Share A Lie…

Share propaganda. Share racist diatribes. Share bigotry. Share innuendo. Share abuse and bullying. Share political pressure.

Or don’t. Your choice.

The daily round of social media brings a waste-paper basket full of this sort of thing. People with a political, social, or religious opinion will batten upon something – a meme, a rant, a scurrilously defamatory article – and ” share ” it to others in their social circle. Some do it every day – some when a national event occurs. There is one common theme with all the posts; the poster wants to get way with their abuse – diatribe, bigotry, whine, or whatever – scot-free. They are merely ” sharing ” someone else’s concoction. If they are proved right you should have agreed with them and if they are proved wrong it was someone else’s fault.

Well, no. When you try to slap something unsavoury upon your friends, you are the last person to touch it, and the dung clings to you as much as it does to the disgusting object. Same thing with your social media posts. Those shitty fingers are at the ends of your own sleeves.

If you want to be honest with friends, you can still press them with political and social opinions, but you need to do it in your own words. You write, not share. If you write right, they’ll read. If you write shite, they won’t.

Take responsibility for your own material.

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Durian Smoothy? Don’t Mind If I Don’t…

Apparently they cleared out a Canberra public library quick-smart today after someone smelled a gas leak. The gas turned out to be an abandoned durian fruit – but the library visitors were probably grateful to be out of the place anyway – such is the reputation of the thing.

I have also seen notices in Singapore prohibiting it in hotel rooms, elevators, and public transport – because of the vile odour it emits. This is said to be somewhere between sewer gas and faeces. Hell of an advertisement for a food, eh?

Hell of an advertisement for the people who want to eat it, as well. I understand that lots of things can be acquired tastes, but acquiring a taste or faeces seems to be a pretty remarkable culinary achievement. What’s next? Franchise hamburgers?

Perhaps it is like the chili-eating contests that pit smartarses against each other to see who can feel worse – while the locals stand around laughing behind their fans. There is a certain cultural revenge inherent in seeing people eat offal and garbage if you have tricked them into it. It’s what accounts for poutine during Dominion Day celebrations outside of Canada.

Wait a minute. I think we’re onto something here. The durian poutine. Faster than a speeding pheromone – able to penetrate submarine hulls – capable of knocking a French Canadian off a gut-wagon…

My Eyes Are Up Here

I don’t mind you staring at my chest, but that’s not what this post is about. I’m a guy and my chest is not that good to look at.

Okay. I have a set of scales in my bathroom and it is probably a good thing for my health to use them every week. I should run between 75 Kg and 67 Kg for decent health…but there are times when I have no idea what my weight is – even though I am standing on the scales.

The problem is the readout on the scales is down there and my eyes are up here, and as I have spectacles for short-sightedness, I cannot see what the numbers are. The ideal time to weigh myself is when I am dry after a shower with no clothes on ( treasure that image… ) but my glasses are never there to let me see the numbers. When I step off the scales to peer down the display cuts off…

Please, Chinese appliance makers, make a set of scales that has a wireless link from the foot pad to a big LCD readout on a separate screen that I can mount up on the wall or the bathroom mirror at eye level. I’ll pay for it and cheerfully put two sets of AA batteries in the pad and the readout to let it operate. Heck, connect it with a wire, if that’s easier.

But until I get eyeballs in my knees, the daily weight will remain a mystery.

I Hate You Just A Little

But give me time – I may be able to improve upon that.

The real topic of today’s column is not whether it is bad to hate or good to love. ( or vice versa ) but whether it is possible to exercise either emotion in a sensible and correct amount.

” I love/hate you forever, with all my might, and every fibre of my being! “…makes a pretty good political platform or set of lyrics for a nightclub singer. It invites excess – lust, stabbing, coy eye fluttering, and worse. It is the stuff of bad theatrical performance   – suited to the puerile rather than the pure. The raw emotion of it horrifies the sophisticated mind, in whatever quarter of the world it may reside. I propose a careful alternative; graduated emotion. I’ll love or hate you on a sliding scale of imperceptible increments.

Let’s take a set of people with whom I have never had contact – and who I never expect to visit – the Andaman Islanders. They are that savage little band on the East Indian island who attack and murder anyone who tries to come ashore. They are rather like the Japanese used to be before the 19th century, but probably without sushi.

