World Order

(by H Kissinger) World Order is a knotty concept prone to interpretations of violent subjectivity.  On the one hand, we have the seers of doom, who see only a world in chaos and inevitable decline (e.g. Mark Steyn).  Farthest from this on the spectrum are the utopian promoters of one world governance (to whom one recommends an urgent reading of Thomas More). Along the way are those who deprecate the notion of order at all, preach heterogeneity and the cult of small-as-beautiful, the barrackers of old powers, cultists for the new such as the revived Middle Kingdom or ISIS, or…

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Nazi Philistines – Arthur Boyd – The Brians

November 24, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, Modern Music, MUSIC, POLITICS, Ulalume, WW2 |

Pyjamas

The Wall Street Journal reports that the art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, who died on 6/5/14, has been bequeathed to a museum in Bern.  The collection included works looted by the Nazis and ‘assayed’ under the stewardship of Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand: Matisse, Franz Marc, Monet and Renoir (which last perhaps suggests the basic philistine nature of the national socialists). German authorities famously carried out a home invasion of Gurlitt’s Augsburg home in 2012 and confiscated the art as, according to the WSJ, “Gurlitt sat shocked in a corner wearing his pyjamas.” This property was never returned to him but the…

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Triumph and Demise

(Paul Kelly) An account of the Australian Federal Labor Government 2007 – 2013. Kevin Rudd, his bete noire Julia Gillard, et al, stalk about like characters in The White Devil, passionless and brainless villains. You could play ‘Sortes Virgilianae’ in respect of some of the players, substituting DSM 4R.

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Thirteen Days

(by Robert Kennedy) (film directed by Roger Donaldson) This matter-of-fact monograph of the Cuban missile crisis by a central figure is very readable and, considering it was probably whipped up ahead of RFK’s tilt at the Presidency, quite fair (note, by contrast, that in the vivid film of the same name, a key, in fact, critical adviser, Llewellyn ‘Tommy’ Thompson, an Eisenhower appointee, is nowhere to be seen). Kennedy needs and wields no purple prose: his writing is clear, taut and free of cant.  For a career politician, this is singular in itself; for an account of a moment on…

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The Sorrow and the Pity

(dir. M Ophuls) (1969) A leisurely pace prevails, as diverse men chat about France under German occupation.  This casual approach belies the serious and vital theme that slowly works into the brain and heart:  courage and conscience under duress and in crisis.  

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