Are we a vindictive people?

In order that nobody thinks we are vindictive, we give some money for charity as a hypocritical defence mechanism, before we proceed to snore peacefully on the legendary pillow of angelic innocence upon which we have spiritually orgasmic dreams of being defenders of society

Throw him into prison and toss away the key. What? A suspended sentence? Away with him to the dungeons so he’ll learn.

Wanting people to learn makes us the most pedagogical of nations. I am surprised that we spend so much money on the courts and police. All we need are a few commenters from different newspapers and some giustizzieri of social problem-solvers, formerly represented in such films by actor Charles Bronson. And away with the nasty criminals who must be persecuted rather than prosecuted.

What, they are actually given food and water from our taxes in prison? Stop immediately all nourishment so they not only learn but also starve and rot. Society must be cleansed of these so-called people.

In order that nobody thinks we are vindictive, we give some money for charity as a hypocritical defence mechanism, before we proceed to snore peacefully on the legendary pillow of angelic innocence upon which we have spiritually orgasmic dreams of being defenders of society. Why not, if fooling and lying to ourselves is not one of the commandments? Amen.

The rent anarchy tragic-comedy has been the subject of a holier-than-thou general expression of good intentions to come to grips with. We admit it is there; we declare that we are not ostriches with our heads in the sand, as we are fully aware of it. However, we are also fully determined to express determined intentions to do something about it, as this is better than stating that we do not really wish to do anything about it. Thus I am a good person because I tell you that some day I will help you. Meanwhile I indulge in extreme capitalism to prove that I am versatile and flexible, thus politically mature and progressive.

The Inquisition is alive and well and living within our impeccable Christianity. Indeed, Christ’s promotion of forgiveness was just a parable, an example for the simple populace who take long to understand. So we give advice to the police to hound and arrest anyone who sneezes. We push the police to issue charges based on gossip and paranoid, hysterical suspicion.

The pointing of fingers in witch-hunting times is not a laughable legend that is no longer relevant.

For correct people must point fingers before society is entrapped into anarchy and disaster. We ridicule the police for investigating instead of grabbing and manhandling at the least twitch of a moustache. Police rationality is not acceptable. It is not on! How dare street cops practise rationality? It is not robotic enough. So they must bring down the baton on the vulnerable, erratic citizen who will face the terminal end of the correct citizen’s moralistic witch-hunt. So there!

We want to dismiss judges who have some humanity ‘coz they are too soft’. We try to push them to punish suspects to the maximum – not for the sake of the protection of a society which delighted observers of pain and punishment do not care about – but for the sadistic pleasure that was obtained in the past from ‘correct’ citizens supporting the ‘re-organisation of society’ by buying the best tickets at the front row adjacent to the torture ring and exclaiming ‘Hallelujah’ for society has been saved!

The basically self-righteous ex officio pantomime has been with us for tired ages. It was created by the conservative establishment as an exercise in self-satisfaction. A few people did a favour to their consciences and concocted this bizarrerie to save society from itself. This saving of society is a massive cliché, but it does a lot of good to those who believe it.

Thus, after long years of thinking they pulled society away from the ominous cliff edge, they decided to declare that the monster they gave birth to, was actually created by society for its own good.

So suddenly, from a handful of people, they have become society! Ergo they can legislate in the name of society instead of their own name. How many sins have been committed in the name of society after we decided that society is really me, my family and my friends!

Perhaps we could be more guided by our President’s Christmas speech: ‘Values guided us since our ancestors time’... ‘what makes us Maltese... is the fact that we still care about each other’. This is tearfully impressive. Let us put this into practice. Two simple examples: let all officials solemnly declaring to be ‘close to the people’ reflect on the definition of ‘close’. Let them also listen to valid suggestions in favour of the vulnerable. Let not the vulnerable be treated coldly and insensitively by citing the pretext of ‘procedure’. Let us remember that our society that declares to care must create procedure and not the other way round. And this also because it is the duty of the Deputy Prime Minister to radically reduce bureaucracy. For, if not, we are just beating our chests in holiness, declaring that we are definitely Christian but behaving vindictively and placing the blame on procedure – as was conveniently done during the Inquisition.

But we like to say that, in spite of its horrors, the Inquisition was also for the good of society. Now don’t ask me what ‘good’ means as long as it sounds like a positive word while semantics sounds too pedantic. I proclaim the notion of ‘good’ to lead my correctness; to organise my morals while I strut around tut-tutting at less moralistic creatures

We are definitely Christian and, at the same time, capable of being nonchalantly, nay enthusiastically, vindictive.


Dr Anthony Licari

Ta’ Xbiex

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