Lazy Sunday CXLIX: The Gemini Sonnets #3 and #4

I’m continuing the retrospective of Son of Sonnet‘s entries in the ongoing The Gemini Sonnets series.  Actually, I’m not sure if it’s “ongoing”—he may end it at the sixth one (debuting this Wednesday), or he might keep it going.  He’s a poetic enigma, a mystery man cloaked in romanticism, so who knows?

What I do know is that he’s written some good poems.  Here are two of them:

  • Son of Sonnet: ‘The Gemini Sonnets #3’” – This poem seems to deal with a toxic or codependent relationship, in which one party has a “hold… upon my throat,” that of the narrator’s, ending with a vow to “stop at nothing ’til this war is won.”
  • Son of Sonnet: ‘The Gemini Sonnets #4’” – It appears that this poem is a response to the narrator or #3 (now I’m thinking I should go back to #1 and #2!).  The respondent blames the narrator from #3 for his choking—“A swollen tongue’s the thing that chokes your throat”—rather than the respondent.  Is the narrator in #3 rejecting God?  Is God the narrator of #4?  Read it and let me know what you think.

Every artist as dedicated to his craft as Son deserves both recognition and support.  I would encourage you to consider a subscription to Son of Sonnet’s SubscribeStar page as a way to encourage the growth and development of an eloquent voice on our side of this long culture war.  Conservatives often complain about not holding any ground culturally; now is the time to support the culture that is being created.

You can read Son of Sonnet’s poetry on his Telegram channel, on Gab, and on Minds.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT^2: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony

One of the many benefits of teaching music is (re)discovering beloved favorite works.  During last week’s round of distance learning, I had to pull out some of the classics.  If we’re going to sit on a Google Meet call, let’s listen to some music, not just talk about it.

I really love programmatic music—instrumental music that tells a story, often accompanied by program notes explaining (usually very briefly) what the listener is supposed to hear in the musical “story.”  Students often like to imagine their own stories when listening to instrumental music, which is great, but I find that programmatic works give students (and myself!) some guideposts to follow.

Fortunately, Ludwig von Beethoven provided some handy ones for us in his Sixth Symphony, quite possibly my favorite symphony, and certainly my favorite of Beethoven’s.  It’s the so-called “Pastoral” symphony, as it depicts a pleasant trip to the country (besides the roiling thunderstorm in the fourth movement).

It’s also unusual in two respects:  instead of the standard four movements of the classical symphony (a fast opening movement, a slow second movement, a dancelike third movement, and a fast fourth movement), Beethoven includes five; and the third, fourth, and fifth movements all flow seamlessly into one another, without the customary pause between each.

It is also long, especially by the standards of the classical symphony (the Romantics, however, would have easily matched Beethoven for runtime), clocking in at nearly forty-five minutes (the typical classical symphony averages around twenty-five-to-thirty minutes, but forty-five would have been the upper limit for the time).  But that length is in service to Beethoven’s vision, and he fully explores every theme in this symphony.

Here is a particularly excellent performance—the one I showed, in part, to my classes last week—by the Berlin Philharmonic, under the direction of Bernard Haitnik:

With that, here is 4 February 2021’s “TBT: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony“:

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Memorable Monday: MLK Day 202[2]

In lieu of the usual movie review this week, I’m taking advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to lighten my blogging load slightly.  I’ll have another Midweek Mad Scientist Movie Madness post for $3 and up subscribers on Wednesday, so if you want your weekly fix of filmic schlock, check back then.  An aunt of mine has requested a movie review, and as soon as I figure out how to watch the flick, I’ll be reviewing it one Monday (I’m looking out for you, Aunt Marilyn).

After a week of virtual learning and lots of time alone (well, with Murphy, at least), I’m eager to get out of the house, but I will likely spend today prepping for the abbreviated school week and getting the house in order.  I’m thankful for the day off, but I’d probably appreciate it more—as I did in January 2020—if I were utterly exhausted—as I was in January 2020.  I think slightly less appreciation is a worthwhile trade-off, though!

This post from 2020 delves into some of the complexity of the Reverend Dr. King’s legacy, and warns against excessive idolization of historical figures—even martyrs.  Much of the inspiration from the stories of Christian Saints, for example, derives from their human frailty.  Even the great Saint Augustine, when praying to God for control over his lustful nature, prayed, “Grant me chastity and self-control, but please not yet.”

From the evidence, it appears that King participated in some really debauched, even evil, sexual practices.  The FBI’s suspicions that he may have been are Marxist were probably justified to some extent, even if the FBI treated him shabbily and is a despicable tool of oppression.  If King were alive today, I’d wager he’d be knee-deep in the CRT foolishness that his famous “I Have a Dream” speech explicitly rejects.

Yet from this extremely imperfect vessel came ringing declarations of spiritual equality.  Regardless of our race, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  That is the part of King’s legacy we should celebrate, while remembering he was a deeply flawed individual.

In other words, let us put our faith and trust in Christ, not in men.

