When You’re Onto A Good Thing…

Stick to it.

And generations of Australians will know that cheery little piece of uplifting advice was used to sell insect poison. It’s not quite in the same league as ” Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Führer ” or ” Manifest Destiny ” but at least it only killed flies.

But how do you know when you’re actually on it? And how do you know it’s good? And is there a time when you should hop off smartly and go find a place to hide?

Leaving aside homicide and insecticide, let’s look at kinder aspects of daily life. Take clothing, for example. We all like clothing – it makes us look good, keeps us from getting too cold or hot, and prevents us from being arrested. And nearly all of us can recognise when we are onto a good thing, garment-wise. We get compliments from the family or strangers, wolf whistles in the street, or offers from Hollywood producers*. It is a wonderful highlight of the week when we wear an ensemble that really works.

And yet – so few of us wear it two days running, or repeat the success of one day in the next. We look like kings and then like paupers. We just never stick to that one good thong. ( Freudian slip…)

So few of us will find the perfect way to drive to work – in my case the war chariot with the scythe wheels had bad suspension. We go a different way week by week, gaining only variety in our traffic jams.

And orgasms. Take orgasms. They must be counted as one of the best of the good things, yet how many of us are organised enough to have 15 in a row? Even 2 or 3 would brighten up a working day in the lunch room…but no-one seems to be willing to make the effort. I put it down to the fact  that the workers can hardly be induced to wash out their coffee cups, let alone wash out anything else.

It may be a case of a good thing, but no-one wants to stick to it…or to the upholstery, for that matter…

*  No, Harvey. For the hundredth time, just no.

 

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I’m Not Sorry I Met You…

I just regret that it was at a dinner-dance and not the morgue.

We can all think of people we wish we had never encountered. Ex-partners, schoolyard bullies, dishonest employers, social-club sponges, etc. Of course there are people we regret for the sake of the world; Putin, Trudeau, Mussolini, etc. but they are somewhat removed from our own circle and in most cases we need not take any responsibility for whatever it is that they have done. They are roaches that have not run over our feet.

By the same token, we must be fair – there are undoubtedly people in the world who think of us as unmitigated blisters and regret our acquaintance.  We’ll know of some but be surprised to learn of others – it is a sobering moment when you find out that a friend regards you badly. What we do about this discovery depends upon our characters and the time-frame involved…if the revelation comes in the middle of soup while dining at the Bishop’s palace, all you can really do is continue slurping and excuse yourself after the savoury. Or pour the tureen over your enemy. Equally good.

The best time of all is to be had watching two separate individuals who have both confided  previously in you that they detest the other…and then see them brought together by  circumstance and forced to be civil. If you can arrange the meeting, so much the better. Just be close by as the atmosphere cools and the language stiffens. It is better than a play, though not quite as good as an Auto da Fé.

Is it fair to set these things up? No, of course it isn’t. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, here is how you do it:

a. Determine who hates whom. Only the loudest of mouths will advertise themselves in this way – the others need careful attention and the occasional trick question. Try Donald Trump as a touchstone for this and ask if anyone in the social circle reminds your victim of Trump. Or use Justin Trudeau, if you don’t mind the sort of language this will generate.

You goal is not to find someone who hates everybody, but someone who dislikes someone – in particular. It need not be overweening hatred – distaste will do nicely. Then find out if the object of this negative emotion entertains a reciprocal dislike for the first person. If they do, you have your fighting pair.

b. Bring them together. Social club gathering are good for this, as are barbeques, theatre nights, and sporting events. If you can arrange things well, you will have major ingredients to hand with little obvious work.

The ingredients? A crowd who knows one another and who is drinking alcohol. This gives you an audience and a chemical that relaxes natural caution while fuelling passion.

Find a space that does not allow either party to stay aloof to start with nor to escape readily as things heat up. Like a fission reaction, it must all be contained for a microsecond to build up enough pressure to detonate.

c. Introduce a topic upon which they disagree. It need be no more than the correct way to spike tyres – the main thing is to arrange it so that they are both right in the eyes of themselves, wrong in the eyes of others, and unable to back away from the fight. Politics, religion, and sex are always good for this. If you can get them to fight over nothing that anyone else understands it is even better.

d. Try to calm them down by reminding them that people are watching. This will have the effect of making more people watch. See if you can get people to video it on a mobile phone and to be seen by the combatants doing so….It is encouraging and modern.

Make peace by telling them that they are grown-ups. This will bring out the childishness. If you can go beyond shouting and scuffles to actual hair pulling and scratching, you have a chance for a viral YouTube clip. Your combatants will cherish this in years to come.

 

 

JORAL

If you are done with FOMO, and JOMO….if you are tired of Woke…if On Fleek sounds vaguely disgusting…we have a new buzzcronym for you. You can take it home, unwrap it, plug it in, and use it on the next unsuspecting listener at a party.

JORAL.

That’s it  – pronounced Johr-Al, it is not another character from an old Superman comic. It is what we all want to experience in today’s world. It stands for Joy Of Ruining A Language.

