One day this will end badly, but I always try to fart into prams as I pass them on the street.
Recently, I’ve been getting out of the house a lot. Every two or three days I’ll be going to this place or that. This has lead me to notice that I wee quite a lot. I guess I hadn’t noticed up until now because I have a toilet in my house that doesn’t take long to get to.
I’m sure I didn’t used to wee so much. Like, every hour. If I have a one-hour meeting, I need to make sure I have access to a wee place (bathroom, etc.) immediately before and after the meeting. Even if there are no other people/animals at the meeting, it’s rude to get up halfway through to do one of the most disgusting things a person can do (I’ve never accidentally done a poo on my hands).
Another thing that happened a few months ago is that sparkling water was on sale at my local supermarket. I like sparkling water, it’s like wet Christmas in my hand. Without all the other people knowing about it. God Christmas would be great if no one else knew about it. I’d sit at home with a fuck-off-huge cake with 2014 candles and sing happy birthday Jesus and have no one tell me to ‘not be like that’.
This water is in 800ml bottles (1 pound, I guess) that I like. They’re pretty bottles.
I refill them with tap water which is great trick I learnt from my great grandfather as a way to not have to walk to the supermarket each time I want more water.
A note on sentences that start with “in my day …” and end in a complain about the cost of things (yeah I just nounified ‘complain’). Right now, all of you have a choice to make. You can either grow old into the person that tells people that a meat pie was only $1 when you grew up. In which case you’re a jerk. Or you can tell people that when you were a lad a meat pie cost $1 and that since then the cost has risen roughly in line with your salary and that’s known as inflation.
So rather than buy a new $8 bottle of water, I refill it. Since I have stopped filtering my water (because a small part of me wants to die) the bottle refills more quickly. So refilling the bottle maybe six or seven times a day is no great strain on my time.
And that, I think, is why I wee so much.
For the purposes of this little rant, when I say politics I mean the democratic variety. And I’m not going tell you which team I go for.
And right off the bat, that’s half of why we love talkin’ politics.
It’s a Sport
A team sport! There’s team colours, people on the bench, substitutes. There’s even a championship every four years. If you’re super-keen you can even watch the training sessions on TV. There’s experts on the radio who will make predictions about the coming weeks and they will have someone to argue with who will precisely disagree.
We pick a team, we stick with them, and we argue with anyone that roots for the other team. It’s so obvious that they’re wrong and you’re right. Right? That’s illusory superiority my friend. And if you knew that was a thing and claim that you wouldn’t be a sucker for it, then that’s a bias blind spot my friend. We can do this all day.
And as with all sports, there’s an underdog. More on that later. But for now, reason number two that we love politics.
It’s a Soap Opera and Reality TV All in One
Oh my the characters! Take the synopsis from any cooking competition, shitty TV drama or house with cameras everywhere and you’ll see it’s almost exactly the same as the day’s political news. Here I’ve taken episode 10,135 of Days of Our Lives and replaced the names with some of your favourite political characters:
For the Aussies
Tony Abbott refuses to run away with Julia Gillard, insisting she must face her biological parents. While she showers, they burst in, tipped off by Bill Shorten who tracked Tony Abbott’s credit card use. Mindless Bronwyn Bishop nearly beats up Tony Abbott, who finally makes them realize she hates them, especially Eric Abetz. Back home only Joe Hockey controls himself, while Peter Dutton badmouths him again. Pauline Hanson is caught by Russell Broadbent at using Kevin Rudd’s computer to steal data she later slips to John Howard, but it’s Malcolm Turnbull who gets attacked as ‘vindictive liar’ instead for trying to denounce her.
For the Americans
Barack Obama refuses to run away with Hillary Clinton, insisting she must face her biological parents. While she showers, they burst in, tipped off by George Bush who tracked Barack Obama’s credit card use. Mindless Sarah Palin nearly beats up Barack Obama, who finally makes them realize she hates them, especially John Kerry. Back home only Mitt Romney controls himself, while Dick Cheney badmouths him again. Condoleezza Rice is caught by Al Gore at using Bill Clinton’s computer to steal data she later slips to John McCain, but it’s Michelle Obama who gets attacked as ‘vindictive liar’ instead for trying to denounce her.
