Total Eclipse of the Mind: Worst Cover Ever

November 15, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

The Varnished Culture has mixed views on Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”  But irrespective of your view of this song, no-one deserves the homage given here on the Brazilian show “Alerta Amazonas.” Apart from the lead singer’s superb, surreal, extemporized, almost skat-like delivery of the libretto, we also loved the very artistic choreography and faux percussion of the Japanese performance artist, waving his pointless mallets about.  But best of all is the reaction of the host, who looks like he badly needs an escape plan…

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Consolations of Confinement

October 9, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Poetry |

(In the Plague Year 2020) We lingered palely, house-bound, deadly tired, Blue flames from tripods hectored, then expired, The sickness hot, the master quit for fear, His office, and he left no staffer there. In the rooms the plague-scare came and went, Breathless about the window and the vent, Pressing talk of destruction and pandemic And the pressing need to ‘not to panic’. From wise mouths we’d heard so much about: Pedantry and oppression, shrill calling-out Of the heterodox. We strove to find the silver lining, The voice of the Swedish-Doom-Goblin, declining. Planetary plague, hung o’er a high-viced city, Poison in…

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Beating the Blues Leads to Success

September 28, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Now for the Business End

(Glenelg vs Sturt, Unley Oval, 26 September 2020) To Unley Oval for the final minor round game of the year. A ‘dead rubber’, as Glenelg would finish in the final four and Sturt would miss out, though not by much, irrespective of this or any other result. Torn between the desire to ‘manage’ many leading players yet take some winning form into the finals, the Tigers rested their captain, Max Proud, Magarey Medallist Luke Partington, and leading goal-sneak Luke Reynolds.  Sturt wanted a big finish to farewell some club stalwarts in Midfielder Sam Colquhoun, defender Tom Harms and utility Byron…

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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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