The Worst of 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve!  And being the last day of the year, it’s time to look back the worst posts of 2021.

Now, by “worst,” I don’t mean “the lowest quality” or “the most offensive.”  I wouldn’t be an impartial judge of the former (and my readers are generally too polite to tell me if my writing sucks), and I’ve toned down my rhetoric too much to be the latter (although, who knows with the delicate sensibilities of modern Westerners).

No, by “worst” I simply mean “the posts with the lowest views.”  In the old days, when I routinely had posts with single views, I’d just hoover up those and plop them into one big post.  Fortunately, the blog has grown to the point that I don’t have single-view posts anymore, but I still have some neglected posts.

For this list, I will ignore posts that were written in prior years, with the exception of TBT posts, as I often add substantial new commentary on such posts.  I will also ignore posts that merely informed readers that that day’s real post would be delayed, or has been posted (so classics like “SubscribeStar Saturday Post ‘The TJC Spring Jam’ is Posted!” and “Lazy Sunday is Coming” won’t be included).

In order to prevent the list from being too short, I’m only featuring posts with under ten views (as of the time of this writing on Tuesday, 28 December 2021).  That will also keep it from being too long, as this post historically takes a long time to compile.

So!  With those tedious criteria in place, here it is:  The WORST posts of 2021:

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TBT: The Worst of 2020

2021 has been a far more enjoyable year than 2020, although 2020 wasn’t nearly as apocalyptic in retrospect as it seemed at the time.  Regardless, I’ve written a lot of stuff over the past three years.  A great deal of it, whether good or bad, hasn’t been read by many people (with some notable exceptions).

2021 was the year that I stopped having posts with single-digit (or even just single!) views, but I know I’ve got some that flew under the radar—and probably for the better!

But we’ll look back at those posts tomorrow.  Today, it’s time for the fifty-five (!) posts of “The Worst of 2020“:

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Son of Sonnet: A Frozen Ballad

It’s nearly the end of 2021, and while it’s technically winter, it’s been unseasonably warm here in South Carolina.  Indeed, “unseasonably” is a bit of a misnomer, and it is often hot and humid on Christmas (as it was this year).  I vividly remember playing football on New Year’s Day in shorts and a t-shirt.

Nevertheless, it’s winter, and January and February tend to be the coldest months here.  We’ve already had quite a bit of frosty weather (though no snow, which is rare as it is, but especially rare before January), so we’re fully into the wintry hygge.

A couple of weeks ago, regular contributor Son of Sonnet (subscribe to his SubscribeStar page here) put out an invitation for fans to submit themes for some new poems.  I proposed “Winter coziness“—’tis the season—and my Telegram buddy and fellow SoS fan WS responded “I was going to go dark, seasonal affective disorder.

That led to my compromise theme:  “The dualism of winter: warm coziness and dark despair.”  I probably meant “duality” instead of “dualism,” but Son delivered “A Frozen Ballad,” combining the two aspects of winter into a ballad all about nostalgia, hope (and hopelessness), and trusting in God in our darkest moments.

The poem has received some positive feedback on Son’s Telegram page and on the esoteric Telegram chatroom Occam’s Razor Chat, which WS created as a space for escaping politics online, instead dedicating the chat to exploring the unusual, interesting, and supernatural.

Now, with Son’s blessing, I’d like to share “A Frozen Ballad” here:

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A New Term

Yesterday I was sworn-in to a full term on Lamar Town Council.  I was elected earlier this year in a special election, so this was my second swearing-in ceremony.  Now, however, I’m in for a full four years.

My colleague on Council, Councilwoman Mary Ann Mack, was also sworn-in to her first full term after being elected last July.  Our new mayor, Mayor James Howell, was sworn-in, too, marking the start of his administration.

The ceremony was short and sweet.  We gathered on the front lawn of Town Hall at 5 PM.  The judge ran each of us through the oath of office, starting with the new mayor and wrapping up with myself.  There was a nice Christmas tree on the lawn, and lots of family, friends, and city employees were in attendance.  Mayor Howell brought out the biggest crowd, with Councilwoman Mack bringing a few family members.  I arrived solo, and had to take my oath on the Bible the local Methodist minister brought for her short invocation (apparently, I missed the memo to bring my own Bible—d’oh!).

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Monday Mega Movie Previews

After a very long Monday, I’m taking a moment to write a post I promised earlier today.  Instead of my usual Monday Morning Movie Review, I’m offering up a preview of 100 films.

For Christmas, I received two massive collections of films:  Mad Scientist Theatre and Horror Classics, both put out by low-budget distributor Mill Creek Entertainment:

100 Horror and Mad Scientist Movies

Just look at those glorious covers.  What is going on with that hairy dude holding up a syringe full of a mysterious green substance?  Why is there a woman’s head covered surrounded by tubes in a tub of liquid?  Perhaps Dr. Fauci can weigh in.

Regardless, I’m super excited to watch these films—all 100 of them.

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Lazy Sunday CXLV: Christmas Cheer

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Today it’s all about church and after-Christmas sales.

Technically, we’re still in the glorious Christmas season.  That whole “twelve days of Christmas” isn’t just to flesh out a tedious novelty song; Christians used to (and many still do) celebrate Christmas for twelve days, marking the major events of Christ’s young life.  Really, Christmas ends on Epiphany, on 6 January.  It commemorates the Wise Men’s’ visit to the Christ Child, which represents Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles.

Granted, I probably won’t be writing about Christmas on 6 January 2022 (we’ll see!), but I’m not opposed to squeezing in some more Christmas fun.

To that end, here are some three recent Christmas classics:

Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Christmas Concert 2021 Review

After two weeks, I’ve finally written a post-concert review for my school’s 2021 Christmas Concert.  I didn’t intend for it to premiere on Christmas Day, but there you go!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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.

Two weeks ago, on 10 December 2021, my music students at the high school had their big Christmas concert. This was the first live Christmas concert since 2019, and only the second live concert since The Age of The Virus shut everything down.

This concert was important for another reason: it was a bit of a redemption from the infamous “Corporate Christmas” concert of December 2019. That concert was marred with technical problems, over-programming (the Drama teacher at the time insisted on adding Christmas skits to what is an already-bloated event), and scheduling issues.

So, the hidden agenda for the 2021 Christmas concert was to wash clean the bad taste of the 2019 concert. Fortunately, I’d say we succeeded.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Merry Christmas!

Here it is—Christmas Day 2021!  Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas.

It’s been a big year for yours portly, and I’ll be doing a full year-in-review recap soon.

For today, however, I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and share the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20.  I still remember my late paternal grandfather reading this passage to us every Christmas when we were children.

Before that, I have one other Christmas Day reading recommendation:  contributor and commenter 39 Pontiac Dream published an excellent piece at The Conservative Woman this week entitled “Have yourself a Cheesy Channel 5 Christmas.”  It’s all about the saccharine-sweet, predictable, but oddly satisfying Christmas movies that Hallmark puts out ever year.  Ponty does a great job of explaining why these picture-perfect, impossibly kindhearted films are so endearing (in part because they are picture-perfect and impossibly kindhearted).

With that, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Here is the Word of God (c/o BibleGateway.com; translation is NKJV):

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Luke 2:5 NU omits wife

  2. Luke 2:7 feed trough

  3. Luke 2:9 NU omits behold

  4. Luke 2:12 feed trough

  5. Luke 2:14 NU toward men of goodwill

  6. Luke 2:17 NU omits widely