Class Antagonism

New phrase to you?

It was to me until a chance posting on Facebook introduced it . I suspect the cartoon that used the words was written closer to Pyongyang than Seoul, but it’s hard to tell these days. The person who ” shared ” the post may well be in the know. I’m frightened to ask in case I get a dialectic up my nose.

It looks as though the dear old communist ideology is still being pressed upon the masses, though other dear old ideologies are frowned upon. And the brainwash departments are still very much in business. It’s gone a bit past the poster columns and agitprop trains but they know that they still have a wide audience for ” virtuous socialism ” amongst the disaffected. I’ll bet the campuses are still packed with the true believers who are ready to shout down anyone else.

Are there nests of right wingers in opposition to the red end of the spectrum? I have noted the occasional one on Facebook, but not to the same extent. Are there secret societies? Are the beer halls still putsching?

Perhaps it’s time to start pushing the buttons; hide, unfollow, defriend, spam alert, etc. I can get all the scolding I want from physical friends and identifiable family – no need to import it from strangers.

 

What Would Genghis Do?

There must have been times when even the great Khan was stumped for an answer. When ordering the death of a city or the poisoning of a well just didn’t seem to satisfy the palate. Off days on the great grassy plain.

Well, GK, if that’s not being too familiar, we are still having those days now. We are living far away from your region and have fewer opportunities to swarm over civilisation and destroy it but we still long to make our small mark on the wall.

For most of us it comes down to what we can do at work, in school, or within the family circle. We are beset with laws forbidding pillage and murder. Wholesale destruction of cities  has become so complicated with zoning laws and metropolitan renewal schemes that it is left to the road building firms. The best most of us can do is post snide memes on social media.

Yet we still look to you for inspiration in the times of trouble. We think ” If it worked for Genghis Khan, it’ll work for me. ” and all we need is the boldness to put down the iPad, pick up a  butter knife, and go out and start slitting throats. If we could only inculcate this sense of irresponsibility in our youth…

Propriety For the Proprietor

Funny old language, English.

Everyone in the modern milleniverse seems to be for propriety…that sense of the right and proper thing to do, say, or think. Yet the same people are willing to attack the proprietors of anything; businesses, governments, learning institutions, whenever they do not get the cultural obedience or discount they demand.

Perhaps I am being harsh on Millenials. To be honest, I am not exactly certain who they are, nor are the names of Gen X, Y, or Z any more help. I have been told Baby Booming was bad, but as I benefitted greatly from the practice I am unwilling to condemn my parents…or me.

I’m also wondering if we can institute a system of impropriety for improprietors. It would use up all the language that otherwise is scorned and we might have a lot more fun doing it. I have the BGA, The BGA News Service, and ZOWIE magazine to help me get through the day and there is always recourse to liquor, if the price is right.

Perhaps we just need effective advertising slogans:

” Do the right thing – say the wrong words. ”

” Impolitical Correctness ”

I will ponder this some more in the coming days. I have an uneasy feeling that there are people living who I have not offended, and time is fleeting. I may have to become more efficient, or at least work on larger batches.

 

Creative Baiting

For Master Baiters.

Some people are very good at what they do – embroidery, cooking, art, motor car maintenance. In the days of the medieval guilds they would have started as apprentices, become journeymen, and eventually progressed to being masters of their art or craft.

The art of angering people to mock them or to get them to support your political or religious view is known as baiting. The practitioners lay emotional or verbal traps for their opponents ( and most opponenetss are just supporters in waiting…) and try to make them fall into them. This can be as crude as name-calling or as sophisticated as an advertising agency campaign. Many effective baits are disguised as sensible statements that turn vicious at the end. Mein Kampf was full of this ploy.

” How would you feel if…” is one of the modern variations on the bait. It seeks to directly bypass thought and substitute emotion. There’s a good reason for this – thought is difficult to manipulate, but emotion is easy to steer. Once started, an emotional flood can wash away most thought, and once that has happened, the baiter can replace it with their opinion.

The Master Baiter will be careful not to go too far. Oh, I don’t mean too far in what they say – they might demand the destruction of the world in a sensible fashion with a straight face – but too far with the reaction of the victim. Once the target realises that they are not going to look good they may turn just away and deny the tormentor the pleasure. Or they may snap and attack the pest. This is the aim of many bullies who want to instigate a physical fight by taunts. But it can turn bad  – emotions sometimes steel the weakling far beyond what was expected, and the tables may be turned.

The safest course is to bite small, bite often, and bite a different part of the anatomy each time. No-one can scratch everywhere at once.

Sniper Nest

It is no longer necessary to tie yourself to a tree wearing a ghillie suit to be a professional sniper. Nor do you need to search out book depositories, grassy knolls, or water towers. You need not carry heavy firearms either – no more carefully swabbing barrels or weighing ammunition. You can shoot ’em dead from the comfort of your computer room.

