Lazy Sunday CII: Obituaries, Part II

Another week is dawning, and it’s time to look at the sun setting on some excellent individuals.  2020 was a rough year for many reasons, not least because of the deaths it brought.  Here’s hoping this week’s titans are resting in the arms of Jesus:

  • Rock in Peace, Eddie Van Halen” – If any of these three aren’t resting in the arms of Jesus, it’s probably Eddie Van Halen, though I’m holding out hope he experienced some manner of conversion experience and is playing “Panama” inside the pearly gates.  Eddie was a pioneering guitarist, but he also built on the legacies of past giants, like the violinist Niccolo Paganini (who was so good, it was said he sold his soul to the devil for the privilege; if that’s true, there’s a pretty good band in Hell right now—not that you’d want to go and hear them!)
  • Rest in Peace, Alex Trebek” – Smarmy.  Smug.  Canadian (I think).  Alex Trebek is synonymous with Jeopardy!, and it’s unclear that anyone can fill his shoes.  He brought just the right balance of bedside manner and not giving a damn to his hosting duties, asking guests for their tedious life stories, and occasionally finding them lackluster.  But, boy, he was a good host.  Rest in Peace, Alex.
  • Rest in Peace, Rush Limbaugh” – Speaking of irreplaceable hosts, Rush Limbaugh is one of the first greats to shed off this mortal coil in the great year 2021.  I don’t think anyone can truly replace Rush behind the legendary EIB Golden Mic, but I’m hoping they hire Mark Steyn as a perpetual guest host.  “The Rush Limbaugh Show w/ Mark Steyn” has a nice ring to it.  That’s a Canadian I can get behind.

That’s it for another macabre edition of Lazy Sunday.  Happier retrospectives to come in March.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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TBT: Lazy Sunday LIX: The God Pill Series

Former pick-up artist and born-again Orthodox Christian Roosh V has a new book out about his miraculous conversion away from a life of casual sex to a life devoted to serving Jesus Christ.  The book, American Pilgrim, is one-part travelogue, one-part social commentary, and one-part testimony (according to what I’ve read about the book; I hope to purchase my own copy soon).

To celebrate Roosh’s nearly-four-hundred-page release, I thought it would be worth dedicating this week’s TBT to looking back at The God Pill Series, a series of three posts about Roosh’s conversion.  Many of Roosh’s former colleagues in the PUA world were suspicious of his conversion, but I detected something deep and sincere in it—chiefly, because no one becomes a Christian in 2021 expecting to make more money (the primary charge being that Roosh was “reinventing” himself to cash in; unpublishing all of his pick-up books suggested otherwise).

So here’s to celebrating a new brother in Christ.  Here’s April 2020’s “Lazy Sunday LIX: The God Pill Series“:

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Lazy Sunday CI: Obituaries, Part I

Dedicating two Lazy Sundays to obituaries is a bit grim, but after Rush Limbaugh’s death last week and a solid week of cold, rainy weather, it seemed appropriate.

As I began looking back at posts about deaths, I was surprised to see I had written several obituaries and memorials (enough to split this retrospective into two parts).  2020 was a particularly difficult year, as we all know, and it took some of the greats with it.

Too many.  But, as my blogger and real-life friend Bette Cox noted on my Limbaugh memorial, she doesn’t wish for a peaceful rest, but a joyously busy time in Heaven.  I’m sure Rush has a golden mic up there, broadcasting praises to Christ for all eternity.  Excellent in Broadcasting, indeed.

  • Breaking: Conservative Commentator Charles Krauthammer Dies at 68” – This post was the first (I believe) I wrote about the passing of any public figure on the WordPress version of the blog (other than a blurb about Michael Jackson’s death on the old Blogger site).  Krauthammer was a bit of a squish by today’s standards, and it would be interesting to see how he would have fallen on Trumpism after four years, but he was one of the more creative and intelligent pundits on the airwaves.  I always enjoyed his writing, and his interesting insights into human nature.
  • Rest in Peace, Herman Cain” – The Godfather of Godfather Pizza, and one of my favorite political figures of the twenty-first century, Herman Cain was, in some ways, a prelude to Trump:  fun, humorous, controversial, down-to-earth, and populist.  I loved his “9-9-9” Plan, if for no other reason than it was good marketing (and because of his belief that (to paraphrase) “if 10% is good enough for God, 9% is good enough for the federal government).
  • Remembering Ravi Zacharias” – Since his death, allegations surfaced that Ravi Zacharias was a sexual predator; sadly, after intense investigation (fully and transparently conducted and supported by his ministry, RZIM), it seems these allegations are true.  That’s a terrible coda to an otherwise exemplary career.  Zacharias may have fallen to temptation later in life, but it does nothing to erase his impact on generations of Christians.  He still won thousands of souls for the Lord, and his detailed apologia for Christianity still stand powerfully.  His fall serves as a powerful reminder, as The Didactic Mind put it, to “not base your faith on the words of men.”  It’s also an admonition to finish the race strong.

