“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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Intellectual Freedom

April 18, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

From a recent judgment by Judge Vasta in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Ridd v James Cook University [2019] FCCA 997 (16 April 2019): “Intellectual freedom is also known as academic freedom. It is a concept that underpins universities and institutions devoted to higher learning. Obviously such institutions must have administrators that care for the governance and proper direction of the institution. However, the mission of these institutions must undoubtedly be the search for knowledge which leads to a quest for truth. In reality, intellectual freedom is the cornerstone of this core mission of all institutions of higher learning. This is so…

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“Who Owns the Past?”

April 16, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, LIFE, POLITICS |

John Bray Oration by Geoffrey Robertson QC, Adelaide University, April 2, 2019 In a very interesting, and only slightly windy, lecture, Robertson QC gave us a very entertaining and erudite exegesis on both South Australia’s Periclean Chief Justice of the 1970s, Dr John Jefferson Bray QC, and the vexed and more immediate question of title to ancient artefacts, a subject close to TVC‘s heart. This is a topic that evokes much chest-beating and arm-waving.  But take the Elgin (or Parthenon) Marbles, one of the more contentious works of art subject to a claim by the Government of Greece (it now…

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