I Blame The….

a. Police…when people who are committing crimes are chased and caught and jailed and made to be unhappy. This is not right. A criminal has a constitutional right to do crime…based upon their ethnicity and their desire to do crime. The police want to punish this and it’s an outrage.

b. Police…when people are injured or die evading them after committing crimes. A person who does crimes is supposed to escape from the police because I have seen it on the telly and in the movies. If they do not succeed it is a basic assault on human rights.

c. White people. Because it has proved to be an effective way to get publicity and eventually get paid for it. And it would be wrong to prevent a successful business from flourishing.

d. Society. In case there are successful people with money that can be accessed who are not white. They are guilty too…of being successful.

e. Pauline Hanson. Because everyone hates her and if I blame her I look virtuous.

f. Pauline Hanson’s former partners and party members. Hard to tell who’s being nasty to whom, but I figure that when you see a head you kick it.

g. Donald Trump. I get kewl points for this and Trump is so far away that I never get pulled up for it. I tried blaming Hilary but I got an email with a picture of a horse’s head in my bed. So I just blame Trump for everything…I’m no fool.

h. Vaccines. And when that doesn’t work I blame non-vacc people. The effect is the same – I get publicity.

i. Schools. Well, we all hated school, didn’t we, and we made sure that our kids knew that it was the right way to be…the hating, I mean. So now when they screw up royally, it’s all the school’s fault. Stands to reason, eh?

j. The flag and the anthem. Well, it worked for Kaepernick, didn’t it? I might get a lucrative shoe contract if my kid won’t stand up at school assembly. Worth a try, innit?

 

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” Are You The Owner Of The Computer? “

Are any of us really owners of the computer? Or are just lessees? Worse, are we servants of it, rather than owners?

I am drawn to this reflection by a pleasant young lady with a sub-continental accent who seems to ring every few days from a windows technical department. I’m not sure which window company she represents – we had ours done some 35 years ago by Westral and they’ve held up very well. Only had one pane has broken and that was fixed promptly.

I suppose she wants to make sure that I can receive advertisements for their blinds and curtains. I was polite and told her that the owner of the computer was unavailable – she was equally polite and wished me a good night. I look forward to her next call, which I’m sure will be at dinner time again…

Which Is The Organ Of Truth?

And anyone who says ” Wurlitzer ” can leave the room.

No, which of our various parts can be said to be the best suited to determine truth or falsehood.? It’s a good question in an age riddled with fake news, click bait, and product-placement advertising. Here, hold my can of Valley Dew ™ sparkling pea-flavoured, famous throughout the world, beverage and I’ll type out the answer…

Is it the eyes? No, they are transparent structures – designed only to pass information in bulk as it is encountered. They make no judgements, being equally prepared to look at men, women, or Justin Trudeau. You can slip anything past the eyes.

Is it the ears? No again. The ears pick up anything within range – though there is the saving grace that they wear out faster than the eyes. The frequencies of sound that pass through them may stay the same but as people age, they are unable to hear the higher ones. If the makers of pop music and rap could be persuaded to raise their voices three octaves, we oldies would find the world a better place. We are prepared to help them to do this with a pair of bolt cutters.

Is it the sense of touch? Possibly – we can tell a rough surface from a smooth one for the most part, though again as you get older things become much the same. And as you become older, your opportunities to touch soft things diminish. A lot of us have to make do with cardboard cutouts of famous aviators and bagpipe salespeople.

Is it the sense of taste? Taste? That thing with the tongue? Have you ever tried some of the concoctions that a modern cocktail bar serves out? Raspberry Cointreau Rutabaga Surprise? I have no idea whether there was more surprise on the part of myself or the rutabaga. And who would willingly taste a modern politician? Apart, of course, from a White House intern…Ptui…

No, children, the organ of truth is the nose. When something you read, see, hear, or touch has an odour about it…whether it be an odour of fish, horse manure, or sanctity…it is false. Your nose does not lie – it can pick one molecule of rancid oil out of a million clean ones and the same with thoughts. If it stinks, it’s rotten.

Can you smell something? Is it my can of Valley Dew™?

I’d Have Joined The Amish, But I Couldn’t Get The Batteries

The business of being a super-hero is a popular thing these days – from the mainstream Superman, Batman, and Spiderman to the more esoteric Tick, Dog Welder, or Squirrel Girl – everyone has a secret desire to don a suit and fight crime. Actually, some of the suits are a crime, but that is something I’ll leave to Edna Mode to sort out.

In my case I have to adapt my ambitions to my resources. I have not got big muscles or eyes that send out laser rays  – not even the ability to cloud men’s minds with a hypnotic gesture. The best I can do is grin and bear it and get revenge later. ( Revengeman? The Nemesis?  Schadenfreuder? All possibilities…) I need to reduce the idea of super to a manageable commodity.

I can write. That I’ll admit to. It was not always thus, and I daresay it will go again one day, but right now I can spit out copy like a teenager regurgitating pizza. I can fight crime and injustice by writing biting little articles and slipping them under the doors of the guilty. Or I can slip them onto WordPress and hope that the veiled references are going to work.  I regret that no-one will let me near the keyboard controls of the scoreboard at the sports stadium…

Or I could promote myself as The Backstabber. I’ve been the head of the Backstabber’s Guild of Australia for decades and there is no-one more qualified than I to tell your friends exactly what I found out about you with one simple credit check. I wonder if I could have a super-hero costume with a cape?

