New Australians of the Year

The Council of The Wise has announced a new category of Australian of the Year. Those eligible for “New Australian of the Year” are those great men and women from foreign forebears or other shores, folks whose lives were the template for, and reflect, the current splendid diversity that forms the Australian nation. Nominees can be alive or dead and must embody a facet of the country’s contemporary essence. Categories were submitted to the 2020 Summit (April 2008, which was designed by Prime Minister Rudd to “help shape a long term strategy for the nation’s future.”) Since then, over the last 8 years,…

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Uncomfortably Close…the Lawyer in the Freezer

This story is one of the many lurid crime sagas that feature in staid and leafy-green Adelaide. And whilst The Varnished Culture staff all have impeccable alibis, this being Adelaide, we are far-away-so-close to the macabre events of 1979 and beyond. Unfortunately, it is one of several local causes célèbre where the jury’s verdict is in question because they may have been led to rely on tainted evidence – not corrupt evidence; just misleading, or dead-wrong. THE PLAYERS: Derrence Stevenson, specialist criminal lawyer (the victim); David Szach, Stevenson’s teenaged boyfriend; Dr Colin Manock, forensic pathologist, who gave crucial evidence at trial…

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The Worst Laid Plans

April 25, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY |

Fish in a barrel

April 25, 1915: The Gallipoli gambit As Robert Burns had written, to a mouse, a mere 130 years before, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley.”  So it was with the British venture into the Dardanelles. (We described this catastrophe in detail on the 100th anniversary). Described as “a brilliant idea in theory“* it was a complete botch in practice, the donkeys in British Army central-planning winging it as they went. After all, attacking fortified cliffs with minimal support, troops “pinned down on the rocky shore, unable to reach the top of the hills and move into open…

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The Hitler Club

(by Gary Gumpl and Richard Kleinig) (2007) It’s not easy being a Kraut. Hitler saw to that. He took more than two thousand years of German contributions to the world – legacies from sources such as Beethoven, Bonhoeffer, Brahms, Charlemagne, Marlene Dietrich, Dürer, Einstein, Friedrich, Goethe, Hesse, Hoffmann, Kant, Kleist, Liebniz, Luther, Mann, Mozart, Schiller, Schubert, and yes, Wagner (especially Wagner) – and sullied them, perhaps for ever.  The ‘don’t mention the war’ running joke in that Fawlty Towers episode is closer to the truth than we care to admit. In modern Germany especially, the shadow cast by Nazism is long. Grotesque irony abounded in the Nazis’ world.  For example, Himmler rattled around in a special train…

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O Happy Day

(image by Kaoz69)

January 26 – Australia Day Invasion Day, Survival Day, Moor-Your-Boat Day – an arbitrary dot on time’s spectrum was chosen as lucky little Australia’s modern, Gregorian, anniversary date.  That’s when HMS Supply moored in Sydney Cove one choppy morning in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip and a small crew rowed ashore, and claimed the continent in the name of Mad King George III. There are roughly three camps who pitch their tents on our National Day – those who hold 26/1/1788 sacred; those who hold it as profane, and the great silent majority who view it through the lens of beer and barbeques. The genuine and perhaps…

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