Phone it in Friday XV: Blogger Buddies

It’s been another crazy week, but the rhythms of the school year are beginning to fall into their familiar patterns.  That said, I’ve put in more hours working this week than any in a long time.

Regular readers know what that means:  another edition of Phone it in Friday, now reaching its fifteenth installment.

It’s been a week for shout-outs to other commentators and platforms, so I figured I’d continue with that theme and recommend some of my blogger buddies to you.  I have to give a big hat tip for this idea to one of my best blogger buddies, photog, over at Orion’s Cold Fire.  He wrote a post—“A Word of Thanks to Our Boosters“—highlighting some of those blogs that routinely link to his page or reference his writing, and yours portly made the list.  Thanks, photog!

So on this rainy, overcast Friday, here are some excellent blogs for your consideration:

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TBT: [Censored.TV] Lineup Announced

Other than Roosh V, probably the greatest influence on my deeper red-pilling was Gavin McInnes.  McInnes’s commentary is funny, lively, and fresh.  I have consumed hundreds of hours of his popular podcast, Get Off My Lawn, so I’ve heard a lot of his thoughts on a broad range of topics.  Even when I disagree with his assessment of some event, his perspective is unique and interesting.

Milo is also a part of McInnes’s world, and his sharp, erudite, biting commentary—and excellent journalism—routinely inspire posts on this site, such as Monday’s piece “What is Civilization?

Back in Summer 2019, McInnes—who, like Laura Loomer, has been banned from multiple platforms—launched Censored.TV, which at the time was FreeSpeech.TV (thus the brackets in this post’s title, and in the original post below; the service changed its name after another company threatened a trademark suit against McInnes).  The service, which is just $10 a month or $100 for a year, features about a dozen different personalities and shows, ranging from “Gary’s Mailbag”—a homeless man who wanders around outside the studio and reads letters—to Milo’s raucous “Friday Night’s All Right.”

The main message of the original post was to encourage readers to support content they like (myself included!), especially conservatives.  Platforms like SubscribeStar help give conservatives and dissidents a voice, but those platforms are oases of freedom in a desert of techno-tyranny.

With that, here is 2019’s “FreeSpeech.TV Lineup Announced“:

Thanks to my brother for this nocturnal news update:  Gavin McInnes’s new subscription-based service, [Censored.TV], is ready to launch.  Listeners to the excellent, hilarious Get Off My Lawn podcast know that Gavin has been planning this platform for some time now, so it’s exciting to see the lineup.  The most exciting part of that schedule:  the twice-monthly sit-downs with Milo Yiannopoulos to talk about the news.  Talk about throwing gasoline onto a raging fire of awesomeness.

The service is $10 a month, or $100 a year, which is on par with Steven Crowder’s Mug Club or Ben Shapiro’s subscription.  I just don’t think it comes with a Leftist Tears Hot-or-Cold Tumbler, much less a far superior hand-etched mug.  But with McInnes’s crazy, controversial, humorous observations about life and culture, I can live without a drinking vessel tossed in (although it would be hysterical to drink coffee from a mug made to look like McInnes’s bearded mug).

Because of constant censorship from techno-elites and their ever-shifting “terms of services,” conservative and Dissident Right voices have fewer and fewer options to raise funds.  Some sites, like immigration patriot website VDare.com, can’t even use PayPal anymore.  As such, more and more content creators are turning to alternative or free-speech-friendly services, or undertaking the cost of creating their own infrastructure, so they can continue to get their work to fans.

I am definitely a small fry in this game of commentary, but that’s why I’ve setup a page with SubscribeStar.  My goal isn’t too live off of subscriptions, but just to supplement my income slightly to make blogging more on a daily basis more feasible (and to reinvest some of the funds into maintaining and improving the experience).

For guys like Gavin McInnes, who has been hounded from even supposed safe havens like his old employer, CRTV (now BlazeTV), reliable income streams aren’t a passing lark—they’re absolutely crucial.

