The Malta Independent 24 August 2019, Saturday

A look back

Alfred Sant Thursday, 13 June 2019, 08:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

The activities and publications that marked the hundred anniversary of the Sette Giugno were most interesting. The anthology of studies about the event issued by the committee set up to commemorate historic occasions, was well worth reading and discussing, while various newspapers published valuable articles and supplements.

It seems as if with the passage of time, the realization has grown that the Sette Giugno was much more complex as a “moment”, than was believed say up to some fifty years ago. It was closely linked to economic, social and cultural developments within Maltese society and beyond it. What led to it was not some social explosion that became a riot, but a deep quake, with tremors arising from various flashpoints.

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You can sense all this from the available accounts and analyses of what really happened. Even so, I suspect that we are still giving too much emphsis to the anecdotal aspects of the story. We need a historical interpretation that would seek to integrate them into one overall pattern. Whether we agree or disagree to define the events that took place as a revolution or as a riot, we need a synoptic vision that explains why and how it all turned out the way it did.

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Marlene Mizzi

During the five years that I witnessed from close quarters the work carried out by Marlene Mizzi, I was impressed by the determination and decisiveness she displayed to reach the objectives she set for herself. I admired too her sense of balance by which she showed moderation and a willingness to reach reasonable compromises, but then got straight to the point if she felt that matters were not being done the right way.

As well, I always found intriguing the distinction she would draw between “campaign” politics, where one needs to project oneself and compete; and the “legislative” mode, where one needs to create a framework to regulate and guide. For me, both are the two different faces of the same coin; she looked at it differently.  

Yet, on the other hand, when she wished to rebuke somebody or needed to project a message about Malta, both the style and the language she adopted, according to the prevailing circumstances, were brilliant,  no matter which side of political practice one preferred to consider them from.

I wish her the best of futures.

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Terminal

“The Terminal Man” is one of Michael Crichton’s early novels (start of the 1970’s). It describes an operation on the brain of a man who is having seizures during which he lapses into behaviour that is endangering him and the safety of others.

During the operation, his brain is connected to a computer which will henceforth control the impulses he receives, diverting his actions towards a calm and acceptable behaviour. The opposite happens: as the computer intensifies its stimuli, the patient loses control over himself. All the fears that were locked inside him, now rise up to transform him into a sadistic killer.

The theme rides on the Frankenstein myth and the fear of many people that someday, humanity will end up being dominated by machines. Though the writing is brisk, the novel is too dry and quite inferior to other Crichton titles like “Jurassic Park” and “Disclosure”.

 

 

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