Hunting for satire


The jury might still be out for spring hunting, but when it comes to witty campaigning there’s no contest.

Well, if there’s one aspect that the Spring Hunting Referendum really brought out beautifully, this was the no camp’s altogether wittier approach to campaigning, in particular the online and newspaper cartoonists’. This was in stark contrast to those who still insist that shooting endangered species out of the sky on their way to their breeding grounds is a human right.  A right that’s safeguarded by the European Union too, the particularly dense specimen pertaining to the yes camp are claiming, go figure.

So while the yes camp were busy spraying obscenities on public walls, carrying out terror campaigns on Facebook and generally making pains of themselves, those who would still like our skies to have the occasional bird fly through in the next decades took to the drawing pad and came up with dozens of reasons to vote ‘no’.

Like Steve Bonello’s timely reminder about the FKNK’s telling faux pas, referring to the referendum as “a war”. It says a lot about some hunters’ approach to conflict, when their first reaction is to declare war.

Seb Tanti Burlo makes a brilliant point  in his cartoon which depicts two hunters in their dura, in a future Malta when many species of birds will have become extinct thanks to the FKNK’s insistence that these people be allowed to practice their ‘hobby’ with nothing to regulate their excesses. “Thank god we still have spring hunting,” says one. “Yes, but I’ve forgotten what we’re hunting for,” is the sad rejoinder.

PullusIt makes you think, doesn’t it, when such a powerful lobby can’t even reason out the natural conclusion to their demands. Continue on this road and, no matter how many referenda you win to safeguard your hobby, there will be nothing left for you to shoot at. My personal favourite from Tanti Burlo’s repertoire, however, illustrates everything that is wrong with Maltese politics. “Vacancy: opposition leader. Chickens need not apply.”

I would add another vacancy to that – a prime minister who actually does his job, as opposed to someone who washes his hands and puts it to the people when things get too hot to handle. We all know that the Pontius Pilate story does not come with a happy ending.

As for those who keep insisting – rather disingenuously, because it’s pretty clear by now that they’re wrong – that a no vote will obliterate hunting in its entirety, Pullus’s bloodstained pie chart goes a long way towards putting things back in perspective. It’s just three months out of 12, people. Guess what the hunters will be doing once spring is over? That’s right. Littering our countryside with noise pollution and RTO signs.

Seb3Mark Schembri beautifully pours cold water on all ridiculous claims of “you the next” (don’t blame me, blame the genius ‘yes’ camp marketeers), which would have us believe that regulating spring hunting opens the way to banning other hobbies. All you stamp collectors our there can chill. Your hobby is safe, because guess how many living creatures die because of it every year. Zero, that’s right (death by extreme excitement doesn’t count, sorry).

While on the subject, do head online and click the following link:  You’ll get your morning dose of endorphins as you guffaw out loud at the ridiculousness of the ‘yes’ camp.

But let’s not be too negative. Those who can’t give up three months of killing things out of the 12 at their disposal without accusatory cries of ‘fascists’ had their artistic moments too. These consisted mainly in photoshopping text onto photos of myriad celebrities in skimpy clothing who probably are not that sure whether Malta is a country or a new brand of skinny latte.

10887646_10206149942337817_9209918083971803983_oWhat did the text say, I hear you ask. Ah, but herein lies the genius. Each badly-photoshopped image presented literary gems along the lines of “You the next!”, “Hunting is not a sport, it’s a calling to something greater” and even, just to make sure that the Catholic camp is also reeled in, a lengthy quotation from Genesis (the holy book, not the band) featuring a springer spaniel pup.

If you really, really, really can’t make up your mind for this referendum, take a look at these cartoons. Each cartoon tells a story that is based not on emotion, but on facts. For every lie propagated by the ‘yes’ camp, there is a logical reply that pours cold water on it.

So, as Nadine Noko put it far more amusingly than I can, carpe the f**k out of that diem and vote no on April 11.

An edited version of this opinion piece appeared in the March issue of Sunday Circle.


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