Sunday, August 31, 2008

The sad story of Encounter Bay

Once upon a time, there was a scenic little jetty beside a boat ramp on a picturesque and peaceful South Australian bay.
Children played on the little sandy beach beside the little wooden jetty. Pelicans sat on their favourite rocks, seven to thirteen of them, preening and snoozing and waiting for fishermen to cast away bait fish or fishtails. Elderly couples sat on the shore watching the birds and the sea, the islands, the sky, the timeless and serene view.
Even by night, the little jetty was a joy-bringing beauty - particularly in summer when the sea lay dead calm and the stars twinkled not only from above but from the water's inky mirror around the little jetty.

When a Council has something this exquisite within its bailiwick, there is really onlyone thing it can do.
Destroy it.
Who wants picture postcards in a resort town on the sea?

What we want is industrial views.

Little hobby fishing boats are not revenue for a Council. They may be pretty and pleasurable, but they don't compete with big boats.
So what we really need is a really big boat ramp for really big boats.
And we need facilities for those big boats. Carparks and parking meters and lighting.

And so it has come to pass that the City of Victor Harbor in South Australia has descided to destroy the prettiest picture in its album.

At the same time that it has erected signs warning people of the delicate ecology of the ancient reef in Encounter Bay, it has vandalised the bay in the name of - well, I am not sure what.

As the moves develop to respect the fragile nature of the intertidal marine ecology, and the fears about over-fishing lead to increased moves for marine parks, this Council has invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe a million, into providing access to huge, polluting motor boats.

Here in the bay where the mother whales bring their young in the winter.
Where, most mornings, I can see a seal rolling and playing and fishing along the reef line...this reef, described as a "nursery" for fish.

What the bay needs is diesel slick and bigger boats.

Well, it is what it will get.
And what it needs is less beach and more cars.

To that end, they have just bulldozed earth onto the beach - pushing the carpark out to sea.
Who owns the beach? I thought beach was common land and no one in this country had a right to destroy it, let alone impede people's access along it. The law has changed? I was wrong? It is Council land which may be infilled and used for other purposes at whim?

The pelicans which have been such a joy to all (and the subject of my photo website) and who have long lived on the round rocks of the shallows, have gone. Of course.

So have quite a few of the rocks themselves.

The excavations just get deeper and deeper and the boat ramp is looking as if it has been designed to accommodate oil tankers. Huge groins encircle a vast cavity whence towering black metal piers reach for the sky. These may be anchors for the industrial metal pontoons which the Council, with its high sense of aesthetic, has chosen to replace the wooden jetty.

We shall wait and see how it all looks when finished.
Perhaps we shall have to look to the art of Jeff Smart to see beauty in the industrial impact on this once-pretty bay.

Perhaps, however, we shall just have to avert our gaze and ponder sadly why any Council should wish to be remembered for such travesty.
Then again, people have short memories.
Perhaps, in a few years, only the pelicans will miss the old jetty.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Visuacy? Visuacy? Idiotuacy, I say.

Where do teachers get off, making up words?
They'd mark students down for making up a word and yet here they are, introducing "visuacy" not only as a word, but as a whole educational concept.
It's a travesty, or should I say "travestuacy".

The teachers are reported in The Australian to be creating this word to encompass a broadening span of education in the arts. It opens students to further possibilities in visual arts education - the possibility that they should see fashion models as art. This, of course, may extend to seeing Paris Hilton as art, for she is her own work of art, as we all know. Next students will be able to do PhD theses on Paris Hilton as an art object. Why not?
Already they study Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as part of the university English curriculum.
She, apparently, is preferable to the onerous erudition of those hideous "dead white men" responsible for that vast body of English literature.

So, we have the dumbed-down contempory teachers adapting education to what interests them, what they are able to deal with without the requirements of too much education of their own.

Students can forgo art galleries and dead classic artists for the joy of gossip magazines and young celebrity adornments. I daresay the fashion accessory puppy-carrier will be provided extensive source of study.

An academic called Mr Strong (dare I laugh that his name sounds as if it came straight out of that high literature, the Mr Men books)
has "called for the visual arts to form the basis of the national curriculum alongside English, maths and science, arguing that it had more of a right to be among the first curriculum to be developed than history".

Ditch history for visuacy?

Yes, siree. It's now and tomorrow, the great dumbed-down tomorrow shimmering with its indifference to the achievements and enlightenments of the past. The brave new world in which knowledge is excused by the fullstop statement "that was before my time".

