On pigs and dinosaurs

I am enjoying a delicious cup of hot chocolate in the exquisitely beautiful surroundings of the Grand Place, Brussels. (No, I was not here for Tonio Borg's grilling but for a boring media conference. I landed just after the hearing was over.)

Chocolate, chocolate every where and so many different bites to enjoy. Among all this sweetness one cannot not reflect on the insults traded among us humans and the bitterness they sometimes bring with them; though smiles result if one takes them in one's stride.

Among the ultimate insults are the comparisons of humans to particular specimens of the animal kingdom. Such insults evidence the belief, described by some as arrogance, that we are on a higher plane than the rest of the inhabitants of planet Earth. I confess that I hold strongly to this belief, though in weak moments, I confess, that I have my doubts!

During the divorce campaign the bghula were the talk of the town. The pro-divorce movement resurrected this old-fashioned insult addressed at children born out of wedlock. I had penned a gem of a piece (humility be praised) about the subject. You can privilege yourself by re-reading it. Just scroll down the list of subjects below this blog.

The appellative dinosaur is thrown around (figuratively, quite naturally, as even Samson could not have done it literally) to describe someone who is considered to be a bit old fashioned. Adrian Vassallo, the Labour MP, was thus described by many a liberal. For those not familiar with the term, liberals are those who are certain that the only ideas that can be aired are theirs or those very similar to theirs. If you think otherwise, then, you are an intolerant and stupid dinosaur.

Dr Vassallo is not one to be cowed by insults or dazed by compliments. If I am a dinosaur, he told liberals, then you are pigs. Given the present drive to get the Maltese to eat Maltese pork the comment of Vassallo can be considered to border on the unpatriotic. Perhaps he should qualify that he was not comparing liberals to Maltese pigs; since the latter are in a class of their own.

My hot chocolate finished, I delved into deep philosophical rumblings to wile the time.

Is it possible, I ask, that animals insult each other by comparing them to humans? Do they insult a pig that acts in a brutal manner towards members of the same species by describing him as a man? Homo sapiens is the only animal to indulge in intra-species violence on a massive scale. Of do dinosaurs insult each other by the term man if they feel someone is particularly destructive? That would be appropriate. The dinosaurs were annihilated by an asteroid, but humans have now become the asteroid that threatens to destroy earth.

My smart phone bleeped reminding me that the lunch break was over and that the next lecture was due soon. I am off to listen to a lecturer whose thesis is that we should not use technology in schools. No iPads, no laptops, no computer, no smart phones.

Does he qualify for anyone of the above complimentary terms?


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