In a better timeline, McInnes would be hosting Red Eye.  But he’s a fighter, and I have no doubt his new service will continue to deliver the laughs.

Free speech isn’t free.  Support creators like McInness, Crowder, Shapiro, and Milo to the best of your ability to keep their content alive.

If you’d like to support MY content, consider signing up for a subscription to my SubscribeStar page.  New, exclusive content every Saturday, starting at just $1 a month.

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Phone it in Friday XIII: Come on Get Happy

It’s been another wild Friday afternoon of funcling, so I’m resorting to phoning it in once again this evening.  I spent the morning at the doctor’s office for my annual wellness visit, got an end-of-summer-vacation haircut, and finished up my Pre-AP Music Zoom sessions.  Since then, I’ve been knee-deep in babies for the second day in a row.

While I was driving all over the Central Savannah River Area, I tuned in to Z Man’s weekly podcast, which pops Friday mornings.  The show this week is called “Happy Happy Fun Time,” in which Z Man shares a message I promoted a few weeks ago:  despair is a sin, and we have much for which we can give thanks.

Z himself can over a jaundiced, cantankerous perspective on the world, a la H.L. Mencken (whom he clearly admires).  But Z’s argument is straightforward:  if we just focus on politics, all the time, we stop being fun.  Life is for the living, and many folks on the Dissident Right tend to get so bogged down in the seeming hopelessness of the Leftist-dominated culture wars, they cease enjoying life.

NEO at Nebraska Energy Observer attributes a similar nugget of wisdom to one of his regular contributors, Audre Myers.  It’s also the guiding principle of Gavin McInnes (and, to an extent, Milo), who laments how much more fun life used to be before the Leftists sucked all of the joy out of it.  Z points out that the Left wants us to despair because their lives suck.  Their unhappiness is, to some degree, why they are Leftists in the first place.

It’s well worth setting aside an hour to listen to this episode of Z Man’s podcast, The Z Man Power Hour.  So I’m dedicating this post to just that:

Happy Friday!

—TPP

Support Milo

I hold a soft spot in my heart for conservative gadfly and Internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.  I recall fondly his heyday in 2015-2016, when he championed free speech in the Babylon of Progressivism, Berkeley, California.  I still wish President Trump would appoint him White House Press Secretary—it would be must-see TV every day.

Behind the flamboyant, cartoonish homosexuality and the over-the-top trollery, though, is a talented journalist and writer; indeed, Milo’s work is some of the best long-form journalism I’ve ever read.  His writing, like his public speaking, is engaging and well-researched:  he really checks his facts and his sources, while still delivering that withering Coulterian death strike upon his unfortunate target.

Unfortunately, even fewer Americans will have the opportunity to read his work, as he’s apparently sold his website, Dangerous.com.

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Monday Morning in America

The Portly Politico is striving towards self-sufficiency.  If you would like to support my work, consider subscribing to my SubscribeStar page.  Your subscription of $1/month or more gains you access to exclusive content every Saturday, including annual #MAGAWeek posts.  If you’ve received any value from my scribblings, I would very much appreciate your support.

The couple of weeks I’ve been feeling bleak about the future.  I’m a declinist by nature when it comes to the macro view, but the micro was starting to get to me.  How do we get through to people?  We don’t have the luxury for the old days of slow, steady relationship building and piecemeal red-pilling.  Further, it seems every step we take forward, the culture takes three steps back.

I wrote as much on Saturday, in a post where I gave full-vent to the frustrations I’ve experienced.  One of the problems with writing daily (and under self-imposed deadlines) is that it’s easy to let your emotions about recent events take over.  I’d been giving way to despair, and it started twisting my analysis.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Stakes of the Culture War

A special note:  today’s SubscribeStar Saturday is probably the most important essay I’ve written this year.  I encourage to read it with your subscription of $1/mo. or more.  If you’re unable to pitch in, send me a message and I’ll e-mail you a PDF.

