Civility And How To Avoid It- Part 1

With the rise of civil behaviour and good manners in the last few years – prompted in large part by the election of Mr. Donald Trump to the American Presidency – there has been an increasing feeling of unease in the backstabbing community. The Guild hopes to be able to reassure members and the general public and to set us all back on the proper pathway. Because everything off the pathway is strewn with mines.

Let’s start by making sure that people know what civility actually is – it is no good starting at phantoms and then letting real dangers slip in the door.

Civility is adult behaviour of considerate men and women who take care to treat others with respect and who do not cause unnecessary suffering. It is related to politeness and kindness, as wens are related to furuncles and boils, and it is equally welcome. Civility is the cement of societies…a thought that may comfort some until they realise that cement is also used to weight bodies that will be dumped in the harbour.

Civility may also be defined as a social pavise that allows one to get within easy crossbow-shot of the unsuspecting. As such, it is not that bad. You can paint soothing mental pictures on the front of it to make people think that a work of art is creeping up on them. Then, when they have been lulled into an aesthetic sense of safety you pop up and let one loose at them. If you do it in a completely calm and unemotional voice they may not even believe it was you. Quietly crouch under the protection as you wind your windlass and prepare for a second shot.

It’s not likely that you’ll get a third one off undetected, so be prepared to creep away. In some cases it is wise to creep as fast as your feet will carry you.

It has often been said that it costs nothing to be civil. True, and in many cases the behaviour is worth every penny you pay… In the case of Backstabbers Guild members we would advise a more commercial approach – be as polite as you need to be for as long as you need to be. Once your object has been achieved you can stop the pretence and go back to normal.  If you do it unobtrusively the memory of your kindness will continue far after you have resumed being cruel.

Remember that Mary Poppins – a Backstabber if ever there was one – said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. She was, of course, speaking before the current research into diabetes, obesity, and social virtue damned the sugar industry. And she was likely on the payroll of CSR. But she was right – you can sweeten vitriol, paraquat, and curare quite effectively if there are no hypodermic darts available. We advise that you never lick the spoon.

Part 2 will detail civility in different civilisations, though we have no data for Tasmania or Newfoundland as they are not civilisations

 

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May Contain…

The following post may contain sex scenes, nudity, violence, drug use, coarse language and reference to people who are dead.

Or not.

I live a life that does not contain much of the above, because I am careful to avoid it. Just as I am careful to avoid soggy egg sandwiches in a service station cabinet, or people with tinfoil helmets on their heads, or families who have the Protocols of Zion embroidered on a sampler in the hallway. I am not stupid. I can recognise trouble before it recognises me, and I am not at all hesitant to light out for the hills.

So why would I watch a television drama that warns me beforehand that just such hazards await me? Why would I consider the lives portrayed on the television screen to be valid models for me? What goodness can they possibly offer that will offset the vile stuff? I am starting to think that it is time to pull the plug and put the telly out on the verge for the council to collect.

T’was not always thus. I loved telly in the 1950’s and 1960’s when our family landed up somewhere that had regular reception. I knew all the game shows, comedians, and serials. As none of them swore, flashed their minges at me, or showed me how to beat up my grandmother efficiently, I was perfectly happy. I even sat through the advertisements in a golden glow. I will admit to a little screen-driven consumerism but it generally peaked at breakfast cereal with plastic frogmen inside.

Australian television was always cruder, weirder, and more touching than the US or Canadian stuff. It had none of the sophistication of British telly. But it did have the local scenery sometimes and it also had access to unknown video fodder from Japan at a time when nothing foreign was seen elsewhere. I am glad I saw it before it changed to colour, and I am also glad that I have seen enough of it now that it has.

The simple act of passing swiftly by it without a second glance is guaranteed to give you at least 4 hours more of hobby, reading, drinking, or sex time in the day. If you are really efficient you can combine all the activities at the same time. Oh, you may have to clean up stray paint spills or untangle your partner from the ceiling fan, but this is small beans compared to the extra time you gain. And the wonderful thing is that you never have to worry who gets killed off in a series – they can all go take their unemployment cheques for all you need care. There are no spoilers.

