Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

Posts Tagged ‘Censorship

Something is not quite right

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Someone must have spiked our water. No doubt about it.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’m convinced that someone must have spiked our water with some funny substance that forces us to behave like nincompoops who have been drugged with a substance more powerful than cocaine and magic mushrooms put together.

Why anyone would do such a thing is still a mystery to me, but something has been going awfully wrong these past few weeks – even by the standards of The Zone Where Normal Things Don’t Happen Very Often!

I first started suspecting that things are not quite right when there was an uproar against the bishops’ declaration that those living in permanent sin should not receive communion. As you are VERY well aware, I am no supporter of any organised religion but in this case the bishops are right. Morality is all about the choices we make, and unmarried people who have sex with each other are no exception. It is their choice to lead that lifestyle. It is their choice to live together. It is their choice to have sex with each other. These choices are not congruent with the Catholic doctrine, and therefore – by Catholic standards – these people are living in a permanent state of sin. Now the Catholic Church teaches that in order to receive communion, one should have a clean conscience. Since humans are sinners by nature, Catholics must be aware of their wrongdoings,  repent and confess their sins to cleanse their souls before receiving “the body of Christ”. A powerful statement indeed.

So this essentially means that if someone is living out of wedlock, she or he must realise that she or he is living in sin, repent, confess and ditch that lifestyle once and for all. Clearly, this is not possible for anyone living with a sexual partner out of the Catholic wedlock. How can two people who choose to live together out of Catholic wedlock claim to repent from their sins on a weekly basis, ask for forgiveness, receive communion, and go back home to their partner? This makes a whole mockery both out of confession and communion – two bastions of the Catholic religion.

Religion is a way of life. If you feel that the teachings of your religion don’t make sense to you and your personal circumstances, then all you have to do is leave that religion. It’s easy. Unless you’re living in some extremist Islamic Theocracy, no one is going to kill you if you do it. I did it myself, and so can anyone else.

In a strange way, this is similar to the educational grants blunder. We cannot expect to defy the rules (even though in this case it was a genuine oversight – but the fact of the matter is that an important rule was not respected) and still claim the prize. Once the rules are broken, the players are disqualified. This is the reality in the real world.

When the dust on the communion saga started to settle, our dear Prime Minister made a conscious and a bold statement by visiting the Cana movement accompanied by his wife and claiming that the government’s policy is to promote a society based on a stable family. BRAVO. Which government doesn’t want to promote a society based on strong families?

The message he wanted to convey is very clear: he does not and will not support the introduction of divorce – even though he claimed that he welcomes a discussion on the subject. We can discuss divorce till we’re blue in the face, but that’s where the buck stops.

The objective of divorce is not to save a shattered marriage. It never was, and never will be. Divorce is a mechanism to give another opportunity to those people who were unfortunate enough to go through the harsh experience of a marital breakdown. The irony is that the introduction of divorce will make it possible for these people to re-marry thus creating more stable families; so if our politicians were REALLY in favour of stable families, the House would approve a divorce bill unanimously.

Just a footnote: the subject of re-marrying brings me back to the first point. Couples who were married, got divorced, and married someone else are STILL living in permanent sin according to Catholic teachings. So divorcees will still be barred from receiving communion. This is , once again, very obvious to me but given the uproar a few weeks ago, I feel that I need to include this disclaimer.

As time went by, the funny substance in our water system was clearly leaving its mark. Cue Dr Adrian Vassallo  and Dr Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici in the Parliamentary version of Dum and Dumber. Dr Vassallo got all worked up because some of our hotels are screening porn movies on their tv screens as part of their pay per view packages. On his part, the Justice Minister replied that the Police is investigating these cases. I bloody well hope that the Minister’s reply is not a serious one, and that he just blurted something out instead of asking Dr Vassallo if he really meant what he said in the PQ or whether this was just a sad, silly practical joke done in bad taste.

As if this wasn’t enough to spice up our dull news pages,  Dr Vassallo notched his mission to takes us back to the middle ages a bit higher. A few days following his ludicrous PQ, he went on record stating that he’d rather rot in the streets of Iran defending his religion than living in a country where . . . horror of horrors . . . porn is screened in hotels. Do I actually need to comment on this?

This whole saga led to another unusual occurrence: a positive news delivered by MaltaToday. Today’s edition of this newspaper carried an interview with Dr Vassallo where he claimed that he won’t be contesting the general elections again. Hurray. Some sense at last.

Is the effect of the funny substance wearing off?

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Written by mickeymalta

13/06/2010 at 23:35

Double standards are divisive

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You see? JC and Muhammed are friends

First of all I would like to apologise for the hiatus but I am flat out and snowed under at work. My new boss is a slave driver and I’ve been literally working 16 hours a day for these past 2 weeks.

Now that I got this out of the system, I can finally start to vent my frustrations again. As early as last Month, Comedy Central censored an episode of South Park because it mocked the Prophet Muhammed. Now this is bad, and it’s not the mockery of Muhammed I’m talking about, but the censorship. I believe that people should be free to make fun of symbols and leaders – be they political or religious – and I don’t agree with censorship on the basis that the humour may offend others.

