Insensitivity Training 101

Good Morning. Glad to have you aboard. Including ” You People ” down the back of the classroom.

Here at the BGA Institute we are going to take you through the basic steps that you’ll need to become insensitive, crass, and uncaring. This may sound like a difficult task for you snowflakes who have been sucking on the public education teat for 20+ years and show no signs of detaching yourselves, but I assure you that the Institute can help. And help you do indeed need.

Let’s start by introducing ourselves. I am the Right Evil Bastard, and head of the Guild. I have been insensitive and unpleasant to more people than you’ve had hot dinners… As REB  I take pride in this, while still recognising that there is a place for a softer and more sentimental approach. It cozens the unwary into letting you get closer and makes it easier to stab them.

If you enrolled for this course based upon the ” 101 ” tag in the faculty brochure thinking that it would be an easy credit for your first year, you may be dismayed to know that there are Insensitivity Training courses that start at ” 1″ and go up to ” 100″ that are considered prior qualification. At this level you are expected to be able to make a Marine Corps drill instructor stutter with nervousness…We’ll test you on this in a moment.

Many of you – in fact probably all of you – are connected to the rest of the world with electronic devices and social media. The odd one who is not will be ferreted out and compelled to subscribe to every failed internet site up until now to get up the speed. They should have a wow of a time with the Warner Brothers site.

We will now break for morning coffee to give you a chance to mingle and to ask questions of each other. The most useful enquiries will earn their owners remission from the whippings later in the day. Now don’t be shy…



How To Avoid Being Stalked

These days there is a great deal of unease about the business of stalking. The term crops up in newspapers, legal cases, and the social media. Many accusations are made and in some cases substantiated. The BGA has a few points of good advice for those who would avoid the problem:

a. Do not poop in the wild. Or on the screen.

This is the number one give-away for wild animals – at least for the ones who do not instinctively bury their shit. They leave steaming mounds everywhere and eventually the predator who wants to find them just ends up following a trail of increasingly fresh dung until it finds the arsehole that is putting it out. Not a pleasant way of shopping, but a sure-fire way of finding one end of dinner.

In the social media world it works the same way. People post the most improbable piles of merde on the internet – for the most part picked up and ” shared ” in an effort to get attention. Well, if they share enough of it and it gets to be fresh, it can lead directly to them.

b. Do not leave your leavings around.

We are not suggesting that you shred every piece of wrapping paper or McDonalds container that you collect to prevent hackers from trolling your recycle bin…but remember what happened to the US Embassy in Tehran in the 1980’s.  Look at the stuff you throw out and securely destroy the bits with the numbers.

Or fish the number bits out of your neighbour’s verge on bin night and put them in your own waste. Hell, just exchange paper all up and down the street and hack each other.

c. Do not pay by credit card, cheque, or direct debit.

If possible do not even pay in cash. Promise to pay and then skip town. There are towns all over the place. Skipping is healthful exercise.

d. Do not take surveys, answer questionnaires, enter contests, play free games, or request free samples.

You might as well be drawing a red circle around yourself on an ordnance survey map. The people who harvest information trade and sell it, and you, based upon what you give them. You may well end up being used but you do not have to run up the gangplank of the slave ship to embrace it.

e. Do not react to anything.

Reaction is what people want when they wish to know where you are and what triggers you. Depend upon it; when you give them the information they will use it and they will not use it in a way that makes you happier.

f. Be beige. Bland, Swiss, middle-aged, from an outer suburb, and never seen. Try to become a fully visible invisible creature.

g. Avoid all interpersonal relationships – in particular avoid the ones that involve loose clothing and lapses of memory. When that old sweet song echoes in your ear, put your finger inside there instead.

Love is another thing. Love is perennial and blessed. Love is violets and daffodils. Love is the stuff of which very successful pulp novels can be made. If it occasionally becomes a soggy mess and soaks through into the upholstery, regard this as the price you pay for happiness. Or misery. In any case, if you do pay the price, get a receipt – you can sometimes claim it on your tax return.


The Torch And Pitchfork Club

With the current culture of witch hunting proving such so successful for lawyers, publicity agents, and television stations, I have decided that the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia can benefit from it – we are going to start an on-line Torch and Pitchfork Club.

It will be an opportunity for Guild members to savage public figures and personal enemies without fear of reprisal. I have negotiated a free pass from the Commonwealth Director of Prosecutions that will allow personal defamation and lewd slander without fear of reprisal. The major networks have come on board upon the promise that they can be seen to be virtuous and moral.

Of course this is not without danger. Some of the people who we attack may turn out to be innocent, despite our best efforts. We can strive but we may not succeed. The only comfort in these cases will be to remember the general fallibility of Man and hope that our victims will do something bad eventually. Even if we do not see it, there will be a Higher Power that can mete out punishment upon our behalf. I mean, we spend a fortune on candles and incense – we should at least get some return for the money, eh? Else what’s a temple for?

