Gandhi’s Tax Revolt

March 12, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |
No fries with this salt

No fries with this salt

On this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started his long march to Dandi on the sea to collect some salt for himself.  This seemingly innocuous act was illegal at the time – the salt tax in India brought in lots of cash in olden times for the East India Company and now for the English King.  A hundred thousand Indians joined Gandhi along the 400 kilometre walk.  On arrival, Gandhi stooped and gathered some grains of salt, a gesture that would lead to his arrest, and presage the doom of the British Raj.  It seems the Tommys had forgotten the reaction that stems from…

Continue Reading →

The Hitler Club

HitlerClubTree

(by Gary Gumpl and Richard Kleinig) (2007) It’s not easy being a Kraut. Hitler saw to that. He took more than two thousand years of German contributions to the world – legacies from sources such as Beethoven, Bonhoeffer, Brahms, Charlemagne, Marlene Dietrich, Dürer, Einstein, Friedrich, Goethe, Hesse, Hoffmann, Kant, Kleist, Liebniz, Luther, Mann, Mozart, Schiller, Schubert, and yes, Wagner (especially Wagner) – and sullied them, perhaps for ever.  The ‘don’t mention the war’ running joke in that Fawlty Towers episode is closer to the truth than we care to admit. In modern Germany especially, the shadow cast by Nazism is long. Grotesque irony abounded in the Nazis’ world.  For example, Himmler rattled around in a special train…

Continue Reading →

A Hung Jury on Global Warming?

February 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, RELIGION, Ulalume |
"What did South Australians use before Tom gave them candles? Electricity."

"What did South Australians use before Tom gave them candles? Electricity."

16 February 2017. Twelve years to the day since ‘implementation’ of the Kyoto Protocol.* You and I sit in a jury box. We have only just met. We bring to our mutual task our life experience and understanding of the ways of the world, our endogenous prejudices, and our gut feelings. The Judge sends us into our room charged to answer whether we are amid an interglacial, or, rather, is the globe warming – are anthropogenic CO2 emissions causing or contributing to this warming – and does this pose a clear and imminent danger, on the balance of probabilities? So we…

Continue Reading →

A Mighty Heart

February 1, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, POLITICS, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
MHEARTcar

(Dir. Michael Winterbottom) (2007) Daniel Pearl was an American Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, based in India, who had gone to Karachi in January 2002 for what he thought was an interview, but was probably a set-up.  He was abducted and held hostage by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, ostensibly for ransom, probably for terror.  Nine days later, on 1 February 2002, Pearl was beheaded, and the atrocity was captured on film. A Mighty Heart is a film that concentrates on the frantic efforts of his wife, Marianne, to find him during those nine days.           Adapted from the…

Continue Reading →

1917: The Year That Shook the World

Lenin

Reflections on the Bolshevik Adventure After the reverberations of 1905, the Empire of the Czar was listing and ready to fall uno ictu by 1917. As Carlyle observed in The French Revolution, it is singular how long the rotten will last without rougher than usual handling. When in March a rickety parliamentary democracy was formed and Nicholas II abdicated in favour of brother Michael (length of presumed reign: two days), the most pressing business was not domestic, but foreign, i.e., getting out of the not-so Great War. This order of business left the peasants to stew, the soldiers to simmer and…

Continue Reading →

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