Today's educationalists suggest that students should be able to look at Picasso's work alongside the pure and glorious art of lingerie ads like this one on WikiBuy. "Viewers can respond in different ways to each image in still enjoy both," says an arts professor, potentially relegating the great galleries of the world to dust-coated tombs.

As one commentator put it, this is like equating a ship's foghorn to a Beethoven symphony on the basis that they are both made of sound.

And who knows, "sounduacy" may indeed follow "visuacy" as the world steps backwards into a sea of trite - and idiotuacy becomes the outcome of an ever-declining education system.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How Seven sins

Like so many people, I'd really been looking forward to the Olympics.
Only once in every four years do I find myself glue with abid fascination to marathon cycle races, gymnastics, judo, swimming and equestrian events. That once is always an addictive joy. I defer other activities for Olympics-watching.

But here we are in Australia witgh Channel 7 providing coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. And it is just dire. It is the most lacklustre and crass coverage I have experienced.
The disappointment is immense.

Where are Roy and H.G.?
They were always the element which gave us a truly Aussie sense of involvement.
We were, I think, the only country in the world to be taking the mickey out of the Olympics and ourselves - with those well-informed and intelligent comics. We went without sleep in previous Olympics just to tune in to Roy and H.G.

This Olympics they are absent.

Channel 7 has made an executive decision - and has said that it has provided an alternative Olympics diversion, a morning panel show.
My god. How moronic do they think we are?
That lowbrow lineup of tedious egos is sheer insult.

The disappointments go on.

I needn't go in to the chopping and changing of the event coverage which leaves one never quite knowing outcomes unless we learn, retrospectively, that we won something.

Then there are the ads. They broke into the Opening Ceremony to place ads! How rude.

As for their talking heads, the Opening Ceremony commentators....oh deary me.

Shame, Seven. Shame.

Gold at the Olympics you are NOT.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Street View dilemmas

Google Maps have released Street View and caused quite a flurry in the world of citizen's rights and privacy. As we all leapt online to look at our homes and see just how well the Google camera cars performed, a general kerfuffle of anxiety erupted.
There is a lot of concern among some people about vulnerability to crooks "casing" their joints from afar, checking entrances and exits. Indeed, if one adds the satellite imagery to the street view, one does get a pretty comprehensive look at properties. A boon for the real estate trade. A boon for people trying to sell roofing, too, perhaps. But the general paranoia is a bit much, I think. The photos are old. They are not live. Car number plates and people's faces have been cleverly blurred. This is not spying. It is not Big Brother.
It is, however, a comprehensive mapping of the world. And it is a joy for squizzy people - for those who think they can tell a lot about a person by the house in which they live. I, as you can see, am decidedly secretive and inscrutable.

Things which fascinated me about this development were, firstly, the revelation (which somehow I have missed these last years) that Google Maps were in fact developed in Australia by Google's Sydney team.

Secondly, despite my unfortunate brush with Google guards when I went to pay homage to its home in Silicon Valley, my experience here in making contact with the media office to find out about Street View was unbelievably prompt and friendly and helpful.

I was a bit peeved, I have to say, when responses sought to the new facility were met with legal caution, criticisms of Australian privacy laws and of Google - and the call for reform of said privacy laws. It sort of took the wind out of my own sails - and demonstrates howone's own opinions so often end up buried under the informational process known as news-gathering.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A sentimental journey

My late grandfather kept moving further north - "for the air", he used to say. He ended up living in a small, dreary town in the middle of the wheat plains of the north. Hardly anyone has heard of Booborowie, a tiny little grid of streets out there in the vast agricultural no man's land. But why should they? I only discovered it because my old Pop chose to live out the last of his years there.

The other day, I made a sentimental pilgrimage back there.

Actually, it is relatively hard to find Booborowie at all. No roadsigns brag its presence out there amid the vast wheatfields. Even the GPS said it could not find it.
But we did, off the road between Burra and Spalding in the South Australian mid-north.
"We" were my husband, Bruce and I with our cherished friend Peter. The trip was prompted by Peter having to open an Antiques Festival in Burra - a job he did with immense wit from the stage of the Burra Institute Hall (which is probably the only theatre in the world which has a real, functioning fireplace on the stage). While Peter schmoozed with his adoring public, I took Bruce to see the old copper mines and some of the town's history before we all grabbed a sausage sizzle snag for lunch and went off in search of Booborowie.

