Ray’s Song

June 8, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Ray Liotta (18 December 1954 – 26 May 2022) [With apologies to Sir Walter Scott] Ray Liotta, rest! Thy career’s o’er, Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking; Battle the Field of Dreams no more, No days of danger, nights of waking. **** No rude sound shall reach thine ear, Guns or Cop Land‘s horses champing; No wise guys are summoned here Mustering clans, Goodfellas tramping. **** In the red-cushioned cinema row, Where fairy strains of music fall, You were our great anti-hero, Star dust sprinkled in the hall.

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Flower Drum Endures – Thank God

May 29, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FOOD, Restaurants, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(17 Market Lane, Melbourne) May, 2022 Mrs. Appleyard says to Mademoiselle in Picnic at Hanging Rock that Bournemouth was “a delightful place. Nothing changed…ever!” The Varnished Culture says the same for Flower Drum, tucked away in the heart of Melbourne, just off Bourke Street. We have been coming here for years, whenever commitments bring us to Melbourne. Melbourne has become problematic. Its great high style now looks like Srebrenica after the Serbs finished with it, or Paris churches after the Jacobins. A smoking ruin of a one-party state, where everyone is tolerant of lies, the citizenry does not expect government…

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Lohengrin

May 26, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Melbourne Arts Theatre, 21 May 2022) Lohengrin marked the end of Wagner’s ‘first phase’ and remains one of his loveliest operas, in musical terms (the overture alone is a gorgeous amuse-bouche)*. The story is, of course, very silly: Elsa (Emily Magee) is accused of doing away with her brother, heir to the Throne of Brabant, the charges levelled by nasty Telramund and his ‘handler,’ Ortrud (the very fine and sexy Simon Meadows and Elena Gabouri). King Heinrich (Daniel Sumegi) calls for divine intervention, and after some nervous foot-shuffling by the assembled knights, there, in a puff of swan feathers, is…

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The Dying Citizen

(By Victor Davis Hanson) (2021) This is a thought-provoking argument that the classical concept of citizenship (the essence of a democratic nation) as developed and refined from the Greeks, Romans, and ‘aristocratic’ revolutionaries, is becoming denuded of meaning or relevance, and that a new tribalism (subject to a new “balkanized spoils system“) is fast replacing it, per the convenience of the governing elites (on the divide-and-rule paradigm). The author ranges wide but without attenuation, contrasting citizens with peasants (we prefer the more colouful term ‘peons’), residents and tribes, and then showing how the very concept of American citizenship – necessary…

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The Slap

April 13, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, LIFE, Ulalume |

(28 March 2022) Black velvety tunics, At a gang-bang held for eunuchs, When a joke that tasted sour Brought a show of feeble power And the man who did disparage Proved the sham that was his marriage. He laughed, then quivered at the cold Of his woman’s eyes, and so he rolled On stage and did lash out; Returning to his seat, to shout. Such doglike devotion Gives the world a certain notion; Laud a neuter to the nation Or fix degrees of separation? ———————————————- [We’d rather read Chris Tsiolkas.]

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