” It’s All A Mucking Fadhouse “

That feeling of exasperation when you are surrounded by people all trying to be cooler than each other – and the end result is the ambient temperature drops dramatically. And these desperate social actors live on drama…

I was always a conservative and repressed little fellow. Primary school and high school saw me dressed as my mother commanded and – to be honest – there was not a lot of sartorial splendour in rural Canada in the 1950’s. You could be well-dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans. The delightful thing for me is that this is still the case 70 years later.

You were also not encouraged to be either high, wide nor handsome in your opinions and speech. This may still be the case in Canada, though you are allowed to be scornful of the American President as long as he is not a Democrat or coloured. Hey, Canada has some standards, even if they are double…

But getting back to conservatism…it need not be a bad thing. It’s just a matter of context. No-one really wants an eye surgeon or dentist who is wild and cutting-edge radical – particularly when you’re their their patient. And few of us welcome return-to-the basics airline pilots who always fly at 500 ft. and stick their fingers out the window to see which way the wind is blowing. We reserve these things for their natural place.

Likewise we might well do with a politician who is not continuously at the barricades – particularly if they have no idea in which direction to throw their paving stone. A person who is not driven by popular shrieks from the mob is helpful. Even the shrieking radicals appreciate them, as they provide convenient targets for mindless abuse.

So calm down a little. You’ll still be able to subvert western civilisation and look kewl but you can do it at a less frenetic pace. And better dressed.

Opening The Borders

Open state borders…for trade and tourism…is all very well. We want trade and tourism; ie. we want money, and we want someone to bring it to us. But presently there is a chance that they will bring disease and death to us.

Not that this was not always the case – tourists can murder locals as easily as locals can murder tourists – and interstate commerce can impoverish as well as enrich. You just have to have the control knobs set the the right way to gain and not lose.

But now tourists can bring in a disease we cannot yet cure. It is in our interests to keep them away, and to stop ourselves from going to their homes and risking the same result. We, and they, are going to lose the chance to exchange money ( and that is all the trade ever is ) but we also give time for science to find a cure for this disease that haunts us.

We can exchange canned goods and television shows and chilled mutton. We can send disinfected parcels back and forth. Let us be content with that and wait out the cycle of disease and cure. And let’s remember where it all came from. We can’t fathom why, but we can reduce the chances again.

Cheapshot And Co.

Meme purveyors to the internet. No subject  sacred – no jibe too mean.  Try us for all the things you’re too slow to think up in person.

Here at Cheapshot & Co, we monitor the social media traffic hour by hour. Whenever an opportunity to mock a country’s political leader or head of state presents itself you can dial our exclusive private service and we will sell you your opinion wrapped in sarcasm or irony. We are totally non-political and non-partisan – we’ll agree to jazz up and jiz up any mean thoughts you may have.

If you are incapable of thought, subscribe to our premium service and let us make you kewl, kutting-edge, and klever. The KKK package would suit you admirably.

Note: With every discount troll package we include a free mockery of Donald Trump. If you’re European and not currently on a ventilator you qualify for the Sawdust Sausage Discount.

Don’t delay. Note: After November we may be offering a Laugh At Biden doorbuster sale. Check back then.

Honesty For Beginners

You’ll see a lot of use of the word ” honesty ” in the next few months. This is a lead-up to an American presidential election, a wind-down from a Chinese virus, and a cut -back on the availability of money. In the first two cases, do not expect it in any actual form – for the last cited – the money business – people will be surprisingly candid.

The election is probably going to be contested by failures – windbags of Washington who would say and do anything to gain or retain power. They both command, or are commanded by, armies of minions, minders, and puppeteers. These people would assassinate their candidate in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it, but the politicians know how to protect themselves against this sort of thing. So it will be a fair and open contest for the grossly blundered votes of America. Do I have a preferred candidate? I do not…I am fully occupied in writing out curses upon both their houses. I have faith that eventually the USA will have a decent President – some day – but from whence I cannot say.

The Chinese virus is with us now, has been with us for longer than they’ll admit, and will stay for longer than we care to speculate. We’ll get denials, stonewalling, accusations, and bullying tactics to try and maximise its effect upon the West while exonerating the East. Eventually the currently careless portions of the world will get smart or dead and it will peter out. There may even be a vaccine preventative one day, but that’s little consolation for the millions it will kill now. We’ll get no honesty from the Communist Party Of China but we may find out the truth through other agencies.

The business downturn and money drought is evident now and will be increasingly so as time goes on – you’ll be able to see it in black and white…or red and white…figures. The wise people will become more frugal and less demanding and probably live pretty well. Those who locked themselves into expensive lives will find that the locks can be opened and they can be thrust out.

There will also be some honesty in race relations now that there has been a flare-up of US rioting at the start of the summer. The reality that the races dislike each other has been self-evident for some period of time -roughly the last 400 years – but up till now popular culture has avoided admitting it. Whether it will ever be altered is to be seen – but there’ll be a period of intense agitation for the rest of the year. Here in Australia we’ll get our own copycat version of it.

This weblog column will not be a popular or good thing to read, but I’m not selling feels – I’m selling honesty. I expect to be yelled at for it.

What Do You Want From A Prime Minister?

I want a statesman. Or a stateswoman. I want someone who the whole country can be proud.

I want one who has been elected fresh – not boosted from the cabinet ranks in the latest round of musical chairs. I want the apple I bought, not a sudden substitute from further down in the barrel..

I want one who is not radio-controlled from a union party room or some cabal of moneyed backers. I want one who cannot be cowed and refuses to be insulted by other nations throwing their weight about. I want one that can’t be bought or sold.

I want one that is there when the country needs them, and who stays through the crisis. I want a leader who – like King George VI – will never leave.

