Cheapshot And Co.

Meme purveyors to the internet. No subject  sacred – no jibe too mean.  Try us for all the things you’re too slow to think up in person.

Here at Cheapshot & Co, we monitor the social media traffic hour by hour. Whenever an opportunity to mock a country’s political leader or head of state presents itself you can dial our exclusive private service and we will sell you your opinion wrapped in sarcasm or irony. We are totally non-political and non-partisan – we’ll agree to jazz up and jiz up any mean thoughts you may have.

If you are incapable of thought, subscribe to our premium service and let us make you kewl, kutting-edge, and klever. The KKK package would suit you admirably.

Note: With every discount troll package we include a free mockery of Donald Trump. If you’re European and not currently on a ventilator you qualify for the Sawdust Sausage Discount.

Don’t delay. Note: After November we may be offering a Laugh At Biden doorbuster sale. Check back then.

Be Careful Who You Hate

a. Because they may be a deal more powerful than you. If they find out the extent of your animosity, they may call in an associate and have you turned off.

b. They may not be 100% hateful. They may do a certain amount of good – and if you hate this good, you will be as hateful as they.

c. Because you may not have been told the entire story – see (b.) above. Or you may have been told frightful lies by other people with other axes to grind. You may be a dupe or a dope.

d. Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west every 24 hours. Tomorrow things may change and the person you hate may do admirable things. Stake your virtue claim too early and you could be on the other side of the fence.

e. Because hating lessens you…not the object of your hate. They rarely even perceive your angst. And it takes a lot of time and energy that you could devote to fun stuff.

f. Because you can occasionally appear ridiculous in your anger. It’s all sturm und drang to start with but as soon as people start to laugh at you the wind changes. You rarely regain the upper hand.

g. Because you call increased attention to your own behaviour…and this is rarely a good thing.

 

 

The Company Name

Have you noticed that it’s possible to sell any thing with a carefully-styled name?

All you need to do is register a company with a name that manipulates the desires, prejudices, or misconceptions of your target customers and their wallets may as well be on your night table. Take the example of the Whole Good Wonderful Pleasant Reward Company of Yangxi, China. They make fuses for anti-personal land mines.

The mines are deployed wherever the Chinese government has purchased the fealty of a local African dictator and wishes to cordon off a section of pasture or mining lease from incursions by local people. A few explosions, a few legs off, and the blackies learn to stay away. Perfectly normal behaviour of cultural tradition and any protest about it is racism. But it is still hard to sell if you do not have a pleasant label on the package.

That’s where the company name comes in. Who doesn’t like a pleasant reward? The kitten pictures on the box that fuses are packed in help a lot as well. No-one dislikes kittens…unless it is one-legged Africans.

How To Spy On Your Neighbour

Don’t turn away. This’ll come in handy when your government declares that you are locked into your house for three months. You’ll need more than food and toilet paper – you’ll need something to do. And what better activity than watching the neighbour to see if he is complying with the law.

Now you’ll need to make sure you understand the law as it is announced for your local area. If you are to be locked up in your houses with no external travel whatsoever it will be quite different from the suburb that is allowed out to the shops and cinemas. If your local police force has a shoot-t0-kill policy for most of the rest of the year, the quarantine period will be noisy. I should not stand near the windows lest someone get too zealous.

If you are allowed out to the end of your property, make the best of your garden or back yard. This does not include going to the edge of the footpath and coughing on passers-by. You may have trouble taking the dog for a walk, but nowhere near the trouble the dog will be experiencing. Let us hope it doesn’t come to that.

But back to the spying. If there are restrictions on movement that are punishable by fines, you can be sure that there will be money available for rewarding informers. This is your opportunity to get your share of the pie. All you need are restless neighbours, a pair of binoculars, and a small camera. In a pinch, a mobile phone will do.

There is no substitute for constant surveillance. If you have a number of people in your family, organise a roster for one person to be stationed at each window with a camera or other device and make sure they know which sector they are to watch. Have reliefs posted to allow toilet breaks, but make sure that there is never a time when the neighbour’s door is not under direct observation.

Write or record everything. Even random movements show that there will come a time when they make a break for it and that is when you’ve got ’em. If you suspect that they are slipping out after sunset and having a good time, arrange for the hire of a night-time heat image sensor so that you can see in the dark.

Do you need to be armed? A tough question, as we don’t know the firearm laws in your state. But nearly everywhere will allow you to have a bow and arrow or a bag of sharp rocks so if you catch your neighbour off base feel free to loose off at them. They will not be able to complain as they would then be revealing that they broke quarantine.

Remember, if they are dragged off to prison, you can loot their house for toilet paper with a clear conscience.

The Ill WInd

It is interesting during this year of the Wuhan Plague to contemplate people’s reaction to it. Not the panic hoarding business – that is the common reaction at the start of any war, and is usually stopped by rationing.

