The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Holding the line – Part 2

Sunday, 4 December 2022, 09:17 Last update: about 3 months ago

Louis Gatt

I see the authorities are getting twitchy, at last, about in-car phoning.

And about time too. The other day I happened to be driving towards Valletta. Along the way I was confronted by the inevitable traffic lights on red. As I waited for them to change to green I noticed five cars drawn up at a set of lights nearby. In four of the vehicles the drivers were clutching mobile phones and three were actually chatting into them. Which means that, in all probability, all four had been on their phones as they drove up the busy dual carriageway. Bloody ridiculous and highly dangerous... if not for those halfwit drivers, then certainly for any other vehicles on the road in their vicinity... yes, including the other goons clutching their mobiles as they drove.

I recently experienced, at first hand, two extremes of this. In the first instance I was a front seat passenger with a colleague driving; we were progressing from Msida to Valletta via Pieta. Shortly after leaving the lights in Msida his mobile phone rang. He immediately answered it and continued a two-way conversation all the way to Valletta... while weaving in and out of traffic. I don't think I'll be accepting any lifts from this source again. By the time we reached Castille I was a nervous wreck, the near misses were too many to count. When I did finally disembark I asked him if that drive was typical of his daily commute. He pretended not to understand and replied: "Oh yeah, I always come that way." I was almost physically sick with fear. He was literally dicing with a very, very messy death.

On the other hand, a year or so back I happened to be in California on business. Again I was riding as a front seat passenger of a large American sedan driven by a high profile US movie producer. As we whizzed along the freeway to the north of Burbank, his mobile phone rang. He immediately answered it, just to tell whoever was on the other end that... since he was currently driving, he would pull off into a lay-by and call back. Which indeed he did, where he was able to have a seven-minute phone call in complete safety. Not a sight you often see here in Malta... if ever!


So who is going to win the football World cup then? It won't be my lot, the Italians, that's for sure, they didn't even qualify. Watching the TV coverage I have been struck with two things. Firstly, the English commentaries on all the games are excellent. The between games' fillers from TVM is not. In fact it's a bloody disgrace.

I see there has been quite a bit of media chatter about one of TVM's female "pundits" resurrecting the British queen who, the "punditette" claimed: "Would be very proud of the England team for defeating Iran." That's just poor research, what irks me is the downright cluelessness and hyper amateurism of all of them, but especially the anchors. Where they should be exuding cool professionalism, instead they flap and fumble for their words and, frankly become unwatchable.

Oh yes and please could somebody on the production side stop them from referring to "we" who may be watching as televiewers (telespettaturi).

The very first thing I was told when undergoing a TV presentation course was that TV presentation is a one-to-one affair. "You must always assume that you are addressing just ONE person. Got it? No, I didn't think so.

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