The drive was a chance for me to recount stories of my grandfather and the strange, sour woman he married after my darling Nanna died. I loved Pop - but it was hard ever to really know him. He had been a bully as a husband and father, a braggard, a bigot, a loudmouth and a very generous man. He'd been the spoiled baby of a family of 7 and his big sisters always said he was still the spoiled baby, even when he was a ripe old man. He had some sweet characteristics - he could sing zany little ditties of bastardised Yiddish words to which he would dance a lively jig. And he was a terrific cook of sauces and pickles and jam. His Kryne was the best in the world. Actually, so was his tomato ketchup. He loved to do things first, biggest and best. He usually did - and we never heard the end of it.

When he retired as MD of a large meat and dairy produce company, he headed north, bought a beautiful small farm, and bred Border Leicester sheep with which he won all the blue ribbons there were to be won at the assorted agricultural shows. To the amusement of the other farmers, he had a miniature poodle which was very good at working the sheep, albeit superfluously, since Pop's flock came when he called them.

Tiring of sheep breeding, he moved further north to buy a gorgeous colonial mansion in a proud country town in a burgeoning wine area. Here, for many years he used other skills to restore antiques and historic items for the National Trust. He enjoyed being a sort of curator in one of the local Trust properties and loved to show people the objects he had so skilfully restored.

And then, to everyone's amazement, he announced that he and his surly wife were moving to Booborowie - which has to be one of the world's dead end towns. He had emphysema by then and said the dry air out there was the best in the world. And so he settled in and lived out his last decade in a dreary cream brick house in a little grid-plan settlement where even the streets could not dredge up interesting names. First, Second, Third...

Booborowie has a pub, a general store, a farm store, a sports oval, a primary school and about five churches. Its town sign says it has a population of 130.

But we saw none of them when we visited. I heard a cock crow. I saw a dog. But no living human being. Nor car.

It was truly like entering a ghost town - empty streets, store closed, pub deserted. There were some caravans with all signs of people camping on an empty lot near the pub. But neither man nor child was to be seen.

We drove around the town - once, twice, thrice. I could not remember the house that Pop used to live in - and wondered vaguely if his widow was still alive. She was 25 years younger than Pop. She could be. But she was not in the phone book. At least, not as Harris. Had she remarried? Probably.
She had hated Pop's family from the outset. She made our visits with him into very tense affairs. Since we always had a long drive to get there, he'd insist that she serve us at least a light lunch. She did so grudgingly and, oh my, she made sure they were light. One shave of chicken, a sliver of ham, a slice of tomato...

Poor woman. I think she was deeply disappointed in life. I am not quite sure why she hated us so much - but we were part of the package of her punishment.

Once we had paid for Pop's funeral and headstone, we politely retreated from her life - sad that she could never bring herself to share any of my grandmother's rings with us. Oh well.

So around and around Booborowie we getting cheeky in the realisation that there was not another car on the road. I could drive backwards and on the wrong side of the road - and I did.
We kept driving because we figured that, surely, there would be some sign of life. Surely?

Then, with absolutely nothing left of not much to see, we headed for the Booborowie Cemetery to pay homage to Pop. I knew the cemetery was out of town, but I had not recalled how far. It was 7 kilometres. That is a long way away to keep your dead. How odd.
But what a lovely graveyard out there in the place of the landscape - gums and parrots and grasshoppers.
It was our day's reward. And Pop's of course.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blog, Twitter, chat, snap...who can keep up?

When first I heard of Twitter, it simply sounded like a silly name and yet another thing to have to juggle online.
Let's face it, online life can start to overwhelm that other life. How many more elements of communication can we or need we take on?

Let's see, I started out with bulletin boards in the early 90s but swifty discovered IRC wherein many, many hours were richly consumed. OK, I admit it, I was one of those people with a drawer full of Jolt to swill down so that sleep did not interrupt the thrilling flow of conversation with my mysterious new best friends around the world.
What interesting people they were - and are.

Albiet that those days were full of techno glitschs such as "splits" and hackers and pervs. And, of course, there was the business of getting online at all - through the hiccups of dialup. Oh, what music to the ears was that little chirruping buzz of connection. I still feel a little surge when I hear it. But back then, if someone picked up the phone? Oh no. One's contact with the world was cut. I could not cope with the competition from students and geeks to get phonelines into my young backyard provider of the day, so I paid him to put in a dedicated phone line at his end for me. Thankyou Adrian Corston, for being the best provider of those early days.

Adrian moved on when the big guns began to fire and took me with him - to Internode where I have remained these many long years. They have been good to me and, in my role as a newspaper Internet writer, I was happy to spruik for them and send hundreds of customers their way. Still do. They remain the class act and I am proud of them.

