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

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

food snack popcorn movie theater

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation. ***NOTE: This box is NOT a subscription to my SubscribeStar Page; it is for a one-time donation/tip via PayPal. To subscribe to my SubscribeStar page, use this URL: https://subscribestar.com/the-portly-politico ***

$1.00

TBT: Warrior for Life

South Carolina has a reputation for orneriness—we were the first State to secede from the Union in 1860, after all, and threatened to do it nearly thirty years earlier, during the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33—and it seems our Catholic priests are particularly prone to use their pulpits to prescribe some red-pillsPriest Jeffrey Kirby delivered a fiery homily warning that with Biden’s election, the Church faces real persecution in the days ahead, and scolded parishioners who cast their votes for Biden as betraying their Catholic faith:

Priests and preachers usually shy away from overtly political sermons, but we’re overdue for some Truth.  We’re not discussing Democrats versus Republicans anymore; we’re talking about electing Evil—those that flaunt their desire to slay the unborn—and even the recently born!—and celebrate every opportunity they can force us to accept another progressive indignity.  Trannies reading storybooks to four-year olds isn’t a “blessing of liberty,” per wincing, politically-correct, noodle-wristed, mainstream Evangelical David French—it’s an assault on our values and our culture.  If they can make us accept something so ridiculous and patently unnatural—wicked!—then it puts that wedge in the door to pry it open to all manner of government-sanctioned evil.

Father Kirby’s bold sermon reminded me of another great warrior for Christ—and for Life:  Father Robert “Bob” Morey.  Father Bob is less bombastic in his denunciation of evil, but he is nonetheless a true warrior for his Faith.  In October 2019, Father Bob declined to give Joe Biden Holy Communion due to Biden’s pro-abortion—pro-infanticide, I should write—stance.

As such, I thought it would be a good time to look at Father Bob’s bold stance for life in this week’s TBT.  Here is October 2019’s “Warrior for Life“:

Read More »

Lazy Sunday XCV: The Best of Lazy Sunday

When I began writing this post, I thought it was the 100th edition of Lazy Sunday.  However, I double-checked the long list of “Other Lazy Sunday Installments” that I put at the end of each of these posts, and after applying the “Numbered list” option, realized I was off by five!

I traced the error back to the seventy-fifth Lazy Sunday post, “Forgotten Posts, Volume IV.”  I mislabeled it as the eightieth post.  So I’ve gone through and corrected the Roman numerals in the list following this post.  I won’t go back and change it in every post, but at some point I’m going to correct the titles of those posts, though the URLs will remain unchanged.

That will be a tedious task, but one worth doing for the benefit of accuracy (and to placate my own desire for fastidious organization).  I was excited to celebrate 100 Lazy Sundays, but it’ll be able to wait another five weeks.

But what won’t wait was my original plan—to look back at the “best” of Lazy Sunday based on pageviews.  It is Lazy Sunday, after all—why put forth the extra effort?

In addition to the best Lazy Sundays based on pageview, I’ll also highlight a couple of “Honorable Mention” posts.

I’ve enjoyed putting together Lazy Sunday posts, which give me a bit of a break on Sundays from writing full-fledged posts, but also allows me to organize some favorite posts thematically.  I’ve written so much over the past couple of years—over half-a-million words—that it’s easy to forget about posts.  Indeed, I routinely stumble upon posts I have no recollection of writing; Lazy Sunday gives me an opportunity to catch up with my literary red-headed stepchildren.

