10 Birthdays and A Funeral

'We have to make a birthday tea for 10 and a funeral tea...'

20 March – a big day in cultural history: 43 BC – Ovid “Take your fill of amusement, but cast the veil of modesty over your peccadilloes. Never make a parade of your good fortune, and never give a woman a present that another woman will recognise.” [The Art of Love] “Death is not accustomed to injure genius, and greater fame arrives after we have become ashes…” [Epistle to an Envious Man]. 1828 – Henrik Ibsen “SOLNESS: Human beings haven’t any use for these homes of theirs. Not for being happy in. And I shouldn’t have had use for a…

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In Our Nature

March 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Gardens, March 2018 With the mosquito-like turbines of ‘Supercars‘ ringing in our ears, The Varnished Culture sought solace in the Gardens, and found this temple of unguents and ointments, a showcase for the interaction twixt people and plants, open for once. This was to exhibit a series of highly-stylised photographs by Tamara Dean, but first, we took-in the rather Belle Époque interior of the Museum, with its wonderful ceiling and the busts of several of the great botanists (Banks, Humboldt) lit atop various display cabinets. It was worth a visit for the magic mushrooms alone……

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At the Carbine Club

March 1, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Adelaide Convention Centre, 28 February 2018 The Club was started by some fellows after a long lunch in Melbourne in the 1960s, made up of men distinguished in the playing, and or administration, of sport.  ‘Carbine’ was a famous racehorse from a long time back, (Melbourne Cup, 1890) but men in any type of popular sport are welcome.  (Only men, mind – it’s an old fashioned, very Melburnian club. They still have a ‘loyal toast’ to Her Majesty and the people of Australia, and though this is a tad ‘quaint,’ it is at least a refreshing change from the soulless,…

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Lambaste the Critic

January 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, LIFE, POLITICS |

Balance of power

Morry Bailes’ In Daily article entitled “Anti Judge rhetoric a danger to democracy” (https://indaily.com.au/opinion/2018/01/18/anti-judge-rhetoric-danger-democracy/) made the following fairly remarkable claim: “The recent criticism of Victorian judges is not helpful and serves only to undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. It’s up to all of us to protect the separation of powers and to denounce anyone’s criticism, especially politicians seeking bumps in the polls.” Unfortunately, this admonition to back off from judicial decisions shows the profession to be several passes behind.  If criticism of a judicial decision must be confined to someone with standing and wealth to appeal, a right limited to the…

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The Cars That Ate Reason

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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