Too Much Information?

TV 40 news personality Christine Chubbuck shot herself in a live broadcast this morning on a Channel 40 talk program. She was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.
The most surreal thing about this July 15, 1974 newscast clip was that it had been written by Chubbuck herself.
The warning signs had all been there; three weeks prior to her demise, she had begun work on a feature programme about suicide. In the course of her research she had discovered the ideal type of bullet, and where to shoot it, courtesy of an officer in the sheriff’s department, which goes contrary to how things are portrayed in CSI-type series.
A definite red flag was flown when she told the night news editor that she had bought the weapon and joshed about using it live. He chided her, but that’s as far as it went. And we all know that when people joke about committing suicide, the chances are that they have been thinking about it.
Meanwhile, the station owner had ostensibly ordained that ‘blood and guts’ were to be the deigning factors of newsworthiness; and one of Chubbuck’s stories was indeed cut to be replaced by coverage of a shoot-out.
On the fateful morning, a videoclip of a shooting at the Beef and Bottle Restaurant at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport on U.S. 41 jammed, and Chubbuck attempted to be ad-libbing, as newscasters are wont to do when this sort of incident happens,
In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living colour, you are going to see another first; attempted suicide. The technical director faded to black; the camera operator Jean Reed assumed it was an elaborate wind-up.
On the morning of January 22, 1987, Robert Budd Dwyer, a politician from Pennsylvania who insisted until the end that he had been framed on charges of corruption and bribery, also committed suicide on air. It happened during a televised press conference at his office in Harrisburg, the state capital.
On that day, many schools had been closed because of a heavy snowfall; had this not been so, students who had regular access to news broadcasts during school hours would have seen it happen, just as they saw the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy and the Branch Davidian Siege in Waco, Texas.
All these incidents, and more, have been sued as “teaching materials” in media ethics classes. Indeed, Dwyer’s suicide is cited in a paper about the “ethno-methodological approach to the study of suicide”. In such instances, apparently, not even the most diligent of fingers on the Delay Button would have been able to abort the transmission.
“Severe human error”, however, was cited as the reason why yet another suicide was aired live on Fox News on Friday, September 28.
This happened during coverage of one of those popular (think O. J. Simpson) car chases that are aired live in an effort to skew viewership statistics, and not because they provide useful information.
At one point the suspect opened his vehicle door and leapt out of it, running down a dirt track, and seconds later pulled out a gun. The camera continued rolling, the death was caught live, and Smith, the Fox News Channel anchor, Shepherd Smith admitted they had “messed up”.
We all remember the atrocious hounding of Madeline McCann’s parents; how the press couldn’t get enough of “sexy-foxy-Knoxy”; how the press covered Joanna Yeates’ murder; and how some film directors sought to make a quick buck from elements from each story, or portraying separate ones in their celluloid entirety.
And let us not forget that the film Network ends with the narrator stating “This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.”
The local media, which sometimes seems oblivious to events being played out on the world stage – at least, unless they can be perverted to serve ulterior motives – are also sometimes all too ready to ride roughshod over good taste and people’s sensibilities. This tends to happen because they want to scoop other media… and they do not realise that the person involved in the incident there are covering could have been themselves, or someone they love.
Live television shows us how some card-carrying journalists are at their best when it comes to scooping their peers. They forget the rules about vulnerable persons; invasions of privacy; and no close-ups. They diligently research the person’s sexual orientation (Pan-sexual Company Director Guilty of Tax Evasion); his political affiliations (Conservative MP arrested for sexual cimes); and his family tree (singer Trisha Dawne’s son commits suicide), in no particular order.
They ask awkward questions, not in the hope of winkling out information hitherto undiscovered by those whose job it is to do so, but to entrench themselves as the oriflammes of incisive, investigative reporting. Some even create re-enactments of crime scenes that are pathetic excuses for spoon-feeding the viewing public what they want us to assume is the truth.
Sometimes, not even a five-minute delay would be sufficient to remove footage I find objectionable… we have seen clips that would be more suited to the crime being committed at the start of almost each Columbo episode, or Cold Case flashbacks.
The latest example of this pathetic ‘live coverage’ we have seen is the hunt for April Jones, who went missing after having been seen getting into the van of a man who has since been named.
Would the cameras have stopped rolling had April been found where the searchers were looking for her? I doubt it.
Meanwhile, journalist Kay Burley, fresh from the “cadaver search dog” gaffe, actually transmitted bad news about April to two of the searchers on rolling live news reportage.
Whether this was her usual ham-fisted coverage, or a calculated stratagem for viewers to catch the reaction of the volunteers, is anybody’s guess.
Is this what makes television “good” and “actual”? Most of the people responsible for giving us this tripe would reply… Whatever! But it’s what the people want.

