Hi ho Silver! Away!

The Lone Ranger famously used a cunning disguise in the form of a mask over his eyes, causing such confusion that bad guys had no chance of ever discovering his real identity of Texas Ranger, John Reid.

As you can see in the photo above, this was completely effective and not at all a rubbish cinematic device which required the complete suspension of belief by the audience to enjoy the show.

Similarly, in those jurisdictions where we’ve “been given our freedoms back” (and what a godawful phrase that is to utter in a country governed by Common Law and a history which includes the various iterations of Magna Carta) there are still plenty of not so Lone Rangers walking amongst us with the flimsy light blue paper over their mouth and nose.

Unusually for these times, I’m of the view people are allowed to make their own health choices, and my opinion of the efficacy of these decisions is and should be entirely irrelevant to them.

If only others would afford me the same courtesy, heh?

My opinion may be irrelevant to these mask wearers and I’d never be so gauche as to confront anyone over these facial nappies (“diapers” if you’re from the former colonies).

But it does leave me with some unanswered questions though. I genuinely would like to learn the answers, so if you are still performing the Covid holy communion of applying a face mask when you are out and about, I’d appreciate it if you could comment below.

Specifically:

Do you have an underlying health condition requiring the mask, and if so, wouldn’t it be safer for you to stay home?

Do you use the medical standard N95 version? If not, why not?

What’s your best estimate of the marginal additional percentage protection your mask confers? 90%? 5%?

What data point would make you consider reverting to the mask free life?

Do you think that data point will ever be achieved or is this a permanent part of your routine now until the end of your life?

Bill’s Opinion

I don’t understand the reasons for continuing to wear the masks. Perhaps I would be persuaded by the arguments for it but these are presumably unique to the individual.

In my mind, it almost falls in to the category of neck or facial tattoos; I’m sure you have reasons, I just can’t think of what they might have been.

The critical question must surely be, what is the data point required to stop wearing them? I honestly hope they’ve thought about the answer to that question otherwise we would have to assume a terrible failure of cognition and agency by somebody whom we might have previously thought to be sentient.

Anyway, for the current time, we are back to a situation where personal choice is a thing again. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I’m every woman

The 2022 version of the classic false premise question, “when did you stop beating your wife?” is:

What is the definition of ‘woman’?

Hilariously, it’s catching out all sorts of people. To be fair to the left wing politicians and Supreme Court nominees, it is an absolute gotchya question, designed to trip you up.

The two popular answers are, “adult human female” and “anyone who identifies as a woman”, and either will get you into huge trouble on social media and neither are particularly satisfactory.

The first is somewhat circular as it relies on another inferred definition, “female”. What’s a woman? It’s a female. What’s a female? It’s a woman. Turtles all the way down.

The second makes the usual error of the left-leaning in that it assumes we can over-rule or or completely discount human nature and response to incentives as a factor. Probably a billion family trees have ended abruptly due to that mistake and several women have been raped in female only prisons in the last few years for the same reason.

The husband and wife biologists on the Dark Horse podcast have an interesting discussion on their latest episode where they explore the underpinning biological reality of sex in our species and others. It’s an educational chat and debunks some of the more insane hot takes to be found on the digital Beldam that is social media. But it still misses the mark.

What we need is a pithy, definitive reply to the question. One that deals with the existence of the extremely rare genetic mutations we class as intersex and the increasingly vocal category we used to categorise as gender dysphoria but now call “stunning and brave” and invite into primary schools to read stories to pre-pubescent children.

Bill’s Opinion

The correct answer when asked the question, “what is the definition of ‘woman’?” is, in the words of Justice Potter Stewart:

I know it when I see it”.

Remember our handy heuristic; If you find your inner voice saying something along the lines of, “Christ, that’s an ugly man/woman“, it’ll be because they aren’t.

Use that as the basis of your response. Trust the tools evolution has equipped you with. If someone wants to play language games with you, put it back to them; “show me a picture of someone whose sex is unclear to you and I’ll try help you work it out for that specific case”.

