I have inadvertently upset and bemused my British friends. They could find no rhyme and reason as to why I decided to pick random examples of Americana in order to indicate similarities with what is going on in Malta.
After all, they said, Malta was a British Colony for n years, and technically, both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Malta are made up of a collection of islands, however much animosity exists amongst them.
Frankly, I always thought that the temperament of the British and that of the Maltese were different. They are supposed to have a stiff upper lip: we are hot-blooded, because we are Mediterranean.
However, it seems that what Margaret Thatcher said, i.e. “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end,” counts for both nations.
Random Item #1: A quick look at the contestants in beauty contests will show us that the majority of Maltese contestants – at least those who do not titter when complimented for weight loss which would be due to liposuction – have rather heavy thighs and calves that are almost oval. The British, on the other hand, have calves and cankles.
Whereas he Maltese Doctor Sir Temi Żammit tracked down the source of brucellosis to the milk of infected cows, the laurels for one of the silliest, most dangerous weight-loss ‘solutions’ ever invented must rest upon the head of a British Doctor.
In the 1950s, A.T.W. Simeons took the phrase “false pregnancy” to a whole new level. He suggested that a person (yes, even a man) could subsist on 500 calories a day, on condition that they also received daily injections hCG (the hormone human choriogonadotropin), which is produced in early pregnancy.
Playing about with hormones is never advisable; and indeed it was later discovered that this sorry excuse for an eating plan could give blinding headaches and blood clots, and cause depression. And the fact is that you are eating so little, that it probably does not matter what else you do to punish your body – you will lose weight anyway.
Whereas in certain cases hCG is used as part of fertility treatments, it is never advisable to use it in the aforesaid manner.
Random Item #2: The fashion for acronyms wormed its way into Maltese culture a long time ago, probably even further back than 4Ts and YTC, the first two I recall; and UI would say that 34U is not the last entity to be labelled thus, either.
Action for Employment was perhaps inevitably shortened to A4e.
David Cameron’s idea(l) was to find jobs for dole sharks and other unemployed people. Now we have revelations that some of the employees of one of the five firms entrusted with this commitment are facing investigation…over alleged fraud. Emma Harrison, Family Champion, said that she would stand down because “…I do not want the current media environment to distract from the very important work with troubled families.” The word is, however, that A4e has actually won two new contracts after her resignation; wonders never cease.
Should we be happy, therefore, that in Malta, the only negative press social services have received is about monies voted toward this essential issue? With even less money voted for them, workers in the social services sector will not even be able to think about committing fraud.
At least, fraud perpetuated by our public servants and those in NGOs do not involve families, at least directly.
Random Item #3: In order to ‘avoid’(sic) teenage pregnancies, teens may ask for 4cm-long contraceptive implants (involving a minor operation to introduce progestogen into the blood through implants fitted in the upper arm), or contraceptive injections – without the knowledge of their parents.
This is done in the girls’ schools, and under patient confidentiality rules, school staff is banned from asking for permission from the girls’ parents, although they are minors.
Therefore, if the girl “feels like” having sex, her only problems are getting an STD, and the 1% rate of failure. Wait! If the boyfriend(s) know about the implants or shots, would they not pressure the girl, telling her she is “safe”?
Of course, “some” discomfort (acne, depression, headaches, weight gain nausea, breast tenderness and irregular or absence of periods) from this device or the injection are to be expected.
Then there are the double vision, epilepsy, and even coma associated with anti-HPV shots which would be given to provide additional protection, are to be expected, but is that not a small price to pay for promiscuity? Incidentally, the “cervix-protecting” inoculation will shortly be made available to boys, although they do not have a cervix… just in case they experiment with homosexual relationships.
Let us be thankful for small mercies. Our teenagers “merely” dance half-naked on cubes in Paceville. Only a few (relatively speaking) Maltese teens end up having babies. We have no gangs that earn money off teenaged prostitutes. Many Maltese teens seem to be obsessed with the performing arts – singing, dancing, and modelling.
Random Item #4: British Labour MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce, has been suspended by his party after head-butting and punching Tory Stuart Andrew, and brawling with four other Tories, in a bar at the House of Commons Strangers’ Bar.
Apparently, this was the follow-up to his not altogether complimentary speech in parliament, in which he mentioned the excess of Tories present. It took thirteen hours for him to sober up enough for police to question him.
Isn’t it nice that our (actual and potential) representatives spend their time quibbling about colours of ties and the frequency with which they are changed?
Why aren’t we happy that, instead of instigating drunken brawls, they post pictures of breakfasts, children, wives, lovers, parties attended, and recent haircuts on social sites, as well as flyers stuffed into our letter-boxes because Malta has no opt-out from junk mail facilities?
Wouldn’t you, too, rather be insular, parochial, and territorial, than progressive, liberal, and permissive?
Stories of an American couple's adventures in Italy
'Ghandi x' Nghid' (I have something to say) is a blog that focuses on current affairs and personal reflections - Andrew Azzopardi