Memorable Monday: Cyber Monday Musings

It’s Cyber Monday here in the United States, yet another day to hawk my wares to my unwitting—uh, I mean “loyal”—readers.

Here’s the big one:  the Kindle edition of my book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot, is on sale for just $0.99 through midnight (EST) this Thursday, 2 December 2022!

And the paperback version is the perfect gift!  Why give someone a boring, predictable gift, when you can give them a collection of unsolvable, absurdist noir detective stories to read around the yule log?  Enjoy egg nog-enriched guffaws as your friends read mystifying tales of hyper-sleuthing.

Give the Gift of Weird this Christmas—like crudely painted primitivist artwork!

While you’re at it, why not head over to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1/month to unlock all of my SubscribeStar Saturday posts.  For $5/month, you get fresh doodles every Sunday, as well as other random bonuses.

Well, you get the idea.  Support yours portly on this feast of savings!

With that, here is 2 December 2019’s “Cyber Monday Musings“:

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Flashback Friday^4: Brack Friday Bunduru: Workers Need a Break

It’s another Black Friday here in the United States, the day when retailers are finally in the red after convincing everyone to storm the commercial Bastille and buy flat-screen televisions at rock-bottom prices.  It’s intriguing to consider that our entire retail sector hinges on the successful execution of one day of sales to shore up an entire year of losses and (I will recklessly assume) corporate mismanagement.

I vastly prefer teaching music lessons, which put me into the black pretty much from the beginning of the year and throughout.  Of course, there are lots of other ways you can help me stay in the black, such as…

Seriously, my whole marketing tactic this Christmas season is “Give the Gift of Weird.”  Why give someone another scented candle they’ll shove into a drawer and forget about?  You can totally win your White Elephant gift exchange with a self-published book of unsolvable, absurdist detective stories.  Or help an oddball relative celebrate with a painting of a demonic-looking beast sword.

Release yourself from the shackles of predictable gifts that no one wants or needs!  Don’t risk setting fire to your house with some crappy candle.  Instead, be fire on Christmas morning with some wacky, one-of-a-kind gifts from yours portly.

You’ll also be giving those schmucks at Target a break, which they desperately need after sacrificing Thanksgiving to fulfill your insatiable lust for plastic knick-knacks.

With that, here is “Flashback Friday^2: Brack Friday Bunduru: Workers Need a Break“:

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Myersvision: Blown Away

Reality television certainly has its low points:  randy twenty-somethings hooking up in the hot tub; grown people humiliating themselves for cash; Sanjaya on American Idol.

Despite the format’s reputation for racing to the bottom, it does work well to highlight higher pursuits.  There are so many unusual and intriguing jobs and skills out there, and there is a deep satisfaction—and profound fascination—that comes from witnessing a master practice his craft.

Such is the case with this week’s edition of Myersvision, in which regular reader and contributor Audre Myers shares with us a show about the intense, difficult, beautiful craft of glass-blowing.

With that, here is Audre Myers’s review of the Netflix series Blown Away:

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TBT: Mahler’s Composing Shack

We’re getting into the time of year when my personal creativity seems to spark.  I should be way more productive creatively in the summer, when I enjoy loads of unstructured time, but I find that I work better in the constrains and confines of a busy schedule.  For whatever reason, that extra pressure helps me to eke out, if not diamonds, then at least some lesser gems.

One well from which I have drawn some considerable inspiration the last couple of years was my Pre-AP Music Appreciation class.  It was a broad survey of Western music from the medieval period to the present, with a strong emphasis on the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.  Due to a combination of scheduling difficulties and lower enrollment last year, the class did not run this year.

On the one hand, I’m thankful—it’s given me more time to focus on other endeavors.  On the other, I do miss the almost-daily baptism in the works of some of the greatest composers in the Western canon.

One element of the course that was particularly intriguing was learning about the lives and creative processes of the composers.  Many of them lived quite tragic lives; others (rarer, it seems, among composers) lived quite contentedly.

