The Icono-c/b-last

The English language has this thing for making things seem more important than they really are. ” Iconoclast ” for instance. Look up the definition in whatever dictionary you possess, but the essential thing revolves around the destruction of cherished religious institutions.

Yet no-one goes further – and takes the language of science to construct a word: ” Iconoblast “. The person who sets up or builds these structures. Martin Luther was both clast and blast and probably a hell of a lot of fun at a petting party, as well.

I refuse to destroy people’s faith in established religion. It is cute and colourful and very useful in getting them to give away their money. I support all established religions  – particularly those who collect weekly dues and are prepared to invest that money in Guild activities.

I would, however, like to be a successful iconoblast. If I could set up faithful religious worship of myself – open to all people of good, but dim, character – I could build up a real bank balance. If you look at the current religious societies you’ll see that they possess land, business assets, and treasuries that are rarely accessed and never depleted. I am not greedy – several millions squirrelled away in a secure Swiss bank would do me – and I am more than prepared to dispense salvation, approval, or any other nebulous benefit to get it. If you want to be forgiven, I forgive readily, and issue receipts.

Suppose your crime of sin is so bad – so heinous – so vile as to surpass the limits of human or divine comprehension. Yet you still want to be free of any blame. Let me introduce you the Ye Premium Service…

 

” It’s All A Mucking Fadhouse “

That feeling of exasperation when you are surrounded by people all trying to be cooler than each other – and the end result is the ambient temperature drops dramatically. And these desperate social actors live on drama…

I was always a conservative and repressed little fellow. Primary school and high school saw me dressed as my mother commanded and – to be honest – there was not a lot of sartorial splendour in rural Canada in the 1950’s. You could be well-dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans. The delightful thing for me is that this is still the case 70 years later.

You were also not encouraged to be either high, wide nor handsome in your opinions and speech. This may still be the case in Canada, though you are allowed to be scornful of the American President as long as he is not a Democrat or coloured. Hey, Canada has some standards, even if they are double…

But getting back to conservatism…it need not be a bad thing. It’s just a matter of context. No-one really wants an eye surgeon or dentist who is wild and cutting-edge radical – particularly when you’re their their patient. And few of us welcome return-to-the basics airline pilots who always fly at 500 ft. and stick their fingers out the window to see which way the wind is blowing. We reserve these things for their natural place.

Likewise we might well do with a politician who is not continuously at the barricades – particularly if they have no idea in which direction to throw their paving stone. A person who is not driven by popular shrieks from the mob is helpful. Even the shrieking radicals appreciate them, as they provide convenient targets for mindless abuse.

So calm down a little. You’ll still be able to subvert western civilisation and look kewl but you can do it at a less frenetic pace. And better dressed.

The Short Road Between Disappointment And Despair

Let’s get hypothetical here.

Suppose you learned that a friend had troubles in their life and had decided to address these by going on a wild rampage of senseless violence and bloodlust. And that they had equipped themselves with knives, pistols, bombs, and poisons to do so. And they had stripped themselves of all identity, greased themselves with rancid fat, and donned a Mexican wrestler’s Hello Kitty mask.

Would you be disapproving? Which part of the scenario would call this forth; the trouble, the bloodlust, or the mask? Because this says a great deal about you and your appreciation of life. Early sadness would indicate compassion, in the middle it would be civic virtue, and the last named would be the triumph of good taste over popular culture.

But that was hypothetical. Let’s get down to real life. Other people have troubles all the time, and unless we can end them, we are better off not starting in to interfere. Well-intentioned meddling is still meddling, and rarely comes out well. Though it is often a comfort if you are prepared to go round their house and slip on a banana peel to amuse them. Note: it’s not considered a friendly act to sue them for the peel and the injuries.

The principle of counter irritation is also a good idea. In the old days of medicine a pain was treated by rubbing another portion of the patient with acid or a hot pepper mix – this drawing off the humours and giving them something new to concentrate upon. You can apply this now – when a friend is unhappy go visit them and irritate them beyond endurance on another topic. They’ll forget the original problem in an effort to get at your throat with a pair of scissors, and the time will pass blithely. Try to be close to the door when you do this.

Now we’ve all seen the memes on Facebook that show cats frowning and looking judgemental. Try to pattern yourself accordingly. Do not purr unless absolutely necessary and remember to show people your bum.

 

Evidently A Good Person…

How often are we greeted with this over the morning egg and coffee? In most cases it is quite the opposite – a beloved entertainment figure is held up to scorn and calumny for some sexual offence – a local official is found to have stolen money – the schoolmaster is pictured dressed in an SS uniform at a Christmas party. It is not so much a case of shaking our faith as preventing it from developing in the first place.

I am always willing to assume the worst about people…but secretly hope that I am wrong. I would be delighted if the monster that is booed from the political platform was kind to puppies. I might not be prepared to vote for them, but I would trust them to walk the dog.