We’re not talking about computer games as such – none of that video business like with an arcade game. This is actual assassination carried out on actual people. And the good thing is you won’t be punished for it, even if you are found culpable. You see, you shoot ’em in their reputation, not their rib cage.

The best practitioners of this skill have specific targets to deal with. Ex-husbands and ex-wives are the primary targets …as well as the primary shooters. They have either a long-standing grudge and animosity or a short-term goal in view; blackening the character of their former partner.

It can be done blatantly, with names, addresses, dates, and high-res pictures…but that does risk the lawyers battening upon it as defamation. More often it is done with memes, hints, and innuendo. As long as the sniper can hint to the observers know who the target is they count on formerly-mutual friends to convey the messages back. The disconnects that exist on the social media may  prevent the target from seeing the shots as they come and go, but someone can always send a screen copy to do the same thing.

The unfortunate part of this is the collateral damage – the people on social media who have to see the written fire fight and pretend to ignore it. Or  are lured to pour sympathy or scorn on one or other of the parties. In most cases people have enough traumas in their own lives without having to watch an artillery duel on their computer.

What Is The Difference Between A Harpoon And A Lampoon?

The latter hurts far more than the former and its effects can last for centuries. If it is well done, you can bleed for 400 years – well after you are dead.

Making fun of – or mocking – someone is a very serious business. Far too serious a matter for laughter. In many cases any attempt at fun merely obstructs the process.

We all learn it early on – the schoolyard bully’s taunt is the first intimation that all will not be well in life. If we are lucky, we can throw it off as mere noise – if we are less fortunate it may colour our days far longer than anything else. Some people carry this sound with them well into adulthood and it can either cripple or energise them.

The adult mockery we encounter may be much more subtle – the slight, the sneer, the show of status. These can all tell upon a sensitive soul – as they are meant to –  and give a feeling of gloom and despair to any social occasion. But what is one to do? What to do..what to do…?

a. Fight fire with fire.

Mock back. Every person has a sensitive spot that will send a pain to their brain. Find it and press it.

Once you are sure of it, press it publicly, repeatedly, with plenty of witnesses.

b. Fight fire with oil.

Become smooth and conciliatory. Soothe the taunter with praise for their personality, looks, wealth, and power. Do it so well that people will think you are best friends and then discount all that the taunter says as mere badinage.

c. Fight fire with water.

Burst into tears. Weep at the scorn that is poured on you. Do it well and few spectators suspect the slice of onion in your hand and will look upon your tormentor with contempt. Prepare to be consoled with brandy and sympathy.

d. Fight fire with insulation.

Ignore the taunt. Smile and offer the taunter a slice of bread and butter – or a small pamphlet on monetary reform. Keynesian economics will quell the loudest mouth.

” I’ve Never Been So Insulted In My Life! “

Well that shows you that things are advancing, eh? You have achieved something that you never reached before. Onward And Upward, eh?

Feeling insulted may not seem like an achievement to some of us older folks. We remember when it was an unpleasant thing that we tried to avoid. We probably still think of it along these lines, which shows how ancient we are.

A more modern generation has  been able to see more clearly – by peering harder into the pan. They regard feeling insulted as a badge of honour and a desirable state of being. If they can feel insulted…and protest their distresses…they feel they have gained status in their community.

As odd as this may seem to us oldies, it is real – and we should make an effort to assist the younger generation to gain self confidence and esteem by insulting them at every opportunity. Make note of the following words and phrases:

snot-nose kid

millennial snowflake

dole bludger

Mickey Mouse student

They are crude weapons on the generational battlefield but valuable nonetheless. You may never need to wield them, but if you do, lay about you with vigour. You need not feel bad about making the young feel useless and sad – they have said far worse about you for years. If you can engage them in a deep and meaningful conversation you can be more specific and delicate in your abuse. Every young person has deep-seated anxieties that can be plucked like the strings of a lyre.

Pluck ’em. Pluck ’em all. I say. Smarmy little pluckers…

Faecal Fun For Formal Parties

If you have just opened this page from an internet search because of the tag words, I apologise. This is not a porn site. Nor does it contain any conspiracy theories or advice on any question of voting. It is not selling you anything…except possibly a membership in the Backstabbers Guild of Australia. Good day and good luck.

Now, as you have continued reading, let me cast your mind back to a motion picture called ” Caddy Shack “. A teenage comedy confection of 1980 that had bad taste as the prime goal and succeeded marvellously. The scene involving Bill Murray as the maintenance man cleaning out a supposedly-contaminated swimming pool is possibly the funniest faecal joke in cinema. Just as the baked bean scene in ” Blazing Saddles ” tops the record for the celebration of flatulence. I am unsure about urination, but there must be a definitive joke about that on the screen somewhere. I only know a printed version involving Wilson Mizner.

