Maybe we should Bring Back the Noose?


Capital Punishment On 3 February 1967, serial robber Ronald Ryan, convicted of the felony murder of a gaol warder at Pentridge Prison, was hanged in Victoria. 50 years after Ryan, the last man in Australia to swing, new calls for abolition of the death penalty abound. Some 141 countries have either abolished or suspended indefinitely the penalty, or limit it to war crimes, the remaining 57 still applying it to serious crimes.  10 October 2017 was the 15th “World Day Against the Death Penalty.”  (In Reversal of Fortune, the Alan Dershowitz character says of the death penalty, “that’s no penalty,…

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Us Too

January 10, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Ulalume |

With Mr Weinstein rusticated from the Miramax Board, Mr Spacey airbrushed from film history, a TV gardener likely to lose all of his residuals, the Golden Globes emasculated (eunuchized, as it were), Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush stepping down as President of Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts for alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’ during the performance of King Lear, and accused harasser Craig McLachlan standing down from the run of Rocky Horror Picture Show and his TV series The Doctor Blake Mysteries being cancelled, it seems that the alleged victims of alleged inappropriate behaviour are empowered at last. The various inappropriate behaviours are yet to be…

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The Best Drunk Films

January 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, Ulalume |

The Lost Weekend (1945) We recall this great performance by Ray Milland on his birthday, 3 January (1907).  Amid a fairly ho-hum career, this is a genuinely authentic turn by Ray as a hopeless drunk. 2. Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Nicholas Cage decides to check in and then check out.  Drinking yourself to death may sound like fun, but…               3. Flight (2012) Denzel Washington is first-class as the kind of pilot you’d like in a crisis, but not on a normal flight, because he’s always hammered.             4.  Under the Volcano…

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December 31, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING, Ulalume |
'Sisyphus' by Titian

'Sisyphus' by Titian

This is the year we did unravel, The moment when the joys of travel Were undone; We lost the trust Of those who quacked, scolded, fussed Over our lives, and sought our love But abandoned us when push met shove. This the year when we all learned That skin is rent and flesh is burned By any common garden device Wielded by those who sacrifice, The year in which we fully saw Common bonds do tie no more. Bullets at the temples flew, Boats sank in the water blue, Bombs and bluffs we never knew Were true; and cancer grew….

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Don’t Burn Kevin!

November 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, FILM, POLITICS, Ulalume |

It has come to The Varnished Culture‘s attention that some Hollywood types lack the virtues of the Saints.  Well, fancy!  Turns out that getting drunk and a little ‘forward’ in the 1980s means you go to hell in the 20-teens. Kevin Spacey is getting the Harvey Weinstein treatment, with trimmings, because he not only failed to remember an inappropriate pass from long ago (and thus he must have dunnit) but he formally ‘outed’ himself at the same time, thereby cheapening the sanctity of such a rite of passage (apparently). So forget all about his stage work, or Glengarry Glen Ross, Swimming…

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