Well, it’s been a year. The first post was on February 25th, 2011.
Here we are a year later.
I’ll talk a bit about what I intended, what I think worked, what I think didn’t, and wonder aloud what needs to change to make this place better.
The main thing that I wanted to do was create a place that was, if limited to one word, “comfortable”. I liked the idea of the same thing happening every week, week after week. I still very much like the idea of big essays on Monday, music on Wednesday, commercials on Saturday. It feels like the internet version of a hoodie taken right out of the dryer. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)
I am also still tickled by the “one word title” thing. Probably much more than I ought to be… but I am.
Since we started, I’ve added the whole “asking about the weekend” thing on Fridays (and dropped the Friday night bottle of wine thing) and am reconsidering the whole “recommendation on Tuesday” thing given that it’s so very close to Monday’s big essays (and the background for most recommendations require an essay about the size of a Monday essay)… and so I may move recommendations to Thursdays. We’ve also started the Bookclub (which, at this point, I consider a rousing success) and, after that, maybe we could do a bookclub with an actual book, maybe. (We’ll see, of course. No hurry. No pressure.)
The stuff that didn’t work, I find, is discussions of various movies. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t talk about them the way that I would *WANT* to talk about them. (Some paralysis may come from the fact that one of the first movies I’d want to post about and dissect would be Fight Club.) I wrote an essay about Captain America, for example, but it was *WAY* political. I rewrote it to take the worst of the politics out, and it became an essay that merely complained for four paragraphs. “Why would someone want to read four paragraphs of you complaining?”, I asked myself and then deleted it. Talking about some of my favorite movies from the past would involve stuff like Religion (Fearless… the Jeff Bridges movie, not the Jet Li movie), Politics (Fearless, the Jet Li movie, not the Jeff Bridges movie), or Philosophy (Fearless, the Taylor Swift album… no, I’m just kidding, The Fisher King). (Now, yeah, I know that Philosophy is one of the main subjects always bubbling under the surface for anything we talk about… at the very least aesthetics.)
Which brings me to the Philosophy of the blog in general… the “no politics, no religion, no philosophy” thing was intended to actually open up conversations… allowing people who may have seen themselves as enemies in the one place come here and, I dunno, maybe see that they’re just rivals or something. I don’t know how successful it’s been at that. It feels like it’s been more successful at getting people not talking than at getting them talking. (Then again, maybe it’s monumental hubris in the first place to even make the attempt.) So part of me wonders if we shouldn’t lighten that part up… I mean, we can’t talk about Captain America without talking about what happened in WWII and what national narratives mean (part of my essay talked about what a movie from 2070 that took place around 9/11 might look like). Is it better to just not talk about Captain America at all? Well, that’s what I did… and I don’t know if that was the right response.
In any case, I couldn’t possibly be happier about the last year and couldn’t be more excited about the year to come.
Not that I have any big plans, or anything. (Maybe I’ll move recommendations to Thursday or something.)
Thank all of you all for coming along for the ride. (Write a guest post!)