The Glorious Dead at Arlington

April 15, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, HISTORY, POLITICS, TRAVEL |

April 2018 ‘Over there…’ The seemingly endless rows of graves (over 600 acres’ worth), begun to accommodate the charnel house that was the Civil War, testify to the blood and treasure hazarded by the US over the years, and not just on the battlefield… Recently a series of photos were featured of the funeral train that took RFK’s body from New York (after it was flown from California, where he was shot) to Washington, to be buried near his older brother. People lined the track to pay homage, and even to reach out and touch the passing carriages, as if to lay hands…

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You Heard it Here First

April 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS |

We have noticed that after a supine period of Olympian insouciance, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has awoken, flexed his muscles and started ‘governating’. He recently moved to heal factional rifts in the NY Democratic Party and then swooped to carry off a key piece of education policy from the hands of hapless NY Mayor, Bill de Blasio, leading to one of the New York Post’s typically urbane headlines: “Daddy’s Home.”  (OK, so it’s not as good as “Ford to New York: ‘Drop Dead’” but still quite satisfyingly pungent.) We just hope that somewhere along the way Mr Cuomo has…

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10 Birthdays and A Funeral

'We have to make a birthday tea for 10 and a funeral tea...'

20 March – a big day in cultural history: 43 BC – Ovid “Take your fill of amusement, but cast the veil of modesty over your peccadilloes. Never make a parade of your good fortune, and never give a woman a present that another woman will recognise.” [The Art of Love] “Death is not accustomed to injure genius, and greater fame arrives after we have become ashes…” [Epistle to an Envious Man]. 1828 – Henrik Ibsen “SOLNESS: Human beings haven’t any use for these homes of theirs. Not for being happy in. And I shouldn’t have had use for a…

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ADEL-AID

16 March, 2018 at “Jade”, Adelaide Fringe Raw, but we ate it up. This performance was one of those closest to the spirit of the Fringe, where non or semi-professionals can test their abilities, and material, in front of an Adelaide crowd, a crowd that is no pushover, albeit less querulous than Milan and less violent than Edinburgh. Co-producers Simon Coad and Adrian Nippress, in collaboration with Simon Goodes, created the gruesome conceit of a mock ‘Telethon,’ with all the forced striving to entertain and chaotic variety which that entails, and whilst The Varnished Culture had reservations (of which more…

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Where Art At?

February 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, ART, POLITICS |

We have to say that we didn’t (totally) mind Kehinde Wiley’s cartoonish, faux-classical official portrait of President Obama – though it is frankly braver of the 44th President than of the artist. Better State flora than wallpaper, we guess, but the most vivid image the portrait evokes is of a fairy at the bottom of the garden. On the other hand, Amy Sherald’s offering for posterity of Michelle Obama (below) renders the former First Lady as a cross between Godzilla and one of those Olympic swimmers on steroids. The Last Refuge (online) commented: “The portraits are just plain goofy.” Diego…

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