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The simple and the simple-minded.

Why oh why do some people try and sell you the most simple-minded solution to complex problems and then are shocked when you fail to come around to their way of seeing things? Be it refugees, climate change, economics and even religious rights to discriminate and slander.

It really pisses me off when I am confronted personally with a most gormless request to “see things my way” from an obviously “too lazy to make in-depth inquiries into a situation” person. Yet they are offended when confronted with my dismissive or cynical response to their foolish solution. Is this the future of topical discussion, where every citizen thinks themselves so certain of their opinion (usually fed to them from an obvious source), so they can go off half-cocked and then when shown evidence of their mistake (and fair enough, we all make mistakes) instead of giving (unseen in public even) a nod of agreeance and move on, they continue to hurl insult upon mistake and just get louder and more obnoxious until you have to tell them to get … you know what?

I can recall a moment back in my Darwin days in the 1970s, when I was a young man, waiting on the early-morning footpath for my scheduled pick-up to get to the job, feeling like there were at least half a dozen better pubs to be having a drink in at that very moment (there was no such thing as a right time to drink back then in Darwin!) when I was approached by a middle-aged man chewing casually on a short length of spear-grass. He stopped about two feet in front of me – a tad into my personal space – stared intently into my eyes for a longer than usual moment, then removing the stalk of grass slowly from his lips, he addressed me as such …

“Jesus is coming back.”

That was it. No “excuse me, but … ” No “can I have your attention for a bit?” Or even a “can I give you the heads up on this … ?” Nope, just the above unasked statement presumably for my future reference and elucidation.

Well, then, like now, I was no slouch with an appropriate retort. After that statement, he placed the stalk of speargrass back between his lips and continued to stare at me. I waited for the settled moment, then looking dead-pan into HIS eyes I replied …

“Well, he’s going to be f#cked if he tries to come up the Stuart Highway … it’s flooded in half a dozen places.”

With this reply, the man continued to stare deeply at me in silence, and I at him until he seemed to accept the logical truth “OF THE MOMENT” in my statement, decided there was nothing more to be gained in further conversation with such a philistine atheist, grunted, lowered his eyes, and moved on.

Now THAT was a person who could accept he made a mistake and got over it. But I have had arguments on this site and on Twitter where there is no resolution, just endless come-backs that descend into deeper and deeper insanity. There is a saying that when two dogs fight, the loser concedes territory and slinks away, but when two humans fight, the loser goes away and plots revenge. You’d think a logical, reasoned explanation would at least make one pause for thought before going to the next step of bumbling idiocy. It makes one wonder on the complex intrigues that bedevil the thought patterns of the simple and the simple-minded. What can one say?

Here is a proverb/parable (this is a true story, btw):

Proverb: “The dog runs a little, so too does the hare run a little.”

Parable: Angelo Pescari “had a woman on the sly”. His wife knew that, but he didn’t know she knew. ‘Til one evening she sent the kids over to her sisters and sat down with her husband for a “talk”.

“A what!!” Angelo jumped up in mock surprise.

“Sit down and stop the theatrics,” she spoke calmly.

“Who told you that?” he continued to bluff “The things you think”. He continued in vain seeking to regain his ground. But she knew and now he was sprung.

“Settle down … I’m not going to leave or divorce you or go into hysterics over it, see, I’m perfectly calm. All I’m asking is that you finish the affair and we go back to normal. Husband and wife. Agreed?”

After some more talking and seeing the futility of trying to proclaim his innocence, Angelo Pescari sighingly agreed to his wife’s request.

“Yes,” he said. He would terminate the affair immediately. But he didn’t! He continued seeing the woman after work sometimes and of course his wife found out again.

He arrived home late from “work” one evening as his wife was setting the dinner. She glanced wickedly at him.

“So, a hard day at work, eh?” she smiled.

“Why … yes … yes,” he hesitatingly answered.

“And a hard afternoon on the mistress?” She smiled wickedly again, he just stood there in dumbness. “Well” she continued, “you can have your little coquette – your lover – but then so too will I have mine. But the difference is, you see … I-don’t-even-have-to-leave-the-house!”

