Juxtaposin’: Girls Dancing

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

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Alt Right Linkage

Paleo Retiree writes:

Will the Alt Right ever again experience a week like the one just passed, or are its visibility and influence going to continue growing? Whatever the case, it’s certainly been interesting watching the mainstream start to take note. Hey, a telling fact from the L.A. Times: “Key Alt-Right websites the American Renaissance and VDARE … both received more web visits last November than Dissent and Ms. The National Policy Institute and its Radix Journal together had many more visits than the neoconservative policy journal National Affairs.”

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Turd-Free Lists of the 21st Century’s Best Movies

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

The BBC just released a list of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century as chosen by an international panel of film critics. Movie fans that we are — cinephiles, if you will — we immediately began analyzing it with the intensity of conspiracy theorists working their way through the Warren Commission report. I think it was Fabrizio who observed that for every good movie on the BBC list there are at least two turds. “Inherent Vice”? “12 Years a Slave”? “Mad Max: Fury Road”? Gimme a fuckin’ break.

So a few of us have contributed Entirely Turd-Free Lists of the Best Movies of the 21st Century™. Alright, so they’re more our favorites than any attempt at being “objective” — whatever that means — but it’s 2016 and I couldn’t resist the clickbaity headline. We’ll start off with mine.


Unbreakable (Shyamalan, 2000)
Fat Girl (Breillat, 2001)
The Piano Teacher (Haneke, 2001)
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, 2001)
Training Day (Fuqua, 2001)
Irreversible (Noe, 2002)
Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002)
My Summer of Love (Pawlikowski, 2004)
Sideways (Payne, 2004)
How Much Do You Love Me? (Blier, 2005)
Cocaine Cowboys (Corben, 2006)
Apocalypto (Gibson, 2006)
Black Book (Verhoeven, 2006)
The Painted Veil (Curran, 2006)
Once (Carney, 2007)
Michael Clayton (Gilroy, 2007)
Unrelated (Hogg, 2007)
Whatever Works (Allen, 2009)
A Serious Man (Coen Bros., 2009)
Leap Year (Rowe, 2010)
The Trip & The Trip to Italy (Winterbottom, 2010 & 2014)
True Grit (Coen Bros., 2010)
A Separation (Farhadi, 2011)
Oslo, August 31st (Trier, 2011)
Damsels in Distress (Stillman, 2011)
Killer Joe (Friedkin, 2011)
Margaret (Lonergan, 2011)
The Hunt (Vinterberg, 2012)
Byzantium (Jordan, 2012)
The Immigrant (Gray, 2013)
Young & Beautiful (Ozon, 2013)
Blue is the Warmest Color (Kechiche, 2013)
The Two Faces of January (Amini, 2014)
God Help the Girl (Murdoch, 2014)
Sicario (Villeneuve, 2015)

Enzo Nakamura writes:

[Enzo didn’t have time for any introductory niceties, but he was still generous enough to share his top 20. — BE]


The Pianist (Polanski, 2002)
The Best of Youth (Giodana, 2003)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Jackson, 2001, 2002, 2003)
Code 46 (Winterbottom, 2003)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Cuarón, 2004)
Grizzly Man (Herzog, 2005)
The Death of Mister Lazarescu (Puiu, 2005)
War of the Worlds (Spielberg, 2005)
Tell No One (Canet, 2006)
Children of Men (Cuarón, 2006)
The Prestige (Nolan, 2006)
The Last Mistress (Breillat, 2007)
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, 2008)
Summer Hours (Assayas, 2008)
A Serious Man (Coen Bros., 2009)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Herzog, 2009)
The Eclipse (McPherson, 2009)
Enter the Void (Noe, 2009)
Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino, 2009)
Film Socialisme (Godard, 2010)
Let Me In (Reeves, 2010)
Margaret (Lonergan, 2011)
Sucker Punch (Snyder, 2011)
Oslo, August 31st (Trier, 2011)
Dredd (Travis, 2012)
Life of Pi (Lee, 2012)
Only God Forgives (Refn, 2013)
Dawn of Planet of the Apes (Reeves, 2014)