Of course, this answer is probably more helpful to those who’d normally answer, “adult human female” than the other answer, but I’ll put it out there for royalty-free usage anyway.

The first casualty of war

…is presumably the poor bastard who gets shot first.

Oh, sorry, “truth”.

Before we get into today’s topic, let me apologise for the low frequency of updates here. Life has been hectic, not in a bad way, but something had to give and discretionary time spent here was the loser.

Last week, someone who reads this blog asked me why I had nothing to say on the Russia/Ukraine situation? Here’s my reply:

Because I assume everything I read or watch on the subject is, at best, unintentionally false but more probably, propaganda and misinformation.

But Bill,” they exclaimed, “surely you can’t deny Russia illegally invaded an independent sovereign state and is committing war crimes? It’s right there on the evening news every day“.

I have three words in response; Gell-Mann Amnesia.

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.” 
– Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

We’ve just sat through more than two years being spoonfed absolute horseshit whilst being told it was the highest quality truffles and champagne; viruses that didn’t but then suddenly did originate in a Chinese lab, masks that didn’t work then worked so well you’d be arrested for not wearing them, vaccines that stopped the spread so well that nearly everyone you know has now caught the virus at least once regardless of the number of booster shots they’ve had, transitory inflation that seems intent on staying long after the last night bus, etc.

The paragraph above could be far longer, as I’m sure you’ll agree, but that’s enough to illustrate my my point; our governments, opposition parties, doctors, police, state funded scientists, news media and even the independent judiciary have been exposed as incompetent, mendacious and unfit to uphold the principles many of our ancestors were sent off to wars to defend.

Does that statement feel a little strong? Am I using hyperbole unnecessarily?

Do you know someone who lost their job when the government decided to stop the economy? Perhaps you know someone who had to watch the funeral of a loved one over a Zoom call? Or was handed a fine for sitting too close to a friend on a park bench? Or was slammed to the ground by a Melbourne policeman for protesting lockdown? Perhaps you know someone who has lost their job due to vaccine mandates?

These people might not see the paragraph as hyperbolic.

Regardless, you now KNOW we were told utter bullshit, were subject to creative new laws with no basis in logic or scientific observation. People who pointed this out contemporaneously were booted from the internet public square and became non-persons.

We were fortunate with the virus, and therefore the data about it, in that it was “democratic”; everyone with a phone or a keyboard could post new information. Some governments kept their fingers off the scales and published raw data, regardless of whether it agreed with other governments’ narrative. Put simply, some personal effort in searching for answers often paid off with information that better explained and predicted than any of the crap offered up in government press conferences or in the pages of our once trusted newspapers.

The war in Ukraine, on the other hand? It’s back to the old information model; gatekeeper media organisations “embedded” on one side or another and pure unadulterated propaganda from Russia and Ukraine governments or their supporters.

All we can do is select which fire hose to wrap our mouths around and get ready to unquestionably drink in everything we’re given.

Perhaps there’s some truth flowing in among the torrent, but it’s likely to be at a level of dilution even a Homeopathic quack would blush at.

Bill’s Opinion

Is Putin a dangerous sociopath who neutralises his political opponents with methods Stalin would recognise and approve of? Yeah, most likely.

Is Zalensky a hero who has made no misteps and has done nothing we’d consider beyond the pale. I highly doubt it.

Do I have any chance of getting even close to the truth of what is going on, why and how it might play out?

Not a fucking chance.

So, I choose not to play their game. I minimise my consumption of news on the subject. Avoiding it totally would be unadvisable; if I had done that last year, I wouldn’t have managed to get a vaccine exemption certificate before my employer made it a condition of employment.

But I’m generally ignoring the articles offering explanations and predictions from the exactly the same people who got so much wrong, either by accident or design, in 2020 and 2021.

Wrap my battered flathead fillet and hot chips in it, that’s the only use I have for their paper. And don’t skimp on the salt and vinegar.

If jealousy burned calories

…we’d instantly solve quite a few people’s major life issues.

But sadly, the effort expended on envious feelings is neither material nor measurable. This is both good and bad news for Mary Madigan, freelance writer for Mammamia (now there’s a career path to infinite riches!).