With that, here are “The Best of Lazy Sunday“:

  • Lazy Sunday XXX: Trump, Part I” (64 pageviews) – Thirty Lazy Sundays seemed like a pretty good milestone to go bigly with some posts about GEOTUS Trump.  That was late 2019, when things were looking good for Trump and America.  What a glorious age it was.
  • Lazy Sunday XIV: Gay Stuff” (55 pageviews) – The provocative title of this Lazy Sunday surely helps make it one of the more popular installments.  There was a great deal of loafer-lightened hysteria in Summer 2019, with gay Leftists sashaying their way tyrannically through the body politic, trying to get everyone with normal sexuality deplatformed.  Then the progressives came to prefer black destruction in 2020 to booty-shorted hijinks, and the gay mafia doesn’t seem quite as active these days.
  • Lazy Sunday IV: Christianity” (43 pageviews) – One of the earliest Lazy Sundays, looking back at some posts about The One True Faith.
  • Lazy Sunday XI: Walls” (37 pageviews) – I wrote a great deal about walls and border security in the earlier days of the blog.  Read all about these stony securers of national sovereignty here!
  • Lazy Sunday V: Progressivism, Part I” (36 pageviews) – To understand the issues facing the West today, conservatives must understand their opponents—the progressives.  Indeed, I think I write more about them than I do about us.  I have to be careful—if one stares too long into the abyss, the abyss stares back.  Gulp!

Honorable Mention:  “Lazy Sunday XLIX: Family” (35 pageviews) – I’ve always enjoyed writing about the family—which I think is the true basic building block of society, not the individual.  Our obsession with individuality—which, as an eccentric weirdo, I very much prize—has served, in part, to undermine the importance of the family.  It, not the individual, should be the focus of our society.  Anything we can do to support family formation and to keep families intact should be encouraged.

First Lazy Sunday:  “Lazy Sunday: APR Pieces” (30 pageviews) – The very first Lazy Sunday, this one featured some posts I wrote for American Patriot Radio, which I believe is now defunct, but the posts are still there (I just checked).  They were written during those early, exciting days of the Trump Administration in 2017, when every day brought some fresh victory of sanity and conservatism, and when Trump still had a ragtag team of outsiders spitting out policy reforms one after the other.  Talk about a great time to be alive!

That’s it for this not-quite-100 edition of Lazy Sunday.  Now to get all the editions from seventy-five on fixed.  Ugh….

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Sunday Doodles V, 8 December 2019 - Sophisticated Baby

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation. ***NOTE: This box is NOT a subscription to my SubscribeStar Page; it is for a one-time donation/tip via PayPal. To subscribe to my SubscribeStar page, use this URL: https://subscribestar.com/the-portly-politico ***

$1.00

Lazy Sunday XCIV: My Favorite Things

Today is the 99th edition of Lazy Sunday; it is also my birthday.  I’m getting to that age where my birthday is still enjoyable, but also serves as a reminder that I’m on the wrong side of my thirties, slipping towards forty ever-faster.

It’s also that point in my life that I’m becoming more aware of my own mortality.  Youthfulness compensated for poor dietary choices and succulent overeating in fifteen years ago; now, I’m feeling more and more the ravages of delicious indiscretions.  I also find I don’t sleep as well (usually) as I once did, and I will ache in places that never bothered me before.

That said, I’m still fairly spry, and while my on-stage antics might not be nearly as acrobatic as they were in my twenties, I still manage to huff and puff my way around a stage—and onto coffee tables, if need be.  Anything to entertain the crowd.

With that, I thought I’d celebrate Lazy Sunday and my birthday with some of my personal favorite posts:

That’s it for this birthday Sunday.  If you’d like to celebrate with me, considering giving yourself the gift of subscribing to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Regardless, Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

$1.00

The Worst of 2020

In the spirit of last year’s “The Worst of 2019,” I’m dedicating today’s post to looking back at the posts with the least views in 2020 (and maybe you could do me a solid and turn off your ad-blocker while reading through these neglected posts).

However, there’s a bit of a wrinkle—in 2019, I just featured posts that had only one view.  The problem:  I didn’t have any posts with a single view this year!  That’s a good problem to have, but it presents a bit of a conundrum.