I want one who knows when to have a laugh and when to be sober. Above all I want a dignified person – not a Pierre Trudeau or Donald Trump – as our figurehead. I want the PM to communicate from Canberra or the Lodge and not on Twitter or Facebook. I’d prefer truth to lies but whichever we get, let us get it through official pronouncements rather than angry rants or press conferences.

 

Your Government Grant Is Ready

He’s right there at Appomattox Court House. Just waiting for you. General? General Lee? Are you going to get out of bed? General ?

Well that was probably the last US government Grant that did any good at all – though poor old R.E. was probably not in a good mood to be getting one.

I’m more sanguine. The feds and the state government seem to be showering the coins down just at present. Adding together the factors of my low income, age, and health care card seems to have opened up the coffers somewhat. I won’t get paid for not being at work because I am not employed anyway, but they threw $ 750 at me, then another $ 100 or so every so often to ease the rates or the water or other utilities.

This is good, as I do not propose to go travelling or buy expensive motor cars or caravans. I eat regularly and well, but I cook regularly and well, too. There’s a link there that I intend to foster. As far as purchasing expensive clothing with the money…well I have a closet and a wardrobe full of expensive clothing that never gets worn. Even the pile of cheap underwear and socks has not diminished – so the economic stimulus will likely go to groceries.

Is the household doing poorly? No, it’s not. It’s warm, cosy, fed, watered, and entertained. The local library sent a mystery book hamper that is being read through and these are apparently available as many times as we ask. Don’t mind if I do. The beer fridge is full.

I shall watch the account to see if further amounts arrive.

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.

How To Bake An Ethical Urinal Cake

Congratulations. You read that headline and had the courage to continue down the page. You’re like the expendable guy in the horror movie who goes into the dark kitchen as the music starts…

Leaving the cake aside until tea time, have you noticed how many of your social media contacts want you to approve and vote for political leaders they love? And how they want you to disapprove of and refrain from voting for the ones they hate? And how they have decided that every single day is election day in your computer?

Isn’t it all getting to be a spare crack in your ass? Don’t you want some relief from them pressuring you? Well you can do something about it, and now is the time to start.

a. Make enquiries to find out which electorate your Facebook friend is in. Then ask them which polling station they normally go to, and at what time of the day.

b. On Election Day turn up at their house and offer to accompany them to that polling station. Or wait there for them.

c. When they approach the station start talking loudly to them about the candidate you wish them to vote for. If they become angry offer to buy their vote. Do this in the hearing of the returning officer.

d. When they go into the little cardboard booth, elbow them aside, snatch the tiny pencil from them and vote above the line…for their candidate. If you’re loud enough and fast enough you can get that paper into the box before the returning scrutineers descend upon you.

e. Tell the cops that your friend made you change your vote.

You’ll go in front of a magistrate and pay a fine, of course, but you will have had value for money. After your Facebook friend de-friends you, tell all your shared friends that you really are the best of pals in real life. And that you are going to go to every election together.

The Badges Of Courage – Red and Otherwise

As we learn to cope with the viral plague we discover new challenges to overcome. Like the military we deserve some recognition for our service and courage. Medals and ribbons need to be awarded for a number of new feats:

a. First time you go out in a face mask. This is still somewhat controversial in some circles but I’ll be willing to bet that it becomes more common for the next month or so. However, common or not eventually, when you first start doing it you wonder whether you are going to be laughed at or stoned in the street.

I’m lucky – a friend has made me two face masks that can hold filter material but instead of trying to look clinical or unobtrusive, they are wildly coloured and stylish. One has bananas on it and the other pineapples. When you wear them you are going way past the theatrical limits of most people. Once you are out there, they probably can’t think of anything to say fast enough to bother you.

b. First time stopped on the road and questioned about your journey. I do it simple. I have a stack of re-usable food bags and if stopped I’ll say I am going to the grocery store. If I do go to one, all I need to do is get bread or milk and the journey has been justified.

c. Filling the car at a petrol station. There’s been a allegation that petrol pumps are infectious. I would normally laugh at this, but a small box of plastic gloves in the car sidesteps the problem of handling the pump. And the attendant is gloved as well so there is no problem.

d. First cough or sneeze in public. Well, do it into your kleenex and bin the tissue, obviously. If anyone glares at you, say ” allergy to pollen “.

e. First time shopping for toilet paper. Don’t be too disappointed if you can’t see it for a while. The hoarders have mostly gone through and are sitting at home trying to think what next to try. It will come back. And you can wipe that smile on your face…

 

Home Port

I was always impressed with the Panamanian merchant marine. And that of the Bahamas and Sierra Leone. I had grown up supposing the most powerful merchant fleets were from Britain, the US, or other allied countries – but so few of the ships that came into port seemed to be registered there. The Sierra Leonians and Panamanians had advanced to being the sailors of the world…

The penny dropped later – the ships were registered in countries that demanded no taxes from the owners, yet benefitted from whatever anyone else did as far as maritime organisation and safety. It was surprising that so few of them were not home-ported in Switzerland or Leichtenstein…

It all worked until this year when the Asian virus was found to infect the ships of the cruise lines. We’ve seen the horrid results of ships refused entry and stranded off any number of out-of-the-way ports. They’re gradually repatriating the passengers, well or otherwise, and the crews are being kept abord many of the vessels.

Time for them to go home. Not to Miami or Sydney or New York. Not to the ports where they hoovered up the money. To the ports where they cached it – their tax-free home ports. That’s where they said they were from, and that’s where they can finish up. The various governments that were taking the registration fees and banking the profits can now spend that money cleaning out the ships and turning them into low-cost floating housing for their citizens. Like the Queen Mary.

Or do a Queen Elizabeth and have a mysterious fire start in the harbour…