That’s it for this weekend’s obituaries.  Rather than dwelling on them gloomily, let’s think of them as a celebration of life, both in this world and the next.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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Lazy Sunday C: Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day—and the one-hundredth installment of Lazy Sunday!  Because I did the “Best of Lazy Sunday” prematurely due to The Great Misnumbering, I decided to take a look back at Valentine’s Day posts.

Unfortunately, I only have two posts for Valentine’s Day, which I don’t celebrate with the same gusto as Halloween or Christmas.  So I’m also going to toss in a sales pitch for one of my albums, which you’re welcome to ignore.

That’s it for this very special Valentine’s Day edition of Lazy Sunday.  Snuggle your sweetie today—even if she is a robot.

Love,

TPP

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Lazy Sunday XCIX: Romantic Music

After three Sundays, several SubscribeStar Saturdays, and some Mondays of movie reviews, it seemed like a good time to give the movies a rest.  Don’t get me wrong—there’s a good chance I’ll be writing a movie review tomorrow—but I realized the blog has been skewing a bit heavily in that direction for a few weeks.  Sure, it’s wintertime, the perfect time to vegetate while consuming schlock in the evening, but that doesn’t mean we can live on cultural junk food alone.

To that end, I thought I’d highlight the classier side of The Portly Politico with haute cuisine—my recent posts on Romantic music.  Seeing as Valentine’s Day is one week away, why not cozy up with passionate music from some of history’s greatest composersBon appétite!:

  • Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony” (and “TBT: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony“) – photog gave the TBT version of this post a shout-out in his most recent “Friday Finds” post.  I’m grateful he did, in no small part because everyone should hear this beautiful, programmatic symphony.  The Pastoral is a beautiful, melodious traipse through the countryside—all told musically.
  • The Joy of Romantic Music” – For a very brief introduction to and primer for Romantic music, I humbly submit this post.  I point out just a few of the many excellent composers from the time period, almost all of whom I’ve discussed in class this semester.
  • The Joy of Romantic Music II: Bedřich Smetana’s ‘The Moldau’” – Due to a WordPress error, the e-mail preview for this post went out a couple of days before the post was published, meaning that many folks missed it.  That’s a shame, because it’s an absolutely gorgeous bit of nationalistic (and naturalistic) composing, detailing a whimsical river cruise down the titular river, sailing through the Bohemian countryside, through Prague, and past an ancient castle.
  • The Joy of Romantic Music III: Hector Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’” – I’ve become fascinated with Hector Berlioz, which is apparently quite common:  music critics either love him almost as madly as he loved Harriet Smithson, or they reject him entirely.  I tend towards the former camp.  Berlioz was a Romantic’s Romantic—full of lofty ideals about the power of music and the passions it stirred.  The Symphonie Fantastique—which he wrote for and about Smithson, and his intense love for her—is likely the first psychedelic work, as it features an opium-addled artist descending into strange dreams.

I’m sure I’ll write more about Romantic composers soon, but these four posts should give you plenty of listening to get you started.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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Lazy Sunday XCVIII: More Movies III: Movie Reviews, Part III

I’m trucking my way back from Universal Studios this morning, so why not do another round of movie reviews?  This weekend’s three reviews are all flicks from 2020—a bad year for movie theaters, not to mention everything else—but a good year for movies.

Well, at least I thought so.  These three movies were all movies I enjoyed, but I’m not exactly a tough critic.  I also tend to rent movies I’m likely to enjoy, and even likelier to write about films I enjoy, so my assessment of 2020 releases could be way off.

But I liked these three, at least.  Here are some solid 2020 picks for your enjoyment:

  • Midweek Movie Review: Fatman (2020)” – Man, I loved Fatman.  It’s a very fun premise and a great flick.  Kris Kringle may be jaded and burned out from his job delivering presents around the globe, but he’s unambiguously a good guy; the villains are unambiguously evil.  It makes for a great bit of cinema.  Highly recommended.
  • Monday Movie Review: Unhinged (2020)” – If you’re into tight psychological thrillers with a deadly chase, Unhinged fit the bill.  It also features Russell Crowe in a fat suit, which is humorous.  It’s not the greatest film, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Love and Monsters (2020)” – I really enjoyed this sweet adventure/romance film.  A total screw-up who somehow has managed to survive the monster apocalypse sweeping the globe becomes a man as he crosses eighty-five miles of monster-infested territory to reach his high school girlfriend.  It hits many of the same notes as Zombieland (2009), but does so in a fresh way.  Another big recomendation.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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TBT: Lazy Sunday LXXXII: Universal Studios

I’m on the road—yet again!—to Universal Studios, heading out this afternoon after a long day of mind-molding.  This trip will be my fifth in the last year, and my first of the calendar year.  I’ve certainly worn the magnetic strip down on this Season Pass.

