France


Anaïs Nin was an American born to Hispanic/Cuban parents in France on February 21, 1903. Although we associate the author with Paris, she spent most of her life living in the U.S.

A writer of essays, short stories and novels, Nin’s literary triumph was the publication of her diaries which chronicled more than six decades of experiences. Nin carried on a famous affair with author Henry Miller and it was during her time with him that the pair both started writing erotica to make ends meet. In the Paris of the 1930’s, enterprising publishers cultivated collectors of forbidden writing and paid authors well and quickly for custom-crafted smut. Nin was a pioneer as one of the first women to ply the dirty book trade and she eventually let the works be collected and published widely under the titles Delta of Venus and Little Birds. She’s considered to be among the best writers of the female sexual experience.

Along with Miller, Nin became a counterculture hero during the unrest of the 1960’s. While Miller championed freedom of libido in his writing and fought for free of speech in his battles against censorship, Nin was perceived as the kind of strong, talented, liberated woman that the just-budding feminist movement was still trying to articulate. While she became a popular lecturer at universities, Nin never became involved in radical politics. It seemed she was always a lover more than a fighter. Nin died of cancer in 1977.

Here is the woman herself as she appeared in Kenneth Anger’s The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome in 1954

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Joe Nolan







Did you know that Mitt Romney was in a coma for a few days during the `60s?  No, not due to drugs.  Lou Colagiovanni gives the commonly accepted story for the Examiner:…


In the mood for a lost landmark? The Smiling Madame Beudet, from 1922, may be the prototype of feminist cinema. Directed by Germaine Dulac, the lone female figure among the notable French avant-garde filmmakers of the 1920s, it’s an impressionistic, surrealist, silent tale of a woman’s psychological imprisonment. Her primary source of release is playing her piano, to which her husband holds the keys. Futher explanation available at The House of Mirth and Movies:




Reports Eleanor Beardsley for NPR: In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let…


One can only hope he doesn’t become some sort of perverse martyr. From AFP: A self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda militant died in a hail of bullets on Thursday as he jumped out of an…


Still available in the good ole USofA … Jessica Ravitz and Saskya Vandoorne report on a bizarre iPhone app for CNN: “Jew or not Jew?”: That is just part of the question….


Le_Voyage_dans_la_luneDreamy and surreal, it lives up to its name:

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

It is the first science fiction film and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the moon’s eye.



IKEA’s business has been booming. Although no one was significantly injured, this coordinated attack had alarm clocks exploding in three different European countries. Via Reuters: French, Belgian and Dutch police have launched…


Flag of FranceVive la France! Wait, what? David Case writes on globalpost:

Here’s a story that illustrates the chasm between how France and America handle men, women and rape.

The French elite are outraged over what they see as American vulgarities surrounding the treatment of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief and putative 2012 presidential frontrunner, accused of raping a 32-year-old Sofitel chambermaid in Manhattan last weekend.

Among the “barbaric” American practices under critique by Parisians: showing photos of the accused in handcuffs; marching him through a scrum of photographers on the way to court; and pillorying him tabloid style — the NY Post called him “a horny toad,” for example. As GlobalPost has reported, French law restricts some media coverage of alleged perpetrators prior to conviction, including publication of images showing the accused in handcuffs, to preserve the dignity of the innocent.





Disneyland FranceUPI.com reports:

A worker at Disneyland Paris allegedly tried to kill himself by jumping off a bridge at the theme park, saying he blamed his manager for his actions.

The man, identified only as “C,” stood atop a 33-foot bridge along the route of the park’s scale railroad threatening to jump Thursday while concurrently demanding to see Disneyland’s management, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

Le Parisien reported two members of the park’s management talked the man into coming down, which he did, witnesses said, with tears in his eyes and blaming his manager for his actions.

Disneyland management said the man was the representative of a small trade union and was working half time because of “problems encountered at work.”

Radio France Internationale reported three Disneyland Paris workers killed themselves last year.




Paleo-Future has posted a collection of seven lithographs depicting a 19th century vision of the present day; and yes, it involves flying cars: This lithograph from 1882 depicts the fanciful world of…