MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 11 September 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 43

maltatoday | SUNDAY • 11 SEPTEMBER 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The death of Queen Elizabeth II and its psychologically searing ef- fect on royalists everywhere… Malta included. Why are we skinning it? Be- cause it serves as the perfect synecdoche for our relation- ship to ancestral modes of pow- er, particularly the kinds which still retain a glittering, nostalgic allure like the British royal fam- ily, who still cake themselves in finery and jewels and even en- joy cultural currency through and acclaimed ongoing Netflix series. But surely the Netflix series has been marred by the ultimate spoiler now? Did familiarity with the overarching framing narrative hurt The Passion of the Christ's box office takings? No… certainly not in Mal- ta, where pretty much every schoolkid was carted off to watch a film which by all ac- counts was more graphic than even your average horror movie. In fact, such irrationali- ty also underlies Malta's endur- ing love for the royal family, I would say. How do you mean? Much like we hold onto our bequeathed Catholicism – arriving, appar- ently, with a shipwrecked St Paul and further validated by the Knights of Malta's celebrat- ed showing at the Great Siege – a lot of us still make a big deal of our membership in the Commonwealth. From the Pope to the Queen, we like to be seen as forming part of that bejew- eled tapestry, and to perform the rituals that ensure its ongo- ing existence, if not relevance. The Queen did die on Malta's Victory Day after all. A spot of poignancy that will not go un- noticed, I'm sure. It's a shame that we can't seem to be possessed with the same gene that made 'Irish Twitter' such a source of dark fun after the monarch's passing. This is true. But Maltese humour large- ly revels in punching down. Meaning? We tend to make a taboo out of poking fun at the powerful. Just look at the hordes of Maltese royalists who, going by their online proclama- tions and self-righteous tut-tut- ting, would have been keen to take a bullet for a Queen who not only hasn't held official jurisdiction over their country since 1974, but whose country has now also exited from the same pan-European setup we form part of. I guess it's reassuring to think that you're somehow associ- ated with the same class that gets to clasp at those blin- dingly shiny crown jewels on a regular basis. Yes, and it is precisely this instinct that un- derlies other irrational phe- nomena – such as the working class tendency to vote for reac- tionary, conservative parties. 'Please sir, may I join your club'? Yes. Because there can be miracles, when you believe. Do say: "For better or for worse, the reign of Queen Elizabeth II defined an era, if only for the fact that it went on and on for oh so very long. But that shouldn't preclude us from analysing either the minutiae of her reign nor the very notion of a contemporary monarchy which still reigns in this day and age… not least when it comes to homegrown royalists still reeling from a bad case of post-colonial syndrome." Don't say: "Now's the perfect time to turn the Queen's former Gwardamangia residence into a morbid Madame Tussaud's experience! It's just the kind of immersive gentrification setup that area so desperately needs." Revisiting our rituals ANDREW AZZOPARDI PAGE 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON The honeymoon is over PAGE 7 No 156 – The Mourning Royalists Internationale JOSANNE CASSAR You don't have to be a Royalist to be touched by the Queen's death PAGE 6 EDITORIAL Fixing a broken planning system PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN Orgy and anarchy PAGE 5 People, now more than ever, tend to live the challenges they are facing on their own and cutting off (or being cut off) from others is leaving enormous scars

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 11 September 2022