” 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.

 

” Perth Is Boring “

We’ve all heard this one. You can substitute any other place name you like for ” Perth “. The effect would be the same; someone is unpleased with the place that they live…and wants something different.

I noted this while reading a mild debate about the erection of a public sculpture ( note: erection, not demolition…). An artist wants to sell a metal sculpture of a dinosaur to the state government – or the city council – and place it in the middle of our riverfront. Not a little sculpture , but a massive 90 metre one – and for a mere $ 1,000,000. Apparently it would draw the attention of visitors.

Frankly it should draw the attention of the taxation department, the ACCC,  and the Commissioners in Lunacy.

There are enough eye-sores in our landscape as it is – we do not need to erect more.

If people find Perth boring, it is because they are either easily bored or boring themselves. Demand for spectacle and entertainment was all very well when you could set gladiators to kill each other or lions to devour Christians. Look what great things it did for the Romans, and how well we think of them for it. You could as well demand relief of boredom by instituting the same measures as they do in Syria – artillery barrages and gas attacks. No-one bored then, eh?

Or you could address the problem of personal boredom by compelling people to undertake activities and studies that would fill their minds or develop their bodies. We did it in school and were busy instead of bored. Adults have all the world in front of them to develop and learn – boredom is laziness without even the excuse of fatigue.

 

Those Damned Re-Writers…

Just when you think you have the perfect slogan for your propaganda campaign – ideal size, catchy words, simple sentiment…the damned opposition re-writers get ahold of it and turn it against you.

Then you have to make a whole series of ancillary statements to try to turn the attention back to yourself and to your creed. And none of those extra statements really do it – they cannot erase the connection between the re-write and the original propaganda slogan. They just dilute it…

An example? The dear old Nazi slogan ” Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Führer ” played well pre-war and in the early days when they were winning. But all you have to do is show an aerial view of the ruins of Berlin being shovelled into handcarts by the surviving civilians and add a sign above it : ” Keine Reich, Keine Volk, Keine Führer ” and it all collapses.

Another example is current. You’ll have seen it…and the re-write. Infuriating, isn’t it?

Appropriatism

Do we all remember the 1980’s Premier of Western Australia who always found things that the opposition did were “ inappropriate “? She used the word…though not its opposite number “ appropriate “ as the check and goad for every speech she made. And those who watched her and applauded her gender and her politics took note…and the word became a tool for them to do their herding, as well.

I encountered it a little while ago when passing through a website put up by an Australia university. It wanted to deal with the use of language -specifically any English language that touched upon native or indigenous matters. It set up the two signs;” appropriate “ and “ inappropriate “ and then assigned words and phrases to them. Needless to say, much, if not all, of the commonly used language was deemed to be bad…and suitably-altered new-speak supplied as a substitute.

We’re not talking pejoratives here – foul language, etc. This was everyday language that was rounded up and sent to the camps for re-education.

I was incensed to start with, then amused, and finally grateful. Not for the chance to atone for past sins and to humbly beg pardon…heck, I can spout that sort of cant offhand when needed. What I was grateful for was the comprehensive course in word recognition that would let me identify the cultural toadies of the future. Just like “ inappropriate “ and a peach-coloured scarf, the new-speak is both camouflage and insignia.

The Company Name

Have you noticed that it’s possible to sell any thing with a carefully-styled name?

All you need to do is register a company with a name that manipulates the desires, prejudices, or misconceptions of your target customers and their wallets may as well be on your night table. Take the example of the Whole Good Wonderful Pleasant Reward Company of Yangxi, China. They make fuses for anti-personal land mines.

The mines are deployed wherever the Chinese government has purchased the fealty of a local African dictator and wishes to cordon off a section of pasture or mining lease from incursions by local people. A few explosions, a few legs off, and the blackies learn to stay away. Perfectly normal behaviour of cultural tradition and any protest about it is racism. But it is still hard to sell if you do not have a pleasant label on the package.

That’s where the company name comes in. Who doesn’t like a pleasant reward? The kitten pictures on the box that fuses are packed in help a lot as well. No-one dislikes kittens…unless it is one-legged Africans.

