Privileged Misinformation

Also known as the luxury lie. The sort of news that you get when you pay a premium and can demand to be told what you want to hear.  Sound good? Well you’ve come to the right people. Pull up an overstuffed chesterfield and light up a sofa…or is it the other way round? No matter – if you’ve got money you can smoke any sort of furniture you like.

Of course the opposite does apply if you wish cheap out and just follow the broadcast news or use the free app on your tablet. In that case we select the lies and bias and you get what we give you. Don’t worry – it will be fast paced and there will be bright colours. You can be outraged and seduced at the same time…frequently by the same news. You will not have to spend a lot of time thinking about issues as we will provide the opinion we wish you to espouse. All you have to do is stay ready to erupt into the street demanding whatever we tell you to want.

The middle-of-the-road news consumer may be left out a little in the division of the media. The old-fashioned newspaper and magazine are becoming harder to sell and harder to buy. The articles contain less thought and more emotion than before and frequently it’s somewhat delayed. The really fresh stupidity has already flitted through the mobile phone and tablet networks.

Note: putting aside the fake news and disastrous internet social groups is also an option but one taken by very few. You can tell who has gone that route by observing their street verge. if they’ve put all the televisions, computers, and internet devices out there for council collection it’s a sign that they would prefer happy to woke. If it’s not even council collection week you’re dealing with a hard core old-school thinker.

 

I Wish To Use Fowle Language

Bad language has been the bane of my life.

Whether it was having my mouth washed out with soap ( one time only – I learned…) or watching as a look of horror passed over listeners when I let out a floater, the business of dirty words has always served me ill. Some cultures refer to this as swearing, some call it cursing – But there seems to be some portion of speech that is wrong no matter what language is being used. There were days when I could do it by saying ” Hello “.

I know quite a few bad words. Some of them are anatomical, some are irreligious, and some are connected with contempt and defiance. There’s a good deal of sex in there, from many angles. But I increasingly find myself hesitant to use them – they never seem to have a good effect….upon others or myself.

I used to think this distaste was an age thing…that I came from a time when good language outweighed the bad. But then I realised that the bad new words I know were taught to me in the good old days. And I’ve also met people my own age who lard every conversation with them. This generally just makes them sound foolish and crude.

Of course folly and vulgarity need not be the province of the elderly. Those same foul words in young mouths have an equally repulsive sound – superadded to which is the squeak of the puppy and the quick glance to see if the speaker has been judged to be kewl and edgy. I regard it as a signal to leave and seek better companionship.

But occasionally emotion and circumstance demand something be said  – if only to draw attention to an injustice or some emphatic point to be taken. We do need words for this. I think we should dip back into some of the Elizabethan pot for our curses. ” Rump-fed Ronyon ” is always good. ” Catamite ” another.

If you would use medical terms, call someone a walking gleet. Or a recurrent wen.

I have had occasion to use the Victorian mode of speech and to desire that someone go to another place and do another thing. And they did…it’s all in your tone of voice.

Is the Washing Done?

I’m pleased to be able to say that my wife and I do not stink. It’s safe to stand next to us in lifts and bus shelters. Sometimes we are even fragrant, in a good sense – if the bath soap is fresh or if we have been dusting with Mr. Sheen. In any case we could be retailed in the flowers section of the nursery, rather than with the fertiliser.

Such doesn’t seem to be the case with some I meet. I’m not sure if my own olfactory senses are highly tuned or just adjusted to our house…but there are folks in shops and on public transport that would set gas gongs ringing in the trenches. And not all are knights of the road, either.

I’ll forgive the harried mum with the incontinent toddler – we’ve all been there when someone’s done that and we’ve been unable to escape. The only thing to be grateful for, besides an open window, is that the infant is not a small elephant.

I’ll forgive the down and out bum – the street hobo who can barely survive, let alone keep clean. There, but for the grace of God, go any of us…

But I’m red-hot incensed at the twenty or thirty-something who just doesn’t bother to wash, shave, or change clothing before they come out. Their choice if they want to be passed by, but if they want to do it as a stink, they can stay home and stew there.