I do, however, have a TON of posts with four views, which is my new minimum threshold.  So, for your enjoyment, here are the worst posts (in terms of pageviews) for 2020 (as of 23 December 2020):

1.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Independence Day 2020” – Apparently, patriotism is on the ropes.  Or maybe people just don’t want to pay a dollar to read quality content.

2.) “Lazy Sunday III: Historical Moments” – This one is one of the early Lazy Sundays, so I’m not surprised it’s not fallen from the heights of glory.  Or maybe people hate history.

3.) “Lazy Sunday LXVIII: Phone it in Fridays, Part II” – Talk about the ultimate in lazy in-phoning—a Lazy Sunday dedicated to various Phone it in Fridays, and this one is a lame sequel at that!

4.) “TBT: Election Day 2018” – Not any people in 2020 were interested in reading about an election from 2018.

5.) “TBT: Remembering 1519” – The Aztecs were horrible, so much so that no one cares to think about it too much.

6.) “TBT: High-Tech Agrarianism” – This essay was legitimately good, which is why I did a TBT to it within the same calendar year.  Apparently, readers disagreed.

7.) “Catching Up” – It’s little wonder this post did poorly:  it’s basically me making excuses for why I wasn’t writing something good that day.

8.) “A Very Dokken Christmas, Part II: Tooth and Nail” – This post goes back to December 2018, so it makes sense it’s fallen down the memory hole in 2020.  Still, it’s a good album!

9.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Festival Circuit: Ridge Spring Harvest Festival and Clinton Scots & Brats” – Again, the cheapskates are missing out on some quality content here.  Who doesn’t want to read about western South Carolina harvest festivals?

10.) “Lazy Sunday XCVI: Questions, Part V” – Another lazy premise:  the fifth part in a tired series of Lazy Sundays looking at posts that ask question in their titles.

11.) “Memorable Monday IV: Happy Labor Day [2020]!” – It seems this Labor Day wasn’t all that memorable after all.

12.) “Halloween Week!” – Considering I wrote this post in 2019, I’m only mildly disappointed that it didn’t do better in 2020, but Halloween deserves the best!

13.) “SubscribeStar Saturday Delayed: Family Birthday” – Another post giving a lame excuse for why I wouldn’t be posting that day’s SubscribeStar Saturday on time.

14.) “Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration” – I guess not as much as I thought—that, or the observation is so obvious, no one needed to read the post.

15.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: 9-11” – May we never forget.  And yet, for readers of this blog, it seems we have (that was actually the thesis of the post!).

16.) “America’s Roman Roots” – Perhaps the parallels between the United States and Rome are too unsettling to contemplate.

17.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: River and Stone” – A post about Roger Stones’s pardon—and floating down the Saluda River in a tube.

18.) “Breaking: Biden Picks Harris as Running Mate” – The beginning of Kamala’s thousand-year reign.

19.) “TBT: Lazy Sunday XXIV: Education” – Looking back at posts about education on a Thursday afternoon is not going to fill the seats.

20.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Returning to School in The Age of The Virus” – My reflections on going back to school after a summer of fun.

21.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Reflections on Distance Learning: First Month Review” – My reflections on teaching online during the Quarantine Spring.

22.) “Saturday Reading: Communist Infiltration is Real” – An older post, one that was a shocking revelation at the time I wrote it, but now is just an assumed fact.

23.) “Lazy Sunday LV: Animals” – I like animals.  My readers, it seems, do not.

24.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Social Peace Requires Social Capital” – This might be a 2019 post (I’m too lazy to check again—I have to write a lot of these little summaries), but it’s a really good essay.  Please read it.

25.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Distance Learning Reflections, Week One Review” – These posts about distance learning didn’t really catch on, did they?

26.) “TBT: Nehemiah and National Renewal” – A throwback to a really excellent post—one of the more popular ones on the site.

27.) “The Joy of Hymnals” – One of my favorite posts, which I believe I wrote in 2019, or earlier this year.  It deserves to be read!

28.) “Lazy Sunday XXXI: Trump, Part II” – Some posts about GEOTUS.

