mercredi, mars 30, 2005


Photography has always been a fascinating subject to me. The more it fascinates me, the more I seem to be hopeless in anything remotely linked to the matter. I am unable to 'organise' photos with any photo organiser, I seem to be able to purchase the worst of cameras and the few good photos I manage to take are only good out of pure chance. That's unlike AC who manages to snap wonderful photos because she has 'the eye' as the French like to put it (nothing to do with the Italian version of 'the eye' which is much more sinister and bizarre).

Meanwhile I have been trying to put a snapshot of myself taken by AM in the Canaries onto this blogg. Trying is an understatement. I had been attempting to decipher all sorts of
tags and stuff and finally understood that if I copy a sample from one page and stick it in the middle of a template on another page something should happen. Lo and behold... a photo on my page. Erm no.... two photos on my page. The miracle of proliferation. Not quite as good as the fish and bread stunt by the big J back in Galilee but, considering the lack of intention, a stunt all the same.

Ah well... more mugshots of me... Hope this explains why... because I am NOT going to try to find out how to remove one of them. In the loving words of my compatriots... INZAB***.

A bien tot.

My Other Blog References

Ars Ludendi

Il Bollettino della Sfiga

Quod Principi Placquit

Triq il-Maqluba
Malta 9 Thermidor
Books & Beans
Inutile de Dejeuner
Wired Temples
Ajjut! Ajjut!

In alio pediculum

Xemx u Xita
Chef Condom
Toni Sant

Illiud Latine dici non potest

Diverse Ramblings
Lost in Thought
Rites of Passage
Thea (...) Planet
Rupert Cefai
L-Istrordut Kroniku
Le Pont Mirabeau

Forum Publicum

Culture Vulture

Res Inter Alios Acta

Freedom Now
Beppe Grillo
Leonardo Coen
D�mocratie pour l'Europe
Correcteurs (Le Monde)
Big Picture
French Word-a-Day

Morituri te Salutant

Leggendi Urbani
Velvet Utterings
Xemx Wisq Sabiha
Shackled Hearts

lundi, mars 28, 2005

Homo Sapiens Non Urinat In Ventum

Close to Schiphol Airport, more precisely at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, I have decided to add this little blog from the reception... to fill the time till Melanie decides to come down and check out! This quick three day escapade to Amsterdam over the Easter weekend has been nice. It was not my first time in this city but this time I was impressed by its obsession with the science of urination. It is everywhere. They have signs pointing you to the closest urinoir (hold on, just seventy metres to go), they have the most obsessively clean toilets I've ever seen and there seems to be an undeclared competition for the coolest toilet gadget.

My personal favourite is the toilet in the kiosk-cum-restaurant on Museumsplein. Here I found a transparent toilet door that when locked turned magically matt. The standing pissoirs each had a little monitor to ensure that clients do not miss out on any of the action if they pop down for a we during their all important football matches.

I forget the location, though I am quite sure it is near the Rijksmuseum; there in a busy street one finds a Roman Style Arch, of the kind Rome is littered with, and upon it inscribed for all to see Homo Sapiens Non Urinat in Ventum. Words from the wise: an intelligent man does not piss against the wind. Why oh why is the Manneken Piss in Brussels... so not right. He should lift his little todger and take the two hour drive to the Mokum where the art of urinating is much more than a mere release of bodily fluids.

Anyway... time is running out on this ultra-expensive pay as you surf internet thingy so I will continue in the next blog. Meanwhile Happy Easter to all... it's been great in Amsterdam...

... in fact its pissin' good!

mercredi, mars 23, 2005

Once a Rose always a Rose

I'm Leaving. On an Airmalta plane.
Tomorrow I will reluctantly leave the Maltese Islands. Much more reluctantly than usual. I had a distant forebodeing that this would happen as I stepped off the plane almost seven days ago. The first sniff of Mediterrenean air was of the kind that makes you fall in love with the place all over again. The smell stayed throughout and its pulling factor was immensely improved by the good company, good wine and good fun to be had on the rock.

Final purchases have been made and les valises sont faites. What remains now are the mental polaroids that together with the fading smell of the isle will linger a little longer in my mind. Walking along the Sliema front of les frimeurs I could not hold back a smile of contentment. The Sliema stroll should be copyrighted for posterity and safeguarded as part of our cultural heritage. I just love that corner near Girgio's where there is probably the world's greatest concentration of show-offs since King's Road, Chelsea.

