Sheet Music Burning

The latest target of the woke elites and their braying mobs is—that great symbol of imperialism and Western dominance—sheet music.

Apparently, some Oxford dons are considering removing sheet music and the ability to read traditional notation from its curriculum.  One quotation from The Telegraph article notes that “The Oxford academics went on to pronounce that teaching the piano or conducting orchestras could cause ‘students of colour great distress’ as the skills involved are closely tied to ‘white European music’.”

This latest crusade is the musical equivalent of the effort in English departments across the country to downplay the teaching of grammar.  Sure, one can make plenty of excellent music without knowing how to read notation, but why limit one’s self to tabs or lead sheets?  I can certainly communicate certain ideas without adverbs, adjectives, or even pesky commas, but doing so severely limits the range of expression.

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Sick Day

This past weekend I was sick with a low-grade fever, a cough, and some mild chest congestion.  I got home from work Friday and sat in a chair in my mudroom for about two hours without moving, thinking I was just worn out after a long week of work.

I spent most of Saturday and Sunday sleeping, and finally began feeling some relief Sunday evening.  I took Monday off, as my temperature was around 101.4 Sunday evening.

That doesn’t make for exciting reading, but every time I am sick, it reminds me of how thankful I am for the vast majority of days I am well.  God and genetics blessed me with a very hardy constitution, so I get sick a.) infrequently and b.) mildly.  Rarely—about once every five-to-ten years—I get very sick for a spell of a week or two, such as last summer’s bout of Maybe-The-Virus and The Great Christmas Flu of 2014.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Housemaid (2016)

Link to IMDB Entry for flick:  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5860084/

Foreign-language films can be a mixed bag.  They can require the viewer to come into the plot with some foreknowledge of the culture and its history; lacking that background can make appreciating the film difficult.  The reliance on subtitles also requires intense focus, so multi-screen viewing isn’t really possible.

Those can also be strengths, though.  Forcing audiences to stay glued to the screen increases immersion into the story.  Further, figuring out the cultural and historical context is fun and rewarding, and deepens our knowledge of the world.

Such is the case with the Vietnamese horror film The Housemaid (2016), which takes place during the First French Indochinese War in 1953 (that is to say, the First Vietnam War, before the Americans butted our ways into a French colonial struggle).

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Lazy Sunday CIX: Pillow Talk

The David Hogg Good Pillow saga—the “Hogga?”—has drawn to end, with the youngster pulling out of his ill-fated progressive pillow company.  I can’t explain my interest in this story beyond sheer Schadenfreude, and the fact that I find Hogg an extremely distasteful individual.  He combines the worst elements of youthful arrogance and self-righteous virtue-signalling into one odious package.

The demands of daily blogging being what they are, the spiteful company’s short history also made for easy blog fodder.  Now that Hogg has withdrawn from the company, it seemed like a good time to compile my three posts on the subject in one place:

  • Hoggin’ the Pillows” – The beginning of Hogg’s misadventure in the world of business.  I expressed hope that he would come to his senses about the world as he tackled business; of course, that was naïve.
  • More Pillow Hoggin’” – About five or six weeks after the announcement that the company was starting, Hogg and his business partner settled on a name—and neglected to register the trademark, allowing a clever troll to register it first.  D’oh!  Things were not looking good for Good Pillow.
  • Pillows Smothered Hogg” – Now David Hogg has pulled out of Good Pillow, citing school conflicts and his desire to dedicate more time to activism.  Heaven help us; I’d rather he be wasting time working on a pillow that will never be made.

Well, that’s it for this (slightly spiteful) edition of Lazy Sunday.  Here’s hoping you all sleep comfortably on your MyPillow for your Sunday nap.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Concert Preparations

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Next week my little school will host its annual Fine Arts Festival.  It is for artsy students (and their teachers) the equivalent of the State Championship game for athletes—a big stage onto which the students have an opportunity to showcase their talents, and to demonstrate the works they’ve been laboring over all year.

It is a fun, stressful, exhilarating, and exhausting week, all in one.  As both the Music teacher and the de facto sound and lighting guy, I have the dubious task of constructing a sound system that works for dance performances, a concert, and a Shakespearean play.  I call this setup the “Frankenstein’s Monster Sound System,” as it consists of various bits of differently-branded technology, all linked together in a glorious tangle of cables.

But the effort to build an ad hoc sound and lighting system in a high school gymnasium is worth it in the end, especially during and after the concert.

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Phone it in Friday XVIII: Writing

With the blog closing in on 1000 days of posts (just 162 to go!) and the release of The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard (read reviews here, here, and here), it seemed like a good time to reflect on writing, and to discuss some writing projects I have in the works.

When I revived the blog on WordPress in late 2018, I never intended to write daily.  I’d maintained a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule on the Blogspot blog, which I shifted over to WordPress on 1 June 2018.  I kept that pace up briefly, but when school resumed I left the blog dormant until late December 2018, and after three days of consecutive posting by happenstance, WordPress informed me I was on a three-day “streak.”

That caught my attention.  At that point, I decided to write daily for the month of January 2019.  It seemed like a fun a challenge, and I figured it would help build an audience and give me something constructive to do during the slowest month of the year.

After that, I thought, “Eh, why not go to fifty?”  From there, 100 didn’t look too difficult.

Once I hit 100, I decided to try for a year.

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TBT^2: End the Income Tax

Well, here we are—another Tax Day in America.  Actually, Tax Day has been extended to 17 May 2021, so all of you irresponsible loafers have time to procrastinate further.

I have no room to talk:  I waited until 11 April 2021 to file my taxes, and apparently filed my 2019 taxes on 11 April 2020.  Unlike last year, though, I actually earned back a healthy refund, due in part to reduced lessons and gig income (though I still managed to rake in a respectable figure there, just under $5000, but substantially lower than 2019’s $9000ish).  The self-employment taxes kill me, but deducting mileage really helps.

Also, thanks to my younger brother review my tax filing information, I earned back a substantial portion of taxes by including the $6000 I invested in 2020 into a traditional IRA.  Unlike last year, where I paid a substantial tax bill, I’m getting back around $1500 from the State of South Carolina and the feds, all of which is going back to the emergency fund, which is need of replenishment after The Age of The Virus.

Still, even though I have reason to celebrate this Tax Day, I dislike handing over all this personal financial information to the federal government.  As I noted last year, “I keep a very detailed budget,” which helps when it comes time to calculate those self-employment deductions, but does Uncle Sam really need to know how much I spent on Spooktacular t-shirts?  I suppose if I want a few bucks of my money back, he does.

So I repeat my call of the last two years:  end the income tax!

With that, here is April 2020’s “TBT: End the Income Tax” (italicized) and April 2019’s “End the Income Tax“:

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Post-Spring Break Short Story Recommendation: “Dave’s Last Choice”

At one point or another we’ve all experienced the situation where we’ve seen or heard some new idea, word, or concept, and suddenly, we see it everywhere.  When I bought my car in 2020, I suddenly began seeing Nissan Versa Notes constantly.

Similarly, there seems to be a certain synchronicity to events.  Right as I released The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard, Rachel Fulton Brown and the Dragon Common Room poets published Centrism Games.  After a week of reviewing short stories—and then contemplating writing my own collection of short stories—my buddy Jeremy Miles announced that he is working on a new short story project.  Indeed, last week’s TBT, “TBT: The Creation of Culture,” looked back at Jeremy’s excellent collection of poetry, A Year of Thursday Nights (now in a more affordable “Shades of Grey” edition).

So it was with great delight that I read not only Jeremy’s plans to compile a collection of short stories, but that he also included a draft of one of them, “Dave’s Last Choice.”

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