Class Antagonism

New phrase to you?

It was to me until a chance posting on Facebook introduced it . I suspect the cartoon that used the words was written closer to Pyongyang than Seoul, but it’s hard to tell these days. The person who ” shared ” the post may well be in the know. I’m frightened to ask in case I get a dialectic up my nose.

It looks as though the dear old communist ideology is still being pressed upon the masses, though other dear old ideologies are frowned upon. And the brainwash departments are still very much in business. It’s gone a bit past the poster columns and agitprop trains but they know that they still have a wide audience for ” virtuous socialism ” amongst the disaffected. I’ll bet the campuses are still packed with the true believers who are ready to shout down anyone else.

Are there nests of right wingers in opposition to the red end of the spectrum? I have noted the occasional one on Facebook, but not to the same extent. Are there secret societies? Are the beer halls still putsching?

Perhaps it’s time to start pushing the buttons; hide, unfollow, defriend, spam alert, etc. I can get all the scolding I want from physical friends and identifiable family – no need to import it from strangers.

 

It’s All A Conspiracy

And what a conspiracy. I’ve found leads to the New World Order, Old World Order, And Hungry Jack’s Lunchtime Bargain Order. The first two are unattractive but I am looking at the cheeseburger with interest.

Conspiracies are the flavour of the month, year, and possibly decade. We have them in all varieties and sizes – right-wing, left-wing, and the sticky bit in the middle as well. They are useful to pin blame, explain the inexplicable, and excuse our own failures.

I’ll amend that… the excuses are necessary for your failures. You are the reason we can’t have nice things. I suspected you all along but until I saw the ABC/CNN/FOX News/BBC/RT exposé on you and your kind I could not hate you precisely.

The internet is a wonderful resource. It can bring unease and accusation to us wherever we live and unlike the old business of printed books, it can be altered before our eyes. It has experts we never suspected and suspects we never thought of. If the devil or the mean girl in the sixth grade whispered in our ears it would not be half as effective as a cobbled-up construct hedged with advertisements for spinning tops and faux-leather luggage.

You must excuse me – I need to get back to the Karen and Sharon network and see which evil influence is dominating the world. No sense opposing the winner, eh?

Modifying A Hoax – A Modest Proposal

The Facebook Hoax No. 135 has just surfaced again. You know, the one that tells you that you need to copy and paste something that looks like a legal document to prevent Facebook doing something. In this case it has been rigged to make you afraid that all your postings from the past -including pictures – will become the property of Facebook and that they can sell them off with no mercy.

Don’t be sad if you fell for it…people do fall for these sorts of thing. They come so close to our fears of either missing out or being targeted for lawsuit that we instinctively panic. The hoax – and hoax it is – then circulates further when the frightened individual cuts, pastes, posts, or does whatever other ritual the thing suggests. It is a good thing that the hoaxes do not involve hot soldering irons and ears or the emergency rooms would be full in a day.

Mind you, Weller would probably approve…and that’s where the BGA steps in. Note: the BGA frequently steps in it.

What we propose is that the maker of any product enter into a contract with us. ( pentacle, candles, dagger, etc. ) to promote their product. Whatever it is we analyse it and devise a way to tie it into the primitive portion of the reader’s brain. Then we craft a suitable meme or notice and start it out with our team of influenzers*. They insert it into their Facebook pages and direct it to the most gullible of their friends. From there it is transmitted for free  throughout the world, frightening people into buying and using the selected product.

It is not so much an advertising campaign as a form of social media terror. People will go faster if driven than lured and the faster they will go to the store with their wallet open, the better for the client. And remember that the BGA is ethical in this – we do not take a cut of the profits. Our fees are substantial, but one-time. In this we hold a higher moral position than the mafia.

*  So named because we spread internet hoaxes like a debilitating virus. You’re soaking in one now.

The Trolling Net

I check my net every week to see if I have caught my troll. Some weeks are disappointing but some are a bonanza if he snaps at the bait. I’ve gotten three bites a week in the high season.

You generally hear only bad things about trolls, but that is if they are only popping up on social media and writing irksome things to upset people. Of course that is what they always do, but you can convert the energy they put into nastiness to your own purposes.

Mine is advertising for a shop. I write three weekly columns for it with news of the goods and services that they sell. I get to put in humour as well and the occasional flight of fancy.

[Aside} Never stand under a Fancy when they are flying, particularly if they have had a greasy meal. You’ll never get the stains out.

Well, my troll reads the columns religiously – possibly between human sacrifice days. He erupts in a comment whenever some particular statement attracts his combative nature. The comment can come back as a return to the dashboard – which is an internal thing and not so useful – or it can be splashed on the Facebook page that repeats the column. That’s pay dirt.

You see, I get to see the figures for the readership hits on the main column and they spike whenever Trolly bleats. More people read the column, looking for the controversy, and more people then go on to browse the rest of the store’s website. This is a store that wants on-line trade and every time someone wanders down their electronic aisle it’s money in the bank.

I must confess, I have written a few columns in such a way as to provoke Trolly for just this purpose. Not many, but every so often…

He may be a nasty piece of work at home – I don’t know. He may be a sweetie, and the social star of his street. I just hope for his continued good health and bad digestion – he is the best straight man I have, troll or not.

I’ll Tell You A Secret

But I won’t realise I’m doing it.

Just follow my posts on Facebook that ” share ” other messages. I will post them thinking I am telling you a great deal about the state of the world. In reality I’ll be telling you a great deal about the state of me.

I may not actually be a great deal…or even in a great state. But I will have provided either enticement or warning by re-posting whatever has come lately to my attention. You can agree with me, in which case you enter into the Blessed Lands Of Joy…or you can disagree with me, in which case I get to damn and blast you. To be honest, I prefer the latter to the former as it gives me more opportunity to vent my spleen. You can build up a lot of pressure in a spleen these days and any opportunity to release it is welcome.

