There’s a vivid phrase in common use, ‘Ass backwards’. Originating in America, it means the wrong way around.
A useful expression because, it turns out, most stuff is.
Take cities. They grew out of towns, their main purpose being places to live.
Yet we endlessly make them less livable in order to accommodate vehicles.
The purpose of food is to sustain us and to give us pleasure through taste and smell. So we design tomatoes and strawberries that travel just fine and look good but have no smell and taste like, well… crap.
Fast food tastes weird and too much of it’ll kill us.
See? Ass backwards.
Centuries ago, when groups of European entrepreneurs, working together to fund ships to trade in the Far East, developed an entity called a ‘Corporation’, it was a requirement of incorporation that the entity serve a public good, that is, the corporation’s purpose was to serve us.
Now, if the corporation wants us to live in the middle of the Sturt Stony Desert, well, it’s on your bike, mate.
Never mind that in the middle of the day it gets so hot that rocks melt, and in the middle of the night if you pee outside, it freezes before it hits the ground and you have to snap yourself off before walking away. That’s where you have to live if, say, oil is found there.
Ass backwards! Again.
We’ve got the centre/left party Labor fighting global warming by making corporations pay, while the centre/right Coalition plans to make taxpayers pay.
The purpose of entertainment is to divert us from the harsh realities of life. So our favourite entertainment is, yeah, sad isn’t it, ‘Reality’ TV.
But then we make the Reality TV totally unreal.
Double ass backwards!
Even the expression, ‘Ass backwards’ is, well, ass backwards, ‘cos that’s the way our asses mostly are. If we want to imply the wrong way around, it should be ‘Ass forwards’.
“But what the hay”, he said, with an eloquent shrug. “Like everything else, it’s just ass backwards!”