They seek them here, they seek them there, contentedly sipping their warm lattes while the sun toys playfully with Manoel Island and the yachts along the harbour. Oh for heaven's sake, I'm getting sentimental over a bunch of wankers and their fashionista trends. Thing is, in Luxembourg everyone is so beyond bourgeoisie that you cannot go around feeling morally superior without also feeling a tramp at the same time... here you can. And how!

Unchristian Names
One thing has definitely struck me while being served across the counter in various establishments. The names, the funny names, the oh my god not another one kind. So thank you Franceanne at BHS for so kindly changing the linen I had wrongly measured for my flat, thank you Carinzia for the smile which came with the service, and thank you Hypatia for that wonderful nonchalance with which you delivered the large fries with coke. Well, there must be something about Mary... but nothing beats a good Hypatia these days... go large of course!

that should be all. Got one last dinner to go to. One last farewell. And if my mum insists on playing that CD of this year's Malta Song for Europe contest I will definitely be shooting someone in the head.
see ya in Lux.

mardi, mars 22, 2005

At Work. The Label. Posted by Hello

However the bishop of Gozo did not accepted his resignation.

Thank God, It's Friday (and Wednesday)

Seems like the Good Friday Accords have been saved and that the parruccani (parishioners) of Citta Vittoria will still have their two Good Friday Processions. One will be held on Not So Good Wednesday while the other will be held on GF as per usual (in accordance with the signed agreement of a hot 1976 debate). When reading such news I am loathe to compare the difficulties involved in reaching such agreements to the convoluted discussions that go on in Belfast, Madrid or Jerusalem. On the other hand it all boils down to human fallibility and human nature. Oh yes, to err is human... to forgive seems to be beyond our shepherds of the flock.
It was also interesting to note the authoritative structure of the Church (and it has every right to operate in that manner) when taking such decisions. Democracy has no place in the folds of the suttana (cassock). Maybe it is better that way, after all hasn't democracy been defined as four wolves and a lamb voting about lunch?

Human Errors and Di-ve-ine Concepts
I find as a very good source of real time news about my homeland. What does frustrate me however is the atrocious level of the english that is constantly shot at readers of this quick service news. A rapid look at the concluding sentence in the Good Friday Dispute Article and you will soon see what I am on about. It's not the first time... and will not be the last. Otherwise a thumbs up to Di-ve's dedication to the closest thing to a real-time service we may have.

Times of Malta Round-Up
A more conventional and less error-prone source of news is the Times. Good old Times of Malta, also tied to memorable Fridays in the past. Today's Times is a wonderful kaleidoscope of information which I feel requires comment since it reinforces certain ideas I have put forward in earlier blogs:
  1. Malta Placed Bottom in Lisbon Process: Okay. Here we go. Almost one year in the EU and we rank with Bulgaria and Romania. Economically? No not just. It includes female employment rankings and achievements in secondary education. Dumping in Landfills is significant... others are cutting down and we are adding I repeat adding the amount of dump per person. Every Maltese citizen is worth 187kg of rubbish a year. We should put it on our ID cards instead of the photo. Every one with his personalised photo of rubbish... However do not panic. I am hoping that some Macchiavellian minded Nationalist at Darcentrali has seen all this. The chart comes conveniently at a half-way term in government. I'm ready to bet that for most of the standards the results will be very different as elections approach. Then we will be the record country that bounces from 27th to 8th in one go. Thanks to lies, damned lies and statistics.
  2. Cassola accuses Nationalists of sleeping over sixth EP seat: Boo-hoo. The self-appointed largest group in the EP has not moved one finger to try and get that much-deserved observer seat for Dr. Cassola before time runs out. What's new pussy cat? Remember the wolves and the lamb? That's democracy. We need it - but we need to open our eyes to its rules and understand how to make better use of it ourselves. Especially at ballot time.
  3. Paceville Parking: "Kevin Decesare, one of the co-owners of several businesses in Paceville including the Eden Century Cinema, said there was no way business would be attracted to Paceville with such parking restrictions. "What would patrons at the cinema do? Go out to move their car and then come back to watch the film?" he asked." Oh come on Kevin! Next time you are in Luxembourg I'll invite you to an all-expenses paid trip to Utopolis and Utopia cinemas. We will buy popcorn (cheaper than at Eden and salted or sweet), Coke (cheaper than at Eden) at a cinema (same price tickets as Eden though - one out of three ain't bad) while parked in an underground parking where you might pay �2 at the end of the show if it exceeds a three hour stay. And by the way... no intermission.
  4. Travel authorities agree approach to low-cost airlines: Pop. Did you hear that? It was my dreams of flying Ryanair from Frankfurt-Hahn to Malta on a �120 return trip bursting in one instant. thank you very bloody much Minister Zammit Dimech. Thank you so much travel authorities. For crying out loud where is an Anti-Trust authority when you need one. A partitioning of travel destinations among Air Malta and the cheap rest. Suspected concerted agreement. Suspected? When it is written in black and white on the Times? With Minster Zammit Dimech announcing it like a long-lost Sir Galahad returning with a suspicious polaroid of what could be the Holy Grail but could also be Aunt Lucy's long lost missing chalice from her Anniversary Jubilee set! Give me a break.... a cheap one.

