The Plastic Hippo

June 3, 2017

Air sick


As the English language continues to gloriously expand and evolve, it has yet to create an adequate word or phrase to capture the true essence of what it means to be a spectator of political campaigning.

The German “schadenfreude” or the related “joie mauvaise” from the French describing an evil joy might explain taking pleasure at the misfortunes of others but does not quite capture the feeling of toe-curling discomfiture watching politicians dig holes armed with only sound bites and spurious facts and figures. Even the Spanish “verguenza ajena” which relates to the sublime if guilty delight of seeing total strangers making fools of themselves during episodes of vicarious embarrassment cannot fully encompass the feeling of wanting to look away even though continuing to look through fingers thrown across disbelieving eyes. The invented “freudenschade”, which cleverly flips the German original to mean expressing sorrow at the success or good fortune of other people, does not cut the linguistic mustard. The advantage of a snap election means that the inevitable gaffs, faux pas, howling examples of hysterical hypocrisy and moments of undiluted unmitigated madness are condensed into a few, brief weeks of something that has no satisfactory descriptor known within the English language. (more…)

May 30, 2017

What`s in a name?

Moses parts the waters via Reuters

We have reached the stage in the great scheme of things when anything unpleasant is deniable and anything requiring responsibility can be dismissed as the fault of others or due to circumstances beyond the control of those in control.

So when Chelsea player Victor Moses took a dive worthy of Tom Daley but completely unworthy of an FA Cup Final, referee Anthony Taylor was blameless in brandishing a second yellow card for such blatant cheating. Similarly, given the new offside ruling on players interfering with play, the referee was correct to allow Arsenal`s first goal from Alexis Sanchez even though Aaron Ramsey juggled the ball like a pub team goalkeeper in a howling gale before proving that he was not interfering with play by whispering that fact into the Chelsea goalkeeper`s ear. In a blame game, everyone is innocent.

When the computer system handling the bookings for the world`s favourite airline decides to go pop and emit a little cloud of blue smoke, it is reasonable in these days of machine error to allow the CEO to say nothing for three days and then emerge to state categorically that the IT glitch was over after a few minutes and that the living dead wandering the cavernous purgatory of Heathrow Terminal 5 would be compensated with a free bottle of water. (more…)

May 26, 2017

Which side are you on?

Via India Express and Reuters

I have to admit that until Monday evening, I had never heard of Ariana Grande and even now, more than 72 hours later, I remain completely unfamiliar with her work but recognise that her talent and status make her important as an icon and role model for adolescent girls and various other sections of society we are happy to place in pigeon holes. Sadly, for all her riches, fame and adulation, Ariana Grande will be remembered for giving a concert in Manchester that ended with the murders of children who only wanted to see their idol perform.

Each barbaric atrocity that takes the lives of innocents brings out the very best and the darkest worst of human nature. Again and again the emergency services rush towards horrific catastrophe without a thought of danger for themselves and overcome the human instinct to run away from harm. Instead, they provided rescue, care and comfort to total strangers. (more…)

May 19, 2017

Pen pals

Filed under: Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:01 am
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B.O.L.T.O.P.

In an age of brutally instant electronic communication, how pleasant and delightful it is to receive an actual letter through the post that is not a final demand, court summons or an invitation to the home owner or occupier to wave goodbye to varying amounts of money as part of a criminal scheme designed to separate the foolish from hard earned savings. It`s not every day that a real letter arrives and it is even rarer to find that the incoming missive has been signed by the actual Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is astonishing to think that a busy Prime Minister in the middle of an election campaign can find the time and make the effort to write to someone as unimportant and as insignificant as me. The Prime Minister has kissed the hand of the Queen, held hands with President Trump, shaken hands with a variety of dictators and has handed out all manner of lucrative favours to some very wealthy and therefore more important people than me, myself and I. With her own fair hand, she has signed a heartfelt epistle worthy of Saint Paul which has addressed me and only me.

In the days before correspondence became communication, it was considered polite to reply to letters…so here goes. (more…)

May 17, 2017

Yeah whatever

Filed under: Fiction,History,Music,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Image via dailyhaha

In a mature democracy, regardless of overwhelming evidence of reckless irresponsibility, any government deciding to deny voting rights to millions of citizens might appear a little harsh if not actually undemocratic. However, given the scale of blatant indolence, a woeful lack of awareness and an apathetic indifference worthy of sheep being driven to an abattoir, there is a group of wanton hedonists who deserve to be disenfranchised on the grounds of poor taste alone without even considering the total lack of respect, gratitude or accountability that they exhibit.

Embracing a lifestyle of binge drinking, drug-taking and promiscuity, it is obvious that for the good of the nation, anyone aged between 50 and 70 should not be allowed to vote or to stand in an election to public office. (more…)

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