TBT: Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day

Well, it’s not quite Valentine’s Day yet, but I thought it would be worth looking back to 2020’s Valentine’s Day post, which was mostly a collection of various blog posts and reflections on the holiday.

I’m still wondering how Jay Nordlinger gets to travel the world writing pithy little observations about violin concertos and the like.  How do I position myself to take his place when he finally retires or kicks the bucket?  Who else is going to critique all those free concerts in Vienna?

But I digress.  The Season of Love is upon us, and I suspect restaurants will be packed this weekend with lovers canoodling over their cannoli (or, in the case of the high number of breakups on Valentine’s Day than average, crying into their kishka).  Sounds like another weekend of frozen pizza and spaghetti for yours portly.

So, here’s some great stuff from better writers to celebrate your Valentine’s Day Weekend.  It’s 14 February 2020’s “Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day“:

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!  Don’t try going out to eat tonight—it’s going to be a mad house.  Sensible couples will probably wait and dine out on a less sexy night, like Tuesday, or pick up Taco Bell.

We’re in the midst of a glorious four-day “Winter Break.”  The great thing about teaching is all the bogus holidays.  Valentine’s Day and President’s Day just happen to bookend the weekend, so why not turn it into a slightly-extended holiday?

In the spirit of Jay Nordlinger, today’s post is going to be a series of barely-related reflections, as well as some links to the stuff you should read or watch.  Speaking of Nordlinger, how do I land a gig getting paid to write about classical music in exotic parts of the world?

But I digress.  Here are some reflections on this Day of Love:

  • Like an old man, I went to a Hardee’s for breakfast; unlike an old man, it wasn’t at 4:30 AM.  The location is drive-through only, as they’re doing extensive remodeling to the façade.  Drive-through is for suckers, but I had no choice—I needed that chicken biscuit.I was heartened to note that the workmen were not Hispanic.  I have nothing against legal Hispanics working, but, you do the math:  manual labor + construction = someone’s getting paid under the table.  It’s good to see able-bodied white men working hard in a field where illegal immigration has priced them out of the market.  It was also heartening to see a Hardee’s in rural Lugoff, South Carolina spending the money to remodel.  Times are good.
  • The Z Man has an excellent episode of his weekly podcast up; this week’s episode is called “The Lovecast.”  It’s one of his better episodes, and it’s good to see him return to a theme after what felt like several weeks of him reading listener mail (those are good episodes, but his best stuff is when he develops a topic or theme in detail).He kicks off with some discussion of the origins of Valentine’s Day, then gets into the problems of gay marriage, declining birth rates, etc.  It’s fascinating listening, and the episode title reminds me of a band I used to play with, The Lovecrafts.

Link to Z Man’s The Lovecast

  • Blogger buddy NEO has a great post up today drawing parallels between Bernie Sanders and… Barry Goldwater?  Ideologically, they’re polar opposites, but the general idea is that the Republican National Committee allowed the uncompromisingly ideologically-consistent Goldwater to go up—and lose big time—against Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  Similarly, the theory is that the DNC will throw up its hands and hope that a Trump landslide in November will expel the radical demons from the Party.  It’s an interesting idea, but the corollary to that is that Goldwater’s defeat birthed Reaganism (Reagan campaigned hard for Goldwater, and his iconic “A Time for Choosing” speech catapulted him into political stardom), which would win the White House in 1980.  Would a Sanders stomping set the stage for a socialist uprising in sixteen years?  Or will the Democrats “moderate,” as they did in the 1990s?
  • My other blogger buddy, photog, wrote a piece earlier in the week about the need to bring back matchmakers as a way to help get traditional men and women together.  His idea is an interesting one, and the piece is solid, but the action has taken off in the discussion thread (I bare my soul a bit).  We’ve been having a mildly depressing back-and-forth about the state of modern dating (that state being “fallen”).

That’s it for this Friday.  Enjoy some time with your sweetie, or maybe just with some sweets.  I’ll be relaxing with whatever BBC detective shows my parents queue up (I’m visiting them for the day), and probably dreaming of Tulsi Gabbard donning a MAGA hat.


