Ode for Elizabeth

September 10, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, Poetry |

Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) The argument from merit Casts us all in a harsh light, Elevation arbitrary Tends to set things right. A young girl, out of Africa Came home to wear a crown, She asked for peoples’ prayers So she would never let them down. And while her Empire crumbled She refused to do the same, Lack of power her super-power, ‘De-Colonize’ her name. Her race is run and she will lie The wrong side of the turf; As certain as the sunrise –  Timeless as the Earth.

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La Voix

(with apologies to Arthur Rimbaud and T.E. Eliot) The pale Man trudges along by the flowery paths Dressed in mourning, a cigar between his teeth: The pale Man recalls the corridors of Canberra – and sometimes his lustreless eye becomes keen… For the bullhorn user is drunk with his 250 year orgy! He said to himself: “I shall blow Liberty out  Very neatly, as if it were a candle!” Liberty lives again! His back is broken! He has been forsaken Ah! What word trembles on His silent lips? What regret does he feel? We shall never know. The pale Man’s…

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The Contrarian

(Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power) (by Max Chafkin, 2021) After reading this entertaining, rather facile book, Peter Thiel remains, at least to us, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”  For a contrarian, he often went with the flow. He had at times a gift for successfully betting the other way, such as his heroic support of Mr. Trump in 2016. For someone who has acquired substantial wealth and significant power, he seems to unsure what to do with them. An introvert who craves attention, a control freak who at times throws caution to the…

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Let Me Be There: Olivia Newton-John

August 9, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, FILM, LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Olivia Newton-John (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) The quintessential girl next door sang like the girl next door: no screeching, no vocal tricks, no auto-tune. A mellow, pellucid delivery in the fashion of Karen Carpenter. At one stage, in the 1970s, country fans thought her a country poseur but listen to songs like ‘Jolene’, ‘Banks of the Ohio,’ ‘If You Love Me, Let Me Know,’ and ‘Let Me Be There,’ and she more than justifies the mantle of country singer. Her apple-pie purity was used to great effect in the hugely commercially successful film Grease (1978), and when…

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An Unfamiliar Ring

August 3, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

Spellbound: “The Ring Without Words” (inter alia) Adelaide Town Hall, Friday night, 29 July 2022 We had previously had a taste of this courtesy of the ASO and Richard Wagner Society of SA.  And we had been somewhat skeptical about the idea of synthesizing Wagner’s immense cycle, sans the singing: would it be, as some have said of the piece, akin to setting your car radio on ‘scan’ and listening to grabs of melody as they hurtled past? But before this, we had to endure several rather mediocre (in my view) Richard Strauss songs, even though they were expertly presented…

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