That's it. Enjoy the news. Enjoy the errors.

And I know... probably the greatest errors are my own.

dimanche, mars 20, 2005

In Malta

Pro Nuptiae

�They say that love is blind and marriage is an institution. I am still not
ready for an institution for the blind.�

My visit to Malta this Easter was sort of forced. I had not planned for a homecoming before May but then a very good friend of mine announced his plans to get married on St. Joseph�s feast and so I postponed any plans of discovering another corner of Europe in deference to this monumental occasion. All my close friends from the magnificent Law Class of �99 have caught the matrimonial bug over the past few years. The leftover bachelors are few and far between and our numbers are dwindling.

Considering that out of the remaining four, two will almost surely be marrying within the next year that just leaves me and the evergreen Chris Grime without any rings on our fingers. I am not worried about this and feel reassured by the fact that everyone has their own time and pace.
A bachelor�s life in Malta is different to that on the continent. I find the slight hints of �bachelor equals irresponsible bastard� moderately irritating. I tend to find the illogical dilemma between the eternal postponement of marriage and the constant craving for offspring more confusing. Yep. I confess. I want kids. Four of them, preferably, and a mixture of femmes and hommes. I am reading a highly recommendable light entertainment book which takes bachelors and married life as its main subject � �the best a man can get" by john o�farrell. If you can get your hands on it it will be a good book for next summer�s sun-bathing afternoons.

Meanwhile back in the city

Wedding apart, Malta has not shied away from providing various issues of entertainment throughout my stay. I love the petrol crisis. From Luxembourg the lack of gas cylinders seemed almost surreal. Driving past queues and queues of cars waiting patiently to fill their tank before the petrol-strike-that-never-really-came set in was the best kind of homecoming. Don�t get me wrong. I do not like the fact that things still happen this way in this country. My amusement is however fired by this wry knowledge that these things happen because we still let them happen. We let the GWU think it knows what is best for the country's workers by supporting it in the thousands. We are bred to support our duopoly and give no breathing space to new ideas� no... we strangle them at birth in a country where the only abortion permissible is that of new ideas.

I supported Alternattive Demokratika in the last European elections. I do not consider myself a partitarju � a party member or supporter. My hope was just that it was the right time to send a message that new ideas, though not the final solution, could certainly help infuse Maltese politics with new directions. And forget about the new spring. It will never come the way we are going. An eluded Labour party believing it is winning simply because it is hanging on to its core will just not do. The non-voters who wisely protest by not turning up at Local Councils elections however will never be able to really positively express their need for change because unfortunately there are no alternatives.
No ideas. No gas. No petrol.
Let us just all lie back in the sun and relax.
I�m afraid its in the genes.


What is it with this country�s hatred of proper organized transport and parking? I am a part-time Paceville resident with a vested interest in the solution of parking problems for residents of Malta�s centre of alcotainment. The local council of St. Julian�s seems to be trying to solve the problems of our Borough (yeah wishful thinking). It�s just that the business people believe that organized parking is not a solution for the area. Good parking is bad business. It scares customers. Rubbish.

