The Plastic Hippo

January 20, 2017

Constant sorrow

Filed under: History,Media,Music,Politics,Rights,World — theplastichippo @ 3:54 am
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its-gonna-be-great
In an infinite, expanding and increasingly bizarre universe where strangeness and what once passed for normality have become blurred, the prospect of George Clooney forming a ZZ Top tribute band to perform at the inauguration of a racist con man as the President of the United States would, astonishingly, not be considered as much of a surprise.

The days when presidential indiscretions were quietly ignored are long gone and the American people have decided, with a little helpful persuasion from a former KGB gangster who is now a presidential gangster, that a shameless sexual predator who uses his fame to molest women is the right man for the job. It would seem that the cruel mockery of a journalist with disabilities is acceptable and that a deeply disturbing attitude towards his own daughter is, in some way, normal and that overt racism encouraging hatred is somehow appropriate in the second decade of the 21st century. When a president elect claims that he will be the greatest president ever created by God and gives responsibility for a massive arsenal of lethal weaponry to a character who likes to be known as “mad dog” and when that same president elect is happy to be endorsed by the KKK, then it might be time to start stocking up tinned foods, candles and toilet paper. (more…)

January 18, 2017

Picking cherries

Filed under: History,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 4:30 am
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Exit pursued by a nightmare

Exit pursued by a nightmare

Thank heavens, thank goodness, thank all our lucky stars and thank you sweet baby Jesus for giving us at long last some clarity and a time scale as to how the British government is systematically taking leave of its senses.

The Conservative MP for Maidenhead who, through a combination of good fortune and good old-fashioned skulduggery woke up one morning to discover that she was Prime Minister, delivered a rather odd speech to fellow Tory ministers and bemused foreign ambassadors at the historically significant Lancaster House in that there London. Lancaster House, a mere diamond`s throw from the almost derelict Buckingham Palace, was the venue for various conferences that led to the independence of fine, upstanding incorruptible democracies such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe but is probably best remembered for a rousing speech given by one of Mrs May`s less emotionally stable predecessors extolling the virtues of the European Single Market. It is fair to say that in the end Margaret Thatcher had completely lost her mind (more…)

January 16, 2017

Asteroid

Filed under: Fiction,Politics,Science,World — theplastichippo @ 1:59 am
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Incoming

Incoming

After a journey of trillions of miles taking thousands of light years, on Saturday 15th January 2017 an object about the size of a sofa originating in the Kuiper belt far beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune approached Earth at great speed.

Coming into existence during the formation of the solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, the small lump of rock originally ejected during the Jovian disruption of the then protoplanet that would become Jupiter, fell into an elliptical orbit around the sun travelling out far beyond the orbit of Pluto. The object slowed down as it approached the outer edge of the solar system only to accelerate as it returned toward the sun. Each long orbit over unimaginable periods of time brought the rock closer and closer to Earth. Now travelling at a velocity approaching the speed of light, a collision would result in serious repercussions for life on the planet. (more…)

January 14, 2017

Risotto

Filed under: Cooking,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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rice If the weakness of the old is a stubborn and irrational reluctance to accept a shift in circumstance, then surly the strength of the young must be the wilful, recalcitrant ability to undergo a change of mind.

Friday morning dawned with the happy coincidence of a planned day off and the first significant snowfall of the winter. The plan had been to dispatch the less than eager sixth former to school and wave off to work the older virago career girl sibling, wait for rush hour to die down and then take a leisurely drive to a middle distant Shropshire market town for a nice day out. A glance at the weather and a quick look on social media confirmed that every motorist in possession of a valid licence but lacking any actual ability to drive was out on the roads sliding into things. The walk by the river, the pub lunch beside a roaring log fire and visits to a favourite butcher, baker, grocer and fancy delicatessen would have to wait until another less apocalyptic day.

Instead we climbed into coats, hats, scarves, gloves and wellies and went for a walk in the Arboretum. It was stunning. Dog walkers sniffed indignantly as if they had never seen a couple of geriatrics running around and throwing snowballs at each other before. Their dogs, however, like the barking mad Labrador I once walked in the marvellous Arbo, wanted to join the game. One miserable young bastard suggested that we were being “irresponsible” by lobbing snowballs up in the air for the dog to catch on the descent. The owner was annoyed because we made his dog “over-excited”. It seems that dogs and old people are not allowed to enjoy the snow. (more…)

January 12, 2017

Go compare

Filed under: Cooking,History,Literature,Music,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:12 am
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Hello...goodbye

Hello…goodbye

Unless you are considering a purchase of, say, car insurance, an aubergine, a refrigerator, a holiday or a selection of racy under garments, arbitrary comparison can sometimes be futile. Obviously a soft aubergine should be avoided as should a refrigerator that keeps things warm and a vacation to the Sahara should not be taken if one is heat averse. Similarly, in a northern European maritime temperate climate, nothing beats a pair of Damart Long Johns when the central heating is on the blink.

Comparing inanimate objects might be of some value but comparing subjective taste and preference can be a futile exercise especially when asked to name a favourite. It might be possible to make a binary choice between Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, the Beatles or the Stones, Oasis or Blur or (for younger viewers) Ed Sheeran or Jack Garratt but to prefer one to the other imposes an artificial hierarchy. Shakespeare is not necessarily “better” than Christopher Marlowe; Rod Hull and Emu are not necessarily funnier than Bernie Clifton and his comedy ostrich and Lobster Thermidor served with a chilled 2005 Coche-DuryCorton-Charlemagne Grande Cru does not necessarily taste nicer than egg and chips accompanied by a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. (more…)

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