Bear Baiting For The Faint Of Heart

The trick is to find something to bait other than a bear.

In any intimate social circle of friends there will be people who can be attacked with impunity. We all know a mass murderer or sex offender or someone who wears socks with sandals. They are the legitimate targets of our hate, righteousness, and scorn when we are feeling out of sorts.

We can pillory them to our heart’s content on the internet with no danger of reprisal. But then so can everyone else, and that means that we just blend in with the braying crowd – no-one will know how virtuous and cool we are. Easy targets get no gongs, as they say in the Air Force. They may get more than their fair share of 1000 pounders, but that is no consolation when we want personal publicity. We need worthy enemies that can be vanquished easily while the light is good and the cameras are rolling.

Trouble is,  worthy enemies – again to use the Air Force analogy – are armed with flak and fighters, and are not easy targets. If you get a whipping while you are trying to do that to someone else you are not going to benefit. So what we need are targets that appear tough but are made of rubber or straw.

In the social scene these can be found amongst the rich and entitled or poor and defenseless – provided they are far enough above or below our own social standing as to render us invisible. If we can be mean from behind a double-blind of false identity it is even better. This may be the real benefit of identity theft.

Of course things can change in time. The Nigerian scammer of last decade may well become the new government of this one. Likewise the politician we all vie to hate may be proven right. We must make some provision to retract our statements, or at least to retract our signature on the libels. For this purpose we advocate the good old disappearing ink beloved of spy novels.

The safest way of all – at least on WordPress or Blogger – is to include free-form poetry or advice on how to make money from home in each post. What is never read cannot be sheeted home to you in court…

 

 

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The Invisible Man Vs The Invisible Woman

Well, I looked as hard as I could, but I didn’t see anybody there.

I knew that they were fighting, or making love, or possibly doing laundry. There were a series of bumps and gurgles and at one point something viscous spilled on the floor. I decided that it would be more discreet to just leave and read about it in the newspaper next week.

That’s the problem with super-powers. They are bound to cause trouble sooner or later. The entire collection of Marvel and DC characters, together with the Japanese anime figures, seem to be incapable of living quiet lives. They are either fighting crime or committing it – and mostly to the detriment of the environment and people surrounding them. I cannot think of anything worse than being neighbour to a super hero or super villain. No matter what they did it would break fences and scatter the street’s rubbish on Bin Night. And you can just bet that it would never be during business hours – I’ve read enough Batman comics to know that whenever he roars out of the secret tunnel at 165 dB it is the middle of the night. Who sleeps?

The business of radioactivity and strange oriental poisons is another thing. I can take the average hazards of suburban life – the magpie swoops and the blood-and-bone fertilizer on the garden beds in Spring. The repeated attacks of the Mr Whippy van in summer. The drains backing up in winter. It is the price you pay for having a bit of space about you. But with a super-whatever on the street you are just as likely to glow in the dark, turn sterile, or keel over foaming and choking as soon as they open the basement vents. You can be certain that they have a secret laboratory down there because nothing grows in a radius of 50 metres of their property.

Of course there are those who say having a super-hero will be good because it means the neighbourhood is protected. What they don’t figure into the equation is the fact that the superhero attracts their opposing number 100% of the time and you end up avoiding two men in tights instead of just one.

I could actually enjoy super women in tights, but I’ve seen the muscles on some of them and I don’t think I would survive…

SIn For The Sinless – On Being An Armour-Piercing Saint

If you are pretty well free of sin and error – like Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, or the Pope – you may feel that going to confession is a bit of a waste of time. Oh you might scrape up something like inattentiveness or the vague desire to take a third tea-cake, but you’ll be scrapping to interest the confessor on the other side of the grill. If you irk them they’ll just tell you to go and get blessed…

None of us are that good, but still, many of us have never set fire to an orphanage or touched a supporter of the Democratic Party in an inappropriate manner…and thus we struggle to make a meaningful confession or profession. We hesitate to attend. The BGA business model will change that.

We welcome news of sin and malignancy, but in the BGA booth you need not tell your own. You are free…and indeed encouraged…to tell that of others. The wider your vision of the faults of humanity can range and the more accurate and detailed your information can be, the quicker you can get out of the booth and the higher your standing with the Guild will be. To put it frankly, if you can bring us the goods, you need not pay the gold coin. In some cases it can be quite the opposite…

We all know people who do the right thing by others. Let us forget them for the present. Now concentrate on your friends and relations who really DO have something to hide – tell us all about them. We’ll even allow you a little leeway in the matter of strict truth if the story is juicy enough.

If there is one thing we have learned from the internet and social media, it is the elasticity of truth…

Of course we are prepared to grant you absolution, insofar as it is in our power to do so. Which is pretty well not at all. But the great thing is that you will have been enabled to traduce, calumniate, denigrate, and defame those of whom you disapprove from the safety of an anonymous structure in a public place. And with no consequences – save the occasional beating with a suggested post.

As we said – if there is one thing we have learned from the internet and social media, it is that we have learned two things…

 

How To Avoid Being Stalked

These days there is a great deal of unease about the business of stalking. The term crops up in newspapers, legal cases, and the social media. Many accusations are made and in some cases substantiated. The BGA has a few points of good advice for those who would avoid the problem:

a. Do not poop in the wild. Or on the screen.

This is the number one give-away for wild animals – at least for the ones who do not instinctively bury their shit. They leave steaming mounds everywhere and eventually the predator who wants to find them just ends up following a trail of increasingly fresh dung until it finds the arsehole that is putting it out. Not a pleasant way of shopping, but a sure-fire way of finding one end of dinner.