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

Part of me thinks the BBC’s list is pretty bad. The other part of me thinks it’s absurd to pass judgement on what is essentially a poll of professional movie commentators. Taken as the latter, I suppose it’s a successful list in that it accurately portrays elite (is that the right word?) opinion concerning movies. For a few years now I’ve joked with friends — my co-bloggers among them — about the peculiar taste-set of what I like to call the bi-coastal eunuchs. The eunuchs are typically urban, overly educated (meaning they’ve had the sense educated out of them), and white (spiritually if not always physically). They hate Armond White, loathe Michael Bay, and are embarrassed by Tyler Perry. They are very impressed by race-and-gender crapola, respond more to tone than content, and take Errol Morris and Ken Burns seriously. They revere Jim Jarmusch — though they can’t quite explain why. Movies that go for the gut or poke sensitive areas tend to bother them, because they strike them as hateful, or maybe just inappropriate. (And they LOVE to tsk-tsk at things that are inappropriate.) I suppose it’s accurate to say they approach movies in the way the literary establishment approaches books: to the latter group, there’s literary fiction, or the stuff worth taking seriously, and then there’s a bunch of stuff that’s disposable or just plain unworthy of whatever is the book equivalent of the Criterion Collection.

I’d describe the majority of the movies on the BBC list as the film versions of literary fiction. They’re made-to-be-taken-seriously-by-the-right-sort-of-people movies. This is true even of the various Pixar productions, which I’ve always taken to be immaculately crafted baubles of marketable appropriateness. I appreciate the effort that goes into making something like that, and I even somewhat admire a few pieces of Pixar’s output, but I’m not particularly moved or excited by it. “Inside Out” struck me as being aimed at helicopter parents who are prone to dramatize every wisp of emotion that flits across the mugs of their beloved little ones. (And why would I want any part of THAT?)

On the other hand, I think the list includes a lot of good (even great) movies, so who am I to complain? Of the top ten I Like “Yi Yi,” “In the Mood for Love,” and “Mulholland Dr.” a lot, and “A Separation” ain’t bad either. (“Eternal Sunshine” I’ve been meaning to revisit. I recall liking it, albeit with some reservations.)

Anyway, here’s my list. I wouldn’t argue for these being the “best” of the 2000s. They’re just some favorites. I haven’t seen some of them since they came out (as many as 16 years ago now!), so it’s possible I’d have a different take after a second viewing.


Cast Away (Zemeckis, 2000)
In the Mood for Love (Wong, 2000)
Almost Famous (Crowe, 2000)
Yi Yi (Yang, 2000)
Training Day (Fuqua, 2001)
Brief Crossing (Breillat, 2001)
Last Orders (Schepisi, 2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, 2001)
Chop Suey (Weber, 2001)
The Blue Planet (Fothergill, 2001)
Lantana (Lawrence, 2001)
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, 2001)
Friday Night (Denis, 2002)
Porn Theater (Nolot, 2002)
Secret Things (Brisseau, 2002)
Femme Fatale (De Palma, 2002)
To Be and to Have (Philibert, 2002)
The Story of Marie and Julien (Rivette, 2003)
Good Morning, Night (Bellocchio, 2003)
Crimen Ferpecto (Iglesia, 2004)
Before Sunset (Linklater, 2004)
Cafe Lumiere (Hou, 2004)
Red Eye (Craven, 2005)
Apocalypto (Gibson, 2006)
Come Early Morning (Adams, 2006)
Cocaine Cowboys (Corben, 2006)
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Lin, 2006)
The History Boys (Hytner, 2006)
Black Book (Verhoeven, 2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness (Muccino, 2006)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Schnabel, 2007)
Lake Mungo (Anderson, 2008)
Appaloosa (Harris, 2008)
Sparrow (To, 2008)
Tyson (Toback, 2008)
Crank: High Voltage (Neveldine/Taylor, 2009)
Enter the Void (Noe, 2009)
Visage (Tsai, 2009)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
Hell and Back Again (Dennis, 2011)
Into the Abyss (Herzog, 2011)
Margaret (Lonergan, 2011)
Oslo, August 31st (Trier, 2011)
Get the Gringo (Grunberg, 2012)
Byzantium (Jordan, 2012)
American Hustle (Russell, 2013)
Blue is the Warmest Color (Kechiche, 2013)
The Trip to Italy (Winterbottom, 2014)
The Mend (Magary, 2014)
Experimenter (Almereyda, 2015)

Sax von Stroheim writes:

Coming up with my list helped pinpoint why I find these consensus lists so annoying: 1) Prolific filmmakers tend to get shafted, because the vote for their work is spread out too much. Neither Hong Sang-soo or Johnnie To had any movies make that list, and I’d argue that they’re the two greatest directors working today — in the artsy/lit realm and pop realm respectively. 2) Relatedly, you get shafted if your pictures aren’t “events” of some type, whether art house or otherwise.


