Feel-Good Friday: Extreme Generosity

Amid the myriad newsletters and e-mail lists that I promptly delete from my inbox everyday, I stumbled upon this wholesome story, one that evaded swift deletion and digital oblivion.  A seventeen-year old Chick-fil-A employee won a car in a company Christmas raffle, and promptly gave it to her nineteen-year old coworker.  The coworker had to bike to work every day, adding several hours to her daily workday (though no doubt keeping her in excellent shape).

It’s a life-changing act of generosity, and the kind of thing that always seems to be attached to Chick-fil-A.  It’s amazing how an overtly Christian establishment with a strong commitment to quality and good treatment breeds more of the same.  I needn’t list the many examples of Chick-fil-A employees doing good things—we’ve all heard dozens of such stories already.

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The Future of Bandcamp Fridays

[Note–after reviewing my accounting, I realized I double-counted some tip money as also a private lesson payment, so I’ve adjusted numbers down $50.  That caused some minor changes in my calculations.  Those should be updated and correct now.  —TPP, 18 December 2020]

Regular readers will know that since March 2020, Bandcamp has been waiving its commission on sales through its platform on the first Friday of each month.  The company even dedicated a webpage to answering the burning question “Is it Bandcamp Friday?

The promotion has been a real boon for musicians—myself included—who have seen a major reduction in revenue from gigs, lessons, merch sales, and other sources of income.  I just ran the numbers, and I grossed around $4976.18 this year from lessons, gigs (including a play I was in), merchandise sales, streaming payments (only $10.15—and it took five years to accumulate that much!), and Bandcamp sales (around $159.03 after payment processing fees and Bandcamp’s commission from purchases not made on Bandcamp Fridays).  That’s compared to roughly $9099 grossed last year from the same sources, so about 54.69% of the revenue in 2020 vs. 2019.  My lesson revenue fell to 45.34% of its value in 2019, from $7465 to $3385 (but I also only drove 1941 miles for lessons in 2020, versus just over 6000 miles for lessons in 2019).

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Thanks for Supporting Indie Musicians

Back on 1 May 2020, Bandcamp waived its commission on musicians’ sales for the day.  A number of you dug deep and picked up my discography, which was a big help at a time when musicians are running low on funds.

Bandcamp repeated that commission-free day in June, and is doing so again today, Friday, 3 July 2020.  It’s a great time to pick up my discography.  If you’ve already done so, and enjoyed my music, consider forwarding this post to friends and family that might enjoy my work.

If you didn’t enjoy my music, well, that’s fine, too—go ahead and forward this post anyway!

Regular readers will recognize most of the information below from that 1 May 2020 post.  My apologies for another extended solicitation, but I do appreciate your support (and your patience with reading lengthy ad copy).

One other note:  next week marks #MAGAWeek2020, in which I will post daily about an American (or concept) who has, in his or her own way, made America great.  But those posts are SubscribeStar exclusives for $1 or higher subs.

Thanks again for all of your support!


The TL;DR takeaway of today’s post:  times are tough for musicians, and you can help.  You can purchase my music on Bandcamp today (Friday, 3 July 2020) without Bandcamp taking their 15% commission.  You can also tip me directly via PayPal.  Finally, you can always support the blog—and enjoy exclusive weekly content—by subscribing to my SubscribeStar Page.

Bandcamp is waiving the commission it takes on sales of musicians’ work TODAY, Friday, 3 July 2020.  You can pick up my entire discography for $15.75 (or more, if you feel so inclined).  To purchase the full discographyseven releases in total—you can view any of my albums (like Electrock EP: The Four Unicorns of the Apocalypse) and find a button/link that reads “Buy Digital Discography” (unfortunately, there’s no way to supply that link directly).

You can also send a digital tip to me directly, if you’re so inclined, via PayPal.

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Counting Blessings

After writing yesterday’s blog post about our diminished prosperity, I was quite upset.  I am an emotional sort, given my brooding artistic temperament, and I should know by now that complaining about money and the state of the world will only work me up—or, perhaps, down—into a blue funk (or, occasionally, a purple rage).

So today’s post is meant to be a yellow counterpoint.  It’s easy for me to fixate on negatives.  That’s pretty much the nature of blogging and commentating about politics and culture.  And while I am optimistic for the future, I am a declinist:  I can’t help but notice that much of culture is, at best, a stagnant swamp (hiding away the occasional orchid); at worst, it’s swamp draining into a desert.