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Over the past couple of weeks, the stakes of the culture war have really hit home for me.  As I wrote last weekend, the “misinformation gap” between regular voters and reality seems overwhelming.

I’ve long held that building individual relationships can change lives, and can undo a great deal of brainwashing, and I have anecdotal proof:  through patient dialogue and loving guidance (and prayer), I helped guide a former student away from progressive extremism and bisexuality (it was a male student, so it’s impossible for him to be truly bisexual, anyway).  He’s now a girl-loving populist and, while he’s not totally on the Trump Train, he’s longer a Bernie Bro.

But that kind of patient, incremental relationship-building, while critical, is too slow for our present crisis.  It’s also incredibly wearying because it’s so labor-intensive, and because of the immensity of the project:  there’s a lot of brainwashing to undo, and most of what needs to be unwashed is quite subtle.

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

The Boiling Potential of the Right

Blogger photog at Orion’s Cold Fire—the gift that keeps on giving—has yet another excellent post examining the state of the Right today.  In particular, photog poses the question:  “How Will the Deplorables Get Organized?

photog uses the analogy of a sword forged from various “metals”—parts of the coalition of the Right and the non-progressive side of politics.  His argument is that, during the Cold War, some metals were included in this grand alloy that didn’t blend well with the others, but they forged together well enough to make the sword that vanquished Communism.

However, those poorly-blended alloys—which he identifies as the GOP Establishment of Conservatism, Inc.—weakened the sword in a post-Cold War context, making the weapon ineffective.  A new metallurgist—photog doesn’t name who this is, but I suspect he means Trump, or perhaps the Trumpian Right—has discarded those unassimilable lumps, and has brought back in some of the metals that were rejected in the old days (the paleoconservatives, for example).

The new sword is still being forged; right now, it’s all boiling, kinetic potential, but it hasn’t hardened into cold, steely weapon capable of dealing a death blow to progressive lunacy.  The challenge, as photog sees it, is to bring together this energetic, chaotic new coalition into a disciplined, populist-nationalist (my words, not photog’s) movement with coherent aims.

Of course, photog notes it will not be easy.  Here’s a key passage from his post:

I’ve said that it needs to be done but I’m not trying to kid anyone into thinking it will be easy.  When I said that the New Right is like a boiling pot I wasn’t kidding.  Chaos and kinetic energy are the only rules and there is absolutely no consensus between the various groups that make it up.  They range from radical separatists who are busy storing ammo for the shooting war, to Tea Party civic nationalists who can’t figure out why John McCain didn’t get elected in 2008, to religious businessmen who want the government to stop persecuting them for their beliefs, to Rust Belt forgotten men who want to stop the globalists from putting the last nail into their economic coffins.  Herding cats would be a cakewalk in comparison.  But it will need to be done if we hope to avoid being back at the mercy of the Stupid Party.

In short, the task ahead is difficult, but necessary.  Otherwise, cucky GOPe figures will come back into control, and the Republican Party will continue to be controlled opposition.

That’s another key point that photog makes, and with which I strongly agree:  a third party is suicide.  The Trumpian Right has to take control of the Republican Party.  Trump’s brilliance as that he ran a third party campaign inside one of the two major parties.  He has been at least partially successful in turning the Republican Party into a vehicle for his policies, but GOP swells have also reined in the President.

Regardless, it’s crucial that Trump wins in 2020 if we want to see the hardening of this boiling new coalition.  If Trump loses, the clucking scolds of National Review, et. al., will waste no time in saying, “we told you so!”  It may be a generation again before a populist Republican has a shot again at the highest office in the land—we’ll be consigned to thirty years of cucky Bush-cons losing meekly to increasingly insane Democrats.

On the other hand, if Trump wins, we have a golden opportunity to cement the roiling new coalition into something enduring—an FDR-style grand realignment.

2020 is going to be an interesting year.

