Tag: Sin

The Weekly Eccentric: Why Do Dudes in Vegas Look Like That?

Exploring the Vegas Bod

When you think “Vegas body,” you probably think “sultry,” “skanky,” “sensual,” or “slinky”: what the showgirl looks like off-hours, like when a high school friend and I went to the Windsor Ballet 35 years ago and I swore that that woman walking in the mall the next day was one of the dancers.

But when I hear “Vegas body,” I don’t think “sultry” or any of the other sexy words.

Heck, I don’t even think of women.

I think of dudes. The same dude I see all over the place when I’m in Vegas: chest, shoulders, and arms that are better developed than usual, coupled with a gut bigger than usual. All accentuated by a shirt that’s at least one size too small.

I told my wife last April while we were there, “It’s really remarkable. Every guy, from behind, looks like he’s in good shape, then you see him from the front (or, heaven forbid, the side) and you’re like, ‘Geesh, dude, maybe spend less time on bicep curls and more on ab crunches.”

But why? Why all these middle-aged guys with big deltoids and bigger guts, both of which they seem pleased to accent with a tight shirt?

I think it may be related to the different definitions of “sin.”

The Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse said sin could refer to (i) the guilty deed, (ii) a passion, or … Read the rest

Nineteen Decadents You Ought (Not?) Know

Photo by Grav on Unsplash

Both Cicero and Francis Bacon gave deformity a high place on their list of reasons for laughter.

Arthur Koestler said any behavior that deviates from the norm tends to make people laugh, though he also said such laughter is primarily the property of an “uncouth mind,” and he’s probably right (who laughs at a hunchback, except a child or jerk?).

But there’s a type of deformity most of us laugh at, and partly because the target of the laughter is laughing with us: The deformity of decadence.

Here I offer a humorous recount of nineteen decadents of western civilization. They aren’t necessarily the most decadent in western civilization and, in fact, almost certainly aren’t (though the last few on the list would make the top five on anyone’s list), but they each give decadence a different angle.

Some did decadence the old fashioned way: Excess of every sort until they burst. Others had one particular vice they took to an extreme. Others are notable because of one remarkable excursion into decadence. Some had a unique decadence or a decadence grossly out of proportion to their station in life (maybe his decadence couldn’t match Jim Morrison’s, but for a Catholic Pope . . .).


Listed for historical completeness. First philosopher to give intellectual mooring to hedonism, teaching that wisdom lies in the pursuit of pleasurable sensations. Also a forebear of … Read the rest