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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Thoughts for the Day

May 2, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

Ilja Richter bei den Proben zu seinem Stueck Altweibersommer am Muenchner Volkstheater, Oktober 1998

We liked this and wanted to share it. Other burning questions in these dark times: Why does grape flavor taste the way actual grapes don’t? Why do Americans ask for a ‘grape drink’? Why does the Easter bunny carry eggs? If you have two options, don’t you have one choice? If tonight there’s going to be a ‘jailbreak somewhere in the town’, wouldn’t that be at the jail? At a cinema, or on a plane, which arm-rest is yours? When did ‘Off’ and ‘On’ switches disappear? If an author writes a book about failure and it is remaindered, is it…

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Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America

April 30, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | THEATRE |

Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 5 – 6, 9 -12 & 16 -19 May 2018 Stephen Sewell’s award-winning commentary on the War on Terror premièred in 2003. Fifteen years later, its anger and its resonance are undiminished, in that the eternal tension between individual liberty and social cohesion has become more acute in the post 911 world and the new theocratic age. The play asks “What does happen when the ‘Land of the Free’, with its neuroses about security and its desire for control says “You’re either with us or against us?” The Varnished Culture will no doubt seethe and gnash its collective…

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The Greeks Win, Hands Down

April 10, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | ART, HISTORY |

Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Art Institute Chicago, April 2018 We are on record as denoting classical Greek sculpture as the ne plus ultra of the medium, and for us this was confirmed by a recent visit to the relevant wing of that massive treasure trove, the Met.  The sheer artistry, clean classical lines and noble artisanship carry ancient Greek plastic art far above anything since, and this superiority is even reflected, through a glass darkly, in the later Roman imitations. Sophocles turned-up to send us some thoughts from the shades (of Chicago): Beware of imitations…this Roman knock-off to celebrate its…

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March 4, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | TRAVEL |

By David Astin [Our thanks to David for this comprehensive article.  He is an ‘old Cuba hand’ and knows more about that fascinating island than any travel agent (or ‘Smart Traveller.’).  The Varnished Culture has had its reservations about Castro and his legacy, although there’s no denying that he had genuine passion and guts, but we still mean to go to Cuba, and David’s piece is an invaluable source for those who do.]   I am not going to go into the Cuban political situation, much as I disagree with it. That is not what this article is about. This…

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