The Plastic Hippo

December 20, 2011


Filed under: History,Literature,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 11:27 pm

George Orwell was right. At the front end of negative growth, increasing deficit and the least worst option in a single Europe, we must agree to disagree that our government are giving 110 per cent in coming to a qualified conclusion in the fairly accurate fact that oxymora are the living dead in a post modern coalition.

The doublespeak employed by those that consider themselves fit to rule nations has become so double-plus-ungood that it is impossible to decipher any sense or meaning from the whispered shouting of despots reluctantly craving power. These humble servants of states and people talk of accurate estimates, anticipating the unexpected, cautious optimism and the necessary evil of the only choice. The use of oxymoron is not a planned accident.

When the dear leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il popped his clogs, state media in Pyongyang wept and wailed that he died of overwork and people were seen crying the streets. After inheriting that abused nation from his Dad, Kim Il-sung, he passes rule to his son, Kim Jong-un, now known as the great successor. The perfectly false oxymoron of a communist family dynasty is right up there with fighting for peace, all in this together and American military intelligence. Even as we mock the mass hysteria in North Korea, some sections of the press are comparing the death of Kim Jong-il to that of Lady Diana. This individual collective grief is beyond the imagination of even George Orwell.

Oxymoron, when used correctly, can be beautiful and when used accidentally, hilarious. Shakespeare was, of course, the master. Romeo says at the start of the play:
“Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first created;
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”

John Donne, also a bit of a clever bastard, could have been commenting on the current state of the banking system. In Devotions upon Emergent Occasions he says: “O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches!”

Winston Churchill, another who would have winced at the mention of fresh yoghurt, alcohol free beer and disposable income, could not have imagined the goings on in Pyongyang or even Whitehall when he said:
“Socialism would gather all power to the supreme party and party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of civil servants, no longer servants, no longer civil?”

Given the recent duplicity at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and at the Department of Work and Pensions, Churchill seems justified in his observation. Strangely, it wasn’t socialism but compassionate conservatism that allowed the bureaucrats to hit the poor in exchange for a lovely lunch paid for by the rich. A smiling Cameron has started a rather civil, civil war.

But, for pure comic genius, we have to turn to Sam Goldwyn. The film producer probably thought that oxymoron was a stupid bison and without any sense of irony and in total innocence offered us these pearls of wisdom:

“A hospital is no place to be sick.”

“Any man who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”

“Don’t worry about the war. It’s all over but the shooting.”
In a world of negative growth, defensive strikes, collateral damage, clean kills, smart bombs, friendly fire, Christian militias observing a partial ceasefire and the faithful blowing people up in the name of a peaceful God, oxymoron has become an instant classic. As Cameron returns from a Christmas photo op, one can only hope that his non-stop flight from Afghanistan will not stop in the UK and instead go to infinity and beyond. As he boldly goes, he and his spin doctors might find some sad amusement in constructing sound bites that include the words victimless crime, well preserved ruins, rap and music, religion and consensus, virgin birth and the greatest oxymoron of all:

Prime Minister David Cameron.

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