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.