The God Pill

There’s some interesting developments in the “manosphere,” a sometimes seedy, always lively corner of the Internet.  The manosphere grew out of the pickup artist (PUA) phenomenon of the early 2000s, then morphed into a catch-all philosphical, cultural, and lifestyle movement that encapsulated all manner of ideas about relations between the genders.  While not necessarily “conservative,” the manosphere broadly occupied a space on the fringe of the Right, overlapping with Dissident or Alt-Right thinkers.

It also promoted strongly the idea of the “red pill” and “red pill awareness”:  its leading lights and most avid followers purported to see things as they really are, not the fantasy realm of blue pill NPCs.  That came with a number of time-tested insights about the nature of male-female relationships, along with some unfortunate detours down the dark by-ways of discourse:  anti-Semitism, racism, libertine sexual mores, and the like.

Ultimately, though, it was a beautifully messy example of what free speech should be:  free-flowing, raucous, even unsettling discussions about every conceivable topic.  We like to imagine the public square as some kind of sanitized, lofty forum of David French-ian gentlemen debating arid abstractions.  In the world of the Internet, it’s more of a mud-flecked, bloody arena.

The 2015-2016 election cycle probably witnessed the greatest growth in this movement.  Donald Trump—a man known for his success in business and with beauties—captured the imagination of the manosphere the same way he won over the Silent Majority:  he was tough, brash, and unpredictable.  More importantly, he challenged a stagnant, ossified establishment and status quo.

The manosphere glommed onto Trump like herbal supplements on an Alex Jones live-stream.  Until the implosion of the Alt-Right at Charlottesville, the ‘sphere was going strong.

There are many strains of thought within the broad Red-Pill/manosphere movement, and I can’t do justice to them in a short blog post.  What I found interesting while reading some of these authors—the “Big Three” are Rollo Tomassi, Roissy, and Roosh V—was their gradual transition from PUAs to snake-oil sophists to political theorists.  One might scoff at the idea of a dude teaching guys how to pick up chicks formulating political and cultural ideas, but, hey, they did it.

What’s even more fascinating was watching the probing into the foundations of political systems.  On the old Return of Kings website, controversial founder Roosh V wrote a series of articles examining the different world religions, weighing their perceived pros and cons.  He also seemed to grow increasingly disgusting with a life of meaningless sex (I’ll provide some actual links when I write a longer treatment of this transition).

Now, Roosh has done a dramatic turnaround, after he has undergone—he claims—a profound religious conversion.  Consistent with that conversion, he’s banned posts on his popular forum about “pre-marital sexual activity,” to great scorn from his readers.  He’s also removed eleven of his Bang guides from his website (books for hooking up with women at home and abroad).

Some of his readers are accusing him of engaging in censorshipa la big tech companies shutting down InfoWars.  This comparison is absurd.  Roosh is a single entity, maintaining a server with his own funds and for his own purposes.  He’s not crushing political discourse or criticism of a regime.

Other comments accuse Roosh of “selling out”—as if telling people not to talk about sex is somehow going to sell more books.  Maybe the eleven books he’s removed from his website weren’t selling well anymore, but it does seem like a sincere example of “putting your money where your mouth is.”  Sure, maybe he’ll parlay his newfound faith into giving talks to churches, but that’s a pretty big transition to swing.  He’s not tapped into that market at all.

I could be naive, but this doesn’t seem like a case of “conversion-for-cash.”  There was a distinct undertone of disgust with his former lifestyle in Roosh’s recent writing, and a subtle repudiation of the West’s culture of sexual license.

Even before his conversion, I noted the Augustinian quality of the path Roosh trod.  He gave himself fully to the pursuit of earthly pleasures, only to find that pursuit was fruitless:  no amount of casual encounters could give him meaning.  Indeed, a theme that was beginning to emerge on sites like Return of Kings was a call to return to traditional gender and sexual roles, including a renewed embrace of Christianity in the West.

