The Plastic Hippo

January 3, 2013

Global domination

Filed under: Media,Walsall,World — theplastichippo @ 12:35 pm



Wordpress is a wonderful thing. It allows any idiot with an internet connection to rant and rave in cyberspace with impunity. It does not, however, inform its users of changes in blogging protocol but, on the other hand, does e-mail you with an end of year report. As if blogging was some sort of competition.

Thus, on New Year`s Eve, a e-mail pinged into the in box informing me of my performance during the preceding year. Obviously, this arrogant, self opinionated, vitriolic and far from humble blog would be nothing without WordPress as a platform for delivering bile to an unsuspecting universe. However, I would rather know why images keep disappearing from my posts rather than the number of views gleaned from Guernsey or the Isle of Man. Observant followers of this big-headed blather might have noticed that there have been issues related to stolen imagery of late. It was only the kind intervention of media mogul the Baron Blackstock of Hackney, Chuckery and The Yamyam that pointed this particular blogging idiot to a solution. For that, I am very grateful and remain astonished at the support that The Yamyam gives to this pompous and rancorous blog. It seems that there is a problem with my cache.

Previously, I had thought that a cache was where terrorists kept their small arms and squirrels kept their nuts in winter but it appears that a cache is something to do with memory; quite what it has to do with memory I have sadly forgotten. Mercifully, the good Baron has provided an idiots guide to transferring images and a number of other clever things that, hopefully, will make this foul home of invective less unwieldy. A number of “ghost posts” containing only a picture and a headline have appeared recently which have only been discovered after some innocent soul has been duped into reading them. For this, I offer a sincere apology and can assure readers that the “ghost posts” have been taken out and shot. Looking at the statistics provided by WordPress, it is clear that many more sincere apologies need to be addressed to hapless web surfers fraudulently directed to this poisonous blog.

A sneaking suspicion that some readers might not be tuning in for the purple prose, local interest or the day-to-day wallowing in Hatherton Lake began to surface some time ago when a piece of weak allegory involving travelling people and Aldridge attracted unusual interest. There was a sudden spike in page views from, of all places, Norway and even taking into account the spread of the Aldridge Diaspora, something strange was catching the attention of the good people of Oslo, Bergen, Tromso, Trondheim and Stavanger. Curious, I searched for news of Norway to explain this welcomed popularity and discovered that Norwegian television had, that night, screened a blockbuster movie that shares the title of a post about Nimbyism in Walsall. The same thing happened about a month later only this time in Mexico and later still in Greece. I can only imagine the disappointment and offer an unreserved apology to fans of the movie Mars Attacks.

Search engine terms also snare the unwary and given some of the bizarre and often disturbing things people are searching for, the disappointment of finding a political rant must be crushing. After the United Kingdom, the majority of traffic viewing this blog comes from English speaking former colonies and from Europe and I assume is generated by what we British call “ex-pats” rather than “thieving, scrounging foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs”. We tend to leave that kind of description for visitors and guests. But, with an albeit small audience in places like Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, this bitter rambling seems to travel beyond the borders of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. When the statistics reveal page views from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian Occupied Territories and the Syrian Arab Republic, watching the 10 o`clock news has a more meaningful resonance. Quite what these viewers make of snide criticism of a hopeless parochial local council is anybody`s guess.

There are, of course, territories that continue to resist the knockabout charm of the rants and raves contained in these pages with the images coming and going at will. Iran, China and most of the Stans are probably under government restriction and great swathes of Africa would rather have a water supply before internet connection. But there is one nation that has no excuse. As the WordPress world map fills up with colour indicating the number of hits on this blog, there is a bloody big grey hole in the middle of South America. Given the random nature of search engine referrals, it would be the action of a media whore to actively pursue this nation by littering a post with key words in a crude attempt to garner page views simply to complete the colouring in of South America.

As a completely unrelated aside, consider the wonderful Estado Plurinational de Bolivia, also known as Bulivya Mamallaqta in the Quechua language and as Wuliwya Suyu in the Aymara language. With Andean peaks in the west and the Amazon basin in the east, this proud nation boasts many fine cities including La Paz, Sucre, Potosi, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. As a champion of the campesinos, President Evo Morales rules his nation with dignity and pride. Visit the magnificent Lake Titicaca or take in a football match at the Estadio Hernando Siles and watch the national side captained by Ronald Raldes and managed by Xabier Azkargorta.

First we take Bolivia; then we take Greenland.

On New Year`s Day, tired of blockbuster movies, we sat and played board games. Chess, Scrabble and Monopoly brought out the killer instincts and I recalled playing Risk way into the night as a student. Back then, global domination did not involve the formatting of images only to have them disappear. Maybe I should stop worrying about ratings.

Come on Bolivia; where the bloody hell are you?



  1. Hippo

    Do not despair or desert your platform.

    Your website is easily accessed.

    You are read because you write brilliantly. That you also apply grammar, syntax and properly conducted research to your posts is an additional thrill for the anally retentive.

    From somewhere in Bolivia

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — January 3, 2013 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  2. What he said

    Comment by martin — January 3, 2013 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  3. Maybe I missed my end of year email, or, after reading this post, a confused woman called Katya in Warsaw got it and is wondering why search terms like “what bin do i put polystyrene in walsall” are leading people to her blog.

    You write really well. That’s why people read what you do. Being sadistic, I’d like to hear more of your suffering on reluctant dog walks. That’s just me though.

    Comment by kate Goodall — January 3, 2013 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  4. When I get home this evening I shall affix a plate to the wall of our house. Whilst I think that the naming of houses is pretentious the wife quite likes the idea. So, Bolivia it is. And, if she does not like it the rendering needs painting and we have already pondered on green. So, Greenland it could be. It may be pushing to manage both for you.

    Comment by Zummerset — January 4, 2013 @ 9:14 am | Reply

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