Mickey Malta

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

Posts Tagged ‘Violence

How sad

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Don't you think that little children may relate and identify themselves better with this kind of imagery?

Isn’t this kind of imagery more appropriate for kids?

I was having a chat with Minnie about my previous posting – In the name of Alla(h) – and she told me that last Friday, our THREE year old daughter Melita came back home from school talking about how SAD the Holy Mary was because ‘THEY HURT‘ Jesus.

She was regurgitating her teacher’s words. Things are REALLY bad. How can a three year old know what sad is? Why are we doing this to our children? How can three-year-olds ever know that their teacher was talking about someone who lived 2,000 years ago, when life was so much different? What is the benefit of exposing children to barbarism?

Do we talk to our kids about the atrocities we watch on the news? I bloody well hope not. Do we tell three-year-olds about the 9/11 attacks? I don’t think so – not even under the ‘recent history’ umbrella. So why do we tell them about atrocities linked to religion? I reiterate: just because they’re linked to religion, it doesn’t make the slightest difference for children.

Little kids don’t come with religion filters installed. Where they are concerned, violence is violence and that’s it. Irrespective of the motif, historical value, or religious significance.

Can we, maybe, try a more positive approach towards life, and focus on the love of god during religion classes? But then again, I may be a dreamer.

Maybe I’m asking too much from the kind of people who preach that an innocent child is already sinful.

Written by mickeymalta

06/04/2009 at 16:17

In the name of Alla(h)

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On the 27 March, I posted a comment about the violent billboard in front of the ship building on your way to the fishing village. Back then, little did I know that things are gonna get much worse for me.

This week-end we received a magazine called U’ve got MAIL; and this boasts to be “Malta’s and Gozo’s largest nationwide publication”. To my horror, the inside of the back page carries an advert promoting the same event I commented about already.

Needless to say, unfortunately this ad carries other violent pictures about the passion of Christ. It really beats me how no one seems to be bothered about this sheer violence to which we are exposing our young children. This magazine is distributed to each and every home, and young children may pick it up and browse through its pages unsupervised. You may also have the odd proud-to-be-Catholic parent who will show the imagery to his/her little kids. Why are we subjecting our children to this violent imagery?

I know that many people do not see anything wrong in ‘letting children know what Jesus had to go through in his bid to save mankind’. What’s even more shocking is that many parents seem to believe that, as devout Catholics, they are duty bound to pass on this knowledge to their children from a very tender age.

This is a cause for major concern, and the Commissioner for Children should put her personal beliefs aside and do her job in her State-appointed capacity. Her loyalties should lie towards Caesar, and not towards any religion. Needless to say, the Minister for Social Policy should be the driving force behind this culture change. The sad news is that realistically, I stand more chance to be on the list for next space shuttle flight than seeing this thing happening.

Parents need to be made aware that young children do not have a concept of space and time, and no matter how many times they tell them that this event happened 2,000 years ago, it simply won’t mean a thing to them. Parents who take little children to passion re-enactments are not doing anything different to those who take their kids to public executions. Most children will not even know that the people involved are actors, and that what they’re seeing is not actually happening. Try hard to remember about your childhood days. If you were ever taken to these events as a little child, I’m more than sure that you weren’t amused about what you were seeing.

On a similar note, I also find crucifixes in schools and public places equally disturbing – a simple cross will still serve the same purpose. Why do we have to display images of a (practically) naked man hanging on a cross covered in blood? And if god is all about love – hence positivity – why don’t we choose positive imagery and focus on the love of the supreme? Wouldn’t that message be more effective? All this gruesome imagery is reminiscent of the ‘fear of god’ era, and we seem to be stuck in that time warp.

Worse still, many people will not even see the point I’m making. I can bet my limbs on this. They may think that I’m criticising Religion, and that I’m possibly being blasphemous. My point is that whatever is wrong in principle is always wrong. No matter in whose name it is being done. The acceptance of events simply because they’re being done in the name of some religion is dangerous and can lead to some unpleasant happenings. When it is taken to extreme, people see nothing wrong in chopping out other people’s limbs because they broke the Sharia law. They’re blinded by religion.

