Morpheus on… ‘Twas In The Year Of ’52…

…when QE2 (Her Majesty, Elizabeth The Second, By The Grace Of God, Of The United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland And Of Her Other Realms And Territories Queen, Head Of The Commonwealth, Defender Of The Faith) ascended the throne.

…when “The Mousetrap” opened.

…when the UK’s Top Twenty Chart started.

…when “MAD Magazine” began.

…when this writer was born.

…and to date…WE ARE ALL STILL GOING!


Morpheus on… The Fight Of The Century

If you’re OLD like me, you’ll recall the Frankie Goes To Hollywood video of “Two Tribes”. For those unfamiliar with this masterpiece, it features an obvious President Of The United States mixing it up in a bare-knuckle ring with an obvious Russian Premier.

How much would YOU give to see the Trumpster and Fatboy Kim (sorry, Norm) in that ring today?

Morpheus on… Being Beaned By Falling Coconuts

One Fine, Balmy Afternoon… I found myself resting on the side of a little-used back-road on a tropical island. Slowly, the sound of the crickets merged with the buzz of an approaching engine. As my eyes strained to see through the blistering sunlight, I observed an oncoming motorbike, upon which were a man and a small child.

As was customary, the child was balanced on the tank, holding on to the middle of the handlebars. Indeed in those parts, it was not unusual to see entire FAMILIES on board the one machine. But this time, something wasn’t quite right. As the bike grew nearer, I observed that this man’s child was UGLY.

This child was SERIOUSLY ugly…this child was…a monkey. I was looking at A Man And His Monkey. The two waved as they passed and I waved back. It occurred to me it was a pity I was an atheist, or I could have looked skyward and said, “Take me now, oh Lord, for I have finally seen EVERYTHING.”

Later, I discovered that whilst rare, the vision I had seen was not unique. Around a hundred and fifty people a year are KILLED by falling COCONUTS – ten times the number killed by SHARKS (that figure is disputed by some – but then, 78.3% of statistics are just made up anyway) – and posh resorts don’t like being SUED.

Therefore, they hire men to cut down ripe coconuts before they fall. The men USED to send their KIDS up the trees, but when it was discovered monkeys could be trained to fulfil the task, the practice of using the unfortunate kids was BANNED. Not only were monkeys deemed to be more expendable than kids – they have a much stronger GRIP and thus are far less likely to fall anyway.

And I know all this to be TRUE. Aside from witnessing that Man And His Monkey going to work, I can vouch for a monkey’s grip. I’ve had my screenwash jets removed by one and I couldn’t even do that with PLIERS.

And as for the coconuts… okay, first they’re not nuts, but seeds. And said seeds do NOT grow as they appear in markets – small, brown and hairy – they have a thick, protective husk. The entire package weighs in at about six pounds (2.5 Kg) and grows at the top of a tree which reaches some SEVENTY FEET (20 metres plus).

And when the husks turn from green to brown they drop with a “THUNKK!” that can be felt through one’s feet from 100 yards (OR metres) away. Now I can’t be arsed to work out the kinetic energy involved (2.5 ergs per second per second times 20, then take away the number you first thought of…) but I’m here to tell you if one landed on your head it would friggin’ HURT.

So if YOU see The Man And His Monkey, the next time you’re on holiday in a tropical paradise, you better hope YOUR resort employs him. If not, keep looking UP – and if you see a palm tree with big BROWN husks at the top – don’t sit UNDER it!

Morpheus on… Jesus V. Elvis

Both men EXISTED – long ago.

Both had an entourage – Jesus; the Twelve Apostles – Elvis; the “Memphis Mafia”.

Both still have millions of followers.

The images of both can be found in living rooms, world-wide.

And occasionally, on toast.

Both had large followings in their time.

But only Jesus claimed to be the Son Of God.

Which is why Elvis is not responsible for millions of DEATHS.

Morpheus on… Do Animals Have A Sense Of “Goodness”?

The human brain has a number of levels.

At the bottom, lies data. Memories – our own and “race” memories (instincts).

Animals and computers also have these.

Then there are systems. Thought processes. Use of tools, etc.

Again, we share these with animals and computers.

But next come moral values (“goodness”) tastes, artistic talent, emotions, etc.

Which is where we LOSE computers. AI – forget it.

But what of animals?

