Gay, Straight, Other…Let’s Have an Adult Conversation on SSM

August 22, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Australian Politics, LIFE, METAPHYSICS, POLITICS |
Photo c/- Montrealais

Photo c/- Montrealais

[The Federal Parliament has seen fit to compromise upon its election policy of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, so that we are to get a postal survey or some such, in which the citizens can have a say and from which, possibly, legislative reform might ensue. There has been a considerable resistance to the move, on the grounds of cost, the non-binding nature of the poll, its vagueness and uncertainty, and the disharmony wreaked upon the minority by a national debate. Under the Constitution, the Federal Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to Marriage, Divorce and matrimonial…

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National Portrait Gallery

Quentin

(Canberra, August 2017) Having breasted the paint-stripping wind blowing down the mountain and off Lake Burley Griffin, we wondered if this monument would rise to emblematise a great reference of images, or just amount to a pantheon of nonentities crowding Our Island Story? Actually, the galleries are small, but occasionally choice, and sometimes a laugh riot.  Little hordes of schoolchildren swept through on the hour (Canberra’s array of free stuff means almost every week there’s opportunity for a teaching free day or two) and little lessons were delivered by earnest folks who knew not what they were saying. Fortunately, P was…

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Zulu

August 17, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, HISTORY, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
"The Defence of Rorke's Drift" by Alphonse de Neuville (1879-90)

"The Defence of Rorke's Drift" by Alphonse de Neuville (1879-90)

(Dir. Cy Endfield) (1963) This episode in the Anglo-Zulu War pitted some 4,500 against about 150, which shows how important fortifications (strategically useless) can be tactically decisive. The film is a pretty good treatment of the heroic skirmish, in which 11 Victorian Crosses were garnered, and great and good actors display stiff upper lips on both sides: we single out for praise Stanley Baker as the leader of the British defence (a much nicer role than his slimy turn in Accident), Michael Caine as the second in command, the wonderfully named Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead… …Nigel Green as the stern, stout Colour-Sergeant,…

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“Porcellino”

August 16, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA |
SydneyHospital_IlPorcellino_gobeirne

We rubbed this boar’s nose recently and popped some coins in the slot. This rococo sculpture was donated to Sydney Hospital by Clarissa Torrigani to commemorate her doctor father and brother who had worked there – it is described as the Wild Boar Fountain of Good Luck. It’s just down Macquarie Street from another cute little artwork: Matthew Flinders’ cat, outside the State Library.

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Parsifal Swans in to Sydney

August 15, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |
"Give me an hour, and you'll forget all about that silly mug..." (Temptation of Percival by Arthur Hacker, 1894)

"Give me an hour, and you'll forget all about that silly mug..." (Temptation of Percival by Arthur Hacker, 1894)

(Concert version, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, 14 August 2017) We landed in Sydney secure in the knowledge that Jonas Kaufmann was already here and in fine form.  Out initial impressions of Sydney town c. 2017 were as favourable as always, except for the subsequent days when “strategic, environmental burn-offs” doused all in plumes of thick blue smoke, smoke much less tasty than that found second-hand in a cigar bar. In any case: Parsifal. This, Wagner’s “work of farewell to the world” has managed to become P’s favourite Wagner Opera, despite Tristan, despite Meistersinger, yes, even despite the Ring. Its music is so…

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