But It Matters!
Unlike sport, or a soap opera, or reality TV, politics really matters. It shapes the world around us, it’s what separates us from the commies, right?
Well, sort of, but no. It matters that we have democracy. But it doesn’t matter which team is winning. Not a fucking lick of difference. I can’t change your mind, but you can change it yourself if you think real hard about it. Could it possibly matter which team is currently in charge? Think about it, you’ll get there.
[Girl From Ipanema]
You’re more likely to reassess the competition and adjust your selection next time you get a new car, fridge or phone than you are for your political party at the next election. You pick a side at a young age and stay with them for life. You – by definition – knew less about the political landscape when you first signed up than at any point since. If you have ever reassessed and switched sides, and you vote, then you might just not be one of the idiots.
Back to the underdogs. We love an underdog, in sports or in politics. That’s why nowhere in the world has one political party ever streaked ahead. Read that again. Even the mighty
Godzilla Jimintō can’t manage a 50 year stretch on top. Why not? Because the further ahead one party gets, the taller the poppy they are, the greener the grass on the other side, and the more appealing the little guy. Mass psychology works its magic, the votes swing ever so slowly, and ever so slightly, and balance is kept. Just like the planchette on the Ouija board, no one thinks that they are consciously spelling out where grandma hid the gold, but together, all the idiots act as one giant idiot.
So not only is it irrelevant which team is in charge, it’s impossible for any one team to stay in charge.
So Why, Dirk, Why?
I’m not sure why we all care so much. I think about it a lot, there must be some reason, right? But I have no wisdom to fake on this one. If I had to guess (and for the sake of a summary, I think I do) I would say that giving a fuck about politics connects us to the world. We are a part of that sports team. We’re there on the field with them in spirit, and we are part of our political party. We’re supporting them in their fight, sharing in their pride, and that feels good.
And feeling good is good.
Few things make me more furious than inexplicable inequality.
I don’t mind a bit of prejudice where it makes sense. But inexplicable inequality is a sign of ignorance and needs to be quashed. And so, journalistic spirit brimming and forming a pool in the back of my mouth, I set off to discover why there are no Asian homeless people.
Luckily my local village is awash with homeless; I was spoiled for choice.
There’s the one that sits outside the 7-eleven. I hate him because:
- He sits and watches you go in to said 7-eleven, order something, pay with a note, get coins for the difference between the total purchase price of your items and the cash you handed over, then asks like a smug cunt as you leave the store “got any change”.
- He’s too young. Early 20’s or something. All homeless people should be older than me.
- He shaves more often than me.
So fuck him.
Then there’s Sneezy, a dwarf like man with a giant red lump with nostrils in the middle of his face. He’s the quintessential homeless man: raggedy clothes, musky stench, wine bottle in paper bag at all times. And he doesn’t want my change (I applaud financial independence in the destitute). But I walk past him every day; the last thing I need is another friend.
So I choose The Yipper. This one has something wrong with his brain that manifests in him yelping every minute. You know the chirps that prairie dogs do? It’s like just one of those, really really loudly, every minute. You can hear him from blocks away. So I triangulate The Yipper and sit down for a series of 59 second chats.
It was a bust. After the first YIP my ears rang for most of the 59 second intermission, and as my hearing returned I was busy thinking about how to spell tinnitus so I could Google it when I got home to see if I’d done any permanent damage. The second YIP caught me by surprise. Like an unsure teenage pot smoker, I thought I had weed in my pants. This man was not the font of information I was hoping for. I thanked him for his time, he YIPPED farewell, and we parted company.
The hunt went on, from homeless man to homeless man, searching for either the answer to why there are no Asian homeless men, or an Asian homeless man that would negate the question.
I never did find out, but I learned something else. Homeless people are so boring. They have, like, zero conversational skills and a really limited range of topics. Change, cigarettes, bus fares, that’s about it. So there’s a shitty ending for you.
I’m still worried about the tinnitus so I’ve broken off a length of ChapStick® in each ear. Strawberry flavour in the left and original in the right and I swear I walk in a slight curve to the left now.
I’m so sorry.
I’m not racist, I swear it. It’s just … well you look a lot like the last guy. What with the beard and the, um, kinda rough skin. I’m not saying you all look alike, but well … ya kinda do.
