Sunday, 10 April 2011

Being bad by being good.

I have been a very good, compliant and well-trained little citizen (stop laughing at the back there). No, honestly, I have. I actually sent the census form back, filled in.

Completely filled in. Every question. Even the ones that don't apply to me. Aren't I a good little citizen? I hope it doesn't confuse their computer and that my carelessness with cigarette ash doesn't affect the workings. Computer viruses are bad enough, but computer cancer is really serious stuff. They might get lumpy ventilator fans or wheezing speakers. I was generous enough to include a book advert too. No extra charge.

I also took it to the post office for a proof of posting because I know, if they want to make an easy thousand, all they have to do is pretend they didn't get it. That way they'll have the information and the money. Apparently a lot of local good citizens didn't trust the census creatures either, because the post office has had a lot of requests for proof of posting.

Lately I am mostly working at home and was on census day, so my means of travelling to work is... I just get out of bed and there it is. They had anticipated my query as to what consitutes a 'room' and provided a list which covered pretty much everything. Damn.

It had to go in. It's the only way I could get 'Smoker' recorded as a religion. The rest of it? Inconsequential drivel as far as I can see. They know how I earn money, it's on the tax forms although it doesn't ctually say 'rogue scientist' on those. Maybe this year. They know where I live because this is where they delivered the form and it's on the local council's lists, in the phone books and in the utility company records. They know I don't care at all about school provision because there are birth records. All the information is already recorded somewhere apart from how I get to work and that's useless because it depends what I'm working on. Sometimes I'm at home. Sometimes I get a bus to the lab. Sometimes I have to go to a meeting somewhere else and how I get there depends on who's paying for the trip.

So I sent it in. Captain Ranty is refusing and has a sound and logical reason to refuse. I know of others who have binned their forms too. I am not in lawful rebellion as such. I prefer to play their games, just not always by their rules. They expect the population to be stupid so they can hardly complain when one of us acts stupid, now can they?

There was a time when the signature on official forms was accompanied by 'I certify that the information contained herein is correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief'. Very specific legal terminology. This one said something along the lines of 'This is right, as far as I know'. Oooh, now that's a different declaration. It's been simplified to accommodate the drones who have been through the alleged education system, but it's now actually saying something different.

So when I signed that I was not certifying anything to the best of my knowledge and belief. I just shrugged and said 'As far as I know'.

All the complex legal language on forms is being simplified away. But it's not just jargon. It's a specific form of words that has legal meaning. Simplify it and you can lose the meaning, along with the legal implications of that meaning.

I don't know enough about specific legal language but it has to be worth finding out. There could be a lot of fun to be had with these dumbed-down forms in the future.

12 comments:

Captain Ranty said...

Oddly enough, Leggy, I AM playing by their rules.

It's just that the rules I am using are 796 years old.

It will be interesting to hear why those rules no longer apply, given that all of the conditions for their use have been met.

Ta for the link.

CR.

Stewart Cowan said...

A young man came to my door on Friday to ask about my census because I hadn't returned it, so I handed it to him as I had filled it in. He told me that it's okay as long as you fill out the first four pages. I asked him if he'd experienced any problems, but he said everyone had been willing to cooperate.

The only unconventional thing that I did (apart from forgetting to sign it - oops) was to declare my ethnicity as "human race."

Anonymous said...

I put "drone" as occupation.

J R Hartley said...

So, who were you, Martin Lockheed or Theo C Cupier?

Anonymous said...

I just thought, but if people are requesting postal proof of sending the form back to census, then who is to say that census has no postal proof the forms were sent to the addresses they said they were sent and if never returned back to them, then the claim could be made that one never received a census form to begin with.

Dick Puddlecote said...

They expect the population to be stupid so they can hardly complain when one of us acts stupid, now can they?

Yeah, I kinda did that. It was a right bloody mess. I'm sure their high-fallutin' scanning machines will have no problem, though. No problem at all. ;)

Leg-iron said...

CR - it dawned on me why the Christians get so much stick. A commenter mentioned it a while back and it finally gelled.

It's because they don't fight. They don't protest, they don't riot, they don't threaten to cut people's heads off.

When a group is organised and can be provoked into violence, they are easy to deal with. When they just say 'tsk' and carry on, there is nothing to fight them with.

So I don't face them in a straight fight I'd have no hope of winning, I go around.

They gave me weapons in the form of a dopey population who believe in all kinds of rubbish. I can use that. They want to demonise me, I'll be a demon. They want me to be stupid, I can act stupid. I've escaped fights in the past by pretending to be, shall we say, a bit simple. It's hard to get any answers out of someone who just shouts 'I like cake' at you.

Then drop in a phrase or two that won't register straight away. Such as staring at your hand and asking in desperate tones 'Am I still allowed to have fingers?'

They want mind games, I adore mind games. They want to stop me doing anything I regard as fun, I'll find new ways to have fun.

I don't have the patience for your route, I'm afraid. And I'm not much good at physical fights.

But I'm pretty good at messing up minds. Espeically if they've been pre-scrambled before I meet them ;)

Leg-iron said...

JR - I was just me. Well, one of me. I did think of putting all my personas as separate entities but decided the obsessive-compulsive approach was funnier. So I live here five times.

Leg-iron said...

Damn, I wish I'd thought of putting in my invisible friend. Too late now.

Leg-iron said...

Stewart - Census Wench did pop back and ask if I'd done it. I said yes and posted it a couple of days later.

Leg-iron said...

Anon - they had that covered here. Census Wench hand-delivered all the forms.

Chalcedon said...

I bet they won't dilute the certify bit on the tax form. They are out to get you if you make even a tiny mistake.

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