Dark Despair

Why is despair always dark? And why is hope always light? Is this racism on an emotional level?

If these two polar opposites are to be the ends of the spectrum, what shall we do with the rest of the colours? Oh, I know we are supposed  to have the blues when we are unhappy, but what shall we do with the purples? Or the yellows?

And getting more technical – if you go to the paint counter at Bunnings and leaf through the paint swatches youll be staggered at the variety of shades – all of which have evocative names. Andalusian Taupe, for instance – or Violently Jangling Green. Off-Off-Whitishly Beige is a possibility, and makes a statement. Possibly down at the Police Station.

The US military had a good system to specify colours – the FS, or Federal Standard index. FS 65990 is a recognised shade of something or other that may appear on a fighter plane or a Federal toilet. Unfortunately the book for the FS is updated every now and then and old colours deleted. This leads to scale model painting enthusiasts getting into bitter arguments with each other on the internet and probably causes museum curators to tear their hair out.

I favour the computer system of RGB numbers. If you have any sort of an editing program that allows you to post a colour in three numbers, you can have anything you want and know that it is the same everywhere. For example, dial up 132/142/181 on an RGB patch and it becomes RAF Azure Blue. Spray it on the underside of your Spitfire.

 

Is There A Ford In Your Future?

Possibly, but it won’t be made here. FMC Pty Ltd clapped the doors on their Broadmeadows plant many years ago and now settle for importing whatever they can or can’t sell. The Australian Falcon is no more.

It does no good to be sad about the loss of the jobs or the skills. About the siphoning away of money from the country. About the forced adherence to dependence on computer programs form elsewhere to allow us to drive around here. Sadness butters no turnips, or rice cakes, for that matter. We must be grateful for the good it does.

  1. Less local pollution. All the really appalling mess is elsewhere in the world where regulatory bodies can be silenced by the governments involved.
  2. Less opportunity for the local parts manufacturers to perpetrate fraud on the company, and thence on the public. Oh, there’ll be fraud, corruption, and overcharging, but the moral tone in Victoria will be better for it being done overseas.
  3. The appallingly crass local cars will not be seen any more and the buyers of the imported designs can be fashionable and stylish.

Wait a minute. I owned one of those crass local cars for 15 years and I wasn’t appalled. In fact it was a darned reliable and useful piece of goods. A Falcon ute, it hauled me across the country a half dozen times in safety with enormous loads in the tray. I slept in comfort under the canopy. It moved several families from one house to another. It was a faithful hardware, timber, and grocery hauler. Had it not started to wear out a second head, I would still have it.

We are not as well served by the global market as we might think.

Worry, Be Happy.

Pay no attention to Bobby McFerrin. If you want to be happy the thing you want is plenty of worry.

Anxiety and panic attacks are the key to the good life…especially if you can cause them in others on a regular basis. Here is a guide to making other people justifiably nervous:

  1. Loud noises frighten people. You are probably not allowed to fire off a gun in the street unless you are a policeman or a criminal. But you can own a powerful motorcycle or car with a loud exhaust. Practice drifting through a quiet suburb late at night with the engine idling and then gun it just as you get near the bedroom of the quiet neighbours. With a rich mixture in your engine you can produce a backfire which is almost as good as a pistol shot.
  2. Lurk. Pick an alleyway near your shopping centre or community hall. Dress in dark clothes with a hooded top. Stand in the shadows with just enough light behind you to look menacing. Don’t say anything, but practice your looming.
  3. Learn a convincing-sounding technical or economics phrase that seems to portend trouble. It need not be anything at all, but if it sounds like something that people think they have heard they’ll credit it with authenticity. There are books of these phrases in the library. Use it whenever the conversation flags and look concerned.
  4. Peer. Look very carefully and very pointedly at someone. If they notice you, turn away…but return to the watch as soon as they lose interest. With a bit of luck it can become a cat and mouse game. If they challenge you by asking what you’re looking at say ” That patch of skin just behind your ear…”
  5. Papers. Carry a folder of them – a loose-leaf file or clipboard is even better. Ask people if this is a good time to discuss the problem. But then say you’ll just pop out to ring up The Department and that you’ll be back.
  6. Edge. Toward the food and drink to begin with – then towards the lavatory – then towards the door.
  7. Glance at your watch a lot. Or better, keep asking the time of someone. Or best, ask the time, then pull your sleeve up to reveal a far better watch than they wear – give them the correct time and ask them to repeat it to you so that you know they have understood…
  8. Keep your coat on. At a party, this indicates that you are just there for a limited time, with a far more important place to go to as soon as you can get away. If it is a dinner party, an overcoat will be the sensation of the table. Wear a hat at the same time. Note: this is a good ploy if you are either having dinner or sex with someone and do not wish a second helping.
  9. Have someone come to the door frequently and call you away for a whispered consultation. If you can arrange for them to wear a HAZMAT suit or the uniform of a Colonel in the Guards, all the better. When you come back to join the rest of the guests  exhibit a wan smile.
  10. Shake hands vigorously with everyone and tell them that your name is Randolph. Spell it out for them.

