The Plastic Hippo

December 30, 2016

Annus horribilis

Via @christhebaker

Via @christhebaker

There are and will be many eloquent eulogies, obituaries and retrospectives of those who breathed their last during 2016 and although some might find the deification of dead celebrities somewhat mawkish, this years` harvest of notable souls has been almost relentless. It is statistically unlikely that 2016 has seen a spike in the demise of the not so rich and rich and famous but it does feel like a lot of the good ones have fallen off the perch and gone beyond and too many of the bad ones are still alive and kicking.

However, it is not just the loss of popular and even loved individuals that has cast a shadow over a blighted year. There is a more profound sense of grief when we consider what society has become. It is too simplistic to think that by electing a racist, sexist profiteer, the United States of America has lost its collective mind and by voting to leave the European Union, the entire population of the United Kingdom has taken leave of its senses. Whilst it is certainly true that Mrs Clinton won the popular vote and 27 per cent of the British electorate voted to defend the white cliffs of Dover by rushing headlong towards them without a plan to stop before plunging over the edge, not all gullible Lemmings are falling for the populist con artists. It would appear that at least some of those who wished to register a protest vote against established politics are now realising that perhaps a horrible mistake has been made.

Sadly, too much has been lost in 2016.

Established politicians have lost integrity, honour or any remnants of a sense of duty. Fringe politicians have lost common, human decency or any sense of shame in furthering hatred and division in order to satisfy their own base ambition. Emerging politicians who retain at least some honesty and compassion have lost the debate. Truth is lost and the news is false and nobody seems to care. The printed press and broadcast media have lost credibility and social media has lost its sense of humour.

We may mourn John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Rudolf Valentino and even Eva Peron if they have touched us with their words, craft and enigmatic charisma even if we could never know them. It is more difficult to grieve for Associação Chapecoense de Futebol or the artists formally known as the Red Army Choir or the nameless thousands lost in the Mediterranean because we have not grown up listening to or watching their art. Their families and friends, however, did.

Notoriety does not necessarily equate to greatness and talent is not always rewarded with fame. When Rothermere`s rancid rag describes Carrie Fisher as a “spaced-out princess” just hours after her death, presumably the scum that composed the headline hugged themselves with tumescent glee at combining addiction, mental illness and Star Wars. We can only hope that her family, especially her mother, were not exposed to the disgraceful Daily Mail. What will Dacre say of Debbie Reynolds and what will his hacks do to a grieving granddaughter? Will he see beyond a metal bikini? Probably not in a world brought about by invented sensationalism, gutter journalism and blatant dishonesty and is a world that is far, far away from empathy, sympathy and respect for the dead.

When Murdoch`s toilet tissue tabloid describes George Michael as “something special” the vermin that work for the nasty bastard forget about the names they called him and their attempts at hacking his phone when he was alive. Describing him as “troubled” and detailing his “turbulent” private life in gloating opprobrium, the tabloid trash were the main cause of the trouble and the avoidable turbulence. When George Michael suffered entrapment at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, he appeared on a UK chat show to explain himself. This prompted a letter to the Radio Times from a Church of England vicar. In his letter, the Christian minister suggested that society expected him to pray for George Michael. Instead, the Christian minister stated that he would pray for the Los Angeles Police Department. I hope the good vicar will pray for the souls of those that are poisoning our planet with hatred and ignorance.

For many and varied reasons, it will be good to see the back of 2016. However, it was not all bad and we should cling to what can still bring us together. We should take comfort in the panache of President Obama and the elegance of Michele Obama and the humility of Hillary Clinton in a defeat that is still questionable given the influence of the gangsters at the very top of the Russian government. In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for the princely sum of $7.2million. In the final month of 2016, President elect Trump gave away the United States to Vladimir Putin.

In the UK, 2016 will be remembered for the most useless Prime Minister since Lord North being replaced by an even more inept Prime Minister without a single vote being cast by a Conservative Party that resembles a variety of rabid rats fighting in a sack. Churchill was in favour of a united Europe but both Cameron and the equally shallow Theresa May are happy to sacrifice the national interest for short-term political leverage against a very small group of barking mad back-bench Tory MPs. We are, unfortunately, governed by idiots.

There is, mercifully, still some hope. The old bastards promoting hate and division will surely be visited by death especially if they continue to drink and smoke to prove their affinity with the common working man. Creepy ugly men who abuse women and indulge in fraud and treason will always be found out. It will not be long before the voters that placed these monsters into positions of power realise that they have been fooled by shysters. The old white racists hating foreigners will eventually become extinct but not before the heavily armed Trump supporters end up on the wrong end of a firearm during an important lesson in self-defence being given to a two-year-old grandchild.

The liars and the cheats will be exposed and if 2016 was an annus horribilis, then 2017 might turn out to be an annus mirabilis.


  1. Happy New Year Hippo. hanks for all your continued wonderful work and insight.

    Cheers yow

    Comment by BrownhillsBob — December 31, 2016 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  2. I echo Bobs sentiments but struggle to see a better year to come.

    Trump will run the worlds greatest corporate enterprise as a corporate enterprise. May will have to accept that the UK is the world equivalent of a risky business start up. Profiteers will make a fortune on the continued run on Sterling.

    Fraud, terrorism and the exploitation of immigration scares will be accelerated. But the corporate message will be different.

    It will likely suggest that us sheep need not fret. After all, why would we be worried when we have been so cared for?

    Across the globe, ordinary folks trying to make something of their situation will swallow this shit and die.

    Happy New Year

    Comment by The Realist — January 2, 2017 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

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