” 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.

Pick Your Viking Birth Month Potato…

And find out who you are compatible with. The choices we provide are:

a. Ricky Scaggs

b. Sean Connery

c. Kim Jong Un

d. Jane Fonda

Does it seem that Facebook Asylum has been taken over by the inmates? Are you sure of the universe when questions of this nature are asked of you? Fear not – it is a simple process of dragging targeting information out of you, one piece at a time. It may seem a long-winded process, but as it is essentially a cost-free activity, every speck of personal gold that can be panned out is a gain.

They now know your month of birth. Soon an enquiry will pose questions that find the year that you were born. And eventually another contest will elicit the day of the month. And there we have one of the basic ID questions for you…un-safe in the hands of whoever wants to sell it on or use it to impersonate you.

They’ll need a lot more than that, but they can get it with surveys, quizzes, contests, and such. And if you are bored enough and fool enough to supply it you will have no-one to blame but yourself when someone signs you up for a new credit card and extracts $ 98.00 from that card. You’ll have the debt collector and the bad credit name and they’ll have $ 98.00.

Make like John Banner/ Sergeant Schultz.

Know nothing.

 

As Opposed To What?

I shall set up my small wood lathe and turn a truncheon out of hardwood. Sanded, sealed, and polished, with a small brass plaque bearing the title of this essay; ” As Opposed To What? “. I shall carry it with me wherever i go. And when someone tries to tell me, sell me, or smell me, I shall strike them with it.

The number of times I do this will depend on how repetitive they are in their plaint.

All day long I read advertisements from people outside my reach. The newspaper, computer screen, and social media are always telling me what to think or what to buy. I can do nothing about this save binning the rags, blocking the posts, and snoozing the monomaniacs. But when they approach me in person I will have my trusty truncheon o’ cynicism handy in my pocket. As Mae West might have put it…it isn’t a pistol but I’m still glad to see you.

Every shill who wants to extract a shilling – every zealot who wants me as an acolyte – every fellow traveller who wants me as a useful idiot – will be fair game for the T 0′ C. I shall invite them to join the club by the most direct means…

Now, what was it you wanted to tell me?

” Temperance, Temperance, Now… “

When you are angry and it’s cold, warmth is a pleasure. When you are similarly out of sorts and it’s hot, coolness is soothing. What shall you turn to when the temperature is pleasant, but you are still not?

Well, the candy bar makers would have you buy their sugar sticks and cheer yourself up that way. So would the BMW corporation. I’ve looked at the price of confectionary these days and you might as well pick out a colour for your Series 2 Coupe right now – you’ll be able to afford it far sooner…

Temperance in all things was prescribed by the ancient philosophers as a way of life. Or, I should say, by some of them. Others went to extremes of being either miserably pinched or wildly overstimulated…and in the end everyone ended up just as happy as each other.

” Temperance ” when seized upon by the 19th century social reformers and religious promoters seems to have been anything but. It basically meant no alcohol – in a moral crusade allied laughingly to a mohammedan’s jihad view of liquor. If it was George Orwell writing their lines they might have been ” Water good – booze bad “.

If you want to see the combined effects of water and morality, google up 19th century images of the WCTU ladies. Lips that touched liquor never touched theirs…and the reason is painfully obvious from the photos. Admittedly, photographers did not encourage their clients to smile in the days of the long exposure, but the WCTU ladies are something else entirely. I’ve seen things painted on the front of fighter planes that looked more welcoming…

Am I encouraging you to wild licence? To drunken orgies? To wasted days and wasted nights? If you are going to experience them anyway and do it feeling guilty, no. If you plan to take wild delight and bask in the warm glow, go right ahead.  Stay out of the car, don’t juggle chain saws, and avoid contracting marriage or any other social disease.

” I Don’t Have Enough Money “

Well let’s address that problem, shall we?

a. Make some. Get access to a computer with Photoshop Elements, an inkjet printer, and a ream of good quality double-sided matte paper.

Design suitable bills in denominations that you can conveniently spend. Don’t be greedy – few people will have change in the till for a $ 10,000 note and you’ll be standing there forever while they send out for it. Choose smaller numbers -the $ 7.00 bill covers most fast food burgers and you can get a good goon for $ 19.95, so print a bill for that. No need to make the money even-numbered – 5¢ saved is 5¢ earned.

