Wednesday, September 27, 2023

White Queens

Queen Camilla in Paris. From The Court Jeweller:

For a busy day of engagements in Paris, Queen Camilla wore a white coat over a printed dress, paired with spectator pumps. When a Queen of the United Kingdom wears white in Paris, it’s hard not to see a callback to one of the most famous royal wardrobe moments of the past: the white wardrobe worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Paris during the 1938 French state visit. The unexpected passing of Elizabeth’s mother, the Countess of Strathmore, had caused the 1938 visit to be pushed back several weeks. Elizabeth worked with her favorite couturier, Norman Hartnell, to alter her wardrobe for the visit. Rather than making black mourning clothes for the Queen, Hartnell pointed out that white was traditionally a color of royal mourning, and Elizabeth agreed to have her wardrobe for the trip remade using only white fabrics. (Read more.)

1938: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Paris with George VI


Bomb Threat Against Andy Ngo

 From The Post-Millennial:

An official member of the Democrat Party in Richmond, Virginia, posted a bomb threat against journalist Andy Ngo on Friday. Jimmie Lee Jarvis, the owner of Mission Control Research and Consulting in Richmond, posted the bomb threat on X ahead of Ngo's speaking event organized by The Virginia Council and Common Sense Society at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond, Virginia. According to the official website of Richmond Democrats, Jimmie Lee Jarvis is listed as an official member of the Richmond City Democratic Committee. Jarvis' threat was one of many that came from radical leftists ahead of Ngo's speaking event, which resulted in two venues pulling out at the last minute.

While Ngo, senior editor of The Post Millennial, explained that the event was ultimately a success after the third venue refused to cave to the coordinated campaign attack of threats issued by Antifa and other far-left activists, Marriott forced the Westin to cancel the venue just hours before it was set to kick off on Friday. Earlier in the week, the Commonwealth Club pulled out from allowing its venue to be used for the event following harassment and threats of violence. (Read more.)


The Girl and the Faun

 From CrimeReads:

Years later, after she had become one of the world’s most successful fiction writers, Agatha Miller–now known to her vast reading public as Agatha Christie–retained great fondness for the elder author who had given her youthful writing promising words of praise. In 1932 Christie dedicated her widely admired Hercule Poirot detective novel Peril at End House, which is set at a fictionalized Torquay, to her onetime mentor, in gratitude “for his friendship and the encouragement he gave me many years ago.” When Eden Phillpotts died on December 29, 1960, at the venerable age of ninety-eight, Christie, then herself seventy years old, penned a short but affectionate newspaper tribute to him, singling out for praise his 1910 children’s novel The Flint Heart. (There is scarcely a fiction genre which Phillpotts left untouched during his eight decade writing career.) In her posthumously published Autobiography (1977), Christie again warmly praised Phillpotts, memorably recalling him as “an odd-looking man, with a face more like a faun’s than an ordinary human being’s.”

Certainly Eden Phillpotts was no ordinary human being. An extraordinarily prolific author (even more so than Agatha Christie), Phillpotts from his longtime fastness in Devon, where he relocated from London around 1890 (the year Agatha Christie was born), published, it is said, over 250 books, including almost 120 novels, about a third of which are works of crime, adventure and mystery fiction. Back in 1909 he had told Christie, concerning her novel Snow upon the Desert: “You have two plots here, rather than one, but that is a beginner’s fault; you soon won’t want to waste plots in such a spendfree way. ”With ever so many books left to write, Phillpotts himself emphatically was not one to waste plots.

Eden Phillpotts’ last novel–entitled, appropriately enough, There Was an Old Man (it is not a mystery)–was published in 1959, just a year before the Old Man died. His final mystery novel, George and Georgina, appeared but seven years earlier in 1952, when the author had entered his ninetieth year. This was just over seven decades after the appearance of his first mystery adventure tale (and first published book of any sort), the Queen’s Quorum novella My Adventure in the Flying Scotsman, which Phillpotts published in 1888, when he was twenty-five years old. It appeared in book form the same year as did his contemporary Arthur Conan Doyle’s debut Sherlock Holmes adventure, A Study in Scarlet. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Tragedy of Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow
Harlean Carpenter aka Jean Harlow

Recently, as part of my exploration into the decline of Western Civilization, I read Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937 by Darrell Rooney and Mark A. Vieira. I enjoy reading about the old movie stars, many of whom were great artists in spite of the degradation of living in Tinseltown. I have been criticized for blogging about Marilyn Monroe, because she has been seen as a part of America's slide into depravity, although what Marilyn really wanted was to be a great actress, not a sex symbol. Before Marilyn Monroe, there was Jean Harlow, whom Marilyn modeled herself upon and hoped to portray in a biopic before her own untimely and unexpected demise. Harlean Carpenter aka Jean Harlow had no stage training and ended up in movies almost by accident. Her naturally tow-headed, green-eyed beauty attracted the attention of producers. While free of any illusions that she was an actress, Jean had a natural charisma and presence, in spite of her diminutive stature. Once she became aware that acting was a craft she tried to learn it, and worked very hard at improving her screen performances. She had a photographic memory and after a cursory glance at a script she knew it by heart. She learned to make people laugh and with the right directors became a comic genius.

