A Bigger Picture

By Malcolm Turnbull (2020) To re-tell a recent joke, with apologies to Frankie Boyle, Turnbull’s memoir is not like Turnbull the man, in 2 respects: it has a spine, and you may not want to put it down. Yes, we’re on record as not being Malcolm fans, for whom this pretty well written and interesting book is designed, though it holds wider interest in following the August path of destiny for Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, a path strewn with garlands and fleeting triumphs, told in a voice of peerless self-confidence, well described by Jonathon Green in the Sydney Morning Herald…

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Better Call Saul (Series 4 and 5)

April 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

'You want to hear the story...AGAIN?'

(#4: 2018 – #5: 2020) The show goes on and Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) wends his way down the stairway of good intentions, towards Hell. We have already expressed our admiration for the parent production, Breaking Bad; and of the superb initial seasons of this inspired prequel, One, Two and Three: these next 2 series are just as good and increase the intensity of feeling for Jimmy and long-suffering partner Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) as they hurtle towards a moral and existential abyss. In series 4, Jimmy is reacting to his brother’s death by embracing an even…

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Theft by Finding

April 12, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, LIFE, Non-Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

By David Sedaris (2017) Having caught his act just before plague was upon us, TVC thought it a lucky ‘Rabbit Rabbit’ move to read his paean to serendipity, Theft by Finding. These are diaries kept by him (much winnowed; the originals comprise 8 million odd words, or 8 Clarissas) from 1977-2002 and as he so rightly argues in his introduction, diaries – proper diaries, the best diaries (Samuel Pepys, Anne Frank) – are written to find oneself, never with an eye to publication. From his wastrel twenties to his successful mid-forties, his circumstances change but he hardly does, either in…

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The iPod Playlist for a Plague

March 30, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Social distancing..."The Plague of Thebes" by Charles Francois Jalabert (1842)

Armagideon Time (The Clash) [“A lot of people won’t get no supper tonight A lot of people won’t get no justice tonight…”] Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival) [“I see a bad moon a-rising I see trouble on the way I see earthquakes and lightnin’ I see bad times today  Don’t go ’round tonight It’s bound to take your life There’s a bad moon on the rise…”] Coming Home (Falling in Reverse) [“Transmission from the stars A message from the atmosphere Etched into my heart Your purpose there is still unclear The ghost of you lives on Through everything I…

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The Madness of Crowds

Douglas Murray in 2019. Photo by Andy Ngo

(The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray) (2019) Murray’s enjoyable book is a start. A comprehensive book on the madness of crowds would comprise a 100-volume set, and require Edmund Burke as co-author. Why, this book doesn’t even analyse the French Revolution! Instead, the author takes to task those modern curios, identity and ‘intersectionality’, explains how the current thinking is to ‘unlock these oppressions’ after which something will happen (but what that is, no one is sure – modern Marxists being like the dog who chases the stick – once gathered, what next?) The work is…

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