Equally, I am fair-minded when it comes to actual criminality – as long as it can come before a magistrate who is not elected by the local community. I have faith in the British system of justice, though the British can give me an ache in the pancreas as often as not when they start to spout John Bullshit. Done fairly, the British court system does mete out justice in most cases.

It depends upon evidence – evidence that can be clearly presented, seen by the magistrate…and everyone else in court…and that can stand the test of proof. The cases where there is a lack of evidence are harder to deal with, but I still think that they err on the side of caution enough to allow justice to prevail. Unfortunately they can also err on the side of the ruling classes in more cases than you’d think, but this is dying out.

I should still prefer to stand a trial in front of a standard magistrate here than the Supreme Court of nearly any other nation in the world.

” I Don’t Have Enough Money “

Well let’s address that problem, shall we?

a. Make some. Get access to a computer with Photoshop Elements, an inkjet printer, and a ream of good quality double-sided matte paper.

Design suitable bills in denominations that you can conveniently spend. Don’t be greedy – few people will have change in the till for a $ 10,000 note and you’ll be standing there forever while they send out for it. Choose smaller numbers -the $ 7.00 bill covers most fast food burgers and you can get a good goon for $ 19.95, so print a bill for that. No need to make the money even-numbered – 5¢ saved is 5¢ earned.

As you are designing your own currency, you get to choose who you feature on the front and what landmark you’d like on the back. There are plenty of politicians in history who have never made it to the money and lots of places that would pay you to illustrate them.

As for whether this is legal tender…well, it certainly is tender…if you can find anyone tender enough to take it in exchange for goods or services. A good money designer who is also a good salesperson will be able to pay for anything based upon the attractiveness of the bill and their own charms. When in doubt, show cleavage.

b. Steal some. This is marginally less legal than ( a. ) above, but can result in coins as well as bills. Church poor boxes, passengers on railway trains, and convenience stores are all traditional sources of ready money – but beware of the church that is more desperate than you are, the railway coach packed with smelly customers, or the corner grocery store run by an old Korean ex-marine who can knock you into next week with a stick. You may well end up paying them to let you loose.

c. Beg some. This is degrading only until you have your first $ 1000 in the bank. Then it becomes a valid form of theatre played to a gullible audience. Hint: don’t have yourself incorporated as a proprietary company and don’t give receipts. It’s efficient but you’d be surprised how the pennies dry up.

d. Inherit some. Those of you with rich old uncles will have this one sussed out already, but  there is still hope for the lonely souls as well. No matter how big you are you can still dress yourself in a nappy, lay down in a basket on the doorstep, and ring the bell. A tearful note pinned to your diaper asking that you be taken in and made prosperous completes the outfit.

It doesn’t work every time. It doesn’t work most of the time. But all it needs to do is work once and you are made. Hint: James Packer’s doorstep is currently unattended. Wait until the light goes on before you wail piteously.

e. Marry some. Go down to the station, early in the morning. See the little gravy trains, all in a row. See the stationmaster pull the little handle. Chug chug, glug glug. Off you go.

 

” I Need Sex “

You what?

” I need sex. If I don’t get sex I will be a failure. I will be sick. I will be terrible…”

Hogwash. If you don’t get sex you won’t be any of those things. You’ll just be yourself with your clothes on and a good deal more spending money in your pocket. You’ll have time to do pleasant and fun things without worrying about consequences. You will be able to avoid any number of unpleasant outcomes – both physical and mental.

” But everyone else is having sex. ”

No they’re not. They might be telling you that, but a great many of them are lying. They are bragging about it in hopes of making themselves look interesting or sophisticated or exciting. They could do that by reading a book.

” But what if I’m missing out? ”

Here’s a textbook on venereal diseases. Find out what you’re missing…knock yourself out. You’ll love the chapter on herpes. It’ll stick in your mind, like the virus sticks everywhere else.

” But what if I fall in love? ”

So fall. Fall as hard and fast and wet and foolish as you want to. It has nothing whatever to do with sex, as the porn channels on the internet make perfectly clear. You can have a superb romance dressed in woollen longjohns and sensible shoes. You can do it in cold weather and look absolutely stunning against crashing sea waves.

” So sex is not as good as it is made out to be? I can do without it forever? ”

Nahh. Sex is alright. Dive right in when you find a chance. But don’t hang about the edge of real life just mooning and mooching – use your time to enjoy everything else. If it gets you, it’ll grab your crotch anyway, and if it doesn’t you can be happy doing other things.

 

 

Opening The Borders

Open state borders…for trade and tourism…is all very well. We want trade and tourism; ie. we want money, and we want someone to bring it to us. But presently there is a chance that they will bring disease and death to us.

