TBT: Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day

Well, it’s not quite Valentine’s Day yet, but I thought it would be worth looking back to 2020’s Valentine’s Day post, which was mostly a collection of various blog posts and reflections on the holiday.

I’m still wondering how Jay Nordlinger gets to travel the world writing pithy little observations about violin concertos and the like.  How do I position myself to take his place when he finally retires or kicks the bucket?  Who else is going to critique all those free concerts in Vienna?

But I digress.  The Season of Love is upon us, and I suspect restaurants will be packed this weekend with lovers canoodling over their cannoli (or, in the case of the high number of breakups on Valentine’s Day than average, crying into their kishka).  Sounds like another weekend of frozen pizza and spaghetti for yours portly.

So, here’s some great stuff from better writers to celebrate your Valentine’s Day Weekend.  It’s 14 February 2020’s “Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day“:

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Neverending Summer

Yesterday photog over at Orion’s Cold Fire wrote a piece, “The End of Summer,” in which he noted that 1 September marks a psychological shift in our perceptions of the seasons, and even though summer doesn’t officially end until later in the month—and the unofficial end is Labor Day—we tend to associate September broadly with the coming of autumn.

He also goes on to make a lot of important points about the return of political commentary, which historically wanes in the carefree summer months; the continued flight of the middle classes from lawless urban centers; and the general skepticism most Americans hold towards our institutions, which we can no longer trust.  They’re great points and worth considering, but I want to focus on summertime.

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Supporting Friends Friday: photog

After honoring Mogadishu Matt last Friday, I figured I should pay tribute to my staunchest blogging ally, the venerable photog, proprietor of Orion’s Cold Fire.

I discovered photog after he ran ads on The Drudge Report, back before Matt Drudge sold out to the Bidenistas (photog is now a WhatFinger News man).  I’m still blown away that he had the cash on hand to buy ads on Drudge, which I think he told me was the result of having money to burn on his hobby.  Hey, more power to you, photog.

photog gets his lower-cased, e. e. cummings-esque nom de plume from his love of photography.  If you’re a shutterbug, he writes a number of technical articles about various pieces of high-end camera equipment that he tests out.  If you’re like me and just want to see the pretty pictures, he has plenty of those, too.

In addition to photography, photog writes some hilarious and detailed reviews of everything from episodes of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek to classic movies, as well as science-fiction novels and country musicHe’s even written a review of a cheesy sci-fi flick for this blog.  My attempt at offering a little bit of something for every interest is inspired, in part, by his generalist approach to blogging.

But where photog really shines is his political commentary (I will hasten to add that his photography really is great; I hope he publishes a book of his nature photography soon).  He writes broadly on everything from the importance of family to Deep State perfidy to what conservatives should do in a world that wants us destroyed.  I often find myself agreeing with his conclusions.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: East Coast, West Coast

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An enduring question—perhaps the enduring question—of our present age is whether or not a peaceful political solution is possible to resolve our current issues.  Any casual observer of national politics cannot help but notice that there is a deep division in the United States, one grounded in (at least) two fundamentally opposed philosophies.

To the dissident—that catch-all term to encompass of any number of alternative philosophies or worldviews to the prevailing “progressive-conservative” dynamic—both modern progressivism and modern conservatism are two sides of the same coin.  Indeed, Buckleyite neoconservatism accepts, essentially, the basic tenants of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, ideas that serve as the foundation for modern progressivism, though the two interpret that foundation in wildly different ways.

Thus, there is a paradox:  modern conservatives largely share a worldview that is incompatible with that of modern progressives’; yet, there roots originate in the same soil of the interventionist state.  The difference, perhaps, is the fertilizer:  the Leftist progressive overwaters with “equality” (now, increasingly, “equity”); the conservative presents a more balanced mixture of equality, liberty, justice, etc.

(Indeed, these shared roots likely date back even further, to the liberalism of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries; again, both the Left and the Right evoke the tenants of such liberalism [“all men are created equal”] while disagreeing vehemently on how those tenants should be expressed in public policy [equality for the Left means egalitarianism and equality of outcomes; equality for the right means “equality before the God and the law”].)

That might make the possibility of some reconciliation seem possible—with shared roots comes some shared values, some shared history.

That’s the most optimistic view.  It’s one I do not share, but nor do I adopt the view that all is lost.  I believe that a blend of hyper-federalism, radical decentralization, and institutional control by dissidents could tip the balance in a positive direction.

The problem, of course, is that none of those goals is easy to achieve; some of them are currently inconceivable.  The federal government is unlikely to devolve more powers to the States (and many States probably secretly don’t want more); radical decentralization means losing out on corrupting but succulent federal largesse; and the institutions are firmly controlled by the Left—and not likely to rewrite the rules to let us challenge their supremacy.

So we come to a fundamental divide among dissidents:  what Curtis Yarvin calls the divide between West Coast dissidents (that includes Yarvin) and East Coast traditionalists (like me and, I suspect, photog at Orion’s Cold Fire) in his essay “The real Great Reset.”  The East Coast traditionalists believe that local control and working within the system can swing things in our favor and reverse course in the Culture Wars, what he calls voice; the West Coast dissidents believe that voice is useless at present, and instead reset—a total regime change of reset and replace is the answer.

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The King of One’s Castle

Over the weekend photog posted a nice little post on his blog, Orion’s Cold Fire, with the title “The Western View,” a clever bit of double entendre:  it’s about both the view of the western end of his property, and the Western view of republicanism—independent self-government.

It’s appropriate that photog used his home as the centerpiece—the “hook,” as he put it—for a short essay on the nature of liberty and republicanism.  At the most basic level, one’s home—one’s land, property, and the people that reside there—is one’s guarantee of liberty.  That scrap of land and the house upon it is one’s castle, and every man is the king of his little estate.

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Lazy Sunday CX: Inspector Gerard Reviews

The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard has been out for a little over a month now, and so far, book sales have met my expectations (at the time of this writing, that’s ten Kindle editions and nineteen paperback copies).  Naturally, I’d love to see that hit fifty copies.

It’s been a fun experience, especially promoting the book (two of the stories from the book were published yesterday at Terror House Magazine).  One fun aspect has been sending PDF manuscripts (and author copies!) to blogger buddies to review.  Here’s a round-up of the published reviews so far:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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TBT: Guest Contributor – photog – “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” – A Science Fiction Movie Review

On Tuesday of this week, photog of Orion’s Cold Fire and I interviewed one another for our respective blogs.  That marks our second collaboration with one another; the first was on 16 October 2020, when we guest posted on each other’s blogs.

As such, this week’s edition of TBT was a no-brainer:  bring back photog’s review of the Atomic age film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

With that, here’s 16 October 2020’s “Guest Contributor – photog – ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ – A Science Fiction Movie Review“:

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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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