Piety and Humanity: The Last Years of Caravaggio

As a Maltese man writing about Caravaggio I feel a sense of privileged connection that I am deprived with so many a great artist. Growing up I always remember Sunday visits to the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. A masterpiece which, even without its Caravaggios, ranks, personally, as one of the most awe-inspiring church in Christendom.            …

The Ungratefulness of Being

  “If I had to define man it would be: a biped, ungrateful.” Fyodor Dostoevsky put these words in the mouth of his unnamed character in Notes From the Underground. The rambling, idealistic, unsettling novel was written in 1864. Dostoevsky was uneasy with the notions of utopianism and unbridled optimism that were becoming fashionable in…

Firenze: A Gallery of Faces

What a waste of time it is to take selfies in Firenze. Don’t do it. I’m sure you’re beautiful, I’m sure you’re mother’s little flower. But no matter how much you pout or pose, sorry to break it to you, you will never be Michelangelo’s David or Botticelli’s Venus.   There’s a lot of things…

The Blinding Myths of Easter

  The events of Easter never happened in the way people celebrate them. Everyone, even the most ardent believer, knows this on an intimate level. But religion, and its penchant for myth-making, is a will to simplicity and nostalgia which can be as irrational as the belief itself. What actually happened during the events of…

Che Guevara T-shirts and Jihadi John

        “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.” This quote could so easily belong on the lips of any political strategist amongst Democrats and Republicans…

An Exhibition of Socialism

      This is a blog about remembering. A blog not about politics but about the aesthetics of politics. It is about remembering what we owe to various degrees of socialist reforms over the past few decades, and centuries. Socialism today may be a victim of its own success. It might be less relevant…

Bombing Bogota

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlfoqbwSa0g   Is this the face of the conservation movement? Is this how this Enlightenment struggle is going to be fought? 31 people injured, 12 of them women, most, presumably, with families, children, their own hopes and ambitions. Should they be the victims of a protest? Should anyone be a victim in the struggle for…

I Think Therefore I Am Maltese

      The best kind of patriotism is the one that remains unspoken. I am not a patriot, because I subscribe to the Voltarean rationale of patriotism: “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.” I love travel, diversity and humanity itself –…

Dictionary of the Numinous

    Isn’t it incredible how sometimes beautiful-sounding words happen to mean something even more wondrous? Think of ‘sublunary’, ‘sublime’ and ‘crepuscular’. The one that’s caught my attention most recently is the word ‘numinous’. But when I looked it up, for utmost clarity, on the Oxford dictionary, I found something disappointingly antagonising. The definition, according…

What A Dump

  When magicians pull a trick on curious, hapless bystanders, they ensure that the trick is happening right in front of their blighted eyes. The majority of the trick happens in plain sight, not behind the magician’s ears or under the table, but right in his hands. How does the bystander not notice it when…