 

 

Nutwork Marketing

We’ve all had the experience of seeing someone begin to participate in network marketing. Whether they were selling soap products, essential oils, bulk groceries, or 3.5″ mortar bombs, we appeared on their prospects list because we were friends or relations. In most cases it then became a race to see which folded fastest – the network marketing scheme or the friendship. In special cases the relationship to the in-laws could also be scrapped.

Was this necessary? did it have to be? Could it have been avoided? Would you like to try these essential oil soaps that come in 48-case lots? No?

I think it is time to step away from this model of seizing upon our friends and relations as sitting ducks for the benefit of shadowy pyramid schemes ( and that is really all they ever are in the end, after the denials and flapdoodle have evaporated…) and reverse the pitch. It is time that we annoyed the get-rich-quick confidence tricksters by turning our friends and rellies onto them.

Here’s basically how it works:

  1. You make up a list of your relatives and fiends ( I meant friends…) – from close family on out to second cousins. Do not neglect the odder ones – the creepy uncle who makes you uneasy at Christmas – the aunt who screeches – the sister who says she is a vegan but smells like sausage. Marshall all your resources and make the paper list a long, thin one.
  2. Get accurate email and postal addresses for each of them. Telephone numbers as well, and particularly mobile phone numbers. Put this on a separate long, thin paper list.
  3.  Place the two lists side by side with the appropriate information for each person beside their name.
  4. Now slip the right-hand list down one division. each person now has false details next to them. False, but not terribly far from the truth.  Photo copy this document and label it ” List A “.
  5. Now free up the right -hand list and slip it up one division. Photo copy this as ” List B “.

You are now armed with two lists of nearly-right information that differ in two directions.

At this point you select the group marketing scheme, pyramid, social network, or whatever they are calling themselves and settle into a good long session of sending them List A  as prospects for inclusion in their next round of scamming. You’ll be supplying addresses and round-the-clock contact information that will certainly connect, but to the wrong person. However, the person who is subject to this bombardment of  California sales hype and new York bullshit at that address or telephone number will stand a very good chance of knowing the person who the scammer thinks they are addressing. They will recognise the name of their cousin or friend or workmate.

And they will be madder than hell – ringing up the supposed dobber and giving them the serve of their life. However, in the meantime, this second contact will have been receiving the same commercial bombardment in yet a third name.

At this point – about two weeks after the initial plant, you take List B and send it to the scammers via another salesperson. Don’t be worried about finding one – the schemes have multiple teams that will target an area before the heat is on. This salesperson will do the entire exercise again, but with a different set of nearly-right contacts. Everyone gets pestered again but supposedly by a different relative or friend.

You will have achieved three very good things:

a. You will have annoyed your entire circle of acquaintance for a month without having to spend money on petrol or buy them meals.

b. You will have wasted the time of the scam merchants for a month. Often this is long enough for them to clap their carpet bag closed and get on the steamboat.

c. You will have sensitised your circle of acquaintance to the dangers of this sort of personal affront. They will not fall foul of it in the future. You will never be pestered to buy diet supplements, soap, or time-share holidays in Queensland.

 

Self-Promotion For Seniors

Just because you have gotten older doesn’t mean that you have to get wiser. Join the BGA Self Promotion School and make an ass of yourself just like you did when you were young. Bonus: Now you can make your children and grandchildren cringe, instead of doing it to your parents.

Here’s a few suggestions to get you started. We also have a few to get you stopped, but some of them are illegal.

A.   We have been told that we should be learning something all our lives. As we get older, that can be as simple and beneficial as don’t climb ladders to clean the gutters and avoid driving at night. But this sort of practical thing doesn’t generate government subsidies, so things like Universities Of The Third Age have been invented.

They appear to be old folks clubs that pretend to intellectual pursuit. I would be willing to bet that tea and scones features prominently in the academic program. In any case, most of the codgers know most of the stuff that they try to teach – and know it because they did it themselves earlier on.

B.   Are you the sort of oldie who wants to become involved in volunteering? Have we got a treat for you…With the proposed cutback on illegal Asian slave labour for the market gardens and other processing industries – and a subsequent crackdown on slave smuggling through the airport – the fields will become bare and unproductive. Here is where a senior can step in – All you need is a straw hat, a pair of overalls, and a cotton sack. The tanned complexion will be provided for free and you can qualify for fried chicken and watermelon by singing work songs and spirituals. Yassuh…

C.   Are you good with children? Are you good with grandchildren? How do you define good? Could you pick one off at 300 yds. over iron sights? The Education Department would like to talk to you about our new sniper course.