But enough that.  Today’s post is about counting blessings.

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Cass on Our Diminished Income

Way back in The Before Times, in the Long, Long Ago, before The Age of The Virus, Oren Cass presented a series of sixteen tweets, asking this question:  “How is that our economic statistics suggest workers have been making slow but steady progress in recent decades, while popular perception is that their family finances are coming under increasingly untenable pressure?”

Cass also wrote about the issue in greater detail in American Affairs and in a lengthy paper for the Manhattan Institute.  That question—why does it feel like it’s harder to make ends meet now, even though inflation is low and we’re wealthier?—is one of the gnawing concerns of modern-day America.

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Another Monday Morning Appeal

This post is a shameless but sincere appeal for support.  If you would like to support my work, consider subscribing to my SubscribeStar page.  Your subscription of $1/month or more grants you access to exclusive content every Saturday, including annual #MAGAWeek posts during the July Fourth week.  For just $5/month, you also get access to Sunday Doodles, my collection of bizarre, fun, and humorous doodles, as well as other surprise content.

If you’ve received any value from my scribblings, I would very much appreciate your support.  Belts are tightening with the rise of The Virus, so independent creators need your support now more than ever.  Thank you to those of you who are current subscribers.  If you’ve enjoyed your subscription, please share this post or my SubscribeStar page with other interested readers.

A little over six months ago, I wrote a “Monday Morning Appeal,” asking readers to pitch in a buck or two to help with the site.  As of this morning, I’m up to six subscribers to my SubscribeStar page, four at $1/month the level, and two at $5/month the level.

The blog is entering its sixty-fifth week of daily posts (I believe this morning’s appeal will mark the 456th consecutive daily entry).  I’m hoping to continue to with that daily pace, and to increase the amount of exclusive content on my SubscribeStar page.

As my school has transitioned to distance learning, I’m churning out video lectures at an astonishing rate.  I will soon begin uploading lectures of interest for $5/month subscribers.  That will include my survey-style overview of the Second World War, which includes five lectures and nearly three hours of content.  I also have two lectures on the New Deal.

The value of your subscription increases each week, as more content gets added.  This transition has also forced me to figure out how to record video and audio more efficiently, so the long-planned, never-delivered Portly Podcast could be in the works soon.

We may be looking at tough times ahead, and every dollar counts.  I appreciate every subscriber.  For the price of a large pizza over the course of a year ($12), you can support my work with $1/month.  Buy one fewer Cokes at the gas station each month, and you’re covered!

For the price of a synthetic oil change ($60), you can support the blog with $5/month.  Drop one visit to the People’s Republic of Starbucks and every month, and you can support quality content from a true American patriot.

If you’re feeling really generous, you can subscribe at the $10/month level, or the truly ludicrous $50/month level.  At this point, I’m still dreaming up perks for those levels, but if you’re just looking to be super generous, hey, I’ll take it.

Again, thank you to all of my readers, subscribers and non-subscribers alike, for your support.  Your comments and feedback are always welcome.  Keep sharing my stuff!

Happy Monday!


Phone it in Friday V: Ode to Friday Evenings (and Weekends)

I don’t know what it is about Fridays that seem to delay my daily posts.  It happens on Saturdays, too, especially if I’m out of town, but it seems I keep getting behind on Fridays.

It’s likely because my Thursdays are usually slammed.  Not only am I teaching a heavy course load at my day job, I also have three private music students about twice a month on Thursdays.  I then head to a local coffee shop for their weekly open mic, an institution for musicians and music-lovers in my region’s scene.  By the time I got home last night, I was worn out, and didn’t have two spare neurons to rub together.

Thus the profusion of “Phone it in Friday” pheatures—er, uh, features—I’ve been writing of late (here’s the original, and II, III, and IV).  But this edition will take on whole new dimensions of self-reference:  it’s a “Phone it in Friday” about Friday itself.

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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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Monday Morning Appeal

This post is a shameless but sincere appeal for support.  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.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog lately, you know that I’ve been despairing about the state of the world.  I suppose I occasionally go through these phases, and it seems incongruous even to me, as I’ve been trying to lighten up the blog a bit.

Regardless, I’ve been reminded lately how big the gap is between the red-pilled conservatives—the folks that see the world for how it truly is—and the blue-pilled normies, still shuffling about in their state of waking sleep.

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