For years, IRC remained a large part of my after-hours life since it is simply a rich world in which I met many good people. Friends for life. But the WWW was growing, email had changed out of sight. When I began it was Pine and it was clunky and nasty - like everything else. Heavens, all those DOS commands one had to key in to make anything happen at all.
Today's net users would never believe how tough and slow it all was. When The Louvre first came online, the first major visual arts entity on the WWW, I could cook a whole dinner in the time it took to download just one image. And I did. Regularly. Feeling richly rewarded at the sheer miracle of seeing that work of art on my computer screen.

As for the coke machine at Berkley - didn't we love waiting for someone to come along and order a coke so we could share in the amazing thrill of being flies on the wall?

A few years later, we all had cams and were talking to strangers and seeing their faces. We even set up live cam websites. I wonder whatever happened to my Sazicam site? Died of neglect?
I will never forget the vet with whom I used to chat in France - who used to turn his cam to the window and show me the magnificent mountains of his world. Magic. More forgettable were the silly wankers who would invite you for a chat only to show their engorged penises.

And here one began to worry about the nature of the Internet. Why did it bring all this ugly sexual frustration into the open? There were stupid pervs messaging one on IRC with obscene proposals. There were exhibitionists flashing on cams. Porn sites were springing up. Porn channels on IRC...
I found this all very demoralising. I am very positive about sex as a natural part of the scheme of things but I find people who have never managed to get their heads to higher planes not just sad and inadequate but intolerably dull.

The preoccupative tedium of the sex players on the Internet really brought the world down. It created issues for use by children. It dominated bandwidth. It made money when nothing else made money. Oh, woe, to lowest common denominators.

The phenomenon has not gone away.

The Internet has liberated not just sex, but a vast world of angry, spiteful morons whose pleasure in life is spamming the Internet with aggressive and ignorance comments, attacking thinking people, honest people, funny people - interesting people with something to say.
The lowest common denominator has found a high niche.

But we old Netizens plough on through the varying morasses, exploring the new applications devised by the brilliance of geekdom.

So, the first communities evolved - IRC groups, The Well, Howard Rheingold's Brainstorms, AOL and then Yahoo groups, web collectives with hobbies, occupations, illnesses in common. And it has not stopped.

Now we have Flickr communities and other photo-based entities, growing blissfully with the evolution of digital cameras and photoshopping. For every development, there is an online expansion. And the blogs, of course, the blogs.

I began this one when writing a feature about them. I figured I needed to have done it to write about it. And them, once I had done it, I had to keep doing it. From time to time.

Now I have three blogs...two here on Blogger and one for the newspaper. Then I have my spots in Brainstorms, which could be a full-time job if one had the time. Rheingold, the master student of the potential for and meaning of online communities, quietly runs the big daddy of them all, having brought together a diversity of people whose lives, interests and opinions are shared to an intense and now long-established degree. Perhaps, despite geography and eclectica, they now are more a family than a community.

And along came Stumbleupon. I love Stumbleupon. It takes longer to get to know one's friends in that medium, but the richness is the sharing of links and webpages, the setting up of blogs which can be just for beauty or just to make a strong point. Or both. Or humour. Or whatever. There's about a million Stumblers out there - 200 of them are on my "friend" list and another few hundred are sort of linked, with more to be discovered. The links we send each other, with or without running commentary, keep us busy reading and responding, and they keep us very well informed. We are powerful as a knowledge gathering and sharing entity. And the foundation of friendships thus forged, has a strong cerebral element.

I tend to be sporadic in all my Internet niches - since my other job in that real world involves a lot of writing in its own right. One can get writ out, so to speak.

And there is all the reading. I have to read a lot of communities...Alternet and Huffington, Salon and Wonkette, friends' blogs

MySpace arrived. I never cared for it. Loud and messy. But the young thrived for a while and the music industry found a powerful meeting place.
Facebook has worked better as community. Well, it is more of a network than a community.
But it has been bringing the communities under its wing - so now we Brainstormers and Stumblers and Flickr community people are networked in Facebook, perchance engaged in killer games of Scrabulous.

And from many levels we converge on one.

Wherein, Twitter rears its chirpy face again.
I had played with it early - and could not really see the point. How much information do we want to put out there? Who are we putting it out there for? Who cares?

Oh yes, I know the conspiracy theorists bristle and run for cover. They are not going to be suckered into all this exposure to the marketing giants. They may have a point.

