Memorable Monday: Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween!  Sure, it’s also Monday, probably the lamest possible day for such a mirthful holiday, but let’s hope that just improves Monday, rather than drags down Halloween.

For newer readers, Memorable Monday posts are the equivalent of the weekly TBT posts, in which I republish an old post, adding on an additional layer of commentary.  The key difference is that Memorable Mondays are far rarer than TBTs, as the former only pop up on special occasions or holidays (like today!), while TBTs are every Thursday.

That brought up a bit of a mild conundrum:  this post has been reblogged twice as “TBT: Happy Halloween!” and, last year, as “TBT^2: Happy Halloween!.”  I didn’t want to copy-paste those posts and the original and make them part of Memorable Monday, because it would throw off the exponent (in 2023, it’d be “TBT^4” if I reblog these posts on a Thursday).  I also wanted to avoid some unwieldy future title like, “TBT^4: Memorable Monday: TBT^2: Happy Halloween!”

Of course, that’s all tedious, mildly autistic, inside baseball.  I’m sure some of you can relate to this desire to maintain an excessive sense of order to everything, but others are probably wondering, “What does this have to do with Halloween?”

Well, not very much.  Let’s just say I’m excited to spend the evening watching spooky movies and handing out candy with my dog.

With that, here is 31 October 2019’s “Happy Halloween!“:

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Lazy Sunday CLXIX: Even More Halloween Hijinks: The Musical

Happy All Hallows’ Eve Eve!  It’s the day before Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Naturally, I needed to highlight some spooky posts, but I did many of those back in “Lazy Sunday LXXXIV – Halloween Hijinks” and “Lazy Sunday CXXXVII – More Halloween Hijinks.”  So I decided to go with some Halloween posts with a more musical flair:

Happy Halloween!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Malfunctioning Robots

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.

After two years under the befuddlingly tyrannical rule of a mentally-impaired geezer, our electoral standards have slid to meet the lowered expectations of our time.  Now a mentally-impaired greaseball wants to be the United States Senator for Pennsylvania, and until a disastrous debate performance that was impossible to ignore, it seemed that Pennsylvanians were willing to vote for him.

To be clear, I take no pleasure in the profound illness of another person.  John Fetterman suffered a stroke—a terrible thing—but he is still pursuing public office.  As much as Henry Clay disliked Andrew Jackson in the 1824 presidential election, he wasn’t going to throw his support behind Secretary of Treasury William Crawford of Georgia (the election was thrown to the House of Representatives; Crawford was in third, but had suffered a major stroke and would pass away soon afterwards, with Clay giving his support to John Quincy Adams).

But we’ve grown accustomed to power-hungry wives and political parties propping up brain-dead puppets in public office.  Indeed, the historians of the distant future will no-doubt look back at our time and think of it as The Age of The Impaired.  We celebrate every manner of impairment—transgenderism, paralysis (both moral and physical), gluten intolerance, etc.—as some kind of special mark of holiness.

Of course, we should treat such people with compassion, but we shouldn’t be electing them to public office, no matter how good it makes us feel about ourselves to do so.  Public service is hard, even for the able-bodied and clear-minded.  Being a United States Senator is exceptionally difficult—and a position with incredible amounts of power and prestige.

What we saw with Fetterman—much like Marco Rubio’s glitching out in 2016—was an Establishment robot malfunctioning on live television.  I’m only being mildly hyperbolic—Fetterman can only process incoming sounds via a computer.  That’s a miraculous bit of technology, but do we want a cyborg serving as one of the 100 men and women of the US Senate?  Even if we did, would we want one that was constantly breaking down in stressful situations?

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

Myersvision: The Final Table

Sometime last week Audre Myers, a regular contributor of movie reviews and delightful miscellany to this site, sent me an e-mail asking if she could submit reviews of entire series of shows, not just movies.  Audre actually did just that some time ago when she submitted a review of a season of Stranger Things, which I highly recommend you read.

Regardless, I of course told her yes—enthusiastically!  I have a pretty open submission policy here, and I’d let an author as seasoned as Audre write about paint drying (she could probably make it entertaining!).  Naturally, a Netflix series fits the bill.

Thus, I’m dubbing Audre’s Netflix/television reviews “Myersvision,” since I have a mania for turning everything into a series.  Whenever Audre sends these along, I’ll schedule them under that title.

