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Touch of crass

Disgruntled, disgusted and disappointed are merely the peripherals of my feelings last Saturday, as I watched the Congratulations caboodle on PBS, a show that was supposed to celebrate 50 years of Eurovision song contests; it was practically an elaborate insult to all Maltese singers over the years.

Of course, I have never taken the Euro contest seriously; however, some of our entries over the years were much, much better than their peers. There were several categories which could have included songs from Malta - Second Place; Twice Represented, to name but two. All we got was Those Charming Men, which Tony Micallef, providing the commentary, took as a compliment.

One thing, however, escapes me: when a Maltese composer, singer, or someone from another field altogether, is asked by another country to work there on a national presentation, the local press is always ready with fulsome praise, interviews, and what have you.

But when the boot is almost on the other foot - as in this case, when we discover that the dreaded barrani can reciprocate the honours, then, this leads to protests - and the resignation of Grace Borg from the Maltasong Board.

Now we may well ask - but why does Malta even bother to enter this contest?

No wonder people are still confused as to whether the Christian name of Ms Cristina is Dolores, Sylvana, or Norma. The Real McCoy has not yet been officially presented to the public, although the appointment, on paper, could have been mud in the eye for all those who would have had something to say had any one of the there people tipped for the post, been elected to it.

I cannot decide whether to give the Misnomer Title Award to Il-Lejl it-Tajjeb, Bla Agenda, or Tikka.

The first programme tries to give us nightmares by mentioning ghosts, ghouls, and other things supernatural. Be that as it may, sometimes, the number of times we see the same clips (an ostensibly beheaded knight falling to his knees, some programmes ago, and so forth) and hear the same words, makes the exercise risible instead. Were this to be done, there would be no need for the news hiatus.

Bla Agenda brings together people who sound as if they would have rehearsed what they want to say umpteen times, in front of a mirror, complete with body language and snide comments delivered in a deadpan manner to remove all vestiges of suspected foul play.

Tikka, on third thoughts, deserves pride of place, because a veritable cornucopia of facts and images is condensed into a few minutes of audio-visual material that informs and yet piques curiosity further.

Incidentally, one item this week spoke of 'love', indicating that we usually pick people whom we instinctively think - and smell - will pair off perfectly, even genetically, with ourselves. This amply proves, in cases of broken relationships and offspring with different needs, that to 'err' is human.

Another point was that we chose partners who sport faces somewhat similar to ours. If this line of reasoning is carried to its logical conclusion, it means that one day we will all resemble one another (a 'prophet' was recently saying all races will have a bluish tinge on the skin, for reasons he then proceeded to enumerate).

In September, 1977, a horde of psychologists and other professionals had gathered in Swansea, Wales, to actually discuss this topic. After riffling through the Scrabblers' Dictionary, the Dictionary of Difficult Words, and other tomes, they had concluded that Love is the cognitive-affective state characterised by intrusive or obsessive fantasising concerning reciprocity of amorance and feeling by the object of the amorance.

When will we have newspaper commentaries from women who do not waffle? Not too many males commented about the fact that "for a bet" a girl was raped, and the three perpetrators only got eight years' imprisonment between them. This type of risible sentence, in exchange for a human psyche shattered, sends a clear message, already used by a sports equipment company, to all those macho (read psycho) types out there.

Another omission was the death of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, on Tuesday, at the venerable age of 92. She was the lady who, in 1955, had refused to relinquish her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a person who by dint of his colour (or lack of it) had been deemed her superior. This was construed to be civil disobedience; Ms Parks was arrested, and a subsequent boycott of the bus system lasted 381 days. A virtually unknown minister by the name of Martin Luther King was consequently spurred to do great things.

We did not hear much, either, about how Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi threw a wobbly at the "systematic attack on his government" by Adriano Celentano and his fellow performers on the satirical, inflated, interminably tedious RockPolitik on RAI Uno. The last time Mr Berlusconi had named names, no fewer than seven performers had disappeared from the Showtime scene in Italy; and a couple of them have reappeared in the aforementioned show.

So much for the doom and gloom; at least we do not have to purchase petrol at litru l-gallun. Which is, of course, what Media. Link could not help saying. Hallelujah; now we can sing along to the muzika spiritwali tas-suwed. Rosa Parks would have been so miffed.

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