SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films III: Universal Horror Films, Part II

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Last week I wrote some reviews of the first four films on the The Hammer Horror Series, a collection of Hammer horror flicks.

The collection includes eight films in total:  Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the OperaParanoiacThe Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.  Today I’ll be reviewing the second four films:  The Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.

The rest of this post on SubscribeStar might be a tad delayed; I’ll have it completed as soon as possible.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films II: Universal Horror Films, Part I

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Last April I wrote a detailed review (preview) of the Hammer Films Collection.  I’m currently making my way through Volume II of the collection, both of which feature Hammer Studios films that Columbia Pictures distributed.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to complete the second volume in time to review it today, but I will do so in a couple of weeks.  However, Christmas brought a bumper crop of films from the famous Hammer Studios, including a collection of four Dracula films distributed by Warner Brothers and an eight-film compilation of Universal Studios horror flicks.

I’ll be reviewing the first four films on the Universal Studios-distributed collection, The Hammer Horror Series, and reviewing the second four next Saturday. At the time of writing, the collection is only $17.21 on Amazon for the DVD ($34.99 for the Blu-Ray edition); at that price, I’d definitely recommend picking it up to enjoy these flicks yourself.

The collection includes eight films in total:  Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the OperaParanoiacThe Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.  Today I’ll be reviewing Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the Opera, and Paranoiac.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Spirit of 1776

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Disclaimer:  I do not endorse violence as a means to achieving political ends in normal circumstances.  That said, I reject the claim that “violence never solves anything.”  The vast annals of human history suggest the opposite is largely the case—violence has been the resort—sometimes final, sometimes not—to resolve any number of problems.  Our entire political system rests on the implicit use of violent force towards upholding the common good—and protecting those unable to protect themselves.  Jesus Christ died—quite violently!—for our sins, offering us ultimate salvation forever.

Further, our entire nation is founded on a last-resort to violence to secure American liberty:  the American Revolution.  Brave men pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to secure liberty and to defend their rights.  Over 4000 did make the ultimate sacrifice—and many, many more since then—to win and secure our freedom.  Sometimes some turbulence is necessary—as the Left has told us all of last year as BLM destroyed cities—to secure liberty.

That’s an uncomfortable concept—I don’t necessarily like it, and I am sad to see it has come to that—but it’s the foundation of our Republic.  I sincerely pray for reconciliation and healing, as did John Dickinson prior to the American Revolution, but I am not optimistic given Democratic control of the organs of power.  The storming of the Capitol will be used as a pretext—it already is—to oppress and imprison conservatives.  At such a point, the remaining options begin to vanish.

I am not calling for or advocating violence in any form—but I’m afraid it’s coming nevertheless.  Please pray with me for reconciliation—true reconciliation, not the dictator’s peace of bending the knee to Leftist insanity—and prepare for troubled times ahead.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: 2021 Goals and Predictions

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A new year has sprung, which means it’s time for every blogger, commentator, talking head, professional wag, and tin-foil hat prognosticator to make wild predictions for the coming year.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we are very bad at predicting future events.  I scoffed at the idea that The Virus would ever become anything more than a minor nuisance in our daily lives.  Now we live in a regime dominated by public health tyrants and their shrieking, useful-idiot toadies.

Nevertheless, you’re paying good money for conjecture, innuendo, and false hope, so here are my predictions (and some personal and blog goals) for 2021:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Year Reflections 2020

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It’s hard to believe that another year is in the books—and what a wild year it was.  In keeping with last year’s “End-of-Decade Reflections” (subscriber link), I decided to reflect again on the swiftly expiring year.

Indeed, technically 2020 is the last year of the long Teens decade, with 2021 marking the beginning of the 2020s, just as 2001, not the year 2000, is the first year of our current century and millennium.  But no one thinks about it that way, so I did end-of-decade reflections last year.  My post this year will take a more humble scope and just focus on the year 2020 itself, not the ten preceding it.

Besides, 2020 has contained a decade’s worth of events inside its twelve months, as every Internet wag and memester has already noted.  There’s enough to consider in this year to fill up a SubscribeStar Saturday post:  distance learning, Universal Studio trips, teaching music, the challenges to indie musicians, running for Town Council, etc.  The world—already a rapidly changing place—has changed substantially in just a few short months.

What to make of those changes is the real challenge going forward.  What happens next?

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Doodles for Christmas

Seeing as it’s Christmastime, I’m taking a more light-hearted approach to posts this week, focusing on Christmas and the fun and music surrounding it.  To celebrate Christmas (and Festivus, which is today), I decided to share some of my favorite Sunday Doodles with you.

Normally Sunday Doodles are exclusive for $5 a month and higher SubscribeStar subscribers (and $3/month subs get doodles the first Sunday of the month), so think of this retrospective as a small Christmas present to you, my loyal readers.  If you want the full commentary on each doodle, though, you’ll have to subscribe.

The Very First Sunday Doodles – “Rose-Tinted Glasses” & “Cheeks”

These two doodles were from the first Sunday Doodles, dated 11 November 2019 (Veterans’ Day!).  “Rose-Tinted Glasses” has appeared as the “featured image” on posts before, but the Peter Griffin-esque “Cheeks” is new to the free site.

Sunday Doodles II – “Disco Dracula” and “The Hardcore Monsignor”

You can tell early on I was still going strong with my doodling A-game, as this second Sunday Doodles—from 18 November 2019—suggests..  “Disco Dracula”—who looks like a character from a 70s Blaxploitation film—and “The Hardcore Monsignor”—derivative of Monsignor Martinez from King of the Hill—are both awesome looking dudes.  “The Hardcore Monsignor” has been on the free site before, though I can’t remember the context.  “Disco Dracula” looks particularly spooky—and funky!

