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…

Travel Essay on Chiaroscuro Writing

  The Gran Via, the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol – these are places that dwarf you, make you feel like an ant standing at the threshold of the cosmos. It’s not just their size that makes you feel miniscule; it is their splendour, the regality, the life and living they can host, coliseums of…

Poems of a Lapsed Catholic

  The Lawless Charity   Whenever I gaze at poverty I see the Church And her wealth.   Whenever a man is weak I see him kneel To the strong.   Wherever a child is hungry She is told to fast As a sacrifice.   When night falls The ruined streets are dark And the…

Odes to Unbelief

Between the soup and my eating it   Between the soup and my eating it I discover a new religion. Even as I watch the landscape of aqueducts Pass me by like a fleeing herd I feel an arm of godliness embracing The whole downcast horizon.   Between life and its travelling minutes, From riverbank,…

A New Novel and The Satanic Verses

    After a hiatus of nearly half a year I am finally nearing the start of another novel. My last, The Silence of All Things, was a hedonistic affair, dealing with two main characters enjoying separate holidays in Valencia, two wildly different people forced together by the machinations of time. It was a novel…

Why Religion?

Did you ever stop to think that to proclaim yourself an atheist you must, by definition, be interested in religion? It’s a dialectical question to ask and replete with irony. I know many people who are, if we would label them, atheistic, but never call themselves so. If pushed they might say they are agnostic…

Paris est une fête

  In early 19th century Greece and Athens were occupied by the thankfully-extinct Ottoman Empire. In March 1821 the Greeks revolted against their Turkish oppressors and Athens fell into their hands without a fight. The entire Turkish garrison of the city retreated up the Acropolis hill and barricaded themselves within the most important temple of Western…