The Righteous Mind

December 18, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Non-Fiction, POLITICS, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

'Resurrection of the Righteous and Coronation of the Virgin' by Francesco Bassano the Younger

(Or “Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion“) (written by Jonathon Haidt) (2012) Yes, TVC knows that our reviews are not up-to-date: this book was published in 2012 and it is now several years hence.  Note that we reviewed Indoctrinaire (1971) this year, as well as A Farewell to Arms (1929), and Those Barren Leaves (1925) for example. Why, we only got around to reviewing The Brothers Karamazov (1880) last year. So give us a break – especially since recent events across the world (particularly Tr(i)umphalism, Trump Derangement Syndrome, Brexit, the crisis in Syria, and the Yellow-Jacket revolt in France) have made…

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Happy Oktoberfest!

October 12, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

12 October 1810: First Oktoberfest held in Munich to celebrate the nuptials of Ludwig I and Princess Therese.  The Varnished Culture offers a sad Oktoberfest song, to be sung to the tune of “All Out of Love” by Air Supply (with apologies). I’m lying alone with my head on the phone, Thinking of you till it hurts, I know you’d be true but what else can we do Tormented and torn apart, I wish I could carry you right in my hands For times when my life seems so low, It would make me believe what tomorrow could bring When today doesn’t…

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The Football Solution

By George Megalogenis (2018) First, one disclamatory reason for liking this book. At a pub on the south side of Adelaide on AFL Grand Final day, 2017, I was the sole Richmond supporter (wearing my Glenelg Tigers scarf and barracking for my 2nd team) which earned plenty of dirty looks.  Outside a restaurant in town after the match, I caught the eye of an Adelaide Crows fan, bedecked in all the gear, packing his sullen family into a people-mover.  Without a trace of sarcasm (because I’ve seen a few losing Grand Finals, and you don’t rub it in in such…

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H. L. Mencken and Götterdämmerung

September 11, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, METAPHYSICS, Non-Fiction |

Wotan's ravens (by Arthur Rackham)

H.L.Mencken, 12 September, 1880 Mencken buried lots of idols, icons, and foolish ideas.  He also buried a swathe of gods: “Huitzilopochtli…was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that [his mother, a virtuous widow] carried on with the sun…But to-day Huitzilopochtli is as Marie Corelli. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Father Rasputin, J.B. Planché, Sadi Carnot, General Boulanger, Lottie Collins, and Little Tich.”* Mencken goes on to list some 114 gods and comments: “They were gods of the highest standing and dignity – gods of civilized peoples – worshipped and believed in by…

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Hal Ashby

September 2, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, LIFE |

Born 2 September 1929, Ashby was ultimately destroyed by the counterculture that fostered him.  Starting with impressive editing work in the 1960s, he had a run of really interesting films in the 1970s: Harold and Maude (1971) (Suicide sure is funny in this film, as is the family priest’s “talk” with Harold about his relationship with a virtual octogenarian…) The Last Detail (1973) Shampoo (1975) Bound for Glory (1976) Coming Home (1978) Being There (1979)

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