Now we all have some language skills – we cannot help it, being constantly bombarded by words and ideas from all sides. If we have only a family and a school to form us, we may have a limited vocabulary to keep up with the kewl kids in our crowd. If we take a dose of social media we can have more acronyms and buzz-words than we can handle. Occasionally we need to resort to the Urban Dictionary to see what exactly we have said – though we can get a clue when people spit on us whenever they meet us…

JORAL takes a perfectly innocuous word or phrase and turns it into something vile…and in the process ruins it for ever more. Take the word ” HSOASF” A simple word we often use, particularly in the baking trade or amongst the Amish people. It now turns out to be an acronym for Hold Someone Over A Slow Fire. Hardly the sort of thing that we want to appear on our CV or resumé.

Or REBORK. I hesitate to explain this one, as there may be children reading.

And so it goes – any number of words have been turned into weapons of terror. We cannot be sure what we have said, even if it has passed the Spellchecker stage.

JORAL. That’s what it is.Now get out there and spread the word about not spreading the word.

 

 

Sex Talk For Social Media

It may appear that the current climate of political and social commentary is adverse to the topic of sex. Every day we see mimes, memes, and moans about it, and we can be sure that anything we write is being minutely monitored to see if it can be used to destroy us in a future political campaign. This paragraph, for instance, is being digested by a robot in a server somewhere and the component words stacked up for re-transmission. If I insert the name of a body part a red light comes on at the front of the server cabinet to alert the operator that there may be something juicy. Here, I’ll show you:

Scapula.

There. See? Red light. If I typed male scapula or female scapula it would ring an alarm horn. Whoops, I wrote horn. That’ll be a paddlin’…

This is funny now, but wait until I’m 93 and campaigning for the Senate and it all comes out. The only saving thing will be that I can claim it was fake news, but that I forgot who really wrote it.

But it is not too late to reform. If I pledge to behave and to agree with whoever wants to scold me, I will be allowed to be guilty. This can open a career in the apology business – a growing industry – and I can start to take on contract work for sports stars and celebrities. I have drafted an all-purpose admission of guilt and shame that can be used as an introduction to civic ceremonies, weddings, and trophy nights, and as it can be read from small hand-held cards, it should prove most popular.

I am even thinking of having the apology cards embroidered for use in Oklahoma.

They’ll be the Sorry with the fringe on top…

Clasting Icons For Fun And Profit

I have just finished a book by Bertrand Russell and have been surprised by three things; that it would ever end, that I would stick to reading it until the last page, and that I would thoroughly enjoy it.

It was written in 1930, and treats of happiness – in this case by seeking the conquest of it. It is apparently well within Russell’s style of clear composition presenting muddled thought. The stream of consciousness is not that muddy, however, and most of what BR has to say is pretty sensible. As he does not jolt upright and thrust his politics into the face of the reader more than 3 or 4 times, the main part of the essay is actually useful.

It’s certainly drawn an echo from some of the circumstances of my life, and I think the experiences over the years have opened me to be able to read him – where I threw his books in the figurative fire as a youth.

It’s rather fun to be able to read an English philosopher who writes in comparatively modern times and who can be seen to be wrong about as many times as he is right by his public pronouncements…and private secrets. One need not reverence him but can just pick the kernels of wisdom out of the unpopped thoughts.

I wonder if it is safe to read any of the rest of his stuff? If I do, I shall want the real thing and not a history teacher’s précis.

Why Are We Entertained By…?

Why are we entertained by:

a. Depictions of murder.

What is attractive about reading or seeing the death of someone? If we need to have mysteries to puzzle and thrills to seek, why can they not be mysteries and thrills of discovery or accomplishment rather than bloodshed. Remember the movies that depicted the lives of Pasteur and Ehrlich.

Look at it this way; no-one wants to be injured or murdered themselves. It is something the sane person runs from. Goggling and gawping over that same sad fate for others calls into question a lot of our real morality.

b. Depictions of sex.

We may well be entertained ( or appalled ) by sex itself as it applies to us – the snorting , scooching, splashing, heaving , etc that occurs. But none of that touches us if it is just on a page or a screen.

Better to go look for a snort and a scooch in the real world. What you do when you find it should be a private matter.

c. Depictions of fantasy dragons, unicorns, and mystical wizards.

We’re old enough to know that none of that is real. There are enough exciting things in adult life without going back to the faerie tales. Feed your imagination for a while and then use that healthy imagination to live well in the real world.

d. Comic book movies.

Reading a comic book is fine, as is drawing and collecting them. What you see is what you get – and your imagination can supply well over half of the experience. When the motion picture industry steps in and tries to turn the simple into the complex or vice versa they do our minds a disservice. When they fill shops with plastic toy memorabilia they tax our wallets needlessly.

e. Political chaos.

No-one benefits from disastrous politics in Moscow, New York, or Sydney. Snorfling, meming, and giggling at the failings of the politicians to keep us safe, fed, and employed does no good whatsoever.

f. The antics of the rich and entitled.

Some of them are very pleasant to encounter in real life while some are positively dangerous. If these latter were less rewarded with sycophancy and celebrity, they might just fade off to their tax havens and leave the rest of us alone.

Worry Sex

When I was a kid I worried about sex.

What was it? What was it like? What did people do? What were they supposed to do? How did they know they were doing it? What happened after they did it? What would happen  if they did it wrong?

Later, when I came closer to the subject, the worries intensified. When was I going to have sex?  What was I supposed to do/say/feel/remember/forget? What if I became pregnant?

Finally I got to worry about what was it all supposed to have been like. What did I do? What did I miss? Did other people do it better? Where was I when they did?

I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever other things sex might be, most of what it is –  most of the time – is worry.

But am I worrying well enough…?