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…

Morpheus on… God Doth Not Maketh That – Sony Does

Religion is like Commerce – both have spread through our species like Cancer.

However, while Commerce is based on Technology – and Technology is based on Science – and Science is based on provable, repeatable Facts…

…Religion is based merely on myths, superstitions, legends and folk-tales. In short, Stories.

Thus, long-term, religion doesn’t have a prayer – so to speak.

Morpheus on… Why HMG Is Pushing Brexit

In a word – BRUSSELS.

First, an explanation of HMG for my foreign readers – and naïve Brits.

The UK is a ONE-PARTY state. It has two wings, Labour and Tory (left and right). And for the last century one of them has always been in power, with the other providing “opposition” – except IT NEVER DOES.

And thanks to a hundred years of GERRYMANDERING (? – Wiki it) this single party can and often does rule with little more than forty percent of the popular vote – while for a party to overturn its power would require SIXTY-odd percent.

Which is why, in living memory, the only two serious attempts to do so both ended in fiascos (the Gang Of Four in ’87 and Cleggy in ’00).

Thus HMG RULES – and seemingly will continue to do so for ANOTHER century.

But back in ’73, Ted The Teeth dragged Britain (without a referendum or any such nonsense) into what was then called The Common Market. Initially just a deal which would see easing of border restrictions regarding commerce, it soon merged Britain into the European Economic Community – then finally, the European Union.

And all the time, POWER LEECHED from Whitehall to the afore-mentioned seat of Europe – which, following the collapse of Communism, steadily grew larger.

Then came the Brexit Referendum.

Elsewhere in these ramblings, I have droned on about why the Leave Campaign succeeded. It is the same reason Trump is now US President.

FEAR – following a year of foreign terrorism which erroneously convinced the citizens that strengthening their borders would STOP it (Russia, Mercer, Farage, Bannon et al only INFLUENCED the votes – it was Paris, San Bernadino, Orlando, Nice and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray wot DONE it).

This is clear from the number of voters on both sides of The Pond who LIED to the pollsters over which way they were voting/had voted.

And now America has to wait until the Orange One gets NAILED by Robert Mueller (Sam The Eagle out of The Muppets) to LOSE him.

Or the Republican Party develops a SPINE and THROWS him out.

Or the US Congress invokes the 25th Amendment (he is hypomanic, with a side of narcissistic personality disorder – thus unfit for office).

Or him and Fatboy Kim start WW3 – in which case, Brexit will hardly MATTER.

But Britain is theoretically LUCKIER. All she has to do is look at the MONUMENTAL CATASTROPHE Brexit spells for her; the undoing of 43 years of trade deals, the re-imposition of the channel border, the decimated POUND and the myriad problems it will create for businesses, tourism and expat residents of Britain AND Europe.

Not to mention in the NEXT Scotland Referendum – they probably WILL leave us this time. Even LONDON has considered it.

So WHY OH WHY is HMG determined to push this nightmare THROUGH? And how come, despite his recent triumphs against Leggy May even CORBYN is insisting on it?

After all, HMG has no MANDATE – one point eight percent is hardly a significant majority. And there were enough dodgy dealings (the above-mentioned Russian interference, Mercer and his companies – and a bogus promise of 350 million quid a week to the NHS) in the lead-up to the vote to justify nulling the whole thing.

The reason can ONLY be POWER.

As described above, it is THAT which has been slowly devolving to Belgium – and Whitehall wants it BACK.

And they clearly do not care if Britain’s ordinary citizens get F**KED in the process…