The Plastic Hippo

August 23, 2016

Medalling with worlds

Filed under: History,Media,Sport,World — theplastichippo @ 3:10 am
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1936 Olympics medal

For a global sporting event to be considered successful, it must be preceded by dire predictions of unfinished facilities, dangerous infrastructure, drug scandals, blatant corruption and civil unrest. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad delivered on all those requirements and surpassed previous Olympiads by throwing in the threat of a particularly nasty tropical disease. The first half of Rio 2016 will be remembered as the games that had everything. (more…)

July 28, 2016

Naked politics

Filed under: Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
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Ballot paper
It has been five weeks since the great European referendum that was expected, regardless of outcome, to change British and European politics forever. Remarkably, after a month and a longish weekend, there seems to be little evidence of any significant change other than the electorate being offered a rare glimpse of the actual workings of politics.

Obviously the tumultuous events of the referendum and its aftermath brought about a change of Prime Minister, a new Chancellor and a redefinition of Britain`s place in the world but a leaderless nation somehow managed to survive for a couple of weeks without a Prime Minister and for a number of years without a credible opposition. With the “Leave” camp expecting defeat and the unlikely alliance of “Remain” supporters confident of victory, the political mask has slipped now that the public has made its decision. The hysterical predictions of ruin and disaster spewing out from both sides during the referendum campaign certainly had an effect on the result with voters narrowly preferring the side who told the smallest lies. (more…)

June 2, 2016

Andalucia

Filed under: Fiction,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 1:59 am
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Generalissimo

Generalissimo

Muchachas y los amigos de España; the great kingdom of Spain faces an unprecedented existential crisis brought about by unregulated immigration actively encouraged by faceless, unelected Eurocrats. Spain is full and we must take back control of our borders. Many hard working Spanish families no longer recognise their own pueblito and Spanish is no longer the most commonly spoken language at the bodega or village fiesta. Clearly, high unemployment, financial deficit, debt and the appearance of Lionel Messi in the Panama Papers accused of tax avoidance are all directly linked to uncontrolled immigration and not anything at all to do with the performance of government.

So, to protect our God-given sovereignty and to regain our inalienable right to deflect attention from inadequacy by blaming a group of people who just happen to be foreign, we will introduce an Andalucian points based immigration system. (more…)

May 28, 2016

Facing forward in flats

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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Fred and Ginger

Fred and Ginger

Viewed from this considerable distance, watching Hollywood musicals produced in the 1930s is tinged with an indistinct melancholia. With sumptuous sets, casts of thousands, spectacular production numbers and improbably storylines, the golden age of RKO, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount and Warner Brothers portrays a fantasy world in stark contrast to the Great Depression that preceded the Second World War.

In these marvellous yet shallow movies, “ordinary” Americans pursuing the American dream would tap dance in penthouses the size of aircraft hangers; relax with cocktails by the pool, fly down to Rio; dress for diner with minor European royalty and always have a happy ending. A few precious nickels and dimes, or shillings and pennies, could in those dark days buy a couple of hours of escape from a harsh reality. Now, at this considerable distance, Busby Berkeley has been replaced by reality television as a means of escape. Sadly, this escape is based on watching people being thoroughly unpleasant as a form of entertainment and as a reassurance that there are, out there, people more unpleasant than us. (more…)

May 26, 2016

Schtum

This little piggy went to the Common Market

This little piggy went to the Common Market

Clearly David Cameron is facing a number of questions that require something approaching answers rather than his predicable, tiresome and carefully rehearsed weasel words.

Like all elected representatives in a supposedly mature and functioning democracy, the Prime Minister is answerable to the electorate at the ballot box but with questions regarding electoral fraud being firmly asked and robustly ignored, the certainty of legitimate parliamentary representation is far from certain. It is patently absurd to suggest that illegally spending pots of money in marginal constituencies during elections is anything other than an administrative oversight or an honest mistake which offers conclusive evidence that the Conservative Party still exhibits trace elements of the human race. Equally preposterous is the notion that by flooding marginal constituencies with young hooray Henrys dressed like their grandfathers and displaying a rather disturbing Bertie Wooster fetish, the voting intentions of the public would be swayed toward the nasty. (more…)

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