One of the great things about the onward march of technology is the way that it is democratising geekiness. Back in the 90s, the notion of creating and maintaining a website was unthinkable for yours truly - such an activity was the preserve of bespectacled and brainboxed friends who spoke in an irritating dialect of programmese whenever the subject of computers came up at parties. Today, though, even idiots like me can run a blog, and play with some of the toys that were once the preserve of brainy friends. Geekdom has ceased to be a meritocracy.
One of the fun little gadgets attached to this blog is 'Extreme tracker', which records the number of unique visitors (we had almost 200 yesterday, thanks I suspect to a little plug by the venerable Grauniad) and also tells where they came from. I know I'm easily amused, but I was wildly excited to log on tonight and see that not one, not two, not three, but four Maltese people had just visited this blog. It's the first time I can remember seeing that distinctive white and red flag in the visitors' log, and I'm celebrating by reproducing a painting which one of my favourite artists inflicted on the wall of a church in Malta nearly four hundred years ago.
A precursor of MacEnroe as well as the modernists, Caravaggio had to flee Rome for Naples and later Malta after killing a bloke over a disputed point in a tennis game. He managed to live on the island for fifteen months, before new indiscretions saw him
forced to move on. I like the way that the Malta Caravaggios are painted onto walls, and thus can't be abstracted from their geographical context by the vampiric art markets. Anyone who wants to see them 'in the flesh' ought to be forced to endure a seasick journey to the island, just as anybody who wants to see Len Lye's creations should be forced to drive the windy and precipitous road through the Taranaki hill country into New Plymouth and its Lye centre...