Then again, we are now enlightened enough to be able to look at ourselves. The Internet was evolved with the idea of the free sharing of knowledge. This is the most wholesome concept there is.
The more knowledge, the healthier the world.

I am not sure how much the minutiae of my movements adds to all of this. Do I tell Twitter that I am happy because I am by the sea? Do I tell it that petrol pump calibrations are criminally rigged? Either or both seems to be the way to go.

I am receiving news bulletins from the media and personal snippets from friends and associates. I think it is all good.
But I am not sure how much is enough.
Or how one keeps up with it all.

Oh, dear, there are 64 Stumbles waiting for me....and did I check my email yet?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Big Brothers and little brains.

Big Brother has started again in Australia and, despite our better judgement, we are all looking in on it and checking out the new housemates.
Once again, it is a celebration of the lowest common denominator - a selection of the most vapid and unpleasant people.

Why do we want to waste time in observing them showing off in front of the cameras, playing drama queen, brandishing ignorance as if it is an achievement, proving how the English language is now completely rooted because they have no goddamn idea of pronouns or tense...?

I suspect it is because we love to have people to hate.

Two days into BB and I want to get half the housemates out of the house. I squirm with loathing and contempt. I want them to suffer. I want them brought down to size.

Perhaps I really want the makers of BB to suffer, too - since they have gradually manipulated a good concept and turned it into trash TV, pandering to a lewd, sub-brain demographic which has never read a newspaper let alone a book.

The producers have made an art form of finding people of that very ilk and promise them celebrity based on exposure of those very qualities. They seek the low, they exploit the low - and the rewards are high.

On so many levels, it is deeply demoralising. A hateful reflection on the values and aspirations of our society.

It certainly brings out the very worst in me.

And still I turn it on.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Olympic torch debacle

The Olympic torch relay should be canned.
In the last two Olympics, I recall perceiving it as a jealously-rivalled elitist exercise, a lot of fuss enabling selected people to show off for a moment here or there.

This Olympics, no one knows or cares who are the people getting to show off with a little torch dash. It is all about the Chinese goon guards "protecting" the torch - and, of course, the people protesting China's treatment of Tibet.
What a mess.

China, why can't you let us love you? What on earth are you thinking with the global turnoff you are engendering by sending these highly-trained military thugs around the world in the name of peace and sport? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

If it teaches us one thing, it is that the torch relay was always a grotesque piece of nationalistic overkill.
Let it not be forgotten, it was introduced by none other than Adolf Hitler!

This cartoon, so apt in its glorious ironies, has been doing the email rounds. I think the signature attributes Garison of the Milwaukee Sentinel.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Coorong so wronged

I saw a t-shirt emblazoned with the message STOLEN WATER GENERATION at Goolwa market on the weekend.
I wish I had bought it.
I am a member of the Stolen Water Generation. We all are, here in South Australia.
And there, right by the market was the sign of the stolen water. The swans were walking in the river. Yes, walking. In fact I walked in the river – quite a long way across dry mud to photograph a group of perplexed-looking ducks and pelicans sitting on an island that did not used to be there.

Whole new opportunistic weeds have flourished in that river mud. Dry earth plants which do not belong amid the thirsty reed beds.

We have watched for months as the lower reaches of the River Murray dried up. We try to make light of it – but deep down an anger is brewing. Things would not be so bad if it was not for our neighbours in Victoria. They are holding back the river water. Now paid off by the Federal Government, billions of dollars, to play fair with their neighbours, Victoria intends to keep its claws on the water supply for a full three more years while it puts in place various irrigation projects to give itself a “food bowl’’.
Meanwhile, next door in South Australia, our ecology continues to descend into critical crisis – possibly, at this stage, irreversible.
The Vics don’t care. The Vics have always had an odd “thing” about taking whatever they could from South Australia – be it events like the Grand Prix or ideas like festivals. Water is just another thing they can “steal”.

Not that Premier Steve Bracks and his people are altogether to blame for the river crisis. There are also the rice and cotton farmers of Queensland and NSW – sucking billions of litres of water from the Darling river basin - the upstream catchment. More lousy neighbours.

Australia should not be growing these crops at all. We are not environmentally suited. Here is the proof – the dry end of the river!

Last time I mentioned the profligate misuse of the national water resources by these farmers, I had some indignant letters from farmers’ wives. They see themselves as battlers scratching a living. The hell they are. Theirs is a recent crop in this country – and a disasterous one. Can’t they see that? They need to grow something environmentally sustainable – something suited to the conditions. To add insult to injury, Aussie rice is not even good rice, in my culinary opinion.

