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…

The Games Time Plays

  A game of chess played under a Maltese cherry blossom. The spring was new and Sofia was young. Her father was a fluent chess player in his day and now he was passing on his un-fulfilled potential to Sofia. “Did you know, Sofia, that if you put one grain of rice on the first…

Doubt and Apostasy in Golgotha

  A golden-faced Christ looked down on me from the dome. His Byzantine face was sterner than the blonde countenance of the European Jew that gave us Christmas. Like some Andy Warhol print Jesus’ face has been replicated like rain-drops in a violent night sky. Growing up I have seen him in musicals, churches, key-chains,…

Day of the Dead

In the Xicotencatl, somewhere in the soul-deserting streets of the Coyoacan neighbourhood, Alicia found La Santa Gula. It was the only place in the whole of Mexico City where she could hope to speak Maltese. Her Spanish was pitiful, lazy, and speaking it elicited painful memories that used to be happy. No: she changed too…

The Ghost in the Arena

  The Ghost in the Arena     Writing is a blood-sport. And in many blood-sports you tend to find the influence of religion. Think of the superstitions of bullfighters. Or the outspoken religiosity of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Or the Zen-like spirituality of karate. Faith brings these fighters, who frequently flirt with death…

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…

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…