No, Edna? Well, you’re  the boss. Not too tight around the shorts, please – I have no ambitions.

CatskillMan? Only if I can work with a snare drummer at the supper show. Tish-boom…Try the veal.

Bag it And Drag It

We are just in the throes in Western Australia of a politically-correct scheme to remove plastic bags from supermarkets. All hail the dawn of the eco-revolution.

Well, as with any good revolution, you have mensheviks and bolsheviks and cossacks and armoured trains, and this one is no different. The two regiments that have taken the field first off are the Queens Own Hypocrites and the Bullshit Hussars.

a. The two major competing supermarket chains – divisions  of mega corporations – will institute the bans within two weeks of each other. There will be trumpeting and photo opportunities, no doubt.

b. The independent grocers are still handing out the purchases in bags for now.

c. The Big Two – Tweedledum and Tweedledee are offering to sell reusable bags for several dollars or—wait for it—plastic bags as before, but for a price. You still get to apparently ruin the planet, but they make an additional profit on it.

d. As yet there is no charge for the use of the steel cage trolley in the Big Two…but wait for it to occur to their accountants. Another independent grocer does charge a coin fee for use of the trolley but refunds the coin once the trolley is racked back in the store.

e. Confusion will reign supreme tonight as people encounter the one chain’s policy and this will extend to the other chain in two weeks. There will be words, and many of them will be Anglo-Saxon.

f. The independent grocery chain who introduces paper bags or continues plastic ones at no additional charge – and advertises the fact unashamedly will experience a surge of people switching over to their stores. They are smaller spaces than the big two but they can make a motzah in the next few months if they play their cards right.

I shall cope by experimentation. I’ll take some cloth bags with me to the store and place them at the front of the conveyor belt as I lay the groceries out. I shall be curious to see whether the checkout clerk then fills those cloth bags and hands them over to me to put back in the trolley for the journey to the car. If they don’t, I don’t pay till they do.

Note: I do not use self-serve checkout ever.

Or I’ll try the experiment of putting several plastic tubs in the car boot. I’ll just re-trolley the goods as they are checked through the till and then transfer them to the tubs in the car.

Or I’ll shift my business to the smaller supermarket and leave the big two to stew in it.

Good Morning, Sir. How May I Hell You?

Everyone should work retail at some point in their lives.

Indeed, I’ll go further than that – they should also, at some point:

a. Work personal service – wait tables, attend a public desk, man the complaints counter.

b. Work publicity. Write copy, draw illustration, serve at a promo show. Think up the bullshit and then have to spread it…

c. Work in dirt. Even if it is just a personal garden, everyone should work in dirt until they get a good result.

d. Work in a position that is monitored by a jealous and vindictive overseer. This may be a person or a professional board.

e. Work in a workshop. Whatever they produce makes no difference – it will cement their character if they can eventually do it well.

f. Work to a deadline. And fail once, and then succeed once, to know the difference in the way it feels.

g. Work to a financial bottom line. Unless they have had to watch the pennies, they’ll never know how to accumulate the pounds.

h. Work in a job where they were in command. Command of the job and command of other people.

If they have done all or most of these things, they are well-rounded individuals. But they mustn’t get cocky – so is the Michelin Man. And he gets tyred sometimes…

No… back to the topic. People who vault to command without ever experiencing the reality of work live in an unreal world and make false decisions. People who never rise also never see what command should be – there is always a battle between them and others that is detrimental to business. There needs to be a shared experience to share in effective management and effective employment.

 

 

I Plan To Protest Outside A Vegan Restaurant

Not that I have anything against eating vegetables – I like potatoes and green beans and corn on the cob. I even like okra in gumbo. But I’m curious to see if I can get a crowd of people worked up for no good reason. It’s not an election year so this is the next best choice.

The people who really do eat only vegetables are not the target – they’ll probably be inside lifting the lids on the pots and seeing what’s cooking. And the people who eat meat are also not the main issue – I do love a good elk roast or moose stew. The ones I want are the knee-jerk followers who can be hoodwinked into anything with the correct pitch.

Part of me wants to make it funny and complain about how rutabagas are sentient beings with feelings and aspirations and really should be eligible for Parliament. And part of me wants to think up a disasterous-sounding health scare that involves some obscure chemical that you find in the leaves of any normal plant. Either approach should work if enough emotion and sleazy reasoning is applied. I plan to use the word ” toxic ” a lot.

There’ll have to be banners, of course, and I need to sit and think of a simple slogan with a good rhythm that can be chanted by people in woolen beanies and parkas. The sound of the howl is actually quite important – too simple and the protestors lose interest and too complex and it gets confused with the counter-melody. And you have to avoid getting close to commercial jingles because a lot of the advertising agencies have real lawyers.

I am also going to have to be careful about the use of the term ” root vegetables “. These days you cannot skirt too close to the semantic edge for fear of a backlash. Likewise I am going to have to carefully remove any reference to food that has any sort of ethnic or sexual connection. Zucchinis and black eyed peas are on the banned list for different reasons. Even collard greens are under the protection of federal agencies.

Still, with careful preparation and some cash in the right pocket, I think I can get my 15 minutes of fame in front of the restaurant. Don’t want to take much longer as I get hungry out on the footpath and they do a rather nice cauliflower curry that goes quickly.