How about the art telly, I hear you say? The European films? Well, I have seen Spaniards having existential angst and Frenchmen sitting around a dinner table smoking a number of times and that pretty much does it for me. Any further repeats would just spoil the initial low impression. Likewise Chinese dating shows, international football, and Canadian films that have a soundtrack done by Larry Adler.

You Won’t Believe What They Found When…

When they clicked on the next 15 links after the original bait. At least we hope you won’t believe it. Because if you do we’re all screwed.

If you really are as stupid as this we have been wasting half our time here in Macedonia. Not that we haven’t been paid  – a bit of money, a bit of hash, a few drinks, etc. No, that’s fine. We are happy to make up bullshit for the rest of the world on that basis. It saves us from trying to go out and rescue the country from our parents.

What we are really worried about is whether we have spent too much time with well crafted semi-plausible come-ons and conspiracy stories when we could have just thrown out memes with cats and bat children in caves. Have we spent our time making good-quality bullshit when we could have gotten the same pay with poor-quality stuff? It’s a maddening thought.

Fake news and propaganda is not as easy to concoct as you might think – particularly when government agencies are engaged in the very same process. They have access to actual fresh facts, which they can distort in a far more convincing fashion. We’re limited to wild stories and bigotry, and while this is good reliable stuff, it lacks the finish and detail of the official lies. You can’t fake fake.

Of course we are grateful to the Weather Bureau for delivering a hot end to summer in the northern hemisphere. And with the bonus of a hurricane through a heavily armed section of North America. We are hoping that the Texans do not disappoint us in regards to shooting looters on sight. In fact, we count upon it, and have prepared the outrage vats in anticipation. Let ‘er pour, Baby.

Likewise we would like to express our deep appreciation to the under 30’s of the western world who raise howls of protest against anything that they do not understand or have experience of. It is heartening to have such a resource on hand to offer to our backers. We need quality raw material to do good work. And we have some of the stupidest and easily led resources since the 16th century.

Watch this space.

The Casting Crouch

I see that there is yet another flurry of outrage about a caucasian actor in Hollywood being cast to play an asian character from a comic strip. Of course there is outrage – I should expect no less from the entertainment press. They are doing their job and doing it well…

Fortunately this problem has been headed off in the 2018 re-make of ” Gettysburg ” as the studio has wisely decided to cast Wesley Snipes in the role of General Robert E. Lee. Statues are being prepared now for erection in the southeastern states in time for the summer season.

I’m not so sure about the Goldfische Studios casting for the re-make of ” Midway “, though. I am all for inclusivity but the planned use of Judy Dench and Ellen DeGeneres as Admirals Yamaguchi and Nagumo seems a little risky. And filming aboard a Caribbean cruise liner docked in Florida seems a poor substitute for the AKAGI and the KAGA. Might work  for the SORYU but not if they leave the cocktail decorations up.

Personally, I’m hanging out for ” Peanut “…the musical about George Washington Carver with Johnny Depp as the lead character. It’s a sure Oscar. Oscar Meyer…

 

The Poison Keyboard Letter

Well I am thrilled to bits. I think I may have gotten my first ever real troll here on ” Here All Week “…but I cannot be absolutely certain. I made the mistake of throwing their comment out with the spam, and I can’t get the computer to return to it.

I discovered the comment in with the rest of the spam things that seem to originate from auto-bots or people promoting cosmetic sales. These are tiresome but no more trouble than a highlight and a click to throw out. Every so often one sneaks through to the regular letters section and on a couple of occasions I have been fooled into thinking they are real. But, as I say, it is the work of a moment to throw them away. And at least they do not interrupt dinner time…like some subcontinental spam phone callers.

