Karl Stennienibarra Solves (Almost) All Of Malta's Problems
From Eurovision to abortion, he's got it all figured out...ish
This article originally appeared on Lovin Malta's April 1st newspaper, Lovin Tomorrow
Hello there. I’m Karl Stennienibarra. I’m the founder, managing editor and God-Emperor of Bis-Serjetà, Malta’s only serious news website. Last week, I was asked by Lovin Malta, one of the country’s top satirical websites, to write a humorous column for their new newspaper.
Since I’m not very good at writing funny articles, I asked if I could write something serious instead. To which Lovin Malta replied, “Sure, whatever, we’ll publish anything.”
I then asked them what kind of thing they wanted me to write. To which they replied, “We dunno, maybe solve all of Malta’s problems?” I tried to explain that solving all Malta’s problems in 750 words was probably too big an ask. To which they replied, “Maaa, like, just pick three and leave us alone so we can get back to our sushi milkshakes.” So I did, and I think it’s fair to say I’ve absolutely nailed every issue. Let’s start with a light and breezy one...
Many people in Malta are terrified by the prospect of legalising abortion. They see it as the ultimate victory of evil liberalism over the forces of conservative good. These people often argue women who don’t want their child should just give it up for adoption.
Sounds simple, except for the fact that pregnancy and childbirth aren’t exactly a walk in the park. I’ve come up with a brilliant compromise that ensures everyone is happy. Women who want an abortion will be allowed to have one.
Let me finish, pro-lifers!
To make up for the resulting baby deficit, a woman who is against abortion will be inseminated (artificially or via genitalia expert John Bundy). Once born, that child will be given up for adoption. Seeing as they believe other women should be forced to go through with pregnancies they don’t want, these women surely won’t mind having their own bodies used as baby-making machines, pumping out precious life after life like a peasant in 1954.
Or we could just let all women have freedom over their own bodies. But that’s far too simple a solution for Malta. Anyway, onto a more serious issue.
As everyone knows, you can’t be taken seriously as a nation until you’ve won Eurovision. No one even knew Azerbaijan existed until they won the competition in 2011, and look at them now - making lesser states like Malta their vassal.
Now, I actually think Michela’s song ‘Chameleon’ is pretty decent - mainly because it doesn’t sound 20 years out of date. I also like how it combines elements of RnB, reggaeton and Balkan pop to make it appealing to all Europeans, no matter which terrible music genre is their favourite.
But if we want to stop being perennial losers, we need to figure out how to overcome the bane of Malta in Eurovision: neighbour voting.
To do this, we must resort to the dark arts. Not assassination or anything like that, but starting a massive gossip campaign. Over the next few weeks, we send a crack team of Maltese gossipers (anyone Maltese) disguised as tourists to cities all over Europe.
There, they’ll sow discord between traditionally friendly nations. “Hey Bulgaria, Romania told us you’re all ugly.” “Hey Romania, Bulgaria told us your food is rubbish.”
Then the gossip-saboteurs handout some bajtra liquor, and that’s douze points from everyone guaranteed. Eat your heart out, Machiavelli.
3. The Gozo Tunnel
As someone with Gozitan roots (Stennienibarra is a Gozitan surname - the proper pronunciation is ‘Stinnejne-jburra’), I don’t like the idea of having a tunnel from Gozo to Malta. I’d much prefer a tunnel from Gozo to America, but experts have told me the cost would be prohibitive. If you ask me,it’s that kind of unambitious attitude that holds this country back.
So I thought, “OK, what else is really good at crossing the Gozo Channel?” The answer was obvious: Michelle Muscat. The only problem is that she was not designed to carry hundreds of people and their cars.
So what we do is this:we get a DNA sample from Michelle. Then, we hire a mad scientist to use that sample to create a genetically engineered clone of Michelle that’s twice the size of a Gozo ferry - a Mega Michelle, if you will.
Mega Michelle will then swim back and forth across the channel with cars strapped to her back or in her stomach, like a whale. It’ll be a world first. And when she leaves port she can bellow: “I’m in transit, my dears!”
The only problem is if she gets bored and goes on a rampage. Then we have issues.