Facebook Can Be A Lonely Place On A Saturday Night

•February 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Facebook Can Be A Lonely Place

On Saturday Night

Part One; Viral

Facebook can be a Lonely Place

on a Saturday night all right

with only the Trolls

and Net-Bots for company.

Leaves you sadly counting up the “LIKES”

for your latest Post,

or checking to see if that witty

Political Slogan you thought up

has gone Viral yet and become a Meme (alas,

it just went Fungal instead

and now you need to apply

a topical theme

or soothing creme.

You end up wondering

how many of your Facebook Friends

actually exist and if they do

why it is they never have anything

to say to you.

Hundreds of so-called friends

yet it’s almost always the same seven or eight

lunatics you actually know who respond,

the rest are essentially Voyeurs

who lost interest long ago.

Maybe it’s time to sign up for Twitter

and possibly Tinder,

although Urban Folk Wisdom has it

that all three Platforms were invented

by Computer Geeks, who, like you,

couldn’t get a Date on a Saturday Night.

And here’s some theme music for Part 2

Facebook can be a Lonely Place Part Two; Psy-Ops.

If you’re really desperate for human company

you could always turn Troll Hunter for a few hours

and prowl the Comments column of YouTube.

Yeah sit on a bridge and bait a line

and watch them all come swarming;

first the TRUMP Trolls, all UPPER CAPS

and poor spelling, with Patriotic handles like,

American Moustache” or “ALAMO 2020

but these are just bottom-feeders,

low-hanging fruit,

its rare you get much sport from them so

just hit them on the head with a hammer,

or a few brief, brutal facts

and toss them back.

Sometimes you might luck out and hook

a Professional Predator pat-trolling the swarms,

a genuine Russian Trollster

lurking like an Arctic Sturgeon

or a Submarine under the ice.

Then you might have some serious Fun,

sharpening your skills against

a KGB trained, game plying, Psy-Ops Troll.

It’s like Chess, you improve

by playing someone better than you.

There are Happy Hunting Grounds,

to stalk, rich in Troll Targets. Try calling up

a YouTube Documentry on EVOLUTION

or something on the Sumerians

or some other Ancient Civilization

and out they all come!

All the crazy Christian Fundamentalist Fruitcakes,

Born again Bozo’s with a Bible in one hand

and a Bump stock in the other,

who sincerely believe Dinosaurs went extinct

because Noah couldn’t fit them on the Ark.

Semi-literate Trailer Park Theorists

who have deduced how the Pyramids were built

but can’t fill out their tax form.

Confederate Flag-waving Conspiracy Crackpots

convinced that all the “Experts” are liars locked

in a sinister Cabal and you

are probably One-of-Them too,

or at best just a gullible Dupe.

Ah, but while Troll Hunting might provide

a laugh or two for an evening,

in the end it just gets to be

depressing, all that hate & ignorance,

it’s like playing one of those shoot-em-up computer games

where you shoot Zombies; you can keep shooting

Zombies forever and they just keep coming.

Same with Trolls, you keep hunting

and taunting them and they just keep coming

and after awhile you realise

that you’ve become a Troll too.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a Practised Performance Poet

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

He is wearied wi’ hunting, and fain would lie down.

***

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Treatment & Symptoms

•February 10, 2019 • 2 Comments

Going all multi-media this week, Sunday Sermons is proud to provide a suitably maudlin soundtrack to accompany today’s meditations on modern mortality. Enjoy.

Treatment & Symptoms

(for Bill)

On reflection

I think I’m more afraid of the Cure

than the Disease.

There’s something obscene about all those

intrusive tubes and wires and cameras

prodding & probing the hidden cavities,

something slightly sinister about

those busy scalpels industriously invading

the privacy of the brain or bowels laid bare.

The Soul revolts at the concept;

Give me Dignity or give me Death!

But the Heart is a Coward,

trapped between two Fears.

I sometimes wish,

as I approach my own Mortality,

that I could let myself believe

in something comforting;

some sort of continuation

of the Self, an AfterLife

or Reincarnation.

But I never liked to kid myself

and now, after all these years,

it’s gotten to be a Habit.

So my best hopeful thought, I guess, is this;

You go back to the Earth,

you rejoin the Whole,

and transformed something new

takes your place.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

former President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

and the Church of the Universe.

Batteries sold separately.

***

Some Thoughts at the End of the World

•February 3, 2019 • 4 Comments

Some Thoughts at the End of the World

*

So here we are at last, after a number of false alarms and near misses, on the thresh-hold of the End of the World. Actually, to keep the analogy truer, it would perhaps be more accurate to state that we are well past the thresh-hold and are currently sitting anxiously in the Reception Area, waiting for our number to be called.

Human reactions to this situation are varied. Most of them seem to be trying to pretend it’s not happening, in the vain hope that if they keep their head down and mind their own business-as-usual it will all blow over. Or perhaps someone else will deal with it?

Many of the Rich & Powerful are so divorced from Reality that they are still convinced that all this environmental catastrophe business is just a left wing plot, while a significant proportion realise what is happening but just don’t care, believing that their Wealth & Privilege will insulate them from the disastrous results. Hey! As long as the air-conditioning & room service is still going who cares about anything else.