I’m sure that any kind of joke on any subject is bound to offend someone at some point. The fish breeders association, for instance, may be offended by someone who links fish with stupidity because of their short term memory loss. This is the way I see it: if you feel offended by something you’re watching on TV, change channel. If you are offended by something that someone said during a live show in a theatre, walk out. You are actually free to do so.

I can never come to terms with the idea that some people want to stop others from doing what they do because the patronising idiots don’t like the other performer’s work. Get a life.

Having said that, I am completely allergic to double standards. So the same Comedy Central TV station that censored the South Park episode less than a month ago is now working on an animated series based on Christ. I’m no fan of any religion, but if South Park was censored on the basis of religion, why are they making a whole series to mock JC?

The Western world tends to be more tolerant than the Muslim world, and many people in the West think that it is OK to mock religion while the same cannot be said of the Muslim world. However, Comedy Central have now set a precedent and they should be consistent.

It is precisely this kind of behaviour from fellow Westerners that is fomenting religious divisions in different societies. Just because Muslims are VERY vociferous and dogmatic they should not get a special treatment. Comedy Central needs to have a clear policy on religious mockery. It should decide whether this is acceptable (and I agree it is), or not. Applying double standards is unjust and, ultimately, divisive.

Written by mickeymalta

08/05/2010 at 10:47

This is not a Hollywood movie

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It seems that Nazinger is surrounded by cover-ups everywhere he goes

This is a report from today’s The Guardian:

As Pope Benedict XVI flew to Malta yesterday for his first overseas visit since the eruption of the latest clerical abuse scandal to rock the Roman Catholic church, it emerged that new claims were to be made of a cover-up operation to clear him of responsibility.

A report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, to be published tomorrow, will say that a former aide was put under “heavy” pressure to take the blame for an abuse scandal in the pope’s former archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1980, while the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was archbishop, a priest known to be a paedophile was accepted into the archdiocese and, instead of being given therapy as planned, he was swiftly assigned to parish duties.

After the case was brought to light by the New York Times last month, Benedict’s former vicar-general in Munich, Gerhard Gruber, accepted “full responsibility” for the decision.

According to Der Spiegel, citing sources very close to the 81-year-old prelate, Gruber received a string of telephone calls in which church officials “begged” him to take the blame. After he agreed, he was sent a fax containing the statement that he eventually issued, the weekly will say. The priest, Father Peter Hullermann, went on to commit an offence involving a boy for which he was tried and convicted.

In Spain, meanwhile, it was reported that a cardinal who congratulated a French bishop on not reporting a paedophile abbot said he had cleared his message of congratulations with the late pope, John Paul II. La Verdad, a newspaper in the southern city of Murcia, said that Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos told a press conference in the city on Friday that he wrote a letter to the bishop “after consulting the pope and showing it to him”.

The cardinal added that the late pontiff “authorised me to send the letter to all the bishops in the world and put it on the internet”.

The pope flew out of Rome after receiving an unexpected and unconditional endorsement from Silvio Berlusconi’s government. In greetings sent to the pontiff on his 83rd birthday on Friday, the Italian government blamed the scandal on an “unspeakable campaign of slander against the church and the pope”.

The statement was one of several indications that Benedict’s supporters were shifting from defence to attack in their run-up to the fifth anniversary of the start of his papacy tomorrow.

A junior minister at the Italian ministry of culture, Francesco Giro, was joined by six other members of parliament and numerous regional, provincial and local councillors in a special prayer service for the pope yesterday in Rome.

Critics and supporters alike will be watching to see if Benedict uses his visit to Malta to comment on the continuing scandal and meet local abuse victims.

Some 2,000 police and military have been deployed by the government to ensure the pope’s security during his two-day visit to the island where St Paul is believed to have been welcomed after a shipwreck on his way to Rome. Tradition has it that he landed on Malta 1,950 years ago, and last night Benedict was due to pray at the grotto where, according to tradition, the apostle took refuge.

Written by mickeymalta

18/04/2010 at 09:46

The blue penis deceit

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Not approved by the Neo C posse

Fresh from The Times

Luqa ‘phallic’ monument hidden with banner

Members of the Neo Catechumenal Movement hid the infamous Luqa monument with a banner as the Pope passed through Luqa on his way to Valletta.

The large black and white banner carried the words “Cammino Neo Catecumenale” and a colour picture of the Madonna and child.

The phallic like structure in Luqa has made it to the international news in the past days after the mayor requested its removal.

Essentially, the messages that the Neo C sect is sending are:

  • the Pope will interpret the Luqa phallus as a practical joke related to his paedophile subjects’ favourite tool
  • the Pope is not old/mature enough to be exposed to sexual imagery
  • the Pope lacks any intellectual ability to appreciate modern art
  • it’s OK for all other Heads of state and common (Rocker) folk to be exposed to the blue penis, but the Pope is a cut above the rest

If Nazinger is allergic to blue penises, then he should not be allowed to watch Watchmen.

