” 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.
Since I started promoting the Karen And Sharon Institute of Opinion my readership numbers are climbing.
720 prospective new clients every day. Mind you, remember the word ” prospective “. Not all of them will ultimately subscribe to internet social platforms, let alone my own. I must accept some failure rate with sombre resignation.
Still, with a new client every minute – as Mr. Barnum wisely said – I can be sure that whenever I wish to make the local population eat soap, refuse medicine, or break statues I have only to blare it out on Facebook. If necessary I can edit the responses of the readers so that my own point of view is paramount, or I can let their posts stand to mock them later. It is a matter of having the time available and/or dealing with a case of indigestion.
I pays to be careful what soap you swallow…
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.
I hasten to add that I am not referring to the Australian state of Victoria. It is not a vulgar place – far from it. I am thinking of the instances of vulgar behaviour that pop up in Victorian novels and that are so disparaged by the heros and heroines of these books.
It seems that it was very easy to be vulgar in Victorian England. All one needed to do was be from the continent or North America, be in trade, or be poorer than the main focus of the story. Ethnic birth ensured it – Jew, Hindu, or Muslim – all were irretrievably vulgar in the British eye and the British novelists made sure that their readers knew it.
I may have made a slight error when I said that vulgarity came with poverty. Not if the pauper was an Anglican clergyman or a female member of his family. That was impoverished gentility, and to be pitied…from a distance. The Catholics – Irish, French, or Italian as they might be, were vulgar to a soul.
Vulgarity could also be assigned to the rich, if there was no prospect of getting any of their money. August Melmotte in Trollope’s novel ” The Way We Live Now ” comes to mind.
I am so glad that we have advanced past these days and that now there is a universal brotherhood and sisterhood of tolerance and kindness. If only we could get these damn foreigners to kneel in the street when they pass our cap, eh?
Or refusing to be vaccinated.
Your choice – both games at the one low price. Just pay the cashier and away you go.
Next week we’re doing a special on smoking holes in the ground. Decorative, practical, and every family needs one. Installed in an instant and there’ll be room for everyone.
You know, we really can sell anything in the centre aisle dump bins at the morgue. We thought we’d reached the bottom of the barrel with the plastic meerkat skeletons, but the idea of unvaccinated schoolchildren released into the crowd of other toddlers has really been a bonanza. Our checkout staff have been worked off their feet.
I put it down to the advertising. The old point-of-death posters that warned people to get polio or flu or smallpox injections were all very well in their day, but they could only reach those who read and think. Now with the internet and social media sites we can cut out half of those qualifications – and sales of mortality have zoomed.
Of course there are naysayers – there are aways busybody physician and surgeons who try to keep people alive in spite of our efforts. You have to accept this sort of thing in every society. And modern people can be depressingly well-nourished. But with the advent of the YOLO philosophy and cheap air travel, we have hopes that it can all be countered. We’ll eventually get them with either disease or inadequate aircraft maintenance.
Said to be a good thing: the concept of being multi-skilled so as to always have something you can sell.
But remember that whatever string it is wrapped up in, the basic thing that you are selling is you. And you’ll only be saleable for a limited period of time. No-one wants you before you’re ripe and after you’re rotten. If you are wrapped in too many strings you may never be able to get a sale.
Take the example of the forever student. We’ve all been them or seen them – the person who never leaves an institution of learning, even after the door swings open, the degree is in hand, and the janitor coughs meaningfully…
The forever student often says that they are bettering themselves…or their prospects. The prospect they imagine they are bettering is the idea that someone will one day buy them – and they want as high a price as can be got. In most cases, they would achieve this by stepping out the door and starting to do a job, instead of learning how to do a wonderful fabulous future job.
If you must string yourself up – as opposed to waiting for an angry mob to do it – the best way is often to go do whatever the best prospect job is now and take on extra work after hours with the ideal job. The spare-time work may not be paid for, but the knowledge gained is often better than that ladled out at an institution of higher learning.
You won’t be able to become a neurosurgeon by this route, but then you won’t be paying malpractice premiums either. Go check out what mobile mechanics, plumbers, and fencing contractors earn and sit and think.