As you are designing your own currency, you get to choose who you feature on the front and what landmark you’d like on the back. There are plenty of politicians in history who have never made it to the money and lots of places that would pay you to illustrate them.

As for whether this is legal tender…well, it certainly is tender…if you can find anyone tender enough to take it in exchange for goods or services. A good money designer who is also a good salesperson will be able to pay for anything based upon the attractiveness of the bill and their own charms. When in doubt, show cleavage.

b. Steal some. This is marginally less legal than ( a. ) above, but can result in coins as well as bills. Church poor boxes, passengers on railway trains, and convenience stores are all traditional sources of ready money – but beware of the church that is more desperate than you are, the railway coach packed with smelly customers, or the corner grocery store run by an old Korean ex-marine who can knock you into next week with a stick. You may well end up paying them to let you loose.

c. Beg some. This is degrading only until you have your first $ 1000 in the bank. Then it becomes a valid form of theatre played to a gullible audience. Hint: don’t have yourself incorporated as a proprietary company and don’t give receipts. It’s efficient but you’d be surprised how the pennies dry up.

d. Inherit some. Those of you with rich old uncles will have this one sussed out already, but  there is still hope for the lonely souls as well. No matter how big you are you can still dress yourself in a nappy, lay down in a basket on the doorstep, and ring the bell. A tearful note pinned to your diaper asking that you be taken in and made prosperous completes the outfit.

It doesn’t work every time. It doesn’t work most of the time. But all it needs to do is work once and you are made. Hint: James Packer’s doorstep is currently unattended. Wait until the light goes on before you wail piteously.

e. Marry some. Go down to the station, early in the morning. See the little gravy trains, all in a row. See the stationmaster pull the little handle. Chug chug, glug glug. Off you go.

 

” I Need Sex “

You what?

” I need sex. If I don’t get sex I will be a failure. I will be sick. I will be terrible…”

Hogwash. If you don’t get sex you won’t be any of those things. You’ll just be yourself with your clothes on and a good deal more spending money in your pocket. You’ll have time to do pleasant and fun things without worrying about consequences. You will be able to avoid any number of unpleasant outcomes – both physical and mental.

” But everyone else is having sex. ”

No they’re not. They might be telling you that, but a great many of them are lying. They are bragging about it in hopes of making themselves look interesting or sophisticated or exciting. They could do that by reading a book.

” But what if I’m missing out? ”

Here’s a textbook on venereal diseases. Find out what you’re missing…knock yourself out. You’ll love the chapter on herpes. It’ll stick in your mind, like the virus sticks everywhere else.

” But what if I fall in love? ”

So fall. Fall as hard and fast and wet and foolish as you want to. It has nothing whatever to do with sex, as the porn channels on the internet make perfectly clear. You can have a superb romance dressed in woollen longjohns and sensible shoes. You can do it in cold weather and look absolutely stunning against crashing sea waves.

” So sex is not as good as it is made out to be? I can do without it forever? ”

Nahh. Sex is alright. Dive right in when you find a chance. But don’t hang about the edge of real life just mooning and mooching – use your time to enjoy everything else. If it gets you, it’ll grab your crotch anyway, and if it doesn’t you can be happy doing other things.

 

 

” Don’t be Ashamed Of Your Urges. “

Some people are hard to startle. SAS sergeants, nuns, cess pool cleaners… They have seen more than you will ever been exposed to and are still sane. You would be silly to try the title of this essay on them, expecting them to jump. They would take it calmly and just punch you.

On the other hand, there are people who are ready to jump 10 feet in the air, turn left, and explode if you merely look at them and smile. While it’s a lot of fun to do so, it’s really tame sport – you are facing no challenge. Better to look for someone in the middle and exercise your talents on them. Here are a few suggestions:

a. Schoolteachers.

The masters, mistresses, heads, principals, or whatever of the education system might be thought of as hardened as our aforementioned SAS sergeant. After all, they face the enemy every day of their working lives. But you only have to ask them a question particularly attuned to their speciality to watch them wind up like an alarm clock. You may have to do a little research into whichever discipline they teach, but once you get there you’ll discover that there are pits of lava and landmines everywhere.

