A Home in the Mountains

        The plane flew over thousands of feet of emptiness. A dark ocean of nothingness. It’s nose was pointing to the clouded horizon; a million miles from home. It was the first time Alexander had left Europe. Everything was exciting for him: the popping ears; the fresh blue air of a new…

Venezuela Frozen

    The morning crawled slowly slowly up the garbage bag’s skin. In a red-tinted back street a garbage truck stands like a colossus. The boy wakes up and goes for breakfast, eating from the garbage truck’s ass. A cold morning wind blows in from the foaming sea. The boy shivers; until he hears his…

Venezuela: The Forgotten Crisis

  I recently put up a tweet, which I called ‘the fat blob and the dictator’, about Diego Armando Maradona’s latest flirtation with Venezuelan president Maduro. The once-legendary (although in many ways the inferior to Lionel Messi – apart from winning a world cup) Maradona is going to be hosting a television programme in Venezuela…

Pool, Bulls and Humanity

What does Mosul and the festival of San Fermin have in common? Humanity. A photograph I saw recently on Twitter (the featured photo above), of a group of Mosul residents, including children, playing pool in a recently liberated district of Mosul where IS previously forbade pool, filled me with that rarest of elements: hope. Hope…

Championing Our Divisive Modern History

    As a devoted admirer of the art of history, a tour guide and a writer who lives on an island so densely packed and renowned for its history you would be right to expect a historical novel or two from me. I recently read an article about Jon Cassar, a Hollywood producer of…

This Sweet Land Chapter III

  III   The stars swam over the bay, hidden by the smoke that danced upwards from the busy beach. The long, red-sand bay of Ghadira was full of people on that wind-less, cloud-less May night. By the water’s edge the black sea turned luminous at the touch of so many gas lamps and crackling…

Maltese Elections: The Greatest Show on Earth

  No one does elections like we do in Malta. This is a fact un-related to political colours, ideologies and alignments. It is something to celebrate, and something that is prodigiously revelatory. Over the course of the last few months I’ve been working (and finishing) the first draft of a novel that has taught me…

On Caribbean Politics and Literature

    Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian Nobel Laureate, has written many masterpieces. The free-flowing Conversation in the Cathedral, the foreboding tome of The War of the End of the World, and the exuberantly post-modern The Green House. A contemporary of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Peruvian is a proud, staunch realist. Reading most of his…

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…

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…