Written by mickeymalta

17/04/2010 at 17:41

Take them to Room 101

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What did someone stencil Pedobear on this billboard? Let me ask a rocket scientist . . .

Both The Times (yesterday) and today’s The Malta Independent on Sunday carry a report on how the billboards promoting the pope’s visit were vandalised.

I find this disgusting and abhorrent. The term “vandalised” leads one to believe that these billboards were covered in paint or set on fire. THAT is vandalism. A simple dictionary definition describes vandalism as: wilful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property. Did the protestor(s) maliciously destruct the billboards? I don’t even thing that one can argue that the billboards were “wilfully defaced”. By wilful defacement, I get the impression that someone just threw paint at the billboard. In these cases, we have nothing of this sort. On the contrary, we have a clear message showing the protestor(s) disgust about Blessed16‘s approach to cases of paedophile priests.

It’s also amazing how the great journalists at The Times can’t make a connection (“It is not clear why the “artist” in question juxtaposed the bears with the Pope.”) between the “stencilled bears” and the Pope. It’s Pedobear, you idiots.

To make matters worse, this morning’s Independent has joined ” . . .  the Curia in its condemnation of the despicable vandalism and urges the authorities to leave no stone unturned in bringing those responsible to justice.” Essentially, TMIS is claiming that it’s ok for someone to hide child abuse cases, but if someone uses humour on a billboard to show one’s disapproval of these cover-ups, then that’s not acceptable.

Instead of filling their newspaper pages with questions and investigative reports about the Pope’s choice to safeguard the institution’s reputation over the well-being of innocent children, these journalists have joined the herd blindly marching their way to the Granaries.

This is unfortunately just another proof – if proof was needed – that this TRULY is the zone where ‘normal’ things don’t happen very often; and that our priorities are just as screwed up as the Vatican’s.

* A NOTE TO THE TIMES’S  ILLUSTRIOUS JOURNALISTS: There is no connection whatsoever between Room 101 and Radio 101. So why did I choose Room 101? Work it out yourselves. Judging by your comments about the “stencilled bear”, it would be very interesting to see what you come up with.

Written by mickeymalta

11/04/2010 at 10:47

Arabs with shoes on

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National sport: a Rocker looking down on an Arab from his high horse

I really think that it’s ironic how Rockers tend to look down from their high horse on the Arab and Muslim world. Many Rockers regard both Arabs and Muslims as a bunch of people stuck in a time warp thousands of years away from  us. And they are right.

Now, for the record, I’m being generous here. Some Rockers can’t fathom the reality that there are many different cultures within the Arab world: that it’s not just one big country called Arabia. Worse still, many more don’t even regard them as humans at all.

The irony is that they fail to see the reality that our European cousins look at us in the same way we look at the Muslim/Arab world. The absence of divorce and our Quaker approach to abortion project a Neanderthal image in our cousins’ eyes. So the moral of the story is: before you start berating your cousins down south, keep in mind that we are to our cousins up north what the Muslims/Arabs are to us. An English friend of mine defines the Rockers as “Arabs with shoes on.”

These last few days I couldn’t help myself pointing out to those who were shocked and expressing their dismay at the Dubai incident that that this is a classical case of the pot calling the kettle black. It’s true that this incident an extreme case, but let’s not forget that the absence of civil rights and liberties here is equally shocking to countries that are more secular – and by consequence – more advanced: both economically and intellectually.

The common denominator between the two realities (us and them Arabs) is . . . . . surprise, surprise: Religion. I’m not going to go into how religions keep people backwards. I think that I made my case during lent, l and I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Ironically, many Rockers jump at every opportunity to tell the Arabs how backwards they are whenever they interact with them. Yet, at the same time, these same people get all worked up and defensive whenever they are – rightly so – told that this Rock is still stuck in the 17th century. They retaliate by invoking foreign interference and by telling the foreigners to mind their own business.

I guess that some people are in a dire need of a reality check.

Written by mickeymalta

07/04/2010 at 16:46

Ban the internet – it’s bad for our souls

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The perfect citizen for our moral crusaders' dream world

Our moral crusaders have been working hard to protect our souls from eternal damnation. They have been exposing their poor souls at risk by exposing themselves to filth in order to ensure that nothing dirty gets through. God bless them! They’re so kind. We should be so grateful to them.

Tereza Scissorhands et al deserve recognition for their efforts to shelter us from all evil of this world. I would really like to join them keep our sacred place clean. Let’s entrench the law that bans anyone from offending public morals in our constitution. Let’s take our cue from the GREAT Paul Vincenti, God bless him, and start a new movement called Gift of Guard.

Let’s strengthen our bastions to save the Rockers’ souls from the onslaught of the infidel around us. Let’s go one step further from our mentors – the leaders of China. Let’s start by banning the internet. There’s a lot of filth out there poking fun at our beliefs. There’s a lot of offensive material. Let the Crusaders of The Truth exercise their God-given-right to offer the protection we need.

Amen.

Written by mickeymalta

26/02/2010 at 16:51