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”:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Now that summertime is here, I’m using the bit of extra, unstructured time to try to develop some good habits. This past school year was pretty brutal, between a heavy load of classes and up to twenty lessons a week. I was thankful for the income from lessons and for the security of work, but it really took its toll as the academic year wore on.
Unfortunately, one of the first things I let go was daily Bible study. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve always been spotty about reading the Bible daily. I’m often more interested in listening to someone else’s commentary on God’s Word than reading it for myself, as if I’m a medieval Catholic.
But there’s no substitute for the real thing—daily Bible reading and study. So I’ve established a routine now that summer is here, and it’s really helped me keep on track.
We’re really getting into the dregs with these worst movies. This point is where it starts getting hard for me, too—it’s easy to write about any movie, but having to think about the worst ones is surprisingly difficult.
As I had to travel out of town this weekend for a late family member’s memorial service, I decided to use the tactic to which all bloggers must, at times, resort: reusing an older post.
The film is legitimately bad, and I really would place it on this list. So, why not kill two birds with one bad film?
It’s hard to believe that it’s the 150th edition of Lazy Sunday. Honestly, it felt like I’d already hit that milestone, but here we are.
I don’t have anything special to mark the occasion, just some more choice movie reviews for your reading delectation. These are the first reviews of 2022, from the cold, lonely months of January, when all I want to do is eat DiGiorno pizzas and watch crummy movies (but these are all quite good):
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Boys from County Hell (2020)” – Boys from County Hell (2020) is a comedic vampire movie that takes place in rural Ireland. It seems that international horror flicks are some of the best lately, as they aren’t quite as bound by the conventions of modern American horror, which just seems to be a bunch of jump scares and loud noises. The premise is straightforward: in the small, dying town of Six Mile Hill, there is a stone cairn in the middle of a farmer’s field. The cairn is said to be the grave of Abhartach, an ancient Irish vampire who is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Turns out local legend is true, and the residents wrestle with an ancient vampire.
“Monday Morning Movie Review: Nobody (2021)” – Nobody (2021) depicts Hutch Mansell (now one of my favorite movie protagonist names) going about his mundane daily routine, until two burglars break into his home. It begins a sequence of revenge that reveals there’s more to Hutch Mansell than meets the eye.
These are all winners this week. Watch them all if you can.