Our Smoking Ruin

March 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, Ulalume |
"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by 
Topangahomeboy)

"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by Topangahomeboy)

South Australia – a Looper’s Paradise If you’re unlucky enough to live in (or almost as bad, be passing through) Australia’s benighted State, the coalmine canary of the Commonwealth, cheer yourself up by logging-on that superb website, SA Great [http://www.sagreat.com.au/].  You’ll be treated to a hard-to-navigate map and several invitations to submit an event, a business, a restaurant, a job, or a coupon (but not a complaint, not an idea). Adelaide closes down for a couple of months every year to host a stock car race (that ‘climaxes’ today), a pallid homage to the Formula-1 Grand Prix that we used to hold (annoyingly)…

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TVC Caption Contest # 2

February 25, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, LIFE |
Las_MeninasX

For this contest, we offer “Las Meninas” by the sublime Spanish painter (and legendary snob) Diego Velázquez (1656) hung at Museo del Prado, Madrid. Please send us your suggested caption. Some inspiration may be drawn from our review of a book dedicated to the meaning of this royal Spanish domestic scene… The best three selections will receive prominent publication (with attribution, or anonymously if you prefer) and a unique TVC artefact!. You will need to send us your email address and postal address (no, we will not publish those and we do not spam).. T’s and C’s: The Varnished Culture is Marshall Tito in…

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Our First Caption Contest – Results

February 18, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART |
The_Love_Letter_-_Jan_Vermeer_van_Delft(X)

We asked readers to suggest a caption to “The Love Letter” by Johannes Vermeer. The Varnished Culture liked Al Taylor’s “Just let me finish my beer“, Sharona Altman’s “Do you wrap?,” Patricia Anne Carlisle’s joyous “Recess – time to play!” and of course the Picnic at Hanging Rock reference by anonymous: “My notice, ma’am.” But the winners, the three best entries, were decided to be, in alphabetical order: Jesse Luke: “My g string is a little tight.” Alicia Webb: “It’s not what it looks like…” Joe Webb: “My dear…It may have been silent…But you should go check your undies.” (We…

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Ruskin’s Rocks

February 8, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, Non-Fiction, WRITING & LITERATURE |
RuskinIn_the_Pass_of_Killiecrankie

John Ruskin (8 February 1819 to 20 January 1900) was one of the last great aesthetes. He was a hugely influential critic and the first Slade Professor of Fine Art.  His best pronouncements come from the near invincible confidence he had in his own taste – later events, such as a barren marriage and a nasty libel suit, destroyed that early assurance.  But he retained the sensible aesthetic view that “Taste is not only a part and an index of morality – it is the ONLY morality.”*                       He took advantage of his…

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TVC Caption Contest!

January 31, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Annabel Lee, ART |
The Love Letter

Here we have a section from “The Love Letter” by Johannes Vermeer. The Dutch master of light and domestic scenes painted it about 1666. You can see the original in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Please send us your suggested caption. The best three selections will receive prominent publication (with attribution, or anonymously if you prefer) and a copy of the seminal experimental novel Tranquility, signed by the author (we will consider personalized dedications if requested). You will need to send us your email address and postal address (no, we will not publish those, and yes, we do not spam)… T’s and C’s:…

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