Good news because she can get a couple of hundred dollars knocking out heartfelt columns about why we shouldn’t celebrate an obese celebrity losing a lot of weight. Bad news, because Mary is burning emotional energy being bitter over other people’s good fortune, and even more mental energy avoiding reflecting on poor life choices she has made.

The back story is a minor Australian celebrity (if that isn’t a tautology), Chrissie Swan, dropped a wheelbarrow load of weight recently and has been congratulated by lots of commentators. Her Instagram feed has a flood of positive comments, many of which are middle aged men who’ve suddenly decided she’s hot.

Our “plus sized” columnist takes issue with their sudden change of opinion. Chrissie was always attractive, she claims. It’s a backhanded compliment to suggest she’s now looking great, according to our self-appointed moral arbiter.

Context is everything, of course.

This is Mary:

This was Chrissie Swan:

This is Chrissie Swan now:

I’m sure we can all agree on what a terrible and destructive transformation she’s inflicted on herself.

The feedback from Mary’s syndicated article was predictable. By which I don’t mean lots of stupid people went on the internet and called her rude names but that she would feign shock and surprise at this reaction and then post a self-obsessed semi-naked picture on Instagram affirming to herself how gorgeous she is and her superiority in the victim olympics.

It’s been a very tiring week because my inbox got flooded with abusive messages after an article I wrote for Mamamia got picked up by The Sun & New York Post. Obviously, when men attack women on the internet the insults are always about your looks. Fat, unattractive, unfuckable…. It’s unoriginal but it did make me feel sad but then I remembered I’m gorgeous and now I’m back.

Bills Opinion

There is no problem with Chrissie Swan’s weight loss. We celebrate it because, as decent human beings, we give positive feedback to obviously good life choices made by others.

It’s a social contract; we tell each other what we’re doing well and try to kindly point out areas for improvement.

If Mary doesn’t like that social contract, it’s incumbent on her to describe the alternative system she would suggest we employ.

It’s always dangerous to attempt to diagnose mental illness from a distance but it’s clearly an unhealthy thought process to convince oneself being grossly overweight is somehow a positive choice.

Would Mary sympathise with 500 words written by a chain smoker trying to convince us it’s wrong to celebrate someone giving up the cancer sticks?

Perhaps it’s just the sunk cost fallacy to wish to convince other people of these illogical views. In addition, the editors of the publications paying for these columns are encouraging negative health outcomes by printing it. Perhaps the editors are analogous to the circus ringmasters introducing the freak show exhibit.

It’s as if we are being asked to casually put aside several million years of evolution and consciously ignore the instinctive mental rank order sorting of other humans by attractiveness. Perhaps that’s possible, but the clever money and every sexual interaction in the history of the planet suggests the exact opposite is more likely.

This denial of reality can be neatly explained by Sailer’s first law of female journalism:

The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

More chins than the Hong Kong phone directory…..

Retired-Dictator Island (“ze plane! ze plane!”)

Is the lack of retirement options for murderous dictators perhaps one of the world’s least talked about but most obvious and destructive problems?

Sure, extra-judicial killing of problem journalists and political opposition is firmly in the “not nice” category, but if these crimes then lead a dictator into believing he (for they are nearly always male – New Zealand and Queen’sland notwithstanding) has no feasible chance of retiring in peace with their ill-gotten billions, then they will feel forced to double down and continue on their murdering trajectory.

Let’s consider a few “sliding doors” thought experiments from the recent past:

Bashar Hafez al-Assad

If Assad had been offered a Learjet and a couple of military transport planes, escorted by NATO jets, to evacuate his family and trinkets to a well-defended tropical island in early 2011, perhaps the Syrian Civil War might have been avoided, or at least have been shorter in duration and with less devastating human cost?

Robert Mugabe

He held a firm and stifling grip on Zimbabwe for decades longer than probably he or any of his original supporters would have wanted. But he stayed stubbornly in power, destroying the country’s society and once-thriving agricultural economy in the process.

