So Long, Sisto

November 30, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, CRIME, Ulalume |

Melbourne, November 2018 It might be the first time a restaurateur got a State Funeral, but we won’t fuss because Sisto Malaspina, barista and bartender of Pellegrinis Bar, was a Bourke Street institution, who died needlessly after trying to render assistance to man who appeared to have been injured in a car wreck. The man, 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, was an Islamo-nut who had deliberately wrecked the car and ignited gas bottles loaded in the back, after which he set about the street on foot with a knife.  He stabbed Sisto to death, knifed two others, and then danced about…

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Face It, Western Civilisation: You Lost

November 25, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, Ulalume |

“It’s Time”, to borrow an old political phrase, Last Orders for Western Civilisation and its running dogs, time even for soldiers in the cause to lay down their easels, quills, violins, compasses and chisels. You got beat – not by folks who were smarter (quelle idée!) or had a worthier plan. They had simply worked-out O’Brien’s dictum that hate was not more exhausting than love. In fact, it could be spread more evenly, calibrated and cadenced, and thus more effective over time. They understood that destruction is an essential part of the human condition and that righteous destruction is virtually…

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“If” They Could Only Think – the Ban on Kipling

July 22, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Poetry, Ulalume, WRITING & LITERATURE |

True Art is Art, and true idiocy is idiocy, and idiots insist that the twain shall meet.

Our venerable Hodder and Stoughton hard-cover ‘inclusive edition’ of Rudyard Kipling’s verse (1885-1918) sits proudly in our poetry bookcase. We understand that his fatherly riff, “If – ” written 4 years before a war that would devastate two generations, and lose Kipling his only son, has been scrawled-out at Manchester University (yes, Manchester – home of the Enlightenment). The Student’s Union has taken a stand.  “We, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights – the things that we, as an SU, stand for,” Miss Sara Khan, the union’s liberation and access…

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Gawd Help Us

July 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | OPERA, Ulalume |

Their night of nights

The Helpmann Awards (Australia’s answer to the ‘Tony’) are named for choreographer, dancer, theatre director and ham-actor (think 55 Days at Peking (1963), and Patrick (1978)) Sir Robert Helpmann. Awards are a concept well past the use-by date, now rapidly putrefying.  Even so, it is stunning how they can go so wrong. We suppose that the readiness is all… Recently, 4 Helpmanns went to that giant piece of dreck, Hamlet – The Opera.  The Varnished Culture is on record about this faux-est of all faux operas, so we’ll just list the winners, without much further comment: Best male performer in an opera –…

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The Worst Sculptor in the World

June 4, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRIME, Ulalume |

We celebrate Robert Jacobsen (4 June 1912 – 26 January 1993), Danish creator in the realm of the plastic arts. Robert inhabited the artistic niche of great sculptors such as Alexandros of Antioch and the ancient Greek masters, and moderns such as Auguste Rodin. Jacobsen’s claim to fame is as the Worst Sculptor in the World.  A modernist (naturally) who enthusiastically embraced the avant-garde through the toxic COBRA movement of northern Europe, working with welder, mask and subsidized iron, he and his ilk dispensed with hard work and consideration of structure, theme and aesthetics, preferring to hide their laziness and…

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