Grey Gardens

November 30, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Documentary, LIFE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

'Don't need men if you have cats.'

(Dir. David and Albert Maysles) (1976) Lifestyles of the squalid and shameless…Edith and Edie Beale live in their ramshackle mansion in the Hamptons, cats lolling about, voiding, and racoons climbing through great holes in the roof.  Daughter Edie swans about, recalling an interrupted career on Broadway; mother Edith (aunt to Jackie Onassis) sits in bed, watching, like a big spider.  Two years of footage has been distilled into doco-length, where not much occurs beyond regular ranting, but try to look away.  This eye-view seems like exploitation to us, but, nevertheless, of definite morbid interest.  For this reason, it has since been filmed…

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“Marriage Equality”

November 28, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, PETER'S WRITING, POLITICS |

The Marriage Settlement by William Hogarth

Rather, it appears to me As special pleading, don’t you see, Equality is not the name For making difference all the same And social change, go carefully About your task, respectfully; If to shadow-lands dissent Is forced, we’ll find new ways to vent And those could sting. For social concord, here’s a thing That could restore freedoms of old – Instead of choosing to be told What’s right, equal, or ‘appropriate’; Perhaps we should de-legislate And banish State from communal bed, Let couples choose to state instead What they are or wish to be – Let clerics moot matrimony.          

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Stuff We Hate

November 26, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE |

You know what we hate? :- Quizzes involving flags. Excessive celebrations by athletes. The Age (of recent times). Fitted sheets with narrow walls. The paper on which UK Grazia is printed. Alcohol-free wedding receptions. Expensive compacts (I’m looking at you, Lancômbe and Chanel) designed so that the application sponge presses against the mirror when the compact is shut – smudging and smutting the mirror. The much cheaper Revlon compacts are designed so that this doesn’t happen, people! Christmas wrapping paper on those annoying, inconvenient rolls. Why does it never come flat and folded up like other wrapping paper? The conversation-starters…

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Sporting Supporters

October 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, LIFE, Ulalume |

'Nothing unwholesome about baseball...'

Spring in Australia merges with sporting finals in a series of codes, but if your team has missed out, you can always fall back on uplifting or downbeat sporting films to fill (or at least, line) that emotional void. 1. The Underdogs Triumph Rocky A most unlikely hit, this film meanders around the back streets of Philly for what seems like years, and then down-an-almost-outer Rocky Balboa gets pummelled for 15 rounds but stays on his feet.  Total schlock, but try to resist.                     Year of the Dogs      …

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September 29, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

"Evicted" by Erik Henningsen (1892)

At a recent symposium on the homeless, a number of aspects arose in a policy and legal sense.  Access to Justice and availability of work were naturally to the fore.  The futility of fines and the false panacea of cheap grog and drugs loomed large. There was no talk of starvation and in fact, in these days of safety nets there would not appear to be any need for indigent people to go without food for five days (the ‘standard’ complaint in Down and Out in Paris and London). Intriguingly, public or affordable housing did not feature at all.  Dare…

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