With that, here is January 2020’s “MLK Day 2020“:

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Lazy Sunday CXLVIII: The Gemini Sonnets #1 and #2

I thought I’d take a bit of a break from the retrospectives of movie reviews and look back at some of Son of Sonnet‘s entries in the ongoing The Gemini Sonnets series.  Typically I feature three posts on Lazy Sunday, but Son always submits these in groups of two.  Maybe that’s because I publish two a month, but perhaps there is some deeper, literary reason.

As such, here are posts about first two Gemini Sonnets.  If you missed them when they were first published in November 2021, now’s your chance to catch up:

Every artist as dedicated to his craft as Son deserves both recognition and support.  I would encourage you to consider a subscription to Son of Sonnet’s SubscribeStar page as a way to encourage the growth and development of an eloquent voice on our side of this long culture war.  Conservatives often complain about not holding any ground culturally; now is the time to support the culture that is being created.

You can read Son of Sonnet’s poetry on his Telegram channel, on Gab, and on Minds.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: The Joy of Romantic Music II: Bedřich Smetana’s “The Moldau”

In “The Worst of 2021” post, there was a much-neglected gem amid all the filler:  this January 2021 post about Czech composer Bedřich Smetana‘s The Moldau.  My good friend and former colleague H. L. Liptak—herself a noted writer and a recent subscriber, *hint, hint*—praised it in her a comment on “The Worst.”

That got me thinking about this post, and that it deserved a comeback.  Thus, here is January 2022’s “The Joy of Romantic Music II: Bedřich Smetana’s ‘The Moldau’“:

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Lazy Sunday CXLVII: More Movies, Part XIV: Movie Reviews, Part XIV

It’s another Lazy Sunday and I’m at a loss for a theme, so how about looking back at some more movie reviews?

Even with writing a review a week, I’m beginning to catch up to the present when it comes to these Lazy Sunday retrospectives.  As such, the day is coming where I won’t be able to rely on this “out” to avoid a modicum of creative thinking.

But that’s Future Port’s problem.  Here are three reviews from October 2021:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Lifeforce (1985)” – Outer space energy vampires invade London in the 1980s.  What’s not to love?  I really enjoyed this movie, with its great practical effects and its outrageous premise.  But the premise works.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: In the Earth (2021)” – In my review for this odd film, I noted that I would not recommend it to the vast majority of viewers.  I still wouldn’t recommend it, but I really enjoyed it.  The first half is much stronger than the psychedelic second half, as you’re trying to figure out what is going on in the world the filmmakers have created.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: House (1986) and House II: The Second Story (1987)” – I really enjoyed these horror-comedies, especially House, and admire their creature effects.  Regular reader Audre Myers watched them on my recommendation and hated them.  Well, there’s no accounting for taste, especially when my tastes run so low-brow.

Well, that’s it for this Sunday!  Enjoy some tasteless viewing of your own this weekend.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: Supporting Friends Friday: Audre Myers

A little Welsh birdie told me that today our dear Audre Myers is turning twenty-nine for the forty-first time.  Therefore, in lieu of my originally planned TBT—which will appear next Thursday—I’ve done what any decent blogger would do and hastily and have revived this classic post about Audre, one of the most popular posts of 2021.

As far as I can tell, this will be the first edition of Supporting Friends Friday to enjoy the TBT treatment.  Who more fitting to receive such a dubious honor than Audre?  Audre’s been a constant source of encouragement, amusement, and inspiration, and is one of those folks who keeps me writing.

So, before I get overly mushy, here is 27 August 2021’s “Supporting Friends Friday: Audre Myers“:

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Lazy Sunday CXLVI: 2021’s Top Five Posts

It’s officially 2022, but this Sunday I’m going to cast one more look back at 2021.  As is tradition, in addition to my annual “Worst of” lists, I always do a “Top Five Posts” retrospective as well.

Like the “Worst of” lists, I don’t base these posts off of their quality, but by the number of views they received.  Some of them probably are very high-quality posts; others just got a lot of eyeballs.

I’ve also included the next three highest posts, which serendipitously worked out to be unique in their own ways, with two being of particular significance to the growth of the blog this year.

While I did not have any huge breakthrough posts in 2021—those garnering quadruple digits, like “Tom Steyer’s Belt“—my posts on average had more views, and my WordPress subscriber count increased substantially.  It turns out that if you keep at something for a thousand days, you start gaining some traction!  I also had substantially more commenter participation, thanks to folks hopping over from The Conservative Woman and Nebraska Energy Observer.

With that, here are 2021’s Top Five Posts:

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The Worst of 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve!  And being the last day of the year, it’s time to look back the worst posts 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).

In order to prevent the list from being too short, I’m only featuring posts with under ten views (as of the time of this writing on Tuesday, 28 December 2021).  That will also keep it from being too long, as this post historically takes a long time to compile.

So!  With those tedious criteria in place, here it is:  The WORST posts of 2021:

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