1. Sex 2. Drugs 3. Rock And Roll

4. Driver’s license.

5. Diploma.

6. University  fees.

7. Textbooks.

8.  Accommodation.

9. Food.

10. Laundry.

11. New clothing.

12. Medical expenses.

13. Degree.

14. Job applications.

15. Relocation expenses.

16. Taxes.

17. Housing.

Welcome to the world of adulting, teenage justice warrior. You may not have time to march in front of the state legislature/parliament house/television cameras/iphones of your friends for some time as you are now required to show up and do something worth getting paid for. Hint: keep your receipts and pay slips as you’ll need them to pay your taxes. If you do not wish to pay taxes remember that there is always the Al Capone Option. They have closed Alcatraz but Leavenworth is still going…

You may note that I have left out marriage and babies from the list. You’ll learn about them when you grow up.

 

Experience Is No Substitute For Righteousness!

And don’t you forget it, Grandad. Don’t try that old business about having seen it all before just because you did actually see it all before. If I didn’t think of it after watching YouTube, it doesn’t count.

And don’t try rolling your eyes at me, old man. None of that senior sarcasm or you’ll be sent to your room with no supper. Wait? What do you mean it’s your food? Just because you’ve paid for it and cooked it and served it at your own table doesn’t mean you have a right to enjoy it if I disapprove. There are principles involved and the main one is I am young and right and you are old and wrong. And I am the judge of it all…I’ve got the internet.

And in a few years I’ll be able to vote and drink beer and smoke cigarettes and get the dole and post angry memes on social media whenever I want to. I got rights.

Exclusive Offer


Will Rogers.

Enshrine that name in your memory. Bookmark him on your computer. Read his quotes. One of which is:

” Never miss a chance to shut up. ”

I need to read this every day – early. I had a recent experience of being in the company of someone who should have done so too. It was a good lesson to watch from a distance. Out of hearing is a very good distance…

But enough of this. I wish to propose a paraphrase to Will’s advice – if his shade will let me. Consider ” Never miss a chance to be excluded “. Actually, if Will had said it it would probably have been ” Never miss a chance to be ignored “. A little different feeling, but just as good.

Being excluded is a wonderful thing. It posits there being something or someone that doesn’t want you, and that means they don’t want you for a reason. Now there’s a story behind that reason – all of a sudden you have a mystery to enquire into.

Of course some things are not a mystery – a black person applying to join the local chapter of the KKK doesn’t have to wonder too much why they send his application form back with a curt rejection. That same man applying to join a London club and receiving a rejection – probably phrased in more gentlemanly terms – does indeed have a mystery and might be able to set an enquiry afoot. And then all hell may break loose.

Being excluded from a social circle is also an intriguing thing, and generally rewards investigation. Be careful what you look for, however, and who and what you ask, because there’s a danger that some fool might reconsider and invite you in. Then you’re sunk.

On a romantic note, who knows how many people have been rendered happy during their later years by rejection of an early suit and exclusion from someone’s home? They sometimes find out much later when they see what the former loved one has become. Then they will be wise if they follow Mr. Roger’s original advice.

In short, when someone tells you to go away because you are not wanted, take the opportunity to leg it. The world is wide and there are plenty of other things to do.

 

 

The Grass Is Greener…

And the days are longer and the people are better and the government is kinder and…

If you live in Australia or North America you will probably have noticed that life is always lived better in places that you are far away from. I most cases these are European places, and tend to be the parts of Europe where you will probably never go. The culture is richer, the people are better, and the political system is far grander than on your own benighted patch of ground.

This is no new phenomenon – it has been the constant message from any number of media presenters for decades. At one time the more desirable places were the Greek islands or tiny towns in Tuscany. Now they seem to be Iceland or Finland or Sweden. Really, they could be anywhere that you’re not likely to have actually visited…because then you might begin to suspect that it is a load of hooey.

Oh, I’m not saying these places are not wonderful for their residents, but the superiority that they are credited with in 2020 doesn’t seem consistent with what they were in 1920, 1940, or later. Had they been such paradises of human delight, the tens of thousands of European emigrants that sailed to Australasia and North America would have stayed home in the first place.

The attempt to sell a culture with propaganda is one thing…the attempt to sell a cultural cringe is another. It was tried in Australia in the 40’s and 50’s and didn’t fly.

By all means tell us of the wonderful traditions of the scandahoovians but try not to invent too many of them as you go along.