The Foolish Place Name

Every country on Earth has some location – a city, town, or geographic feature – that attracts ridicule. Not for its nature – for its name. The residents may become permanently embittered by this…they are laughed to scorn by foreigners through no fault of their own. Often it is only the sound of their beloved home in the language of the alien that produces the cheap laugh.

I’ve lived in Alberta and heard sneers at the the town of Medicine Hat. And at Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan. Walla Walla in Washington state has gotten a giggle out of Australians who then bristle and stoutly defend Wagga Wagga in New South Wales.

Condom in France and Hell in Norway…same thing. And then there is that foolish name of the Welsh railway station that is so long and unpronounceable that it has become a tourist destination. A selfie-pit, if you will.

Time to call a halt to this. In a millennial age that takes offence at everything and demands a homogenous and uniform state of unbridled  variety, there must be a change on Earth. No more foolish place names.

Henceforth, each location, hamlet, town, or city will be renamed. The simplest way to do this will be assign each former name an numerical equivalent. Numbers are universally known and can never be exhausted. It will be simple to rename Prague to 6754, Marrakech to 8932, Manangatang to 10567 and so forth. States , provinces, territories, and countries will also get numbered so you’ll have no trouble visiting 560-45-7 on your summer vacation. Helluva nice town and the local delicacy – fried tripe – is not to be missed.

Bon appetit.

We Need A New National Flag

One that reflects the fact that we have stopped being a country that takes its instructions and orders from Great Britain and now takes them from someone else. The main problem will be to decide who this currently is.

The United States has less influence here than heretofore. The careful work of the Soviet Union in propaganda from 1945 to 1989 and China in industrial seduction from 1973 to now has weaned us away from much of the companionship we once had.

Europe has emigrated since the 40’s, of course, but done so wisely – leaving the poorer relations back home in the mud and stepping out to cleaner ground here. The descendents of those early migrants go visit the various Old Countries whenever the dollar peaks and the Euro descends, but they keep a tight clutch on their Australian passports as they do so. They ain’t dumb.

South Asia would like to come to visit, and then stay, and largely do… It is rare to see them pulling up Australian stakes to go back to any part of the subcontinent, islands, or archipelagos unless they have been naughty or unwise whilst here. For the most part they are content to live peaceably, knowing what life there was compared to life here.

Ditto South and Central America, though I am not sure about this. I see the occasional migrants who work hard and do very well. Did we have a common border with them we might see very different characters present themselves for emigration…but the Pacific Ocean is wider than the Rio Grande and no-one has yet swum the entire thing. Perhaps it will come if Greta Thunberg cannot hitch a boat ride to Sydney…

To deal with the flag again, I think we will just have to go with the design featured in the heading image. I researched the composition of the Australian population and the flags of the constituent migrants as well as the local indigenous people and combined the symbols of their various faiths, political parties, families, and diseases and got a shade of grey. The shape of the new flag is still under debate, but the design bureau suggested a light portion for night and a dark one for day would look well. See what you fancy.