Sunday Doodles V – “Sophisticated Baby” & “The Toxic Drooler”

These doodles from the fifth Sunday Doodles (8 December 2019) feature two chunky babies of wildly different backgrounds.  “Sophisticated Baby” cracks me up every time I see it, especially the martini and the cigar.  “The Toxic Drooler” is what happens when I find a green pen on the ground and have time in a faculty meeting.

The Latest Sunday Doodles – #58!

As you can see, dear reader, you’ve missed out on a lot of Sunday DoodlesThe most recent edition, from this past Sunday, 20 December 2020, features some Christmas cheer, so I figured closing out on “Snowman” and “Christmas Tree” would be a fitting end to this post:

There you go—a small taste of the fun you’re missing.  I love a good doodle, and I’d love for you to get more of them every Sunday.

Subscribing is a great Christmas gift to yourself—and to yours portly!  ‘Tis the season, after all.  *Ding!*

Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Sunday Doodles LVIII, 20 December 2020 - Snowman

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Lost Art of Letter Writing

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This past week I’ve had the unexpected pleasure of some free time around the house.  Other than waiting on a few errant midterm exam submissions to roll in, my slate was clean—virtually unheard of in my life.

Rather than vegging out and wasting time—other than sleeping in a bit later than normal—I turned the time towards writing.  In an effort to ease a bit of my load heading into Christmas, I spent most of Wednesday writing blog posts to get ahead a few days.

But it wasn’t just self-indulgent blog posts:  I turned my hand to writing some letters.  I have long enjoyed writing letters, but it’s been even longer since I’ve done so.  On my recent trip I picked up a ten-pack of Universal Studios postcards, which I sent out to various friends and family members.  After exhausting that supply, I sent a couple of cards—literally, the only two I had available.

I then began writing letters, going so far as to ask friends if they would like to receive one.  The book of stamps I purchased at the Lamar Post Office quickly dwindled as I churned out short, one-page missives after another.

If you would like to receive a one-page, handwritten letter from me—even if you’re not a subscriber!—please visit the Contact page and submit your name and mailing address.  For subscribers, I’ll write you a longer letter—and maybe throw in some doodles!

Consider leaving a $0.55 tip to cover postage, but that’s not required.

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Lazy Sunday XCI: Questions, Part V

It’s another weekend full of questions here at The Portly Politico, as we continue our review of posts that pose a question in their titles.  Each of this Sunday’s posts were written during the heady, violent days of Summer 2020, when the nation was aflame with lawlessness and disorder.  Naturally, they reflect the fears and anxieties of those days, when it seemed like everything was coming apart at the seams:

  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Civil War?” (post on SubscribeStar) – Perhaps one of my most powerful essays (if it’s not too much to give myself such accolades), “Civil War?” spells out the irreconcilable differences at the heart of the United States today.  I wrote it at a time when local governments in progressive urban centers refused to put a stop to the looting and rioting, and instead tacitly encouraged the destruction.  That mental and physical divide between progressives and conservatives is so profound and deep, I expressed pessimism of any kind of peaceful resolution—though I continue to pray I am wrong.
  • Law and Order?” – Just as urban progressive mayors failed to address the violence in their cities, so President Trump—who I love as a president—dropped the ball on quelling riots and the ridiculous CHAZ/CHOP experiment.  As I wrote at the time, it seemed that his strategy was wise—give the Left rope with which to hang themselves, allowing CHAZ to fizzle out under the weight of its own insane contradictions—but also undermined the legitimacy and authority of the government, and Trump’s own calls for “law and order.”  Here was a moment where President Trump could have acted decisively with a legitimate display of power, and give proof to his claims to want law and order.  That only comes with the firm smack of power.
  • What is Civilization?” – As progressive mobs continued to burn cities, Milo Yiannopoulos argued “that by abandoning our cities, we are, essentially, abandoning our greatest cultural products.”  Milo was engaged in a discussion with Steven Franssen and Vincent James, who countered that Americans who fled the cities were not abandoning their civilization, but something that had become alien and foreign.  I tend to favor the latter argument, but the post is worth reading as my summary of the discussion between such intriguing thinkers.

That’s all for this weekend.  Here’s hoping everyone is doing well and staying safe.  Christmas is almost here!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Mainstreaming of Secession

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The American experiment in self-government is at perhaps its lowest ebb since the 1850s, a decade whose division and partisan rancor rival our own.  That decade’s statesmen’s failures to address sectional tensions—and, ultimately, to reconcile two fundamentally incompatible views of the world—resulted in the secession of eleven States that no longer believed the national government was acting in accordance with the Constitution.

It brings me no joy to make such a grim assessment, nor to contemplate what comes next as a result, but it is a necessary task.  My sincerest wish is that our great Union remain intact, and that we see some restoration of constitutionalism.  An increase in States’ rights and federalism—greater sovereignty at the State level and less power at the federal level—would go a very long way in resolving at least some of our national issues.

Unfortunately, I and others are increasingly drawing the conclusion that such a restoration is, at best, extremely unlikely and, at worst, impossible in an age of totalizing progressivism.  When even Rush Limbaugh is musing about secession (H/T to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire) and a George Mason law professor is writing seriously on the subject, we can no longer laugh off the notion.  Secession may be the future.

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