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Death Watch

http://www.adviceandinfo.com/teenagers/
I had written two posts mentioning suicide.
I had hoped never to write another one.
But the recent sorry excuse for reportage – a pathetic hotchpotch of biased comments with concerted, subtle, yet vicious splotches of slut-shaming and vindictive, malicious comments and misinformation following articles, allowed to stand by newspaper editors who ought to know better, has put paid to that hope.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that some murders and suicides that happen locally get more column space and extensive audio-visual media coverage than others. As a corollary, there is a national discussion by self-styled experts about whys and wherefores.
The media relies on the fact that its audience laps up inaccurate, oversimplified and potentially dangerous, sensationalised reports. I was perturbed at the words and out-of-context sound-bites dug out from statements.
In other sections of the press, we are told that bullying leads to suicide. However, nowhere have I seen it stated that mental manipulation, whether or not it is Gaslighting, may lead to a similar end for the victim. Neither have I seen links to helplines, except once, just in case copycat suicides are in the offing.
I am told that ‘journalists’, whatever that term means these days, have to stuck to fact and not offer opinion – that is the domain of bloggers and / or opinionated bitches like myself, and, apparently, the people who regularly trawl the virtual news-sites to leave their insidious, warped points of view for our delectation.
It is not easy to ‘know everything’ about something that happens. And yet, multifaceted issues are fed to us in drips and drabs, in a seemingly logical manner, in a bid to sway our judgements and mould our conclusions to match the agendas of those who have something to hide.
At this point, I have to ask many, many questions. If you knew your friend was shoplifting or doing drugs, or riding his motorcycle hell for leather without a crash helmet, would you shop him? Or would you not want to get involved, lest you be tarred with the same brush by ‘ignorant adults’?
If you assume it’s just a phase, or that it is not your business… would you, then, hide the fact that he was having sex with minor? If you thought he was a megalomaniac, or sociopath, psychopath, or any other kind of –path, whether or not he had a history of underlying mental illness would you seek help, or would you cover for him because “that is what friends do”, while secretly envying his stud-luck with the girls?
Because of course, there is only one thing worse for a girl than to be called a slut – and that’s to be called a prude. Still, alas, when a man and a child have sex, the man gets high-fives, but the girl loses respectability. Even when he, shudder, shock horror, expresses trepidation that he will be branded a paedophile.
If, on the other hand, someone told you that all of the above could precipitate a death because the person involved fell into an “at-risk category”…would you change your mind? Or would you shrug and say “shit happens?” ignoring the fact that the warning signs were there all the time?
If you had an acquaintance who always seemed sad, would you approach her? Now let’s take this point farther. If you had a friend who self-harmed because she was lonely, and felt excluded, would you ‘do something about it’, or would you assume she was showing off, or worse, that she was ‘in good hands’ because someone else had her back. Is it really possible for just one person to have anybody’s back, in these circumstances? Nobody in a position to do so has yet explained that suicide is not an automatic response to feelings of rejection, depression, anxiety, despair, and isolation.
The non-sheep of us have been hauled over the coals for pointing out that you do not fall from a height without breaking a limb or four; that you do not even consider the possibility of a suicide attempt failing; that you do not keep a kid out at night of you know she is listed as missing; that sexts of minors constitute child pornography; that a person’s Facebook wall is not usually removed by anyone except himself… and this cannot be done when you do not have access to it.
I chided a journalist for treating the death of Lisa Marie so flippantly and histrionically, and asked him whether he would have extracted the same quotes from a social site, had she been his little sister. He did not reply.
As part of the research for this article, I clicked a random photograph on “See who’s here” on Ask.fm. Just for the record, there is no need to have an account with the site, to do this. The very first, and only, ‘conversation’ I saw was “il-hara kemm nobodok / mur aqbez / omgzz / suwisajd”.
Is it possible that this kind of activity is ‘fun’? Healthy, and psychologically sound, it certainly is not.
Gossip feeds the voracious appetitive of idle minds; note the hullaballoo about L’Wren and Peaches Geldof, which may not, after all, have been a suicide but due to an extreme diet.
This spawns the disgusting phenomenon of writing schlock – in error-riddled English – to attract audiences.

Eating Disorders

http://www.adviceandinfo.com/teenagers/

Most parents tend to associate the phrase “eating disorders” with skeletal catwalk models or teenagers who get by on the proverbial apple a day – if that. The truth is much more insidious.
Teenagers who are sucked into the vortex of eating disorders may not even know what the underlying problems are.
It could be that someone has called them chubby, or fat. On the other hand, perhaps, they want to look good for their crush, or on the beach. Very soon, however what began as a mistaken definition of the word diet spirals out of control until the teen is swallowed by the obsession not to eat.
When someone has a problem with the image, she can either accept it, or try to alter it. Again, the altering may be done is healthy, safe reasonable ways – a new hairstyle, new clothes, different make-up, more exercise, or healthier eating; or it may be done in extreme ways… shaving off the hair, wearing eccentric make-up, OTT clothes… and extreme dieting.
There is the mistaken idea that people who are “weak” choose to have eating disorders because they cannot cope with life This is not true. After all, it takes punishing self-control not to eat when you are hungry, or to bring what you have eaten back up.
Teens who have eating disorders may be crying for attention; but they may also feel that there is an area in their life upon which they, and only they, have perfect control. Peer pressure may be a factor, too.
It goes without saying that the parent(s) who have a healthy outlook toward their own self-image, and who refrain from commenting on the size of their teens’ bodies, are less likely to have children with these problems, which take hold of a child’s life… and may ruin it.
How do you notice that a teen is on the way to having, or already has, an eating disorder? Boys as well as girls get the condition; but for the sake of clarity I will just be using “she”.
• Changes; the teen becomes finicky about minor things, choosing lettuce over cucumber, apples over peaches.
• The teen’s breath smells of acetone (nail polish remover).
• The teen is more likely to bruise if she bumps against furniture.
• She is lethargic and sleepy, and often appears to be in a world of her own.
• The teen seems suddenly aware of the nutritious value, or otherwise of certain foods, especially those she used to love before the problems began.
• They might criticise themselves, not only with regard to size, but also about looks, height, intelligence, and the ability to make friends.
• They may lie about having eaten already in order to get out of family mealtimes, or say they will eat later because they have “a lot of homework”.
• They might even show an interest in cooking up fabulous meals, and watch as others eat them.
• They might mention friends who have problems with food in order to gauge what your reaction would be if they come out.
• They will not accept that they have an eating disorder, because it robs them of the feeling of control…whereas the opposite is true.
• The consider it humiliating to be told that they need help, so parents must pussy-foot around the issue at first.
A teen who has an eating disorder will deny it, even if she knows she is unwell. That is why gentle support is necessary.
Treatment is not the same for all teens who are stricken with eating disorders. It may take the form of psychotherapy, or family therapy, support groups, nutritional consultation, and, when push comes to shove, hospitalisation.