“Game” practitioners like Roosh were researchers in the dark field of dating and relationships in the twenty-first-century West.  They developed some useful techniques and stratagems for navigating those murky, painful waters, but their experiences also led them to Truth.  Roosh might have been a dime-store Sophist, but he’s come to realize that only Christ can fill the void.

I do hope his conversion is sincere.  If it is, his moves to remove potentially damaging books from his website is commendable, and a show of good faith.

It’s no wonder, though, that heads are exploding.  Christians are guaranteed persecution.  As Roosh puts it:

If you’re not a believer, it is unlikely you will understand the nature of these decisions and similar ones that will come in the future.

Amen, brother.  God bless.

Dissident Write II: Dissident Boogaloo

Yesterday I looked back at an old post, “Dissident Write.”  That piece detailed five of my favorite political writers.  Their work is engaging, insightful (occasionally inciteful), and memorable.

Staying power is difficult to achieve in the written word—think of all the famous authors’ books you’ve never heard of—especially when writing about the inherently transient and shifting topic of politics; it’s a testament to those writers’ skill that they achieve it.

With Memorial Day coming up—and summer break hot on its heels—it seemed like a good time to get around—finally!—to another list of excellent writers.  These scribes of Western Civilization’s twilight years possess the intellectual chops and mirthful fun that draw me to them.

Of course, if you like my writing, you can support it over at SubscribeStar.

All shameless plugs aside, here are five more must-read writers (with the usual disclaimer—I do not endorse or believe in everything these or any other writers believe, including other sources to which I link; I’m just intellectually curious and read expansively):

  • Conrad Black – As I was writing today’s post (on Wednesday) night, I searched for Lord Conrad Black and discovered President Trump issued him a full pardon for his egregious 2011 conviction on wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges.  Sheer serendipity.  Lord Black’s writing is robust and sophisticated, like an Arby’s Beefwich with class (a metaphor he would never stoop to employ).  Read his essay on his conviction and pardon—his barely-concealed rage at the rank injustice he suffered at the hands of grandstanding prosecutors and judges never breaks the surface of his polished, exact prose.
    Lord Black remains one of the few National Review contributors I will read.  I’m a conservative firebrand, but I appreciate that Lord Black is conservative in an older, loftier, more sanguine sense, a la William F. Buckley, Jr.  He’s a fan of FDR and Nixon (I am of the latter, but not the former), and has written books about both of them, as well as one about President Trump.  He’s an historian in the mold of the British nobility—a skilled researcher with the funds and time to dig deeply into the archives.  I highly recommend any of his articles, and I hope to read his massive books soon.
  • Dalrock – Dalrock is the pseudonym of an anonymous Texan, a father of two children and devoted husband.  Dalrock is also a traditional Christian, which makes him somewhat unusual as a fixture of the “manosphere,” the universe of writers and modern-day Sophists dedicated to promoting neo-masculinity and Western civilization.

    Dalrock is a bit out of place here because many of those writers—like the recently deplatformed Roissy of Chateau Heartiste—are pick-up artists (PUAs).  One day I’ll have to write an intellectual history of that movement, as it’s a fascinating, often disturbing glimpse into a world that went from giving nervous soyboys tips on how to pick up chicks into a movement that came to reject the sexual nihilism of our age.

    But I digress.  Dalrock is a true traditionalist in the biblical sense:  he actually believes and applies the Word of God.  He also goes hard after other Christians who try to smooth over the very clear teachings of the Bible on issues like homosexuality, marriage, and feminism.  He particularly harps on the heresy of chivalry, a gynocentric cult that wormed its way into Christianity, distorting our faith in inexorable ways (Dalrock rests this argument on no less a scholar than C.S. Lewis).

    Dalrock is probably the best writer to synthesize the social scientific works influential to the red-pilled mansophere with traditional Christian doctrine, and probably presaged the so-called “God Pill” awakening of key figures in that movement.

