Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time Just Gets Away From Us

I've been writing this blog for seven years now and it's been so long since I updated here with anything resembling regularity that I goddamn went and forgot I'd been doing this for seven years.  Seven years.  Seven goddamn years writing about movies.  And the anniversary date passed, as it always does, without me even remembering it.

It was March of 2007 that I started blogging here after a successful and yet unsuccessful foray into political blogging.  My posts in that arena got noticed by a few folks here and there and linked to not once or twice but a few times on The Huffington Post and after that it was all vitriolic hate mail and assholes yelling me down.  Who the hell needs that?  So, successful and yet unsuccessful.  I deleted the whole damn blog and started over.  My first love was always the movies anyway so why in the hell was I wasting my time engaging a bunch of close-minded jerks when I could be discussing the movies with people who felt the same way that I did?  I called it Cinema Styles: From Silents to Sound and then dropped the last part because, Jesus, it just sounded so pretentious.

I gathered a following the only way I knew how, by going to every movie blog in existence and shouting in the comment section day after day, "I'm here!"  Eventually a few suckers took the bait and popped over to my place to read the wincing, cringing crap that I've long since deleted.  In fact, I deleted so much of my early stuff that I eventually lost the entire first three months and ended up with a July start date, although that date's never been real.  Even now, reading an old post can bring a shower of embarrassment over my whole, pathetic and blighted existence.  Jesus, did I really write some of that shit?  Did I really?  Delete!

I got better.  The people coming to my blog with consistency in those early days, the Kimberly Lindbergs and Ken Lowerys and Sheila O'Malleys and Neil Sarvers, taught me how to be better by commenting and questioning and challenging my long cherished beliefs.  That guy Dennis Cozzalio showed up and then Bill Ryan and then Arbogast, and we all know who he became, or was, and at some point I began to really love the whole damn thing, maybe because it seemed like something was happening.  Maybe something was happening.

Bill Ryan.  Geez, at some point, I became attached to that guy at the hip.  I feel honestly close to that guy.  I've unfriended him twice on Facebook.  Twice. Bill can piss you the fuck off.

One time, early on, Kim Morgan linked to me on MSN.  That was a helluva boost (I think she found me through David Hudson - damn, what a friend he was to us movie bloggers back in the day) and I felt pretty good.  I went to her place at Sunset Gun and left a bunch of stupid joke comments because I was grateful and didn't know how to express it.  I'm a moron.

One time I went over to the Self-Styled Siren's site.  I was nervous about it.  I wanted to comment but I didn't feel I was operating on the same level as she was and didn't want to embarrass myself.  I commented, she clicked on my link, came back and said she'd gone to Cinema Styles, saw a post on Anton Walbrook and decided I was a keeper.  Goddamn.  I mean, seriously, god-fucking-damn.  How did I deserve that?

I got to know other bloggers that I still talk to, some I don't and some I've wrangled with here and there and everywhere.  Marilyn Ferdinand was an early friend online and a great lady in person.  Somewhere along the way we stopped amusing each other.  How's that shit happen anyway?  I have no idea really.  But it does and I'd be a fool to pretend it doesn't.  It happens.  Shit happens.  We move on.

Tom Sutpen brought me onto the Gunslinger blog a few years back.  That's a job I never deserved but I did my best to do the job right since Tom felt I could.  I don't post there, like here, with much regularity anymore but whenever I come upon a picture I just feel has to be seen, I post it there.  Do yourself a favor, head over there and check out if you never have.  It's the best statement on everything that's anything there is, and I can't take any credit for it (though I remain proud of every - well, almost every - series I've created there).

A quick aside: Tom Sutpen and Ray Young (Flickhead) are two of the craziest, cantankerest (it's seven years, I can make up whatever fucking words I want), relentlessly honest sons of bitches I've ever come across on these here interwebs.  I'm glad to know them.

But I'm not going to sit here and type out an exhaustive list of names of every goddamn person I've gotten to know over the years.  You all know who you are anyway, right?  I'd rather talk about time, anyway.

You know what I do now?  I write for Turner Classic Movies.  I love it.  I put up a Wednesday post and every other week I put up a Sunday post.  I get assigned articles to write for the main site and I do that, too.  And I love it but the damnedest thing happens after seven years: The well water gets low sometimes and you can't just say, "Eh, I'll just skip this week."  Sometimes I'm up late on Tuesday night asking myself, "What in the hell am I going to write about tomorrow?!"  I mean, it's not like I can throw up a picture and a couple hundred words.  No, TCM expects a full article when you put up a blog post and I aims to deliver.  And here's the other thing: It's not even that hard.  I mean, this is all super easy if you just watch a movie and review it.  That's always an option and one I take on occasion.  But most of the time, I like to write about a general subject that I, and my readers, can talk about, discuss.  In other words, I can watch a great older movie, like I did recently with a Sunday post on Anthony Mann's Raw Deal, and write it up but for some reason, I feel like I'm letting down the powers that be by not writing about a general topic we can all have fun talking about.  Stupid, I know.  And when I do write up something like Raw Deal, I ask myself why am I even bothering with these general topic posts when there are so many great movies out there that haven't had a lot of write-ups that I can review.  Then I start thinking, "It's Tuesday night, oh god, what movie do I write up?!"  I complicate the process more than I need to.

So, seven years. Goddamn. Time, huh?  Seven's a good number and seven years seems like enough.  Let's let it sit for a while.  Maybe one day, all these old blogs will get deleted.  Maybe.  Or maybe it will just sit here forever.  So long, Cinema Styles, it's been good to know you.

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