1. Yi-Yi: A One and a Two (Yang, 2000)
2. Two Lovers (Gray, 2008)
3. Hahaha (Hong, 2010)
4. The Happening (Shyamalan, 2008)
5. Romancing in Thin Air (To, 2012)
6. Safe Conduct (Tavernier, 2002)
7. Idiocracy (Judge, 2006)
8. Oki’s Movie (Hong, 2010)
9. Va Savoir (Rivette, 2001)
10. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, 2014)
11. Training Day (Fuqua, 2001)
12. A Serious Man (Coen Bros., 2009)
13. Unbreakable (Shyamalan, 2000)
14. Primer (Carruth, 2004)
15. Woman on the Beach (Hong, 2006)
16. War Horse (Spielberg, 2011)
17. Cassandra’s Dream (Allen, 2007)
18. Exiled (To, 2006)
19. Moonrise Kingdom (Anderson, 2012)
20. Pain & Gain (Bay, 2013)
21. Life Without Principle (To, 2011)
22. The Mysteries of Lisbon (Ruiz, 2010)
23. Alps (Lanthimos, 2011)
24. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Allen, 2010)
25. Dumb and Dumber To (Farrelly Bros., 2014)
26. Unforgivable (Téchiné, 2011)
27. Around a Small Mountain (Rivette, 2011)
28. Gran Torino (Eastwood, 2008)
29. The Passion of the Christ (Gibson, 2004)
30. Hail, Caesar! (Coen Bros., 2016)
31. We Own the Night (Gray, 2007)
32. Midnight in Paris (Allen, 2011)
33. Margaret (Lonergan, 2011)
34. Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors (Hong, 2000)
35. Battle Royale (Fukasaku, 2000)
36. Sparrow (To, 2008)
37. Mission to Mars (De Palma, 2000)
38. Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, 2001)
39. Jack Reacher (McQuarrie, 2012)
40. No Country for Old Men (Coen Bros., 2007)
41. The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, 2013)
42. Apocalypto (Gibson, 2006)
43. Open Range (Costner, 2003)
44. The Trip to Italy (Winterbottom, 2014)
45. Taken (Morel, 2008)
46. Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen Bros., 2013)
47. Only God Forgives (Refn, 2013)
48. Irrational Man (Allen, 2015)
49. To Rome with Love (Allen, 2012)
50. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Coen Bros., 2000)
51. The Master (Anderson, 2012)
52. Stuck On You (Farrelly Bros., 2003)
53. Blackhat (Mann, 2015)
54. Drug War (To, 2012)
55. Michael Clayton (Gilroy, 2007)
56. Crank: High Voltage (Neveldine/Taylor, 2009)
57. The Lady in the Water (Shyamalan, 2006)
58. The Gleaners & I (Varda, 2000)
59. How Do You Know (Brooks, 2010)
60. A Prairie Home Companion (Altman, 2006)
61. The Last Mistress (Breillat, 2007)
62. Crank (Neveldine/Taylor, 2006)
63. Cast Away (Zemeckis, 2000)
64. Election 2 (To, 2006)
65. Sucker Punch (Snyder, 2011)
66. Blue Beard (Breillat, 2009)
67. Good Morning, Night (Bellochio, 2003)
68. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Resnais, 2012)
69. The Claim (Winterbottom, 2000)
70. Fading Gigolo (Turturro, 2013)
71. Watchmen (Snyder, 2009)
72. The Darjeeling Limited (Anderson, 2007)
73. Like You Know It All (Hong, 2009)
74. Black Book (Verhoeven, 2006)
75. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alfredson, 2011)
76. Night and Day (Hong, 2008)
77. Collateral (Mann, 2004)
78. 13 Assassins (Miike, 2010)
79. Election (To, 2005)
80. The Village (Shyamalan, 2004)
81. The Trip (Winterbottom, 2010)
82. MacGruber (Taccone, 2010)
83. Hara Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Miike, 2011)
84. The Ghost Writer (Polanski, 2010)
85. The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012)
86. Vengeance (To, 2009)
87. The Sleeping Beauty (Breillat, 2010)
88. 300 (Snyder, 2006)
89. Spirited Away (Miyazaki, 2001)
90. Wild Grass (Resnais, 2009)
91. Interstellar (Nolan, 2014)
92. Hereafter (Eastwood, 2010)
93. The Yards (Gray, 2000)
94. True Grit (Coen Bros., 2010)
95. Woman Is the Future of Man (Hong, 2004)
96. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Brooks, 2005)
97. Throw Down (To, 2004)
98. A Dangerous Method (Cronenberg, 2011)
99. The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (Scott, 2009)
100. Tree of Life (Malick, 2011)


