TBT^2: Leftism in a Nutshell

When I first wrote about the “degrowth movement” three years ago, it seemed like another kooky Leftist spin to cover for an economy that would inevitably decline under a Democratic president.  When I revisited that post last summer, it was after five months of Biden the Usurper’s economic misery and malaise, and after a year of shutdowns thanks to The Virus.

In other words, we’d tried involuntary degrowth, and it’s made us poorer.

A year on, the economy has gotten even worse.  We’re all quite aware that gas prices are through the roof.  Food prices have skyrocketed as well.  One reason I’m dieting this summer (besides the fact that I need to return to my lean, pantheric form) and skipping breakfast is because it saves a few bucks (and because I need my massive spaghetti ration to last a lot longer—I can down a pound of spaghetti with shocking rapidity).  Groceries are too expensive for binge eating.

The most recent print issue of Backwoods Home Magazine (Issue #189, July/August/September 2022) features a cover story entitled “The Return of Victory Gardens.”  That piece discusses not just the high prices of groceries, but the scarcity of items on shelves.

For years, I’ve boasted about how cheap food is.  Just a few years ago, you could pick up a loaf of bread from Dollar General for eighty-eight cents.  Granted, it wasn’t good bread, but it got the job done.  Eggs were cheap.  Butter was maybe a dollar for four sticks.  Pretty much everything you could need was easily affordable, even if it wouldn’t make for the most exciting meals.

Now, none of those items are particularly cheap.  The lowest price for a loaf of crummy (and crumbly) white bread I can find locally is around $1.49 a loaf.  I have a hook-up for eggs, so I’m covered there.  But my egg supplier tells me that I should start canning butter, because the price of that is about to go way up.

And forget about eating meat.  It looks like the grand dream of the globohomo super elites—that we’ll all be eating cricket burgers, safely isolated and subdued in our living pods—is getting closer and closer to reality.

It became a BoomerCon cliché to point to Venezuela as an example of what happens when socialism runs amok.  But the BoomerCons were right.  Unless we want to be eating pet rabbits and zoo animals, we’d better do something to shore up our food stores and increase our independence from the supply chains stat.

With that, here’s “TBT: Leftism in a Nutshell“:

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Son of Sonnet: The Mountain

A couple of weekends ago I visited the mountains of southwestern Virginia to attend a memorial service for my great-aunt, who passed away November 2021 at the age of ninety-three.  She was a feisty, fun-loving lady, and the memorial service was a moving celebration of her life.  We also ate KFC and barbecue, which is the kind of send-off I want.

So the mountains were on my mind last week when Son of Sonnet reached out to me, asking me what theme I’d like a poem about.  Naturally, I asked him to write about the mountains, specifically the sweet smell of clover that serves as a sensory touchstone for my youngest memories.  To this day, whenever I smell clover, it takes me to my Mamaw’s house in Flat Gap, Virginia (outside of Pound, Virginia, in Wise County).  That scent is synonymous with her and her home.

I did not tell Son of Sonnet—who is now publishing poetry under his real name, Michael Gettinger—about that sensory relationship before he wrote the poem.  That makes the eighth and ninth lines all the more poignant and serendipitious.

So I am very pleased to present a very special poem from SoS/Michael Gettinger, “The Mountain”:

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Deposing Bib Fortuna… with LEGO

Remember Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt’s oily Twi’lek consigliere with the tentacles coming out of his head?  Thanks to the power of imagination and LEGOs, you can now roleplay his downfall!

Like any self-respecting man-child, I’d been lusting after set #75326, Boba Fett’s Throne Room, for some time.  To me, it’s Jabba the Hutt’s iconic throne room, just without the lovably disgusting, sluggish crime lord.

Unfortunately, this bad boy MSRPs for a whopping $100.  Fortunately, my brother found it at Costco in an example of mercantile serendipity—he didn’t even know I wanted it—for $60.  Finding any new LEGO set for 40% off is like, well, finding forty bucks on the ground—it doesn’t really happen.

I finally got around to building this bad boy over the weekend, and it was a pretty fun build.  It wasn’t as deeply satisfying as some other sets I’ve done, but it also didn’t become tedious.  All in all, it was pretty fun to put together, and I love the variety of mini-figures—especially the porcine Gamorrean Guard and the aquatic Quarren.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #4: House on Cemetery Hill (2019)

You can tell we’re really getting into the dregs; Ponty’s review this week is devastating.

As he notes below, it’s no fun going after an indie flick with a low budget.  But there are plenty of low budget filmmakers that get it right, or at least grow as they hone their craft.  Every major director started out doing tiny films on a shoestring.

But sometimes there’s an effort so bad, even the lack of a budget isn’t a valid excuse.  Bad writing, bad acting, bad editing—these can kill a film faster than anything else.  All the quid in the world can’t save a film with this dark triad.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2019’s House on Cemetery Hill:

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Lazy Sunday CLI: Frederick Ingram, Part I

As I’m considering retiring Supporting Friends Friday—at least for a short while—I realized I’ve dedicated quite a few posts to my good buddy Frederick Ingram—six, to be exact!