In reality, he probably felt trapped in the job; stepping down and enjoying a long and quiet retirement would have seemed to have a low probability of success.

Far better, perhaps, for a deferential court official from The Hague to have sought a private counsel with him where he obsequiously offered a golden ticket on The Retired-Dictator Express to a luxury resort with courtesans, chilled Krug on free pour and a lifetime guarantee of immunity from prosecution.

Muammar Gaddafi

One imagines Gaddafi would have grabbed that golden ticket if it were offered in late 2010 but, instead of playing squash on Tuesday evenings with Bashir al-Assad, 18 months later he ended up with a bayonet suppository and an uncomfortable final rideshare in an Uber Toyota Landcruiser.

Bill’s Opinion

A Chinese proverb tells us, “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount“. Perhaps that’s what it’s like in the latter stages of the job of dictator? You had to make some tough decisions, you broke a few eggs to make the omelet, but now the popular support has atrophied and your once-secure position is feeling a little less permanent.

The problem is, your options are often limited to a long stretch in a cell in The Hague, extra-judicial execution Ceausescu style, cyanide pills with Eva Braun or doubling down and shooting anyone who looks even mildly disapproving of your decisions.

The relative cost to the world of housing these people with immunity from prosecution on a five star luxury island resort with a permanently-enforced 100km radius no fly/no sail zone would be trivial. The UN could diarise an annual diplomatic visit with a reminder of the open invitation to skip town before things got too hot.

Imagine the internet meme fun we could have sending fake invitations to Justin Trudeau, Jacinta Adern and Mark McGowan:

Congratulations Justin! You’ve finally made it into the world’s most exclusive club. A military transport plane will be waiting for you at Ottawa international airport at 21.00, bring as much gold as you can carry. Please advise us of your ‘plus one’ as soon as possible so the appropriate immunity from prosecution paperwork can be quickly lodged“.

Of course, there is a risk that the prospect of an all expenses retirement might incentivise the opposite outcomes of those we desire. In much the same way there was a definite business model in the early 2000s of creating an Internet start-up without needing to turn a profit, but just get noticed by Google, or the way Australian microbreweries seem to only aim to become popular enough to be bought by one of the members of the brewing duopoly, perhaps we might find nascent dictators pop up with the express intention of getting that coveted invitation.

Regardless, the lack of retirement plans for dictators remains a global concern.

(Full disclosure; this not an original thought – I recall hearing Scott Adams mention the lack of retirement options for dictators being a problem)

The Taliban are wetting zherselves laughing at us

Remember how we’ve not been consulted on the language change that our legal and media institutions have decided we have to make? Yet we have to play whatever manipulative game criminals and those accused of some of the worst crimes decide they want us to play?

Well, it’s contagious. Gone viral like a Fauci research grant:

In case you weren’t aware, Pusey is accused of reckless driving. When he was pulled over, the police were struck by a lorry and four died. He posted a video on social media of the final moments of one.

Even before the conclusion of the court case, we can be fairly certain we’ll all be better off with him locked in a dark hole and then losing the key. Sure, due process an’ all that, but the preponderance of evidence suggests this is not a pleasant individual regardless of whether he’s convicted of a crime.

So, he announced his new pronouns to the judge, attendant court officials and media.

What was the response?

Exhibit A, your Honour:

I’m sure the journalist Erin Lyons is only following the approved style guide for News.Com.Au, but I’d love to ask her what she really thinks about having to write “they” instead of “he” or even the more accurate “despicable cunt”?

Bill’s Opinion

In law, we rightly operate on the principle ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies).

But sudden announcements of a change to preferred gender pronouns do not fall into this category. The burden of proof must surely lie with the person who claims to be something the physical and biological evidence refutes.

Sure, we can be polite to these people and, in general day to day life, accomodate their preferences. It’s a free choice we might make, not a request which must be obeyed in all circumstances.

We might debate where in the range of circumstances polite society should ignore a person’s demand to comply with unusual uses of language. But if you feel convicted criminals or those accused of serious crimes should be granted a sudden demand to call them by new names, you and I are living in a different reality.

