The Quiet Season Starts

Monday was the first day of my pledge not to react to Facebook taunts. I publicly promised to read the thing as usual for a month but not edit what I see.

It was, perhaps, a rash decision – coming as it did just on the month that contains Dominion Day, Independence Day, and Bastille Day. All occasions that may draw forth the bray of the Great Australian Ass on social media. I am now bound to hear it but ignore it…

Fortunately I can still write my own thoughts in my own columns, and hope that someone in the great somewhere reads every word. But even here I am bound by the laws of gentlemanly behaviour not to attack people with scurrilous rumour and unsubstantiated slander. I am not allowed to mock the afflicted. It’s most disheartening.

However, good will come of it. At the same time that I am reading, marking, and inwardly writhing at the stupidity and bias of Facebook posters, I am going to be making a daily note of the way the site works. I’ll make a list of the postings that I see based upon:

a. Normal cheerful posts. ie kittens, babies, dance shows, hot rod cars, etc. Things that make me happy.

b. Cries for attention done in a genuine manner or similar cries done by copying and posting some senseless thing plucked of a North American website.

d.Noxious political propaganda – whether it be a shared rant or an original piece of bad humour or bad taste. Things that make me feel bad.

e. Advertisements. These also make me feel bad, but not in a personal sense – they are just an intrusion.

f. Messages. This section is generally of quite some use to me -a secondary link to people that can get a faster response than an email or postal contact.

In addition, I shall log the number of minutes each day spent on Facebook.

At the end of the month I’ll have a good idea whether I’m personally getting more happiness or more sadness from the social network. It is not a judgement on the people involved per se, but rather an analysis of what it has actually become for me.

Then the second part of the experiment in August…

How Does An Atheist Bless You?


Well, it’s not as silly a question as you might think. If an atheist does not imagine or believe in any deity but still wants to give out some sort of non-committal promise that you will be happier because they said so…they have no mechanism in place to project it from. They can’t really promise you kindness from the government because they know what the government is like – and they can’t promise you the fealty and love of other people because the other people might know what YOU are like.

About the best they can do is assure you that they hope you are not run over by a street car. And even this is difficult to promise in Melbourne.

Atheism is a tough row to hoe. All the work of being moral and no relaxation afterwards by killing your enemies in the name of superstition. You might get a chance to kill them in the name of economics or theory or a coloured rectangle of cloth on a pole, but like as not someone will write a book about it 50 years later and try to make you look bad.  It almost takes the fun out of explosions.

The other tough part is there are no feast days for atheism. And feasts involve food and drink. Oh, you can go to the local hotel and order a counter lunch and a couple of pints on Tom Paine’s birthday but no-one puts up a tree or makes presents or takes you into the broom closet for a cuddle because of it. ” Joyeaux No ” as a song has never made it to the charts.

Worst of all is there is no money to be made out of atheism. No cards, no gifts, no food, no booze, no sleigh rides in cold climates or slay rides in hot ones. No-one ever gives money to the No Salvation Needed Army. Even when their lassies are not blowing trombones and tambourines outside the pub.

I tell you, it’s enough to shake your faithlessness…



Annual Festival of Ears and Eggs


I was delighted today to receive presents from my family – two blocks of rum and raisin chocolate and a hollow replica of a feral pest wearing a bow tie – also in chocolate. There were no chocolate grenade casings this year, as I suspect last year’s little incident marred the day. Hey, I was curious to see if they would actually hold together long enough for detonation. It was an experiment, okay? And the answer is yes, but only if you freeze them really solid and reduce the bursting charge to about 4 grains. You can fill the rest of the space in the egg…err…grenade casing with M&Ms. Sort of a cariogenic shrapnel shell. A Swiss milk chocolate pinata, if you will.

That was last year. This year it is just the feral pest in the bow tie. I an going to eat the blocks of rum and raisin first and leave him for last – with a luck this means a reprieve for a week. I shall grow fond of him, but not too fond…I shall name him Barack…

I must say I heartily approve of this form of celebratory food…beats matzot all hollow. And no balaclava-clad thugs pursue you down the street with clubs if you go to the shops to buy chocolate bunnies. Oh I know it is an Easter tradition and all to flee in terror from the Cossacks, but most people outside of Russia and her satellites have sort of gotten used to not doing it. It seems hard to go back to the old ways…

I see that the new Easter tradition of double demerit points and fines on the roads for traffic infringements has been upheld yet again. This fine idea was put forward by our local Police Commissioner some years back in an effort to stem the growing road toll. Of course the statistical fact of a rising road population wasn’t actually mentioned when the PC decided to “crack down”. A few new cameras, some concealed vans, and a bright new source of income for the state government. Some of which can legitimately be diverted to the Police Department for more cameras and more concealed vans. Crack. Crack. Crack.

I expect there were messages at the various cathedrals today – hopefully good audiences to hear them. I imagine the various commissions that are sitting around Australia dealing with assorted churches and cases of abuse – child, orphan, substance, or financial – will have had the weekend off and probably glad of it too.

I started my celebratory weekend with gastrointestinal flu followed by a day’s work. Today is brighter and tomorrow I intend to spend the day going round pushing Multinova cameras off their tripods. You don’t spend years practising jousting for nothing, you know. I have a helmet to protect me from recognition – it is made of chocolate in the shape of a feral pest in a bow tie.


Blog Hijacked By Blonde With Rabbits – News At Ten


I normally do not advertise commercial services on this blog, though I see from my subscriber list that there are a number of people who do. Some of them seem to be a little vague about what they provide – in some cases I suspect they provide nothing more than a portal for you to send your spare cash to. Kind of like the Tax Office but with fewer forms to fill out. This one is different, however – it offers a definite product: rabbits.

These hopping furry maniacs come packaged with Alice in Wonderland children’s parties run by my friend Maya. There appear to be croquet games with flamingo mallets – always a good one – tea parties with dormice, and a vast number of other goodies invented by Rev. Dodgson. I am not sure if there is to be a Queen of Hearts chopping off heads game at a children’s party, but entertainment is entertainment and one must give the audience what they want.

The rabbits are amazing. The fluffy ones are gloriously soft – few people survive full petting contact with the most powerful of these, so gloves are provided for the squeamish. There is a rabbit bucket to prevent any little accidents. ( Actually none of the rabbits do accidents. When they express their opinion of you, that is no accident. Use the bucket.) When they start doing the jumping course you get to see the real thing.

Never mind dressage and steeplechase for horses. Rabbits do it better. Shorter run-up, higher jumps, and if they step on your foot you are not crippled. Less biting. Smaller piles of poo. And fewer flies. Rabbits win.

If you live anywhere near Perth, Western Australia and have an upcoming children’s party, consider ringing the rabbit’s agent – Ariel – on 0403-123-936 and booking an Alice in Wonderland party. You’ll get Alice as well as the bunnies. They’re all cute.