Morpheus on… Naked Donald Trump

naked Donald Trump statue

“NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small,” a parks department spokesperson said. I wonder how long it took him to compose THAT.

Of course, when The Donald sees it – THEM; there are FIVE – he will FREAK!

He already displayed his LACK of humour (particularly when HE is the recipient) in 2011, when Seth Meyers ripped him a new one at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

I would NOT have wanted to be the one who broke the news about THIS to him…

Morpheus on… You Learn Something New Every Day…

We have all heard of “deforestation” – loss of trees. But here is one this scribbler only heard today and felt like sharing; “defenestration” – which is the act of falling (or being pushed) through a WINDOW.

Of course, “fenestra” is Latin for window, from which the French get their word fenêtre” (but then, you knew THAT, didn’t you?)

And thus, by extending it, we get My New Word.

Furthermore, by extending it even further, we can get auto-defenestration – which sounds so much cooler than jumping out of a window!

Morpheus on… The Ever-Lasting Light-Bulb

Thirteen years ago, on VT, this observer predicted The New LEDs would eventually replace all light-bulbs – and give us giant TV screens. And as usual, he was right.

But this is not about that. It is about the good old incandescent light-bulbs – a few of which were claimed to have lasted FOREVER. Well, for a number of decades anyway.

We all read those local newspaper reports on bulbs which granddads had installed in sheds before WW1 – and which had only now gone phut.

But those pieces were written by hack journalists who had no idea what they were talking about. However, having long ago earned a sheaf of City & Guilds electrical qualifications, THIS writer DOES know.

And the fact is – those accounts of ever-lasting lightbulbs were BOGUS.

You see, the way a bulb works is this; you take a thin wire (the filament) – install it in an envelope of glass, in which all of the air has been replaced by a gas which does not support combustion (burning) – then run current through it, which causes it to glow brightly. Simple.

However, while the filament may not immediately burn out, it does EVENTUALLY die through degradation.

But the time that will take can vary ENORMOUSLY. And it totally depends upon the BRIGHTNESS of the bulb – which in turn, depends on the ratio of voltage to filament.

What this means is that the DELICATE BALANCE which enables it to glow brightly enough to light – but also allows it to LAST a reasonable time – is only a FEW VOLTS.

Which is how “double-life” bulbs worked – their filaments were merely LONGER, meaning they burned DIMMER.

And the WIRE between your ring-main and an appliance also makes a DIFFERENCE.

Just like the bulb’s filament, it has RESISTANCE – which warms it up. And this uses POWER – which DROPS THE VOLTAGE.

Now assuming a standard lead – only a few feet long and with wire of an adequate SIZE – the voltage drop along its length will be MINIMAL.

But what you will ALWAYS find is that these so-called “everlasting” light-bulbs were at the end of a LONG lead!

Typically, the afore-mentioned garden sheds, plus remote stock-rooms in builders’ merchants’ yards, basements, cellars and the like.

Thus, while their light output – with nothing else to compare it with – seemed quite normal, they were actually running UNDER-VOLTAGE for all those decades.

And in so doing, merely gave the APPEARANCE of being extraordinary.

But no.

Sorry, granddad!

Morpheus on… Nigel Farage

History is filled with individuals who have made a Big Difference – Hitler, Stalin, Attila The Hun. And to that number, one can now add Farage.

For if he had never been born, it is highly likely that the Remain vote in the Brexit referendum would have WON by a whisker.

And the ramifications, both in Britain and world-wide, of what has become the end result – will be huge.

Already, the pound and western stock markets have taken a major beating and the descent continues.

The reasons for this fiasco are many, but in the main it was clearly Farage feeding on Britons’ fear of immigrants – and terrorists.

The latter effect needed no help from Farage. Since “7/7” there have only been a few half-arsed attacks in the UK – but everyone is just WAITING.

Not a question of if, but when.

However, in Europe and Stateside the carnage has been constant – and the Orlando atrocity occurred only JUST before the Brexit vote. And even though it had ZIP to do with the issue, it HAD to have influenced the result.

And as for immigrants, either way, leaving Europe will not change much – indeed, if anything it will make things WORSE.

Also to blame are Britain’s damned POLLSTERS. Having been WRONG about the Tories’ election victory, they were WRONG about the Brexit result. Both in the lead-up to the referendum – and even the exit poll.

