Paranoia is such an ugly word. It’s a bit like Obstreperous or Coagulant. Yet as we move deeper into the cold clutches of the 21st century, we seem more stricken by this paralyzing fear than ever before. It seems sometimes that everyone is out to get you. Even your friends are only your friends so that they can take advantage of your delicious marshmallow salad at social gatherings. There’s a rising tide of filth out there and it’s ready to sweep you away the moment you leave your house.
Take something like a simple breath mint. There was a time when the only pleasure in your life was sitting in the damp squalor of your tiny granny flat sucking a mint to relieve some of the vile bitter after-taste of life, but now, I fear that simple pleasure has been taken from you. Your innocent little mint now contains a list of chemicals that resembles a list of forgotten super-villains from the 1939 Batman comics: Acesulfame K, Aspartame, Phenylalanine, Sorbitol. All carcinogenic. Sorbitol even has the delightful possibility of causing “perforated colonic ulcers”. You see, Despondent Citizen, the Corporate Machine does not care about you like I do. When they scatter your cancer riddled ashes from the tops of their jagged fortresses, only I will lament the passing of a Dear Friend and True Hero.
Before you dash the short distance to your bathroom tap to wash the evil chemicals from your mouth with tap water, need I remind you what goes into our Municipal Milkshakes? I thought not. So lock yourself in your house, block off your water supply and for heaven’s sake don’t buy any more mints! (And if you do, purely for experimental purposes, do not under any circumstances use your credit card! That’s how THEY trace you!)
Lastly, those men in black suits that come knocking on your door wearing well-rehearsed smiles like death-masks are NOT Jehovah’s witnesses and those are NOT bibles in their briefcases!
So what choice do we have but to fear everyone and everything with all the mind-sapping power that we can muster? None, Cynical Cohorts. You have no choice. They have taken all your options away. The only choice you have is to trust me, Naïve and Vulnerable Sidekicks, because I am your only friend. I will never let you down. I will never fool around. And I would never ever manipulate you to fulfil my own Malignant Agenda.
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