Bejni u Bejn Ruħi

Leħen is-Sewwa, June 21, 2014

 
Ġieli sibt ruħek titkellem man-nies li jidhirlek li jkunu qed jgħidu l-ħmerijiet… fuq ir-radju jew fuq it-televixin? Ġieli qabżek xi ħadd f’xi kju u tgħidlu kelmtejn sew minn taħt l-ilsien għax li kieku kellu jismagħhom x’aktarx li kien jiġri d-demm?
Ta’ madwarek jinkwetaw li moħħok qed jeħfief – iriduk tara psikoanalista, psikjatra, psikologu, u psikoterapista. Inti tgħidilhom li mnalla għandek dak l-iżvog, għax kieku ma kellekx, mela hemmhekk kien ikollok bżonn tara lill-psikoanalista u sħabu.
U min għandu raġun? Għaliex hemm din l-istigma assoċjata ma’ li titkellem waħdek? X’hemm ħażin li tiffaċċa l-biżgħat tiegħek bil-kliem, qabel ma tgħaddi għall-fatti?
Fid-dinja kollha storbu ta’ karozzi bl-isterjows, twieqi miftuħa biex nisimgħu liema stazzjonijiet iħobbu jaraw u jisimgħu dawk li joqgħodu f’dik id-dar…. U saħansitra telefons ċellulari jvenvnu waqt il-Quddies… ma tantx huwa faċli li ssib mument ta’ silenzju fil-ħajja.
Hawn min iħobb l-istorbju – u hawn minn jibża’ mis-silenzju. It-tnejn jippruvaw jimlew il-vojt. Hawn min juża l-midja… u hawn min jitkellem waħdu.
Iżda għandna ħabta ninsew il-fenominu l-ieħor… li filwaqt li hawn minn trid tħallsu biex ikellmek (u anqas dan mhu garanzija li ħa jkellmek) hawn min iħobb jgħaddi argument jew iqis sitwazzjoni billi jirraġunaha minn qabel, waħdu, biex meta jasal il-ħin, ma jeħillux ilsienu. U flok iħammem, jaħseb jgħajjat. Hawn min iħares lejn mera,għax jgħidulek li meta jħarsu lejn għajnejhom stess, jaħsbu iżjed fil-fond. U hawn min lanqas biss ikun jaf li leħnu jinstema’ minn min qiegħed fil-kamra l-oħra, tant li jaħsbuhqed ikellem lilhom.
Lil tifel żgħir li jmexxi l-karozzi fuq it-tapit, u jgedwed, niggustawh. Imma meta dan it-tifel jikber ftit u jibqa’ bid-drawwa li jitkellem hu u jaħdem is-somom, ngħidulu biex jieqaf, “għax sħabu jidħqu bih”. U sadanittant, meta jgħaffeġ xi waħda, ngħidulu biex jirraġuna naqra. X’ironija!
Hawn min jitkellem waħdu biex itaffi s-solitudni, u hawn min jgħidlek, bid-daħqa, li jitkellem waħdu għax ħadd mhu ħa jmerih, u l-pariri li jingħata se jkunu pariri t’espert… kif qalilna Gandalf.
Ngħiduha kif inhi… meta titkellem waħdek, dan jgħinek tiċċara ħsibijietek. L-agħar hu li meta tagħmel dan, ikun biss biex tgħajjar lilek innifsek bla heda, ġifa u injorant. Mela allura, ta’ min li kull darba li taqa’ f’dan l-iżball, issib xi ħaġa tajba fik u tgħid lilek innifsek “imma… naf insajjar”; jew “imma…għandi dar nadifa”; jew “imma…naf inħobb”; jew “imma…gustuża”.
Hawn min ikollu dejjem problema meta jiġi biex jieħu deċiżjoni, saħansitra jekk din tkun waħda sempliċi dwar liema flokk ħa jixtri, jew x’ħa ssajjar. Meta jkollokdjalogu miegħek innifsek, madankollu, kun af li mhux bilfors li tiddeċiedi… jista’ jkun li tinduna kif tista’ tilħaq kompromess li xorta jaqdi l-bżonnijiet tiegħek, kif ukoll xi aspettattivi Ii jista’ jkollok.
Meta titkellem waħdek, tgħajjat jew le, tiffoka l-attenzjoni tiegħek fuq dak li qiegħed jittikak. X’aktarx li tifhem is-sitwazzjoni aħjar, u tnaqqas id-distrazzjonijiet għax, fil-veru sens tal-kelma, tkunqed tiffoka għax tkun “moħħok hemm”.
Jista’ jkun hemm min jipprova jwaqqgħek għaċ-ċajt bi kliem sardoniku – “Kemm tredden! Tidher li ħadd ma jkun irid jisimgħek…”, meta int taf li kont biss qed tipprova tanalizza s-sitwazzjoni u torganizza l-fatti, wieħed wara l-ieħor, biex tasal għal deċiżjoni…
Allura din drawwa, jew vizzju; din li titkellem waħdek, iżżommok moħħok f’postu jew iġġennek? Tagħmel differenza jekk int tesprimi ruħek billi “tpinġi” s-sitwazzjoni jew “tiktibha”, milli jekk inti “tgħidha”?
Il-għala taħsbu li min jimmedita, x’aktarx li jkollu “Mantra”, kelma jew frażi li jtenniha darba wara l-oħra, biex iżomm l-issa preżenti f’moħħu? U billi din hija xi ħaġa spiritwali, tgħid m’għandhiex benefiċċji mondani u attwali?
Tgħid, x’hinu l-aħjar? Li tiffoka u tgħid l-istess ħaġa elf darba, jew li tfassal sentenzi sħaħ, u tirraġuna dwar elf suġġett? Li titkellem waħdek, jew li timmaġina li l-inti l-ieħor tal-mera huwa xi ħadd differenti, li se jirraġuna miegħek?
Għax kif kont qed ngħid…