Anyway, I liked your predecessor, we got on well. We shared an interest in the current day’s weather. And his name really was Mohammed. So you see, I haven’t been calling you Mohammed these last few months only because you’re wearing a turban. I really thought you were Mohammed. “Hey Mohammed”, “How ’bout this weather Mohammed”.
I had been wondering why you’d stopped being so friendly to me all of a sudden, it makes sense now I realise you’re actually a different person with a different name.
I feel just awful that it came to the point that you snapped and screamed at me “Dude, my name isn’t fucking Mohammed, stop fucking calling me Mohammed you racist cunt. My name’s Alex. Fucking Alex!”
I’m not sure that the volume was required, we were the only two in the lift, and the lift was otherwise quite quiet. But I know your people have a bit of a temper so I guess you can’t really control that.
Anyhoo, have a lovely day and don’t forget to come and get me if the building is on fire.
I always wince a little when I see feminist women talking about feminism to enthusiastic females eager to talk about females and feminism. I get it. It instils confidence in the less confident ladies out there that may have imposter syndrome and need a pep talk. Keep it up for sure
But that’s treating a symptom of sexism, let’s treat the disease too.
And the root of the disease is sexist men. Get rid of sexist men and the sexist women will disappear, the under-confidence will fade, and the world will blossom.
But sexist men don’t give a fuck what women have to say. And they give even less of a fuck what women have to say about feminism.
So step aside ladies, the men will take it from here. Not the effeminate men of course; you need lumberjacks, CEOs, weather men, rodeo clowns. These are the manly voices that the sexist man will listen to. They will sidle up to the sexist man as he is sifting through a pile of CVs throwing the ‘chick ones’ in the bin. The lumberjack CEO will say, man to man, “I think Wendy would be great for this role” and the sexist man will say “yeah, I’d love to fill her role”. He will wink and he will nudge, and let the CV slide into the bin. The lumberjack CEO will not laugh, he will reach down and get the CV out of the bin and engage in silent, manly eye contact with the sexist man, and the sexist man will read the CV.
Little by little sexism will become like smoking. A dirty habit that one tries to hide from others. One by one they will quit and the world will be a better place.
If you are female and your first thought is “we are strong independent women who don’t need men to help…” then you’re an idiot. It’s not about your ego. Shut up. It’s about making the world a less sexist place by changing the ways of the sexist men.
And that’s a man’s job.
Let’s see. I’ve picked on males, females, racist people, sexist people (and probably sounded quite racist and sexist in the process) … I might do a big sweep and pick on the 99%.
OK I’m not going after all of the 99%, just those that identify as being The 99% and especially those that have a t-shirt saying so and a tent in a public place to protest and want to be deep inside Wall Street. I’m sure Wall Street would love to occupy them too (ya know, up the ass).
I was going to write all of this with made up figures, but found an article with even better numbers. They didn’t quote a source, so I’m not quoting them. Which makes it double-legit.
That awful, greedy, nasty, grey haired evil 1% accounts for 1/3 of charitable donations. A fucking third! If your immediate reaction to that was a sentence that started with ‘yeah but’ and included any sentiment including ‘more to give’, ‘less as a percentage’ or ‘tax breaks’ then you’re a jerk, my friend. A big fat jerk.
Because the people on the receiving end don’t care. They just care that they have food/water/shelter or whatever the fuck charities are for. And you’re going to sit there on your dirty camp chair claiming that Rich Dude One only gave a cool couple of mil to people in need of pants just so he could pay less tax?
You need to build a little complexity into your model of hating rich people. Start with ‘they broke wall street and I lost my job’. Keep all the other negative views you have as well, why not. Now breathe … and add in the fact that they cover 30% of charitable donations while you’re sitting in your tent, and (in the USA) a whopping 36% of the taxes. 1% paying 36% of the taxes. If the 1% shirked their tax-paying responsibilities, the 99% would need to cover that lost 36%. And if you think their bonuses are ridiculous and want them all halved? Same effect, dipshit.
If you’re having trouble mixing positive and negative thoughts about a single group of people in you’re head then I’m afraid you’re still a jerk and there’s little hope for you.
Full disclosure: I’m unemployed.