For the second time in as many weeks, events took me to the much-maligned (well, by me anyway) Paceville. Let it be universally known that the place repels me. At my age, it’s bound to; but that’s by the by.
Once every blue moon something will happen to make me brave the place. Last weekend it was the Beangrowers’ temporary return to Malta; it’s been a good three years since the Beanies performed on this island so yes, their return was Quite A Big Deal (caps obligatory) in local event terms.
The gig itself was as good as expected. No surprises there. Intensely strong turnout and a steady hour and a half (give or take) of the Beanies giving it their all on stage. Particularly amusing was the sight of Mario Vella – who joined the Beanies on-stage for Waiting – singing that “love is right here”. Definitely not the kind of lyrics we usually associate with the guy.
So that was the gig – memorable and fun in all respects. What was not fun, was having to face up to the reality that is Paceville. After a good night out I invariably find myself hungering for junk, the edible kind – which meant that I couldn’t avoid trudging through the less salubrious parts of town. Right, that applies to pretty much the whole area – but I digress. Much has been made, lately, of the fact that under-aged girls were photographed dancing in, shall we say, less than respectable clothing. During parties. Alcohol free parties, to be sure – though I should add that given the visual entertainment on offer alcohol was probably unnecessary.
To be honest I wasn’t one of those who joined the shocked outcry. I am not that old that I don’t remember what it’s like when you’re a new teen and still trying to establish that yes, you’re attractive to the opposite sex. I particularly felt that the Children’s Commissioner’s cries for a curfew were a tad…despotic? Unreasonable? Far-fetched?
That was until I spent forty-five minutes surrounded by the typical teen who counts as a Paceville regular. I was appalled. In those far-off days when the place was my second home, I don’t remember semi-naked fourteen year-olds being part of the equation. Yes, I’m very well-aware that the last sentence sounds suspiciously like age is making itself felt – but hold your horses.
I’m not exactly renowned for a super conservative approach to life. I still have fond memories of leaving my parents’ house wearing a decent knee-length skirt, only to roll it up high as soon as I turned the corner – sorry mum and dad I’m all in favour of a touch of teenage rebellion (note to Clinton Paul – this is one example when it’s perfectly acceptable to add an “lion” after rebel). And I’m not unappreciative of the fact that teenagers nowadays are more sexually aware than they were ten years ago.
But being sexually aware is one thing. Dressing like you’re looking for horizontal business is another. And wearing a skirt so short that it shows off your cheeks to the whole world definitely falls under the latter category. If it was just one incident I’d put it down to an isolated case of bad taste. Sadly, there were a bewildering amount of cheeks on view, all located south. To paraphrase someone I know, we have become a nation of tramps. Well, actually he used the “s” word, but let’s keep it PG here.
I’ve been to clubs and bars abroad. Never have I come across anyone dressed in the way I witnessed this last weekend. You just wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the doorway, not even at an official adult club where sex on display is expected. As for under eighteens, they won’t be allowed inside a club no matter what they’re wearing.
So no, I guess it’s not the age that’s talking. It’s not the innocence of these “children” I’m worried about; the parents should be seeing to that, thank you, not me. It’s just that these are the people who will soon be running the country, who will be in charge of our pensions. Sigh, indeed.
This post was published on The TV Guide (The Times of Malta).