Dad, sociologist, green local councillor, drummer, columnist from Malta

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I support Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign

I believe that progressives worldwide have a historic responsibility to support Hillary Clinton's US presidential campaign. 

I therefore hereby declare my support for Clinton's campaign. 

Why I support the petition for assisted death in Malta

The wife of a man suffering from ALS, a degenerative disease that leads those affected by it to become paralysed, yesterday launched a petition calling on Maltese members of parliament to adopt legislation on assisted death.

Marlene Magro said she was launching the petition on behalf of her husband Joe, when made his case for the introduction of euthanasia to Parliament's Family Affairs committee some days ago.

“Joe always insists with us that should this law not be introduced before he ends up in such a terrible state he will have no choice but to commit suicide…With the introduction of a law on assisted death, Joe will be able to live peacefully for a while longer,” she said.

My view on this matter is that rights, responsibilities and ethics are equivalent for the person's wellbeing. 

I am against an industry of death but I am for a person's dignity and care. I empathize with persons in this situation and agree with the proposal, as long as the person's will is always respected. 

Parliament should discuss in a sober manner. Evidence-based policy making requires proper research, proper consultation, proper dialogue between different views and sensible compromise where possible. 

Dialogic democracy should neither ignore nor trivialize such issues for reasons such as partisan convenience.

The petition can be signed here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Pokemon? What does it mean to me.... Well I never played it, so my opinion is that of one who interacts with the game as an outsider. An outsider who reads about it, sees lonely wanderers possibly searching for Pikachiu, groups of people enthusiastically involved in Pokemon rituals, and friends telling me how lovely (or useless) the game is. So here's my two pence. 

On the one hand, Pokemon can be seen as  the latest example of the interaction between social media and one's construction of self-identity through fluid communities. This time it takes pace through the playing of a game with nostalgic features and which incorporates physical interaction with other persons. The divide between the digital and the physical is becoming increasingly blurred. 

On the other hand, Pokemon is an other example of how people of different ages sign up to online seduction, seeing it as a fact of life, and jealously defending it against the invaders  who raise questions on matters such as surveillance, time-wasting and distraction from bread-and-butter issues around us. 

An interesting question which can  only be answered in the future is whether pokemon wanderers represent a temporary fad, or whether will they become permanent pedestrians, possibly with the introduction of other such digital-physical gaming possibilities. 

Pokemon is ultimately what we make it out to be in our everyday life. Personally, I think that the most useful usage of its symbols was when Syrian children used Pikachiu to remind us that they (the children) really exist, in a real world of war and migrants dying at sea.

Extracts of this opinion feature in Malta Today 27 July 2016