 Aware that she was being exploited for her body, Jean strove to improve her mind by reading; her dream was to be a novelist and she actually did write one. Other than her literary ambitions, Jean loved children and longed to be a wife and mother. Jean hated playing what she called "sex vultures" and wanted to play "good girls" so she was actually glad when the Hays Code made the studios tone down their lurid sleaziness. Jean Harlow gradually became a top star as the original platinum blonde. However, fame can be a harsh taskmaster. The studio make-up poisoned her; constant bleaching to maintain the platinum mane made her hair fall out. 

Jean was popular with her co-workers for her sweet and childlike personality. Everyone, including her mother, called her "Baby" or "the Baby." No one seemed to think it was bizarre that an extremely unsophisticated woman, whom everyone infantilized and treated as a small child, was a major sex symbol, and repeatedly reduced to her physical assets. In demeanor she was completely unlike the sultry roles she played. Not that she did not have affairs and three attempts at marriage. But her outlook on life remained hopeful and innocent, until William Powell broke her heart.

Jean once confided to a friend that she had been sexually assaulted by a male relative as a child. Maybe it was why she was psychologically frozen at age twelve. Perhaps that was why she was incapable of becoming emotionally independent from her mother. While married as a teen to her wealthy first husband Jean became pregnant, but since she had just started in movies her mother forced her to have an abortion. Later, when she was a star, she became pregnant by her co-star William Powell. Powell did not know of the pregnancy but he had already told her that he would never marry her; after having been married to Carol Lombard he did not want another actress wife. So Jean's mother dragged her to the hospital for a special "operation," another abortion. Jean was noticeably different afterwards, very depressed. She eventually collapsed from kidney failure, caused by a youthful bout of scarlet fever. She died in the same hospital room where she had had her second abortion.

From All That's Interesting:

 Born on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri, Harlean Harlow Carpenter had simple childhood dreams and hoped to become a writer. It was her mother who wanted her to become the star that she never was. As Harlean's mother got divorced, relocated, attempted to break into the movie industry, and eventually remarried, the young girl suffered from numerous childhood illnesses, including meningitis and scarlet fever. By the time Harlean was 16 years old, she had eloped with a wealthy young man named Charles McGrew and relocated to Beverly Hills. There, she was noticed by movie executives and began to receive offers to appear in films. Much to the delight of Harlean's mother, she decided to give acting a try. Harlean and McGrew soon divorced, as he didn't support her pursuing a career in Hollywood. But Harlean, who started using her mother's maiden name as Jean Harlow, was about to start an exciting new chapter. (Read more.)

From Country Living:

Harlean was discovered by Fox executives while she was visiting a movie lot with a friend. Apparently, she wasn't all that interested in becoming a star, even giving them a fake name: her mom's. But certainly, they were interested in her—or at least, in her look: a glamorous blonde with killer curves. At the insistence of Mother Jean, the newly dubbed Jean Harlow began auditioning and appearing in Laurel and Hardy shorts and even left her husband when he expressed opposition to the idea of her acting.

Though she had just a small part in the 1929 film The Saturday Night Kid, Jean all but stole the show from the lead, Clara Bow, the "It Girl" starlet of the time. Her big break was in Howard Hughes's Hell's Angels (1930), in which she replaced the original lead, silent film star Greta Nissen, who spoke with a thick Norwegian accent and therefore couldn't, in the director's mind, transition to the "talkies". (Read more.)

Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight


Hit-and-Run for Fun

Watch the video. From The Post-Millennial:

During their alleged crime spree last month which left retired police chief Andreas Probst, 64, dead, Jesus Ayala, 18, and Jzamir Keys, 16, allegedly tried to run over a second cyclist in a stolen car. A source told 8 News Now that the pair allegedly stole three cars, committed a burglary, hit and killed Pobst, and tried to run over a second cyclist over the course of two hours. Alaya and Keys were arrested last week after a video went viral on social media of the teens appearing to intentionally drive a vehicle into a person riding a bicycle. During the video, which is seemingly filmed by a passenger in the front seat, a person can be heard saying, "Alright go, go go go," before sideswiping another car.

"B**** ass n*****!" One person yelled. "Stop talking sh**, b****!"

"Get his a**," one voice says just before the car hits a man on a bicycle. "That n**** knocked out!" one voice said afterward. 

Ayala claimed to police that he would get a slap on the wrist for the incident. "You think this juvenile **** is gonna do some *****? I'll be out in 30 days, I'll bet you," he said. 

"It's just ah ... ah, hit-and-run, slap on the wrist," he said, even though the cops never mentioned the incident to him. 

