Naked Lady of the Week: Foxy Di

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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This twenty-year-old Russian seems to be all over the internet these days. She is a cute little thing — not that that’s stopped her from doing hardcore.

I like this quote from an anonymous appreciator:

WOW! This girl’s in a hurry! Only a year in the biz and already she’s on the outer edge of extreme. Such a beautiful girl in a race for sexual immortality…it’ll all end in tears!

That’d make good marketing copy for a wild exploitation film. But let’s hope it doesn’t, in fact, all end in tears…

Images seem to come from 21Naturals, DOMAI, Goddess Nudes, Femjoy, Showy Beauty, Twistys, and Karups.

Nudity below the jump. Have a great holiday.

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Linkage

Paleo Retiree writes:

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Taste Thrill Du Jour

Paleo Retiree writes:

After lunch in Chinatown at this good place, Blowhard Esq. and I couldn’t resist sampling a specialty flavor at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factor nearby:

Durian ice cream! “Is it really popular?” I asked the woman behind the counter. She nodded. “A lot of people want to try it,” she said. “It’s not as repulsive as the real thing.”

“Not so bad!” said Blowhard Esq. after his first plastic spoonful. I concurred. The flavor reminded me of apricots, only ranker. (In all fairness, I was also reminded of a couple of classic descriptions of the joys of consuming durian. One: “It’s like eating vanilla ice cream while sitting in an outhouse.” The other, from Anthony Bourdain: “It’s like French-kissing your dead grandma.”) Blowhard, Esq. ate another plastic spoonful. “There’s definitely something off about it,” he mused. “But not in the worst way.”

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Quote Du Jour: Travel Narrows the Mind

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

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I have never managed to lose my old conviction that travel narrows the mind. At least a man must make a double effort of moral humility and imaginative energy to prevent it from narrowing his mind. Indeed there is something touching and even tragic about the thought of the thoughtless tourist, who might have stayed at home loving Laplanders, embracing Chinamen, and clasping Patagonians to his heart in Hampstead or Surbiton, but for his blind and suicidal impulse to go and see what they looked like. This is not meant for nonsense; still less is it meant for the silliest sort of nonsense, which is cynicism. The human bond that he feels at home is not an illusion. On the contrary, it is rather an inner reality. Man is inside all men. In a real sense any man may be inside any men. But to travel is to leave the inside and draw dangerously near the outside. So long as he thought of men in the abstract, like naked toiling figures in some classic frieze, merely as those who labor and love their children and die, he was thinking the fundamental truth about them. By going to look at their unfamiliar manners and customs he is inviting them to disguise themselves in fantastic masks and costumes. Many modern internationalists talk as if men of different nationalities had only to meet and mix and understand each other. In reality that is the moment of supreme danger–the moment when they meet. We might shiver, as at the old euphemism by which a meeting meant a duel.

Travel ought to combine amusement with instruction; but most travelers are so much amused that they refuse to be instructed. I do not blame them for being amused; it is perfectly natural to be amused at a Dutchman for being Dutch or a Chinaman for being Chinese. Where they are wrong is that they take their own amusement seriously. They base on it their serious ideas of international instruction. It was said that the Englishman takes his pleasures sadly; and the pleasure of despising foreigners is one which he takes most sadly of all. He comes to scoff and does not remain to pray, but rather to excommunicate. Hence in international relations there is far too little laughing, and far too much sneering. But I believe that there is a better way which largely consists of laughter; a form of friendship between nations which is actually founded on differences.

— G.K. Chesterton, What is America?

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“The Black Swan”

Paleo Retiree writes:

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I was amazed how uninspiring I found this 2010 ballet-world-set psychological horror film. Natalie Portman plays a super-perfectionist, frigid (but yearning for release) ballerina who’s given the lead in a new version of “Swan Lake.” The movie is devoted to trying to get you to experience things as Portman’s character does, so you’re always very, very close to her — following her onto the stages and into the rehearsal rooms of Lincoln Center; tracking her as she hurries down the sidewalks and through the corridors of the Upper West Side; inspecting the scrunched-up muscles in her forehead; sharing her shallow breathing; dodging or getting fascinated by mirrors; scrambling fantasies, fears and reality … The script gives her a frustrated, pushy mother (Barbara Hershey), an earthy rival at the dance company (Mila Kunis), and an is-he-being-sexual-or-not? choreographer boss (Vincent Cassel).

Director Darren Aronofsky (“Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream”) has a taste for both high culture and dramatic intensity that I can enjoy, and he’s clearly a smart, thinking guy — “The Black Swan” is full of film and lit references, doubles and strategies. The film delivers some overwrought, fruity, near-camp moments that are transporting and fun in the shamelessly-flamboyant mode; Portman is as lovely as can be; the glimpses of Manhattan’s Upper West Side cultural life are accurate and interesting; Barbara Hershey swings for the fences as the scary mom; and Kunis and Cassel both show off interesting mixes of swagger and vulnerability. Credit where credit is due: the film has more than its share of artistic and entertainment daring, especially in the context of today’s movies.