29.) “TBT: Transformers 2: Conservatives in Disguise?” – A throwback to a very old post I wrote in 2009.

30.) “Another Monday Morning Appeal” – A sales pitch.  It didn’t work.

31.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films” – I love the old horror movies of Hammer Films.  You’d like them, too, if you read this post!

32.) “Reblog: Quintus Curtius, ‘On Living Near the Ocean’” – This essay from Quintus Curtius was really good.  I think my commentary on his essay is solid, too.

33.) “Portly Movie Review: Teacher (2019)” – One of my earliest movie reviews.  I dropped the “Portly” from the title of future film reviews, but it has a nice ring to it.

34.) “TBT: Conservatives and Country Music” – Another throwback from the old 2009 site.

35.) “TBT: End the Income Tax” – From my keyboard to God’s web browser.

36.) “Happy Labor Day 2019!” – Labor Day is not a good day for pageviews.

37.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Coronavirus Prepping” – Most of this advice could be adapted for The Boogaloo.

38.) “Lazy Sunday LI: Just for Fun” – Sounds fun to me.

39.) “SubscribeStar Saturday: Liberty and Safety” – Why do we trade liberty for the illusion of safety?

40.) “Lazy Sunday XXII: Reading” – I love to read.  Read my thoughts about reading.

41.) “Lazy Sunday XX: The Laziest Sunday” – I thought reaching twenty Lazy Sundays was a big deal.

42.) “Teachers Quitting in Record Numbers – Reflections on Education” – Teachers are quitting in record numbers, and no one seems to care.

43.) “Deluge” – My old apartment flooded.  Thank goodness I don’t live there anymore!

44.) “North Korea Reflections” – It looks like Kim Jong Un never made it over here for a visit, but notice how no one talks about North Korea these days?  Thank you, Trump!

45.) “TBT: Rustics Have Opinions, Too” – Yet another post from the old Blogspot page.

46.) “#MAGAWeek2019: Alexander Hamilton” – Perhaps Hamilton fever has broken.

47.) “The Impermanence of Knowledge and Culture: The Great Library and Notre Dame” – Just like the Great Library and Notre Dame, this post is a prime example of impermanence.

48.) “First They Came for Crowder” – Now everyone is getting cancelled, and Crowder seems annoying and compromised.

49.) “The Left’s Cluelessness on Gun Control” – Again, another post with a premise so obvious, no one needed to read it.

50.) “Deportemal” – Still a good prescription for America.

51.) “The State of the Right, Part II: Dissident Right and Civic Nationalists” – Another one y’all need to read!

52.) “TBT: Family Matters” – A throwback from the Blogspot site during its revival in 2016.  One of my best essays.

53.) “Bland and Gay” – Remember Pete Buttigieg?  Neither do I.

54.) “They Live Analysis and Review” – You really should see They Live.  John Carpenter is a legend!

55.) “Lazy Sunday XLI: Food” – C’mon, people.  Who doesn’t want to read about food?

Shew!  That took a long time to compile that list.  Make my effort worth it and give these forgotten posts some love.

Bologna

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

$1.00

Flashback Friday: Christmas and its Symbols

It’s Christmas!  Another magical day to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

2020 was a tough year, but Christ is mightier than The Virus.  Thank God—literally!—for sending His Son.

Have a wonderful, safe, loving Christmas Day.  God Bless all of your for your support and generosity, and for being such amazing readers.

Here’s 25 December 2019’s “Christmas and its Symbols“:

Read More »

TBT: Christmas Eve

Here we are—another Christmas Eve.  It’s a night full of magic, mysticism, and wonder—the Light and holy version of Halloween, when the tenuous division between our corporeal existence and the supernatural world is thin.

