After a few month's break from blogging (about The Times anyway), the time seems ripe to return to the activity. For a start, one can only hope that the private investigators that Anthony Licari was implying he wanted to put on my tail will finally have lost the scent. This particular bloggist has been half way across the planet to ensure that would happen. And so much more has happened in the meantime.
The Fool's Cap has assiduously slipped off the blogrolls of even the most faithful admirers and hateful antagonists. Racial intolerance very much remains a feature of Maltese life, although an unprecedented proliferation of shiny magazines has happily taken people's minds off such depressing matters. Planes continue to crash into
But The Times... The Times of Malta remains as ever the last refuge of every mental halfwit that metaphorically wanders into its empty vessels. Ever it was thus.
It has surely been observed here before that some things are simply beyond mockery. Yet, with every passing Wednesday the preoccupying prospect of that prat Alfred Sant presiding over the proud provinces of
For those disposed to believing the most outrageous conspiracy theories, it might be considered that The Times has long been operating on the principle of "give them enough rope". And if Alfred Sant has hanged himself four score and seven times already, let nobody accuse of him not being willing to rush headlong into more punishment.
Before anyone think that this blog’s hiatus has transformed its author into an acolyte of the lazy I.M.Beck habit of relentlessly laying into the same straw man of politics, it should be said that Alfred Sant was quite justified in objecting to a recent vignette depicting him as a purveyor of drainage, or something. The original cartoon, drawn by the spectacularly untalented and unfunny Maurice Tanti Burlò, was crude and stupid. It was also a supremely pathetic attempt at satire at the expense at a person not running country.
But, on the other hand, if you will look for it, as Sant does on a tragic weekly basis, you will get it. Of course, any fool can titter at him for poring over his partly very well-thumbed dictionary for inspiration. Not any fool, however, could foresee that Sant would raid his record collection in his ever more desperate hunt for ideas. So it was that this week’s article, Procol Harum pale, came to be.
With a doleful attempt at distraction he tries to claim that it has not taken him literally a week without sleep to write this article:
“In the past few weeks, I worked closely with the Malta Labour Party's spokesmen on working conditions and on youth affairs, as they finalised draft position papers and plans on these subjects.”
Well, much in the way that customers of long-defunct Marsaxlokk video rental outlet Green Dash would wear out the tape of Best of the Best by fast forwarding to the climactic fight scenes, seasoned Sant-watchers have learnt that the fun of his articles lies in scanning ahead to the tenuous substance of his column’s title.
And how much waffle we had to put up with this week. First, some rubbish about globalisation, labour markets and how he used to attend Socialist International meetings. After these reminiscences about his Leninist youth, he gets rather disappointingly to the point:
“When analysts talk about the ‘friction’ of labour markets, as they still do, they refer mainly to the social legislation which protects workers' rights and conditions, and to the role of unions. Such rights and conditions should no longer be printed in bold - they have to be made pale.”What exactly that means is anybody’s guess. Although, much like Anthony Licari, I have studied at three universities, only one of these institutions has been infested with the revolutionarily disposed left-wingers that spout this sort of socialist mysticism. And those people I avoided like the plague. And on and on he goes about “friction” for several more paragraphs, doubtless disconcerting his “PR” regular.
Yet, if ever there was a case for letting Sant getting to the end of things, that is to be found in his columns. After stringing out a whole article on the back of the weakest imaginable analogy, he breaks the suspense with this wet fart of a conclusion:
“The pressure continues from people who prefer it like this: they come from the corporate world, naturally, but they find supporters from within the centre-right political spectrum. The perspectives they promote remind me of a hit song by a forgotten pop group of the late 1960s, Procul Harum, as they repeatedly call for a whiter shade of pale; for the paleness we have is, in their view, still not enough.”
Prathetic. Absolutely prathetic.