Angelo stood there open-mouthed and dumbfounded. His wife served the dinner. Nine months later she gave birth to a lovely, healthy boy. They didn’t separate or divorce but raised the child same as their others.

There are some people who just never learn.


  1. Freetasman

    Joseph, some people will never agree with the truth or the only correct answer if it is going against their own interests, as simple as that.

  2. Joseph Carli

    Free’…I remember when I was a child pleading my case with parents or teachers that ; ” I only did it because [xxxxxx] did it first!”…to which the standard trueism retort was ;”So if [xxxxxx] was to throw himself under the train would you as well?”
    I ask..if such simple logic can convince a child, what are the criteria for convincing an adult?

  3. Freetasman

    Joseph, child are innocent without malice and not to mention greed.
    In your example the adult will push some else like in the case of the politicians when send the soldiers to the front but they stay safe and home.
    If the soldiers died they are heros, if innocents people died will be a tragic result of collateral damage.
    The end result is that their own interest are saved and the victims helped their cause.

  4. John

    Apparently the high court have decided its perfectly legit for the government to use special funding to get the ABS to hold a non-binding opinion poll. Instead of doing their job and simply voting on the issue, the rwnj in abbot’s camp have forced the gov to waste millions and everyone’s time on this farce.

    I suggest if it’s to go ahead we should add a few more questions:
    are you in favour of a treaty with First Australians?
    do you support a citizens oversight committee on politician and public service remuneration?
    are you in favour of a banking RC?

  5. Roswell

    A delightful little read, Joe. On top of that, you write as if you were talking to someone. It’s like I’m sitting hear listening to you instead of running my eyes down a screen.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Roswell..Ta for the compliment…actually, that little anecdote at the end was related to me by someone who knew the family…some relationships are run on strange principles..but then, that was back in the know..the times…those times…But that short statement of the wife, where she said that she didn’t even have to leave the house.. if she wanted to have an affair..was a bloody good one!…with that one short phrase, she in effect cut off his patriarchal security..; The security of his wife in his castle..his home…she castrated his capability to control what she could do in her spare time…when a tradesman came to repair something…He could no longer be secure…it was very well phrased.

  7. wam

    The only reason that the rabbott destroyed gillard, apart from he tarzan she jane was simple slogans reflecting inaccurate info unless you counter with slogans belittling the rabbott and his merry men for lying cheating rorting you have to use complex ideas to show the errors of the slogans and that makes it too hard for understand.
    So panic merchants like husic, white-ants like fitzgibbon and the lemon scared shorten into dumping on gillard qed
    shorten cannot win office without winning back the workers who were spooked by the rabbott’s slogans.
    I think it is time to shake the rabbott’s pole on trumball’s strengths ie climate change, NBN and, for me, women by perhaps equal right to be married is simpler

    ps how do you stand on KISS???

  8. Joseph Carli

    Wam..I am certain that at times you deliberately speak in riddles..I have spent some time deciphering your cryptic script…but I have to concede defeat on your last line enquiring about my feeling “on KISS???”…Oh ..wait a minute…I see..KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid. I get it was the sudden slipping in of the anagram at the end that threw me…
    What do I think of KISS??…It has its place. but not in all applications.

  9. wam

    haha that is what my golfing friends think of my letters to the editor but it is ‘simple’ my finger writes faster than my brain each morning and night then I push ‘go’ dive into the pool to exercise and think of all the things I should have said.

    KISS(could be the Keep Implementing Simple Slogans that trumball ‘I am not into political slogan”) is a key to the rabbott’s win and is missing from labor who prefer to rely on a hope that not ‘leaving the house’ will get them pregnant not just rooted.

    In 1970, I was a teacher at Darwin High School and remember the animated drives to the ‘late night’ pub’, wouldn’t the breathalyser have run hot in those days? I have retired to nightcliff

    ps did you meet jack priore?

  10. Joseph Carli

    ” ps did you meet jack priore?” again with the cryptic..I notice a lack of capitals on that it a real person? I ask myself, or is it a clue?….on the first; I got to Darwin in Feb 1972, and left in that time I met any number of outrageous people, NONE of whom I now want to meet in person again! for the latter..: I quote the inestimable wisdom of Bertie Wooster..”I shouldn’t wonder”.

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