So Long, Sisto

November 30, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, CRIME, Ulalume |

Melbourne, November 2018 It might be the first time a restaurateur got a State Funeral, but we won’t fuss because Sisto Malaspina, barista and bartender of Pellegrinis Bar, was a Bourke Street institution, who died needlessly after trying to render assistance to man who appeared to have been injured in a car wreck. The man, 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, was an Islamo-nut who had deliberately wrecked the car and ignited gas bottles loaded in the back, after which he set about the street on foot with a knife.  He stabbed Sisto to death, knifed two others, and then danced about…

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The Worst Sculptor in the World

June 4, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRIME, Ulalume |

We celebrate Robert Jacobsen (4 June 1912 – 26 January 1993), Danish creator in the realm of the plastic arts. Robert inhabited the artistic niche of great sculptors such as Alexandros of Antioch and the ancient Greek masters, and moderns such as Auguste Rodin. Jacobsen’s claim to fame is as the Worst Sculptor in the World.  A modernist (naturally) who enthusiastically embraced the avant-garde through the toxic COBRA movement of northern Europe, working with welder, mask and subsidized iron, he and his ilk dispensed with hard work and consideration of structure, theme and aesthetics, preferring to hide their laziness and…

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Socialism as Religion

Be careful who you give awards to...the Reverend Jim Jones, 1977's Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian award winner

Born May 13 (1931), the Reverend Jim Jones is famous for his deep Christian-Socialist beliefs, his humanitarian impulses, his Peoples’ Temple in San Francisco where he organised leftist demonstrations, and of course, the workers’ paradise he established at Jonestown in Guyana.  His passionate commitment to equality and fairness drew inspiration from thinkers such as Jesus, Buddha, Lenin, Marx, Castro and Mao, and won him kudos from the likes of well-known lib-labs Walter Mondale, Rosalynn Carter, Jerry Brown, and Harvey Milk (who called the Reverend “a man of the highest character.”) In any case, the socialist paradise shuddered to a halt…

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911 Memorial

April 8, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, HISTORY, TRAVEL, USA History |

April 2018 At Ground Zero, after much hand-wringing and kvetching, the powers that be have achieved a pretty decent edifice to commemorate the infamous acts of 9 September 2001.  Conspiracy theorists aside, for most attendees there is balance in the museum exhibits and an overly pious attitude has thankfully been stowed. The most powerful aspects are the remembrance wall, containing the names of those who perished, in clear graven font, and two enormous infinity pools, cut deep into the sites of the twin towers, oddly recalling the gashed landscape of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. While the Pentagon and…

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Not For All the Money in the World

December 15, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, HISTORY, USA History |

December 15: John Paul Getty III, kidnapped and ransomed, turned up alive near Naples on this day in 1973. He’d been missing for months.  A letter had arrived the previous month with an accompanying parcel and the curt message: “This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits.” His grandfather, J Paul Getty Snr., who was worth over $2 billion US, was a tad parsimonious about paying the ransom (although with 14 other grandchildren and a loathing of appeasement, he must have thought…

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