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.
Today’s Monday Morning Movie Review will be a bit delayed. It was a long drive back from Georgia, and with preparations for the week, I did not have time or energy to craft a compelling movie review.
I’ll also be getting caught up on this weekend’s SubscribeStar Saturday, thought it likely won’t be until midweek.
The tempo of work, lessons, and other obligations have made it difficult to keep up with the blog this weekend, and this week is looking to be a doozy. Rest assured, though, that I’ll get back into the regular schedule as soon as possible.
Today’s SubscribeStar Saturday post is coming, it will likely just pop up this afternoon. I spent yesterday afternoon driving to Athens, Georgia, and did not have time to get the post done ahead of time.
That said, it was a beautiful drive. Due to a bad wreck on I-20, GPS routed me through the backroads, taking me through the Upstate of South Carolina into northeastern Georgia. One of the highlights was driving through Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, which is on the border of the two States.
More on that in a future post. Thank you for your patience!
After a couple of weeks away from Supporting Friends Friday, it’s time to honor more of my wonderful, talented friends. This week, it is my distinct pleasure to recommend the excellent writer Bette Cox.
With the proximity to National Night Out and the excitement of festival season in the air, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s TBT to a post about a much larger weekly festival, the so-called “Soda City Market.” It’s been months since I attended, but it still holds a fond spot in my heart (and my stomach).
Last night the Lamar Neighborhood Watch organized an observation of National Night Out, an evening dedicated to supporting law enforcement and encouraging strong community building. Most communities observe National Night Out in August, but Texas and other States observe it on the first Tuesday in October, when the weather is a good bit cooler. August in the South is rarely a good time to host outdoor events.
My walking buddy neighbor helped organize the event, but he took a unique approach to it: rather than having one person or a committee coordinating all of the participants, he invited residents to host whatever bit of entertainment and fun they could muster. The result was a small but truly grassroots street festival.
I’m currently cutting back on my calories and have so far dropped around ten pounds in the past two weeks. I’d let myself get comfortable and complacent after a long, lazy summer. Sure, I’ll loosen up a bit—both my calorie restrictions and my pants—for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I’ve been doing pretty well regulating my daily intake. It had grown, quite frankly, massive.
I mentioned this latest of my various weight loss odysseys to my neighbor, the man who takes Murphy out for me and—more germane to this post—who is the Zone Captain for our Neighborhood Watch. My adventures in dropping unsightly pounds and inches inspired him to propose the Lamar Neighborhood Watch establish small walking groups, and yesterday morning, he and I met shortly after 6 AM to walk a short circuit downtown.
I’m a big sucker—pun most certainly intended—for vampire movies. I’ve always enjoyed the vampire mythos, and find them to be terrifyingly fascinating villains (or anti-heroes). The concept of immortality in a fallen, ever-changing world is itself a haunting prospect, one filled both with opportunity and, ultimately, hopelessness.
I also love science-fiction movies, notably those that take place in space. The sense of boundless adventure and the thrill of exploration combine with high-tech gobbledygook to make for some fun stories. Sci-fi, like horror, also has the ability to be among the best social commentary put to paper.
With 1985’s Lifeforce, those two genres are combined in a pleasing, memorable way. Indeed, the film is based on a novel called The Space Vampires, which gives the game away on the front cover. The vampires of the film and the novel are energy vampires, sucking the lifeforce from their victims, luring them in by shapeshifting into the guise of what the human victim most desires in a mate. In doing so, they turn their victims in ravenous husks who must feed on the energy of others to survive. If they don’t, they explode into a puff of dust and ash.
It was a long, grueling week at work, including a Saturday morning spent proctoring the SAT. It was one of those weeks where my job and my various sidelines all coincided to leave me utterly exhausted. Anyone who has ever worked a job knows the kind of week: seemingly everything must be done at the same time.
Well, self-promotion never ends, and after working myself weary this week, I figured I’d make another attempt at schlocking my various wares to you, my faithful readers. As such, it seemed like a good weekend to revisit my book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard, and my various blog posts about it. Also, some of my students learned of the book this week, so it’s on my mind (and currently only $10 in paperback):
“Lazy Sunday CX: Inspector Gerard Reviews” – Soon enough, the reviews—mostly from blogger friends—began pouring in. I think most of the reviewers “got” the book, and I even got a shout-out in a mailbag episode of Z Man’s podcast after I mailed a copy of the book to him. I really appreciated the reviews.