I mean the social media reaction. The reaction of people who you know – not faceless strangers in a supermarket. People with whom you have had some past contact – however tenuous. I’m not a big collector of contacts in the Facebook sense, but there’s about 230+ I can identify. They rather fall into a set of categories this year – and it’s they who have sorted themselves out. Here’s the groups:

a. The people who post incessantly.

Heretofore they have been associated with Facebook games and promotions for home-selling goods – or for their children. In some cases they have been doing this for profit, and in others just to have some outside contact. I expect this behaviour will increase. If it helps them cope with self-isolation, this is probably a good thing. I certainly cannot fault someone who is proud of their family – after all, I show off my family of toy airplanes a lot.

b. The people who post mysteriously.

I’m not good with mysteries. I’m afraid their posts are largely bypassed. There may be gems there, but they remain buried.

c. The people who post religious messages.

I do not begrudge them these messages, as I realise that they are doing something to buoy their own spirits, but the tackier ones are a little embarrassing. Perhaps they reveal more of the inner workings of their mind than I care to know about.

I would post excerpts from Ton Paine’s ” Age Of Reason ” if ‘twould do any good…but they evidently draw their comfort from other thoughts, so I refrain.

d. The people who post memes and repeat messages from other people…for some political gain.

Here I start to look more critically at the poster. One or two of this sort of thing occasionally is probably a valid expression of freedom of speech – a good thing in Australia and other western countries. A novelty elsewhere, I daresay.

When the posting becomes repeated and overbearing, the poster takes on the character of political tyrant – in some cases it can reveal bigotry, bias, sycophancy, malice, and other dire characteristics. It can tie people to right-wing, left-wing, or criminal groups and make them seem to be a part of far worse things.

It is amazing – I’ve got people in my 230+ who hate Asians, Africans, Muslims, Jews, Americans, Catholics, Liberals, Conservatives, communists, capitalists, men, women, gays, lesbians, trans-genders, and possibly the Mr. Whippy man. There is surprisingly wide basis of hatred, though no-one applies it to everybody. I suspect many of posters are undergoing their struggles, but few are going to produce a two-part book about it…

e. The people who do not do the above. They share pictures of pubs and meals, dogs and cats, cars and artwork, historical postcards, fashions and clothing. These people I treasure.

There are more sub-categories but I leave that to the Univac* to sort out with the paper cards. Some card slots will fill up and I’ll read them. Some I’ll avoid. And just a few –  a very few – I’ll  quietly empty into the bin.

*Look it up, child. Look it up.

Thank You For Something

I used to occasionally lapse into gloom about all the things in life that went wrong. I wasn’t  qualified to do it on the part of other people, but I could look at my own history and pick out the mouldy bits. The problem is that once I started looking, I kept on looking.

I’ll bet you’ve done this too…wasn’t it a pain?

My solution to it turned out to be a list. Actually two lists – the List Of Desires and the Untouchable List. I’ve written about these on this column before. The one is sometimes known as the Bucket List and the other has a ruder name….

The List Of Desires gets a look-in every so often to see if a Window Of Glorious Opportunity has opened. So far, no, but a Small Service Hatch Of Possibility swings ajar every now and then and I get to do small things. These are inordinately pleasing in their rarity.

The Untouchable List gets an annual review, but for a very much shorter time. Look at it too long and I brood, but I must look at it briefly to remind myself of topics to avoid and people to shun. A quick peep and then snap the catch back closed.

Now, what am I grateful for? Well, I’ve met people who maintain a list as well, but it is an unholy combination of my two – adapted to their lives. They have a record of everyone who they consider has done them wrong and upon whom revenge may be taken. Whether it will happen or not, the existence of the list is disturbing in the extreme. You cannot know of it without wondering whether your name is on it somewhere.

The gratitude is realising that I’ve been able to put happiness and distress into two separate boxes and that they both have close-fitting lids. I can decide whether to open them or leave them shut.

Thanksgiving Outrage In Britain, Europe, and Australasia

Facebook commenters all around the world are gearing up to be outraged at people in the United States this coming November 28th as the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Special scorn memes are being written for use whenever the poster’s attention score drops.

Of course there will be lots of them that target the American President for calumny, but that is pretty well a constant throughout the year. There will be any number of sneering and pious ones that mention pilgrims and the native tribes, but funnily enough the pilgrims will be the only ones held up to ridicule. The day will draw fire from the religiously-inclined as well as the opposite camp. One thing you can be sure of – if it is American, it’s going to be judged wrong…

Yet.

Yet Canada – that other North American plot of land – also celebrated a Thanksgiving day on October 14th. And no-one raised a peep about it – perhaps the crafty Canucks sneaked it in while people were looking the other way or were preparing to be culturally outraged about Halloween and Trick Or Treat… maybe people were just sympathetic to Canada for suffering another Trudeau Election and decided to give them a bye this time.