Prietka taċ-Ċajt

 
Inzertajt kont Ħaż-Żabbar, u ntbaħt li fil-Bażilika kien qed isir tieġ. U dħalt.Kienet waslet il-prietka, u poġġejt bilqegħda biex nisma’.
Ħin minnhom, iċ-ċelebrant qal li jinħabbu kemm jinħabbu, l-għarus u l-għarusa għandhom jagħmlu mezz li jitħalltu ma’ ħadddieħor. “Qabel,” qal, “kienu jniżżlu mawra lejn il-Buskett għall-Imnarja fil-kitba taż-żwieġ. Nispera li f’tagħkom hemm miktub Ħadd in-Nies.”U hawn, il-kongregazzjoni nfexxet tidħaq, u ta’ ħdejja qaltli, “Kemm hu ħelu!” Assumejt li l-ħlieqa tal-qassis għoġbitha, u tbissimtilha. Kien hemm xi żewġ ċajtiet oħrajn żgħar, imma għal din il-mara kienu “vera tajbin, hux?” Mur meriha.
Ħriġt mill-knisja bi tbissima fuq fommi – kemm minħabba l-prietka kif ukoll għax tajt ħarsa ħafifa ħafifa lejn dak li kienu lebsin il-mistednin…imma dik storja oħra.
Kulħadd jaf lil xi saċerdot li jħobb iżellaq xi ftit umoriżmu fil-prietki. Hemm min jagħmel hekk biex iżomm l-atmosfera ħelwa u ħafifa filwaqt li jagħti tagħlima xorta – iżda wieħed minn dawn qalli li jekk in-nies ma jidħqux, sinjal li ma jkunux attenti, u jaqta’ fil-qasir.
Hawn min jgħidlek li l-knisja mhux post għaż-żufjett…u kuntenti li jimxu mixja papali sal-kappella l-oħra biex jisimgħu quddiesa iżjed tard, jekk ikun se jqaddes “dak il-buffu”. Jgħidulek li bil-ħmerijiet tiegħu ma jkunux jafu x’qed jisimgħu.
Issa rridu nifhmu li kulħadd għandu l-istil tiegħu. Min hu espert tal-Bibbja; min iħobb jirrakonta l-istejjer; min jaqra dak li jkun kiteb b’leħen monotonu; min jidħollok f’ruħek u jriegħxek; min idum għoxrin minuta u ma jgħid xejn; u min idum ħames minuti u jsensel ġawhar.
Iċ-ċajt huwa postu fil-knisja? Messaġġ jasal aħjar jekk jasallek bi tbissima. Jew forsi taħseb int li l-kelma t’Alla “mhux taċ-ċajt” u s-saċerdot li jwassalha hekk, ikun qed jonqos? Hu xieraq li aħna nċarrtu ħalqna u nirrilassaw? Jew ‘suppost’ li noqogħdu serji għax qiegħdin f’dar il-Mulej?
Hu sewwa u xieraq li s-saċerdot ibiddel leħnu meta jgħid xi storja, biex qisu qed jirrakontaha fil-klassi tal-Kindergarten? Jew suppost irażżan ilsienu? Jekk qassis ikun ċajtier, għandu jħalli l-personalità tiegħu tixgħel, jew jgħattiha. Jgħodd, hawnhekk, il-kliem “Belt li tkun qiegħda fuq muntanja ma tistax tinħeba. Anqas ma jixegħlu l-musbieħ u jqegħduh taħt il-modd, iżda fuq l-imnara, u hekk idawwal lil kull min ikun fid-dar. Hekk għandu jiddi d-dawl tagħkom quddiem il-bnedmin, biex jaraw l-għemejjel tajba tagħkom u jagħtu glorja lil Missierkom li hu fis-smewwiet.”(Mt 5, 14-16)? Jew dan hu biss kliem li jerrefi għat-tagħlim?
Aħna suppost ilkoll qed naħdmu biex inkunu perfetti, bħalma hu perfett Missierna tas-sema. U allura, tbissimha f’waqtha se ttelifna l-perfezzjoni? Il-proċess tal-ħsieb mhux ta’ kulħadd jaħdem l-istess. Forsi jkun hemm min jibqa’ jaħseb fuq iċ-ċajta u ma jismaxil-bqija tal-prietka.
Staqsejt li xi erbat iħbieb x’jidhrilhom dwar dan, u qaluli bejn wieħed u ieħor dan li ġej:
Qatt m’għandu jsir ċajt goff, iżjed u iżjed waqt funeral, anqas jekk il-mejjet ikun ħalla messaġġ biex waqt il-quddiesa, tingħad xi ċajta biex kulħadd jidħaq mhux jibki.
M’għandux isir ċajt dwar in-novissmi; biżżejjed li hemm minn qed jipprova jgħidilna li l-Mulej isostni li m’għandniex bżonn ħorġa li fiha nitfgħu l-għemejjel tajba, għax “il-fidi biżżejjed.”
M’għandux ikun hemm ċajt fuq individwu speċifiku, iżjed u iżjed jekk ikun qiegħed fil-knisja.
Kliem bħal “ħa ngħidilkom din ħa tidħqu” jdejjaq lil kuħadd, imma storja li fiha xejra umoristika tpaxxi.

U int, allura, x’taħseb?

How Do I Write? Let Me Count the Ways

http://www.poeticamagazine.com/apps/blog/show/3955254-how-do-i-write-let-me-count-the-ways

 
Posted on June 7, 2010 at 2:29 AM

I write in the dark, comfortably supine, using pencils on unlined paper and my stomach for a desk. I write on spiral notebooks during the countless bus-rides I take because I do not drive. I write at the kitchen table, with ink-filled pens on beautiful stationery. I write at my personal computer – and that is where FreeCell and e-mails do their best to distract me..
My version of a paperless office is both my night-time dreaming, and the writing I do in my head when my eyes glaze over where it would be bad form to whip out a ballpoint. Sometimes these words do not get to the physical point, but as far as I am concerned, they’re written anyhow..
I breathe because I write. I scrawl ideas on the margins of newspapers and the backs of envelopes and receipts..
I write because I breathe. A letter, a poem, a haiku, or an opinion piece may be written on impulse, but I have to knuckle down for deadlines. Yet I have no “routine” as such; I would never be able to write one thousand words before breakfast..
People fascinate me. Family, friends, and even perfect strangers often thinly disguise themselves and gate-crash my fiction. For non-fiction I have to keep half an eye on the libel laws. With Malta being such an insular place, this is especially pertinent..
Credibility is something I treasure. I always get my information from the source. I do not like censorship; yet I do not like people showing that it exists by depicting gratuitous vulgarity, or sex, or violence that are bound to be censored, either..
Sometimes, a column or a poem write themselves. I have never stumbled over the hackneyed writers’ block; perhaps that’s because I tend to procrastinate since I know I work best under pressure. So, if you want me to write for you, never say “no hurry”. I have always made deadlines (albeit sometimes with seconds to spare) come hell or high water, births and deaths, illness and travel..
I’m a stickler for using the correct terminology; and since the phrase “editors reserve the right to edit for length or clarity” covers a multitude of their sins, this has given rise to many heated discussions. I have no beef with writers who insist upon being paid for every word they pen; but I am not averse to donating articles (or poems or puzzles) to publications of worthy causes, without being credited – since this would defeat the “donation” principle..
My writing is eclectic; so I slant my work according to the demographics of the readership of each publication or site. I do insert a couple of “difficult” words in children’s stories in such a way that, even if they are not looked up (as I hope they will be) the tale will not lose anything. I try to get my values across in anything I write, be it a television critique column or an interview with a celebrity. I like puns, alliteration, and idioms. But unless the feature is deliberately meant to be over-the-top, I consciously ration myself not to risk losing the thrust of my piece. I have several dictionaries (some of them esoteric) and thesauruses, which I prefer to online versions.
Therapy; a weapon; serious fun; a dais. Writing, to me, is all these, and more..