  • John Derbyshire – John Derbyshire now writes for immigration patriot website VDare.com, and releases a great podcast every Friday night/Saturday morning.  Derb immigrated to the United States from Great Britain in the 1970s; he married one of his Chinese students while teaching there; and he writes about math.  He’s also a cancer survivor.  Clearly, this guy has some interesting stuff to say.
    National Review
     fired a cancerous Derb because of a piece he wrote for Taki’s Magazine back in 2012 entitled “The Talk: Nonblack Version.”  You’ll recall that during that unhappy period there constantly seemed to be incidences of police officers killing young black men.  Most of those incidents were justified—as would always come out after weeks of rioting and white progressive virtue-signalling—but some weren’t.  The mainstream media began featuring stories about black parents giving their kids “The Talk”—how to behave around the police so, presumably, they wouldn’t get shot simply for being black.

    Derb’s controversial piece—still listed first under “Greatest Hits” on Taki’s Magazine—included advice to his half-Asian, half-Caucasian children on how to deal with black Americans they encounter in their lives (treat everyone with respect and as individuals, but keep your head on a swivel, essentially).

    Personally, I don’t think it’s Derb’s best work, but it didn’t warrant his firing.  NR grew excessively cautious and squeamish, so they let Derb go.  He beat his cancer, and continues to write at VDare.com.  His writing is also collected at his personal website, and he meticulously releases transcripts of his podcasts and a monthly diary of miscellany.  Derb’s mind is fecund and curious, so his writing is always lively and far-ranging.

  • Steve Sailer – Regular readers know that I often reference Steve Sailer’s work, especially his book reviews.  From border walls to education to surfing, Sailer writes and thinks creatively across a broad range of topics.  I’m a sucker for the polymathic Renaissance Man, a mold that Sailer shares with Lord Black and John Derbyshire.

    Sailer is a demographer and statistician, and his work on human biodiversity asks tough questions about life in a multiracial, multicultural society.  Sailer and Derb are a bit heavy on the race realism stuff, but Sailer’s deep statistical analyses of biology’s impact on human social development are fascinating (consider:  he has an entire essay on evolution and golf courses).

    Whether you agree with Sailer’s conclusions, he’s an erudite, far-ranging writer.  I always learn something new and intriguing when reading Sailer’s pieces.

  • Taki Theodoracopulos – The “Taki” of Taki’s Magazine, Taki (I’ll refrain from calling him “Theodoracopulos,” because it’s a pain to type, and because no one who works for him calls him that) is, from what I can tell, a super-wealthy journalist who spends his free time attending parties with the Royal Family and skiing in Gstaad, as well as mastering judo.  He also really, really hates Arabs.

    Taki’s writing is sometimes a bit self-indulgent, even for me.  But when you’ve got millions in the bank, you can afford to write free-flowing, semi-autobiographical essays about your karate lessons and attempted womanizing.

    Taki hearkens back to a vanishing breed of unapologetic nobility.  He wistfully yearns for the old New York, for when men wore suits on planes and women were feminine and winsome.  His writing his mirthful and wry, but also contains a hint of melancholic nostalgia for a better, vanished time.

So, there you have it.  Some more of my favorite writers on the Dissident Right (some, naturally, are more dissident than others).  As I wrote immediately before the list, I don’t necessarily agree with any or all of these authors’ conclusions, but I do appreciate their erudition, their style, and their commitment to the pursuit of Truth, wherever the facts take them.

Careful readers will note that many of these writers, as well as those from the first “Dissident Write” listicle, are contributors at Taki’s Magazine (and this list includes the owner!).  That’s no coincidence.  I stumbled upon TM a few years ago after reading about a campus protest against John Derbyshire in National Review (when I still subscribed to and read the print edition cover-to-cover every two weeks).  It’s really brought to my attention some excellent, relatively unknown writers, so I’m thrilled to share them with you.

Check out these writers’ work, and draw your own conclusions.  Have any recommendations?  I’m always looking for new, interesting perspectives.  Share your favorites in the comments.

Happy Reading!

–TPP