The White Lotus

January 11, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

(Written and directed by Mike White) (HBO 2021) “Eating the lotos day by day, To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; … To muse and brood and live again in memory, With those old faces of our infancy Heap’d over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass.” (Tennyson, Song of the Lotos-Eaters) We don’t know if Alfred’s weird poem informed the consciousness of Mike White’s weird satire but we like to think so. This 6 part series, a sort of ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ meets…

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Pandemia

How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives (by Alex Berenson) (2021) This splendid book is both a comprehensive review of how the world got everything wrong about Covid-19 (or, if you have a conspiratorial bent, how the plague was weaponized by authoritarian forces to cow and terrify us into submission), and a story of how one man kept yelling from the back of the truck that this emperor had a spiked crown but no clothes. Or in his words, “how media hysteria, political partisanship, overreliance on unproven technology, and scientific illiteracy brought the United States and the…

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Don’t Look Up

December 31, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Adam McKay) (2021, Netflix) It’s a mongoloid meld of Melancholia with some David Attenborough tableaux and the arrayed stupidity of Burn After Reading. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a comet. Her enthusiasm, and that of her colleague, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio), wane when they figure out it will collide with the Earth in about six months. These boffins are babes in the wood, and when a NASA man (Rob Morgan) arranges for them to brief the White House, their deep concerns are brushed off by a distracted and chaotic administration. So the scientists do the next…

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Suddenly it’s Christmas (Reprise)

December 21, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Ulalume |

(Apologies to Loudon Wainwright III) Suddenly it’s Christmas, depending on your view, A time for winding-up and thereby going on the brew; In the north, they’re dressing warm and feeling rather nippy, Celebrating an illegitimate Jewish povo chippy. It is a time for contemplating meats of every kind, Chewing on God’s creatures, drinking oneself blind; ‘Tis the season, wear a mask and get that shot into your arm, Else men might come and haul you off to some dread animal farm.

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Don’t Juice Jussie!

December 12, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, LIFE, PETER'S WRITING, POLITICS |

The tribulations of Jussie Smollett (Dec. 21) or Faux Victimhood as Heroism (With apologies to Robert Southwell) As he in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow, Surprised he was with sudden heat which which made his heart to glow, And lifting up a fearful eye to view what men came near, Two white supremacists in MAGA hats did then appear; Who, armed with bleach and bearing noose, caused floods of tears to shed As though his floods should quench the flames which with his tears were fed. “Alas,” quoth he, “my Subway sandwich now in snowdrift lies, Though…

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