The Plastic Hippo

March 8, 2017

The End of Days

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:36 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image via Mattel

With not enough hours in the day to find or even keep up with real news and every day of the week bringing blizzards of falsehoods and distractions, thank goodness there are designated days, weeks, months and years of commemoration to keep us focussed on the inevitable passage of time. However, with so much to remember, the calendar can become congested requiring important dates to cosy up and time share.

During the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Kingston enjoys the honour of being the only city on the banks of the River Hull to be designated UK City of Culture for the whole of 2017. Hull will prosper from the legacy of London based “creatives” using the funding to recite Chaucer to groups of bewildered Kalahari Bushmen and then take the money and run. Like Derry-Londonderry before it, Kingston-upon-Hull is so good that they named it twice

The quiet dignity of National Bed Month might be overshadowed by Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month but half way through Fairtrade Fortnight we can still commemorate the importance of British Pie Week, National Apprenticeships Week, Endometriosis Week and National Conversation Week. During February we had Dignity Action Day, World Cancer Day, National Libraries Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Safer Internet Day, Toothache Day, National Pizza Day, Singles Awareness Day, World Encephalitis Day and World Thinking Day as well as Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Eating Disorders Awareness Week and numerous other special times of random kindness and charitable giving.

March has already given us World Book Day and we can look forward to the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to be held on the anniversary of the South African Sharpeville Massacre and, of course, Mother`s Day. In these days of gender equality, fairness, respect and equal opportunity, it seems incongruous that secretive and self-interested entities should insist on perpetuating with the outdated and unnecessary International Women`s Day which only serves as a distraction from our solemn duty to support pies, greetings cards and pizza.

With a female Queen, a female Prime Minister and even women newsreaders, it is clear that we have already gone beyond equality and are heading toward a world where anyone born without ovaries will be subjugated, oppressed and treated as a second class citizen. Proud Scotsmen must tremble in their kilts knowing that Nicola Sturgeon, Kazia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson are squabbling over the future of Scotland. Loyal and Republican men of the six counties will hardly be throwing their bowlers and berets into the air as Arleen Foster and Michelle O`Neill howl like banshees over green or orange energy. After discounting Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas, that leaves only the Labour Party and a single Kipper to defend the rights of man although not in a Tom Paine kind of way.

Jeremy Corbyn, however, is associated with Dianne Abbott who is a woman and is a woman loathed by the Conservative Party and its right wing media press office not because of her political beliefs or her often clumsy interventions but because she happens to be a woman and she also happens to be black.

The single Kipper is unlikely to survive in parliament after the two strange men who fund and run his strange party decided to brush him behind the fridge where no woman ever cleans. Carswell has been brilliantly successful in achieving his task. Defect to the Kippers and win the by election. Then destroy that strange party before defecting back to the Conservatives for a cushy peerage and a few non-executive directorships. Such cunning is worthy of a female mind.

In France, Marine Le Penn might take advantage as centre right male politicians make a total hash of everything by unusually thinking with their brains for a change and in Germany, Merkel has proved to be remarkably successful at governing without kissing goodbye to any level of human compassion. With so many powerful women running things, it would seem that International Women`s Day is an obsolete throw-back to a time when woman were not allowed to drive cars (for their own good) or vote (because they were unable to understand politics). Mercifully, it was left to Polish M.E.P. Janusz Korwin-Mikke to prove once and for all that it is not just British M.E.P.s who are incredibly stupid and not all Polish men are hard-working and very polite plumbers. Good old boy Janusz managed to stand upright to announce that women should not be paid the same as men because women are smaller, weaker and less intelligent than men. Clearly, International Women`s Day is no longer needed especially as the current leader of the free world has said some less than empowering things about women and has, it seems, been treating women in a less than respectful way. One hopes that this excludes his mother, his various wives and his daughters but with Donald Trump one can never be too sure.

Trump has said and probably done some very unpleasant things particularly when we consider his self-obsession, fragile ego, his documented misogyny and barley concealed fear of women. If we accept that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and give some credence to suggestions that Trump is somehow triggered into paranoia by even the slightest criticism, then International Women`s Day has never been more important than in 2017.

Thankfully, the congested calendar of awareness separates International Women`s Day with the official birthday of a feminist icon. The Barbie Doll was first launched at the American International Toy Fair on March 9th 1959 in New York City and we can only imagine what effect this adult shaped doll had on the 12-year-old Donald if we can imagine that his sister owned one. Since then, Barbie has overcome her unusual and probably debilitating body shape to become a fashion model, a fire fighter, a baseball player, an astronaut, a vet, a television journalist, a rock star, an army officer, an Olympic athlete, a dentist, an engineer, a pilot, a surgeon, a rap musician, a diplomat and, most interestingly, a presidential candidate. Since then, Donald has managed to survive on vast inherited wealth to become a tax avoider, a draft dodger, a fraudster, a liar, a television rabble-rouser and the 45th President of the United States of America.

The creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler who was the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants to the United States, died a very rich woman in 2002. She wanted to provide young girls with a doll that could stimulate imagination and encourage girls to strive to become anything they wanted to be. In later life, she also designed a more realistic prosthesis for women who, like her, endured breast cancer and radical mastectomy.

Barbie will be 58 one day after International Women`s Day. Maybe one day, in just less than four years, Barbie might be president. She cannot talk and is made of plastic but it would be an improvement on what we are seeing now.

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