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…

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Who’s Running the Show?

January 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, Ulalume |

[In the case of Miller v The Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41, the UK Supreme Court (created in 2009 despite recognition of the real risk of “judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment”)  heard an Appeal by Ms Gina Miller (a Guyanese-British business owner and activist who was rather more worried about Brexit than the legalities of executive action) challenging advice (given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Her Majesty the Queen) to prorogue (shut down) the unruly and hopelessly conflicted UK Parliament that had: (a) defied the majority of citizens voting for Brexit; (b) sabotaged…

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Morning Wars

January 19, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(aka The Morning Show) (Various Directors Apple TV+, 2019) As Bert Newton once said, “Morning TV? Surely Death is next.”  The Varnished Culture staff are owls, not sparrows, so we’ll take word of mouth that morning news shows offer relentless cheer, soft items, group-think and bonhomie – but deep nastiness off screen.  “Morning Wars” starts and ends as conventional soap opera, but of certain high standard. The proven anchor team – Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) and Alex Levy (Jennifer Anniston) is rent asunder when Kessler – playing every philanderer confused by the #MeToo paradigm, or perhaps just Matt Lauer –…

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The Unmaking of a Mayor

All smiles; Candidates Beame, Buckley & Lindsay

By William F. Buckley, Jr (1966) New York may well be the greatest city in the world. The Varnished Culture loves it, as we have said again and again and again and again. But we are unlikely to have loved it in 1965. Then, as erudite Tory gadfly Buckley pungently puts it in his floridly verbose and fascinating account of that year’s Mayoral election, “You can’t walk from one end of New York to the other without a good chance of losing your wallet, your maidenhead, or your life; or without being told that white people are bigoted, that Negroes…

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The Wall Comes Down

November 9, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS |

Wall Up 13 August 1961: East German police and troops occupied the dividing line between that Soviet satellite and West Berlin, to stop the hemorrhaging of its citizens to the West of that city. Four days later, they started building the Berlin Wall. President Kennedy put US forces on alert and took diplomatic steps, but copped criticism for what was tagged a weak response. Possibly 200 people were killed trying to get over the Wall from the East to the West; probably many more of the tens and tens of thousands making the attempt over the years were dealt with…

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