ACCUSED Person charged with crime or offence. Try not to get accused of too much. Being hounded by MI5 is all very well for a little while, but it soon becomes exceedingly tiresome. Far better to be an accuser and accuse MI5 of hounding you, even if it’s not true – which, of course, it is not.
ACQUIESCE To comply; to admit without interrogation. Acquiescence is not encouraged in subversive circles unless, of course, it saves a lot trouble. It can certainly spare you an enormous amount of pain during interrogation. Admit everything: be remorseful; weep uncontrollably; call everybody sir.
AD NAUSEUM Latin term to describe anything that has continued to the point of nausea. E.g. Noel Edmonds.
ADZE A type of axe. But a far more exclusive word. Why be the 357th Mad Axe Murderer, when you can be the first Mad Adze Murderer? Exclusivity is the key¹. Make the spelling clear to the newspapers and make sure that the handle is fixed good and tight. There’s nothing worse than your adze-head flying off, mid-assassination and ruining the wallpaper.
1. Unless you’re trying to open a lock, in which case it’s probably a Yale.
AMBUSCADE Ambush. Conceal yourself in some bushes, wait for your victim to appear, leap out from your hiding-place yelling ‘This is an ambush – you’re surrounded’ and try not to look too embarrassed about the fact that you are alone.
Surrounding a victim is not easy for the solo subversive. You could try using mirrors, but beware – the reflections are indiscriminate. A subversive friend of mine was reduced to a gibbering wreck when faced with the multifarious images of his victim staring out at him from the 17 strategically placed mirrors that he’d forgotten all about.
Be certain of your reasons for wanting to attempt an ambush. Is kidnap the motive, or perhaps gang-violence? Perhaps you are just not very good at making friends and this is the nearest you ever get to normal social interaction. If the latter is true, you could always try to ambush a psychiatrist¹. (You will find this impossible during the summer months, unless you live in the Caribbean.)
1. If you do decide to detain a psychiatrist in this fashion, ensure that you have enough cash to pay his bill. Psychiatrists seldom accept cheques – nobody trusts a loony.
AMMUNITION The painful, nasty bit that fits inside the weapon: the bullet in the gun; the pebble in the catapult; the lie in the politician.
ANARCHY Lack of government within a state; lawlessness; confusion. Creating a state of anarchy is the penultimate aim of all subversion, because, only when this is achieved, can one move onto the ultimate aim of all subversion e.g. installing a government that represents all your own views¹.
In going about your legitimate subversive activities, you may be able to take the opportunity to accuse the government (or, more likely, the Parish Council) of ‘allowing a state of anarchy to exist’, which is both a damning indictment and the ideal springboard for your efforts to create such a state. As in all matters, the wise subversive must be wary of public opinion. The general perception of anarchy is not terribly good; it invariably receives a very bad press. There is little that the solo subversive can do about this – good P.R. men² are very expensive. If you are caught out and accused of being an anarchist yourself, try this argument – ‘In a truly Utopian State there would be no laws, as there would be no law-breakers. Hence, the truly Ideal State would be an anarchistic one. Just imagine that. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will live as one.’ If at all possible, attempt to end all public statements with a quote from John Lennon, but be prepared to paraphrase Salman Rushdie or Good Housekeeping in an emergency: it is unlikely to convince any but the terminally stupid, but might just work with a journalist.
1. Better still; install a government that is you.
2. Game of the Page – Spot The Oxymoron.
ARSON Crime of intentionally setting fire to property or possessions. Although burning things can be politically prudent, one has to accept that setting fire to the seat of our government is perhaps a little ambitious for the solo beginner. Try burning unpaid bills. Utility bills are a nice size in general and suitable for warming your hands by after you have been cut off.
ASSASSINATE To kill by treacherous violence, especially for reward. Don’t get involved in this sort of practice; it does not help your image. If you feel that you really must rid yourself of a troublesome person, try sending them somewhere with a message and then changing all the locks before they return.
Carefully plan an ambush: prepare maps, timetables, escape routes etc, and then think of 101 reasons why you should not go ahead with it.
Subject to legal advice, ‘The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion’ will return with the letter ‘B’ in 4 weeks time.
© Colin McQueen 2022
Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion – Index, is here.