  • Steve Sailer points out that what really ties the movies on the BBC list together is that they’re the kinds of films that give critics a lot to write and argue about.
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I Can’t Help It

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

Netflix is currently streaming a documentary on the Carter family, called “The Winding Stream.” It includes so many fab songs and performances that it’s almost beyond criticism. So profound are the depths of the Carters’ talent, beauty, and influence that I spent most of the movie appreciating their existence rather than worrying about the movie’s structure, the information it imparts, and so forth.

I’ve long nursed a significant crush on June Carter, the willowy cutup of the brood, but this performance by her sister Anita has me ready to transfer allegiance.

In this clip Anita exhibits a moodiness, sultriness, and intensity that wouldn’t be out of place in one of Bergman’s ’50s films, particularly the ones starring Harriet Andersson.

That look she darts at Williams! Is it fair to say it’s the sort of thing, ephemeral though it is, that draws men to women? It is, I think, the sort of thing we men — unsophisticated louts that we are — understand as love, or at least what we understand as its most immediate physical manifestation. There’s much that’s endearing and arousing in a look like that, but much that’s terrifying too. It’s a look that has no bottom, no tether. It’s the look the mermaid gives to the wayward sailor — a look unbounded by the consideration of consequences.

Does Anita really love Williams or is she acting? Are they ever not acting? Where does the performance end and the woman begin?

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Naked Lady of the Week: Daria

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


According to TheNudeEU, this Russian gamine, known by Daria, Dasha, Bekki, and a few other names, became active in 2006. That’s 10 years ago! She’s probably married and has kids now.

What a charmer, and what a smile. These photos capture her at the age at which attractive young women are capable of seeming either remote and regal or childlike and goofy, depending on the frame, pose, and attitude. Is it any wonder that we earthlings find them so maddening? I suspect they’re maddening even to themselves…

Nudity below. Enjoy the weekend.

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Naked Lady of the Week: RayVeness

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


Is the internet largely responsible for the MILF category of porn?  Sure seems that way.

Though she’s retired now, the busty, blue-eyed RaVeness seemed to play MILF roles forever. She did a good job of it too: Her southern-belle voice is the kind of thing an East Coast boy like me dreams of emanating from a sexy older lady. Actually, RayVeness’ entire look and persona are, to me, welcoming, even comforting. She’s wholesomely disreputable.

I love her powder-pale skin and the way the blue lines of her veins are just barely visible on the fringes of her aureoles. (Why does this turn me on? I have no idea.)

According to this article she enjoyed a stint in respectable movies and television, appearing in “NYPD Blue” and John Frankenheimer’s “Path to War.” A pretty neat feat, especially when you consider that she’d already made a name for herself in hardcore porn.

Her IMDB bio is an interesting read. I’m guessing she wrote it herself.

Nudity below. Enjoy the weekend.

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Ideologies Are Bullshit. All of Them.

Sir Barken Hyena writes:

Genesis of a Scoffer

My ongoing journey to uncover the truth of everything — and maybe hook up with the occasional pretty lady along the way — has been a long one. I started as your typical lefty, if always a bit more anarchist than most. But that couldn’t last because of my deep temperamental attachment, indeed thirst, for The Truth. That and pretty ladies. I think it was seeing the pro-Castro and Che posters at my local hippy co-op while buying almond butter that did it. Screw these phonies I said.

Around this time I started reading Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization. Besides being a cracking good read, it raised a hell of a lot of troubling questions about the nature of mankind. It did this for the authors as well, as can be seen by their short book Lessons of History. What really is behind all of this turmoil, bloodshed and horror? Is there any sense, and movement towards something, some purpose or culmination? It didn’t seem so, and so the progressive dream must be false.

My brother, eight years my senior, had by the early 90’s become a bit of a conservative. He introduced me to Thomas Sowell, Reason magazine, The American Spectator and others of the like (let’s not get into Reason being “conservative,” ok?). This was all new stuff to me, I had no inkling that there was an intellectual side to the right, that it wasn’t all Pat Robertson. A lot of what was said was hard to argue with.

