Calmly, Sanely and Dispassionately Plotting the Destruction of All You Hold Dear

July 19, 2007

In National Smack a Child Week, everybody over the age of 35 would be expected to chastise at least one child every day. The purpose of this would be to teach the young that there is no justice on earth, and they must learn to adjust themselves to other people's convenience.         -Auberon Waugh

PERSIFLAGE is very often updated on Thursdays but sometimes it isn't. Learn to live with disappointment.


For Sale:Last Wednesday's weather forecast. Not accurate. $4 OBO. Box 48.
Wanted: person or persons to tie my shoelaces together in preparation for my hiking the Mantario trail this August (I heard it was a great way to meet guys!). I will pay you $2 a knot. Box 225.
For rent: a cottage cheese container that I found near Victoria Beach last year. Great view of the lake. Smells vaguely of cheese. Box 90.

Tips for Summer Living:

Tip #5:  When peeing in a lake you must be submerged to at least waist height.



Why not send us some mail? We love mail.

Stop Believing: A Guide to De-Programming

I once knew a guy who owned an Air Supply album. I won't name him here as serving up that kind of public embarassment might cause him to lose the crown of the beauty pageant in which he was recently victorious. I mention this only in order to illustrate that we have all, at one time, held views that we now know to be completely wrong. The interesting thing about this is: how did we finally wise up?

Did my friend listen to "All Out of Love" one day and realise that it was, in fact, considerably schmaltzier than he had previously believed? And from that realisation did he extrapolate to the point where he chucked the album and never mentioned the band again? Or did some chum, pal, amigo or acquaintance gently (or otherwise) point out that he was an idiot for liking them in the first place, mock him unmercifully, ignore his protestations that he only purchased it because of a girl he once liked, then roughly grab his precious platter smashing it to pieces on the edge of the stove all supposedly "for his own good"? By this forceful intervention my friend was, if a bit crudely, de-programmed.

De-programming is the process whereby someone is forced to stop believing something that is stupid. Most of us have have been de-prgorammed at one time or another. For instance, you, at one point in your life, probably believed in the existence of a fellow called Santa Claus. Now you no longer do. You are well aware that there is no such person. Probably this disbelief, this lack of belief, this sartori, or epiphany came upon you quite suddenly as a result of the actions of another person (most often an older sibling as they are natural de-programmers). When this occurred, no matter how recently, you were effectively de-programmed. If, on the other hand, you believed in this Santa Claus person until you read the above sentence then you are actually being de-programmed right now! Fun isn't it?

De-programming is a socially valuable thing. If it were not for some person willing to slap that pair of acid-wash jeans out of your hands, or drag you screaming from the Young Liberals meeting then all kinds of people would still believe all kinds of hogwash, hooey and tripe. Stupid ideas, creeds and belief systems often have to be forcibly ejected from susceptible skulls. These things, for whatever reason, seem to be harder to get rid of than an infestation of crabs (or so I hear).

But how, you may ask, is one de-programmed? What actually happens inside the brain that takes a stupid idea and makes it seem stupid to you? That is the subject for next week's installment:
Unscrewing the Screwed-Up Melon

Harmon E. Katz,
Professor of Advanced Brainiatrics
Hollywood University