The post that winked into existence was pretty incoherent but seemed to accuse me of redneck racism and called me a nazi. And threatened that I had better stop writing any more because they knew people in the Democratic party. And it used the word antifa, which seems to be the flavour of the month. I kid you not.

I am sad that I made the mistake of not isolating it when I trashed the other spam, because it might have been worth following up. But then you never can tell where this sort of computer link will lead and what other electronic pests it might attract…

Still, I can only hope that whoever it was – real person or computer chip – will continue to monitor this channel. I have a lot more laughing to do at rioters and looters, and I can always use more readers, enraged and otherwise.

PS: Ooh, I just had a thought. It wasn’t all that well spelled or punctuated. Could it have come from Federal Parliament? Perhaps it is hard to type with a dark garment covering your eyes…

” Ah, We Nevair Do Zat…”

I was once told by a European that they would never consider eating maize – sweet corn – because ” In Europe we give maize to the pigs! ”

Okay, I realise that part of the intention of this declaration was to insult people from the United States and Canada – and Australia and New Zealand. Continentals are better,  cooler, etc. etc. This sort of thing is not new – it has been a constant theme for years.

But what a foolish statement. And from a person whose nationality prizes food. Europeans may be godly nations in church, but they certainly make food into a god for the rest of the time. And they are expert worshippers – no-one who has eaten in a good French restaurant has ever gone away unhappy, apart from that niggling doubt about being insulted by the waiter in some way. The food has been very, very good. It is amazing that a nation that is so cultured, so intelligent, and that has such a high cuisine, cannot admit that fresh, buttered corn on the cob is heavenly.

Do they have scruples about picking food up in their hands? Are they delicate? I’ve seen them eat…

Do they worry about the butter? ( I am playing with you. French food is 159% butter, even if it is dried apricots… )

Or is it that they lost control of North America – the land of corn on the cob  – in 1760 and never got it back again ( despite the efforts of Charles De Gaulle ). Perhaps the fact that the people there enjoy this wonderful and simple dish and need no permission from Escoffier, The Deutsche Bank or Fa ministry in Brussels is the bit that rankles.

I do not know. I am just looking for the butter, salt, and boiling water. I shall be busy for the next hour. By all means send your pig …there is plenty of corn for both of us – we will discuss you in your absence, Monsieur…

 

 

The Little World – You Can Lay New Bricks On Old Walls

My recent project of building a 1:18 scale model of a house I once lived in went very well – better than I had expected. It is now sitting in my studio ready for the next phase of my art – tabletop photography.

But once I had completed the actual build i realised that the miniatureist has a wonderful facility that other people may miss out on – we can go back in time and rebuild memories.

Some people never want to do that – they have had experiences that they wish would go away. They actively bury them by various means. You can’t re-write history – unless you are a Soviet Ministry of Propaganda – but sometimes you can add extra pages to what is there to modify it – or at least to understand it.

Thus my researches into the model house I built. From a vague image on Google that sparked my memory, through to more images, and then the discovery of an advertising page from the 1950’s that named the house and showed plans of it. I experienced a re-awakening of mental images of the colours, surface textures, and relationships of the place. I’ve almost recalled the furniture positioning – and can certainly remember the downstairs playroom where I had my toys and games.

It is a bit creepy, as well, to look a Google Earth images of the house standing and flourishing 58 years later, and to realise that I could probably open the front door, walk past the startled present owner, and go to the kitchen, bathroom, and any other part of the place unbidden. A stalker on the other side of the planet…Out of consideration for them, I will not do it…

As I built the miniature I started to undersand more of the layout and dimensions of the place – things I would have had not knowledge of in the 50’s; the size of lumber, the types of roofing, the plumbing layout adopted to give the shortest and cheapest run of pipes. Because, make no mistake about it…the theme of this sort of house was economy and quick build and any corner that might have been available to be cut…was. And I would be willing to bet that there are houses built today that are just a few computer strokes away from this design – and probably assembled from cheaper materials.

Still, it has lasted 58 years and still has someone in there…and here…