As with the fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it often takes innocent eyes to see the truth. Ask a child what they are looking at in these cases and their answer will be straightforward.

Perhaps Erin Lyons should unlearn her recent education and be welcomed back to the reality the rest of us inhabit.

Security theatre

The term “security theatre” is credited to cyber and physical security expert, Bruce Schneier. His books and blog are highly recommended, by the way, even for people outside his industry, as he touches on the human aspect of subjects like airport security and online protection.

What is security theatre?

Remember a couple of decades ago when people other than politicians, elite sportspeople, multi-millionaires and Caitlyn Jenner were able to travel freely between counties? If your recall is accurate, you might remember being “randomly” selected to have your shoes checked through the X-ray machine.

Of course, it wasn’t random at all; each lane had a quota and that usually resulted in every, say, fifth person being selected. At one point in my career, I flew out of Heathrow so frequently, I could quite easily work out which line to join to avoid the footwear genuflecting ceremony.

Did you ever pause to wonder why this check happens? Supplemental question for you; how many shoe bomb attempts have there been in the history of aviation?

The answer to these generally unasked questions can be found on the wiki page of this Sarf Lahdan scrote.

Richard Reid was an utter loser at life who converted to Islam and became a wannabe terrorist (but I repeat myself.) Being from South London, he wasn’t the brightest candle on the menorah (hopefully that metaphor offends him), therefore he failed spectacularly in his attempt to bring down the Paris to Miami flight he’d hoped would be his last.

How many attempted shoe bombings have been thwarted since? Zero. We’ll come back to that statistic later.

The consequences of the failure of the Brains of Bromley include the ridiculous ritual of removing shoes at the airport. How effective do we think that is in reducing the threat of terrorism? Well, also from Reid’s wiki (highlighting mine):

As a result of these events, some airlines encouraged passengers departing from an airport in the United States to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet while their shoes are scanned for bombs. In 2006, the TSA started requiring all passengers to remove their shoes for screening. Scanners do not find PETN in shoes or strapped to a person. A chemical test is needed. However, even if the X-ray scanners cannot detect all explosives, it is an effective way to see if the shoe has been altered to hold a bomb.

In 2011, the rules were relaxed to allow children 12 and younger and adults 75 and older to keep their shoes on during security screenings.

So, we can’t actually scan for Reid’s preferred explosive type and we’re going to assume nobody is faithful enough to the tenets of radical Islam to use a child or a pensioner to bomb a plane. Sure, that makes perfect sense then.

Similarly, if you ever found yourself annoyed at the litter on the London Underground in the early 1990s, it was as a consequence of these two attacks by the IRA. As a Ben Elton stand-up routine at the time pointed out, “every piece of litter is a Pyrrhic victory for the cause of the Irish Republican movement”. A year or two later, a genius at the Met Police (words not normally found together) realised the problem could be solved with transparent bin bags.

The Good Friday agreement was signed later that decade. One likes to think it was the demoralising results of the litter countermeasure that forced the IRA to disarm…

On an unrelated subject, isn’t it fascinating how different jurisdictions are dealing with reality?

The UK has lifted the mandatory mask requirement and backtracked on no jab no job employment rules for healthcare workers.

Denmark and Sweden have dropped all covid measures.

Israel has binned its “green pass” vaccine passport.

Meanwhile, various locations are still trying to fight a war they lost long ago (as we parodied earlier.)

Victoria has mandated a booster shot for hundreds of thousands of workers.

New Zealand has decided 23 days isolation is what der science requires of people who waved in the street at someone who ever said the word “covid”.

Austria has police roaming the streets with throwback powers their predecessors would have recognised to stop people and demand, “papier bitte”.

Even New South Wales, a jurisdiction with a marginally better track record than most, still requires masks to be worn indoors for reasons yet to be explained.

Bill’s Opinion

We’ll be enduring the covid security theatre for years, long after anyone can remember the reason why or when it started.

Nobody seems curious as to the justification or the actual effectiveness of the measures. Yes, another study emerged this week claiming lockdowns caused more harm than good, but anyone with a brain worked that out years (yes, years) ago.

