The Plastic Hippo

May 13, 2014

Flag of convenience

Filed under: Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:02 am
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A bird on a spike

A bird on a spike

There is much to be admired when a nifty bit of lateral thinking neatly side-steps an obviously embarrassing problem. In the strange world of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, the invention of creative excuses is informed by a wonderful surrealism that would merit the municipal equivalent of the Turner Prize.

Even the most apathetic and innumerate Walsall council tax payer must have raised a quizzical eyebrow at the news that it costs 10 grand to move the flagpole that sits proudly atop the big house on Lichfield Street. In a moment of unusual lucidity, supreme leader Councillor Mike Bird said: (more…)

January 16, 2014

But for the grace of God

Grace and danger

Grace and danger

When a school or, more significantly, a chain of schools feels that it is necessary to appoint a Director of Corporate Development, you might be forgiven for wondering how such a post might improve teaching and learning.

Grace Academy Darlaston is a Specialist Business and Enterprise Academy and seems to have been specialising in diverting government funding into the pockets, wallets, purses and bank accounts of the enterprising business folk that recognise a money tree when they see one. Usually, newspapers tend to employ Freedom of Information requests as an alternative to actual journalism in order to fill columns with faux outrage, but the Guardian has managed to dig up some dirt that a lot of vested interests would prefer to remain buried. Academies, it seems, and especially Academy chains might not have the interests of pupils as the number one priority and instead might be more focussed on corporately developing the financial wellbeing of sponsors and trustees. The actual definition of the words “sponsor” and “trustee” at Grace Academy might be challenging for even the brightest A Star English student. (more…)

December 13, 2013

Dick Whittington meets Aladdin

Banksy rickshaw

Banksy rickshaw

This is obviously only a personal opinion, but I find pantomime vulgar, boring and profoundly unfunny. I have no interest in the Mayor of London or his wretched cat or the tawdry tale of Widow Twankey Cameron peddling the bodily fluids of pigs in Chinese laundries. Innuendo is best left to those who know which endo the “ue” goes in. (more…)

November 20, 2013

Feel the Noize

Filed under: Health,Music,Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 1:00 pm
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Screen grab via YouTube

Screen grab via YouTube

Parody can all too often be a blunt instrument when attempting to employ what passes for a sense of humour in a world ruled by an elite required to undergo a sense of humour by-pass.

The original premise of the Downfall Parody clips posted to YouTube was very clever, nicely crafted and rather funny. However, the endless repetition of the same joke adapted for football clubs, pop songs and the internet itself resulted in the genre eating itself with a Downfall Parody rant ranting about Downfall Parody rants. It stopped being funny but still has some millage. The actor selected to portray Joseph Goebbels, who stands in sinister silence behind Hitler, bears a striking resemblance to the Heath Secretary, a certain Jeremy Hunt.

There is not enough parody left in the world to direct at Jeremy Hunt. Hyperbole, sarcasm, analogy, ironic juxtaposition, metaphor, derision and cynical mockery will fly way above the head of this freeloading shyster. (more…)

November 9, 2013

My Maserati does 185

Filed under: Literature,Politics,Transport,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 8:18 pm
Tags: ,
Image via comedyclowncar.co.uk

Image via comedyclowncar.co.uk

When young drivers and some older people who should know better, spend inordinate amounts of time, effort and money in turning their wheels into a statement, it seems unduly cruel to point out that the statement they are making is: “look at me, I`m a prat.”

False eyelashes on headlights, butterfly decals on a two-door hot-hatch and a parcel shelf full of teddy bears obscuring the rear-view mirror is, I`m afraid, in no way amusing or endearing. I recall observing the son of gullible neighbours spend a week or two “pimping his ride” as the urban cognoscenti would have it. Week one involved installing a sound system into the boot of a car that was considerably smaller than the bass bin being fitted. Rather than modify the four by twelve speaker, the nascent Jeremy Clarkson took an angle-grinder to the body work of an impressive Fiat Punto thus rendering his very expensive insurance premium null and void. His choice of a Drum and Bass CD to test the sound system had pigeons falling dead from the sky and disrupted the turn to final approach into Birmingham International Airport by a Boeing 777 inbound from Dubai. (more…)

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