For the first installment, we have a review of a cooking show featuring the best of the best—not just self-promoting nuisances like on Chopped from Food Network (although they make some pretty awesome stuff on that show, too, there’s just usually one or two contestants who are ostentatiously self-confident and, therefore, annoying).  I think readers will appreciate the twist to this show’s grand prize.

With that, here is Audre’s review of the Netflix series The Final Table:

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TBT^2: Monsters


They’re all creatures of the night:  bloodsucking, blood-curdling, blood-soaked.

Or they’re adorable, CGI critters that work in a factory, according to Pixar.

Of course, if you’re Stephen King, the real monsters are us—humans.  Have you read ‘Salem’s Lot?  A woman beats her own baby (and that baby becomes an infant vampire—yikes)!

That’s all a very weak, very contrived introduction for this week’s edition of TBT, which looks back at a couple of years’ posts and related commentary on monsters.  Whatever they are, whatever their intentions, monsters are always one thing:  interesting.

With that, here is 21 October 2021’s “TBT: Monsters“:

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Midweek Myers Movie Review: Signs (2002)

Ah, the early 2000s.  A chubby young Portly was still sweating his way through high school (and, from 2003-2006, college); America’s love affair with patriotism was in full swing; and M. Night Shyamalan was bringing The Twilight Zone-style stories to the big screen.

M. Night could do know wrong in those days.  He’d scored a major success with The Sixth Sense (1999), the film that spawned the instantly iconic line “I see dead people.”  Then his twists became progressively more schlocky and insulting, starting with The Village (2004).  For many years, he was, like the intro to the television show that inspired his stories, spiraling, before mounting a comeback in the last decade.

But he was enjoying his salad days in the early aughts, and this week’s film is an example of Shyamalan during his early peak.  I remember seeing this flick at the movie theater in the mall in Indianapolis, Indiana, on a church music trip, and found it quite enjoyable as the chubby, sweaty young man referenced in the opening paragraph of this introduction.

Well, enough of my puffing. Here is Audre Myers‘s review of 2002’s Signs:

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Open Mic Adventures XI: Spooktacular Supergroup Covers “Monster Mash”

The third front porch Spooktacular was a smashing success (at least according to my mom, my girlfriend, and me—a pretty unbiased group, yeah?), with many of my private music students taking the stage to share their talents.  Even a few former students, now off to bigger and grander things, stopped by to sing a song or two.

As is tradition at these events, I invited anyone with an instrument or a voice to join us on stage for a couple of songs.  By the time I offered up this invitation, most of my younger students and their families had left, but several were still around.

From those remaining—two bassists, a guitarist, two piano players, a singer, my niece, John (on acoustic guitar) and myself (on drums)—we formed an ad hoc supergroup.  One of my younger students—the young man who walks Murphy for me while I’m at work—took lead on the vocals, and really nailed it.  He sounds like a younger Bobby Pickett!

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Best Films: #7: La La Land (2016)

If readers thought my placement of 1983’s sci-fi/fantasy/swashbuckler Krull at #7 was shocking, this week’s #7 pick from Ponty will truly blow your staggered minds.  From the man who just wrote about Halloween (1978), I’d never expect a splashy musical.

I remember seeing this flick back in 2016 on a date, and remember enjoying it (not just due to the excellent execution and story, but probably thanks to Emma Stone—shew!).  Suddenly, my students wanted to play “City of Stars” all the time, and jazz piano enjoyed an all-too-brief resurgence.

Ponty gives it a very thorough review, as you’ll see, that really brings out some of the sparkling details of the film without spoiling anything.  It probably also holds the distinction of being the only review of a film musical to reference Grand Theft Auto 5, so that should be worth something.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2016’s La La Land:

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Lazy Sunday CLXVIII: Video Games II: Ponty’s Picks

Ponty is a regular fixture here at The Portly Politico, and readers most likely know him from his extensive film reviews.  But when he’s not watching movies, he’s playing video games, often with his lovely girlfriend, Tina.

The good fellow has written three killer video game reviews of late, two with distinctly spooky themes, so why not give the old boy another edition of Lazy Sunday?

Apologies for those brief descriptions—my rotten dog has been hounding me (no pun intended) all morning, and is currently scratching vigorously at the door.  These games are quite good, and Ponty gives them the love and affection they deserve.

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments: