The Question

” Can I ask you a question? ”

Sure, go ahead.

” Do you like questions? ”

Ummm. Well, I’ve never really thought about it. I mean – questions just are, if you get what I mean…

” Do you like rhetorical questions? ”

Ah, there I can say a definite No. They always seem such a contrivance. They tend to stop a conversation, rather than start it.

” I knew you would say that, didn’t I? ”

What? If you knew I would say that why did you ask in the first place?

“What would you say if I told you that if you hadn’t answered in the first place you wouldn’t have to ask, now would you? Can’t answer that, can you? ”

My head hurts. Go away.

 

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The Care And Feeding Of Road Rage

People have told me that there is no need to feed road rage – it has its own sources of nourishment. I am astounded by this – when I take my Toyota Crown 2000 along the Old Coast Road at Easter time towing the Blockmore caravan at 35 Km per hour I never see any rage. I’ve taken off the towing mirrors and I never look back.

Recently a person who was a great deal more Asian than I am was behind my little green Suzuki in a grey Subaru – a big one. I suspect I was not going fast enough to satisfy him – though it would have satisfied a magistrate, as it was the legal limit. In the brief glances I took into the rear-view mirror I could see lights flashing and violent gesticulations on his part. This may have been a folk dance, but if it was, the folk were unhappy.

I made sure I kept strictly to the road speed limits and drove safely – using my turn indicators  at the proper distance as required in the Act. My stern companion may not have read the Act, nor approved of it, as he kept repeating his light show. Perhaps there are different rules in the Dutch East Indies or French Indo-China regarding road use, and he has not had time to learn ours. In any case, when he peeled off to do important things elsewhere and I continued on to do trivial things in my part of the world, I reflected upon the lessons:

  1. Road rage sits beneath the surface of many psyches wearing many suits of clothing. You cannot assign it to any one group.
  2. It manifests itself when the practitioner is under stress – they are late – they have had a bad day at work – they are under financial pressure. Stress = rage potential.
  3. The trigger for the rage can be anything that frustrates them. If you drive at the legal speed in a lane within which they wish to break the law, you are target for that rage. They want to gamble with the laws and the Multinova fines. If you prevent this, you are culpable.
  4. The road-rager is better than you. Richer, stronger, handsomer, more powerful, etc. Some of this is in their mind and some of it may, indeed, be true – but if you do not allow them to show it, they are ANGRY. Arrogance only works if it is shared.
  5. You cannot satisfy the road-rager. Not by any means, whether that be defiance, or ignorance, or grovelling apology. The road rage is not directed at you – it is an inward attack that continues until the person has exhausted their fear and sorrow. You cannot make it better.
  6. You can, however, make it worse. If your behaviour has provoked the rage, the best and most sensible thing to do is to intensify it until the emotion rises to the point of psychotic and murderous mania. Until it is fury beyond boundary and stress beyond bearing. Get the road-rager to this stage, judge it accurately, and then slowly motor away. If you can pull into the forecourt of a hospital or police station – both well-provided with security cameras -and quickly go inside, you may be rewarded by the sight of the culprit exploding in the arms of authority. Be kind. Tell them to hold their temper…

Of course it goes without saying that you should make careful note of the licence plates of any offenders – these can be reported to the police or to people who will extract a suitable revenge for a small payment.

 

Why Brexit?

I have been pondering for some months about the whole Brexit situation – as an outsider before they voted, I could only speculate about the issues and frame of mind of the pro and anti voters. But as it seems to have been decided in the affirmative, I can concentrate more on the question of why. I’m still and outsider, but the question is now…Why did Great Britain vote to end its connection with the European Common Market or European Union? Here’s some possibilities:

  1. The new formation of a European army was a timely reminder of the last few times the Europeans have formed armies under Napoleon, Hitler, etc. and of what Europeans would like to do with their armies. There’s only one tunnel under the Channel but there’s always the Channel.
  2. The trade and farming regulations from Brussels that prevent some British farmers from working their land for produce and profit are a thorn in the side.
  3. The ready supply of illegal migrants camping in France and other places with an eye to getting to the UK and disappearing is a daunting prospect.
  4. The continued prospect of propping up spendthrift regimes and dole bludgers in the sunnier climes of the Mediterranean is a particular annoyance to people who live in the damp climate of Wales and other rural portions of the UK. They might as well spend the money on parish cases at home.
  5. Why not?
  6. The French have hated the English since the time of the King Henries. In the last century they dragged them into two world wars, and left them to play the last one out by themselves for years. Then they supplied De Gaulle to make it all better. The French idea of better may not be the same for the rest of us…
  7. The English do not trust the French or Germans. Or the Italians, for that matter.
  8. The loss of the Empire and the colonies was traumatic. But there was still the Commonwealth. With the EEC and EU experiment, a lot of the Commonwealth interest drifted away. If they Brexit the European door shut, they might re-open the Commonwealth door.

There’s no new political insight in there, but it does go some cynical way to supplying reasons. If it proves a bad idea – like the First World War or convict transportation – you can always blame the Manchester Board Of trade and the Admiralty. Or Trump and the Americans. But don’t blame them too hard in case you need Lend-Lease and Spam again.

” Not Known To Me “

Spoke with a friend regarding the success of a new book he has written about his childhood. It was far away and long ago, but he does have a good memory and clear writing style. The people who lived there then and still do now are buying the book and, presumably, enjoying it.

One reader, however, had to chime in with the fact that the writer was not known to him – perhaps the most superfluous comment of the year. There are nine billion people on the planet who are not known to me, and I am satisfied with it. But the phrase is no more than a conventionality to garner attention – and it leads me to speculate upon the other phrases of this sort that we encounter:

  1. ” At this point in time “. If you’re giving a history lesson and are tracing the Peninsular wars month-by-month, the expression is excusable. If you’re merely trying to make yourself sound big instead of saying ” Now”, it is not.
  2. ” My good lady wife “. As opposed to your other one who is bad, or a trollop, or merely a scrap of meat on the plate? Does she describe you in similar terms, and you just haven’t been there to cringe at the time?
  3. ” I’m putting you on notice “. The speech of the headmaster when he cannot control the class. The vague threat made vaguer by the grammatical pointlessness of it. Throw a rock at the pompous ass.
  4. ” I hear what you are saying. “. As opposed to tasting it? Or smelling it? As this phrase is invariably followed by ” But…”, perhaps it is the smell that features large…
  5. ” It is what it is “. Oh thank God for that. I have been in terror that either it is what it isn’t or it isn’t what it is. Existentialism was never this hard and we wore raincoats for that.

My thanks to another weblog writer  – Tony – for sensitizing me to baloney. But bad news, Tony. Here in Australia it is sometimes spelled ” Polony “. Same gritty luncheon meat but cruder packaging.

Sex And the SIngle Maniac

Enough has already been written about sex and marriage, before, during, instead of, and despite. Also love, which has more variations still – and some of them far less appetising. All these stories have been put out as healthy exercises for normal people – it is nowtime to formulate a workable sex code for maniacs.

The very words ” Sex Maniac ” have gotten a bad name of late, as Hollywood producers and religious figures are hosed off and hauled off to the slammer. In most cases this results in money for lawyers, which suggests that sin is gold that can be hydraulicked off the prominent like gravel off a hillside. I wonder if there are robbers who rifle legal sluice boxes…? And how do the rightful owners of the proceeds of public virtue know when to pull up the cleats and pan the results?

But back to the subject. To be a maniac you must be manic – a word that apparently means wild and frantically busy. As we are always being urged to get busy at work or school and to hurry up with everything we do, it’s hard to see how this suddenly becomes wrong. Perhaps it is the sex part that sours it. Perhaps the critics are really trying to make us slow down…which begs the question why. For their enjoyment…or to let them get a closer look…or to give time for the lawyers to arrive?

Would we do better to substitute other words for “sex” ? Not euphemisms like ” rumpy pumpy” or ” relations ” or any of that verbal footling. No, I mean substitute things like ” tennis” or ” woodworking ” for ” sex “. The thought of a tennis maniac or a woodworking maniac is actually pretty terrifying; one armed with a racket and the other with a set of sharp wood chisels. The poor old sex maniac is just hobbling along with their pants down around their knees while the other two are wading through a crowd striking right and left.

Of course one could always do the clever thing and change the word “maniac ” to “addict “, then call in the therapists and talk-show hosts. Far easier to travel the publicity round and appear in the supermarket tabloids as an addict than a maniac. And as soon as you beat the rap you can go for rest cures in resorts.

Who knows, you might meet someone nice…

Self Axtualisation For Lumberjacks

Are you self-actualised? Are you authentic? Do you have any idea what I’m saying here?

If you do, please write back because I have no idea myself.

The self-actualisation movement seems to be concerned with two things:

  1. Pre-conceiving the paradigmical existentialism of cultural shift-zeit as is pertains to the greater world-mind.
  2. Getting you to pay $ 39.95 to the author.

I have managed the first part but am struggling with the second. It is to this end I address my readers – please send $ 39.95 so that I can tell the other writers to go and self actualise themselves sideways.

I’m not against new philosophy as such. Or per se. Or even ipso facto. Some of my facts are as ipso as you could want, and that’s before you peel them. But I am running out of patience with the associate professors of midwestern cardboard colleges who try to sell books of modern wisdom when there isn’t all that much of it between the covers. I can do big words and small thoughts myself here at home for free.

At one time I was not concerned with self-actualisation at all. I concentrated on food, drink, girls, and passing my university courses so that I could go out and gather money. I would have been happy with self-possibility, probability, or culpability. If I had been asked whether I was actual, I could only have proved it by kicking the questioner. I’m sorry now that I didn’t take the opportunity while my legs were good.

As for actualising myself now, I’m happy to do it if there is a seniors discount, or if I can do it after my nap. And none of that getting up at 4:30 in the morning with the full bladder – that kind of actuality is for the birds.

 

To A Club Bore

I do not call thee fool or knave, yet you I’d shun as shun a grave.

For in thy head sit thoughts unknown: I speak to brain – I’m dumb to bone.

Your plaints and pleas no fire hath lit – I’ve long despaired of sharing wit.

I long to leave, yet always stay – the clubman’s life is sad that way…

We spend our gold on yearly fee and put in pawn our liberty.

Oh, for the courage to depart – before you break our very heart –

A club’s a fine thing wielded well – but in your hand’s a stroke from Hell.

The bestest hope’s to turn your gaze to other victims – other days –

And slink away despite the taunt – relinquish gold and suffer want.

Find other clubs and other sports – and leave you to your rants and rorts.

I do not mind your sneer or spurn – but Oh, Dear Lord, please let me learn…