Good Marxists Are Anarchists

November 26, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM |

The Marx Brothers Trotsky hated anarchists. Anarchists do not belong in the corridors of power (which they seek to explode), or dark and dusty back rooms of evil-looking pubs, or marching in the streets, or in any organized gathering, in fact. “The anarchists have suffered as much as any minority from the historian’s cult of success. They never made a successful revolution. Their political theories are full of logical flaws and mistaken assumptions. The sympathy which one type of anarchist doctrine might have won has been lost by the ruthless and senseless violence and terrorism which was characteristic of another…

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Maxfield Parrish

November 25, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART |

(25 July 1870 to 30 March 1966) Parrish achieved his luminous effects via underpainting and treatment of oils with glazing, which accentuated the colours and finish to his works.  His landscapes are otherworldly (“Land of Make Believe” – see below – could be Tolkien’s or Peter Jackson’s Rivendell) but also very friendly, populated occasionally by unthreatening, androgynous figures.  He fell out of fashion with the advent of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s (Now, There’s a Turn Into a Blind Alley for you!) and his “sweetly rendered images of girls on rocks“* and other cutesy fare were deemed passé.  And yet…

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Learnings from Joe Biden

November 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS, THEATRE |

As we look forward to a hilarious four years of the Biden Administration (the last 3/4ths of which will probably be completed by President Harris), it is apt to consider the wise words of a statesman whose eloquence rivals that of Pericles, Cato, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Asoka, Jefferson, Lincoln, Disraeli, Churchill, FDR, De Gaulle, Mandela and Obama. We’ll set aside the instances of Joe being touchy (either in a tetchy way or a creepy way) or difficult matters like his 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that consigned millions of African Americans to life behind bars (“what I…

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Right Ho, Jeeves

(Written by P.G. Wodehouse) (1934) Your correspondent has a terrible confession to make.  The unburdening of this shocking secret, whilst cathartic, may very well lead to a global un-platforming. No, I haven’t been selling or buying on the Dark Web; I’m not a secret member of Antifa or Neo Nazis; I didn’t cast 134,000 votes for Joe Biden just before dawn the day after the U.S. election.  It is much worse: I recently read “Right Ho, Jeeves” and didn’t find it funny at all.  It’s about as funny as a child molester, actually. Which is not to say it isn’t…

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Caspar David Friedrich

November 20, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART |

(1774-1840) The strictly religious Pomeranian created some of the greatest landscapes of land and mind, leaving, not a fashionable school of design, but a romantic legacy that has moved later generations, including (alas) modern artists who were unable to draw.  His bleak world-view is encapsulated in his paintings, and some of the scenes of desolation and ruin are oddly prescient.  He at times recalls Poussin, Lorrain, Corot, even Constable, but he adds true Germanic gloom, revealing and half concealing a world whilst giving the viewer the impression of being beyond it. He made landscape, as painter David d’Angers observed, a…

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