Where We Are Now

April 24, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

Kylemorrison74: "the earth will be a wasteland of lava and charred rock, and covered with vortex' that are an eternity of pain and agony. in a nutshell hell will ascend and there is no safe place to hide except in religion"

The South Australian Circle of Hell, 2017 Our littoral is a burning shore – lit by a million candles. The water burns. The air burns. The wind is uncomfortably warm. The rain is as blood. Drones hover. Wind turbines whine uselessly. Our power-grid hangs on a fraying thread, all insulation melted away. Water bursts through the earth on the hour, coursing water, vermin and ordure into homes and shops. Infrastructure crumbles. Bridges fall. Black dust swirls and eddies about once pristine sands. Our old folks are bound, gagged, doused with turpentine and they scream with pain. We await the wintry day when the crippled and…

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The Hitler Club

(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…

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O Happy Day

(image by Kaoz69)

January 26 – Australia Day Invasion Day, Survival Day, Moor-Your-Boat Day – an arbitrary dot on time’s spectrum was chosen as lucky little Australia’s modern, Gregorian, anniversary date.  That’s when HMS Supply moored in Sydney Cove one choppy morning in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip and a small crew rowed ashore, and claimed the continent in the name of Mad King George III. There are roughly three camps who pitch their tents on our National Day – those who hold 26/1/1788 sacred; those who hold it as profane, and the great silent majority who view it through the lens of beer and barbeques. The genuine and perhaps…

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The Fine Arts Party

May 13, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Australian Politics, LIFE, Ulalume |

A Fine Arts Party (Pieter de Hooch)

It being Friday 13th, The Varnished Culture will break from its traditional disdain of party-politics and weigh-in to the current imbroglio.  There’s a federal election in Australia set for 2 July 2016, when we will have to watch the skies (it being World UFO Day as well). Recently, P suggested, innocently, that only a terrorist could enthusiastically, seriously, cast a vote for the Greens.  Whereupon my two very reasonable and intelligent interlocutors informed me that they would be likely to vote for the Greens.  (I am certain they are not terrorists).  So ended my brief role as a pundit. Be that as it…

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Safety Last

Safety Last...Todd Russell 'clocks off' (checks in his personal safety tag)

9 May 2016 10 years ago today, Todd Russell and Brant Webb left the Beaconsfield mine in northern Tassie, where they had been trapped for two weeks.  We honour them and their not-so-lucky comrade, miner Larry Knight, who perished far underground.  However, their dramatic story remains ripe for political and commercial exploitation – there’s a TV mini-series in the offing, and a photo-opportunity has already availed itself on the campaign trail.  See our updated link to Ace in the Hole for more details.

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