The Welcome Wagon

As a child we moved about North America a great deal. It was my father’s work that occasioned this. No, not train robbery…that was never work as such…more a hobby. I mean heavy construction, mining, and dredging. Its the sort of profession that whirls managers and engineers from one job to the next and can uproot their families 3 times a year for decades.

Every time we arrived in a new city or town there seemed to be a Welcome Wagon. This would be generally ladies meeting my mother and bringing cake or cookies  plus what seemed to be special gifts, but were in reality advertisements from the local tradespeople. In many cases the Welcome Wagon ladies were the wives or employees of the tradesmen. This was in the days before professional girlfiends so there was never anything juicy in the gossip line.

My mother would have them all in, serve tea, coffee, and whatever was in the kitchen at the time. The ladies would introduce themselves and then gently probe for answers – much like Facebook does now. Age, marital status, education, children, hobbies, income, religion, politics, preferred brands of tobacco or liquor, etc. The answers would then lead to additional probes and/or discrete advertising for whoever had filled the Welcome Wagon basket.

I listened to my mother respond to some of this; fence with some questioners, answer others,  then supply them with what in retrospect was a very friendly form of obfuscation. I think she would have been good in front of a Royal Commission or Senate Enquiry. It was the time of  Senator Joe McCarthy so I think she realised the value of keeping family information private.

In any case it was always the same – as soon as the welcome ladies found out that we were birds of passage, likely to be there for only a quarter of the year, the welcome mat would be rolled up and they would vanish. To be honest, even though I was only about 7 or 8 at the time, I got to be quite cynical about the whole exercise. I got far better treatment from teachers ( and far worse from students ) at the schools I went to.

Repeat After Me

Chili.

Rhubarb.

Soda water.

Any movie that has made money in the last 50 years.

Because they all do, and there is nothing short of Gaviscon or a sordid sex scandal that will stop the cycle. If you survey the number of James Bond film, the Rocky films, the Batman or other superhero films…you become quite despondent for the species. The fact that they succeeded the first time and have succeeded for so many times afterwards indicates the basic intelligence of the audience – the fact that the price has risen each time lets you know that P.T. Barnum was right.

I am personally stunned at the amount of money that changes hands in after-market spinoffs and merchandising for these things. I walk through stores dedicated to movie goods and look at price tags in amazement. The fact that there are actual stores full of the stuff is frightening. Of course the religious supply stores are also nerve-wracking, and sometimes for the same reasons.

For myself, I treasure entertainments that are self-contained. If they are not perfect, that is just the luck of the game. The fact that they play out in 60 to 90 minutes and need never be seen again is part of the appeal. I never seek a sequel or prequel. I am content now with Sleeping Beauty or The Sting just as it was.

 

British Independence – Part Four – Cashing In

If Great Again Britain finally wrenches itself loose from the toils of the EU, and is politely asked to withdraw their Governors – General, Lieutenant, State, or Honorary as the case may be – from nations that have finally decided that they can also govern themselves, there will be formalities to be completed.

In the case of the United States these were conducted at Yorktown in Virginia some centuries ago. The representatives of the British Crown under Lord Cornwallis were invited to throw their muskets into a heap and get on board Royal Navy vessels and go away. The alternative was to be shot dead. It may not seem a very formal procedure, but it was effective.

We need not go the musket route here in Australia or New Zealand, though it would be a lot of fun. We can simply pack up the silver, paintings, Rolls Royce cars, and portraits of H.M., place the Governors on top of the pile, and send them back to Tilbury Docks via the next container ship. The various Government Houses can be occupied by the state or federal leaders and if it is done with efficiency no-one will really notice anything.

Canada may have a problem in that they will be replacing a Queen with a Trudeau and there may be a lot of popular sentiment against it. If they substitute a hockey goalie the thing might go well.

I think the UK would do well to look to a hitherto untapped source of funds – the Loyal Oath taken by new citizens of Commonwealth countries during their naturalisation ceremonies. I underwent one such affair in 1970 and it was a solemn and joyous occasion. A Bible was held and an oath of fealty to HM Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and assigns was taken. This was not given a run-out period and is in force today.

If the British BREXIT from Australia as well as from the EU, I am prepred to pay a fair fee for the cancellation of this oath and/or its transfer to an Australian President or King or High Ruler. If the transaction occurs during the reign of King Charles III, I would be prepared to pay more.