Lazy Sunday CLII: Romance

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!  As such, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the more romantic posts of yesteryear (and yesterweek) to commemorate this season of love:

  • The Joy of Romantic Music III: Hector Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’” – Hector Berlioz is my Romantic Era composer spirit animal, although I’m way more restrained them him.  He was so lovesick over the Shakespearean actress Harriett Smithson, he wrote an entire symphony for and about her.  In his Symphonie Fantastique, the main character is so lovesick over his beloved, he takes an overdose of opium in attempt to commit suicide.  Instead, he enters a fevered, drugged dream, in which his beloved is portrayed as a fixed musical idea.  When Harriett Smithson heard the symphony, she finally heard out Berlioz’s marriage proposals, and the two were wed—quite unhappily—for a few years before it all came crashing down.
  • Alone” – In retrospect, I think this post was a bit of whining on my own part, and throwing myself a pity party.  That said, my diagnosis of the current ills and travails of the modern dating scene are quite accurate.  It’s probably better being alone.
  • TBT: Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day” (and “Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day“) – A grab-bag of Valentine’s Day miscellany.  My brother thought I’d accidentally posted a Friday post on a Thursday.  Nope—I purposefully reblogged a Friday post on a TBT.

Happy Sunday—and Valentine’s Day!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Alone

It’s February, the Month of Love.  As such, it’s a good time to talk about relationships and such.

There was some speculation in the comments of this blog a few weeks ago about my relationship status.  Alys and Audre were discussing whether or not they should buy garish (they didn’t use that word, but I can only assume) hats for hypothetical nuptials.

Well, as these things do for a sensitive poet-warrior like yours portly, it all came crashing down—not with a bang (giggity), but a whimper.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Jakob’s Wife (2021)

I am a great lover of vampire movies and stories, and am always interested to see how filmmakers and storytellers approach the well-worn vampire mythology.  Every vampire story must take time to establish the “rules” of that particular vampiric universe, so the (sub?)genre lends itself to world-building.  Some vampires can survive in sunlight, though uncomfortably; others can endure limited exposure; still others burst instantly into flames.  Some vampires fear the sign of the Cross; others laugh at it mockingly; still others fear the faith in what the symbol represents, but the symbol is rendered powerless without that faith.

Vampire stories also offer the opportunity to explore interesting themes.  Immortality is a common one:  what happens when you have forever to live on Earth?  Anne Rice’s novel Interview with the Vampire (1976) explores that idea in great detail, specifically the ennui and nihilism that come with earthly eternal “life.”  The initial thrill of vampiric power and endless nights of bloody reverie gradually turn to centuries of self-indulgent, murderous moping, as the vampire passively watches the world he loved transform around him into something unrecognizable.

This month, Shudder released a new exclusive, Jakob’s Wife (2021), a feminist-inflected vampire story starring 80s scream queen Barbara Crampton.  While the feminist themes were a bit heavy-handed at points, the film handled the subject matter with a surprising degree of nuance.  Suffice it to say that, like tell-tale two-pronged mark of the vampire’s bite, this film has stuck with me.

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Interview with photog

Longtime readers know that photog of Orion’s Cold Fire is a blogger buddy of mine.  He recently proposed we “interview” one another via e-mail—a project we both hope more folks will engage in soon.  We asked each other five questions and responded.  You’ll be able to read my responses at his blog this morning, too.

Here are photog’s responses to my questions, reproduced without editing, other than for style and for adding links to the books he referenced:

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TBT: The Joy of Autumn

It is—to use a Southern expression—hotter than blue blazes here in South Carolina, as it always is in early September.  Lately, the extreme heat and humidity have made any outdoor activities unbearable, at least for yours portly.  The air is thick and muggy.

But there is some relief in sight.  We’ve had some rainy days here and there that have given brief—fleetingly brief!—tastes of autumn.

Autumn is, by far, my favorite season.  After the brutal oppression of summer, autumn is a welcome relief.  Autumn in South Carolina is brief, but lovely—the days are warm, the nights crisp.  The season makes it stately arrival fashionably late, usually late in October or early in November (though Halloween always manages to be hot; just once I want an Indiana Halloween!).

The cooler weather brings with it better smells:  pumpkins and spices replace the persistent smell of cut grass and sweat.  Food tastes better in autumn, too.  There’s a reason candy apples are an autumnal fair food:  that thick, sugary, caramel coating wouldn’t last in the humidity of summer.  There’s also the pies:  pecan and pumpkin, of course, but also sweet potato.

Oh, and there’s college football.  The SEC hasn’t (yet) betrayed fans like the West Coast conferences.