Last year I wrote of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions, which are changing up a bit again this year.  In lieu of the usual evening candlelight service, we’re going to an afternoon service at a church in my younger brother’s neck of the woods.  Afterwards, we’ll be enjoying Chinese food—a newer tradition for us—and some fondue, a tradition from my sister-in-law’s side of the family.  We’re beginning to sound like 1970s Jews on Christmas.

Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas tomorrow—and some Christmas Eve merriment tonight!  With that, here is 24 December 2019’s “Christmas Eve“:

Read More »

Lazy Sunday XCII: Christmas

It’s almost Christmas!  It’s been a wonderful Christmas season, and I’m looking forward to time with friends and family.

Seeing as Christmas is just five days away, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Lazy Sunday to posts related to this most joyous of holidays:

  • Napoleonic Christmas” – As featured in “Lazy Sunday XCIV: 100 Week Review,” this post improbably became my second most popular post thanks to WhatFinger News sharing it on their main page last December.  The post examines an interesting revisionist take on Napoleon from a PragerU video, and the Prager connection is why WFN shared the post.  Napoleon is a fascinating figure, a man Beethoven admired—then reviled—and someone who completely changed the trajectory of modern European history—for better or for worse.
  • Christmas Eve” – My brief riff on Christmas Eve, which I characterized as “the most magical, mystical part of Christmas time,” this post explores that mysticism—that sense of ancient legacy and tradition—inherit in the night Christ was born.
  • Christmas and Its Symbols” – This post features analysis of a daily devotional from Daily Encouraging Word, which discussed the symbols of Christmas.  We Protestants tend to be practical, literal folks, but we lost some of the magic and mystery of the season—and of our faith more generally—when we abandoned symbolism for literalism.  Christ and Christianity took old pagan symbols and repurposed them to tell the Good News of the Gospels.  Talk about meeting potential converts where they are.
  • Singing Christmas Carols with Kids” – I’m blessed to teach music for a living, and a substantial portion of my side income comes from teaching private lessons.  This post celebrates the fun and joy of singing Christmas carols with young people, an activity which links us to our ancestors and our faith.

That’s it for this pre-Christmas Sunday.  Stay warm, have fun, and have a Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tip The Portly Politico

Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.

$1.00

TBT: O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting

Christmas is looming large—a mere eight days away—and I have been enjoying an unexpectedly quiet exam week.  After returning from Orlando Monday evening, I’ve enjoyed some sleepily productive time at home, writing Christmas postcards and letters, watching movies, and enjoying the warm glow of my Christmas tree.  I’ll be spending next week with family, and all the hustle and bustle of my niece and nephews, so this quiet time at home has been a welcome calm before the joyous storm.

Despite the lack of serious deadlines (other than waiting for final exams to roll in so I can grade them), I’ve managed to get quite a bit done, and I hope to get a bit ahead on the blog.  I enjoy writing daily posts, but it’s nice knowing I have a few posts squared away some days in advance, as it relieves some of the pressure to produce.  I’ll be doing more throwback posts and the like as Christmas approaches, as it’s the time of year when we’re all scaling back our efforts and taking a bit of a break.

That all goes to the point of this TBT post, “O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting.”  The story behind the sweetly iconic carol is one of last-minute inspiration and hasty songwriting.  There is something about the intense pressure of a time-crunch that turns the coal of writer’s block into glistening diamonds.  Not every songwriter works this way, but I know for myself that a hard deadline does wonders for motivating this songwriter’s pen.

Indeed, during the height of distance learning in the spring, I fully anticipated I’d be churning out new hits, maybe even finalizing a long-delayed follow-up to my piano-and-vocals debut, Contest Winner – EP.  Instead, I squandered my newfound time (well, “squandered” is a strong word—I quite enjoyed taking that time to work on the blog, to travel, and to do the other things I’m usually unable to do).  Without a deadline pushing me to create, I didn’t get anything done!

Or maybe that’s just my excuse.  Regardless, I imagine it’s something many songwriters can relate to, and it’s certainly the story behind “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

With that, here is December 2020’s “O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting“:

Read More »