The Plastic Hippo

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…)

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March 30, 2017

Free at last

Filed under: Fiction,History,Law,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Hard Breakfast

Historians will undoubtedly look back and describe these exciting times that we are privileged to be living through as a glorious English Spring bringing about a bright political, economic and social future. At long last free from the shackles imposed by a faceless Brussels bureaucracy, we can march to the sunlit uplands confident that we are adored by the rest of the world and certain in our knowledge that Johnny Foreigner has at last been put in his place.

Given the dog-whistle ubiquity of social media, the practicality of flags, banners and anthems as muster points in a call to arms or a rallying focus in battle now seems rather quaint. It is now far easier to express steadfast patriotism from the anonymity of a keyboard and the symbolism of a raised standard or regimental colour has been reduced to a hash tag or avatar. A simple flag can represent the unity, strength, purpose and inherent values of an entire population even as an online avatar represents the opinion of an individual prepared to say anything outrageous in order to harvest attention.
(more…)

February 27, 2017

Imagine

cliff
Imagine that after defying all the odds and confounding both critics and supporters alike, you wake up to find that you have guided Leicester City to unexpected and ultimate success as Champions of the Premier League. Alternatively, imagine looking in the mirror and discovering that you are a Thai billionaire duty-free shop magnate with an interest in football that only extends to the amount of personal wealth that can be made. Just nine months after an astonishing sporting achievement, the loyalty of fans toward Claudio Ranieri seems undiminished unlike the loyalty of a chairman more interested in television revenues than fans and certain mediocre players more interested in the transfer market than loyalty to the manager.

Imagine waking up as “Sir Mo”, the darling of the tabloid press only to go back to bed as plain Mohamed after your coach has come under suspicion of being up to no good. (more…)

February 22, 2017

Who ate all the pies?

Filed under: Media,Sport — theplastichippo @ 3:05 am
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Image via BBC Sport

Image via BBC Sport

When the manufactured scandal has blown over and the dust has settled, the name of Sutton United`s reserve goalkeeper will return mercifully to deserved obscurity in about the same time as it takes to invent another scandal for the back pages of scurrilous tabloid rags.

In case you were not paying attention, the big story on Monday was not the Iraqi Army`s assault on Mosul or the Commons debating the Trump visit or the Lords debating Article 50 or even the sad death of Steve Hewlett which marked yet another loss of principled, intelligent and valued journalism. No, the big story was a fat man eating a pie at a football match. (more…)

December 14, 2016

Rogue One

Filed under: Media,Politics,Rights,Society,Sport,Transport,World — theplastichippo @ 11:50 pm
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Sky Walkers Crisps

Sky Walkers Crisps

When something outrageous or provocative is broadcast on television or radio, there is a simple solution that could avoid a dangerous increase in blood pressure, impotent fury and a desire to hit the domestic appliance with an unusually heavy object. The answer is easy; change channel or switch the bloody thing off.

If the irrational ranting of an anonymous blogger pretending to be a polypropylene even-toed ungulate river horse causes outrage of such incandescence that you are moved to quote the Daily Mail as fact, do not read the blog and look instead at pictures of cats. There is, by the way, no need for any Mollie Sugden references here thank you very much.

If you take umbrage at a total stranger on Twitter or Facebook and feel the need to threaten them with rape and or beheading then the problem might be residing in you rather than in the opinions you disagree with. Try getting out more and maybe attempt to find a girlfriend or, indeed, a boyfriend or, as a short-term measure, another actual human being capable of an actual conversation that aspires to more than basic grunting. (more…)

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