Shopping For A War – Part Three – Lemme At that Keyboard…

Well, if you have decided not to get physical in your search for a fight, why not pull up the laptop and start being obnoxious. The worst you’ll get is unfriended and you might very well be able to ruin someone’s whole week from the comfort of Mum’s basement.

Note: Mum’s Basement is a cliché. The best work is done from a warm den, surrounded by cups of coffee and plates of chocolate biscuits. It helps to have a pin board up on one wall with lists of victims .

Are you right? Not political Right – I mean are you correct – at least as often as you are wrong? Would you like to improve the score? To be right more and more often? To finally be right all the time? The internet will be your  playground, then, and if you are good at what you do, it can become a killing ground. Literally, if recent news reports are to be believed.

Find a group of people who will read your work. Pick a topic that will arouse them. Choose whether to be righteous or cynical in your posts, but do not switch between the two settings – this will just confuse your audience.* Rouse them to passion with whatever you write, and then note which ones rouse easily. These are your go-to readers when you need a quick fix of righteous indignation or virtue. Don’t be ashamed of this – we all need a shot of caffeine, alcohol, or praise every now and then.

Play on your simpler readers as much as you like – they’ll generally respond predictably and you can keep them going with a very small maintenance dose of smarmy memes. They may not be humourous people in themselves, but they can recognise humour in others and condemn it. Remember that you can always wave a flag, poppy, or cross and get a healthy shout of approval.

Then try for the harder targets – the readers who are more intelligent and/or sophisticated. They will need more careful cozening and subtler stimuli. Do not expect them to boil and explode as easily as the base layer, but you’ll be surprised how rewarding it is when they finally do go off. Then you can chide them for lack of self-control.

*  And confused readers are likely to switch off and go to the refrigerator.



” If You Don’t Know…”

” I’m not going to tell you.”

How often have we heard that one? It was the constant litany of the Kool Kids at school when the rest of us asked a question. It was used to make us feel left-out…even more so than to begin with. And it worked very well for the first few times that it was employed. We would go off sad and insulted, and there seemed to be no answer to make.

I bring this up because of a Facebook posting recently that floated past my feed line. It was a topic I would normally have taken no interest in, but it appeared because a friend had entered the general discussion. She was interested in one person’s assertions regarding nutrition, and asked very politely for some references that she could pursue in her studies.

Well, she got a sneering version of the standard reply. And then some equally rude passing commentary from other anonymous sources. It was the schoolyard all over on the internet.

I mentioned earlier that this sort of thing worked well for the first few times. My school days were a long while ago, and it has stopped working – indeed it stopped working long ago. But the interesting thing was that it was a standard ploy used in many situations for a very long period of time.

When I encountered this sort of rudeness from people of my own age I was able to dismiss them as fools or braggarts that had no information or knowledge to back up their assertions. When I encountered it from a lecturer in the University of Western Australia’s Dental School I was taken somewhat aback. But it took a further 10 years of solo practice to harden me enough to respond to it when it happened again.

The chap had moved on to be a specialist consultant in a mechanical branch of dentistry. I had a patient who needed the sort of thing he did – and referred the patient by letter to the specialist. Apparently they did not get on well – and I eventually received a high and mighty letter sneering at me for sending that referral and telling me not to do it again. And I never did – I sent the people who needed a prosthedontic specialist’s attention to other practitioners and everyone was happy. I did have the satisfaction of writing a polite note acknowledging the order*.

I suspect that whenever this sort of thing happens it is because of a number of factors:

a. The person being rude does not know what they are talking or writing about .

b. They have no material to which they can refer.

c. They are naturally ill-mannered. Or they have developed ill manners as a cover for worse characteristics.

d. They are writing from Mom’s Basement, with no other connection to social interaction than the reactions to their trolling posts.

I suppose we can be grateful that at least they are not in specialist practice…

* Good manners in the face of bad is always the best answer. Public good manners is even better…

No Dis Allowed


And no dat either, if a Facebook post today is to be believed…

As is usual, today brought a flood of political posts regarding the forthcoming American election. I see them because people who are on my friends list capture and share them. I’ve often wondered…if we did not have computers, social media, and Facebook, would people I know take the time to drive to round my house, ring the bell, and thrust a smarmy poster in my face?

Considering what some of them are like, probably yes. It is part of their endearing charm.

Today’s horror had a preface to it. The writer of the screed specified that if any disrespectful remarks were made they would be deleted…then proceeded to make disrespectful remarks. I shouldn’t wonder if the writer then took people to task for hypocrisy…

I did not bite, as I recognised the lure. It has been dangled by any number of people who want to fish you up out of the  social media stream and then make disrespectful remarks to you…but will not allow a reply. I’ve been caught and thrown back a half-dozen times and have only scars for it. I avoid taking baits these days.

As for my own fishing expeditions…putting up ex-communist posters with re-written captions to scramble the current situation – well, I welcome outraged response. I don’t think I’ll get it, because frankly with some of my Facebook friends I don’t think THEY’LL get it, but you never can tell. I’ve had a few snorfles from the cleverer ones and that is payment enough.

Remember folks, social media is a listening post and you give away more than you’d think when you share your thoughts. And a great deal more than that when you share your non-thoughts…




The Order Of the Golden Cloud


The Backstabbers Guild of Australia is nothing if not respectful. We look upon the other countries of the world and their rulers and take heartfelt lessons from their lives.

Thus we have looked long and hard at the Japanese traditions of imperial awards that are in the form of a chrysanthemum or sunrays or flowers and their careful ranking of the various medals into classes. We noted with interest that the order of the Precious Crown can be divided into Apricot Class, Wisteria Class and Butterfly Class. Apparently since 2003 it only goes to foreign females. Make of that what you will.

The Guild recognises that a direct copying of any foreign order is not so much flattering as confusing. At the request of the RSL we have stopped sending up VC’s with the rations. Occasionally we send up the RSL, but that is another matter altogether. What we aim to do with the Order Of the Golden Cloud is show the nation that people who post unintelligible one-liners on social media are also deserving. Indeed we have a list of things we think they deserve, and now we have the Golden Cloud to add to it.

The OOGC is a classed order – in that we have taken some direction from the efficiency of the Japanese. There are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class Clouds, corresponding to the ways the posts have been received.

If everyone can guess what you are on about but just deletes your post before reading it you are entitled to the OOGC 3rd Class. If they fire back anxious enquiries about your state of mental and physical health and then race round your door with a plate of cookies and an external defibrillator machine, you receive the OOGC 2nd Class.

If they shut down their Facebook account, unplug the computer from the wall, and then kick the screen in, you are eligible to receive the OOGC 1st class. You have done a service to culture and humanity. We can do no less than salute you.

Note: the Order Of The Golden Cloud is worn on the hat. It is suspended above you and dangles in front of your eyes on a sad, blue, extremely fuzzy thread. This was an inspired bit of analogy that the design bureau came up with.