemble circuses it’s always better to choose your own kind of circus. So vote sanely..

Monday, 5 March 2012

Same-sex marriages to boost an MP’s reputation

So Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has now waded into deeper—and gayer—waters. Not happy to have got his divorce papers and laws all organised and dusted off in our oh-so-Catholic isle he now wants marriages of the same sex ilk. Can Malta take another of these liberal earthquakes?

Nothing wrong there I dare say. The more varied our marriages and partnerships the better it is for our society. We need colour, we need fun in this our century and millennium which are fast turning into the gloomy tunes ones. Add on not just colour, say I, but all gaiety or else we are surely going to end up seriously suffering from some mad malady. We might even all turn into parliamentarians.

It wasn’t enough that all year we used to look forward to carnival where we could have had our own spot of politic-free, politically correct fun and revelry. Now our minister of culture—and carnival is the epitome of culture especially in our shores—has fished out a law, or a lack of a law, that we used to think, all 400,000 of us for more than half a century, barred us from laughing at politicians during carnival.
So come February next year you can bet your last euro cent—if that funny coinage is still around—that the political parties are going to ruin the party for us all. Carnival—which I must admit has become a right boring snooze-fest—is going to be even more excruciatingly boring what with floats that flatter our fave party and other floats that flatten the reputation of the rest of the parties.

I hope some enterprising—and upright—Member of Parliament will call for proper respect of the rules of financing and propriety of the carnival floats. Otherwise the floating voter will definitely desert our politicians. And they—the floaters who decide who wins elections—will not even turn up at carnival. What worse shock and horror could afflict us? How oh how could the minister of culture—even if he has changed by next year and become a labour one—cope with such catastrophes?

Back to happy marriages and sexual unions of all shapes, shades and shady groupings. Our enterprising Dr Pullicino Orlando first put a wedge into our Catholic weddings. His actions and subsequent law launched all our folk into a flurry to disengage themselves—en masse and cut off from true Catholic mass— from their sacred, supposedly life-long unions. And now he is clamouring for more varied unions. Less is more sometimes for our king maverick.

Like divorce I am in reality—and seriously—very much in favour of same sex marriage or at least that the state recognises same-sex unions. Of course I’m not sure if our inclusive Bishop of Gozo will be hooting for Jeffrey’s proposed law.

Good luck dear Jeffrey—we, the happy and also the less happy will always put you on a pedestal of trust and utter fealty. Your uprightness is our beacon to see us through these our least of gay times.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Say boo to the bullies

Sometimes football shows us up in our true colours. No not the colours of one of the teams we are passionate and blind about but it throws some light—or at least does so for me—on how society has developed, or, rather, regressed.

During the Carling Cup final between Liverpool and Cardiff the national anthems of the countries the teams represented weren't played. Set aside the daftness of one country which is grandly touted as united—the United Kingdom—having two anthems. Imagine a team from the north of Italy playing Rome and having two anthems played—one of Bossi's Padania and the other one of whatever remains of poor Italy. Did I say daft?

Anyway it is even dafter that national anthems are ever played when two clubs are playing each other. This is modern football we are talking about. So I doubt there are too many players in the Liverpool colours who live in Liverpool and grace the Liverpool kit through choice and not because of shining lucre. Cardiff being in Wales, I imagine even less people want to live there—and I do hope the Welsh still have a smidgen of humour . Or is humour one of those rare bits of life nowadays?
But the interesting –or rather terribly tragic–reason the anthems weren't played was delightfully dafter.

The authorities or whoever decides on the playing or otherwise of anthems thought they mustn't play the anthems and it seems never will because during the last game between two teams from England and Wales both anthems were booed. I see. Or rather I don't wish to see the logic of this.

So the unruly louts—also sometimes derisorily called football fans—dictate what happens in stadia? I thought that it's the authorities with their batons and other batty implements who usually bully us, the common folk and other supporters of football teams. Not the other way round.

It's not that I wanted the anthems played or sung. The last thing I find appropriate before a football fest is a baritone rendition of God Save the Queen and an anthem sung in whatever language the Welsh sing their anthem in. But since when should a boo, a jeer or a cacophony of both change the ways we want to go? Maybe the fans at that particular game were strangely erudite and musically gifted and felt the anthems had been sung badly so they had to refrain from their cheering of the bands or singers.

The world is surely becoming a strange place to inhabit when jeering can have such earth-shattering results. I always thought booing was part of life and of our freedom to criticise. If it was too much—"over-the-limit" booing– then when is too much? And if the authorities, for some strange reason, worried that the playing of the anthems could lead to mayhem and murder then maybe they should have taken more drastic measures by banning the game completely and, like proper spoilsports, shared the spoils, the cup and the proceeds between both warring clubs.

After all during this game someone might have jeered the referee and linesman (or whatever they are called nowadays) and these could have been mortally offended, packed their whistles, flags and balls and gone crying all the way home before the final whistle.