The Plastic Hippo

January 12, 2017

Go compare

Filed under: Cooking,History,Literature,Music,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:12 am
Tags: , , , , , ,


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. It depends on mood and circumstance or, as Einstein postulated, on relativity. In any case, Einstein was not necessarily as clever as Isaac Newton and because that is my opinion it must be true or at least not false in a 17th or possibly 18th century alternative universe.

Taste, decency and preference can, however, be applied to certain notable individuals and the difference between a Chicago night and a following morning in New York City can define the future of a nation and the future of the planet.

Compare and contrast the farewell address of the President of the United States of America delivered in Chicago to the first press conference given by the President Elect of the United States of America in Trump Tower only 12 or 14 hours later. Obama gave an articulate speech which glossed over his failures and emphasised his achievements yet had a logical thread of concern regarding the future of democracy and freedom after eight years of his occupancy of the White House. When he named the President Elect the partisan crowd began to boo. He stopped them and explained that such a reaction was undemocratic. He did not enflame the crowd or urge them to chant that an opponent should be locked up or that people with disabilities should be mocked and insulted or that any criticism should be countered with hysterical anger and insult.

With great dignity, compassion and intelligence he left America a better place than when he was elected to the highest of American office. Ironically, the failures he is accused of are not actually his failures. His sincere attempts to reform barbaric gun control law and his pledge to end torture at Guantanamo Bay were thwarted by Republicans in Congress and in the Senate. The United States is still an inherently racist society but Barak Obama dared to challenge the notion of racial supremacy. Compare and contrast the grace and love evident within his family to the new American nightmare of his successors` family.

If Obama`s departure was measured, mature and wise, Trump`s first press conference belonged to a different reality. Course, crude, anti-intellectual and bordering on the psychotic, Donald Trump can barely string a sentence together in anything remotely resembling the English language. “Yes… I am very brilliant…you know…it`s gonna be great…believe me…the Trump company is very, very big…trust me…yes…lawyers…who knows…give me a break…it`s gonna be very great…believe me.” When finally settling upon a sentence recognisable as grammatically correct, he will repeat it three or four times and, for emphasis, join his thumb and index finger in a circle to prove that he is in possession of an opposable thumb making him marginally less developed than an aging if still randy Orang-utan.

What is astonishing and equally disturbing is that this Trump clown is not being seriously challenged by politicians, the media or the public. He is allowed to shout down CNN and Buzzfeed and, frighteningly, threaten them with “consequences”. His false news, including Obama`s place of birth, Hillary Clinton`s adherence to the law, the involvement of the father of Ted Cruz (careful now) in the assassination of John F Kennedy and his assertion that all Mexicans are criminals and rapists are undeniably true in the very brilliant mind of Donald Trump who, interestingly, might yet face charges of rape in the Supreme Court. Now that Trump is on his knees in front of hard man Putin, false news of corruption and some very weird goings on with incontinent babushkas is, without being too crude, a little hard to swallow.

The more sordid accusations against the spoilt adolescent bully are probably invented. Like David Cameron`s alleged romantic tryst with the severed head of a dead pig, such scurrilous rumours are more to do with wishful thinking than actual fact. The problem facing the likes of Cameron and Trump is that there are sufficient people in the world who believe that such degenerate perversion is a possible habit of both elected and unelected rulers. Mercifully, Cameron has disappeared to count his money but Trump will have his grubby fingers on the nuclear launch codes in about eight days.

The departure of Obama and the terrifying ascendance of Trump is not necessarily the end of world. The end of the world will come about when we realise that right-wing, nationalist, racist gangsters taking over Europe are being funded and encouraged by right-wing, nationalist, racist gangsters in what was once called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Dasvidaniya Comrade Trump, I will be amazed if you survive to Easter.

A certain purveyor of car insurance allowed a TV commercial to pollute society by being incredibly annoying. When it was pointed out that millions of people found the ad to be irritating beyond belief; the advertising agency made the subsequent ads even more annoying. The result was the public recognised the brand before other more reputable and cheaper companies.

By comparison, always give your aubergine a squeeze.

1 Comment »

  1. For once, I will refrain from any attempt at humour and sarcasm.

    Obama was by no means perfect. But, over 8 years, he displayed a consistent level of integrity, genuine emotion and application that no President has previously achieved. Despite all that the Republicans threw at him, he managed to revive the economy, introduce some idea of a degree of collective responsibility and stay above the race issue.

    He got closer than anyone else ever has to the control of gun ownership. In the crazy world that constitutes US behaviour and politics, both internally and globally, these are no mean feats.

    But he seemed to be oblivious to his own parties moves. Endorsing Clinton was a big error, but not as big as Hilary’s sense of ego and entitlement. Coupled with the Democrats almost routine desire to self-destruct. Obamas lack of attention to more local party matter made the toxic Clinton re-grouping inevitable.

    Obama did not fail the USA. They failed.

    Comment by The Realist — January 12, 2017 @ 11:37 am | Reply

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