Your intellect may be confused but your emotions will never lie to you.
In science emotions are described as the language of a person’s internal state of being. Love, hate, courage, fear, joy, sadness and pleasure also count among what makes us human. Andy Warhol is reported to have said that “In the 60s people forgot what emotions are all about and never seem to have remembered.” I wonder.Is empathy an emotion? At least does it involve a display of emotions? Do massive outpourings of grief and solidarity reflect an emotional attachment? Are the millions converging on Rome to mourn the Great Pope free of emotions? What about the Diana era? What about the Tsunami solidarity campaigns? Reading last Saturday’s Books and Art supplement with the Times (of London) I was interested in a book critic’s evaluation of the quasi-morbid fascination of readers in Dave Pelzer type books where the author provides an autobiography of his suffering. It seems these books are the genre that is most in demand apart from the Da Vinci Code/Rule of Four kind of books. While the Langdon books have been analysed as being popular because of their tickling the newfound interest in esoteric mysticism, the autobiographies of suffering reflect a new kind of voyeurism.My wonder is whether people nowadays can only empathise for popular images. Empathy is almost a trend, a fashion. Who will you care for today? From the collective feelings of mourning (see 9/11, Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Tsunami Sufferings, Deaths of Great Men and Women) to strong stands of solidarity. Tonight Juventus and Liverpool meet for the first time since Heysel in 1985. The big match will be preceded by a grand show of commemoration, solidarity and newfound friendship. Another occasion of public empathy. The Liverpool side will also include a few “We are sorry” banners (Memoria e Amicizia) before moving on to a collective chorus of “You’ll never walk alone“ probably joined by the Turin fans in a sudden transport of collective emotional passion.At home � Malta that is � we are facing a new accusation. Not content with being declared insensitive to the myriad calls against our passion for hunting, we are now entering a new dimension of international villainy. The recent tragedy with Chinese immigrants involving visas and powerboats has elevated us to the plane of organised smugglers. Yet, the same communities who do not hesitate in public displays of solidarity and support have not lifted a finger to provoke the authorities-that-be out of their frustrating inertia. Feeling sorry is fine� doing something about it when it is close to home… ah well that is another thing.
Anna Mallia hit the nail on the head in MaltaToday when she said that the Chinese Immigrants dying could be equalled to many Terry Schiavos being led to their doom. Meanwhile, hunters went on rampage last weekend in the off-season (insufficient policing), the police have only just confiscated the powerboats used to smuggle humans to Italy and the Illegal Immigrant Question remains the rebus that it has always been. Mark is busy analysing Malta’s brain drain -whether it is one and whether it is happening. Rightly so. Maybe it is time we start to examine whether our archi-catholic state is also suffering an even worse drain, an emotional one.These days, it seems, it is getting harder and harder to say I love you.
I love you
Is all that you can’t say
Years gone by and still
Words don’t come easily
Like I love you
I love you