The Malta Independent 30 September 2022, Friday
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Life and other distractions: What you can’t fix, don’t fret over

Tuesday, 9 August 2022, 10:18 Last update: about 3 months ago

Louis Gatt

I have a very good friend, who has developed an unfortunate habit.

Ninu has become permanently distressed by not being able to fix all the wrongs in the world... and especially the ones here in Malta. In fact he has become almost paranoid about the fact that Messrs Schembri, Mizzi and Muscat, plus several other peripheral rogues, are not banged-up in Corradino doing endless time plus hard labour.

Distressed is the emotion I'd attribute to another acquaintance of mine, in a completely different context. Michael is a fanatical supporter of the English Premier League football club Manchester United. In recent seasons they have not apparently been doing very well. This distresses Michael more than would ever appear to be normal or good for him. We were chatting recently, in his garden, when I noticed that he seemed distant and unfocused. Obviously I asked him what was wrong... and out it all tumbled. Michael sighed deeply, then set off on a monologue that lasted four bottles of Heineken - and in his case - three cigarettes: "It's the bloody Glazers, Lou (the Glazers are the American owners of Manchester United). They are simply in it for the money. They don't give a toss about the club." He went on to complain: "Some of their recent appointments have been bloody obscene. Deadbeat managers, second-rate or past-it footballers. They are in the process of completely ruining 'my' club."

I'll pass on whether Michael actually has any reason to claim possession of Man U, but he certainly does go all out for them. I offered that I understood they had recently appointed a new manager, so how is he doing? Michael's response was par for the course: "The jury's still out on ten Hag; we'll just have to wait and see." So not all bad then? He grunted: "Like I said... I'll answer that when I see the results."

Now both Ninu and Michael are really good guys, honest, clubbable and both highly intelligent. It hurts to see them so weighed down with problems neither of them can fix. I suggested as much to Ninu. He sighed, then replied: "I know Lou, but it really pisses me off to see these evil bastards getting away with larceny on a grand scale. See I cannot not care!" I honestly don't think the poor guy would be happy unless he saw all of the villains go down for US style sentences... 140 years plus.

I am well aware that probably 95% of the population of our islands would also like to see the guy voted the most corrupt... worldwide, plus his closest cohorts, get banged up for the rest of their natural lives. However, achieving that level of justice is the business of the courts, not Ninu's. So fretting about it, to the extent that it is making my friend sick, is both counter- productive and pointless.

Regarding Michael spending sleepless nights, sweating over the misfortunes of the football team he supports is equally futile. Now I know he's aware that I have something of a soft spot for a team from the north of Italy that trades under the name of Juventus. They too have been having not such a stellar few seasons of late. But do I fret, bite my fingernails and spend my nights tossing and turning in bed? You bet I bloody do. As the late Bill Shankly once said: "Football is not a matter of life and death... it's much more important than that."



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