One Southerner's unique, erudite, conservative perspective in a hectic world
Author: The Portly Politico
Tyler James Cook is a singer-songwriter in Lamar, South Carolina. He is formerly of The Lovecrafts and Brass to the Future, and currently performs regularly as a solo artist at local open mic nights. He sings and plays sax, keys, and a little bass. He loves songwriting contests, even if he isn't cool or talented enough to win them. He won the 2012 Artsville Songwriting Contest's People's Choice Prize for his original song "Contest Winner."
He also maintains _The Portly Politico_, a politics and culture blog, at https://theportlypolitico.wordpress.com.
After a long and eventful weekend, Murphy and I are back in Lamar with an additional guest: my childhood friend’s eight-year old blue heeler mix Gracie. My buddy is going to the beach with his wife and kid, and needed a place along the way to drop their pup.
As such, I’m now running an assisted care facility for elderly dogs. In all seriousness, the dog, Gracie, is a real sweetheart, and she and Murphy seem to get along well enough. Murphy quickly established dominance once we got back to the house the other day, but then I put Murphy on her back to remind her who is really in charge, and it’s been relative peace in the house ever since.
Shudder continues to deliver up the bizarre and unusual, proving it’s well worth the price of admission for the streaming service. This last week saw the service bring the 1985 film The Stuff to the service.
It’s an unusual horror flick that combines elements of consumer protection advocacy, mass media advertising, consumerism, ruthless business tactics, and addiction into a blob of creamy terror.
Indeed, the film is something like The Blob (1958) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) rolled into one: a greedy corporation knowingly sells a dangerous product, which turns out to be a goopy white organism that entire consumes the very people consuming it.
So, essentially, the entire flick is a metaphor for consumerism and corporate greed run amok.
The celebration of friendship rolls on (read Part I and Part II), this week heavily featuring blogger buddies. One of the real joys of blogging is the opportunity to read other bloggers’ writing, and to build up a community of like-minded writers. These three writers definitely fit the bill:
“Supporting Friends Friday: Mogadishu Matt” – Mogadishu Matt at Free Matt Podcast writes some of the more interesting “slice of life” commentary I’ve ever read. He’s particularly humorous when writing his own, hard-boiled responses to letters sent to advice columnists. He’s a man who has lived a rich—if not always easy—life, and he’s learned and grown from those experiences. That really comes across in his writing.
“Supporting Friends Friday: photog” – Good old photog is the proprietor of Orion’s Cold Fire. I consider photog my closest blogging ally, and some of my writing for his blog got the juices flowing again for my blog. He writes on everything from politics to photography (thus the nom de plume) to Star Trek. Check him out!
“Supporting Friends Friday: Audre Myers” – Audre is a fun-loving, child-like, but wise writer who frequently posts for Nebraska Energy Observer, Neo’s blog (which features far more stuff about English and American history than it does about running electrical lines in rural Nebraska). Writing this tribute to Audre proved to be a turning point for my own blog: Audre has tons of fans in Great Britain, and now traffic to my site has increased five-to-ten-fold on a daily basis, thanks simply to Audre’s friends and well-wishers commenting on the blog. I’ve never had such lively comment sections, and that also means more comments from Audre herself!
Well, that’s another Sunday in the books. Enjoy your day and support your writers!
It’s been a very long week at work—not bad, just long. It was one of those weeks where I felt like I was working constantly, but never quite getting ahead on anything. Finding time to write is getting harder, unfortunately—there’s not enough time in the morning, and by the time I get home in the evenings, I am wiped out.
That said, all is well. I’m getting excited for the next Spooktacular, and should be placing an order for t-shirts soon. I’ll have the designs for those shirts uploaded once I place the order. I have two designs this year, so make sure to collect ’em all.
The poems in this volume appear in Jeremy’s first three releases (get them here, here, and here), so they’ve seen publication before, but if you loveHalloween—and I definitely do—this collection puts all of his spookiest poems together in one place. If you love Halloween and you’re a cheapskate, you can save some cash and pick up the present volume (though I highly recommend you purchase his entire oeuvre, as I have done—at least in paperback).
Jeremy definitely loves Halloween, too, and often says he wishes every day were Halloween. That might rob the holiday of some of its magic, but I appreciate the sentiment: Halloween these days seems to get short shrift during the holiday season, with the commercialized version of Christmas stretching its imperialistic tentacles deep into October—and even September! But that’s all to say that a guy who loves Halloween that much is going to release some of the spookiest, most spine-tingling poetry you’ll ever read.
It’s been a musical week here at The Portly Politico, so I figured, “why stop now?”
I’ve dedicated more and more space on the blog to musical and cultural matters, especially in the last year. Among the posts I most enjoy writing—and of which I am most proud—are those I write about music.
This week’s TBT feature, “Music Among the Stars,” is one I really enjoy, and I think (humbly) it’s one of my better posts. It’s about the golden records aboard the Voyager I space probe, and about the true purpose of music—to worship God.
Yesterday I wrote about the joy—the thrill!—of live music. I’m excited to see it making a comeback after the long, weary months of The Age of The Virus, and hope we will witness a renaissance of live entertainment.
There is palpable excitement to the night—a delectable frisson, the promise of things to come. The night is when things happen. Granted, they aren’t always good things, but they night promises to be eventful.
Fortunately, South Carolina is a free State, and live music is making a real comeback. Indeed, I had the opportunity to hear my buddy, poet Jeremy Miles, play a gig with his new band, Jeremy and the Blissters, at a hopping coffee shop Friday evening.
The experience was electric—and not just because of the piping hot sound system and stacks of amplifiers. The band—which, in addition to Jeremy, consists of good friends from the local music scene, two of whom have opened my front porch concerts—was stunning and powerful, offering up an eclectic mix of New Wave, punk, pop, acid rock, and more.
Beyond their impressive musical prowess and sweeping repertoire, Jeremy’s group reminded me of how fun live music can be—and how desperately we need more of it to return.
Apparently, the 1960s were a bit wild for the Soviets, too, as the Russkies allowed the release of Viy (1967), a Soviet-era horror flick, the first of its kinds to enjoy an official release in the USSR. Shudder is currently streaming the film, and it’s worth your time to check it out, both for the novelty of watching a Soviet horror flick, but also because it’s a fun, surprisingly frightening film.