Two Weights; Two Measures

Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 07:58

Six-year old LaNiyah Bailey was a victim of bullying. Her peers did not only resort to the usual ‘elephant’ and ‘waddle-walk’ when taunting her about her size – they even told her she looked pregnant.
The irony of it all is that LaNiyah is not a couch cabbage who lives on fast food, although, frankly, this is what paediatricians assumed when they saw her. Eventually different doctors diagnosed different ailments – polydypsia, severe constipation, polyuria, and diabetes-insipidus.
LaNiyah’s parents, however, knew that the problem went deeper than a simple diagnosis. The child’s belly had been bloated since she was a toddler. And although she drank a lot – nearly two litres of water daily – she was nonetheless constipated and thirsty. She is still being tested for other conditions, such as hormonal imbalances.
This sensitive girl knows that there are other children out there like herself, who are victims of bullying because of something they cannot help; think of all the children and adults you know who have freckles, wear glasses, or are short or tall for their age, and you get the picture.
So at the tender age of six, she wrote a book called Not Fat Because I Wanna Be [www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com]. The book is a combined effort between LaNiyah’s parents, her family, and a supportive circle of friends. An interview on Chicago’s National Public Radio garnered her some publicity.
The important thing is that the theme behind the book has been instrumental in teaching coping skills, ironically, to adults as well as to children. Bullying is never right, whether it happens to adults or to children; whether it is physical or psychological.
Those who are bullied may end up convinced that there is something wrong with them. They look into the mirror and see buck teeth, squinty eyes, and Michelin Man rolls of flab.
With the current worries about the obesity epidemic, one might wonder whether a book such as this could actually be teaching children that it is “fine” to be fat. This happens, however when people do not realise that the point at issue is not body size, but bullying and the attitudes behind it and towards it.
On the opposite side of the spectrum’s another recently-published book that tells children it is bad, really bad, to be “not thin”. The book supposedly features a 14-year old, but it is aimed at a far younger audience.
I tried to contact the Paul M Kramer, author of this controversial book, both through his Facebook page and through his publishers (Aloha Publishers) – he has ignored me as, apparently, he has ignored other journalists. I only had one question for him – viz. why the thought of writing the book even crossed his mind.
We are all familiar with these “eating disorders” pictures where a skeletal woman looks into the mirror and sees a podgy reflection. And we have all heard how Princess Kate is now being held up as some sort of heroine for the pro-Ana community.
I am not amused that the tags people have put on this book on Amazon include abusive; anorexia bait; body fascism; dangerous ;give your children neuroses; if you hate your daughter; sexist drivel; sick; talentless; hack writer; teaching kids to self-hate; waste of a good tree… and more.
The reason I baulked when I saw the cover of this book was that it shows exactly the opposite of the above- and instead of a woman, to boot, there is a child depicted… Chubby Maggie is holding up a pretty girly dress that will never fit her in a million years – not unless she ‘diets’ (here the word means restricts food intake, not eats properly) and becomes as thin as the girl in the mirror.
This is a happy-ever-after book with a tragedy moulding it. The premise is that if a ruler does not touch both your hip bones when you lie down, you are worthless. Because the child here can only become beautiful and popular and important if – when – she sheds the excess weight.
What makes this issue all the more awful is that the book is written in verse – so that not only will it be attractive to children in single number ages… they might even learn it by heart and recite it to themselves.
Experts – and sensible parents – have called the book ‘shocking’. Nowhere is the term ‘eating disorders’ mentioned – and yet, this whole book is a paean to them. It is not about having a healthy BMI, or about eating food that is healthy and delicious.
For Maggie, the be-all and end-all is becoming thin.
Nothing will stand in her way…except premature osteoporosis… and a potentially fatal heart attack.

Teens, Thugs and Taunts

Monday, January 23, 2012, 16:29

A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye. Samuel Grafton, liberal newspaper columnist and
author of the syndicated column I’d Rather Be Right was a wise man, bless his soul.
He could have written the above sentence about the hullaballoo surrounding the recent attack on a young lady, some days ago, as reported in this newspaper: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120122/local/Thugs-attack-lesbian-16-on-a-bench.403284 .
I gave up reading the comments after the first clutch – and I think I am safe to assume that the rest of them harped on the same issue – that “Amy is a lesbian and she was beaten up because of that”.
Alas, we are missing the wood for trees. Before this simplistic Q.E.D., there are several other factors to consider.
The attack happened at 7.30 p.m. – a time when the area is teeming with people. Is it possible that not one of the layabouts always watching the world go by from the square and its peripheral areas, including a couple of bars, or all the people who happened to be passing by, did not deign to run to the Hamrun police station?
For those who are not familiar with the area – this is just a stone’s throw away from where this incident happened.
The newspaper report tells us that there were four girls in the group, two of whom were set upon by a pair of brothers. How did the two girls who were not attacked react? Did they run away? Or did they put up a fight on the premise that since they outnumbered the boys, they could at least inflict some damage, or at least damage control? Logic tells me that if two of them had clambered on the boys’ backs, the ruffians would not have been as capable of beating up the girls. Instinct, if not a knowledge of self-defence tactics or a yen for self-preservation, might have made all the difference.
Did the girls not seek to protect themselves by tooth and nail? Or at least, did they not scream to attract attention before trying to run away from their tormentors?
Again, I have to ask – is it possible that not one of the persons present sought to defend Amy and her friend after the first blow was struck, or were they too afraid of being dragged to court as potential witnesses?
We have heard atrocious stories of hate campaigns and suicides – and, I hasten to add, these cases have not always centred on the sexual orientation of a person. Bullies will always find something about which to harass others.
Yet it is understandable that the pro-homosexual movements would use this as a poster case. Will any of them – or even the Police Department itself – sue the perpetrators in Amy’s name, even if she decides not to pursue the matter herself?
There is another point that people are not considering.
The fact that someone feels he has a “right” to invade the personal space of someone else, and moreover, beat up this person, whatever the reason, shows that there is something drastically wrong in the way justice is meted out in our courts.
A teen who picks pockets because he has to fend for himself, is sent to prison. A teen who turns to prostitution or steals because she thinks it is the only way to go, would be likewise penalised.
But teens who go around terrorising others could well get away with a slap on the wrist…unless the people who have anything to do with it realise that Amy could have been their daughter.
I do not make any reference to the excuse for this beating, as evidenced by the boys’ spiteful words, on purpose. The motivation for it could run much deeper than a mere hatred for people with a different lifestyle from the one embraced by the muggers. Yobs beat up people for many reasons – theft, dares, racism, emulating action heroes, love affairs gone awry… or simply boredom.
Who’s to know what was really inside the minds of these self-styled heavies when they assaulted Amy and her friend, despite what they were reported to have said?
All I want is to see Amy’s rights, as well as those of people who become victims of hooligans for any reason, respected. There are no excuses; the victims and the attackers (as well as the place from where the verbal taunts began) have been identified; the bruises and cuts have been recorded on film.
Prevention is better than cure – and if this case is used as a deterrent, we might have less crime on the streets, literally and figuratively.

Matthew Vella
Jan 24th, 22:40
There is no way that you would have reacted in the same manner, with suspicion and doubt, had this attack been motivated by racism and sexism, and you know it. Homophobia is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

I don’t know how anyway could agree with having specific laws that protect individuals against racism and religious belief but not sexual orientation, its obscene.
Tanja Cilia
Yesterday, 10:41
If you had ever seen me react against schoolyard bullies, Matthew, no matter that they be children in single digits…you would not be saying this. A simple example is: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110323/letters/bullying-incident-under-teacher-s-nose.356106 Another is here: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110824/blogs/two-weights-two-measures.381588 and here: http://www.adviceandinfo.com/teenagers/bullying-from-bad-to-worse Other bullies, elsewhere, get similar treatment, whoever they are and whatever their attitude and whenever the occasion and wherever the place.
Matthew Vella
Today, 02:13
I don’t think you understood what I meant. All bullying and acts of violence are unacceptable, I’m pretty sure we both agree on that. But it is important for us to acknowledge that certain individuals, like gay individuals, are more at risk, and there should be proper laws to cater to that. You obviously condemn what happened, but you seem incredibly reluctant to admit that this act of violence was based on homophobia, an attitude that this country does little to discourage.
John Konecsni
Jan 24th, 18:38
You asked in a post on twitter if it’s ever right to beat somebody up. That largely depends on the context. From a self defense point of view, if someone’s attacking you, beat them to a pulp. by all means.

Then again, I also think that the interrogations at Guantanamo Bay don’t qualify as torture — no one is being raped, or losing body parts, or having bones broken in creative ways. So, I may not count.
Amante Reale
Jan 24th, 17:27
I did not know there were two other girls with the victims. I suppose they didn’t want to end up like their friends. Maybe some form of instinct froze them in place. It happens, especially since shock takes some time to rub off you unless you’ve been trained to fight.

But I digress from the point I wanted to make. The problem is not “who done it” here. Whether there were others or what they did is irrelevant in this situation. The problem is our way of handling it – both legally and as a society.

First of all, one of the assailants is 19 years old. At 19 you are no longer a child, you’re an adult and the police, were it not for the pressure by the media and other institutions, would have let him go with, as you well said, a slap on the wrist.

And second of all, have you seen the comments on the latest article relating to the incident? They are disgusting. To see someone say “Granted that gay persons should be safeguarded against discrimination, it does not mean that they can publicise their abomination…”. Are you kidding me? Are you calling being gay or lesbian an abomination which shouldn’t be allowed in front of the public?

This attitude of victim-blaming and homophoia needs to die, otherwise we’re not going to move forward in this country.

And while I understand that in your article you are merely drawing attention to the fact that no one helped, I’m afraid it still derails from the original problem here (intolerance towards others) and tries to pin it on “but the victims didn’t fight back!” and that never helps.
Tanja Cilia
Yesterday, 07:31
I differ – it is abundantly clear that my point is not that the victims did not fight back, but that the by-standers and the passers-by let this happen without intervening immediately after the attack began. The fight or flee attitude does exist – however, the fact that it was two young ladies who were being attacked out to have aroused protective instincts in at least a couple of them.
Just as there are those who are going to blame the girls for being homosexual, there will be people who blame others for being short, fat, tall, thin, freckled, ugly, pretty, scruffy, smelly, over-dressed, or what have you, and therefore deserving of a beating. The sooner all of us – including the Police and the Judiciary – fully understand this concept, the sooner zero tolerance for any type of bullying can obtain.
In a nutshell, a person cannot call a helpline after committing suicide.
Mr Joseph Carmel Chetcuti
Jan 24th, 11:00
You write: “Yet it is understandable that the pro-homosexual movements would use this as a poster case. Will any of them – or even the Police Department itself – sue the perpetrators in Amy’s name, even if she decides not to pursue the matter herself?” Why put the onus on the pro-homosexual movement. The PN government should have attended to this long ago. Anti-discrimination and anti-vilification is long overdue in Malta. What do you expect the pro-homosexual movement to do? And is the movement using the victim as a ‘poster case’ when it condemns violence against homosexuals? How do you know what her friends did? Prejudice and bias under the guise of tolerance.
Tanja Cilia
Jan 24th, 16:19
I do not know what her friends did – that is why I am asking. I am apolitical, so I do not ask why the PN or PL, or even a Private Member, do not move for legislation against any type of hate crime, and not merely this type. If the child does not want to, or cannot, take legal action, on her own behalf, you will please note that I put the onus both on Equal Rights movements, as well as, or together with, the Police department, and not just the former, to consider doing so themselves. This was a case where physical abuse as well as psychological abuse took place, with witnesses present, and injuries were recorded. So if it is swept under the carpet, perpetrators of other types of hate crimes will assume they have carte blanche to emulate these sorry excuses for humankind. The movement has every reason to use this as a poster case, because it is a clear example of the attitude of people who feel threatened by anyone who does not kowtow to their own opinions. Indeed you will note that I suggested this case be used as a deterrent.
Mr Joseph Carmel Chetcuti
Jan 23rd, 22:36
Fancy turning the tables and putting the onus on the victims. Justice, Maltese style.
Tanja Cilia
Jan 24th, 07:35
I am not turning the tables on the victims – I am asking what Amy’s friends, the by-standers, and the passers-by, did to stop this atrocious act. From what has appeared in the press so far, the answer is “nothing”. Kindly read the whole piece again, after you remove the blinders. Justice will only be achieved when each and every one of us is free to be different from the rest without fearing those who somehow feel threatened by our differences – for reasons of their own.
mary gerada
Jan 23rd, 20:59
Simply appalling fact! Beating up people, or even other living creatures for that matter, can never be tolerated for any reason what so ever. As you point out it’s even more distressing that it happened in a central very popular part of a town and proximate to a Police Station and the situation escalated so much without prompt intervention. Do hope we will not have any further incidents similar to this unfortunate one.
Gail Branan
Jan 23rd, 19:32
I am so proud to call both Tanja Cilia and Graeme Smith my friends. No further comment will be forthcoming from me concerning this issue. They are both so much more eloquent than I could be. There’s nothing further I could even think to add.
Graeme Smith
Jan 23rd, 17:59
I’m short.
I’m fat.
I’m bald.
I’m ugly.
I don’t support Leeds United…

OK. The last one is the only one I’ve actually been beaten up for. The others? I’m lucky. My wife has lousy taste in men :-).

