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.

Just Asking…Eh, Eh, Eh…

With the history of airliner shoot-downs – The Korean Boeing lost some years ago, the Malayan one over the Ukraine a few years ago, the loss of the second Malayan jet somewhere, and now the downing of a Ukrainian Boeing in Iran, I’m put to wondering several things:

  1.  Do Russian rockets have a safety switch or are they live all the time? If they do have a no-fire position on the controller, is it Soviet-era quality?
  2. Are the rocketeers on drugs? Some sort of amphetamine to increase their speed of response?
  3. Do Russian targeting systems not have an IFF function? Or is everyone else in the world considered an F?
  4. Was it necessary to fly out of the Tehran airport in the middle of an alert?
  5.  Was it deliberate? Was any of it deliberate?
  6.  Where was Jane Fonda at the time?

A Designer Smarm Bracelet

Well, I got what I asked for this Christmas. A designer smarm bracelet.

It’s made of 100% recycled memes from the internet – political propaganda, passive-aggressive sneers and disguised bigotry. It’s got an adjustable catch and one size fits all.

Now I no longer need to be afraid that I won’t be able to sit with the cool kids at lunch. The smarm bracelet has something for every situation and all I need to do is turn it around on my wrist until the best snappy retort is uppermost and then wave it in front of my frenemies. If the brilliance of the charm doesn’t blind them, the jangling sound will deafen them. Either way I look like the winner.

And best of all, each meme is fastened with a clip that lets it come off. If it turns out that the fashionable opinion changes I can just get a new handful of buzz phrases and attach them. You can get the memes by subscribing to CNN and the ABC talk shows.

The Grammar Fascist

We’ve all seen the memes that berate people by calling them ” Grammar Nazis “. Presumably there are also ” Grammar Fascists ” and ” Grammar Communists “. Possibly ” Grammar Democrats ” and ” Grammar Monarchists ” as well. I accept them all – the class of mankind that really makes my skin crawl are the ” Grammar Anarchists “. The people who deliberately fracture the language to show off their cleverness.

Or perhaps that should be ‘ there clevrnes ‘. Or was Cleverness where they based the submarines? Must look that up.

Any sentence that you read…or have read out to you by the magistrate…should be easy and merciful. No pained expressions – no miserable contractions – no jargon or acronymical garbage. The CEO of the AIIGRIMAS was adamant about this, as was Stuart Goddard; if anyone had a right to the attitude, it was Stuart.

I’ve just finished washing the taste of a Facebook post out of my mind and wondered if I should ask for three previous convictions to be taken into account. The post was from a very sweet and kindly person who was trying to grapple with ‘their’ and ‘there’. Unsuccessfully, as it happened, though I am grateful that the message did not have to involve the contraction of ‘they are’…I fear it might have been infinitely worse.

If anyone corrects it, I’ll bet they’ll be accused of being overbearing. Yet, a person matured in the use of the English language should know how to use the three words correctly.

” Does it matter? ” I hear you say.

” Yes, it does. “, you hear me reply. We live in our language – wear it as a garment, if you will. There is no need to cut holes in it an then display them. We can clean what we say and mend what we write. Our communication need not be drab or uniform – it can certainly be colourful – but it must be well-tailored to what we need to say.

Forging And Uttering

I have a friend who forges many things. And unlike the ordinary common trickster, he uses an actual forge. I think that this should attract a stronger penalty in the law – after all he is using up bottled gas and charcoal and other valuable resources to do this forging. Also making a great deal of noise.

I also know other friends who utter things. In some cases they utter them all day long, and would probably be capable of doing so under wet cement. I cannot understand why they are not taken up by the police and jailed.

For myself, the only false document that I have ever seen resulted in beer. Coors beer, as it happened, and that would probably be considered a crime in itself – at least against the taste buds.

I have gone undetected and unpunished until now. I have no need of suspect documents to buy beer at the local Liquor Barons shop as the man there knows me. He would probably peer suspiciously if I bought expensive things, but as long as he is prepared to sell vin ordinaire for $ 5 a bottle I am safe. Connoisseurs and foreigners may quail at $ 5 plonk but Australian vineyards are not that bad.

This whole topic has arisen with news reports that a number of the members of the British Royal family may not be all they seem. There is a suspicion that at least one of them has been substituted for Paul McCartney and that many of the pound notes that Her Majesty has been passing down the local Tesco’s have been hand-drawn selfies…

Licensed Merchandise

A recent post by a friend showed a find of some figurines in the local warehouse store set me wondering about licensing of things – particularly as it applies to merchandise offered for sale.

We see it very day and everywhere – Each time I purchase a die cast model car ( not so often these days  with the contraction of the hobby ) I look to see if it is licensed from some large motor corporation. Often it is, and you can trace the ownership changes in the car making industry by the successive names on the toy-car packet. Interesting to see that they all still want their stack of pennies when the toy is sold in the shop…even when the design for the car is older than I am.

It’ll be the same with anything that has ever been a motion picture from any studio. The lawyers and brokers have been trading the rights to whatever was made long after the actors, directors, cameramen, and wardrobe makers are dead and gone. If a product is made to be recognisable from the 1934 production of ” Kansas City Sewage Farm Follies ” you can bet that someone is claiming ownership of it and wants their cut.

For model makers who build scale replicas of old battleships, trains, and planes, I wonder if they are being asked to provide money to the firms that made the original weapons. Do Krupp get so many Reichsmarks from the 1:35 plastic model of the howitzer? Or is it too late to demand it?

I am going to have to start looking at the things I design – these posts for instance, or the photos I take. or the scraps of Foamcore board, balsa, and plastic that I pour into the bin every week. Surely they can be licensed and someone, somewhere has to pay and pay…

You pay, You pay.

I love you long time.

 

Hide Your Tattoo

I have a tattoo. Which is a no-no for people of my ethnicity. If we follow the bronze-age rulings ( or is it just one of those things that came up in the commentaries…? ) we are not allowed them.

Of course, some have had them forced upon them…a sad and terrible time, and one upon which I will not comment.

I hope to escape criticism; my tattoo was inadvertent. I stuck my hand into a cupboard in the art room at school and connected with a steel-nib pen that was charged with india ink. After howling and picking it out of my hand, I found I was left with a permanent reminder of the incident. No picture, just a 3mm dot on one finger. As well, for years I had some black powder fragments driven under the skin when a loaded frizzen went off close to my elbow – but these have been gradually rejected by the body and do not show any more.

I’m drawn to these thoughts upon reading an article by someone who has deliberate patterns of tattoo on their various portions – and who seems to draw the ire of the righteous over it. Whether the critics are offended by the patterns or the parts where they are imprinted is uncertain – but the tattoo wearer has been ordered to cover them up. I think this is a load of hooey.

You don’t draw any picture – in any medium – to hide it. You draw it to be seen. However it comes out, if you have been diligent and artistic enough to do it, you should be given the respect to let it be seen. The viewer may like it or not, but it is ultimately no more of their concern than if it were on a canvas stretched on a frame and hung in a gallery. You don’t like it? Walk on in silence. Go see a picture you do like.

If you are angry and offended that pictures exist for others to like, then there is something  very wrong with you.

Perhaps you should be covered up…?