Seeing as it’s TBT, I figured why not look back at the Lazy Sunday dedicated to my first two Universal Studios excursions of last year (you can read about the fourth trip, too)?  When I go out of town for a long weekend, I try to file posts in advance, and a catch-all Universal Studios TBT seems like a good way to go.

Here’s hoping I make it to Orlando alive—or, at the very least, awake.  Here’s “Lazy Sunday LXXXII: Universal Studios“:

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Lazy Sunday XCVII: More Movies II: Movie Reviews, Part II

Last weekend I began looking back on some of my many movie reviews.  This Sunday I’m continuing that walk down movie memory lane with some more film reviews.

The flicks this weekend better reflect my cinematic preferences than last week’s crop; although I loved all three of those flicks, brainy sci-fi thrillers, vampire movies, and goofy buddy comedies probably sum up my movie-going Zeitgeist perfectly:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Archive (2020)” – This flick was a slow burn, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It’s the only movie I’ve seen (that I can remember) that depicts a robot experiencing jealously, loneliness, and isolation—and ultimately succumbing to her “robo-depression.”  Like any good sci-fi film, Archive explores questions deeper than its slick, futuristic aesthetics suggest.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Interview with the Vampire (1994)” – A modern classic, I believe this review was my 666th post.  *Shudder!*  It’s an appropriately demonic tale of vampires in New Orleans—a must-see flick set in the Anne Rice’s vampire universe.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)” – The new Bill & Ted movie isn’t a great movie, and there’s no consistent logic to the time travel depicted in the film.  But that’s okay—it’s a Bill & Ted movie, after all.  What the movie does offer is tons of warmth and fun.  I really enjoyed this little picture immensely.  It was refreshingly upbeat and wholesome in an age when such films don’t seem to be made anymore.

More movie reviews to come.  Keep on watching!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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Lazy Sunday XCVI: More Movies: Movie Reviews, Part I

Way back in “Lazy Sunday LVI: Movies” I looked back on some movie reviews and posts analyzing movies.  That was long before I began Monday Morning Movie Reviews as a semi-regular feature on the blog.

Since then, I’ve dedicated more of the blog to discussing culture, especially music.  I’ve also written more about films and the cinema.  Even with large theater chains still closed and film-viewing shifting increasingly to streaming services, movies are still a powerful way to convey ideas and to shape cultural attitudes.  Indeed, I think the importance of film has only increased in The Age of The Virus, as we’re able to consume more and more of it in quarantine.  That our political elites have essentially recommended we just sit around watching television as some heroic form of self-sacrifice is suggestive—of what, I’m not sure, but it can’t be good!

Regardless, during this quieter, slower season, I thought it’d be fun to look back at some Monday Movie Reviews (to be be fare, not all of these were published on Mondays or in the morning, but they’re still movie review!—one out of three ain’t bad, to very loosely paraphrase Meat Loaf).

Here are three for your enjoyment:

  • Monday Movie Review: The Empire Strikes Back” – Seeing The Empire Strikes Back (1980) on the big screen reminded me powerfully just how great Star Wars used to be before the new trilogy ruined it with SJW nonsense and incompetent direction.  Empire is widely regarded as the best entry in the history of Star Wars films for a reason.
  • Morning Movie Review: Brazil (1985)” – This one had been on my RedBox wish list for some time, and I finally rented it on-demand back in October.  It’s a great, dreamlike flick about an excessively bureaucratic dystopia.  Brazil captures the thousand tiny tyrannies of bureaucratization beautifully—and scarily.  That we’re heading down a road towards mandatory vaccination passports and ever-growing globalist conglomerates suggests we haven’t learned the lessons of Brazil.
  • Movie Review: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)” – I stumbled upon this flick on Hulu, and it was one of those rare gems among the garbage that streaming service typically serves up (and yet, I continue to pay my $2.15 every month for the pleasure of streaming terrible horror movies and Bob’s Burgers).  It stars a very young Jodie Foster as a young teenager living completely on her own in a hostile New England town, attempting to avoid Martin Sheen’s inappropriate advances.  The film is a bit of a thriller, but also an endearing coming-of-age story in which the young Rynn—Foster’s character—learns that life isn’t meant to be lived alone.  As I wrote in the review, “It’s a lost gem, one worth unearthing.”

That’s it for this weekend.  Happy Sunday—and Happy Viewing!

—TPP

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