That’s the perfect number to eat up a couple of Lazy Sundays honoring my musical homeboy:

That’s it for this first installment of Ingramania.  Stay tuned next Sunday for Part II!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Life Wins!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Apologies to subscribers—I still need to make up for last week’s post, and one from about a month ago.  I have not forgotten.  I’ll be catching up on those posts as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience.  —TPP

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!  Roe v. Wade—that odious bit of extraconstitutional blather that stripped States of their rights and babies of their lives—has now been repealed.  The issue of abortion will go the States, where many more battles will be fought for or against life.

But today is a day for celebration.  For those that embrace constitutional originalism and, more importantly, life for the unborn, the repeal of Roe in the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

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

 

Supporting Friends Friday: Backwoods Home Magazine

As I’ve noted in the past, I’m running low on friends to support.  There are still a few bloggers out there that deserve some praise, I’m sure, and I can think of a few that I really enjoy, but who are a bit too spicy to endorse outright (until blogging pays the bills—which is an extremely long way off—even I have to censor myself).

As such, I might be giving Supporting Friends Friday a hiatus starting in July.  I started it last June (with a post about real-life buddy Jeremy Miles‘s book of poetryHindsight: Poetry in 2020), so it’s had over a year—a good time in which to run its course.

I’m not saying it’s gone forever.  I’m just going to give my talented friends more time to churn out excellent work.  Supporting Friends Friday has really been beneficial to the blog, especially since honoring Audre Myers with a post on 27 August 2021; that brought over a whole new readership, and has led to more contributions in the comment sections and to the blog itself.

Of course, I could end up changing my mind by next week, so who knows?  That said, I thought I’d dedicate this “season finale” edition of Supporting Friends Friday to a publication I’ve come to enjoy and respect over the last year:  Backwoods Home Magazine.

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TBT: Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory

We observed Juneteenth, the new Independence Day for black Americans, here in the United States this week.  The “national” holiday is an extremely regional celebration that dates back to 1866 in Texas.

To state the obvious but controversial:  the only reason we have Juneteenth is because of a summer of racial violence two years ago.  Apparently, our entire political system and culture has to bend over backwards to accommodate a handful of disgruntled race-baiters.

But all of that traces back to Critical Race Theory (CRT), which I described last year as an odious blend of “identity politics, Foucaultean power dynamics, Cultural Marxism, and Nineties-style corporate diversity training.”

Race-baiting isn’t anything new in America, but now it’s taken on a quasi-systematic, pseudo-intellectual, cult-like quality that has major corporations and government entities at all levels cowed.

But appeasement clearly doesn’t work.  Indeed, I’d argue it undermines CRT’s alleged goal of racial reconciliation.

I said as much in 16 June 2021’s “Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory“:

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Midweek TPP Update: Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, #MAGAWeek2022, Etc.

Summer is rolling right along, sometimes at an alarming speed.  I’ve gotsta buckle down if I’m going to get all these projects finished.

This week I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, which I offered for the first time last summer.  Last year I had three campers—a small but talented group.  This year, I’m down to one diligent bassist.  I wasn’t even sure if he was going to show up, but his grandmother rolled up Monday morning and dutifully dropped him off, so we commenced a-rockin’.

Essentially, he’s getting twelve hours of private lessons from yours portly for about 22% of the normal cost (if I charged my half-hourly rate of $30 for twelve hours/twenty-four half-hours of lessons, I’d pull in $720; I’ll net $160 on this camp [that’s $200 total for the camp, less the 20% the school takes]).

Of course, we’re not playing bass for three hours straight each morning.  Where it’s just the two of us, we’ve worked out a schedule that seems to work pretty well:

  • Start with about thirty minutes of bass guitar—his bass “lesson” for the day.
  • Shift over to piano (his little fingers need a rest from pressing metal against a hard wooden fretboard) for about thirty minutes, working on chords and music theory.
  • Take a morning break, during which we talk about songwriting.
  • Work on songwriting (we’re currently wrapping up a tune called “The Story of Sam the Clam”) for about forty-five minutes.
  • Take a second, shorter break.
  • Review the songwriting session, then clean up and organize the Music Room for the day.

It’s pretty cool to have the flexibility to build the camp around what he wants to learn, while also working in some things that I know will be beneficial to him.

The other looming event of the year is #MAGAWeek2022, which will run from Tuesday, 5 July through Saturday, 9 July 2022.  For newcomers, #MAGAWeek2022 is when I celebrate the people, places, things, ideas, concepts, institutions, etc., that have, in their own way, Made America Great (Again).

During that week, all posts are behind the paywall over at my SubscribeStar page, but generous previews will be available here.  Fortunately, it’s just $1 to get access to everything for the week.

Finally, I’ve at least pulled up the manuscript for the first volume of Sunday Doodles, which I hope to publish via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service by the end of the summer.  The plan originally was to include the first fifty editions of Sunday Doodles, which are normally only available to $5 and up subscribers, as a handsome, black-and-white paperback.  Now, however, I’m thinking I might go even bigger, and include the first 100 editions of Sunday Doodles.  Talk about a nice coffee table book!

Speaking of, I am running late—for the first time in a long time!—on this past Sunday’s edition of Sunday Doodles.  Hopefully it will be live for subscribers by the time you read this post.

So, there you have it—some quick updates on yours portly.

Happy Wednesday!

—TPP