“Once More, With Feeling”

November 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA |
Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Hans Sachs (born 5 November 1494, in Nuremburg), was an early version of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Carole King, Elvis Costello, all the great songsmiths and wordsmiths of popular music. Thing is, he did it solely for glory, not bread and jam; for the latter, he kept his day job. For his life, he got one of the great operas of all time; today, he gets birthday wishes from The Varnished Culture.

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The Cars That Ate Reason

Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_Desolation_1836

Mitsubishi folded car manufacturing in Australia in 2008.  Last year, Ford closed. This October, Holden closed its plant at Elizabeth, with stacks of local workers shown the door and associated industries going to the wall.  It is not as if we made crap cars.  It wasn’t from lack of an enthusiastic local market for Holdens and Fords. And it’s not as if the good old Aussie taxpayer hadn’t stumped-up its fair share of subsidised cash to keep the embers glowing. Market forces are many and varied. But they tend to follow immutable, organic, rules.  When organised car-making started up in…

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The Charge at Beersheba

October 28, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, Classic Film, FILM, HISTORY |
Painting by George Lambert (c/-Australian War Memorial)

Painting by George Lambert (c/-Australian War Memorial)

31 October, 1917: That late afternoon saw the last great cavalry charge in history. The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade staged a ridiculously audacious and brilliant wheeze that routed the opposing forces of the (once truly great) Ottoman Empire. This bit of derring-do cleared the way for the taking of Gaza, and allowed British forces under General Allenby to enter Jerusalem, the first Christian occupier since the Crusades. Allenby had worked out that Beersheba (in Ottoman Palestine) was critical to overcome, in order to advance on, inter alia, Damascus.  But there were fortifications and well-manned, 9 feet-deep trenches, held by Turkish soldiers who were…

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We Won a Battle – Are We Losing the War?

October 22, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS, Ulalume, Uncategorized |
Bolshevikki_juliste-Itä-Karjala

“I have of late, lost all my mirth, Such that this goodly frame, the earth Seems to me a sterile promontory; Golden fire frets roof in glory Majestical, but foul and pestilent, Vapours gather, and are spent. What a piece of work is man! When he formulates a plan ‘Gainst nature, how very like a god! He presses boots so heavily shod Upon his fellow, so that he will learn That everyone must have their turn Or, dust and ashes, all will burn.” (with apologies to William Shakespeare) October 2017: One hundred years ago Lenin issued his famous call to arms and ‘the people’ (well,…

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Italy – The Grand Tour

October 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, TRAVEL, Ulalume |
Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Oil painting on canvas, A Grand Tour Group of Five Gentlemen in Rome, attributed to John Brown (Edinburgh 1752 - Leith 1787), inscribed: on the plinth of sculpture: CAVILLA / TOREM / LEONI ('mocker of the lion), circa 1773. Four travellers stand or sit under a tunnel-vaulted structure with a niche (in which one of them sits), with a view to a valley with two cypresses and some buildings, bounded by mountains behind; a cicerone indicates the Antique group of A Lion devouring a Horse on a plinth, closing the picture on the right, to another of them. The five men are: The Rt. Hon. John Staples MP (1736-1820), James Byres (1734-1817), Sir William Young, 2nd Bt, MP, FRS, FSA (1749-1815), Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, PC, FSA (1746-1807), and Richard Griffin, 2nd Lord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke MP, FSA (1751-1825).Another example is at Audley End (EH), Essex which is recorded as having been there since at lest 1836 and descended with the house's owners, the barons Braybrooks.

Lecture by Robert Reason, Curator, Roche Museum, 19 October 2017 The Varnished Culture having among its burgeoning numbers a life member of the Dante Alighieri Society, we attended this lecture by Mr Reason, who had attended Rome and Naples under the auspices of the prestigious Attingham Trust Italian Art History Programme. It was an interesting, wide-ranging affair that provided a taste of the kind of Italianate antiquity that appealed to David Roche, presented in a manner akin to a whirlwind Women’s Weekly world discovery tour. Even the serene visage of the Capitoline Venus would be deranged: From Palazzos Nuovo of…

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