The Descent of Comedy

October 8, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Comedy, POLITICS, TV SERIES |

Oh dear. Shaun Micallef was once a genius of the Theatre of Embarrassment. But if you’re going to “go political” in comedy, you need to visit a plague on all houses. Not merely pander to the cognitive elites, smug in their infallible bubbles. Alas, he’s now the Australian Stephen Colbert.

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The Great Degeneration

(How Institutions Decay and Economies Die) (Niall Ferguson, 2014) This compendium of Reith Lectures by historian Niall Ferguson given in 2012 is no less topical a decade later. In fact it is a fortiori, given that the subsequent years have borne out many of the predictions made. For example, the author quotes ‘cliometrician’ Peter Turchin predicting “the next instability peak [of violence] should occur in the United States around 2020.” Orwell’s pigs have taken over Manor Farm: “What Charles Murray has called the ‘cognitive elite’, educated at exclusive private universities, intermarried and congregated in a few ‘super zip codes’, looks…

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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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Me and White Supremacy

July 21, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Non-Fiction, POLITICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

“How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World” by Layla F. Saad (2020) This is the book for me: I am white and regard myself as Supreme, although not for that reason. So this “deep-diving self-reflection tool” sets a 28 day work schedule of “reflective journaling and inner excavation.”  I did the work: but an alternate journal is set out below. This one-of-a-kind personal antiracism tool, an activist education program for confronting white privilege and dismantling white supremacy, helps us honkys check our privilege and “take ownership of [our] participation in the oppressive system of white supremacy.”…

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