I’m thankful all the time – I go to sleep in warm bed and wake up each morning. I eat and drink my fill. I read whatever I like and build toy airplanes every day. The only part of this that makes me nervous is the thought that Facebook commentators will batten upon me and become outraged. I can’t decide whether I should pay more attention to them…or less.

I Only Mentioned The Whore Once…*

But I think I got away with it.

You would be a brave person these days if you held anyone else** up to contumely and ridicule on a public stage. Far more so if it was the internet and the social media. The gaff that you inserted into your victim would be as nothing compared to the gaffe that you would put into your own career.

The lawyers would have a field day. They would look at you, at the social media site, and at the electronic servitors who had broadcast the slur to the world. Their gaze would fix upon two things; your guilt and who has the money. Were you just a beggar in the market place shouting imprecations they would be satisfied with whipping you and then moving on to the real sources of compensation. If you had money you would also stand the ire of injured reputation and moral outrage.

Perhaps they would be right to do this. After all, we should not defame others. Perhaps their efforts would only be to right a wrong and prevent a sin. When you think about it, Torquemada had only the spiritual interests of his victims at heart when he lit the fires under their stakes.

I am not brave. I quiver at the least danger. So I never publish scurrilous attacks upon people – even when they are patently deserving. I forebear. I forgive. I just keep watching them to see their next stunt. Eventually what I essayed to do will be done by the mainstream press and possibly the magistrate’s court – and then I can be virtuous and moral. And when they are finally cut down, I will ask for a piece of the rope as a remembrance.

*  Before you pop a vein and write to the editor, it’s a reference to ” Fawlty Towers “…If this show has not been seen in your section of the Ozarks look it up on Netflix.

**   You can do it to yourself and make a good deal of money from the networks…

Do We Know Who Our Enemies Are?

And I am not talking about political enemies, class enemies, or national enemies…You can leave those to the government to deal with. They’ll make ’em for you and then arrange for you to meet them when it is most inconvenient.

I’m not even including hostile institutions or businesses – the organisations or groups that plot your destruction during secret meetings in dark caverns. These are a normal facet of life.

I’m thinking about personal enemies – private individuals who hate you. People who would get at you if they only could. They come in different varieties:

a. Someone whom you have wronged. Stolen their treasure, perhaps, or murdered their father in a duel. Seduced their wife/husband/partner/lawnmower man. These are persons who contemplate a blood feud but cannot decide yet which of your veins to open.

b. Someone whom you have done a favour or service for. This can be a potent source of enmity, particularly if the good deed was observed by others and required an equally good deed in return…that was never done. Your enemy is enclosed in a guilt-edged cage.

c. Someone of whom you have been contemptuous. Even if this is no more than a word or a glance, you can be sure that it is the deepest poisoned cut of all. If you have made your contempt amply plain in public, expect no abatement of their anger.

d. An ugly person, if you are beautiful, or a beautiful person, if you are ugly. Whatever a mirror might reveal, your enemy can see themselves in you, and they hate what they see.

Now, what do you do about enemies?

If you cannot think of one, leave it go at that. They’ll still be there, but if you don’t see them, it’s like having mice in the wainscotting.

If you suspect someone is an enemy, go to them and ask them if they are. If they aren’t, they’ll say ” No ” and if they are, they’ll say ” No”. Then they’ll ask you why you asked…and you can tell them that you were worried about it. Then they’ll have to start being overly friendly to defuse the awkward situation. Make them pay for coffee.

If you have proof positive that someone is an enemy, treasure this. An enemy is a very valuable person. They will always be interested in you and the best ones will know where you are at all times. You can ring them up and they’ll always answer – try this at 3:00 AM and see how true it is. Remember that as you are their enemy they worry about you far more than anyone else does.

Sort of touching, in a way.

Putting WordPressure On The Guilty

None of us is a social justice warror because none of us actually do anything to acheive it. No wonder – we have no idea what the phrase means. I’ve looked for a definition that doesn’t press someone’s ambit claim for money or emotional hand wringing, or money, or …well…money.

It ain’t there. A lot of the socially bellicose are either driving or being driven by the desire for someone else’s money. They don’t have it, they want it, and they are going to find any means they can to get it – save work.

It’s difficult for them, no doubt, as the people who have the money want to hold onto it. Oh, they’ll spend it, but they want value for money – mobs surging and schoolchildren chanting is hardly value under any reckoning. Mobs digging ditches or schoolchildren actually learning might do it, but this is not what the social justicians generally offer. But there is hope – WordPress is available to press their point.

What they need to do is find someone who they wish to disturb. The victim need not be bad, mad, sad, or anything else – all they have to do is be still long enough to fix some sort of guilt to them. Then a flood of outrage on WordPress and the other social media platforms to cause them to either give up and send money or to explode in rage so that they can be sued. Lawsuits are expensive – especially the ones tailored by bespoke lawyers – and the average victim can be frightened into giving up before the prospect of court arises.

Remember – whatever anyone says, demand Ju$tice – preferably in small, unmarked bills.