I Apologise To All Whom the Guild Has Failed To Offend

It has been a busy season and some stations on the social railway have remained necessarily unattended. People have had to embarrass or insult themselves in the absence of trained staff members. The mental porters have not be available to help with the psychological baggage and passengers have had to lump it themselves.

With such a busy world – and so many people wanting to be angry and offended – the job of the Backstabbers Guild of Australia might be thought to be idyllic. A victim at every turn – treachery by the carton – coups to be struck all day. This is the case, of course, but we in the BGA  have to plead the limits of inhumanity. We can do only so much to worsen your lives. You really must learn to make yourselves miserable when we are not available.

Let us take simple case of a person – say an ordinary man or woman who is a pillar of the community – and ask whether we really need to exercise the full fury of the Guild on them – with attendant expenses and time needed. Would it not be better in 58.3% of cases to enable them to make fools of themselves, and save our efforts for the exceptional? I think it would be.

To this end we will be sending out BGA Paks to a wide range of households in Australia this coming winter. Each Pak will contain banana peels, metal caltrops spikes, mercaptan oil in breakable containers, and a handy guide to public embarrassment that will enable the recipients to produce their own regrettable incidents. As an added incentive to use the kits the Guild will include three free Golden Tickets per 1000 kits that entitle the lucky winners to nominate someone to be publicly humiliated, with the full compendium of Guild fiendishness.

It looks like a good winter.

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Shopping For A War – Part Five – The Reader’s Digest…

Or will it be ”  War And Peace “?

You have to decide when you enter a keyboard dogfight whether you want to fight it down to the deck until you all run out of ammunition and are reduced to ramming each other, or whether you just want to make a quick firing pass, zoom up, and fly away.

The first approach – what I like to call the Zeke – is for those who wish to become legends in their own lunchtime. Heros who do not care whether their reputations, bank balances, or underwear are shredded in the fight. People who sacrifice themselves whenever they can – possibly for the pleasure of being hurt. There’s probably a PhD somewhere in there but you’d have to write footnotes to get it.

The indefatigable keyboard fighter never gives up, even when they have passed from being questionable to being wrong – and then gone on to being ludicrous and irrelevant. They cannot quit, as quitting would involve them in the suspicion that they were fools and have been suckered into an intellectual Lufberry Circus by smarter thinkers. They generally die in a blaze of inglorious prose against some hillside.

A second fighting style is know as the Thunderbolt. The writer knows that they have one chance only to drop on their opponent with overwhelming force, let ’em have the whole nine yards, and then use the moment of stunned and horrified silence to zoom away and disappear. It is not a case of cowardice – just judicious use of advantage and tactics. Dodging and weaving whilst making the escape is also not a bad idea. They never have to return to fight that opponent again.

A third approach is to enter unobtrusively, throttle back whilst close to the victim, drop a delayed-action meme, and then slide over the horizon before the thing goes up. Make no mistake – no-one will be in any doubt who dropped it. You will get credit, if only in curses.

I Have Been Accused Of Being Old And Vile…

And I couldn’t be more delighted. Receiving recognition of a lifetime’s dedicated study and work is very gratifying and the fact that the speaker is crying and trying to throw canned goods and shoes at me just makes it all the sweeter. There is a great deal of sincerity in a can of green beans when it is aimed at your head.

Getting to be old is a privilege – one we pay for in aches and pains – but nevertheless a good thing. It means that, as Gilbert and Sullivan so accurately put it, we can mature our felonious little plans. Anticipation is fine but satisfaction is better, particularly if you are never suspected.

Is being vile a bad thing? Well, there are so many definitions of the word that there seems to be room for a great many forms of behaviour. Eating the wrong thing in one culture scores badly – the same meal elsewhere is welcomed with gusto. Likewise political and religious opinions and actions. You just need to find the right audience for anything you do.

I have always tried to be kind to animals. Some of them are useful, some attractive, some dangerous. Some are delicious. It is best to adopt a good attitude to them all if you do not have a .30-06 or a frying pan close to hand.

Likewise I am kind to children. I find them to be valuable allies in my war against their parents. They know things that can be jotted down and given in evidence. Few of them are discrete.

And I do help old people across the road – I take their arm and carefully totter from one curb to the other, oblivious to the screeching and banging of cars as they collide. But I am careful to keep the other person closest to the traffic – no sense being careless about things. SOme of them are younger than me.

I will admit to one bad habit. I cannot pass a stack of canned goods in the supermarket without easing one of the cans on a lower level just to the edge of its engagement. And then I go away and pause in the dairy aisle and listen for the inevitable…

Your Email Of The 15th Inst. Has Been Noted

And unlike previous forms of communication, will not be considered to be private, inviolate, confidential, or secret. It will, indeed, be copied innumerable times, and made available to anyone who bears you a grudge. Prospective grudge-bearers who wish to invest in material for future use will also be accommodated at a special early bird rate.

Please note that the privacy disclaimers and instructions routinely included on the bottom of all official forms from this office are for theatrical and humorous purpose, and should in no way be construed as legally binding unless you have more powerful lawyers than we do. In this context, ” Three Finger ” Louie Custozza and the Boys From Missoula are considered to be a legally practicing entity and can be cited in negotiations.

As it is impossible at this stage to determine what the year’s cause célèbre or political opportunity will be, we would like you to send a great many more communications on the computer. It would be appreciated by our Chief of Blackmail if you would moderate your use of stimulating substances before typing, as some of the spelling can be very difficult to deal with if you go past certain limits. Please feel free to express yourself as violently and controversially as you wish as this makes for juicier scandal. Photographs are always welcome. No need to dress…

 

 

Broadcast Live From Your House

When you watch the news about the US president Donald Trump – or click the Facebook side panel – or listen to your friends deride him based upon what they have read on the internet…have you ever stopped to consider what YOU might look like if you were subject to the minute scrutiny that attends him?

