Palestine : The US cutting of funding to UNESCO as Palestine becomes the latest member reminded us of the complicated politics in the Middle East. Israel and Iran will both throw their tantrums again and again while US troops finally quit Afghanistan before the year’s end (The Middle East is still “partying” like it’s 1979). Japan, Thailand & New Zealand were the latest victims of mother nature’s ire and quirks.
Steve Jobs: The biggest “changer” of his era passed away this year – as insignificant men standing on this minuscule point in time we can only marvel at the waves that the man in the black outfit managed to cause (iMissYou Steve). Higgs Bosun & God : Science has Higgs Bosun, Religion has God : both are sure that the other exists – one tries desperately (and ever more successfully) to take a snapshot of it while the other faithfully lives the truth (A Large Hadron Collider: When proof and faith collide).
Gaddafi, Mubarak, Berlusconi: Dead or out of public sight. Each in their own way have stepped out of the equation – expect the comeback from the Bunga Bunga party man though. (Karma Chameleons). Christopher Hitchens: The pain is still fresh, the tag is growing – farewell to a role model and a massive figure, a giant of the media world (standing on the shoulders of the media gods).
Rule of Law: this nation of ours may be almost 50 but is showing up a major deficiency in the understanding of its constitutional and social underpinnings that hold us all together (the naive servibus legis). Good & Evil: It is not just politics, it’s everything we do – dichotomous thinking and judgemental (angels and demons). Austerity: We’ve either never had it so good or we’re begging for a scrap of pizza at the rich man’s table (l-għaks – with a “k” dear – u l-ħbieb tal-ħbieb).
Censorship: It’s the flipside to expression and can either be self-inflicted or imposed – we’re having a tough time coming to terms with its strict relationship with intellectual honesty and maturity (gags & megaphones). Expression: see censorship and next entry. Education: This one’s a tough one – standards are crashing down it seems and we fail to realise what an important pillar of our society this particular element is (Reap, sow etc). Family : A tag of its own that’s been pilloried and battered through the year – it’s not divorce or gay marriage that are the threat (at all) but the inability to realise how the underpinning element of a “family” is mutual love and responsibility (here’s to a future nation built on love).
Representation: Quit coughing in the back. This was the annus horribilis for the D’Hondt Majority – that one chair magicked out of the “wasted vote” election turned into a sword of Damocles for government and a symbol of unfulfilled hope for an opposition. It turned out to be an eye-opener for those who wanted to see that “representation” in our parliamentary terms is a whimsical minefield blotted with “free-votes”, “Private Members’ Bills” and foot-stamping, tantrum-throwing backbenchers (Who’s YOUR representative then?).
Valuri sodi : Well, not really – when push came to shove our politicians failed to show us what this was all about. We may have an “updated” set of values (Roots 2.0) but the general feeling is still of a “pick’n’mix” umbrella politics of the one-size-fits the ballot sheet variety. (Insert Policy Here). Progressive & Moderate : We’ve never been big fans of this oxymoron but it’s there as a form of battle cry in the warm up for the next election – thing is we’re still trying to understand where exactly the P&M really comes in (tanto fumo, niente arrosto).
Labels: This one is not so evident but when anything from LGBT to hunters to immigrants becomes more of a label and less of a person we should be worrying – when the labels are brazenly manipulated by politicians then alarm bells should be ringing(I’m a wankellectual). Crime: For a tiny nation that we are there’s a tad bit too many guns, drugs and corruption – and now a drug ridden prison: Who will fix it? (Confessions of a criminal nation) Honoraria: It might have been a reasonably justifiable raise but it was more the manner in which it was introduced that left the Gonzi government with an indelible stain (The secret of comedy is timing). Cannabis: 10 years imprisonment? Get real! (decriminalise it).
Arriva: The local favourite – it’s a matter of timing and a symbol of our schizophrenic approach to change. They just won’t get it will they – now they’re importing bendy buses from Boris in London (Did we really need being driven round the bend?). City Gate Project: Enough already, get the damn thing built and move on (Lapparelli eggs them on). Utilities Bills: The latest victim of political ping pong – will we ever get down to doing the business because it needs to be done rather than because it pays this or that party to promote/criticise it? (and what’s this about Sargas and John Dalli?) Vested Interests: Nothing gets done for altruistic reasons or as Dr House would have it “Trust no one” (We’d love our political class to be more transparent about their operations but then again we’d also love a three-day working week).
History Manipulation: I’m predicting that this one will be a big tag in 2012 – rewriting history or abusing it will become the trend in the election run up as will… Blogs – expect a flourishing of those. 2012 will surely give us a blogging overdose as every party lackey under the sun suddenly discovers the power of independent media and then goes on to soil it as only they can (namesurname.com is the new fad). 51 Proposals We’re still waiting to see whether they should be taken seriously (it’s just a sketch) or whether they are the new path to enlightenment (Ara kemm hu bravu Joseph he answered 10 questions with 51 answers). J’accuse stands by our earlier assessment: it’s a load of incongruous marketing bullshit.
Divorce Debate: Did this debate, referendum and vote signify a schism from the conservative past and an appreciation of a more liberal society? Not really. Our society has a particular way of evolving that mimics a youth going through puberty with the stilted growths, ugly self-doubting and involves loads of acne. Somehow we move on but there’s still lots of Clearasil waiting round the corner. (When I grow up, I want to be a healthy nation).
that includes you Mr Calleja).Births, Marriages and J’accuse: The last tag is private. 2011 was meant to be a “lucky year” for me should I really believe in numerology. 11/11/11 was also my 36th birthday and by then I was married and four days away from becoming an uncle. The j’accuse family welcomed Ella, Lee and Simon (in that order) and of course the lovely wife Lara. Who’s complaining?I’d like to wish all readers a Happy Christmas and New Year. The next time we will meet we will be well into 2012 (15th January) since I am off for a well deserved long honeymoon trip. Be good and be nice to each other.The revamping www.akkuza.com will also be on honeymoon mode – we leave you with the J’accuse slogan for 2011: “in un paese di coglioni, ci mancano le palle” which is modestly speaking quite a good summary for the year.