Amongst those who think there might actually be a problem you have such Moderate Neo-Liberal Groupings as the Green Party, who want to have their cake and eat it too apparently, hoping that a few more solar panels & bicycle paths and some tinkering around Capitalism’s edges might do the trick.

Meanwhile all around the country (and indeed the world) those who are (if you’ll pardon the expression) selflessly working at the Coalface of Environmental Protection as it were, trying to save a river here, a species there, a tree somewhere-else are themselves approaching complete emotional collapse as the hopelessness of their efforts before the Juggernaut of Development becomes more apparent with every passing day. Local, State & Federal governments are all keen to exploit every natural resource and quick to pass responsibility when the consequences become apparent.

So on and on it goes. Anyone who thinks the glass is only half empty is an optimist.

Of course, living in the shadow of looming Apocalypse is not a new phenomena. I myself was born in the year of the first Hydrogen Bomb tests, and my generation has lived with the threat of Nuclear Annihilation ever since. Perhaps it is Christianity’s fault. Having developed a taste for Armaggedon in their doctrines they have been looking forward to the End Times ever since. (There was a brief flurry of excitement around 1000 CE, amongst those convinced that God works with round numbers). Continue reading ‘Some Thoughts at the End of the World’

BEACH SCENE

•January 27, 2019 • Leave a Comment

BEACH SCENE

*

All lank shanks in a tank top,

a slender lass lopes by,

the rubber thongs flip, flap, flop

past Boardshorts & Beer Bellies

barbecued bronze in the Sun,

while beach-bathing beauties bare

Bikini brief bottoms

and the humm of a horse-fly hovers,

(a hand-slap- “Ha! Gottem!”)

Meanwhile the Sea-gulls strut

& preen upon the sands

vain as broad-chested adolescent boys

turning cart-wheels on their hands.

Young couples duck & dive together

like dolphins in the crystal waters,

on shore umbrella shaded parents keep

a close watch on

their budding daughters,

out on the break-water’s waves

the distant surfers ride,

at water’s edge the walls

of mighty sand-castles

crumble & collapse

before the incoming tide.

*

And as mothers anxiously apply

urgent unguents

to their squirming children’s scarlet burns,

that tough-as-nails horse-fly,

resurrected, returns.

***

***

PS. It is of course the Australia/Invasion/Survival Day weekend. The Reverend has already spoken his mind on this subject long ago. To refresh your memory go to..

https://reverendhellfire.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/once-more-the-land/

***

The Reverend Hellfire is

on holiday.

He’ll be back ranting & raving next week

***

The Amphibious Nightmare

•January 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The Amphibious Nightmare

Poor old Pauline Hanson has been copping a bit of flak in the Australian Media last week, for her suggestion that there should be a Bounty placed on Cane Toads.

Cane Toads are one of the World’s most destructive invasive species (rated Number 16 in the Top One Hundred!) and since their deliberate importation into this country, in a poorly thought out biological pest control experiment, they have multiplied and spread and carved a swathe of destruction through Australia’s native wildlife. What they don’t eat they poison and several once common species have been brought to the brink of extinction as a result of this invader.

So the situation is dire indeed, but alas, Pauline’s Plan wouldn’t work for various reasons (see today’s Squarey for one example) but to my mind she should be commended for taking an interest in the topic. At least she’s made it a topic of discussion in the public discourse, which is more than any other politician has done lately.

Of course, because it was the Red-Headed One making the suggestion, all the other Politicians were especially enthusiastic in loudly condemning the idea as being utterly stupid.

Not that any of them actually had any positive suggestions to offer on the subject. Even the Green Party, who you’d expect to occasionally have maybe some interest in the Environment, has nothing to offer. Indeed, as far as Memory and a Google Search can tell, the Greens have never had a policy on cane toad eradication. Too busy grandstanding perhaps.

But our elected representatives’ supine indifference to the destruction caused by the Cane Toad plague is nothing new. Over the decades Australia’s politicians have never taken a real interest in eradicating this toxic pest, and this disinterest must be considered to be at least partially responsible for the creatures’ relentless spread across huge tracts of Northern Australia and the East Coast.

Between 1986 and 2010, for example, the Federal Government spent a mere $11 million on cane toad control! That breaks down to around $458,000 a year, which would just about cover the wages of a department head, their secretary, and someone to come in twice a week to empty the bins. Worse, during those 24 years an even more miserly $9 million was all that was spent on research. (cost of two scientists and a Bunsen burner).

State Government efforts to eradicate Bufo Marinus were similarly lacking in any real enthusiasm.

You wouldn’t think the neglect could get worse, but it did. In 2010 the Rudd Government gave up any pretense of trying to eradicate the feral invader and decided to abandon efforts to eradicate cane toads, declaring the battle lost!

Neither the resources nor the technologies required to contain and eradicate cane toad numbers on a continental scale are available,” the Plan declared, and instead advocated fencing some areas off and stocking them with endangered species like the Quoll and Goanna in a last ditch effort to stop them from going totally extinct.

