Crabb and Pyne In Conversation

June 14, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Old sparring partners

University of Adelaide, 13 June 2019 In the re-furbished Students’ Bar at Adelaide University, we gathered to hear a highly entertaining chat by University Alumni, namely former Commonwealth Minister Christopher Pyne, and Journalist / Presenter Annabel Crabb, with Anthony Durkin acting as Moderator. Katrina Bochner, a Judge of the South Australian Supreme Court, introduced the participants (skipping some of Pyne’s lengthy CV despite his enthusiastic prompting for more) and then a large crowd experienced the voyeuristic pleasure of eavesdropping on a relaxed, droll, indulgent and wide-ranging discussion of Law School life and beyond. Mr. Durkin, such an expert at this thing…

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Petula Clark

May 20, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Norwood Town Hall, 17 May 2019 We just had to catch one of the earliest British pop divas and it was well worth it. Especially as Petula (aged about 13) had had a small but key role in the classic film I Know Where I’m Going! “Downtown,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” (see below) “A Sign of the Times,” and “I Know a Place” and several other worthy tunes had the crowd swaying and (annoyingly in some cases) humming along. TVC calculated that we might have been among the younger fans in the crowd, but it looked like a full…

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“Real Action on Climate Change”

May 18, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, Ulalume |

We’re disappointed in Frankie Boyle. He used to be edgy and hilarious – watch out if you got picked out in the audience at one of his shows – but now he fronts a TV show where he pontificates on leftsh concerns. He’s still worth hearing but not as much. Recently we saw an extract of the programme featuring a lecture by the leading prophet of Eco-Doom, George Monbiot (pictured).  George said we were all kidding ourselves with the various responses to dangerous anthropomorphic climate change, and that only radical steps would work. He posited three acts that would contribute…

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We’re Over the Archibald

May 11, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, Ulalume |

Comparisons are odious to the worthless - contrast Raphael's Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione with...

May 10, 2019 The Archibald prize, handed out by the Sydney-based Art Gallery of NSW, this year goes to Tony Costa, of Sydney (how convenient), for his portrait of Lindy Lee pretending to meditate. It has a vague similarity to a cartoon image from South Park. We’ve already weighed-in to this so-called competition and even given you the names of those responsible. TheVarnished Culture had hoped our pleas for decent fine art might be heeded, but in vain.  We expect to have had our last words on the subject.

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Les Murray

17 October 1938 – 29 April 2019 A canonical poet, Murray couldn’t be bothered either to hide his faults or his reactionary tendencies. As Peter Porter wrote of him: “A skewer of polemic runs through his work. His brilliant manipulation of language, his ability to turn words into installations of reality, is often forced to hang on an embarrassing moral sharpness. The parts we love – the Donne-like baroque – live side by side with sentiments we don’t: his increasingly automatic opposition to liberalism and intellectuality.” And in fact, his vast body of work is somewhat uneven and even, at…

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