American Unease

September 1, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

September 2020: With a Presidential election a mere 2 months away, we have thought about the unrest in that country, an admixture of BLM protest, concerted (possibly organized) opposition to Donald Trump, and a spontaneous reaction against the prevailing authority, a left-wing version of the alt/general-right correction of 2016. The disruption and disorder is a weird echo of 1968, where in a different and more difficult period, voters chose order over chaos.  In the wake of Martin Luther King‘s assassination in that year, Robert Kennedy’s plea for calm seems apposite now (see below).  We fear this November, or next January, might…

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Some Plague Recipes

July 29, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | FOOD, LIFE |

The “A. J. Ayer” Self-eating Welsh Rarebit Ideal for slimmers, anchorites and philosophers. Eats itself before you can touch it.  Comes with a side “Plato” self-eating egg and “Leibniz” self-eating salad.  Later, with a “Heraclitus” self-eating apple turnover and a hot cup of “Descartes” self-drinking tea, you can sit back and read or just untie grandfather while your lunch eats itself for you. Preparation: Remove rarebit from oven, egg from pan, salad from chopping board.  Serve. Slow Fishcakes Finally! Fishcakes that really give you time to eat them. No more dashing off the plate. Slow Fishcakes just lie there and…

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Gwen Silvers

July 27, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

Vale (19 March 1927 – 14 May 2020) In 1969 an 8 year old girl called Lesley read a notice in the children’s section of the Adelaide “Sunday Mail” newspaper (the ‘Possums Pages’), facilitating relationships with pen-pals overseas. Lesley duly applied and fired-off missives to a girl named Jean in Glasgow, Scotland.  Jean got so many letters that she passed the letter onto her relative, Lesley.  Scottish Lesley soon tired of the burdens of correspondence, we believe, but her auntie, Gwen Silvers, kept up written contact with Lesley. That contact continued between Gwen and Lesley for the next 51 years….

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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 Plague Bookclub

Our Plague Book Club recommends the following books for a Plague year: The Alchemist (Ben Jonson) (1610) “The sickness hot, a master quit, for fear, His house in town, and left one servant there.” The Black Death (Philip Ziegler) (1969) “All the citizens did little else except to carry dead bodies to be buried… At every church they dug deep pits down to the water-table; and thus those who were poor who died during the night were bundled up quickly and thrown into the pit. In the morning when a large number of bodies were found in the pit, they…

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