Wednesday, 8 January 2014
The last five years; a brief note from your host
Happy blog anniversary to me.
Five years ago on this very day, an intrepid and somewhat foolish teenager sat down at his desk at home and decided to start a blog. At the time I was even more indecisive than I appear to be now promising a general look at things that interested me – specifically film, television and music. The music one, curiously, never got off the ground and my first post was on TV and then successive film posts including Oscar predictions and American Idol, of all things. When I say – please, don’t go through my blog archives from year one – I’m not being facetious or demure. Much of my early offerings were ghastly. I’m not expressly embarrassed about it to the point of deleting it but save yourselves. I feel my terrible writing is an indicator of my development, but it’s still god-awful so better we not click on the archive button and investigate just how bad. It was not until September that year, at the earliest, that I started getting the hang of writing regularly about FILM and tv (in lowercase letters, because the latter has never been my focus). And it wasn’t until, at least, March of the next year that I got the hang of editing myself and being more precise than garrulous.
This blog is still a place of transition. 2013 has been an abysmal year for me blogging what with changing jobs, and graduating from University. I’ve neglected the blog itself, as well as its readers and their blogs. Observing the way blogging has changed in the five years has been gargantuan, so many more writers so many louder voices. I’m still not sure exactly what I’m doing here, but I’ve enjoyed writing on (mostly) film and interacting with you folks about it. It's been so much fun writing about things and getting feedback like the Essential Performances of the 90s project you were all so helpful with, or you obliging me and allowing me to wax on about my favourite movie or the insane 6000 page view something I was so unsure about like that Raise the Red Lantern piece
I first began using this space as a place to practice my writing, but even as The Internet has grown to villainous proportions lately as something destructive, and not constructive, were it for the blogosphere I may not have developed my love for movies as much. Thus, like, any enterprise, this blog has only been as good as the people who bother with it and it’s one of the reason I’ve staunchly kept at it even when distracted. I’ve met too many great people through it not, to.
Allow me to sentimentally extend some special thanks to:
The excellent Nathaniel Rogers will always have the auspicious title of being the first person to ever comment on this blog (May 12, five months in) and this last year he’s shown how kind he is by allowing me to clutter up his blog with ambling thoughts about movie stuff. He really is one of the kindest important film writers online.
Jose Solis who is one of those great friends I've made through the blog. I remember reading one of his pieces in 2009 and thinking how effortlessly he wrote, I think it was his review of Bright Star, exactly what I was feeling. He's been steadily helpful in getting projects done and giving advice on writing.
Tim Brayton whose reviews I sometimes use as a guide when I can't remember how to write, and who in his consistent kindness on his blog to commenters proves how important interacting with your readers is.
Nick Davis who I also use a guide for writing and also knows the goodness of being kind to his readers. His love for Katharine Hepburn in this cold Meryl Streep world has been a comfort on multiple occasions.
Nick Prigge whose relentless positiveness is always a nice beacon to turn to whenever the blogging world get weird. And who, even though he won't admit it, with his sincere way of writing about films makes it look easy and makes it so impressively readable.
Amir Soltani who is my #1 cheerleader right now, and has played a big role in making sure I didn't quit blogging.
Those are just six, and are only a few of the people who have been important in keeping this space alive - like Paolo, and Walter, and Ryan, and Alex and every single person on the right in that blog sidebar and everyone else who has ever visited. For now, however you got here – by chance or under duress – thanks for sticking around if only for a few minutes. I’m going to make good on that decree I made and broke in 2012 to be more efficient with things here, so look out for some changes in the coming month.
(I have this maybe lengthy post in my drafts I have to complete, where I finally decide to put some thought into my grading system and the relationship between content of a film and its goodness. But, that’s for another.)
Thanks for reading.
Okay, enough of the maudlin. Back to regular programming.