The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

Sweeties

Alfred Sant Monday, 18 February 2019, 07:54 Last update: about 4 months ago

A friend said: Have you ever noticed how on the political right, you find quite a number of cultural activists who have no compunction about portraying with the greatest ridicule, not to say contempt, those they disagree with when they happen to be leftwing?

These sweeties consider such an attitude as part of a satirical act that merits full appreciation, indeed as a social commentary. The more personalised it gets, the better. The point has to be that as an act, it targets the left, though this is never stated so clearly.

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But then, when the same approach is adopted by somebody on the left, ah then no! It becomes a shameful effort, devised to rubbish worthy people and muzzle those who disagree with the left. It breaks all the good rules of decency and justice, and amounts to sheer intimidation.

I only felt surprise that this friend had taken so long to discover the phenomenon. What he had noted did not become practice today or yesterday. It has been around for decades.

The relevant strategy maps out as follows: Use all means that allow you to undermine those who disagree with you. If s/he replies in kind, howl with all your strength that you’re being victimised. It is a cultural strategy, devised on the back of classist assumptions.  

***

Can you trust?

Another friend asked: But how can one trust a person who has switched parties?

My reply: Best check the motives which led him to do so. After all, Winston Churchill was a switcher.

It should be clear: If the motives for a person’s switch were guided by opportunism or personal gain, you cannot trust him/her. It is not understood that Churchill became a turncoat because he was promised some subsidy.

If on the other hand, the switch happens because of some deepheld beliefs and  suddenly or slowly the realization comes that the other party supports such beliefs more strongly than your party does, then there is a basis for trust.

...But perhaps the proviso should be added that you do so only till the “convert” continues to feel that his favourite beliefs are still being cherished by his “new” party? For if not, what will s/he do...?

Can you trust, but with reservations?

Or should you not trust at all?

***

Naxxar

The production of statues and monuments for churches and festas is still being carried out with dedication and talent by Maltese artists and artisans. It provides strong evidence of a consistent ongoing tradition that with time, has greatly improved its techniques and aspirations, even if some people still undervalue it.

I could arrive at such conclusions during a visit to the exhibition mounted at the Naxxar band club “Maria Bambina”, of works by Nadur’s Adonai Camilleri Cauchi. They were commissioned by a number of churches and parish institutions in Malta and Gozo. Indeed I found that the exhibition entices  you to take a closer look, presented as it is with attention and flair. For instance, I was intrigued by the unusual way, at least for me, by which Cauchi projects the image of Christ as a baby just newly born.

The fact that Cauchi is a Gozitan while – as the exhibition testifies – he has been commissioned to deliver works from all points of these islands, illustrates perhaps that Gozo is less completely isolated from the rest of the country than we fear.

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