Well, at the TOP level we have consciousness – self-awareness – sentience – a SOUL, if you like.

And while computers are still out of the loop, many higher animals seem to possess some measure of this.

It is impossible to prove, since animals lack LANGUAGE skills. They also think differently from us. They ARE different.

But given those higher animals are equipped with the lower levels of thought – IF they also possess the TOP one – then it would seem to follow that they must have SOME degree of the ones in the middle – RIGHT?


Morpheus on… Philips Records

After WW2, European electronics giant Philips decided to enter the record biz.

By that time, British recording giant EMI had SLIPPED as far as sound quality was concerned – their equipment being from the Thirties – so given Philips’ equipment was brand NEW, the newcomer managed to wrest the European distribution rights to American behemoth Columbia’s catalogue away from them.

This resulted in their enjoying a decade of ready-made, middle-of-the-road hits.

But as the contract’s end approached and Columbia made it known they intended releasing THEMSELVES when it did, Philips got off their arses and began trying to find TALENT.

Their best early signing was a folk trio called the Springfields. This comprised of Tom Springfield (Dion O’Brien) his sister Dusty (Mary) – and some other guy.

They had LOTS of hits around the turn of the Sixties, thus when they announced they were splitting up, a nation mourned.

But actually, it turned out to be a GOOD thing – Tom was a folk nut, while Dusty preferred SOUL.

And thus it was that Tom went off and discovered, then produced and wrote for an Australian folk group called the Seekers – who dominated the Sixties.

While Dusty hooked up with composer/producer/arranger Ivor Raymonde and between them, they gave Philips a series of belting soul hits that, along with numbers by failed US group the Walker Brothers (none of whom, like the Springfields, were actually named Walker) CARRIED Philips through the mid-Sixties.

Of course, all good things come to an end and like EMI, Decca and Pye, Philips lost the plot at the end of the Sixties (embarrassingly, they had to get EMI to press some copies of a one-off novelty smash called “Cinderella Rockefella” in 1968) and fizzled out during the Seventies.

But given the Season, here is a now-forgotten but at the time HUGELY successful Christmas hit from the Springfields. Come with me to 1961…

Morpheus on… Netflix Pushes BACK Against #metoo

It had to happen.

When the Kevin Spacey story broke, Netflix’s knee-jerk reaction was to DUMP season six of the U.S. “House Of Cards” – AND the movie, “Gore”.

The latter – a biopic of Gore Vidal (also a predominantly gay man) – was in post-production, meaning most of the money had been spent and it was nearly ready for release.

However, the former had only just started filming its final season – but Netflix had caught a BREAK.

Mirroring an earlier season-closer, season five had ended with F.U. on the OUTSIDE and C.U. in the Big Chair – and she had looked right down the camera and said, “MY turn!”

Thus many pointed out that the show could easily continue WITHOUT Spacey. And Netflix have now CONCEDED the point.

“House Of Cards” will RETURN – and even “Gore” may get released one day.

And so they should. Here’s the thing; while Spacey might have played the central character of the series, dumping the ENTIRE SHOW would have meant destroying an entity that provides work for a dozen other lead actors, a couple of dozen supporting actors, many more Background Artistes (extras) – plus a couple of HUNDRED people BEHIND the camera.

Writers, directors, designers, musicians, plasterers, painters, drivers, grips, camera operators, sound engineers, lighting engineers, honey-wagon drivers, doubles, voice coaches, stunt artists, editors, etc., etc., etc.

And while Spacey might have been naughty – they did NOTHING wrong.

Nor did the studio execs – who had millions invested in this project, at a time when Hollywood is STILL reeling from the effects of the ’08-9 Crash.

Plus millions of viewers, who had invested FIVE YEARS OF THEIR LIVES in the saga.

Imagine if the C.E.O. of G.M. were suddenly discovered to have a purple past – would millions of Chevys, Buicks and Caddies get recalled and CRUSHED? Of course not.

The offender would be put out to pasture – or stud – and a replacement found. Then business would carry on as usual.

Likewise, if an eighty-year-old woman suddenly announced Walt Disney had… …you get the picture. Snow White would be SAFE.

These days, seemingly half the men in showbiz look like being outed by the end of the year – but you cannot dump half THE BUSINESS as a result.

In any case, I know of ONE man who has a SLEW of accusers ranged against him – and HE still has a job.

I am speaking of one Donald J. Trump…