This is also the very same reason why individuals think that they are doing a good deed in god’s eyes when they blow themselves in public killing innocent infidels. That’s precisely how messy things can get when people stop seeing things for what they really are, and accept anything that’s thrown at them by religion.

Images of a public execution are bad for children, irrespective of geographical location, religion, or era. I would like to think that legal action will be taken if a parent exposes young children to the footage of the beheading of an American soldier by Muslim fundamentalists, or any other form of execution/violence.

Jesus’s pageant is no different. Why don’t we let children enjoy life at their tender age? Why do we have to present life in such a terrible way to them? This is a direct attack on children’s innocence. Don’t they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to find out about the ills of life?

One last point: if the resurrection from the dead is supposed to be the most important event in Christianity, and if it is the crucial point that makes it different to other religions, why do we give so much importance to Good Friday, and not Easter? In many countries, the former is not even a public holiday; it’s just a normal day. On the other hand, they celebrate Easter Sunday, and the day after is a public holiday.

There is no doubt in my mind that Good Friday is given far more importance than Easter on these little islands of ours. It should be the other way round. If you think about it, we give more importance to the sad and violent side of Lent, rather than the triumphant part. Our Lady of Sorrows and Good Friday take the centre stage. What does actually happen on Easter Sunday? Regular mass followed by a short celebration (the statue rendezvous) around a few streets which ends with, literally, a sprint back to the church.  Even the village festa is celebrated with more fervour than Easter!

In the zone where normal things don’t happen very often, missing the wood for the trees is the order of the day.

What's the difference between this?

What's the difference between this?

. . . . and this?

. . . . and this?

Written by mickeymalta

06/04/2009 at 11:47

Posted in Blog Main Page, Religion

Tagged with , , ,

Do you have a problem? Try religion and you’ll be absolved

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It’s night time and I’m at the crossroads past the ship building on my way towards the fishing village. On my right, there’s a big black spot. It’s the cemetery dedicated to Lady Dolores.

As I eagerly awaited the traffic lights to give me the green light to move, I killed time by scanning my surroundings. A billboard about some Easter pageant caught my eye. It was the only one with a flood light illuminating the huge promotional poster of a soldier nailing a bearded dude wearing a thorny crown. The violence in this poster is explicit.

I thought to myself: what if someone had to promote a video game or a movie using a snapshot of a violent scene? Would it be censored? Would parents complain? Probably – or most likely – YES. But since this is related to religion, it becomes acceptable. EUREKA. This was a light bulb moment for me. From now on, if there is anything unusual that I would want to do, I would have to somehow link it to religion.

Let’s go back in time. Think of the crusades and the inquisition. Murder was accepted in time of oppression as it was being done in the name of god. Suicide bombers in our times apply the same logic. Land expropriation and ethnic cleansing in the New World were also committed by god’s loyal servants.

Back to our time. Let’s take a look at village festas and processions. The enthusiasts take up the few parking spaces on the streets close to the churches because they want to set up pedestals. People have to clear off the streets and park miles away (even if they have a reserved parking because of a member’s disability) are expected to find an alternative space to put their car. Just because a handful of enthusiasts happen to practice a hobby that is somehow related to religion, they have full control over the village streets.

And what about being dead drunk in the morning? Jumping bare-chested troglodytes swearing at every single person on god’s chosen list (with the exception of the patron saint of the village) showering everyone with hennikin or lager are permitted to do so – even though police are present. Since this is being done during an event that is somehow linked to religion, all laws protecting public decency are null and void. Religion takes precedence.

This is precisely the reverse of the Nadur carnival debacle. People can dress up as doctors, nurses, pilots, and other professionals. It’s ok to poke fun at people who have very respectable vocations, but if you dare to link religion to carnival, our friend Torquemada will rise from the ashes and crush you.

Now, I think I have an idea. In these times of hardship and financial difficulties, how can I link a bank robbery to religion? I hope to find the key fast enough . . . . .

PS Who of these two will say “I’ll be back” first?

Written by mickeymalta

27/03/2009 at 15:57