It's Balzan's Heroes day. Tuesdays are the days to accede to MaltaToday Online when you can catch up on the other fantasmagorical news that the other boring papers failed to pinpoint. One news item in Balzan's paper relates to the general panic surrounding the ducks that have recently begun to populate various bays and fishing villages. These duck colonies were a welcome break in the birdless scenario of our islands and it would be sad to have to get rid of them because of the avian flu.
What is really amusing is the fact that it would seem that the authorities are on the lookout for "ducks behaving strangely". Wow. Last time I was down in Spinola eating my duck à l'Orange at Paparazzi I had taken some time to observe the ducks by the waterside. Now what exactly would a duck behaving strangely do? Waddle its tail once too often? Defecate excessively? Chase after the feline unlucky enough to be within its range? Or will it simpply go "moo" and give itself away? (Or is that Mad Cow that I am thinking about?). Duck behaving strangely indeed. Now Men Behaving Strangely... that would be an easy one to spot wouldn't it?
At least the avian flu hysteria has a clearly defined enemy - birds. Other areas are not so quack and white. Take extremists for instance. James Debono penned an article about Martin I-am-not-a-fascist Degiorgio. The man is guilty of having a number plate with the letters DVX (dux or duce in latin) and a company called DVX Ltd or something. Now you know where I stand with regard the non-fascist fascists of this world (btw ANR are an organisation that clearly flirts with fascism....sue me... I'd love a trip to Malta). But....
I had to agree with Martin Degiorgio for once. We cannot attack people for the labels they carry and the symbols they choose to childishly display. There are many who, like Martin, adopt the DVX logo out of sentimentality or a blind fascination with a history with which they are obviously not too familiar. On the other hand there are many (James Debono included - and I have one for the days I feel funny and commie) who love to carry Che Guevara t-shirts and quote Marx and Hegel every other second. Crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of the bullet-headed freak from Rome as well as in the name of the latin-american bearded former motor-cyclist. Anyhow, I do not think that carrying their symbol should be seen as wrong. To me it is clear that a morbid fascination with all things extremist is stupid. But in a modern society one should be able to carry their symbols without fear of reprisal.
I know many will disagree with me. It is a fine difference. Civilisation, however, is about tolerating opinion and being able to rationally overcome differences by finding rational solutions that go beyond emotions. Crying out to the masses that anyone using the letters DVX should be labelled and slammed is the first step towards ostracising anyone in a black shirt (which would not be too bad) or anyone in a Che Guevara Beard (which would be a disaster for me in my regular No Shaving Weeks). This would be back to Malta of red or blue - Du Maurier Red or Du Maurier Blue!! It would be ridiculous.
Attack Martin Degiorgio on his thoughts and ideas. Show them, rationally that they have chosen a one way road that leads to intolerance and that never learns to draw the line, a road where one minute you are beating the black man and the next you are beating your brother. Expose them to the literature they seem to have forgotten. Show them the real side of history they fail to appreciate. But do not fall into their trap... the Dux has nothing to do with it...
It's the idea behind the symbol and not the symbol itself. Concentrate on the idea. Challenge it. Do not deviate, do not digress and do not play games. This is serious.
... and most of all... do not behave too strangely!