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Friday, June 11, 2004

Day of quiet reflection

What a coincidence! Today is a day of national reflection both in Malta and here in the USA. However, the reason for the quiet pause is very different. Malta is legally bound to have a quiet day of reflection on the eve of any election day. The USA is holding a day of mourning for former President Ronald Reagan; today is the day of his funeral.

I have always been fascinated by the day of quiet reflection mandated by Maltese law on the eve of political elections. This law was clearly written at a time before the advent of the Internet. Those were days when the media could be controlled: no propaganda or political messages can be printed or broadcast for a 24-hour period before people go to the polling booths. How quaintly 20th century is that?

For anyone who doesn't take politics too seriously, perhaps today still deserves to be a day of quiet reflection in honour of Ray Charles, the musician. He passed away yesterday. And I couldn't help but notice that he was 20 years younger than Ronald Reagan.

Our own cartoonist, Gattaldo, has had his own personal brush with mourning this week. So it is most fitting that his cartoon for this week deals with the theme of death. For someone with a witty sense of humour there's always a twisted approach to all the morbid emotions that surround the loss of life.

May all the dead rest in peace.

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