This week music, especially programmatic music, has surrounded me. It’s remarkable how music so effectively conveys mood and feeling, and how a simple change in musical tone can shift one’s entire interpretation of a scene or visual.
So it seemed like an opportune time to revisit this highly imaginative and emotional work from Hector Berlioz, himself a rather tempest-tossed personality, adrift on a sea of emotions.
Also, my Middle School Music Students are listening to the fourth and fifth movements today while I am away—fun!
The countdown-cum-retrospective continues with my #7-#5 picks for the best films of all time. I’m very satisfied with my picks for #6 and #5, although I think I would reconsider #7 and add it to my honorable mentions list. I do think Krull (1983) is a fun film, but putting it among the best films is, perhaps, giving it too much credit.
I love it when I’ve been blogging long enough that some pieces get the coveted “TBT^4” designation (or higher!). I don’t know if readers pick up on this delight, or that I’m even layering commentary upon commentary, but it’s one of those little things that I enjoy about the blog.
I particularly love it when I get to reblog a post about something I really like. I know classical music isn’t exactly the hot new thing, but most of the hot new things stink, and this music has stood and will continue to stand the tests of time and fashion.
That’s probably no truer than for the music of Beethoven, a truly titanic, tumultuous, troubled figure, the man who bridged the gap between the symmetry and precision of classical music and the stormy, emotional grandiloquence of Romantic music.
Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral,” is my favorite of his symphonies. I’m a sucker for programmatic music, and Beethoven takes us on a moving trip through the countryside.
Last Sunday we looked at my #10, #9, and #8 picks for the best films. Now we’re looking at Ponty’s choices for the same. So far, I think Ponty has the better list, although I stand by (most of) my picks.
His first three are all in the horror genre, but all vastly different films. They’re also exemplars of the genre, and are must-see films:
This cold, wintry season always makes me want to bundle up with a hot pizza and a cool flick. What better way to kick back after a long day of mind-molding than with a classic gem (or a B-flick schlock-o-rama) and piping hot pie, drizzled in olive oil and dripping with cheese. Oooooh, baby….
Erhem—but I digress. That got me thinking that it’s time to start going back through the best films lists that Ponty and I now halfway through compiling. Since I started off the list, I figured I’d look back at my #10, #9, and #8 picks first, then jump over to Ponty’s next week.
I’ve been writing this blog for so long now, it’s amusing to see how cyclical life is. Apparently, I was running a low-grade fever right after Christmas 2021; this year, I was running a higher-grade fever around New Year’s 2023.
I’d completely forgotten that I rang in 2022 by going to bed at 10 PM after nearly a week of puttering around my house in a sickly fog. My Christmas Break in 2022-2023 was much more action-packed, but that just meant the “slow down there, sport” illness hit right when I was supposed to go back to work. D’oh!
That said, I do enjoy—in limited doses—the life of a hermit. I’m very thankful to have a supportive family, and a strong support network of neighbors and friends nearby who can help me out in times of trouble. But there is something appealing, especially during this dark, cold months, about holing up in my warm little house, eating frozen pizzas and watching horror movies.
For those that read my Tuesday post, here is a quick health update: I think I am on the mend. I went back to work Wednesday, as my fever broke. I’m still coughing a bit and have some gnarly congestion, but my voice is back, which makes teaching possible—hurray! Here’s hoping that as my health improves, I can use some of this slower wintry time to get crackin’ on several long-delayed book projects.
Happy New Year, my portly friends! 2022 is in the books, and 2023 has dawned. What fresh opportunities—or nightmares, gasp!—will it bring? Whatever it is, The Portly Politico will be offering up flabby commentary about it, and God is in Control!
As I do every year, it’s time to look back at the worst posts of the recently expired year, 2022. In years past I’ve made this post quite extensive, but due to a dearth of time—and due to feeling a tad under-the-weather as the new year dawns—I decided to stick to just three of the “worst” posts, though there are many more with single-digit views.
To explain the criteria—and what I mean by “worst”—here is yours portly from 31 December 2021 in “The Worst of 2021“:
Now, by “worst,” I don’t mean “the lowest quality” or “the most offensive.” I wouldn’t be an impartial judge of the former (and my readers are generally too polite to tell me if my writing sucks), and I’ve toned down my rhetoric too much to be the latter (although, who knows with the delicate sensibilities of modern Westerners).
No, by “worst” I simply mean “the posts with the lowest views.” In the old days, when I routinely had posts with single views, I’d just hoover up those and plop them into one big post. Fortunately, the blog has grown to the point that I don’t have single-view posts anymore, but I still have some neglected posts.
For this list, I will ignore posts that were written in prior years, with the exception of TBT posts, as I often add substantial new commentary on such posts. I will also ignore posts that merely informed readers that that day’s real post would be delayed, or has been posted (so classics like “SubscribeStar Saturday Post ‘The TJC Spring Jam’ is Posted!” and “Lazy Sunday is Coming” won’t be included).
At the end of 2021, I looked back at single-digit posts; in other words, those with fewer than ten views. For 2022, I just looked at the three lowest, each with only five measly views.
So, without further ado, here are the three worst posts of 2022, with five (5) views each:
“TBT^256: Happy Birthday, America!” – Independence Day and the week in which it falls is one of the slow seasons for blogging. This post, from 7 July 2022, was my annual birthday celebration for America, celebrating recent accomplishments like the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Here’s to a new year of blogging! I’m excited to see what’s next for yours portly as TPP enters it’s fifth year of daily posts. WHOA! Let’s all work together to ensure that none of my posts suffer such negligence in 2023, eh?
It’s been an unusually busy week for yours portly, and I’m still catching up on delinquent posts from Monday and Tuesday, both of which I hope to get up later this morning.
In the spirit of that delinquency, it seemed like the perfect time to look back at the worst posts of last year (I’ll be getting into the worst posts of this year soon).
By “worst,” I don’t mean that the posts themselves were bad—although that may be true—but that they did not get very many views. All of the posts had fewer than ten views in 2021, which means essentially no one read them (if you were one of those nine people, my apologies—you are a person and you do matter, you just aren’t generating much ad revenue for me).
Let’s see if these poor little posts can get some love—then we’ll do the same for 2022’s soon enough.