Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tribute to a great Maltese man

Five years have passed since Julian Manduca departed. He was so many things in his short life; a probing no holds barred journalist, an entrepreneur who sold Chinese balls and anarchist five pointed stars, a pioneer of green politics and AD founder, a great vegetarian cook, a radical activist with the grass root touch, a liberal humanist whose secular funeral summed it all, an organizer of alternative events and parties, a living testimony to cosmopolitan secular values... I remember meeting him 20 years ago, when he introduced me to beat poetry, the philosophy of dancing particles and bob Dylan's nasal voice. I wonder sometimes what he would make up of malta five years after he left. Surely he anticipated many things; the golf course u-turn, the havoc caused to our towns and villages after building heights were relaxed, the responsibility of the price club's directors to the their creditors and a slow but steady liberalization of social mores...Probably he would be disappointed at the slow pace of Europeanisation and the persistence of the political duopoly he abhorred...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Viva l-monument taz-z....

An ugly monument on a Luqa roundabout has suddenly become a symbol of enlightenment and a bulwark of secularism, thanks to Luqa (Labour) Mayor John Schembri.
If we had any doubt that some people live in the dark ages, here it is:

The Luqa local council has demanded the removal of the 'monument of shame' opposite the Lidl supermarket, before the Pope's visit.
In a statement issued today, Mayor John Schembri said that the council welcomed the fact that Pope Benedict would be going to Luqa.
However, he added, "in the opinion of the council, the Pope's first visit among us risks being a source of embarrassment to the people of Luqa and the Maltese in general, due to the obscene 'monument' which is still dominating the 'LIDL' roundabout on one's entry into the village."
"On this issue, the Council has already consulted and has the total backing of the ecclesiastical authorities of the village, who have in fact already written to complain about the absurd welcome immediately awaiting the Pope's arrival at Luqa and have asked for a quick redress of the situation. There can be no doubt that, among the people of Luqa, there is a widespread cross-party consensus that the object placed at the entrance of Luqa is not the most fitting way in which to greet the Pope, especially by what is considered to be the most Catholic country in the world.

Perhaps the best solution during the Pope's visit would be to cover this shameful monument with a condom...