But “The Black Swan” is a long way from being in the class of “Repulsion,” “Carrie” or “The Red Shoes,” a few of its more obvious inspirations. Props to everyone involved for a lot of commitment, but (for my tastes, anyway) the script is lacking in slyness and wit; the direction is ‘way too pushily “immediate” (half the movie consists of handheld shots over the shoulder of Natalie Portman as she walks anxiously around); and I found Portman’s performance tiresomely one-note. She plays her good-girl character’s gaunt, keyed-up inner anxiety and almost nothing but. A few fleeting moments of relaxation and sensuality that the character experiences — Portman does these moments well — came as a HUGE favor to this particular audience member. All that said, I’m still wondering why I couldn’t object to Catherine Deneuve’s performance in Polanski’s “Repulsion” on the same basis. Like “The Black Swan,” “Repulsion” sets out to convey the subjective experience of a terrified, deteriorating personality, and like Portman, Deneuve was a beautiful but limited actress. Yet I’m happy agreeing with the general film-buff consensus that “Repulsion” is a classic and Deneuve’s performance in it is iconic. Hmmmm … Well, maybe my objections to “The Black Swan” boil down to the film’s up-to-date visual language. Maybe I’m just an out-of-it old fogey who couldn’t find the film’s groove, and maybe “The Black Swan” really deserves to be praised as “Repulsion” for the reality-TV set.

Short version: Nice try, but when the film wasn’t being monotonous it was being annoyingly frantic and strident. Among Aronofsky’s films, “The Black Swan” is more akin to “The Wrestler” (which I also found dreary) than to the super-stylized and exciting (if grueling) “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream.” My wife had a hard time staying awake thru the movie, and it took us three evenings to finish watching it.

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Linkage

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

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Random Notes on Spengler’s “Decline of the West”

Sir Barken Hyena writes:

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Like a snake slowly digesting a fat rabbit, I’ve been working my way through this massive and challenging work for the last 4 or 5 years. While I’m not ready to write the Cliff Notes version, I do feel like I’m getting a grasp on it all. But a concise summary eludes me, partly because Spengler had no intention of erecting a “system”, he was too trailblazing for that. But by highlighting some general points, we can get started.

A little background. Published in 1918, “Decline of the West” was a surprise best seller. With Europe smoldering from the Great War, notions of the end of civilization were on everyone’s mind. Not a work of history, but rather of the philosophy of history, “Decline” begins by rejecting out of hand the notion of ancient, medieval, and modern periods, as we all still learn it today. World history was not a unity, not a slow but unified climb to a higher state, and could not be seen in its true light until this notion was abandoned.

  • Two important terms are Culture and Civilization, capitalized. For Spengler, these are phases of development. Culture is the early growth, and is characterized by deep creativity and spirituality. It is flexible, organic, intuitive, mystical and religious, restless and searching. Civilization is the late fulfilled senescence of the earlier Culture, and so it has opposite qualities. It is rigid, materialistic, rule based, logical, and sterile, the remains of a once living thing, and as such can last for a very long time like bones in the earth or the great hulk of a dead oak in the forest.
  • Viewed properly, we see cultures being born, growing to maturity and finally dissolving in senility in a plant-like pattern of growth. These cultures interact, yes, but are in the end complete worlds of their own that do not admit a true understanding to outsiders. Spengler was the first, and by far the truest multiculturalist; what goes by that name today is actually syncretic universalism, a perfect opposite to Spengler’s notions.
  • Primitive men had no Culture, there was no directional tendency in their societies, but rather a vegetative stasis. Though constantly in flux in its myths and practices, it stays in the same place. This is the background soil out of which Culture emerges.
  • As population rose and agriculture began, political complexity emerged and a priesthood with it that had leisure to contemplate existence. Joseph Campbell, a confirmed Spenglerist, calls this the Age of Wonder, it’s when the old primitive myths lose force and a crisis of belief forces a new conception to emerge. An example from the ancient Middle East: attention to astronomy began to reveal deep patterns of time in the movement of the stars that had been unsuspected by primitive men. This was a great shock, the universe is suddenly seen to be profoundly different than ever thought.
  • Fear of the absolute otherness of the new found reality demanded an answer to show man’s place in this strange universe, in particular, to the vastly expanded sense of time which underscores man’s tiny place in the world and his impending lonely death and oblivion. The response is a new feeling of time and space. It is the flowering of this “seed idea” that creates a new Culture.
  • A Culture lasts about 1,000 years, but the Civilization stage can continue indefinitely. China and India, for example, have been in that stage since 400 B.C. or so. Though Cultures evolve independently, they follow the same phases of growth as individuals of the same species do though the details are particular to each.

Spengler variously lists what he considers to be Cultures but generally they are:

  • Egypt
  • India
  • China
  • Babylonia
  • Classical Antiquity
  • Aztec/MesoAmerica
  • Inca
  • Western Europe (Faustian)
  • Arabia (Magian)
  • Russia

Spengler is not a predictor of collapse or some kind of impending apocalypse. His “decline” is a decline of creative powers into an ossified condition, but it is in the Civilization stage that huge populations arise.

Well, that’s enough to chew on I guess. There’s more, much more trust me. “Decline of the West” is out of print and hard to find; I’ve been reading Kindle versions, of which David Payne’s translation is the best. I think the time is ripe for a revival of this most unusual of philosophers, one who from the remove of a century has uncannily seen so much of what we’ve become today.

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