The point is, or it is to me, at least, it shouldn’t matter. If beating people up is a Bad Thing(tm), then it should be a Bad Thing(tm) consistently. And whether it’s beating people for what they wear, for their sexual preferences, for the team they support or because they like Strawberry Shortcake and you don’t – the penalty should be the same, be consistently enforced and enforced by those authorised to do so.

We don’t live in that world – and we should.

We live in a world where assaulting someone in a sports game (yes, hockey fans. I’m looking at you) is a Good Thing(tm). Where some parents encourage such actions in their children, and where some children inflict such actions on their parents, their partners – and their own children.

I don’t know Amy. I will never know Amy. I might wish I did, and know her well enough to put an arm round her and hug her, and tell her that I value her and that my world would be less without her. But I don’t.

And even if I could – Amy would still have undergone what she did – and I would still be part of the world that did it to her. Yes, she was assaulted by her attackers. But yes. We all were part of creating the society that created those same attackers.

And we are all part of the solution. Of fixing it. Or not – and that’s our choice.

Amy – if ever you see these weak words – I’m sorry.

It-Tarbija 59 u l-Preġudizzju

Mej 30, 2013 09:40

Mela xi ħmistax ilu, fuq il-bieb ta’ karozza tal-linja, instema’ taħbit kbir. Bħalma ġieli jiġri, kien hemm xi ħadd li laħaq il-karozza biss wara li ngħalaq il-bieb.
“Nafu” li mhux suppost li x-xufier jerġa’ jiftaħ il-bieba… imma kieku nkunu aħna, żgur li nkunu rridu li x-xufier jikser ir-regolament.
Kien x’kien, ix-xufier ta’ din il-vettura ħares lejn in-naħa tal-bieba, kemmex xoftejh, refa’ spallejh… u baqa sejjer.
U bdiet il-Litanija mill-passiġġieri. “Jaħasra, stajt ftaħtlu,” għedt jien lix-xufier, “Issa jasal tard fejn sejjer…” “U ajma int,” qabżet waħda min-naħa l-oħra… “Dak x’għandu x’jagħmel – dawn is-suwed mhux kollha gangijiet, fil-kantunieri, ġurnata sħiħa… dak kien sejjer jiltaqa’ ma’ sħabu l-Marsa jew Buġibba…”
“Int, bħalek, fejn tafu dan? Mela qallek? Mela tafu?” Staqsejtha jien.
Sadanitant, konna wasalna fuq l-istejġ li jmiss. Dan ir-raġel reġa’ kien hemm, bla nifs. Tela’ fuq il-karozza. Ħares lejn il-passiġġieri, u pponta lejn waħda xiħa. B’Malti perfett, iżda b’naqra aċċent, qal lix-xufier… “Ara, meta dik il-mara kienet tiela’, fl-istejġ l-ieħor, tilfet il-portmoni…”
Il-mara gerfxet fil-basket u qalet “iiii, vera. Kelli l-Kartanzjan f’idi u anqas biss indunajt…” u resqet lejn ix-xufier.
Kulħadd issomma. Dak il-ħin stess fetħet il-potrmoni u ħarġet €20 u newlithom lir-raġel.
“Le, Sinjura, grazzi. Għid talba għalija, biss biss.” U dar, u niżel mill-karozza. U x-xiħa baqgħet imbelħa, u bdiet tibki, u xi ħadd qam biex iwassalha lejn il-post fejn kienet qabel, għax lanqas felħet timxi.
U jien gdimt ilsieni. Anqas temmen, imma, dik il-mara ta’ qabel fetħet il-ħalq ta’ ċerna tagħha u qalet “Ara, tela’ ħmar ma’ arblu…”
U hawn deffist l-earbud l-oħra f’widinti (soltu waħda biss ikolli, kif jaf kull min jarani biha), biex żgur ma nismax iżjed oxxenitajiet bħal dawn. Imma mhux qabel ma tajtha ħarsa li nispera li ħollmitha ikraħ bil-lejl.
Issa l-istorja rrepetiet ruħa wara l-istorja ta’ Baby 59.
Naf żgur li kieku din it-tifla kienet bint xi waħda minnha, konna ngħidu “Miskina jaħasra, mument ta’ ġenn… imma ara jaħasra miskina, mill-ewwel sogħobiha milli għamlet u ċemplet għall-għajnuna…”
Imma… din inzertat “mhux bħalna” – għax Ċiniża.
L-ewwel ħaga li ġara kienet li ħafna stazzjonijiet tar-radju u tat-televiżjoni ma tawx aħbarijiet aġġornati – u għalhekk, kull min ra jew sema’ lilhom, ma kienx jaf x’ġara.
U beda’ l-ġudizzju.
“Lill-ġenituri, taf x’nagħmillhom kieku jien?”
“X’tistenna minn komunisti!”
“Għax m’għamlitx abort la ma ridietux?”
“Għax ma tatux għall-addozzjoni?”
“Dawk ateji, għalhekk jagħmlu hekk…”
Eċċ, eċċ, eċċ.
Kelli naqra ta’ diskussjoni sħuna, fejn qaluli li jien “qed inżomm magħha”; dan għax għedt li ħadd m’għandu għalfejn, jew saħanditra d-dritt, li jiġġudika lil din l-omm li min jaf f’liema stat ta’ disprament kienet.
“Mela qatt ma kellek tfal?” Staqsietni waħda; issa din anqas għaddielha minn moħħha li kieku ma kellix, u kont xtaqthom, kienet tkun piena li tfakkarni f’dan. “U propju għax kelli qed naqbeż għaliha… Ma nistgħux niġġudikaw. Aħna qatt ma konna fl-istess sitwazzjoni. U anqas li kieku konna – kull każ huwa differenti…”
“U tgħidx ħmerijiet. Dawk hekk, kattivi. Ma jimpurtahomx minn ħadd u minn xejn… qalbhom xierfa.”
U ma ngħidilkhomx kif daru għalija qatta’ bla ħabel.
“Dawn il-ġenituri ħaqqhom il-forka…”
“Imma intom tafu eżatt x’ġara?”
“U żgur, ħa.. mhux qed tara [link ma’ rapurtaġġ] x’ġara?”
“Mela ma ndunajtux li din tfajla, mhux miżżewġa?”
Hawn malajr insew li kienu għdhom kif ikkundannaw lill-missier tat-tarbija bħala kompliċi.
“Iżjed u iżjed mela. L-ewwel ġabitu u mbagħad ħelset minnu, ħasbet li ħadd m’hu ħa jinduna…”
“Oj, stenna’ ftit. Int kont hemm?”
“U ajma kemm int vojta. Mhux ovvja jew. Dawk għandhom liġi li ma tistax ikollok iżjed minn tarbija waħda, u dan it-tifel kien it-tieni wieħed tagħhom…” “Kulħadd jagħmel l-aborti bl-adoċċ hemm…”
X’taqbad tagħmel ma’ nies bħal dawn, għid? Ovvjament, il-konverżazzjoni kienet ferm itwal; meta qalu li “kulħadd” ateju, tfajt link tal-Insara fiċ-Ċina; meta qalu li hemm l-iżjed li jsiru atroċitajiet kbar fid-dinja, tfajt link ta’ Kermit Gosnell. U tfajt link ta’ dik il-mara li meta kellha seba’ xhur tqala ħaduha minn darha biex jagħmlulha abort sfurzat.
U kulma qalu, għax żgur li anqas biss rawhom dawn, kien “…minn jixtieqhom u jagħmel minn kollox biex ikollu u min jarmihom…” u “żball qatt ma jitpatta b’ieħor,” u “Vuoldiri qed tgħid int għamlet sew hux? Imbagħad ngħiduha kif inhi, għalihom hemm kollox l-istess, joqtlu tarbija, joqtlu kelb, Lhudi, qattus xorta waħda għalihom…” u għaxxqitha meta qalet “…u ġieli jaraw tfal f’nofs ta’ triq jittajru minn karozza, u ma jagħtux għajnuna, insomma jien għalija dawn bla qalb…anqas Facebook, għax min jużah jeħel il-ħabs… jew jikkundannawh għall-mewt għax traditur.”
U hawn kien jidher ċar li anqas biss kienet taf, din il-persuna, li Facebook huwa bblokkjat fiċ-Ċina, għax għandhom Weibo… li anqas kliem bħal Ferrari ma taċċetta…
Żewġ sentenzi wara, beda’ l-użu ta’ ittri kapitali, biex bħal juruni li huma kollha kellhom raġun u jien biss kelli tort.
U kien hawn li ddeċidejt li nikteb dan il-blog…