Of course, things may change. I may become happier. I might find love, or at least sex. I might find $ 20 in an old coat pocket. I might lose 10 kilos and fit into my jeans. In the event of any of these, I will start to share happier memes and I expect you to like them just as much as you did the nasty ones.

Otherwise there will be trouble. I many not know where you live, but I do know where you socially post.

Do Not Click On This Link

If you do, you will be unhappy. You will lose time, money, or patience with humanity. Or all three. It is known as the Imperfecta…and unlike multiple bets on horse races, it is extremely easy to win.

If you have read this far it shows you have a desire for either punishment or humour. I like to craft my jokes so that you cannot have one without the other. In this I am aided immeasurably by the social media outlets. They allow me to step in a tilt someone’s mental bowl of soup off the table into their lap.

I am not alone in this. Just today I clicked on an innocent picture of soldiers preparing for an army exercise in one of our suburbs. I imagine it will be the infantry – and I would not be surprised if they pop off a few blank rounds while skulking through the paddocks. The horses agisted around the area may object, but the local dogs will have a good time. If it turns out to be the artillery exercising I’m going to get a bucket of popcorn, a big orange drink, and enjoy the show…

However – the Facebook post that warned local residents ( probably with a repeat in the local press and over the television ) drew forth a number of trolls from other parts of the country who were able to conflate the army exercise with the current state of Covid 19 lockdown in Victoria, vaccines, sheep, and new world order conspiracies.

I would normally avert my eyes but in the case of a few of them the grammar, spelling, and sentiments were such as to suggest professional comedy writers holed-up on a hotel room with the mini-bar open. I honestly cannot tell whether the posters are real or really good at appearing to be stupid beyond belief.

I am hoping that is is art, which I applaud. If it is science, I am gloomy, and if it is life imitating either of the other two named, I am saddened.

 

 

The Constitution Says…

” The Constitution clearly says I have a right to get polio or smallpox if I wish. And to pass it on as a heritage to my descendants. For as long as there are any.”

No, it doesn’t. The Australian Constitution says nothing at all like this. It is a political document and doesn’t control public disease prevention.

” Well the American Constitution does. ”

No, it doesn’t. And you’re not in the USA.

” Well, Magna Carta, then…”

Black Plague back at you. Go get your shots and take your kids as well, and stop being an infective pain in the arse. And stop waving Facebook at me.

Dead Quiet

At the start of the current Viral Follies I noted a series of intense postings on social media from friends who wanted to educate us – to the dangers, what to do, how the world would be…

These seem to have disappeared, and I am curious. We live in a state that has had a very small Covid impact so far. So the very worst conclusion – that the social media experts have died from it – is not likely to be correct. Lord save us that this doesn’t happen to them in the future. But why are they silent?

Are they confident that official pronouncements are now sufficient to alarm and depress the population – and their own efforts would be superfluous? Or do they defer to those who have the official figures and can post them daily?

Have they been silenced? Some of them work in areas that spin closer to the virus than others…but they may have been told to not post on social media for some reason.

Have they lost interest? Have they decided that the dumb can die and the canny survive? I should not approve of that, but I do. Washing the dregs out of the pot occasionally means a cleaner social soup. But I wish to be able to decide who is dregs and who isn’t.

Don’t worry – if you are reading this and approve of me, you’ll be saved and washed clean. Promise.

” I’m Just A Sex Object To You…”

No, Dear, you’re not. Not any more. Not for a long time. Not since you found Facebook.

I fully admit that I did think of you as a sex object – and treasured the sight, sound, and smell of you upon that basis. I longed to add feel to the list… but that was before I was presented with your posts on the electronic screen – in between the phishing memes and the advertisements for perfumed stump pullers. Once I could contemplate your thoughts and explore the workings of your mind, I changed my regard for you.

Now I do not look upon you you as a sex object. I regard you as a floating object.

You float between whichever political pressure group has most traction at the time. Between who has grabbed the national television coverage for the last five minutes and who will grab it for the next. Your thoughts are precious – as much for their virtue as for their rarity. And I long for the day when you will feel successful and triumphant – and will feel no more need to complain.

Like nirvana, armageddon, or the end of the works on the Mitchell Freeway, I never really expect to see this state of affairs blossom. But I need something to pray for.

 

Your Emotional Laundry Is Ready For Collection

As a child in Canada I got used to the houses we lived in having a clothes drier. Not all of them did, but you could see why it was a pretty essential part of life if you didn’t have a basement with a furnace in it – you can’t hang wet laundry out on a Hills Hoist at -4º.

I loved the driers that were in the kitchens because I could play in there and get blasted by the warm air coming through the system. As the rest of the house might be heated by a furnace that sucked all the moisture out of the air, the laundry vapour was actually soothing.

These days we use the house clothes drier to supplement what can mostly be done on the line out back. Western Australia has more good drying days than not and I always figure I’m getting good value for no money by taking advantage of them. I wish I could say the same for that other staple of modern life: Facebook.

I appreciate the fact that sometimes people need to vent on Facebook. You open the page and there is a full rant about someone’s emotional grievances – whether you read it or not, at least the posting of it might have done them some good. But it gets a bit fraught when people are doing personal laundry 24/7 and running the loads through every day. You can only take so much warm, wet air with vague odours before you become  tired of it. Then you find yourself switching off or switching over. You start granting the laundry worker repeated 30-day vacations. And sometimes you just stop taking the service.

After all, you have your own wrinkles to iron out without having to scrub someone else’s life as well.