Their nearest neighbours – the Indians – really want very little to do with them, and unless they strike oil in the islands, the savages will probably be able to keep on murdering unwary intruders. No-one else seems to want to deal with them.

Now, how much should I love the Andaman islanders? How much should I hate them? Can I just leave them in a limbo of indifference without incurring the wrath of the social media set? I think I can.

And if this extreme example can be so consigned – until the Andaman Islanders knock on the door and ask to come in – can I do the same to a lot of other people? I should be relieved if I thought that someone could take no harm nor good from me …nor I them. One less meme-storm to have to wade through on Facebook.

I’ll still have a soft spot in my heart for you, my readers. Just don’t expect it to spread to my head.

Lumpy Thighs

What odd creatures we are. We insist on seeing lumpy thighs on actors like Arnold Swartzenegger but reject them on Nicole Kidman. They are not dangerous to us, nor to their owners, but we insist on making a fuss.

Likewise many of the other bits of the body – and there are people who devote their entire lives to building up and breaking down the various muscles that puff up the external appearance of man or woman. If they succeed we laud them – if they do not we slate them. And yet none of their muscles are ever likely to affect us one way or the other.

The same doesn’t apply to actors’ or tycoons’ political opinions or endorsements. They can, indeed, make us unhappy when translated into election results or legislative efforts. We may be subject to them because of their notoriety. Even if we do not respect the famous, others do, and woe betide us if we are not with the program.

I am also starting to suspect actors’ role in sales promotions. World-wide fame is used to sell exercise machines that will soon be discarded on the verge for council collection. Likewise dietary supplements ( read by-products that cannot be sold by any other means…), golf balls, and religious affiliation. It may be just my skeptical nature, but has anyone stopped to consider that an actor’s stock in trade is simulation…and that is a very short distance from dissimulation.

Are You Drunk, Sir?

God, I hope so.

I’m lookin’ at you, Jimmy,  and if that’s what you look like a’ the time I dinna want to sober up.

The business of being drunk is a curious one. At one time it seemed to be the most frightening and disreputable state of being that you could experience. It was not hard to get to the edge of it when I was 17 –  a small glass of 4.7% Swan Lager was enough to do it to a youth unused to alcohol. Fortunately my parents were smart enough to pour this for me before or during a family dinner and I could be induced to recognise the effects without being out in public or on the road.

Drunk is a relative word – as the police are not your relatives, they apply a more stringent definition of it than the family at a Christmas party, but the basics of it are an altered sense of balance, perception, and thought. When you have altered these enough to be herking on your shoes, you have gone too far, but it is possible to stop before then. And at the prices that they demand for rum these days, you will be straining to get anywhere near the footwear.

I value the afternoon tot of whatever is in the cabinet as a release from the cares of a morning spent not caring about anything in particular. That is the benefit of retirement – you can hand the need to worry to others and then wander off. But that little burst of ethanol opens the hatches and lets the air in and the fumes out. It must have been dreadful when the Royal Navy stopped the rum ration. I’ll bet the Russians issue vodka from a tub to this day.

There are a lot of posts written post-tot. They tend to be brilliantly funny at the time but are censorable the morning after – that is why I never send them while they are fresh. Some survive the editing process next morning and can be transmitted. Some are trashed.

Both you and I are better for that.

No More Free Speech

Nope. No more. I have declared that there will be no more free speech permitted by the Backstabbers Guild of Australia.

From here on in, anything we say will have to be paid for according to the price list. No more freebies. You want us to talk, you come out with your wallet. Have no fear – we’ll give receipts and an ABN number and we’ll make sure that you get good value for money. But this Guild is a commercial proposition and you cannot expect the business of destroying civilisation and blighting a generation to be done on a friendly basis.

Or, to put it another way – if you have no mates you need not give mate’s rates.

Of course people can say what they will – we have defamation lawyers on speed dial just hoping that you’ll overstep yourself. And we would not dream of restricting people in the practice of their various religions, political affiliations, or disturbing traditional dances. These are all legitimate activities and can serve as worthy targets of treachery. We also welcome serious-minded souls who are unlikely to laugh even if a bear is biting them.

But as far as denouncing them, betraying them, or otherwise making them the nonny-butt of the Guild humour, you’ll need to put down a deposit and pay regular installments before we let them have it.

Business is business, and we are in the business of giving you the business.