I ask this as I remember being afflicted with similar scrutiny when a child in school – I was the fat, new, frightened kid…and was fair game for all the bullies and smart arses in every school I attended. As my detractors wanted to belittle me, they watched every single thing I did and found fault. The simplest action was cause for howls of contempt. Nothing was private, sacred, or approved. President Trump seems to be in the same position vis-a-vis the people who supported the other side of politics – and lost – and who now want their revenge.

So let’s imagine you – if you’re a Trump detractor – going about your daily routine. Let’s see if the treatment works on you.

You get out of bed in time for breakfast: ” Lazy swine lolls in bed while others slave to prepare feast. ” Not sounding too good.

So you get up earlier next day : ” Can’t sleep. Guilty conscience. Snoops on cooks behind the scenes. ” Still not good publicity. And who is feeding these stories to the press?

Okay, this time you’ll please someone…you’ll do without breakfast: ” Too good to eat like a normal person. No pleasing some people. ” Well, what the actual…

And we haven’t even started on your bathroom routine, your clothes for the day, or whatever it is you’re going to be doing for a living – never mind your religion, family, or politics. These topics will be covered by your enemies and will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are evil incarnate, totally incompetent, and in collusion with the Russians, the French, the Tongans, and the firm that makes Cheezils. Every single action that you undertake, all day, all week, all year, will be wrong. The press and your detractors will be free to lie about you, to you, and because of you. No-one will hold them accountable.

Feeling the love yet? Feeling the burn yet? Feeling the bigotry and pettiness yet? Want to do something about it? Here’s what you do.

Nothing. Not a damn thing. Do not take the slightest notice of your detractors. Do not reward them with anger, or distress, or recognition. Take note of the fashionable meme that started up a few years ago: ” Keep calm and carry on. “. By all means use social media but do not use it to vent frustrations or angst. Be benign, vague, and cheerful. Send kitten videos. And do what you were going to do regardless.

Don’t be too sanguine about the results. You won’t reap any better opinion of yourself from the people who are determined to hate you; they have invested to much of their time in speech and writing to resile their position. Many of them hope for benefit from your opponents*. The best you can hope for is a better judgement of history.

* And if, in a few years, they present their intellectual bill to the other side of politics – and it is not paid – they have a ready-made supply of protest that they can direct to them.

 

 

 

Are You Guilty?

guiltWell, of course you are. You’re reading this on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet and that automatically makes you guilty in someone’s eyes. If you are of a mild and penitent character, you’ll mourn that you cannot atone for your sins. If you are of a more robust nature you’ll also mourn…that you cannot get your thumbs into those accusing eyes.

Guilt is a wonderful thing. It has enabled parents and grandparents to punish their offspring for literally centuries. If it is used well it enables those same offspring to punish the parents and grandparents. Skilful guilt operators can use it to tarbrush entire populations, just as their opposite numbers can use it to whitewash in the same way. I sometimes wonder if it is the same brush – and I am curious as to what they use to clean it between coats. I have a devil of a time getting common enamel paint out of hog bristle brushes as it is.

Is there collective guilt? You bet there is, and there are collectors in all divisions who have amassed magnificent examples. No matter who you are or where you come from – they can find something to shame you with. If not you precisely…not you the individual registered citizen with a number, password, police history, dossier, and soul…then you as a person with a certain complexion or set of gonads. You may not think that you are guilty of anything much at all, but when it comes to having moral and political contumely hung on you, you might as well be made of velcro. They gonna make something stick.

Is there individual guilt?  Well, yes, of course. You are guilty of it right now. In fact, you’re soaking in it. You know what you did…

Can we have international guilt-packages that allow us to feel bad while on holiday overseas? Yes, and these are very popular these days. Wherever you go there was someone who has gone there before you and done something objectionable. The locals have a record of it and are waiting for you to step off the Boeing to tax you with it. And we do mean tax – the only way you are going to get back onto the plane is to pay the locals. You must not complain or you will not be allowed to get back on until many Boeings have come and gone. You wanted to see how the world works and this is how…

Can you stop being guilty? Well, in the case of the overseas guilt, it generally stops when the cabin crew arm the doors and cross-check. You get to pick up a fresh lot of angst from the baggage carousel at your next port of call. For domestic political/economic/social guilt it only stops when your accuser gets either tired of the internet, finally gets their paper published, or is appointed to a board.

Reading Mein Kampf

mkOr…not reading it. At least not yet…

I have owned a hardbound copy of this book for the last 50 years. I tried to read it 5 times in that period. I failed to get past the first chapter 5 times.

In the interim I have read through many other books – some of them foolish, some stupid, some grim. But none of them have had the cachet of this book. None of them have carried as much disreputable baggage.

Am I a wuss? Am I a fool? Am I an intellectual coward? Very likely I am. But I have read Marx in the meantime…and Chairman Mao…and biographies of Stalin, Mussolini, and Hirohito. I’ve read potted histories of the Soviet Union. I’ve read flying saucer conspiracy/Third Reich astrology/ Henry Ford propaganda crap since. I’ve even read political pamphlets from Fremantle, for Heaven’s sake…and have consigned some of them to the trash without a second thought.

But that damned book still sits there on the shelf and defies me. I dare not burn it – lest I be a book burner. I regard it as I would regard a fused bomb…a very old fused bomb, with unstable filler and detonator. I am loath to touch it.

Perhaps I should just dust it off and send it to someone with best wishes. Who shall it be? I have 204 Facebook friends and some of them are readers…