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…

Continue Reading →

The iPod Playlist for a Plague

March 30, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Social distancing..."The Plague of Thebes" by Charles Francois Jalabert (1842)

Armagideon Time (The Clash) [“A lot of people won’t get no supper tonight A lot of people won’t get no justice tonight…”] Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival) [“I see a bad moon a-rising I see trouble on the way I see earthquakes and lightnin’ I see bad times today  Don’t go ’round tonight It’s bound to take your life There’s a bad moon on the rise…”] Coming Home (Falling in Reverse) [“Transmission from the stars A message from the atmosphere Etched into my heart Your purpose there is still unclear The ghost of you lives on Through everything I…

Continue Reading →

The Madness of Crowds

Douglas Murray in 2019. Photo by Andy Ngo

(The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray) (2019) Murray’s enjoyable book is a start. A comprehensive book on the madness of crowds would comprise a 100-volume set, and require Edmund Burke as co-author. Why, this book doesn’t even analyse the French Revolution! Instead, the author takes to task those modern curios, identity and ‘intersectionality’, explains how the current thinking is to ‘unlock these oppressions’ after which something will happen (but what that is, no one is sure – modern Marxists being like the dog who chases the stick – once gathered, what next?) The work is…

Continue Reading →

The Anarchy

‘The Relentless Rise of the East India Company’ (By William Dalrymple) (2019) “Don’t Be Evil.”  The motto of Google, Inc., which has become something of a cocktail-party joke. At least the British East India Company never pretended to run India for the Indians. There’s a risk in applying contemporary morality to historical figures and events. This is not to say History will be kind to, say, Mao, but a true fair history has to take a walk in the target’s shoes.  In this deep and worthy book, Mr Dalrymple tracks the serpentine path of the British East India Company, the…

Continue Reading →

The Doctor

March 8, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | RELIGION, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Adelaide Festival Theatre (5 March 2020) (Written and Directed by Robert Icke; adapted from the play “Professor Bernhardi” by Arthur Schnitzler) This piece is a playground for ethicists, a sociologist’s paradise, and a nod to Lord Melbourne, who said of Macauley, “I wish that I was as sure of any one thing, as Tom Macaulay is sure of everything.”  Whilst a contemporary adaptation of a 1912 play, set in the antisemitic and ferociously Catholic Austrian Empire, takes hostages to anachronism, the dilemmas raised remain fresh and probably insoluble. Dr Ruth Wolff (Juliet Stevenson) is the founder and head of the…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.