Pope Benedict delivers a speech in Germany. The speech is essentially an intellectual inquiry in the necessity of violence in religion. At one point in the speech the Pope quotes a medieval Emperor who had engaged in a similar intellectual debate with an islamic interlocutor in the XIVth century. Taken out of context, the quote makes the Pope sound intelorant and makes his speech sound like an incitement to violence. The media make a meal out of this out-of-context quote, so much so that overnight the issue spills into another international clash-of-the-civilisations confrontation. The reaction of the vocal side of the Muslim world (including such erudite persons as Tariq Ramadan from Oxford University) is shocking. An uninformed denouncement of the pontiff as well as calls for apology. This mornings breaking news is that an Italian nun has been shot dead in Somalia in reprisal for the Pope's comments. So now Muslim people are killing other people (nuns on missions in their own country) in order to prove that Islam is not violent. So help us God.
More on J'accuse this week...
2. Mendacius II
A lesser form of mendacity was manifested in Malta when Minister for Haphazard Planning and Coincidental Incoming Traffic Francis Zammit Dimech announced that Air Malta's new slashed fares (LM15 each way excluding taxes) "had nothing to do with the arrival of the low-cost airline, but was part of its overall strategy." Meanwhile on Air Malta's site the language used for the advert for the "Spread Your Wings and Fly" Campaign leaves no doubt as to which kind of competitor is being compared here. Do look out for phrases like "Air Malta provides a FULL service" as well as "FREE inflight services". Duh! Nothing to do with the low-cost airline which must not be named of course. Having said that we are glad that Air Malta has moved on from its previous "Spread Your Cheeks Wide and Prepare to Succumb to Our Monopolistic Policy" Campaign. Will someone tell FZD that making stupid statements like the one he did does not support his cause?
3. Led Zeplin
Yep. It was j'accuse on a mission. Readers of the IM Beck column on the Times will have noticed that Bocca received a couple of emails correcting his spelling of the group. Unfortunately Bocca got my initials wrong. It's JR not JJ, but hey, what's in the spelling... right?
A good article by Frank Salt. At least in spirit. He just about says what normal thinking people have in mind when they begin to wonder how to go about improving Brand Malta. We loved this particular paragraph though:
It is not the ministers who smash bottles in the street or vomit on the pavements, throw rubbish everywhere, shoot at signposts, destroy road signs, write graffiti on walls. It is not our ministers that tip cement all over the roads, as well as grease and oil from construction machines. It is not our ministers that bash down walls, destroy pavements or drop dust and rubble from trucks along our roads. It is certainly not our ministers that serve bad and overpriced food in restaurants and in some cases, treat customers very badly. It is also not ministers that serve alcohol to underage children and then allow them to run drunk and drugged along our primary tourist streets.4. Bratislava
Rocks. A quiet, unpretentious capital that has much to offer. The culinary experiences abound. Just in case anyone is planning a visit (Air Malta have cheap offers you know!) I would definitely suggest Medusa restaurant. It is to be found just off St. Michael's Gate and the menu is incredible - the food divine. Frank's wedding was a treat and the best kind of excuse one would have to visit a city like this which seems to thrive on the wedding economy!
Have a great week.