The Plastic Hippo

August 26, 2013


Filed under: Media,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 12:31 am
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It was the great 18th century philosopher George Berkeley who first asked if sound is produced when a tree falls in a remote forest far away from any possible witnesses. Sadly, the founding father of subjective idealism and stalwart of Empiricism was not quite smart enough to answer his own question.

You might imagine that an entire week without a newspaper, any news broadcasts or access to the internet thingy would have an addicted information junkie huddled in a corner hugging knees and manically rocking convulsed with cold turkey. Strangely, the opposite was the case and Bishop Berkeley`s falling tree crashed without a sound much less any cry of “timber”. I didn`t hear it…I didn`t see it…it never happened. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

However, returning from a holiday away from constant media chatter and endless bad news stories brings the realisation that trees are falling like dominoes and there are echoes of bad things reverberating back as far as the original big bang. It seems that GCSE grades are down again this year and the odious little twerp Michael Gove blames teachers and young people for his failings. Quite how this creepy throwback manages to hold on to his job is a conundrum worthy of Berkeley. It seems that the nasty, vindictive and completely unnecessary bedroom tax will not reduce the national debt but will cost the exchequer and extra £1.5billion in housing benefit. It is worth pointing out that this common wealth will not go to housing benefit claimants but into the pockets of private landlords who already conspire to keep rents artificially high. It seems that the badger slaughter has begun and the cull of people with disabilities continues. It seems that HS2 will cost the earth and it seems that a former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police wants more secrecy to protect us from “terrorism”. Given the unimpeachable and impeccable record of the Metropolitan Police, presumably the “terrorists” we need to be protected from include the innocent people unlawfully killed by the Metropolitan Police. It is clear that national security would be compromised if the Met`s secrets were uncovered.

But of all the giant trees crashing in silence in unobserved forests, there is one that cannot be ignored. Men in power are using chemical weapons to destroy children. The fact that any human being could order or undertake such conscious barbarity negates thousands of years of philosophy and leaves us in situation where Neanderthals control weapons of mass destruction. What is even more terrifying is that the cave men are not just corrupt dictators or wild-eyed fanatics encouraging tribal schism, but are also elected representatives in so-called mature, western civilisation. On the anniversary of a speech by a certain Dr Martin Luther King, an African-American president condones the use of drones to kill children, keeps Guantanamo open and upholds the American myth of self-defence when confronted by the killing of Trayvon Martin. After the roaring success of the adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems the west are about to embark on military intervention in Syria and another third, or possibly fourth, crusade against “terror”.

In the UK, we have an utter buffoon by the name of William Hague who is so out of his depth that he is about half a mile from the nearest gene pool. This particular numbskull seems determined to make things worse in the mistaken belief that war makes things better. Having completely missed the point that the Syrian resistance against Assad is now controlled by Al-Qaeda and its associates in the Al Nusra Front, Hague wants to blow up Damascus, arm the people that want to kill us and sell loads of ordinance to nutters. Even though UN investigators have yet to reach the scene of the atrocity, Hague has decided who is to blame and his wisdom cannot be challenged because the evidence will, by now, have been “tampered with” or removed. One assumes that some fanatic goatherd is busy sandpapering away the words “Made in Birmingham” off the shell casings. When sabre rattling wins votes it is worth remembering that Syrian children are not registered to vote in the constituency of Richmond in Yorkshire and we should rejoice in the fact that William Hague has given the world a whole new definition of the meaning of idiot. Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, is enjoying yet another holiday at the tax payers expense and, like me, is probably enjoying being incommunicado. The difference is that I am not wealthy from daddy`s tax avoidance and I paid for my holiday. It seems I paid for Cameron`s holiday as well.

The know-all cleric Bishop George Berkeley might have kick-started empirical thought in Europe but is probably best remembered across the pond by having Berkeley, California named in his honour. Our American cousins, with a charming disregard for pronunciation, decided he was a “berk” rather than confront the sound of his bark. His tree has fallen silently; its rotten carcass riddled with parasites reducing the planet to mulch.

With what is happening, perhaps incommunicado is the best place to be.


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