In the social media world it works the same way. People post the most improbable piles of merde on the internet – for the most part picked up and ” shared ” in an effort to get attention. Well, if they share enough of it and it gets to be fresh, it can lead directly to them.

b. Do not leave your leavings around.

We are not suggesting that you shred every piece of wrapping paper or McDonalds container that you collect to prevent hackers from trolling your recycle bin…but remember what happened to the US Embassy in Tehran in the 1980’s.  Look at the stuff you throw out and securely destroy the bits with the numbers.

Or fish the number bits out of your neighbour’s verge on bin night and put them in your own waste. Hell, just exchange paper all up and down the street and hack each other.

c. Do not pay by credit card, cheque, or direct debit.

If possible do not even pay in cash. Promise to pay and then skip town. There are towns all over the place. Skipping is healthful exercise.

d. Do not take surveys, answer questionnaires, enter contests, play free games, or request free samples.

You might as well be drawing a red circle around yourself on an ordnance survey map. The people who harvest information trade and sell it, and you, based upon what you give them. You may well end up being used but you do not have to run up the gangplank of the slave ship to embrace it.

e. Do not react to anything.

Reaction is what people want when they wish to know where you are and what triggers you. Depend upon it; when you give them the information they will use it and they will not use it in a way that makes you happier.

f. Be beige. Bland, Swiss, middle-aged, from an outer suburb, and never seen. Try to become a fully visible invisible creature.

g. Avoid all interpersonal relationships – in particular avoid the ones that involve loose clothing and lapses of memory. When that old sweet song echoes in your ear, put your finger inside there instead.

Love is another thing. Love is perennial and blessed. Love is violets and daffodils. Love is the stuff of which very successful pulp novels can be made. If it occasionally becomes a soggy mess and soaks through into the upholstery, regard this as the price you pay for happiness. Or misery. In any case, if you do pay the price, get a receipt – you can sometimes claim it on your tax return.

 

The Mobile Billboard

I was passed one day, on the inside, in rainy weather and heavy traffic, on a notoriously busy road by a person who used the old ploy of zooming up the road shoulder and then lurching into the lane. You’ve all had that at some stage of the game and cursed the fool who did it.

In this case the fool had an advertising screen attached to the back of her hatchback car – the type that are see-through but can carry signs and telephone numbers on the outside. I observed that it was one of the belly dancers that I take pictures of at dance shows.

I’m afraid this is probably another case of  the first-day-of-wet-weather syndrome in Perth. Edmonton and Calgary used to have a first-snow-day show of about the same sort. It paid to leave the car at home and take the bus that day.

Perhaps I can persuade this lady to take up driving in Alberta instead of here.

The Torch And Pitchfork Club

With the current culture of witch hunting proving such so successful for lawyers, publicity agents, and television stations, I have decided that the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia can benefit from it – we are going to start an on-line Torch and Pitchfork Club.

It will be an opportunity for Guild members to savage public figures and personal enemies without fear of reprisal. I have negotiated a free pass from the Commonwealth Director of Prosecutions that will allow personal defamation and lewd slander without fear of reprisal. The major networks have come on board upon the promise that they can be seen to be virtuous and moral.

Of course this is not without danger. Some of the people who we attack may turn out to be innocent, despite our best efforts. We can strive but we may not succeed. The only comfort in these cases will be to remember the general fallibility of Man and hope that our victims will do something bad eventually. Even if we do not see it, there will be a Higher Power that can mete out punishment upon our behalf. I mean, we spend a fortune on candles and incense – we should at least get some return for the money, eh? Else what’s a temple for?

The Torch and Pitchfork will also be a chance for a social outing for Guild members. Who doesn’t like marching and chanting? You get few enough chances to get out of an evening, and if you can go out with like-minded friends, storm a bastille or burn down a castle, and home again in time for a nice cup of tea, well—it’s got to do you good, innit?

I plan to rage against Aldi supermarkets and Chinese people. And then go out for a good pint and a chicken fried rice at the Golden Dragon.

No Knives In The Heart Of The Empire…

It would appear that there is no possibility of carrying a knife in London – or possibly in any other part of the UK. They are so worried that the citizens will stab each other that they are removing all possibility of it.

Of course, this will be somewhat of  partial measure, as we have discovered – by careful scientific experiments – that it is possible to stab people with other things. The local criminals here in Western Australia seem to carry a great many screwdrivers and I daresay there are any number of sharp combs and other implements to hand nearly everywhere one goes. I favour my heavy brass-bound walking stick when dressed for an evening, and my Gerber folder when taping up wires and lighting rigs out in the photo world. At home, of course the good old butcher’s knife and the Swedish feather are always to hand. The swivel gun, mortar, rifled musket,and crossbow have all been sold off or given to other people so they do not figure in the equation. One hardly needs them in our suburb.

And that brings a question to mind of what sort of people are in the UK – to require such stringency. It cannot be a case of race – we have every variety of human in our street and we never stab each other. We do not run each other over in motor cars to promote religious belief, either, though I can count the adherents of 6 separate faiths in the street and can guess at a couple more. There is something to be said for living in the colonies…

I’m glad did my UK travelling some decades ago – when it was safe to walk the streets. I now quite prefer Singapore or Japan…where it is safe to walk the streets. Perhaps the British should think of importing more Singaporeans or Japanese to their island to improve the stock…