The images acquired by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope are mind-blowing and spectacular. The pictures that we see capture infrared light from deeper into the Universe than we have ever been able to see before. The aesthetic beauty of the images is already a jaw-dropper of itself but what I really find hard to get my head around is the fact that we are looking back in time.
You might want to take some time to contemplate the enormity of it all but it all boils down to distance and speed of light. The galaxies captured by Webb emanated the light that appeared in the pictures billions of years ago. Billions. One cluster captured is pictured as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. There goes my breath again.
In truth, we should be awed every time we look up at the night sky and see the stars. Even that light has travelled billions of years to get to our naked eye. The miracle of being able to look into the past is just outside your doorstep. A constant reminder of how immense the universe is and how small mankind is.
Moviment Graffitti does not have the equivalent of the Webb telescope. Their cameras do not delve deep in time to show us images of the islands years before the rape began. What they did do is return to Comino to film the state of the third island in the archipelago a week or so after they brought everyone’s attention to the disastrous situation in the Blue Lagoon and thereabouts.
Following Graffitti’s action, the powers that be had claimed to be inspired into action. The hoarding of the beach areas would be curbed, the messes stopped, and something might be done about the masses upon masses of invading bodies. Graffitti’s camera revealed that little or nothing had really changed. Loud music blasted the idyllic venue into a new circle of hell and the army of empty deckchairs had already been displayed wherever possible.
Now Prime Minister Abela had spoken of a balance reached. Whatever balance he has in mind does not seem to consider repristinating Comino to its natural state. It is not just Comino. The nation’s shoreline continues to be hogged by brainless individuals who are left to their own devices without as much as a reprimand. Images of caravans and buses converted into campers lining the shore were up on social media this week.
The balance, it seems is not a cosmic one that preserves (or even more hopefully returns to) the natural beauty of the island but rather is based on the need to satisfy the avaricious greed of individual egoism preferring it to the common good. Light years do not need to pass to show us the ineptitude of a government that fails to safeguard our heritage. A week is enough.
In other news, time seems to have slowed to almost a standstill at Police HQ. We were told that we might finally be seeing some action with regards to Pilatus bank. Five slow, dragging years from the unfortunate events known to all the lumbering machine of justice seems to have finally kick-started. In the interim we had the famous Labour carcades outside Pilatus bank celebrating Labour victory with a souvenir snapshot before the controversial bank.
Snapshots in time will give you different stages of a drawn-out story. The man in the suitcase running from journalists. The smug, later disgraced, prime minister, meddling in police hierarchy leading to further delayed justice. A journalist who got close, very close, to the truth being brutally assassinated by criminals enabled by the powers that be. Whistleblowers who were not granted the necessary protection. More recent snapshots would show you promises of change and a new balance.
We do not need a powerful 10-billion-dollar telescope to be able to look back in time and see a very different nation to the one we are witnessing today. The degeneration and the destruction are being played out in slow motion. Soon the only memory will be in souvenir snapshots of a past that will seem to be light years away from the country that we are bequeathing to our children.