At a noisy cocktail party ask a mathematics teacher if they read the news article today that said a teacher in Adelaide has successfully squared a circle and proved it. Use the noise of the party to make your getaway, but be assured that your victim will be awake and at their desk at 4:00 AM trying to figure out how.

Or ask an English Lit teacher to justify Barnaby Rudge in the context of existential slavery reform. You can toast marshmallows on the resultant heat.

Or just mention that there was a parliamentary petition in Facebook to reduce teacher’s salaries to a sensible level and that you signed it…

b. Health professionals

You can torture a biochemist with anti-vax memes but this is tame game. You can annoy a dentist by challenging them to defend the practise of root canal therapy ( and there are some good pamphlets available likening it to poisoning wells…). You can freeze a physician by asking them to justify their practice’s rate of death and disfigurement over the last three years in light of recent discoveries. But the most fun of all comes when you find a marginal worker who massages spines or prepares dilute water drinks to cure broken legs. Then you don’t deride them – you praise them – and ask them to publicly declare their faith to all the people around them. Some will start to do so…

c. Sales persons

It doesn’t matter what they sell – they have been compelled to tout some dud of whatever object or service in which they deal at some time in the last three years. Ask them about it…and then challenge them to defend their decisions.

Cold sweat is a marketable commodity. Have a mop and a jar ready to collect stocks.

 

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.

” Perth Is Boring “

We’ve all heard this one. You can substitute any other place name you like for ” Perth “. The effect would be the same; someone is unpleased with the place that they live…and wants something different.

I noted this while reading a mild debate about the erection of a public sculpture ( note: erection, not demolition…). An artist wants to sell a metal sculpture of a dinosaur to the state government – or the city council – and place it in the middle of our riverfront. Not a little sculpture , but a massive 90 metre one – and for a mere $ 1,000,000. Apparently it would draw the attention of visitors.

Frankly it should draw the attention of the taxation department, the ACCC,  and the Commissioners in Lunacy.

There are enough eye-sores in our landscape as it is – we do not need to erect more.

If people find Perth boring, it is because they are either easily bored or boring themselves. Demand for spectacle and entertainment was all very well when you could set gladiators to kill each other or lions to devour Christians. Look what great things it did for the Romans, and how well we think of them for it. You could as well demand relief of boredom by instituting the same measures as they do in Syria – artillery barrages and gas attacks. No-one bored then, eh?

Or you could address the problem of personal boredom by compelling people to undertake activities and studies that would fill their minds or develop their bodies. We did it in school and were busy instead of bored. Adults have all the world in front of them to develop and learn – boredom is laziness without even the excuse of fatigue.

 

Negativity Is Your Friend

Do not be bullied by Facebook contacts who post bright and shining memes every day. They are just trying to jolly you into feeling good. On the contrary – pay attention to the serious counsel of the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia. We would never lure you down the path of happiness and then abandon you smiling.

You need the bad news in your life and you need it first. It can make all the difference to whether or not you’re going to be able to recognise good news later on. Remember a spoonful of bile helps the sugar go down. And we are here to make you bilious.

Let’s take a concrete example. Suppose someone told you that a harbour cruise with business associates would promote team spirit and help you with your commitment to the family. Sounds good. Then they tell you it will be with Cousin Salvatore and Three Finger Louie Custozza and the concrete will be setting around your feet in a bucket…If they’d have mentioned the specifics of the thing first you wouldn’t have had to smile and make small talk while they tied the ropes.

Let’s face it  – good news brightens a moment but bad news works far longer.

If you want to be pessimistic yourself – either on a professional level or in the amateur league – you have all the vast resources of CNN News, the ABC, and any number of chaired academics to draw upon. You will not have heard of the academics before, but if you stand still long enough and pay them enough for appearance fees they will become a household name. They hope.

In any case we’ll all be ruined, says Hanrahan*, and we can accept this as authoritative since it has been the steady verdict since 1919. That’s a hundred years of dismal and you can’t ask fouler than that, can you…

*  North American translation – famous Australian bush poem. Go google.