Wiener Dog

September 18, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(Directed by Todd Solondz) (2015) A film of many dog day afternoons, with a docile, uncomplaining dachshund the trope for hope and the lifting of spirits, this beautifully shot but slurpily-cadenced film is a poignant dance through a series of sad-funny lives and circumstances. From his first rejection (taken in the back of a ute from a farm to the shopping mart featuring a Chuck E Cheese, a 99c Store, an Armed Forces Career Center, ‘My Urgent Care Walk-in Medical’, ‘Vitamin World’, ‘Shoes etc’, AT&T, Liquor and, relevantly, a “Shake A Paw”), wiener dog is shuttled around. First there is a messy, disastrous stay…

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Salinger

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(Documentary by Shane Salerno, 2013) (The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, 1951) The consolation of philosophy.  That gave Salinger some peace from his war-borne PTSD, his difficulty with close relationships, his hankering for younger women, his feather-like sensibilities and his disdain for almost any other living writers. It also gave us his best book, Franny and Zooey (1955), but regretfully, it conferred upon him an unwholesome permit to abjure the world, retreat to a snow-bound hut and write for the sake of writing. Alas, he may have been clapped-out by the time he perfected his Unabomber impersonation – his 1965 story,…

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On the Birthday Omnibus

September 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, FILM, HISTORY, MUSIC, OPERA, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Photo by Harry Whittier Frees

Photo by Harry Whittier Frees

September 5 Many happy birthdays to a range of historical and cultural notables!! 1638: Louis XIV The great empire-builder applied his zeal to the foundations laid by Cardinal Richelieu.  In the end, zeal undid much of his work but he still left a mighty legacy – he could little foresee on his 1715 deathbed that his great regal empire would last well under a century. Louis to the Duc d’Orléans on his deathbed: “‘You are about to see one King in his tomb and another in his cradle. Always cherish the memory of the first and the interests of the…

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The Library Agenda

September 4, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING, Poetry |
"With you in charge, I am at ease." by Li Yansheng (1976) (Displayed in a series of prints venerating Chairman Mao at the Australian National Library, 2017)

"With you in charge, I am at ease." by Li Yansheng (1976) (Displayed in a series of prints venerating Chairman Mao at the Australian National Library, 2017)

(On the occasion of a rather chilly visit to the National Library, Canberra) Entering the library, one feels alone, No comfort on these shelves, no phone, No sense of welcome or assistance, Proprietorial resistance. No books in sight; no chores to do, Ideas not enclosed, neither old nor new. Heroes extolled in olden times Are traduced for their voguish crimes. I lack the time, I lack the means To gather up the left-wing magazines In serried ranks, beneath gold frames Of left-wing folks with famous names. There’s Ben Chifley, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Jack Lang and Trotsky, Marx and Huey Long,…

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Henry Lawson

September 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |
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(17 June 1867 to 2 September 1922) “The minstrel of the people.” So said Prime Minister Billy Hughes at Lawson’s internment (he was the first Australian writer to get a State funeral) His output was large but uneven – he could be both romantic and realist, and his wonderful verse ranged from the lyrical to invective. He was a bit of rogue, and spent much time in prison and the alcoholic wards of hospitals. His neat, clean, confident prose and terrific rhyming ballads and rolling, sonorous songs extolled the Australian landscape, town (which he preferred) and country. Take, for example, The Rush to…

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