Naked Lady of the Week: Sasha Grey

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


Is it fair to call Sasha Grey a legend? I feel like it is, in part because her meteoric plummet through the hardcore porn industry now seems like part of a past era.

Upon seeing her for the first time I was astonished by her combination of ferociousness and self-awareness. In her performances she was clearly giving it all, and she wanted to be damn sure you recognized it, often barking metronomically at her partners like a punk singer — a porno Karen O. But despite the fluids, the contortions, and the smeared eyeliner there was a coolness to her act, a removed-from-it-all collectedness that might read as contempt if not for the countervailing influence of her dedication.

Was there anything behind the Evel Knievel daring and zoned-out comportment? Any hint of personality or soul? Possibly not, and yet the routine was hot, memorable, and daringly nihilistic, like the Dead Boys’ blaze through “Sonic Reducer” at CBGB. It was influential too: There is a lot of “gonzo” porn these days, and whenever I see an example of it I think of Sasha Grey.

Nudity below. Have a good weekend.

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Rant Du Jour: Why Rob from “High Fidelity” Sucks

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


We’re all arts sophisticates around here, right? We love the good things in life like pro wrestling, Michael Bay movies, and Mickey Spillane novels. We cultivate our refined taste and enjoy bantering with like-minded aesthetes. Ergo, you’d think I’d be in accordance with these lines from HIGH FIDELITY which nerds enjoy chanting as if it’s a maxim of Buddhist wisdom:

What really matters is what you like, not what you’re like. Books, records, films – these things *matter.* Call me shallow, but it’s the fuckin’ truth.

But no, I don’t agree with it, I think it’s absolute bullshit.

First, I’ve noticed that guys (it’s always guys) who quote this line almost invariably have dull, predictable taste. Oh, you like Paul Thomas Anderson and Cormac McCarthy? Well, gosh golly, so does nearly everyone else with a Filmstruck subscription. Second, even if their taste is great, I’d rather talk to someone with an interesting POV than someone who liked a particular list of things. Adopting a particular taste set is the easiest thing in the world. Third, notice how he uses the word “matters” twice but at no point tells us why it matters? You know why he doesn’t tell us? BECAUSE IT DOESNT FUCKING MATTER. Rule of thumb: whenever a person says something “matters” it almost invariably doesn’t. Also, that’s a nice rhetorical trick of blunting criticism by calling yourself “shallow” but it doesn’t make it any less true. Fourth, do they not notice that the protagonist of HIGH FIDELITY is an immature man boy? Why do they want to emulate that? Fifth, not to get all Godwin’s Law, but need I remind everyone that the Nazis loved Beethoven, Wagner, and Bruckner?

While whining about this on Facebook, Fabrizio added:

A dumb quote in that it presupposes that your cultural predilections have not only a moral dimension but a moral dimension that overrides all other considerations. This is basically a nerd’s rationalization of his assumed superiority. He has nothing to offer outside of his list of greatest breakup songs ever, so that’s all that matters. I like the right albums therefore I am.

Fellow UR scribe Enzo then observed that the real reason Rob is a moron who should be ignored is because he went back to Iben Hjejle, that bland third-rate Scandinavian Robin Wright doppleganger, instead of choosing the obviously superior Natasha Gregson Wagner.

Posted in Books Publishing and Writing, Movies, Personal reflections | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Quote Du Jour

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


At provincial assize courts in the Elizabethan-Jacobean period (1558-1625) the average duration of a trial, including time for jury deliberations, has been reckoned at between fifteen and twenty minutes. These were cases of felony, which still in Elizabethan times routinely resulted in death sentences upon conviction. …By the mid-eighteenth century the average trial time at assizes may have lengthened slightly, to about a half hour per trial.

The Old Bailey was the London-area equivalent of the provincial assize court. …In the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries the Old Bailey, which was the felony trial court for London and the surrounding county of Middlesex, processed between twelve and twenty jury trials per day through a single courtroom. So characteristic was the brevity of trial that when an exceptional criminal trial lasted for some hours, its duration became a subject of remark.

Still in the early nineteenth century [the French observer] Cottu was struck to find ten or twelve trials “may be dispatched in a morning…to a single jury,” whose deliberations typically lasted two or three minutes. The conveyor belt at the Old Bailey ran so monotonously that on one occasion a trial went its course before anybody realized that the court had just tried the wrong man: One John Smith was indicted and tried for stealing nine pounds of raisins. “I am not the person. I know nothing of this matter. I was committed upon suspicion of forgery.” The astonished prosecutor, “looking at the prisoner,” acknowledged that “the man at the bar is not the person.”

John H. Langbein, The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial

Posted in History, Law | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Vested Interest In Disorder

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


I found myself mulling over a discussion in our class in History and Moral Philosophy. Mr. Dubois was talking about the disorders that preceded the breakup of the North American republic, back in the 20th century. According to him, there was a time just before they went down the drain when such crimes as murder were as common as dogfights. The Terror had not been just in North America — Russia and the British Isles had it, too, as well as other places. But it reached its peak in North America shortly before things went to pieces.

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Architecture and Color

Paleo Retiree writes:

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Caldwell on Trump

Paleo Retiree writes:

From a terrific piece by Christopher Caldwell:

In our time, as in Jackson’s, the ruling classes claim a monopoly not just on the economy and society but also on the legitimate authority to regulate and restrain it, and even on the language in which such matters are discussed. Elites have full-spectrum dominance of a whole semiotic system. What has just happened in American politics is outside of the system of meanings elites usually rely upon. Mike Pence’s neighbors on Tennyson Street not only cannot accept their election loss; they cannot fathom it. They are reaching for their old prerogatives in much the way that recent amputees are said to feel an urge to scratch itches on limbs that are no longer there. Their instincts tell them to disbelieve what they rationally know. Their arguments have focused not on the new administration’s policies or its competence but on its very legitimacy.

Posted in Politics and Economics | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Naked Lady of the Week: Daniel Sea

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


Daniel is a boy’s name, but no one would take the model known as Daniel Sea for a boy. Not on visual evidence, anyway.

She looks a bit like a deluxe version of Elle Fanning. A commenter on MetArt calls her “blonde pastry.” I like that. You can get your fill of hyperbolic commenting here.

According to the internet, she’s from Belarus.

Nudity below. Happy President’s Day weekend.

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Posted in Photography, Sex, The Good Life | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment