Razing Bugibba? We cannot deal with British expats and their irrational urge for fried fatty foods

The Skinny | No 174 – Carpets over Bugibba

What are we skinning? The boys in blue feeling obligated to come after satirist Matthew Bonanno (he of ‘Bis-Serjeta’) for his suggestion that the evangelical religious group River of Love be relocated to Bugibba so as to be carpet-bombed in a less picturesque location than its former HQ in Zebbug.

Why are we skinning it? Because it’s an absurd legal non-starter, for one thing. More than that though, it’s because a case like this ends up with us having to go through the whole ‘what am even satire?’; ‘what be hate speech’ rigmarole all over again...

Why do people still trip up over words whose definition can easily be found by flipping through the nearest dictionary... online, too! I think it has something to do with how our brains are generally a mess that will prevent us from taking a linear route to ‘clean’ knowledge at every opportunity.

Yeah. That, and the tendency of emotion to trump (!) all rational discourse either way, solidifying pre-existing prejudices all the while.

But I thought we were done with this whole censorship lark. We are, in some ways. Technically speaking, Bonanno’s fallen foul of the ‘misuse of electronic equipment’ law, and for ‘hate speech’...

But hate speech should be actionable in some way. Hey, who are we to say that Bonanno can’t have a flotilla of fighter jets stashed away somewhere?

The police certainly seemed confident about it. ‘Misplaced efficiency’ should be carved onto the sleeves of their newly-minted uniforms.

Though the Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms set up a press conference to announce that the fight against gay conversion therapy will be strengthened even further... And we all know which group gay conversion therapy is associated with...

A total coincidence, though, right? Or a masterstroke move by a government that’s become an expert in public relations saves.

Do say: “While online hate speech is indeed a serious matter – and not just ironically serious like the Bis-Serjeta’ monicker will have you believe – a clear distinction needs to be made between hate speech which signals and real and present danger and deliberately inflated comments made with satirical intent and with no basis in the real world out there.”

Don’t say: “The suggestion that Bugibba be razed to the ground is a serious offence indeed, as that would result in the containment field that keeps all the British tourists and expats in to burst, unleashing them on an unsuspecting island ill-equipped to deal with their misplaced colonial superiority complex and irrational urge for fried fatty foods, 24/7.”