In Luxembourg any trip to the city also involves payment for parking. Up to �4 can be paid on an expensive night. No one complains. No long queues of traffic and the 4 parkings around the city centre serve their purpose. Customers still custom, patrons patronise and businessmen still do their business. I just believe that we always want the easy way out. The Paceville businessman is used to milking the easy money � ready to milk the last youngster's last cent by selling cheap beer. The basest form of business remained the Lm1 bottles of water in discotheques who abused of the ecstatic revelers' necessity for H2O. They never complain about taxis costing the earth. They never thought that lobbying for an efficient Night Transport Service will add business, add customers, and solve transport and jamming problems. No. They just want the easy buck. Oppose progress. Be destructive so long as the money (hopefully) rolls in. Outside the door of their establishment lies another world� and they do not care in the least.

It pains me to write this because I do know that there are some hard working individuals who would love to earn the honest buck but it just goes to show the inability of Maltese to think in terms of the common good.

So long for now.

I am off to watch Neverland again, but this time in Valletta� our very own Neverland.

And by the way� this blog might switch to Maltese�.

mardi, mars 15, 2005


The classical greeks had a lovely word for what can best be described as "human flourishing" ... eudaimonia. This would supposedly be the highest end of human purpose... a sort of hellenic karma. Aristotle, Jesus and Buddha all three dealt with the end of our life, and frankly I am ok with the idea of human flourishing, so long as I can be a helianthus annuus (nothing anal, just your average sunflower). Aristotle defines eudaimonia as not relating to health, wealth or power but as rational activity in accordance with excellence.

I like to see it further. Not just rational activity but also an ability to think positively. To always find that ray of sunshine and see the cup half full. A sort of eudaimonic personality mixed with an epicurean feel-goodness. Ahhh for the joys of Finnis' spoudaios and phronimos.

No matter how much you can revel in the ancient and modern philosophical approaches to life it is always funny how once you put down the book (even an unputdownable one) you scarcely manage to practice what you read. Moments of frustration that should be faced with the aplomb of a zen master suddenly transform into uncontrollable outbursts and demi-blasphemies. Why? Does the spoudaios exist? Is eudaimonia a utopia?

I have no idea why I started writing all this (maybe the Alain de Botton book I am reading is partly to blame). On the other hand I do know the real reason.

I have writer's blog: Faced with my new blogsite I have many many things to write and suddenly cannot catch any of the ideas. Hence the rambling. Wishing for a eudaimonic purpose. Writer's blog seems to happen quite frequently in this kind of journal. Unlike the Bollettino, this blog is not a chronicle. It is a net for capturing abstract ideas and hence needs constant justification.

So I have thought of a purpose. I shall start a dictionary of terms I seem to be coming up with. Today we define two new ones:

a) Wankellectual - Wannabe intellectual, as in I want to be an intellectual so I try to be one in any way possible. Could be prone to growing long hair or shaving head - probably wears round spectacles - tries to be uncomfortably different - reads boring literature - 76% of wankellectuals are communists who buy label goods. I think wankellectuals are a result of post-post-post-modern society's inability to define anything other than a McDonut.

b) Writer's blog - Inability to come up with anything valuable to write in blog. Looks like I am not the first to come up with this but I can promise you I thought of it independently without any prompting. Just like that day when I thought up the slogan "Time is what you make of it" for an SDM campaign only to find it was already taken by SWATCH.

Oh. And I will not hyperlink SDM to the organisation. Because I only believe it existed during my time as a real center-left independent entity.... now it is just pathetic reduction of student minds (with wonderful potential) to propaganda repeating units. Big-headed? Moi?

Oh what the hell.... for a website of governmental apologists go to Believe me, I loved the organisation. Promise. That was before the "thank-you-very-much-mr.armyman-for-beating-up-the-immigrants-and-doing-your-job, approach".

And no... recants don't count... they just make you twice the pussy.

samedi, mars 12, 2005

Quod Alios Dicerunt

This is what others have had to say about this blog.

"a Luxembourger that smells of Gozo cheese".
(Lorna Vassallo, TOM, 14th July 2005)

"One blog that I found illuminating is to be found at It is written by a young chap who starts out by telling us that he has been described as arrogant and rude. He goes on to prove or disprove this description and it is an exercise that repays the effort made to have a surf over to the site to see which of these two aims he actually achieves."
(I.M.Beck, TOM, 18th June 2005)

"Jacques René Zammit is a lawyer and Terry Pratchett reader, currently residing in Luxembourg. He started off his new blog (the other being the wildly successful Bollettino) by talking about the mentality of The Kinnie Generation and its quest for eternal fame."