Look at this data from the NSW health website:

Remember when we needed to get vaccinated and wear masks to “stop the spread”? Well, 95% got the jabs, nearly everyone complied with the masks and still one in every 7 people in New South Wales have caught the virus. Can you imagine how widely spread it would’ve been without all those highly-effective measures? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Coming back to those shoe bombing statistics:

My aunt and uncle drink a lot of gin and tonic, “because the quinine protects against malaria”.
“Has there ever been a case of malaria in Kent, Uncle Dave?”
No. See how effective it is!”

Lisa says….

….. that it’s allright
When she meets me alone at night
Lisa says that she has her fun
And she’ll do it with just about anyone
.

Once a week, there’s a sub-headline on a story in the Australian media which solely consists of reporting on the opinion of someone else working in the Australian media. It’s Australia’s version of an “inside the beltway” story, in other words.

The person who gets the dull column inches is Lisa Wilkinson. The headlines usually start with “Lisa slams…” or, in today’s example, “Lisa fires up…”. Presumably, subeditors know the lyrics to the Velvet Underground song above, hence avoiding the more slanderous, “Lisa says”.

My claim of this being a weekly occurrence is no hyperbole either; put the words “Lisa slams” in a search engine and you’ll be presented with pages of results referencing Wilkinson. It’s a similar tale for “Lisa fires up“. Obviously the headline writers’ lack of originality and access to a thesaurus is not Lisa’s fault, but it helpfully presents us with an easy opportunity to check her consistency and prescience…..

The latest “Lisa slams” is regarding the decision by several Australian health authorities to halt elective surgeries because, well, for the same reason everything from having a cup of coffee, educating your children, buying a decent cut of meat, burying your deceased parent, getting married to visiting Machu Pichu, is currently an utter pain in the arse or a shit experience; der ‘rona.

We can agree with Lisa, it would be great if the healthcare system was a little more focused on those with decades of life in front of them as well as protecting those most at risk from Kung Flu who, as we should all know by now, are mainly in their late 80s or have shown an ability to constantly avoid the salad option in Maccas for decades.

With our common ground confirmed, let’s take a look at some of Lisa’s recent topics of “slamming” or “firing up”;

Exhibit 1 – December 2021, Lisa slams not being in lockdown yet again.

Exhibit 2 – August 2021, Lisa slams not having a “hard” lockdown earlier in the year.

Exhibit 3 – August 2021, Lisa slams apologises to the entire State of Victoria on behalf of New South Wales’ residents because we didn’t lock down “properly” (not that we were consulted about our opinion in advance.)

Bill’s Opinion

What a fucking great job it is being Lisa Wilkinson; you get to give a monologue to camera once a week, complaining in your side-of-mouth idiom about whatever it is your PR people think will resonate with the viewers, safe in the knowledge you’ll never put yourself in the situation where anyone can take you to task about your previous opinions and predictions.

In the real world, life is a little less precise, a smidgen more complicated, and not as black and white. This may come as a shock to those zero covid, lock us down hard cheeleaders, but life is a series of difficult to balance trade offs. You close down one important section of the economy and society, you discover unintended consequences appear somewhere else. Which, in Lisa slams thinking, looks a little like, “Lock us down NOW! Wait, hospitals have stopped treating patients?

Anyone who still believes, like Lisa slams did until at least last month, that there’s little or no consequence to lockdowns, has proven to us all they are not capable of thinking and acting as a grown up.

Preferred pronouns: murderer, killer, psycho

Australia doesn’t have many serial killers or mass murderers. Well, not if one excludes South Australia from the census, anyway.

One of the recent cases involves this person:

“A NSW woman convicted three times for homicide has been arrested again in Sydney.”

Riiiiiight.

In the same news outlet, a report of a child abuser who breaks the gender stereotype for that crime as she is female:

Riiiiight…..

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine looking in from the outside on a society that panders to the whims of triple murderers and child abusers by changing the language and cultural norms of thousands of years. What conclusion might one draw regarding the sustainability of that society?

