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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Will be Damned

February 22, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | METAPHYSICS, PETER'S WRITING, RELIGION, WAGNER |

Portrait by Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl (1815)

Arthur Schopenhauer (born 22 February 1788) “Rather do we freely acknowledge that what remains after the entire abolition of will is for all those who are still full of will certainly nothing; but, conversely, to those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky ways – is nothing.” Arthur lived in shadowlands; His hated mother washed her hands Of him, and his suicidal Dad’s Echo – so he read Upanishads And Kant, forming a new world-view As bleak as stout, and yet he grew Into determined…

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Russian Futurism

(by Vladimir Markov) (1969) Markov quotes Nikolai Lossky: “Ideas are not thoughts, they are a special kind of reality.”  Isms we can sneer at, at least as soon as their individual shells are rent and the flesh within wastes. Futurism was an avant-garde conceit borne from impressionism, via the blind alley of ‘Ego-Futurism,’ and turned to something even vaguer by Marinetti, who came like a royal progress to Moscow and made something of a fool of himself. The ‘manifesto’ was nothing of the sort, really – a hatred of all things old, a desire for all things new, it represented stunning narrow-mindedness…

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Gay, Straight, Other…Let’s Have an Adult Conversation on SSM

August 22, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Australian Politics, LIFE, METAPHYSICS, POLITICS |

Photo c/- Montrealais

[The Federal Parliament has seen fit to compromise upon its election policy of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, so that we are to get a postal survey or some such, in which the citizens can have a say and from which, possibly, legislative reform might ensue. There has been a considerable resistance to the move, on the grounds of cost, the non-binding nature of the poll, its vagueness and uncertainty, and the disharmony wreaked upon the minority by a national debate. Under the Constitution, the Federal Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to Marriage, Divorce and matrimonial…

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Monkeying About

water-colour of Charles Darwin by George Richmond

May 5, 1925: Teacher John Scopes is charged with having taught evolution in a Tennessee school. Originally designed as a means of putting the town of Dayton on the map, the case became a circus when Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan rolled into town as defence and prosecuting counsel.  The whole affair became a hoary old film of which The Varnished Culture has previously spoken. Scopes was convicted and fined $100 (which was overturned on appeal because, unusually, the penalty had to be stipulated by the jury rather than the trial judge). But Dayton did great business that summer….

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