"J'accuse Zammit
Jacques has pre-empted most of the topics I had intended to blog about today in one massive outpour (and it's not called "overblog", it's called "blogorrhea"). Not to mention all the gadgetry he's managed to install on his site. Maybe I should also have a clock installed ..."
(Fausto Majjistral)

"Thank God it's ThursdayI've grown to love Thursdays. Not all Thursdays, of course. Just those Thursdays when Lorna Vassallo writes in The Times. And it's not Vassallo's articles I care about; it's Jacques writing about Vassallo's writings."
(Fausto Majjistral)

"Del Papa, la muerte y otras cosas sin importanciaAcabo de leer un post extraordinario que me gustaria compartir con nuestra ingente legion (ja!) de lectores. Esta en ingles."

"Kinnie GenerationA promising new addition to the Maltese Blogosphere has appeared on the scene. Warm welcome to Luxembourg based Jacques René Zammit otherwise known as Gakbu Sfigho of Il Bollettino della Sfiga fame."
(Robert Micallef, Wired Temples)

vendredi, mars 11, 2005

Of Political Divisions


The center-right party of former Prime Minister Jos� Mar�a Aznar that lost at the polls three days after the bombings believes it was a victim of circumstances, that the governing Socialist government is illegitimate and that the election was a triumph for terrorists. The Socialists believe the defeated center-right party is trapped in a web of lies and is seeking revenge for its electoral loss by sabotaging the government's ability to govern. (IHT)
Sound's familiar doesn't it? The new form of government is all there in a nutshell. Look around you. Italy, Spain, France, the UK, where do we stop? Governance becomes ungovernability. Governing the people is transformed into the latest game of tit-for-tat, upping the ante for the others to tag along. So where do we go from here? Where are the new politicians? Where are the good old plans for bettering society rather than getting one better than the others? In a world gone mad the dualistic approach to politics seems to have forced politicians to forget the aim of service to society. It is all about hanging on to power. What WMD? It is all about the vote in Florida.

Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe its all normal, only you must look at it the other way. Lewis Carroll, Joseph Heller.... they were right after all.

Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. - L. Carroll

jeudi, mars 10, 2005

The Kinnie Generation

taste first
An invitation to try before rejecting, or an indication of priorities? I was never sure whether the Kinnie slogan was the former or the latter. Will we ever find out? More importantly nowadays, do we care? This is my first venture in the world of Blogs. Actually this is really my 14th. After a very successful start with "il Bollettino" I have tried to start my own, personal, blog. 12 tries later and it finally seems to be working.

about time
Thus, Mark Vella greeted my decision to join this Kinnie generation in its quest for eternal fame and blogging. It is all about time isn't it? Find time to write and you can do it. Thus the Kinnie generation - the bitter-sweet oxymorons in personam - who slowly realised that Malta under the socialists was bad because it was violent and Malta under the nationalists is bad because it is one big lie. The Kinnie generation who are slowly becoming nostalgic for the eighties, saw the nineties fly by them and still cannot understand whatthefuck they are meant to be doing in the '00s. By the way Mark is a wankellectual who has his own blog called xifer - take a peek and you will see what i mean. There are many more ... wwitchie , stagno and pierre and wiredtemples too - all struggling for space. More Kinnie generation products. They can see the other people. They can see dead people. All the rest are busy standing by their pre-written scripts preparing for the next carcade to victory.

about me & this blog

Yep. My blog. Called J'accuse. Playing with words a bit... thanks to my forename. The idea is there too.... Zola and all. The truth if I lie (A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on. - Terry Pratchett, The Truth). That's another theme. Mark asked me... "What theme will it have?" then he said something in German meaning purpose (Oh!German... thought there was something wrong with you - Basil Fawlty). Themes many, themes none. Don't know and couldn't be bothered. Just wanted to hook and not miss the bus of the Kinnie Generation. Because we are out there.

Just a word of warning. Satyre, irony, black humour will be at home in this page. No rules. No holds barred. So people of a weak and gullible disposition should just f-off and vote labour. People of a pompous I know it all and saved the world yesterday disposition should also f-off and vote nationalist. Mark Vella should f-off anyway. I thank the readership of one who will read on... at its own risk of course.

This blog didn't half come out as good as any of the 12 first attempts. But then it may be destiny. It is much more sombre. I hate sombre. I like anything that makes you laugh.

'nuff said. now let's begin.