American Pharaoh

The Mayor at the opening of the Lake Front Festival, 1973, showing his sartorial flair

Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation (by Adam Cohen & Elizabeth Taylor) (2000) What other book to buy in the south side of Chicago? TVC was only a few blocks from Bridgeport, where Richard J Daley lived and died, with his wife of five or so decades and 7 children, bog Irish and loyal to their neighbourhood to an insane degree, so loyal that they looked down on Irish families that moved to the suburbs, the ones so pretentious that they “had fruit in the house when nobody was sick,”  Having selected this and one other book, TVC…

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Organ Farm

May 20, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Glenelg Tigers v Adelaide Crows, Glenelg Oval, May 19, 2018 The Adelaide Crows and the AFL in general, continue to show its contempt for the SANFL and true SANFL teams. The Adelaide reserves team has some fine players, and several of them have been mined for the AFL brand, thereby denuding the team at SANFL level. They are the Crows’ “Organ Farm.”  But it is hard to avoid the thought that they don’t give a damn about the competition at this level, which is why they’re now regarded as ‘The Bye’.  The struggling Bays took the latest advantage of this…

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Butterfly on a Pin by Alannah Hill

It is wrong to judge an autobiography on the character of its subject.  It’s apparent from Australian fashion designer Alannah Hill’s memoir, Butterfly on a Pin, that she is melodramatic, rude, narcissistic, deliberately ignorant and Difficult to Get On With.  Hill says that she was molested no fewer than 4 times her in her youth.  She does not mention eating anything other than junk food and lollies. In her younger days she lied, forged and stole (“the next day I shoplifted a hammer”). She is obsessed with her son* and her dead mother (whom she spends much of her book demeaning).  She had an undoubtedly rotten childhood, has pulled-herself-up by her pretty bootstraps…

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Dollars for Dali

May 16, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

The Varnished Culture’s offices have its share of Dalí fans, certainly.  Yet we doubt that Trilogy of the desert: Mirage (1946) is one of his best pieces.  Still, Dalí is Dalí. In the wake of the artist’s 114th birthday on 11 May, the NGV has launched a crowd-funding campaign to acquire the piece, which might be a first for a major Australian gallery (we suppose that the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has, like all socialists, finally run out of other peoples’ money).  Here’s their pitch: “The National Gallery of Victoria has an extraordinary opportunity to become the first public collection in Australia…

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Eurovision 2018: Bet Against Logic and Taste

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Lisbon, May 2018 Israel claimed its 4th Eurovision victory in a stunningly predictable finale, where taste was defenestrated and trampled, writhing and squirming, on the Portugese cobbles below. The UK and Bulgaria had outstanding entries, and we give honourable mention to Estonia, Holland and Cyprus.  However, what with the jury vote and the televotes, bizarre results were in the cards. We liked Elina Nechayeva with her dress of many colours and the operatic aria, ‘La forza’ sung in Italian, but Estonia came in 8th. Bulgaria’s Equinox (see main image) featuring an East European Lady Gaga, had a dramatic pop-rocker called “Bones”…

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