On the night, most Britons went to bed believing the Remains had won. Only when the next day dawned did they discover the horrible truth.

And yet, the pollsters CONTINUE to distort reality; they claim most Leavers’ main reason for wanting to quit Europe was The Economy – with Immigration only being of secondary importance.

Well of course, those polled WOULD say that. How many are happy to admit – even to THEMSELVES – that they might be a little bit RACIST?

This is similar to how, in the Seventies, Japanese cars got a reputation for reliability in the UK. The TRUTH was that polled reps SAID that – rather than admit they had been SEDUCED by the Japanese manufacturers’ cunning plan to put “L” class TOYS in their entry-level models, “XL” in their “L” ones, “GXL” in… …and so on.

Anyhow, this is not about cassette-radios and electric door-mirrors – it is about the DISASTER engineered by Nigel Farage.

And now the deed has been done, there seems to be little political will to reverse it.

It would be easy, too. Until “Article 50” is officially lodged, the proceedings do not even start. Brexit was only a public opinion gauger.

Thus all the next PM would need to say is – “I believe that the narrow margin in the recent referendum provides an insufficient mandate to justify the drastic step of…(etc.)” and then point out that since the Brexit result, it is clear that if the entire UK population were polled TODAY, the Remainers would WELL outnumber the Leavers.

And at the moment, that is looking like Theresa “Maggie” May – although given the recent polling debacles, one should not rule out Andrea “True” Leadsom.

Both are dopey god-botherers; but May also helped screw up my last replacement passport, costing me HUNDREDS of pounds – so I am not a fan of HER.

However, my personal issues aside, BOTH of these hags have declared they will drag Britain kicking and screaming OUT of Europe.

So that is that, then.

And now Farage himself has QUIT – his work complete.

I wonder how long it will be before the conspiracy theorists begin to ask whether that work was purely his OWN…

Morpheus on… The Fallen

America has had a rough last twelve months or so.

And throughout it, Stephen Colbert has run a comic feature called The Fallen (based on “The Hunger Games”) detailing the SLEW of runners in the 2016 Presidential Race (most of them Republicans) who did not make it.

They have been: Scott Walker (not the singer) Rick Santorum, Rick “Oops” Perry, George Pataki (not Sulu) Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal (looks like an Indian Alfred E. Neuman) Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham (seriously – her?) Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina, (she should be on the stage – it leaves in five minutes) John Kasich, Ben Carson (a dopey psycho) Jeb (or JEB!) Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie (really?) Ted Cruz – and Bernie Sanders is now only hanging on by the skin of his teeth.

But to the dismay of many, Donald Trump is STILL GOING.

Then earlier this year, they lost five beloved celebs: David Bowie, Garry Shandling, Tom Mullica, Frank Sinatra Jr and Prince (the artist formerly known as Squiggle).

And woven throughout this period have been a SLEW of terrorist outrages: Brussels, Paris (twice) Orlando, Kotoko, Tripoli, Chattanooga, Copenhagen, Bangkok, Sana’a, Tunis, Garissa, Charleston, Kobanî, Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, Kuwait City, Kukawa, Khan Bani Saad, Kabul (twice in one month) Baghdad (constantly) Ankara, Sinai, Colorado Springs, San Bernadino, London, Mogadishu (often) Kandahar Airport, Kamishli, Baga, Istanbul (twice) Maiduguri, Garland and many, MANY others.

Of course, the African and Middle-Eastern incidents have been quickly forgotten, but Paris and the domestic ones have STUNG.

Then there are the plane crashes (America is a big country – so despite having to endure all SORTS of indignities, many Americans still have to FLY) which have included Germanwings 9525 (pilot suicide) TransAsia 235 (which provided the Interweb with a SPECTACULAR dashcam video) and EgyptAir 804 – the flight-recorder for which has now been recovered.

And finally, there has been the bemusement over Britain’s “Brexit” – and the apparent impending break-up of the UK and EU – which they call Europe.

But I’m BRITISH. Thus, my experience has been different – and MUCH WORSE.

For us, the 2016 US election run-up has proven to be merely HILARIOUS.