The Torch and Pitchfork will also be a chance for a social outing for Guild members. Who doesn’t like marching and chanting? You get few enough chances to get out of an evening, and if you can go out with like-minded friends, storm a bastille or burn down a castle, and home again in time for a nice cup of tea, well—it’s got to do you good, innit?

I plan to rage against Aldi supermarkets and Chinese people. And then go out for a good pint and a chicken fried rice at the Golden Dragon.

The Backstabbers Guild Guide To Marketing

There are two parties involved in marketing – the seller and the buyer. Only one of them needs to be polite, kind, and honest at any one time. It is always nice when they both are, but sometimes you have to settle for less. Technically it is also possible to have both sides act in a mean, dishonest, and greedy fashion, but only if you are conducting negotiations between large nations.

If you are going to be selling something – goods, services, or indentured labourers – you need to be cheerful, open-faced, and welcoming. You need not have decent merchandise, adequate service, or valuable laborers but the smile and the glad hand are essential. A snappy uniform or suit of clothes also helps.

Research your customers – not only do you want to know the things that they desire, you also want to know what they wish to avoid. If you can find out uncomfortable facts about them, all the better…the garment of merchandising has many strands interwoven and some of them can be made into nooses.

Make sure your offer is plausible as well as attractive. No good offering unicorns if you cannot deliver them. If they are mail-order unicorns, however, you may be able to get two weeks to clear the cheque and flee the country. As with all comedy acts, fraud requires an acute sense of timing.

Consider whether you are going to have to offer a warranty. This is required by state and federal laws for any sorts of goods you sell, and can run up to a year from the date of purchase. Illegal goods and services, however, are generally free of any of this nonsense and once you have the money you can toodle off. Consider whether you fancy being all that moral all that much…

And finally, remember that the most successful salespeople never take ” no  ” for an answer. You can recognise them in the emergency ward at the hospital as the interns and nurses try to remove the other answers that they have taken from their bodies. Turn away if you are squeamish.


Oh, It’s A Lie…

A lie, I tell you. A damned lie.  I mean the advertising line that some particular product, service, or workshop make digital easy. Nothing makes digital easy…and if anything slightly eases the burden, you can be sure that someone will spot it and quash the improvement.

The closest to making things easy is the Apple business. Your iMac or Macbook is probably nearest to a seamless experience that you’re ever going to get…provided you are prepared to play it entirely the Apple way. You’ll need to surrender yourself to somewhat of a mom-and-pop spinster schoolteacher level of tech, but if you can do what you want to do in those boundaries, you can do it without having to panic.

Okay. I lied. You’ll have to panic a few times a year as the Apple people update something or someone else in the electronic kingdom tries to usurp power, but you can have confidence that Apple has more lawyers, geeks, and possibly assassins than the rebels, and it will all end soon.

I’m not proud – I am prepared to be mom-and-pop. I’ve been pop for about 40 years and it is a fine thing. And if Apple can make the engine start every morning and get the computer out of the garage and onto the road, I’m prepared to pay for it. I do not need to be cutting edge – in fact cutting edges are anathema to me as I take aspirin.

But what I DO want is the other players in the game to stop indulging in electronic dick fights and let simple things that work continue to exist as those simple things. I’ve yet to get the WordPress/Facebook link to start up again properly and it is proving frustrating.

And I digitally frustrate easily…

Repressed Desire…

I have repressed desires. They are kept  hidden for a number of reasons:

a. They are appalling and horrible. This isn’t true, actually, but I thought I’d capture your interest right at the start.

b. They are expensive. Well, this isn’t true either. I don’t have overly-expensive desires. In fact I hold those who do have them slightly in contempt – as people who can be manipulated by commerce. My most expensive desires mostly top out under $ 200 and I can generally steal enough from the poor-box at church to gratify them.

c. They are shameful. Well, some are. I would tell you what they were but I blush too easily. Suffice it to say that if they were to see the light of day  a number of suburban streets would be cordoned off and Gordon Ramsay would ring up to try to soothe me with kind words.

d. They are possible. Now this might seem to be at odds with the idea of repression, but if you actually do get your repressed desires then they are not repressed any more. And that means that they lose a lot of their desirability as well. And then where are you? Sitting in front of a sink full of dirty dishes in your underwear with the stove out and nothing to drink.

e. Repressed desires are sexy – as opposed to sexy desires which can be inconvenient, embarrassing, and messy. There is no romance about plain old desire bellowing in rut through the local K-Mart parking lot. More often than not, it gets laughed at.

f. Repression is the new Freedom. It goes over very well in Arabia, South America, and Russia.

g. I once gratified a repressed desire and now it turns up at the doorstep every six months and demands money. That’ll teach me.


Thank You For Concern

Wood afternoon. Is here Raskolnikov.

Ah, I have virus computer? You Microsoft Technical Department? You fix? Good. DO NOW.

No, I not the only person of computer. Many people of computer all over world.

Hello? Hello? Where go Microsoft Technical Department? Hello?