The Plastic Hippo

December 24, 2013

Ring out, wild bells

Filed under: History,Literature,Music,Society — theplastichippo @ 10:10 pm
Tags:
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The larder is bulging with buy one get one free boxes of minced pies and the fridge is packed with poultry and trimmings; the last thing we need is some Middle Eastern, homeless refugee giving birth to yet another scrounging baby.

One day this child might grow up to become some ranting lunatic demanding equality, an end to war, freedom for all and might even suggest that the greed of individuals is less important than the benefit of the many. God forbid that this should come to pass and even more horrific is the thought that this anarchist should reside in Hackney, or Handsworth, or Govan, or Byker, or Moss Side, or Walsall or Westminster. A revolutionary daring to question the rich being rich and the poor being poor should not be something to spoil the adoration of our Christian decency when pushing each other out the way to get to the discounted brandy butter. (more…)

November 9, 2013

My Maserati does 185

Filed under: Literature,Politics,Transport,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 8:18 pm
Tags: ,
Image via comedyclowncar.co.uk

Image via comedyclowncar.co.uk

When young drivers and some older people who should know better, spend inordinate amounts of time, effort and money in turning their wheels into a statement, it seems unduly cruel to point out that the statement they are making is: “look at me, I`m a prat.”

False eyelashes on headlights, butterfly decals on a two-door hot-hatch and a parcel shelf full of teddy bears obscuring the rear-view mirror is, I`m afraid, in no way amusing or endearing. I recall observing the son of gullible neighbours spend a week or two “pimping his ride” as the urban cognoscenti would have it. Week one involved installing a sound system into the boot of a car that was considerably smaller than the bass bin being fitted. Rather than modify the four by twelve speaker, the nascent Jeremy Clarkson took an angle-grinder to the body work of an impressive Fiat Punto thus rendering his very expensive insurance premium null and void. His choice of a Drum and Bass CD to test the sound system had pigeons falling dead from the sky and disrupted the turn to final approach into Birmingham International Airport by a Boeing 777 inbound from Dubai. (more…)

September 16, 2013

W H Auden: an apology

Filed under: Literature,Politics — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
I`m sorry, I`m so so sorry

I`m sorry, I`m so so sorry

Stop all the clocks; sell off the Royal Mail,
Prevent the disabled from barking with juicy benefits,
Silence the poor with a muffled plastic bag
Bring out the coffin, the Liberal Democrats are dead.

Let drones circle bringing death to children
Scribbling on the sky the power of nuclear madness
Put gagging bows around the necks of charities,
Let G4S and Serco wear black leather gloves.

He failed the North, the South, the East and West,
The zero-hour working week, tuition fees and the rest
EMA, the NHS, green energy and the fracking song;
He thought that power would last forever: he was wrong.

The Liberal Democrats are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the fraud and dismantle the evidence regarding Cyril Smith;
Pollute the ocean and privatise the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

September 3, 2013

A political thesaurus

Filed under: Literature,Politics — theplastichippo @ 1:43 am
Roar, bellow, scream, yell, howl

Roar, bellow, scream, yell, howl

Given the rich complexity of the English language, as it develops and evolves to reflect the character of its speakers, it is difficult to have sympathy of those who mourn the passing of the correct spoken usage of words like “bad” and “wicked”. Remembering the words invented by Shakespeare that still remain in common speech, the really big difficulty is keeping up with a living language that is changing organically.

Having only recently mastered the use of “wicked” as meaning excellent and the use of “bad” as the complete opposite, young people tell me that these terms are now obsolete with the user becoming the object of derision. Those that cleave to the purity of English must despair as they hear it cleaved asunder by modern idiom. However, the English language has not popped its clogs, kicked the bucket and is not pushing up the daisies. Instead it is fit as a fiddle, the bee`s knees; as right as rain. Okay, we now need to shout “squee” rather that huzzah and the more energetic might be “twerking” instead of jitterbugging but what was once a heads up is now “buzzworthy” according to Oxford Dictionaries Online. With dictionaries now listing the word “omnishambles”, perhaps we should take a further look at what our erudite and verbose political masters are actually saying. (more…)

July 17, 2013

Yowsah yowsah yowsah

Filed under: Literature,Media,Sandwell,Walsall,West Bromwich,Wolverhampton — theplastichippo @ 2:38 am
Staying alive

Staying alive

According to the increasingly eccentric Express and Star, it is still not clear if Walsall suffered disco hate crime or smoke machine terrorism some two and a half years ago.

Under the headline “Walsall town centre alert sparked by smoke device”, the Wolverhampton based purveyor of cat litter and rabbit hutch lining ran a baffling story that abandoned the Five W principles of journalism in favour of an attempt to stoke up tension and fear in a community that has previously manifested little fear and tension. No less a towering figure of journalism than Rudyard Kipling summed up the Five W principles of Who and What and When and Where and Why and even added an H in his poem from the Just So Stories:

“I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”

Even if George Orwell described Kipling as a “prophet of British imperialism” and ignoring his disturbing obsession with Masonic ritual and a rather unhealthy interest in the Scouting Movement, old Rudyard came up with useful guide for journalists and, indeed, police officers. It might be illuminating to run the “Kipling Method” past the latest piece of Express and Star frippery invented to cause sensation or outrage or fury or anger. It would be easy to simply link to the tawdry piece but that would increase advertising revenue for the Swastika and suggest that the drivel was popular with the online readership. Instead, I will type the wretched thing out word for word but not disclose the identity of a man who has no right of reply. (more…)

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