I’m not sure Valletta should be our capital any longer…

Despite the Maltese government’s best efforts – think City Gate, re-paving and V2018 –it is now time the country faced up to a truth which has been staring it right in the face for the last 20 years – Valletta is no longer fit to be Malta’s capital.

The shrinking population, the non-existent nightlife and its inaccessibility by car during the day have all contributed to its slow death , but the final nail in our capital’s coffin is one that no superstar architect can ply out. McDonald’s – a real testament to a country’s economic success – will close its outlet in the capital after a lengthy legal battle with the landlord on Sunday. This, coupled with the conspicuous absence of that other certificate to a country’s success – Starbucks – means that football victories and all, Valletta is now doomed for relegation.

There is only one other capital with no McDonald’s – and that’s Reykjavik, in Iceland. Hands up anyone who’s ever been to Iceland – see, that’s what happens when your capital city does not have the golden arches somewhere other than in the collective imagination.

As a replacement, I’d suggest Sliema. People actually go there out of no sense of duty towards it, and, if the news report is to be believed, it will soon have the “largest McDonald’s and McCafe on the island”. That’s regeneration for you.

Electioneering

when the same when the same
flesh and blood flesh and blood
groups up in two groups up in two
opposing opposing
symmetrical symmetrical
lumps lumpsa valley of darkness
in between

we call it a butt,

bum,

derrière,

posterior,

sorm.

And once every 5 years, we call it politics,

or in an elegant twist on the vernacular,

Elezzjoni Ġenerali.

Happy voting, everyone.

(Don’t forget to flush).

How (Not) To Disappear Completely

Dear Reader,

Contrary to popular belief, I am still alive and trying to kick, and have finally started writing on a rag again, which happens to be Manic! magazine. For those of you who aren’t in possession of the papery type, click here and check out “Losing our Religion?”.

Re: the title of this post, it’s from a Radiohead song, which I happen to love. I actually bought the CD (Kid A) just for that song.

The Internet is Dead

Dear Readers,

After a long period of just thinking about doing it, I am currently trying to redesign the layout for the blog, after which I will resume posting. The thing is that I don’t have as much free time as I used to have last year when I started blogging, and the free time I have I’m using out in the non-virtual world (aka “The Real World”).

So, the issue is, what do the readers want?

Do they want a lot of pictures?

Some weird martian aardvark singing the Maltese national anthem in reverse?

Diagrams from an anatomy textbook?

etc..

Answers via comments please.

Re: The title- does “sex” work better as an attention grabber?

A Miniature Update

Dear Reader,

I’m in the middle of my exams. Should be reading Wuthering Heights, but I just spent the last 3 hours online. That would’ve been 5 posts at the very least.

A small update- I still am reading books, but I can’t be bothered to write about them, yet.

I really should be updating this thing more often.

But then again, the difference between “should” and “is” is why stuff is rarely done the way it should be, and most of the problems in the world.

Think about it, will you?

And post your replies here.

….

The 100 Book Mission™: Book 7


Clowning in Rome; Henri J.M. Nouwen; DLT


“Of the virtuosi we say, ‘How do they do it?’ Of the clowns we say, ‘They are like us.’ The clowns remind us . . . that we share the same human weaknesses.”

A book about the values of “solitude, celibacy, prayer and contemplation”- I must say that these 4 topics scare loads of people off, or at least put them off; myself included.
Mostly it’s because people are afraid of being alone with themselves, of seeing things as they are and of trusting a god they’ve known but never seen. Celibacy then, is another matter, mostly concerning people leading the religious life, to whom this book was addressed.

These activities in turn lead to a certain autonomy which makes Love genuine, coming not out of a need for affection or completion, but rather a generous outward act.

This gives seemingly insignificant activities (those to which Nouwen refers as “clowning”) a value which by far surpasses the actual act.

Not a book for everyone- it’s addressed at people in Christian ministry after all- but what’s inside still does count.

Tut tut tut…

Dear Reader,

My sincerest apologies go to you, faithful disciple of debris ™, who has been deprived of my semi-regular mental meanderings.

About the books.

I read a book called Clowning in Rome; it’s very good, I should’ve mentioned it long ago but haven’t. Work has been getting to me, so I couldn’t really take time off and read.

I also happen to have acquired a motor scooter, which is making reading on the bus a tad impossible.

So at the moment I’m reading nineteen eighty-four, which is sounding incredibly naive and optimistic, in hindsight.

I have also made the move back to a Windows Xp machine after 4 sad months on a 17″ iMac loaded with OS X 10.4. If you ask me, Apple should’ve stuck to fruit.

Happy 1st of April!

The 100 Book Mission™: Book 6

Queen of the Tambourine; Jane Gardam; Abacus 1991

Sorry for this one; I read it a while ago, and by consequence forgot most of the plot.

It’s about a certain Eliza Peabody, who starts writing letters to her imaginary neighbour about the latter’s imaginary family’s comings and goings; a very good illustration of manic delusions.

It ends nicely, much unlike this post.


The 100 Book Mission™: Book 5

The Kite Runner; Khaled Hosseini; Bloomsbury 2003

The Kite Runner- I bought it off Amazon because it came recommended along with A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian. As per the latter, both extremities of this book were covered in snippets of glowing reviews the book had received.

I must admit it, I’m often too lazy to check out new material for myself, rather, I let other people do it for me, and will keep on doing so until the day I run out of good, pre-reviewed, ideally multi-awarded books, films, albums and guitars. Then I’ll be rummaging around bookstores and actually reading bits of the text to see if I like them or not.

Or possibly I might try to pool in myself, if inspiration strikes.

Anyway, back to the Kite Runner. This is a bloody good book, and when I say bloody I mean it. It is a tale of friendship, honour, sacrifice, and ultimately, love – not the Valentine’s Day variety, sultry, sugary and sexy; rather it’s the kind of love that is so unnatural to our selfish nature, sacrificial and undemanding.

Excellently written, it is basically the journey of Amir, the narrator, in trying to make up for his betrayal of Hassan, his dear friend and servant who had loved him selflessly, trying to exorcise demons which had tormented him since he was 12 years old.

The result is a book which almost left me in tears (but didn’t, as usual), and which I made a point to finish within 2 days, rather like A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer, which is similarly poignant. Indeed the emotions evoked are very similar, hearkening back to the strong bond children usually have with their parents and siblings. But I can’t stress enough how good this book is without boring myself to a premature death, so I’ll stop here.

Please do read it though.