Of course, these farmers pay for water. And the lower reaches of the River Murray – the lakes and the once-magnificent Coorong pay dearly for their entitlement.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oh, God - thou ever was a forsaker.

On some days, one can barely bear to read the news.
Today is one such.
The utter, morally-bankrupt act of harnessing mentally-retarded people with bombs, sending them off to a pet market and then detonating them by remote control to kill and multilate countless humans and animals is simply beyond one's comprehension.

If war is repugnant, such acts of war are somewhere so far down the levels of intellectual squalor as to make one wish for the very thing one opposes - retribution. One wishes to put out the lights of those who seek to do such harm - to ensure that they stop doing it.

And they will argue that they have a God who directs their sub-bestial behaviour.
Ah, yes, in God's name.
If it is not one God, it is another.
And one knows it is all just so hopeless.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Time to kick a Vic?

For some reason the Vics have always had a fairly un-neighbourly attitude towards Adelaide. Indeed, one could say they are simply the pits as neighbours. The F1 pits.
They do border raids to steal our ideas, our events, our talent… They don’t want to share water with us.
And now, out of the blue, they throw insults at us.

We're a "backwater", eh?

Victoria, where are your manners?

Then again, maybe we should forgive them their boorishness because of their convict background. Were they abused when they were young?

Of course, Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith does not turn out to be much of a local hero in defending our state against this latest insult from the east.
The SAS superhero wants a bigger boy to defend us for him.
Premier Mike Rann should tell Brumby where to go, says Marty.
At the same time, he says it is all Mike Rann’s fault that Victoria's John Brumby has called us a backwater. Huh?
Buck-passing and finger-pointing all at once?
I, for one, expected better of our Marty.

But I guess he is just upset.
We have to get used to it, Marty.

Adelaide has been the brunt of the east’s limp idea of humour for aeons. It is all rather childish and ignorant – and there is a doubtless a lot of jealousy in much of the ribbing and japing we cop.
Whatever we have, they seem to want it – even our history. I have watched with absolute astonishment as so-called historians in the east simply make up the eastern-oriented “truths” just to escape mentioning South Australia. There is barely an arts administrator left here, so keenly do they steal them - not to mention festivals and car events, food and wine events...

And, as they plunder our wealth of ideas and talent, they have gratuitous digs at us.
It is all very irritating and disappointing from one’s fellow countryfolk.

What can we say?
Surely we would never sink to their level?

Well, I suspect we have to, if we are to be understood.

So, perhaps we should say to Victoria, very politely and in our poshest Adelaide accent:

We may be a backwater but at least we are not water hogs.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Forward this mail, now!

Who is the tediously irritating idiot who spends their time copying and pasting Internet funnies to dispatch as forwards - ever with a message on the bottom instructing the recipient to forward the mail?

* Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.
* Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, cause they know it's true.

Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle) other words, send it to everyone. We all need to smile every once in a while.

I betcha' you can't resist passing this one on!

*** A SMILE - worth passing along!!!! ***

And then, of course, there are those which come with threats of dire ill fortune if one does not onsend. These are of the ugly spirit of the evil chain letter - nothing less than sheer cruelty to the naive and gullible.
What torment the email must provide for such people - who live in mortal fear if they don't spam their friends and contacts with the latest piece of so-called humour or tear-jerking schmaltz.

I recall sadly the sight of a colleague who recieved a chain mail letter at work some many years ago. I had no idea of what a poor, superstitious, naive woman she was until I saw her run to the photocopier to run off 20 copies of the chain letter, envelope them up and pass them out to everyone else. Poor thing. Instead of being sorry for her, we were amused and mocked her by putting all the chain letters back into her pigeon hole. She then had 20 chain letters, each of which told her to send out 20 chain letters - and we was back at the photocpier in tears.
We realised we had not been funny.

There are people out there who are terrified of threatened bad luck. It eats away and them and dominates their world - until they bring it on.
These poor things need protected.
The rest of us need to be left a-bloody-lone.

And this applies to all funnies.
I love to received an email funny.
If I think it merits it, I may onsend it to a friend or two.
However, this is something I will decide.

I don't need these pesky halfwits telling me what to forward.
It turns me right off forwardikng and, sad to say, it makes me wonder about the friend who forwarded the mail in the first place.

Has the ease of the Internet's communications hset free a plague of ditzes?
Er, yes.

The senders of this nonsense are a plague upon bandwidth.
They are a plague upon intelligence and commonsense.