Aside: Wilson was real, and a Bad Boy when that was not good. At one reform school where he was sent he discovered the janitor had secreted a case of beer behind the furnace and was drinking it day by day. Wilson commenced prising the top off bottles  and drinking the beer himself …and then filling the bottles back up with urine.

Eventually he was caught by the school authorities and hauled up for discipline – drinking beer on school grounds. He insisted that he drank no beer. The Principal accused him of lying, saying that the bottles were full of beer. Wilson said it wasn’t beer.

Whereupon the Principal angrily unstoppered one an took a long swig to prove Wilson wrong.

Wilson was right.

Anyway, back to the pan. Do not believe any of that old guff about Glad-wrapping the toilet bowl at a party. It is an urban myth. No-one ever fell for that one.

However, it is entirely possible that an enterprising member of the BGA could go to a joke shop and purchase a fake turd. Made of plastic, rubber or plaster, these can be remarkably realistic. The Mexican ones are best as they really know the genre.

Drill a hole in the turd and load it with lead shot or ball bearings. Seal the hole. Convey it to someone’s party when you next go out and slip into the loo when no-one is looking. Drop it into the toilet, where it will sink to the bottom like a German dreadnought in Scapa Flow. There it will stay, with no amount of flushing able to shift it. Everyone who visits later will have to gaze at it and wonder.

You need not stay for the whole party, but the time you spend there will be rewarding.

Re Tales – Part Two – ” I’ve Changed my Mind “

” And now I’m going to change yours…”

The bane of retail trade is the changer. Whether it is a mind-changer, a shape-changer, or a money-changer, they are trouble as soon as they come over the door sill.

a. Customer buys goods. They are good goods and will do him good. The price he has paid will do the shop good. The money enters the till or bank account by whatever means and starts to make a numerical mark in the accountancy system. All is well, and no further operations need be contemplated.

Until customer comes back next day and tells the shop assistant that they have changed their mind and want to return the goods. From here the trails wind deeper into the bushes:

  • Have the goods been removed from the packaging? Some packages are a one-way affair and will never reassemble.
  • Have the goods been marked? Some changers will insist that they were marked when they got them. Custom factory scratches, missing parts, and loose screws are a special order and you have to indent for them for just months. Most retailers just stock the plain old undamaged goods…Funny how Mr. Changer got the special edition.
  • Can the goods be resold as new? Well, no. They have been in Changer’s hands while he did several things – maul them and then search on the internet for somewhere in China that will sell them cheaper. As much as you might value his money, he could have done that before he walked in the first time…
  • He? Did I write he? Please forgive me. Changing is a gender-neutral game. She will be as keen to screw over the retailer as he will and probably more indignant and entitled as she tries it. They don’t call ’em Karens for nothing…
  • Can the financial trail that the original sale opened be accessed again to clear it? Some accountancy systems require vast amounts of data entry to reverse anything – it can be uneconomic to even try. Which leads us to say to the changer…

No. No, you can’t change the goods for other goods. You can’t get your money back. Not if the goods were in good shape when they left the shop, are working correctly,  and are suitable for the purpose for which they were purchased. Those are the only grounds upon which a legal entitlement to repair, change, or refund exist.

They do exist under a state law, as well as a warranty for a certain period of time. But do not try to quote Magna Carta or lines from The Godfather to try to stretch the law to suit yourself.

You bought something in good faith with the ideas that were riding inside your head yesterday, now go use that mind today to make use of what you bought.

As far as threatening to never shop here again…considering your performance regarding returns…make our day…

Re Tales – Part One – Subiaco Man

Before I start and before the Subiaco City Council organises a lynching party, let me say that he may have been City Beach Man or Peppermint Grove Man. I am not sure of the exact markings that differentiate the species – I just know they can look and behave alike.

The occasion I saw him was at a product launch in the shop where I was once employed. I was there gathering information for the shop’s daily column. The product was a very nice camera from a major maker – and in these Covid days new products to be launched are rare.

The shop did a good show – with professional photographers to give their analyses of the camera after testing and a rare example of it to pass around. The shop put on wine, beer, cider, and plates of hors d’oeuvres to cheer the visitors – and got a capacity crowd. All good.

But Subiaco Man had to have more. He baled up a junior staff member and loudly demanded to know why the price advertised by the shop was higher than a price he had seen on-line. And then over-spoke the sales assistant every time an answer was offered. He sat in the front row and interrupted the professional photographers with fatuous and finicky questions – for much the same purpose.

He probably had a good evening while he was there. Everyone else had a good one after he left. It was a prime example of using a domineering attitude to self-aggrandize at the expense of those who are prohibited by their employment from fighting back.

I do hope he comes to the next product launch and tries again. I’m not employed, as such, and my time and my voice are my own. I fancy a good evening too…