Dinja Għalija: Il-Manifest Tal-Manifk

Fra 23, 2013 09:23
Ħuti Maltin, kif tafu, jien għandni ġejn minn Kolorado. Issa hemmhekk, in-nies huma progressivi u ultra-liberali, mhux bħalna hawn, għadna ta’ wara l-muntanji.
Ngħidilkom is-sew, qed inħossni kburi li lili għażluni bħala r-rapreżentant liberali-progressiv t’hawn Malta, għax kieku għażluni bħala rapreżentant liberali, ħeqq, għal raġjunijiet ovvji ma kontx inkun nista’ naċċetta.
Alemnu, hekk, barra li se noħrog bħala indipendenti, issa għandi wkoll partit barrani kbir u b’saħħtu li żgur għandu jżidli l-fens tiegħi għax jafu li jien bis-serjetà qed noħodha din l-elezzjoni, mhux bħal xi uħud li aħjar ma nsemmihomx għax jieħdu għalihom (u tant huma vavi li jagħmluli xi libell daqs tazz’ilma),.
Issa jien, tafu li għalkemm qbiżt is-sebħin sena, għadni mhux ftit fuq tiegħi, u jekk tarawni fit-triq, tafu kemm jien inħobb inżomm ruħi, u tindunaw kemm nonfoq flus fl-aftershave.
Iżda ħallina minn dan – l-imaġe mhux kollox.
Li rrid ngħidilkom illum hu li se nżied ftit affarijiet mal-manifest li kelli d-darba l-oħra.
Ikkonsultajt mal u biex ngħidilkom, din il-verżjoni, li fassal dan dehret fuq il-websajt tal-Università ta Colorado.
Tassew tagħmel sens. Anzi ngħid li tagħmel sens iżjed minn dawk il-ħafna korsijiet tas-self-defence li jiswew il-belli liri u jitħallsu lill-barranin. Aħna l-patrijotii rridu li flusna jibqgħu hawn Malta, u mela hekk, itiru u jisfumaw u jisfaxxaw?
Mela, din il-parti tal-manifest tirrigwarda r-rakkomandazzjonijiet dwar x’għandha tagħmel mara meta tħoss li tkun se tiġi aggredita.
Għalissa, punti biss, imma meta nkun fil-gvern jien, issir liġi u min ma jobdix, jeħel multa sew.
It-tattiċi li ssuggerixxa l-kandidat Repubblikan Joe Salazar jinkludu li mara li tħoss li tkun fil-periklu għandha tagħmel ta’ bir-ruħha li “ma tiflaħx” jew li għandha xi marda, li aħjar tinsinwa li hi xi STD (dan qed ngħidu jien, tafux, għax jien, ma nafx għedtilkomx diġà, jien insomma progressiv u ultra-liberali, mhux bħal xi uħud hawn, li għandhom rashom marbuta u għadhom jgħixu fil-Medju Evu),.
Insomma, jekk l-agressur ma jemmnekx, ara kif tagħmel u għaddi ftit tal-ilma jew irremetti.
Naturalment, ovvjament, m’għandniex xi ngħidu, tistgħu twerżqu jew tippruvaw taħarbu, iżda dan mhux dejjem possibbli. Forsi jirnexxielkom tigdmuh, imma jekk ikun liebes tracksuit, forsi ma tkunux tistgħu issibu id jew sieq mikxufa.
In-nisa, heqq, ma jafux jisparaw, u jekk ikollhom xi arma tan-nar kapaċi tieħu waħedha jew jisparawha bi żvista jew bi traskuraġni, allura aħjar tobdu lili u tisimgħu minn Joe Salazar. Aħna naf x’inhu l-aħjar għalikom.
Inkella morru f’xi telefon pubbliku u ċemplu, jew inkella użaw il-mobajl. Bilfors irid ikollkom wieħed. Għax jekk jiġrikom xi ħaġa jkun tort tagħkom għax m’għandkomx telefon ċellulari.
Hawn ta’ min jgħid li r-Repubblikana Polly Lawrence qabżet fin-nofs biex tikkritika dawn il-ħsibijiet sublimi. U ajma kemm hawn min iħobb jiddeffes. Din għax mara taħseb li tifhem fl-affarijiet tan-nisa.
Il-ħmerija hi li Salazar ta ftit kasha u talabha skuża talli qal li qal. Imma insomma, jien naf li xorta għandu raġun.
Issa darb’oħra ngħidilkom xi ħaġa oħra.