I have no proof that Reginald Arthurell and James Tubbs aren’t genuinely deeply convinced they were born female in male bodies, or whatever version of the several explanations we are offered for transgenderism, but I do know that the very last people I’m prepared to offer the benefit of the doubt to have been convicted of murder and sexual assault.

Presumably, at some point in the recent past, Catie Mcleod, Audrey Conklin, Michael Ruiz and Emma Colton were summoned to a briefing at Holt Street, Sydney and received instructions on the new style guide for News.Com.Au, requiring their copy to be filed using the preferred pronouns of anyone they write about, regardless of the likely credibility of such demands.

Such a briefing must have occurred as this switch in language is now consistently applied throughout the publication. No journalist is going to get off the spike if they refer to Arthurell as “Reginald” or male.

Meanwhile, 99.9% of people read the reports linked above and feel a visceral disconnect from the words and reality. We read the report of “female” Regina and think, “Fuck off. He’s an evil piece of shit who is taking the piss out of us. He even chose a female name with such an obvious double-entendre rhyme as part of his sick joke. Whoever writes this crap must know this too, so why do they pretend down is up and black is white?“.

Perhaps we should applaud this self-destructive writing from the media. The more they insist on ignoring reality, the fewer of us believe anything they report.

Brave soldiers holding out in the Pacific theatre of war

What is it about the Pacific Ocean and soldiers hanging on in denial of the catastrophic loss their side suffered in the war?

Take for example, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi:

Still hoping the 17th booster will be the charm

Sergeant Yokoi lost contact with his unit (and reality) a few weeks before the ceasefire and, in the absence of any news from the real world, bunkered down in his Melbourne foxhole. He stayed there, popping up only to take the occasional shots at his former platoon (and voters).

Eventually, news from the real world filtered through and he was unable to live in his fantasy one man war movie any longer. His final act before surrendering was to lob a grenade at some visiting Serbian UN Blue Berets.

Private 1st Class Kinshichi Kozuka.

“Hands up! Don’t shoot! Blackface Lives Matter!”

Private Kozuka found himself stranded on the other side of the Pacific from his platoon after riding a really gnarly point break left hander from the Marshall Islands all the way to the north of the 49th Parallel.

After removing his facial camouflage make up to better assimilate with the natives, he quickly installed himself as Emperor, demanding hot and cold running maple syrup, never ending Tim Horton’s donuts and the world’s biggest collection of Wayne Gretzky souvenir hockey pucks, all of which were duly delivered to Ottawa in 50,000 trucks.

Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda

De-Nile is the river running through Perth (previously known as The Swan)

Lieutenant Onoda commenced his campaign in the Pacific, in New South Wales, but quickly realised his minor talents would be hidden in such a buzzing theatre of war as Newcastle, so volunteered for duty in the Indian Ocean campaign, basing his activities in the sleepy villages in that remote and strategically irrelevant coastal area.

Despite the frequent messages dropped from passing planes, Onoda managed to avoid reality for several years. Multiple possible breakthroughs after exhortations from his commanding officer ultimately failed and he is currently in discussions via field telephone for a potential surrender in mid-winter, just as the seasonal respiratory illnesses usually arrive. As his commanding officer has explained, “Onoda was never the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer and this isolation has dulled whatever cognitive edge he may once have possessed. Why on earth did I get him instead of John Rambo?”

Private Teruo Nakamura

The ability to eat fallen fruit through a chain fence proved invaluable whilst evading capture

The last of the holdouts, Nakamura is still bunkered down on two poxy islands in the Pacific. Repeated calls to rejoin the world have been rebutted and the international community have now agreed, using the North Sentilenese People as a precedent, to leave Nakamura alone to pursue his dream of creating a caring, loving and kind society by demonising and imprisoning anyone who has an alternative opinion on any subject whatsoever.

Bill’s Opinion

Yeah, unusually ad hominem for me but, hey, it’s just a bit of fun.

I mean, it’s not like anyone has got hurt by any of this multi-year nonsense is it?

Oh.