11 thoughts on “TBT: Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day

  1. Let’s see if this one pops up. Just typed a comment with a link and the blasted thing didn’t appear. I’m guess Gravatar/Wordpress are having issues again.

    You should probably pop out on Valentine’s Day with a friend and go to one of the most romantic restaurants in the area, sit and eavesdrop. Some people can’t help themselves when it comes to cheesy and it can be a giggle listening to their cringe worthy lines. I once saw a bloke on holiday mouth the words I love you to his partner on the dance floor, in such a sleazy way that I’m surprised she didn’t dump him on the same night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Completely off topic – I was thinking about you last night, Port (relax …). I have watched The Walking Dead so many times that I now just listen to the episodes while I play games on the computer.

    What I have found is the amazing effect of the music they use throughout the entire series. I’m not referring to the music sung by professionals; I’m speaking about the ‘orchestral’ (I don’t know the proper term for it) music leading up to and during pivotal scenes in an episode. They are really quite remarkable. Sometimes it can sound like voices and sometimes it can sound sort of emotional (again, I don’t know the correct term) but not, ya know, all drippy and boo-hoo. It seems to me to be unique to TWD as I’ve never really noticed the place and effect of music in a movie, for instance. In a movie it just gets loud when action is happening and soft when nothing much is going on but on TWD I find I’m often riveted by what the orchestra is able to accomplish considering the content and context of the program.

    Sometime, when you have nothing in the world to do (laughing) go to Netflix and don’t watch the episode but listen to it. If that should ever happen, I’d be thrilled if you’d discuss it because it fascinates me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bear McCreary does the soundtrack for The Walking Dead. I like his score too though I did notice in the last series that he seemed to be influenced by Gustavo Santaolalla, the guy who wrote the score for The Last of Us.

      If you get the chance, listen to the soundtrack for The Last of Us (not the second, the first). It is not only beautiful but subtle.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I will certainly give that a try, Audre. I know what you’re talking about. Try listening to some other series and movies, and you will notice that a GOOD film composer will really underscore those moments of drama beautifully. Alternatively, try listening to TWD WITHOUT the underscoring (if there is a way to do so—you might have to just mute the sound). Do the scenes have the same dramatic impact without the music?

      Music is a powerful thing. I’m expanding on my little _Ethiopian Rhapsodies_ and writing some new pieces. I’ll fill you and the other readers in on the details of my next project soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The Last of Us is a game, first released for the PS3 but you can get it for 4 and 5. It is an absolute masterpiece in terms of modern day games. Beautiful soundtrack and graphics, great story and characters and excellent and gripping to play. The second one was as horrible as the first was superb.

    I think Netflix are making it into a series but we have no interest in it. The game makers turned the second game into a virtue signalling identity fest and from what I hear, that’s the road they’re planning to go with the series.

    My advice, to anyone who has never played the games, is to purchase and enjoy the first game and that’s it. You won’t be disappointed.

    NB. I’d put up links to show you but WP/Gravatar deletes any comment where I put up a link.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A ringing endorsement, Ponty.

      I’m not sure why WP/Gravatar is/are so weird about links in comments. That’s frustrating.

      You can always e-mail me at tyler AT theportlypolitico DOT com.

      Ponty, you have my direct e-mail address, so feel free to e-mail me there, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sent Audre the links instead but I may write a singular review for The Last of Us and post it here, if that’s okay? Maybe write about the philosophy of the zombie apocalypse too. It really does bring in questions about our humanity. Who are we really, when the chips are down? Can we retain our humanity and do good, or do we become as cynical as the world around us?

        It’d be fun to bring in some more commenters for that one and get a real debate going. Games can question you as much as any other medium.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Go for it, dude! I’d love to post that, and get some discussion going.

        We’ll run it and the Oddworld review when Tina is done with it. I’ll space them apart a bit, but they would both be great on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

        Liked by 1 person

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