The Plastic Hippo

February 3, 2017

Street crime

handbag
The trauma, anxiety and adverse effects caused by street crime, particularly robbery, is dependent upon the psychological resilience and the physical and emotional health of the victim. Although each crime is unique and the reactions of victims may vary, there are common trends that apply to most victims of crime both during the robbery itself and the aftermath of the crisis.

Many victims report a sense of unreality as the crime is being perpetrated and in the moment find it difficult to believe that another human being is actually robbing them of valuable possessions. The initial instinct is to cling onto valuables with dear life until the realisation that direct or implied violence might threaten dear life itself. In retrospect, a robbery that in reality might last for seconds seems to last for hours as the emotional calamity is played out. The acute stress response sometimes characterised as “fight or flight” forces a split-second conflict between obvious feelings of anger and fear. Most targets of street crime tend to abandon possessions when faced directly by violence and threats of violence and fear almost always holds sway over anger. (more…)

January 31, 2017

Roll over…play dead

Birmingham Victoria Square 30/1/17 via Tom @positiveLad

Birmingham Victoria Square 30/1/17 via Tom @positive Lad

The darkest hour is not necessarily just before the dawn and it is possible to be surrounded by stygian gloom even in broad daylight. With the black dog of depression lying across the collective chest of humanity as hatred and ignorance flourish unchallenged, optimism and compassion is for fools and traitors asking questions will find the hot breath of Cerberus snapping at their heels. Perhaps the victors are correct and losers like me should get over it, move on and stop moaning.

I have attended enough rallies, marches and demonstrations and have signed enough worthy petitions to know that marching and demonstrating and signing petitions has a precisely zero effect in challenging injustice. An hour or so out in the cold or an occasional blister on the big toe might make the warrior feel a warm glow of self satisfaction but it has never saved children from being bombed by dictators. Signing a petition is now even easier as it allows militancy from the comfort of a device connected to the internet and saves the security services so much time in identifying individual threats to national security. (more…)

January 28, 2017

Executive disorders

trump-may
It might just be possible to take in the deluge of effluent pouring out of the White House during the first week of Trump`s presidency with open-mouthed incredulity.

Another reaction might be to simply deny that such madness is possible 17 years into the 21st century and hope that if we close our eyes and make a wish then the whole thing will turn out to be a bad dream. A third coping mechanism might be to dismiss the deranged collection of executive orders as meaningless posturing only intended to grab a passing headline and a fourth straw to clutch at is that all of Trump`s hatred is unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. It is relatively easy to explain and disregard Trump`s tub thumping as the product of a fragile ego, an unstable mind and a rather sad, desperate plea for attention. Sadly, the sorry spectacle of a British Prime Minister rushing to legitimise the descent into a new dark age is a fandango that is more difficult to fathom and one that will be difficult to forget. (more…)

January 18, 2017

Picking cherries

Filed under: History,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 4:30 am
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Exit pursued by a nightmare

Exit pursued by a nightmare

Thank heavens, thank goodness, thank all our lucky stars and thank you sweet baby Jesus for giving us at long last some clarity and a time scale as to how the British government is systematically taking leave of its senses.

The Conservative MP for Maidenhead who, through a combination of good fortune and good old-fashioned skulduggery woke up one morning to discover that she was Prime Minister, delivered a rather odd speech to fellow Tory ministers and bemused foreign ambassadors at the historically significant Lancaster House in that there London. Lancaster House, a mere diamond`s throw from the almost derelict Buckingham Palace, was the venue for various conferences that led to the independence of fine, upstanding incorruptible democracies such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe but is probably best remembered for a rousing speech given by one of Mrs May`s less emotionally stable predecessors extolling the virtues of the European Single Market. It is fair to say that in the end Margaret Thatcher had completely lost her mind (more…)

January 14, 2017

Risotto

Filed under: Cooking,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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rice If the weakness of the old is a stubborn and irrational reluctance to accept a shift in circumstance, then surly the strength of the young must be the wilful, recalcitrant ability to undergo a change of mind.

Friday morning dawned with the happy coincidence of a planned day off and the first significant snowfall of the winter. The plan had been to dispatch the less than eager sixth former to school and wave off to work the older virago career girl sibling, wait for rush hour to die down and then take a leisurely drive to a middle distant Shropshire market town for a nice day out. A glance at the weather and a quick look on social media confirmed that every motorist in possession of a valid licence but lacking any actual ability to drive was out on the roads sliding into things. The walk by the river, the pub lunch beside a roaring log fire and visits to a favourite butcher, baker, grocer and fancy delicatessen would have to wait until another less apocalyptic day.

Instead we climbed into coats, hats, scarves, gloves and wellies and went for a walk in the Arboretum. It was stunning. Dog walkers sniffed indignantly as if they had never seen a couple of geriatrics running around and throwing snowballs at each other before. Their dogs, however, like the barking mad Labrador I once walked in the marvellous Arbo, wanted to join the game. One miserable young bastard suggested that we were being “irresponsible” by lobbing snowballs up in the air for the dog to catch on the descent. The owner was annoyed because we made his dog “over-excited”. It seems that dogs and old people are not allowed to enjoy the snow. (more…)

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