Dollars for Dali

May 16, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

The Varnished Culture’s offices have its share of Dalí fans, certainly.  Yet we doubt that Trilogy of the desert: Mirage (1946) is one of his best pieces.  Still, Dalí is Dalí. In the wake of the artist’s 114th birthday on 11 May, the NGV has launched a crowd-funding campaign to acquire the piece, which might be a first for a major Australian gallery (we suppose that the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has, like all socialists, finally run out of other peoples’ money).  Here’s their pitch: “The National Gallery of Victoria has an extraordinary opportunity to become the first public collection in Australia…

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Eurovision 2018: Bet Against Logic and Taste

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Lisbon, May 2018 Israel claimed its 4th Eurovision victory in a stunningly predictable finale, where taste was defenestrated and trampled, writhing and squirming, on the Portugese cobbles below. The UK and Bulgaria had outstanding entries, and we give honourable mention to Estonia, Holland and Cyprus.  However, what with the jury vote and the televotes, bizarre results were in the cards. We liked Elina Nechayeva with her dress of many colours and the operatic aria, ‘La forza’ sung in Italian, but Estonia came in 8th. Bulgaria’s Equinox (see main image) featuring an East European Lady Gaga, had a dramatic pop-rocker called “Bones”…

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Melting Pot

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 91 Melting Pot (Blue Mink) (written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway; released 1969) [A timeless, funky classic, a paean to racial harmony that is banned from public broadcasts now because public broadcasters are morons.  Yes, we know “yellow chinkees” is a little out there, but as Alan Partridge’s mate Michael points out, the term is both a people and a meal. “We should all get together in a loving machine, I’d better call up the Queen, it’s only fair that she knows…! What we need is a great big melting pot, big enough to take the…

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Socialism as Religion

Be careful who you give awards to...the Reverend Jim Jones, 1977's Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian award winner

Born May 13 (1931), the Reverend Jim Jones is famous for his deep Christian-Socialist beliefs, his humanitarian impulses, his Peoples’ Temple in San Francisco where he organised leftist demonstrations, and of course, the workers’ paradise he established at Jonestown in Guyana.  His passionate commitment to equality and fairness drew inspiration from thinkers such as Jesus, Buddha, Lenin, Marx, Castro and Mao, and won him kudos from the likes of well-known lib-labs Walter Mondale, Rosalynn Carter, Jerry Brown, and Harvey Milk (who called the Reverend “a man of the highest character.”) In any case, the socialist paradise shuddered to a halt…

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All That Glisters is Not Gold

May 12, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, Ulalume |

Archibald Prize, 2018 The Varnished Culture has already dripped its contempt over the Nobel Prize for literature. Now we can pronounce last rites for the Archibald, which this year is ‘won’ by Yvette Coppersmith, for her self-portrait (after George Lambert).  But George W (1873-1930), whose portrait of a lady is the main image to this note (see above), knew how to paint. This latest prize-winner (see below) is a real shocker, not worthy of an art student, a vacuous, slapdash, iridescent cartoon… The pallbearers for the Archibald call themselves the “Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees”.  They comprise: Mr…

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