However, America’s five dead celebs were only the thin end of the wedge. Yes, we liked Garry Shandling, Frank Sinatra Jr and Tom Mullica too (although most of us thought Prince was a prat). But David Bowie was OURS. And during that two-month period, we also lost Keith Emerson, Paul Daniels, Alan Rickman, Lemmie, Sylvia Anderson, Terry Wogan, Ken Adam, Cliff Michelmore, Ed Stewart, Sir George Martin, Douglas Slocombe and Alan Haven.

Which was approximately one dead legend every FOUR DAYS.

While we are just WAITING for the next terrorist attack on Britain. It is not a question of if – merely WHEN.

And yes, OUR list of The Fallen is WAY bigger than America’s. The 2016 would-be poti (plural of POTUS?) Fallers were EXPECTED – and the Yanks only lost five celebs to our THIRTEEN (seventeen, including theirs).

It includes a SLEW of politicians. Following the 2015 General Election (the results of which the polling organisations proved SPECTACULARLY inept at predicting) ALL the leaders of the losing parties – Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage – up and RESIGNED (although Nigel later retracted).

Then we have the Fallers after Brexit (which AGAIN the pollsters SPECTACULARLY failed to predict). From hero to zero; Boris Johnson – GONE. British Prime Minister, David Cameron – GONE. Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn – like his American eq, ALSO hanging on by the skin of his teeth. Nigel Farage – bloody LAUGHING [next day update: now HE has gone – AGAIN].

Plus Britain and Europe THEMSELVES – as INSTITUTIONS – falling apart before our very EYES.

And in addition to all of the above Fallers are another group, who are peculiar to Britain; a SLEW of showbiz celebs who have been indicted, or at least interviewed, by the British police (see “Operation Yewtree” and other, similar ops) concerning an assortment of historical SEX offences – many against children.

This group is mostly unknown to Americans; it began with Gary Glitter, then took in Jimmy Savile – after which it spread to Dave Lee Travis, Max Clifford, Rolf Harris, Freddie Starr, Jim Davidson, Paul Gambaccini, Stuart Hall, William Roache, Jimmy Tarbuck, Jonathan King and Cliff Richard.

However, in the interests of fairness (and my not wanting to be sued) it must be said that some have since been VINDICATED.

Then there are those from the POLITICAL world. Anthony Blunt, Leon Brittan, Sir Cyril Smith and a SLEW of other “knights” – now including Clement Freud.

Plus some bizarre stories concerning old Ted Heath and his “Morning Cloud” have emerged – however, those beggar belief.

But this is not ABOUT them – it is about US. We, the people – who expect there to be certain CONSTANTS when it comes to the World. AND the figures, organisations, places, institutions and values that inhabit it.

And when all of that FALLS, we begin to PANIC.

Which results in the rise of people like Farage and Trump.

So what of the future?

Well, for Baby-Boomers such as m’self, our heroes will continue to peg out – they are all at least in their seventies now. And clearly the SLEW of them we lost earlier this year was just a statistical glitch. After all, the Stones are still around (Blues bands never die) – and half of the Beatles too.

And one SUPPOSES that America WILL see sense – and put Old Ma Clinton into the White House in a few months time. With all of that Trump hoopla (and them having previously elected a BLACK man whose middle name is Hussein – TWICE) it is easy to lose sight of the fact that she will be the FIRST US FEMALE PRESIDENT EVER.

Also, there is a LOT of resistance to Britain leaving Europe (with Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and even LONDON all threatening to SEPARATE from England; they voted AGAINST Brexit) – so maybe it will not happen.

But even if it does, life will go on (albeit with a MASSIVE SLEW of political and social upheavals, complications – and the occasional total and utter clusterf**k).

The main problem will be terrorism. ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram are CONCEPTS more than organisations. And every country has its own nut-jobs who just LOOK for legitimacy for their insanity. Thus it is hard to see what more can be done to counteract THEM.

So all in all, we will CONTINUE to “live in interesting times” (Wiki it).

Morpheus on… Reflections On “Brexit”

How the HELL did this happen?

DEMOCRACY, that’s how.

A dozen people in a commune can arrange their chairs in a circle and decide who does the washing up, where smoking will be permitted, etc. But translate that into a COUNTRY?

No. So you seek out a bunch of “experts” who promise to run your homeland – then vote for the ones who appear the least sleazy.

What you do NOT do is place that power DIRECTLY in the hands of The People. Why not? Because they are idiots.

The idea of running a Democratic country through a series of referenda has already been explored – in a film called “The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer” – except THAT was a political SATIRE.

