Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! Don’t try going out to eat tonight—it’s going to be a mad house. Sensible couples will probably wait and dine out on a less sexy night, like Tuesday, or pick up Taco Bell.
We’re in the midst of a glorious four-day “Winter Break.” The great thing about teaching is all the bogus holidays. Valentine’s Day and President’s Day just happen to bookend the weekend, so why not turn it into a slightly-extended holiday?
In the spirit of Jay Nordlinger, today’s post is going to be a series of barely-related reflections, as well as some links to the stuff you should read or watch. Speaking of Nordlinger, how do I land a gig getting paid to write about classical music in exotic parts of the world?
But I digress. Here are some reflections on this Day of Love:
- Like an old man, I went to a Hardee’s for breakfast; unlike an old man, it wasn’t at 4:30 AM. The location is drive-through only, as they’re doing extensive remodeling to the facade. Drive-through is for suckers, but I had no choice—I needed that chicken biscuit.
I was heartened to note that the workmen were not Hispanic. I have nothing against legal Hispanics working, but, you do the math: manual labor + construction = someone’s getting paid under the table. It’s good to see able-bodied white men working hard in a field where illegal immigration has priced them out of the market. It was also heartening to see a Hardee’s in rural Lugoff, South Carolina spending the money to remodel. Times are good.
- The Z Man has an excellent episode of his weekly podcast up; this week’s episode is called “The Lovecast.” It’s one of his better episodes, and it’s good to see him return to a theme after what felt like several weeks of him reading listener mail (those are good episodes, but his best stuff is when he develops a topic or theme in detail).
He kicks off with some discussion of the origins of Valentine’s Day, then gets into the problems of gay marriage, declining birth rates, etc. It’s fascinating listening, and the episode title reminds me of a band I used to play with, The Lovecrafts.
- Blogger buddy NEO has a great post up today drawing parallels between Bernie Sanders and… Barry Goldwater? Ideologically, they’re polar opposites, but the general idea is that the Republican National Committee allowed the uncompromisingly ideologically-consistent Goldwater to go up—and lose big time—against Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Similarly, the theory is that the DNC will throw up its hands and hope that a Trump landslide in November will expel the radical demons from the Party. It’s an interesting idea, but the corollary to that is that Goldwater’s defeat birthed Reaganism (Reagan campaigned hard for Goldwater, and his iconic “A Time for Choosing” speech catapulted him into political stardom), which would win the White House in 1980. Would a Sanders stomping set the stage for a socialist uprising in sixteen years? Or will the Democrats “moderate,” as they did in the 1990s?
- My other blogger buddy, photog, wrote a piece earlier in the week about the need to bring back matchmakers as a way to help get traditional men and women together. His idea is an interesting one, and the piece is solid, but the action has taken off in the discussion thread (I bare my soul a bit). We’ve been having a mildly depressing back-and-forth about the state of modern dating (that state being “fallen”).
That’s it for this Friday. Enjoy some time with your sweetie, or maybe just with some sweets. I’ll be relaxing with whatever BBC detective shows my parents queue up (I’m visiting them for the day), and probably dreaming of Tulsi Gabbard donning a MAGA hat.