So, here’s hoping autumn returns sooner rather than later to South Carolina this year.  With that hope—and prayer—in mind, whip out the pumpkin spice and enjoy November 2019’s “The Joy of Autumn“:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Diversity is Our Strength!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

A couple of days before the start of the school year, my school underwent a round of indoctrination professional development:  the dreaded diversity, equity, and inclusion training ($5 subs got a sneak peek of my handwritten notes earlier this week, which I uploaded as a digitized PDF).  As these things go, it wasn’t terrible, but there was plenty of social justice buzz words, and a subtle, implied anti-white bias to it.  Really, it was an anti-Truth and objectivity bias.

This Saturday, permit me to be your guide through the harrowing world of corporate-style diversity training in the Year of Our Wokeness Two-Thousand and Twenty C.E. (because “A.D.” is discriminatory against non-Christians, even though the B.C.E./C.E. dating system is still based on the Birth of Jesus Christ!).

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

Conservative Girls are Prettier

Way back in 2001, good ol’ John “The Derb” Derbyshire wrote a column for National Review called “Hillary’s Style Crash.”  That was back in the days before NR kicked Derb to the curb for writing his controversial piece for Taki’s MagThe Talk: Nonblack Version,” in which Derb dropped some unpleasant nuggets of wisdom.  That piece went up during the first round of the past decade’s worth of race riots, back before most of us realized it was mostly ginned up controversy.

Regardless, while I don’t agree with Derb’s race realism overall, he does offer up some remarkably insightful commentary.  His weekly podcast is often the highlight of my Saturday mornings, and he comes across as an intellectually curious, gentle man who sincerely cares about his adopted country.  His best commentary involves cultural matters, and that 2001 piece offers up a great insight:  conservative girls are prettier, but progressive girls are easier.

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Lazy Sunday LIV: Coronavirus

It was inevitable—a Lazy Sunday dedicated to the coronavirus.  This may end up being a “Part I,” depending on what happens over the next few weeks, but I’m planning on shifting away from corona talk for awhile.  There are bigger and better things in life than a Chinese biological weapon and/or Chinese culinary disaster-turned-virus.

I’ve been trying to make the most of a generally bad situation.  It’s springtime in South Carolina, so for about two weeks, we’ll enjoy pleasantly mild weather before the oppressive heat of summer hits.  Z Man has an excellent, optimistic post up today about “Springtime In The Pandemic“; it’s a must-read, and follows some of my own ideas about the possible cultural consequences of everyone being at home and resuming more traditional roles.

So this Lazy Sunday, it’s time to look back at my various posts on the dreaded virus:

  • Phone it in Friday VIII: Coronavirus Conundrum” & “Phone it in Friday IX: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part II: Attack of the Virus” – What a difference a week makes!  Between these two posts, I went from writing off the coronavirus as a bad strain of flu to being much more concerned.  Even since the second installment here, though, I’ve come to reassess the situation again. How much of this shutdown is necessary to stem the spread of the virus, and how much of it is the result of panicked media reporting?  I think it’s possible it’s a threat and the threat is overblown.  We’ll see next week, when this fifteen-day experiment in social isolation has run its course—or gets renewed.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Coronavirus Prepping” – When I wrote this post on 7 March 2020, I still thought the coronavirus’s threat was remote, but I was concerned about the disruption to supply chains.  I detailed my steps for preparing for the possibility of quarantines and/or shortages.  Fortunately, it seems that now grocers are catching up, and unless you’re looking for toilet paper, you can largely find what you need.
  • High-Tech Agrarianism” – This essay explored an idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile, but that takes on new urgency in the Age of Corona:  what if we combined small-scale agriculture with high technology?  Using our lawns to grow grass seems like a waste of the land and of the effort to maintain it.  What if we applied the effort of mowing and weeding to growing easy-to-maintain crops?  In our normal lives, people don’t have the time, but as we’re shifting more to telecommuting and distance learning, it seems like we’d all be able to spend a bit more time in the garden.
  • The Revival of Traditionalism?” – In line with the previous post, this piece explored the social and cultural impact of the coronavirus on gender roles.  It was vindicating to see one of the greats write on a similar topic this morning.  The upshot to this whole forced shutdown is that we’re really reevaluating what truly matters in life, as I opined about at length above.

Well, that does it for now.  Stay safe, wash your hands, and God Bless!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

The Revival of Traditionalism?

Milo Yiannopoulos posted a screen shot yesterday of an essay from The Atlantic reading “How the Coronavirus Will Send Us Back to the 1950s” (the piece, by Helen Lewis, is now called “The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism“—a silver lining to this pandemic, I suppose).  His caption reads, “HOLY SH[*]T YES PLEASE[.]”

The Lewis piece is the usual feminist hand-wringing about the disparate impact of the coronavirus on women.  Feminists always find a way to make global catastrophes about them, and not about everyone who is truly suffering.  The attitude seems to be, “yes, yes, people will die, but why do I have to make any sacrifices or trade-offs for the people I ostensibly love?”

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