If you actually DID it, you would also have to allow the proles to vote on what to vote on. This would result in a state of primitive brutality the like of which has not been seen since the Middle Ages (public hangings for pædophiles, etc.)

Of course, in Britain referenda are RARELY held – and when they are, the outcome is always clear (as with the Alternative Vote system in 2011 – and the previous attempt to divorce Europe, in 1975).

So what went WRONG this time?

Normally the British people are like sheep, bleating about their lot in life to anyone who will listen – then they bow their heads and comply with their lords and masters.

However, on this occasion their fear of CHANGE was overridden by their fear of IMMIGRATION and – TERRORISM.

Let us look at immigration first. Since Full Employment ended in the early Seventies, the British have looked for someone to blame. And ignoring greedy businessmen who have utilised automation and outsourcing to maximise their profits, they have turned on the progeny of the immigrants Britain WELCOMED in the Fifties.

Yes, unemployment IS Britain’s number one problem; but the cause of it lies in the workforce SYSTEM Britain’s fat-cats and politicians have evolved – not with those who live within it.

Which brings us to terrorism. America caused this mess – then dragged all of its bitches into it. And now, both we and they are dealing with the fallout.

Naturally, the knee-jerk reaction is to block ENTRY to your country, for people of certain ethnic groups – Fortress Britain. In America, Trump trumpets this daily.

But the fact that both places are ALREADY RIDDLED with potential domestic terrorists guarantees failure of that concept (“they’re here… in the HOUSE…”)

The answers to these two issues are highly complex and pulling out of Europe does NOTHING to help.

Then there are the economic issues; these would fill a book – a BIG one – but my dinner will be ready in twenty minutes, so I will simply point out that nearly all of the INFORMED financial experts have declared that any advantages to Leaving would be utterly outweighed by the advantages of STAYING.

But it is too damn late now.

Britain has been suckered into making a decision that she should never have been allowed to make in the first place – and she has monumentally BLOWN it.

Today, most people are too young to remember a time when two European countries were at WAR. The idea is absurd.

But just seven years before I was born (today, say 2009) EVERY country in Europe was picking up its remains after nearly a DECADE of knocking the CRAP out of each other. And for centuries before that, they had continually been doing likewise.

Yet right now, it is SEVENTY YEARS since such madness occurred.

Now, I am not suggesting that a break-up of Europe will precipitate WAR – Europe has moved ON since those days. However, those past squabbles STILL remain uppermost in the British psyche – and in those of the other EU countries.

And it is this DISUNITY that is Europe’s WEAKNESS.

America is primitive in comparison, but despite its many divisions (Red State/Blue State, North/South, East Coast/West Coast – and many ethnic schisms) when its back is against the wall, its UNITY makes it STRONG.

Therefore, America must be PISSING itself right now.

If, back in 2003, Blair had told The Monkey (George Wan… sorry, WaLker Bush) to go screw himself and dedicated his administration to forging stronger ties with Europe – and even suggested that Russia be allowed into NATO, as an “associate member” (“keep your friends close – and your enemies closer”) – he would be a HERO today (instead of a massive ZERO).

But the man was a plonker – and since his day, the window of opportunity has been closing. And now with Brexit, it has slammed SHUT.

The EU was like most marriages – not great, but better than the alternative.

I suspect that if the referendum were re-run today, there would be a major shift to REMAIN (the post-Brexit value of the Pound alone ought to be worth a couple of percentage points). But as it stands, the die has been cast.

Over the coming years, every time the word Brexit pops up in British conversation, those present – will HANG their heads…

Morpheus on… Cop Banter

Here are a couple of bits from a UK cop called Adey Hill, that amused Your Humble Scribe…

So I’m writing a ticket for a motorist. Motorist: “Shouldn’t you be out catching real criminals like rapist and murderers?”

I call Control Room on my radio: “I’m just dealing with a motorist – are there any rapes or murders on the active queue for me to deal with?”

Control Room (sounding slightly bemused): “Err… that’s a negative.”

Me: “Thanks. I’ll let him know he has my undivided attention.”

and…

Prisoner: “Why are you so fat?” (I wasn’t – it was my kit and anti-stab vest).

Me: “Because every time I sleep with your mum she gives me a biscuit!”

…Who says cops have no sense of humour?

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