Not that this was not always the case – tourists can murder locals as easily as locals can murder tourists – and interstate commerce can impoverish as well as enrich. You just have to have the control knobs set the the right way to gain and not lose.

But now tourists can bring in a disease we cannot yet cure. It is in our interests to keep them away, and to stop ourselves from going to their homes and risking the same result. We, and they, are going to lose the chance to exchange money ( and that is all the trade ever is ) but we also give time for science to find a cure for this disease that haunts us.

We can exchange canned goods and television shows and chilled mutton. We can send disinfected parcels back and forth. Let us be content with that and wait out the cycle of disease and cure. And let’s remember where it all came from. We can’t fathom why, but we can reduce the chances again.

Negativity Is Your Friend

Do not be bullied by Facebook contacts who post bright and shining memes every day. They are just trying to jolly you into feeling good. On the contrary – pay attention to the serious counsel of the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia. We would never lure you down the path of happiness and then abandon you smiling.

You need the bad news in your life and you need it first. It can make all the difference to whether or not you’re going to be able to recognise good news later on. Remember a spoonful of bile helps the sugar go down. And we are here to make you bilious.

Let’s take a concrete example. Suppose someone told you that a harbour cruise with business associates would promote team spirit and help you with your commitment to the family. Sounds good. Then they tell you it will be with Cousin Salvatore and Three Finger Louie Custozza and the concrete will be setting around your feet in a bucket…If they’d have mentioned the specifics of the thing first you wouldn’t have had to smile and make small talk while they tied the ropes.

Let’s face it  – good news brightens a moment but bad news works far longer.

If you want to be pessimistic yourself – either on a professional level or in the amateur league – you have all the vast resources of CNN News, the ABC, and any number of chaired academics to draw upon. You will not have heard of the academics before, but if you stand still long enough and pay them enough for appearance fees they will become a household name. They hope.

In any case we’ll all be ruined, says Hanrahan*, and we can accept this as authoritative since it has been the steady verdict since 1919. That’s a hundred years of dismal and you can’t ask fouler than that, can you…

*  North American translation – famous Australian bush poem. Go google.

 

From Lively Imagination To Deadly Earnest

Or ” How To Clear A Cocktail Party Faster Than A Police Raid “.

You’ve all seen motion pictures of the 1920’s when the police raid a speakeasy – the black marias hauling away the patrons of the saloon while the heroine struggles with the comic cop. Well you can achieve the same effect at the next party you attend, even though it isn’t Prohibition. Just follow these simple steps:

a. Locate a focus. She, and it will often be a she, will be of a certain economic class and live in a certain suburb. Age will not be important, though you’d be wise not to ask it. If there are no females present you’ll still be able to find someone who will be able to act as a focus of trouble. They’ll also live in that same suburb.

b. Wait until the focus has had half a glass of sweet wine. This is to loosen the neurones. They are possibly rattling in their bearings anyway, but you never can tell.

c. Ask if they have had their shot of flu vaccine. Stand back and cover your drink in case they explode.

d. Wait until they are surrounded by attackers and defenders and the noise level rises.  A vaccination fight is a fearsome thing. Station yourself beside the closed exit door.

e. When angry people start clamouring to leave, charge them money to pass through the door.

f. Bank the proceeds and keep a note of the total for tax purposes.

If you don’t want to talk about vaccines -and some people are genuinely phobic about needles – then you can substitute natural gas exploration or wetlands or race relations. They’ll all have an opinion and if there are 50 guests there will be 53 different ones. Double that in certain circles.

You may need a larger cash box…

 

” Euphemism ” Is Such A Harsh Word…

I’m not prevaricating. I’m not fibbing.  And I’m not lying.

Stretching the truth so that it fits is a time-honoured trade – joined at the hype with its twin:  bald-faced lying. They are frequently employed at the campaign offices of politicians in the run up to elections. But theirs is a smelly trade, and the odour can become overpowering. That is why Eau de Ephemisme was invented. It masks the stench.

One day I will not pass on. I will not cross the rainbow bridge. I will not become late ( for I shall never have to keep an appointment ever after…). I will die. Just the once, and probably not with any degree of sensible efficiency, but I shall eventually accomplish it. The only regret I shall have is that people will pussy-foot around about it.

Ditto the worse aspects of life – the occasions when I am taken up for train robbery, arson, counterfeiting, and tearing the tags off mattresses. In the hands of my friends these dishonourable pursuits will become sad shades of their real nature. I might become an ” undocumented recipient of wallets ” or an ” incautious user of a can of petrol and a box of matches under the orphanage “. ” Non-governmental printer ” will cover the stash of $ 13 bills I run up on the inkjet printer, but I am baffled as to how to gloss over the mattress mutilation.

I am always saddened to see people adopt a euphemism to describe themselves or what they do. It smacks of dishonesty more than politeness. If they must be fastidious, let them do it with plain language.