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that the two suspects would be charged as adults in the Las Vegas Justice Court. Both have been charged with murder with a deadly weapon, battery, and attempted murder. (Read more.)


Sheltering Jews during the Nazi Occupation of Rome

 From Crux:

Though the role of church-run institutions in sheltering Jews during the Nazi occupation of Rome was already well know, the discovery of a list of all those who took refuge previously believed to be lost has added new historical detail.

The list, found in the archives of the Jesuit-run Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, indicates that some 4,300 persons were sheltered between September 1943 and June 1944, when Rome was liberated by Allied forces. Of that number, 3,600 persons are identified by name on the list, and of those, at least 3,200 were Jews, researchers say, a finding confirmed by comparing the list with archives maintained by the Jewish community of Rome.

In all, at least 100 women’s religious orders and 55 men’s communities, as well as parishes and other Catholic institutions, provided places of refuge during the German occupation.During the period of Nazi occupation of Rome, at least 2,000 Jews, including hundreds of children and adolescents, were killed out of a total community estimated at the time between 10,000 and 15,000 people. Most died in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp after a roundup of Roman Jews in mid-October 1943.

News of the discovery of the list of those rescued was presented Thursday during a conference at the Holocaust Museum of Rome titled, “Saved: The Jews Hidden in Religious Institutes of Rome (1943-44.)” Organizers said the list has not yet been made public “for reasons of privacy,” presumably to provide an opportunity to inform family members and descendants of the people identified.

“We know where they were hidden and, in some circumstances, their places of residence before the persecution,” said a joint statement from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the Jewish Community of Rome and Yad Vashem. (Read more.)

Monday, September 25, 2023

Death of Marie de' Medici

A sketch depicting the death of Marie de' Medici, Dowager Queen of France. She died in a brewery in Cologne in a state of destitution, abandoned by her son Louis XIII, who would not allow her to die in France, although he had her buried there. Mercifully the Queen received the ministrations of the local Carmelites, to whom she bequeathed her cherished statue of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel. From Artvee:

Nicaise de Keyser was a Belgian painter of mainly history paintings and portraits who was one of the key figures in the Belgian Romantic-historical school of painting. He received his painting tuition at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts under Jozef Jacobs and Mattheus Ignatius van Bree. After 1835 he made many travels including to England and Scotland, Paris and Italy. He married the genre painter Isabella Telghuys on 6 October 1840. In 1846, he was elected to the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician.

When in 1855 the leading Belgian Romantic painter Gustave Wappers resigned as director of the Antwerp Academy, de Keyser succeeded him. As with the work of other Belgian history painters such as Edouard de Bièfve, Ernest Slingeneyer and Louis Gallait, there was particular appreciation for Nicaise de Keyser's history paintings in German-speaking Europe. De Keyser regularly travelled to Germany and in 1873 he was awarded the famous Prussian order "Pour le Mérite". Despite his great success and fame throughout his lifetime, his work, like that of the other Belgian Romantic painters, was quickly forgotten in the 20th century. (Read more.)

More on Queen Marie, HERE.


Prosecutors Blocked Hunter Biden Charges

 From Breitbart:

Waldon’s transcribed interview comes after he previously confirmed Shapley’s claims in April of political interference. Waldon later left the Hunter Biden case for another responsibility within the IRS. As the investigation progressed, Weiss never charged Hunter Biden in the jurisdictions of Washington, DC, or California. Instead, he formed a sweetheart plea agreement with Hunter Biden that collapsed in July under judicial scrutiny. Shapley’s testimony in April reportedly triggered the plea deal, filed in Delaware. Weiss later brought three gun-related charges in Delaware against Hunter Biden. The recent testimony by Waldon, who was Shapley’s boss, is notable because Attorney General Merrick Garland testified Wednesday that nobody had the authority to block Weiss from charging Hunter Biden, though “they could refuse to partner with him.”

“You said [Weiss] had complete authority, but he’d already been turned down. He wanted to bring an action in D.C. and the US Attorney there said, ‘No, you can’t’ — and then you go tell the U.S. Senate, under oath, that he has complete authority?” House Oversight Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked.

“No one had the authority to turn him down; they could refuse to partner with him.” Garland replied.

“You can use whatever language — ‘refuse to partner’ is turning down,” Jordan replied.

“It is not the same under a well-known Justice Department practice,” Garland claimed.

Waldon previously confirmed Shapley’s notes presented to Congress regarding an October 7, 2022, meeting between Waldon, Shapley, and Weiss, among others. “Darrell asked me to shoot an update from today’s meeting. Darrell — feel free to comment if I miss anything,” the top line of the email read. In point two of the email to Waldon, Shapley recapped that “Weiss stated he is not the deciding person of whether charges are filed. I believe this is a huge problem — inconsistent with DOJ public position and Merrick Garland testimony.” (Read more.)