Gustav Mahler seemed to have developed a nice little work routine, as detailed in this post from October 2021.  I like the idea of having a stripped-down cottage by the sea, with a healthy breakfast brought to me as I work.  Sounds like the good life!

With that, here is 13 October 2021’s “Mahler’s Composing Shack“:

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TBT: Modern Art and Influence

It’s that dead time of the year, news-wise, when nothing much exciting is happening—unless, of course, rising food, gas, and home prices are your idea of excitement.  Everyone’s in a summertime mood, and no one wants to worry about the troubles and strife in the world when we can be out swimming and eating ice cream.

Of course, as we’re out there on the beaches, we’re going to see a lot of people, beautiful or otherwise.  We’re all beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s Image, and He Cares about each of us.  There is Beauty and dignity to be found in every human life.

Naturally, some humans are blessed with more Beauty than others.  Nevertheless, I’d like to think that, as a species made in God’s Image, we all instinctively appreciate True Beauty when we see it.  That our ruling class actively supports “art” that is anti-Beauty is another sign that they are illegitimate and, quite frankly, Satanic.

Most modern “art” is not worthy of the moniker.  We all understand that a great deal of its support comes from wealthy doofuses who want to look cool.  Unfortunately, these hipster doofuses—whether intentionally or not—are destroying culture in the process of celebrating “art.”  The destruction of Beauty is a crime against God and civilization; the celebration of ugliness is a sure sign of moral and artistic decay.

Fortunately, there’s still a great deal of Beauty in the world.  We just have to seek it out—prayerfully and intentionally.

With that, here is 28 July 2021’s “Modern Art and Influence“:

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Painting Update

Last week was our big Fine Arts Festival at school, and part of the festival included an art showcase.  The Fine Arts Department Head invited me to submit my little paintings for sale, which I happily did—all nineteen of them!

On the last night of the festival, I slashed the prices of all of my paintings, and ended up selling four that evening (“Ghostopus“; “Springtime“; “Feelin’ Froggy“; and “The Elixir of Life“).  As such. I’ve lowered all of the paintings on Bandamp to $15 accordingly (“Valenween/Franketine” is at $20, but just because I like that one so much).

I haven’t had time to work on too many paintings since the festival, but I do have a few newer ones that might be of interest to readers.

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An Acquired Taste: German Expressionism and Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire”

In a move sure to incite riots akin to those that accompanied the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, I’m dedicating today’s post to the bizarre German Expressionist music of Arnold Schoenberg’s atonal vocal work Pierrot Lunaire.

Before my musically conservative readers begin rioting in the comments section, let me hasten to add that, as a rule, I do not like German Expressionism outside of film.  The art movement has its moments, and I appreciate weird absurdity, but the movement is, at its core, nihilistic and anti-Beauty.  It seems to be the bitter wellspring of postmodern art, much of which is meaningless trash.  But at least the German Expressionists had technique; they knew how to make good art, but chose not to, largely as a reaction to the absurdity of the First World War.

I’m also not much of a fan of Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone composing system, and the organized atonality it represents.  I just love a good chord progression too much, and generally think there is more fun (and musicality) to be had tinkering with music inside the limits of traditional tonality, rather than abandoning them entirely.

In spite of all of that, I kind of like Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

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Supporting Friends Friday: Son of Sonnet’s Poetry Community

My good buddy and regular poetry contributor Son of Sonnet has some exciting news:  this Monday, 14 March 2022, he is launching his new Locals page at https://sonofsonnet.locals.com/.

Locals is a bit like SubscribeStar, but it’s more robust in terms of features, and the focus is on building up a sense of community between subscribers and the content creator.  SubscribeStar allows comments, for example, but Locals has built-in incentives to encourage more engagement, such as certain users gaining additional posting privileges and the like.

Son is going full-in with Locals, hoping to build up a community of supporters who appreciate good poetry and the culture-renewing possibilities it offers (you can read all about his mission on his “About” page; appropriately, it’s presented in the form of a poem!).

Son is setting his sights high, as he should:  he’s kicking off his foray into Locals with a special promotion he’s dubbed Race to 1000K.

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