Note: This is real. My second string became my second profession but I did not weave it at university – I learned my trade in the trade after hours.
a. The adulation of the crowd. If they will not cheer for you, have those around you arrested and imprisoned. Replace them with better people. Eventually, through a series of purges, you will find the perfect supporting cast.
b. The love of a good woman. Or a good man. Or a bad woman or man, as the case may be. Or a mediocre pair. Really, just take what you can get.
c. The money. It cannot buy you happiness, but it can rent it for long periods of time.
d. The good of mankind. This approach worked out great for Joan of Arc and St. Thomas Aquinas – why not you?
e. To make a difference. Like the flutter of a butterfly’s wing. Google that one, Jimmy…
f. The beer. Here for the beer. A trite advertising slogan that encapsulates more of real life and existentialism than you can imagine. I’ll have half…
g. The children. Yours, or someone else’s. Your choice, but remember that the tax department are pretty specific when you ask for deductions.
h. A good time. Well, you cannot argue with that. If your good time involves an anti-tank gun and the local school buses you may have some explaining to do but short of that you can pretty much suit yourself.
I. To obey God. And wouldn’t you know…I’m his closest representative. Let me see your wallet and I’ll tell you whether you are righteous. What’s your PIN number?
Some of the best questions in life have a yes or no answer.
” Do you want a beer and a sandwich? ”
” Do you realise you just won a free tank of petrol? ”
” Can I have a real pony, Daddy? ”
All answerable in either the positive or negative and they put an end to speculation comfortably. Even the slightly less pleasant ” Is it true that you threw your sister-in-law under the tramcar? ” can be dealt with by telling the truth, and will bring no further harm to the poor woman.
However, as soon as you introduce a qualifier you make trouble. You may indeed want a beer and a sandwich, but you invite criticism straightaway by asking what sort of sandwiches are on offer. Even worse – if, after the list is recited, you ask if there are any other sort…your welcome is over.
Worse can become worst. If the question about the dear departed and the public transport vehicle is asked in open court by the public prosecutor, and you counter-question:
” But wasn’t that what you paid me to do? “…
All hell may break loose. Make sure you keep a copy of the receipt.
Lets state a fact right at the start. Telling anyone that something’s ethical is a direct insult to them – and a blatant attempt at mind control. Here’s why:
a. It assumes – and states – that the hearer doesn’t know yet what is ethical. Or flouts it deliberately. Calls them a fool or a knave by even introducing the subject.
b. It states by implication that the teacher is in control of what the student will learn. Worse…it implies that the teacher is ethical. With no proof ever asked or offered.
c. It calls into question – by the fact that the subject has been raised – the past behaviour of the hearer. Had it been ethical, would this statement have been made?
Okay. We’ve established that there’s something here about which you can be mightily offended. If you’re 18-27 years old this is all you need to go off and have a good time. You can be a virtuous victim. Enjoy. Knock yourself out.
If you are older than this you need to look at the problem of what to do when you really do know what is ethical and are thrown amongst those who do not. It may worsen – you may be amongst those who do not know good manners either. In the former instance the law and the police will back you up but in the latter you are left to Heaven. And Heaven has off-days.
The most sensible ploy is to abandon morality and ethics altogether and fall on the nearest victim red with tooth and claw. If you don’t feel yourself capable of this, slice small slivers away from morality and use them to lure the victim to their salvation. Allow them to be bad enough to injure themselves and feel it, and then offer the balm of not having to do it repeatedly. The wiser ones will seize upon the idea.
Or invent a system of ethics that will allow whatever particular behaviour you probably won’t be able to eradicate anyway, and then license it. They’ll feel strengthened in their folly and you’ll get a nice little earner. This may not be ethical but adjust that when you next have time.
” Oh? As opposed to what? Reading me like a pair of socks? ”
This isn’t about condemnation of trite phrases. I don’t condemn ’em – I use ’em. And when they are particularly apt I like to say they fit me like a…pair of socks.
But when someone says that they can see through you, predict your thoughts, or mysteriously control you by saying that they read you like a book, it’s a load of hogwash. Think of the books that you can read and in which you’ll understood nothing. That can be anything between Hegel and Kant to the instructions for your kitchen blender. The only reason that the world still turns and the blender still blends is that they do these things of themselves without you understanding a damn thing about it.
You may regard me and your regard of me in the same light. I move, turn, and blend whether you understand how or why I do it. I am a mystery to myself, and I never read mysteries.
Note about the heading image: When you were a kid, how often did you find signs or posters around the place that used nothing more than a question mark to try to get you to do something? Whether it was to go to a mystery dance at the high school auditorium or buy some new 45 rpm record…was there ever a triter or more valueless graphic approach than a bare question mark?
I eventually welcomed seeing it, as it was as good as a wave-off or a minefield sign.