Ħabib tiegħi qalli: Qatt innotajt kif min-naħa tal-lemin, issib numru ta’ attivisti kulturali li ma jiddarsux jittrattaw bl-akbar żuffjett jekk mhux disprezz, lil min ma jaqblux miegħu għax xellugi?
Dawn il-ħelwin iqisu l-biċċa bħala att satiriku siewi, li jistħoqqlu kull apprezzament, anke bħala kumment soċjali. U jekk ikun personalizzat, aħjar. L-aqwa li qed jattakka lix-xellugin… għalkemm dil-ħaġa rari tintqal b’dal-mod.
Biss, meta l-istess isir minn xi ħadd tax-xellug, hemmhekk le! Dak ikun sforz tal-mistħija, maħsub biex jirredikola lill-persuna u jagħlaq il-ħluq ta’ min ma jaqbilx max-xellug. Jikser kull linja ta’ diċenza u ġustizzja. Jammonta għal intimidazzjoni.
Kelli nistagħġeb ma’ dal-ħabib kemm dam biex jistenbaħ. Li semma ma bediex jiġri llum jew ilbieraħ. Ilu għaddej id-deċennji.
Bħala strateġija, taħdem hekk: Uża kull mezz biex tkasbar lil min ma jaqbilx miegħek. Jekk jagħmel bħalek, ilmenta b’kull għajta li għandek li qed jivvittimizzak. Hi strateġija kulturali u klassista.
Ħabib ieħor qalli: Imma kif tista’ tafda lil min jaqleb minn partit għal ieħor?
Għedtlu: Mhux tara x’kienu l-mottivi li wassluh biex jagħmel hekk? Winston Churchill wara kollox kien fost dawk li bidlu l-partit li kienu membri tiegħu.
Ċara: jekk il-mottivi għall-bidla kienu mnebbħa minn opportuniżmu jew qligħ personali, ma tistax tafda. Mhuwiex magħruf li Churchill qaleb għax kien qed jistenna xi sussidju.
Jekk min-naħa l-oħra l-bidla sseħħ minħabba xi twemmin personali li f’daqqa juri li fil-partit oppost hemm aktar sostenn għalih milli f’tiegħek, ikollok tafda.
Imma forsi tagħmel dan biss sakemm min “ikkonverta”, jibqa’ jqis li t-twemmin tiegħu għadu qed jiġi sostnut? Għax jekk le, x’se jagħmel…?
Il-bini ta’ vari u monumenti tal-knejjes u l-festi għadu xogħol li jsir b’dedikazzjoni u ħila minn artisti u artiġġjani Maltin. Jagħti xhieda qawwija ta’ tradizzjoni konsistenti li maż-żmien tejbet sew it-teknika u l-aspirazzjonijiet tagħha, anke jekk forsi uħud iqisuha bħala mhux daqstant valida.
Stajt nara dan kollu fil-wirja li l-Każin Maria Bambina tan-Naxxar tella’ ta’ xogħolijiet maħduma minn Adonai Camilleri Cauchi għal għadd ta’ knejjes u stabbilimenti parrokkjali f’Malta u Għawdex. Sibtha wirja preżentata b’galbu u interess li taħtaflek l-attenzjoni. Laqatni pereżempju, il-mod differenti mis-soltu (talanqas għalija) kif Cauchi juri l-figura ta’ Kristu bħala tarbija għadha titwieled.
Il-fatt li Cauchi hu minn Għawdex u li kif jidher mill-wirja, xogħlijietu qed jiġu kkummissjonati mill-erba’ rkejjen ta’ dawn il-gżejjer, juri li Għawdex mhux dejjem jibqa’ iżolat mill-bqija tal-pajjiż daqs kemm nibżgħu.
English Version – Sweeties
A friend said: Have you ever noticed how on the political right, you find quite a number of cultural activists who have no compunction about portraying with the greatest ridicule, not to say contempt, those they disagree with when they happen to be leftwing?
These sweeties consider such an attitude as part of a satirical act that merits full appreciation, indeed as a social commentary. The more personalised it gets, the better. The point has to be that as an act, it targets the left, though this is never stated so clearly.
But then, when the same approach is adopted by somebody on the left, ah then no! It becomes a shameful effort, devised to rubbish worthy people and muzzle those who disagree with the left. It breaks all the good rules of decency and justice, and amounts to sheer intimidation.
I only felt surprise that this friend had taken so long to discover the phenomenon. What he had noted did not become practice today or yesterday. It has been around for decades.
The relevant strategy maps out as follows: Use all means that allow you to undermine those who disagree with you. If s/he replies in kind, howl with all your strength that you’re being victimised. It is a cultural strategy, devised on the back of classist assumptions.
Can you trust?
Another friend asked: But how can one trust a person who has switched parties?
My reply: Best check the motives which led him to do so. After all, Winston Churchill was a switcher.
It should be clear: If the motives for a person’s switch were guided by opportunism or personal gain, you cannot trust him/her. It is not understood that Churchill became a turncoat because he was promised some subsidy.
If on the other hand, the switch happens because of some deepheld beliefs and suddenly or slowly the realization comes that the other party supports such beliefs more strongly than your party does, then there is a basis for trust.
…But perhaps the proviso should be added that you do so only till the “convert” continues to feel that his favourite beliefs are still being cherished by his “new” party? For if not, what will s/he do…?
Can you trust, but with reservations?
Or should you not trust at all?
The production of statues and monuments for churches and festas is still being carried out with dedication and talent by Maltese artists and artisans. It provides strong evidence of a consistent ongoing tradition that with time, has greatly improved its techniques and aspirations, even if some people still undervalue it.
I could arrive at such conclusions during a visit to the exhibition mounted at the Naxxar band club “Maria Bambina”, of works by Nadur’s Adonai Camilleri Cauchi. They were commissioned by a number of churches and parish institutions in Malta and Gozo. Indeed I found that the exhibition entices you to take a closer look, presented as it is with attention and flair. For instance, I was intrigued by the unusual way, at least for me, by which Cauchi projects the image of Christ as a baby just newly born.
The fact that Cauchi is a Gozitan while – as the exhibition testifies – he has been commissioned to deliver works from all points of these islands, illustrates perhaps that Gozo is less completely isolated from the rest of the country than we fear.