But, but…! There were always holes in the arguments that surfaced with time. Sure the 50s may have been prosperous and orderly, but no way would I want to live then. I’m a weed smoker, a fornicator, a happily refined hedonist. The endemic racism of the time was, and had to be lightly passed over. Also, liberal government had clear successes to it, and recent ones. For example, regulation had visibly improved the air quality in my town Phoenix since 1992 when I moved there. If the libertarian argument that market-based alternatives could be more effective at lower cost was intellectually convincing, still, the air was better, so what’s the big deal? Is it worth the wrenching change?

And there was always the “how.” How would libertarian ideas get implemented when a majority of people thought it was nuts? Persuasion! was this answer. So yeah, right, we’re going to somehow get enough people on board here, all pointing in the same direction and then it all falls into hand like a ripe fruit. When has this ever happened? I’m not talking about convincing the general public of the justice of a cause, which has been done many times. No, going libertarian means getting people to profoundly modify their behavior, just as communism does. Successful examples were not to be found in The Story of Civilization, though there were plenty of efforts.

In the end I just couldn’t really swallow whole any of the available ideological options, but then what do you believe in? You do have to believe in something, don’t you? Otherwise it’s nihilism!

No Exit?

Why is belief so important in the West? The world has been riven by sectional dispute from the beginning, but the West seems especially driven to monomaniacal belief, that everyone MUST get with the program. Perhaps China has been equally so, presently and in history but there’s not much in antiquity to match it, with the exception of Judea. Islam has its Sunni/Shiite/Sufi divisions, but a lot of that is ethnic or nationalist at bottom.

I believe the answer is the Western denial of limits, limits of any kind. And this because it’s the one culture that has really stared into the abyss of infinity and made its home there. The Greeks hated infinity, tried to stuff it in a box for safe keeping. Hindus imagined a vast cosmos of deep time, but it was cyclical in nature. The god dreamed for 480 millions years, then woke for another 480 million, then back to dreaming. Islam hasn’t got much to say here, since Allah sustains the world as he sees fit, without the constraint of law (logos, the tao, etc.), and investigation there is denigrated in favor of mysticism.

But the West had to go everywhere, into each and every corner of the cosmos, and of the mind, too. This has been great and terrible. This sense of the limitless means that as Westerners we can never, ever stop. And a limitless universe oddly leads not to infinite diversity, but complete singularity. God is limitless? Than he is all, one. And mankind as a part of god, is also one. And being one, we must naturally, properly believe as One. This is why the Reformation unleashed such deep fanaticism, it was the West maturing and shaking off the foreign middle eastern origins of Christianity and asserting its own true self, which took even Near Eastern fanaticism to new depths.

And from that One, that universal, there is no exit. The only problem is, it’s total hogwash, malarkey on an epic scale. The intellectual case for the unity of man might be airtight, but I believe there is not one person, now or today, who truly feels it and lives it. It’s a principal honored only in the breech. No, we all feel ourselves and our own as pitted against the rest, because in fact, we are.

Ideology = Civilization

Granted then that no ideology is actually valid, consistent and logical, what are they for? Why so much effort and turmoil caused for and by them?

Social control, pure and simple. Bushmen sure don’t have it and seem to get along nicely without it, or at least did until it was kindly brought to them. But then they have no large populations, cities, agriculture, organized religion. You can’t have that without an ideology. In the early stages it was in religious form, since it was found that fear of god was more inspiring of devotion than fear of men. I believe that ideology was the tool that unified and directed populations for the creation of civilization. Maybe we see the earliest sign of this beginning at Gobekli Tepe: there was a unifying religion before agriculture, to me because agriculture was one result of ideological unification, not a spur to civilization as currently thought by Materialist historians.

Not a pretty thought! Seen this way, civilization is a system of mind control for the purpose of willing slavery. But I think it’s the truth.

Where does that leave us, or more precisely me? I can’t believe any ideology, but do I need it? Maybe civilization needs it but Sir Barken doesn’t, he laughs madly at it. I can give $5 to the homeless guy burning up on the street corner without believing it’s my ethical moral Christian or liberal duty, because I’m human and so nothing human is foreign to me. Including suffering.

And besides, pretty ladies come in all ideological stripes, so why limit myself?

Posted in History, Personal reflections, Politics and Economics | 14 Comments