The wonderful world they call Facebook

It is a source of voyeurism that is shared by thousands, and it is no surprise that thousands of Maltese from different strata in society use up most of their time trawling through Facebook and depending on this social medium to keep themselves informed.

I cannot help feeling that the world around us is changing so fast that I would find it incredibly difficult to hide my real age.

I guess the best example of this is my reluctance to succumb to the overwhelming presence of Facebook. I have an account but I believe the last time I checked on it must have been in June of this year. I wanted to trace an old friend from Helsinki and, lo and behold, I found him there on Facebook.

But if I am thinking correctly, the obsession with Facebook and posting images and comments on Facebook has reached a stage where I am sure it surely must be considered by psychoanalysts as the cause of some serial obsession disorders where people feel constrained to tell their friends, and in some cases the world wide web, what they are doing or thinking.

Now really, who should care?

It is a source of voyeurism that is shared by thousands, and it is no surprise that thousands of Maltese from different strata in society use up most of their time trawling through Facebook and depending on this social medium to keep themselves informed.

It is more gossipy than the most extreme tabloid and yet Facebook attracts the most vile and uncouth opinions and bizarre commentaries.

Surely this is not the first time that this has been written about. Which is why it was a shame that the EU plan to ban the use of Facebook to under-16 year olds failed.

As we all know, Facebook does not technically allow for under-13 year olds. But it is common knowledge that kids get round this by faking their date of birth. In fact all they do is tick a box stating that they are of the correct age.

The EU failed in setting a date – Facebook is not only a social medium but also a multinational with plenty of clout to pressurise politicians in the EU parliament.

The European Union has however invited members to set their own age limit, failing once again to impose a Union consensus on this.

The biggest offenders in the use of Facebook are the parents, clinging to their smart phones like geckos to a wall. As their children watch TV or do other not very childlike activities, their parents are lost in the orgy of conceited self-gratification on this horrible thing.

Which brings me to other matters. There is an okay attitude for many things in Malta, we have all these hang ups about making Malta more liberal, but we take a libertarian view of allowing children and teenagers to access films with clear images of violence.

Here again, we have gone from one extreme to another; we all should know that the films at our cinemas and supposedly on our TV stations should be rated.

It is U, PG, 12A, 15, and 18. And I am not quite sure if anyone, anywhere is checking on the classification, or if anyone is enforcing it.

Now this has been thrown out of the window, and I do not care what they say about what I am about to write.

But the glorification of violence has gone far too far and most especially with this American obsession with the gun.

Schools, parents and youth leaders, and of course the Church, are worried about portraying sexual scenes. The Broadcasting Authority is obsessed with the subliminal presence of alcohol but not at all concerned that the news is constantly displaying graphic images of violence, criminality or death.

It is high time we get to terms with the reality that we owe it to our children to bring some normality back into their lives.


If ever there was proof that the Western world is completely distanced and disconnected from the Arab World, we need only see what has been happening in Libya.

The UN, with the backing of the US, the UK and Italy, has backed a puppet and completely disenfranchised the two governments of Tripoli and Tobruk.

The new puppet supported by the US will not be able to enter Libya because he has no base, no support, un bel niente.

The Italians, in their infinite wisdom, are preparing to enter with some ground troops, unaware that their presence will rekindle age-old antipathy towards them.

The same mistakes that were made in Iraq and Syria will be repeated here.

When the two sides met here in Malta just days ago, they did so because they knew that Malta was the only country with no hidden agendas. And rightly so, Malta’s prime minister embraced their decision to have a national unity government.

The next inevitable event will be a civil war, if the Americans and the allies insist on using renegade general Haftar and impose the little known puppet.

That is not good news for Malta and the Mediterranean, not that anyone seems to care.

When some years back, a few vagrant voices debated the sense of deposing Gaddafi, and I was one of them, we were laughed at.

This time I have no problem repeating what I said last time: the West cannot impose its values on a country made up of tribes, and accept them to fall in line.

It simply does not work in this way.

A military intervention in Libya will lead to a backlash from Jihadists and moderate Moslems around the world.

I never could understand why Europeans are so incredibly short sighted.


I have no qualms expressing support for the leader of the Opposition when he says the right thing.  But trying to create an issue out of a falling rock is perhaps the symptom of this fixation that everyone out there is trying to shaft you.

It is not the case.

Listening to David Thake ending his programme last Friday on NET TV, one got the impression that we are living in a pariah state and that we need to be saved from the diabolical politics of the State.

Thake sounds like a rowdier version of Manwel Cuschieri. But his doomsday talk is only working with the diehards who are completely unwilling to accept the fact that life under the Nationalists was not exactly a piece of cake, except, of course, for those who were eating it.

In fact it was very much the opposite: nepotistic, friends of friends, autocratic, corrupt, hedonistic and very apartheid in nature.

That these things could be happening today is not in question. But with a difference, which is that today the administration has an open mind for anyone with a business plan.

Labour’s pro-business attitude has swept the carpet from under the PN’s feet and dealt a serious blow to good governance and transparency.

But that doesn’t make David Thake any better – if NET want to convince people they should be preaching their mission by making use of intelligent and intelligible people, not loudspeakers or bugles.


A very peaceful Christmas to all our readers.