D.   Men’s Sheds have become extremely popular as places where men can go, build furniture or model airplanes, and complain about the Government and women. We propose to open a similar chain of venues called Women’s Drawing Rooms. In them, women can meet to do arts and crafts and complain about the Government and men. Those who refuse to deal with anything in life on the basis of gender will be accommodated by a neutral meeting place where they can do nothing and complain about the Government and boredom.

 

 

O.K. Baumer

Orville Baumer was about my same age when I met him in grade school. We went to the 5th grade in Riondel and lived not too far apart. We also joined the Cub Scouts that same year, though Orville was a lot better at doing the badges than ever I was. I can only recall getting two in all my time – one for cooking and one for woodcraft. Orv got semaphore and shelter building and a lot more. He went on to Boy Scouts as well.

Orville was a home soul – he stayed in the town long after I had moved away. Went to high school there and eventually graduated a year ahead of me; I had dropped back a year through moving to Australia. He also stayed in the province for his university time, and got out faster with his degree than I did down here.

Orville had girlfriends in high school and university. A lot more than I did. He married a little earlier, though maybe that was a mistake – he ended up with a divorce from that first marriage. Thankfully, his second has worked out well, and he’ll be well into his thirty-some anniversaries.

Orville does like I do – keeps his cars until they are about 13 years old before trading them in. He never buys big ones – always just little sedans. He’s only taken two overseas holidays in his life. He lives in a regular house with the average amount of old furniture, cranky pets, and unsuccessful grass.

But Orv is different from me in one important respect. When tasked by some unknown  teenager with being responsible for all the ills of the world, Orville cringes and apologises. He says he is sorry for whatever the kid complains about and promises to do better. Orville bows his head in shame for owning his own little house and car, eating regularly, and minding his own business. Orville shys away from the internet groups and protest demonstrations and people who complain in malls.

Orville would never tell a work-shy, over-age, quasi-student who plays the welfare system like a xylophone for money, opiates, and sympathy that they are a public pest. He’d never call them pinko parish parasites. He’d never tell them to stuff their puerile secondhand manifesto where the sun don’t shine.

In many respects, Orville Kitchener Baumer is an admirably civilised person. I really should try to emulate him. One day. I’ll let you know which day I choose.

Naming And Shaming

I sat down the other day and wrote out a list of people I know. Not just ones I recognise on the television or have run across in a shop, but people I am personally acquainted with. I wished to name and shame them…or at least threaten to do so. I hoped to elicit money from them to suppress the evidence.

I was saddened to realise that:

  1. I have no evidence on the moral ones. These are the people who would be desperate to pay me off. With no juicy scandal, I have nothing to lever the money out of their pockets.
  2. The ones who are not moral leave great trails of shame behind them, but feel none of it themselves. They would not only welcome my trumpeting their sins to the world, but would probably benefit from it.
  3. None of them have enough money to be in a position to hand it over in unmarked paper bags. I steer clear of most of them because they are looking for loans. And I can only do that old trick with the $ 6.00 bills so many times…

The history of commercial silence ( AKA blackmailing ) abounds with stories of successful stings. Incriminating notes and photographs are hinted at, the hint takes hold, and the cash flows out. Occasionally the victim resorts to the police and occasionally to a revolver. The really courageous ones go on national television and confess their sins with tears and sobbing. If they are good at it – really good like some of the TV evangelists – they can come out of it better off than before. And very little of the new money that flows into them through true believers will then go to the blackmailer.

The ideal thing is to find a rich person who fears poverty ( well, they all do…) and realises that shame will be bad for them. They are willing to pay to stave this off. Of course, if the price is too high or the scandal too deep, they are also willing to pay to have the blackmailer rubbed out. You need to look at the figures closely before you make that first telephone call.

Note to overseas readers: It is futile to blackmail an Australian with threats to reveal their convict ancestry. They revel in it. It is hard enough to threaten them with a convict future…