Thus instead of Government action, Environment Minister of the day, Mr Peter Garrett (remember him) deftly passed the buck back to the public saying that from then on communities would be encouraged to take charge of cane toad management in their own area. Essentially passing responsibility back to bored kids in the suburbs armed with golf clubs.

And there the situation has languished ever since. Every now and then some Bufo boffin reckons they’re on the verge of discovering a solution, like developing a hormone that lures cane toad tadpoles into traps or cracking the toads genome so they can design specific viruses to attack it’s DNA.- but without adequate funding, promising research just seems to peter out.

So, seeing as how Mr Garrett & Co., have handed responsibility for controlling this toxic pest back to the People, I have come up with a Modest Proposal;

We should change Australia Day

to “Toad Whacking Day”

Yes, let us make the 26th of January an occasion when truly all Australians,

rich or poor, young or old, black or white,

can unite and join together to drive out an ugly, noxious, invasive species that has arrived uninvited and gone on to devastate the Land and poison the Environment.

Or is that cutting a little too close to the bone?

***

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire

is a man of few..

***

ODYSSEUS of the CHARITIES

•January 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

ODYSSEUS of the CHARITIES

It must be Christmas, I thought, for of late my local shopping centre has been infested with a plague of Charity Booths.

These parasitic”Charities”, with their cut-and-paste “Cause” and their attendant, importunate, guilt-tripping Shills, specialise in exploiting common courtesy to allow them to get a hook

into your bank account.

Whatever you do, do not engage with them!

Maintain a steady pace, don’t slow down and don’t make eye-contact with them. Don’t hesitate either, to use other shoppers as “human shields”, blocking the Charity Shill‘s view of you.

Most importantly, never, ever respond to one of their conversational gambits.

Feign deafness, mumble something in Turkish, pretend that you’re on the phone talking to someone else..

do anything but answer them or respond in any way

to their cheery greetings.

Don’t feel guilt or embarressment when you stride past them, eyes averted, ignoring their conversational gambits. These people are professional sociopaths,

smiling-faced, dead-eyed manipulators of social codes

who prey on people’s decency and politeness.

Yes, these people are trained like Scylla & Charybdis to hook you into a conversation and suck you down

into a whirlpool of Financial Commitment.

So like some modern, brave Odysseus

of the Charity Booths,

I skillfully steer a middle course between them

down the shopping centre’s central aisle,

Scylla on one side, all hooks and tentacles

and Charybdis‘s gaping maw on the other,

whilst the lone Cyclops at the Fred Hollows booth leers at me, speculative as a cannibal

considering the menu.

Even worse, an old menace has recently reappeared to threaten the shipping lanes & trade routes of the shopping centre and prey on the unwary voyager. There is little hope of resisting this creatures’ seductive songs, for it is none other than the mariners ancient foe, the Siren!

Yes, a perky girl has replaced Charybdis & Scylla at the main Charity Booth and there she has been successfully luring mariners onto the rocks all week.

Pert and curvaceous,

blue eyed and blond haired and habitually dressed in the shortest of short, flouncy skirts

or figure-hugging tights,

I have witnessed a number of otherwise

healthy young men develop a sudden

and inexplicable interest in charitable works.

*

Myself I have been fortunate so far,

as she has been still digesting her last victim

each time I’ve happened to walk past (the

timing must be precisely calculated)

but still I worry.

Will I be strong,

I ask myself

and resist the Siren’s fatal Song,

should she turn her attention

to me?

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

and the Church of the Universe.

A hundred and one house-hold uses!

(See attached booklet)

***

REALTY REALITY

•December 31, 2018 • Leave a Comment

REALTY REALITY

*

A High Priest of Profit

ascended the pulpit

to expound on the Doctrine

of Perpetual Growth.

More is More!” he told us,

& “The Bigger the Better!”

You can’t escape Progress

or fight City Hall!”

*

For Growth is inescapable,

he went on to explain,

a Great Force of Nature

like Gentrification or Gravity,

its’ tidal tug anchors us

to a solid foundation of Common-sense,

yes to the good, old solid-ground,

the basic bedrock of Materialism,

otherwise known

as Real Estate.

Invest in Land, folks”, he assured us,

They’re not making anymore!”

Perhaps not,” I replied from the pews,

But they are involved in a constant process

of infilling & subdividing,

an endless encroachment

on floodplains & skylines.

It’s the old Monopoly Game gone Mad,

you know the drill; chop down

all the trees & quickly fill your Square

with shoddy housing tracts

with lousy wiring

and gimcrack motels

clad in flammable facades,

so that next thing you know

there is a ‘Mysterious Fire’

and you’ve cleared the block nicely

for the next stage in ‘Urban Renewal’

and Greater Profits.”

*

So remember, Realty is Reality

and only Money Counts

and Subtracts (and Sub-contracts)

and Divides (& Conquers)

and Multiples,

and goes forth

& is fruitful

and devours the famished Earth.

*

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a Practised Performance Poet,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

He will be making a full report.

***