When it comes to the internet, I am not merely a surfer but a scavenger, though where a good percentage of my fellow travelers find themselves overly caught up in social media, I try to use it (only) a bit more judiciously. I’m committed to tending to and maintaining my various pulpits (my friend-facing facebook*, a more expansive and inclusive twitter profile, plus a plucky tumblr account that never really got off the ground), but I find I don’t post a lot anymore. Eh. I’ve found facebook’s posting structure constricting for as long as I’ve used it. Even when the 400+ character limit was lifted many moons ago, I still felt something was missing. I naturally prefer speaking in paragraphs when others might argue I should be speaking in sentences (or less). I actually used to be quite the fiend when it came to facebook posting, holding forth twice or thrice daily sometimes on whatever miscellaneous geekery I felt was compelling. It never did take much to compel me, of course. Then, as now, I can’t speak for how the audience might’ve felt.
*Basically, the only qualification to being my facebook friend is that I know you, or that you’re interesting, or that I know you’re interesting. I’m not in the habit of accepting unsolicited friend requests from folks I don’t know, though I guess I shouldn’t make it sound like I’m under siege or anything. If we’ve connected somewhere, somehow, and exchanged a promising idea or two, no hay problema. At the moment, I also use my limited facebook presence as a way to promote the blog, though I value my friends’ time too much to spam them or even to press the issue much. One post, one time. If they catch it, great. If not, those are the breaks. Though the whole point of a “like” page is promotion, no dedicated fb page for darkadaptedeye exists as yet, primarily because a) the overlap between it and my personal page would probably be significant, if not total, and b) because I might not want to see how many of my friends would particularly care to receive blog updates from me and nothing else. Some knowledge is just too terrible to seek on purpose.
What changed was simple: this blog happened, and flourished in its low key way, becoming in the process not only my primary means of self-expression but also of communicating with the ‘net in general. Not my friends and family, mind you, for whom I do try to make time, but, rather, “the ‘net”, in which they are (theoretically) helpfully included. We’re all connected, I know, but, outside of interactions with my best friends and closest family, I can easily revert into something of a good-natured recluse. I grew up an only child, so it’s kind of a default posture. If that happens to be something you’ve noticed over years or fewer of knowing me, please believe me when I say it’s nothing personal. I’m just not much enthused by the idea that the internet ensures everyone everywhere has a voice and that it technically matters, because I’ve never seen the ability to sign up for and access a twitter account as any great indicator that you have something worthwhile to say (and the 140-character limit routinely stops me cold, though I’m trying to get better). I just like to write, and because of the way I’ve structured this blog, I find I lack for new material rarely, if ever. That’s been a real boon to my writing, which, hopefully, has grown in quality at least minutely over time. I certainly don’t know that I have anything earthshifting to offer myself, but I’m a believer in the idea that fans and/or well-wishers are earned, not collected. In the meantime, I shall toil in good faith.
I ran a metal blog with a good friend of mine (approx.) 118 years ago, right after I first moved to Ohio, and I loved it more than anything else I had going in my life. It eased my transition to a new home and new world more than I even realized at the time, and gave me a sense of creative freedom I could barely fathom. I was immersed up to my eyeballs in music back then, of course, eager to expound and discuss, and, buoyed by the platform with which to do precisely that, couldn’t ever imagine stopping, or even slowing down. Unfortunately, we boasted an unadorned .com address during a period when web hosting was a more complicated and expensive matter than it is now. We were fans who neither asked for nor made a dime off the website, and, after a year of highly rewarding steward’s work, we closed our metaphorical doors. It was a real disappointment. In the years since, part of me has so often consciously recalled the spirit and fun of that time and wanted to launch a new platform, particularly once the internet became such a wide open environment that, if someone wasn’t out cultivating his/her own voice, and didn’t have a cost-effective central base from which to broadcast, it was pretty much his/her call, and own damn fault.
I realize I used the word “cultivating” advisedly just now. The launch of this blog, in an almost aimless explosion of posting just after New Year’s 2014, carried with it a heady rush after so many years of pining and pointless procrastination, but the day to day building, care and maintenance of it since then have struck me much more like I imagine gardening must to its adherents, who are, after all, no less fervent in their passions than am I. I said before I was not just a surfer but a scavenger. I’m also a voracious consumer of written internet content. The transition from being a pure consumer to a part time producer as well has been a jarring one, and more intense than might be imagined, not because it should be, necessarily, but because it must be, because it’s me. I love to write, and I do take some pride in my attempts to do it well, and to do my subjects justice. Every blog I posted this year represents, at the bare minimum, multiple hours of work in its writing and editing, and very few of the over 150,000 words contained on this site were chosen lightly. I am no finished product as a writer by any means, but I stand behind every piece here, and am already excited to ponder what’s next. Where I might’ve been overly labored, I’ll seek in the future to refine. Where I might’ve merely scratched the surface, I’ll seek in future to dig dependably deeper. It’s a process, and this is a workshop, albeit one where I feel the works collected are more finished than not, and at least as finished as I want them to be. The idea is always for the next piece to be better.
It’s also a garden. I love to write, and I always have. I loved it when I had that old site. I missed it when I had nothing. And now, with the establishment of DAE, I feel I’ve turned something of a personal corner, as corny as that might sound. Now I’m trying my best to push forward in a way that is true to who I am as a writer, as a thinker (whatever that’s worth), as a mostly unapologetic geek, and as a person. Writing nourishes me, and I have come to dearly love this site. I’ve gotten to the point where I can barely imagine my life without it. I sure can’t imagine 2014 otherwise. DAE is officially settling in for its long winter’s nap, hopefully to reopen in early January like it did this year. I wish you/yours happy holidays and extend my thanks for stopping by. Whether you visited the site by chance or by link or by personal recommendation, mine or others’, thank you very much. I sincerely appreciate you, whether you read one post or 69, one word or multiple K, or even more. It all matters to me. This site matters to me. If, one day, it happens to matter to someone else, or several someones, or if it already does, knownst or unbeknownst to me, that’ll be just magnificent. In the meantime, I shall toil in good faith. I took the opportunity to write for granted for so long. Not anymore.
Take care, all. Cherish your loved ones. Delight in art, in all its many wondrous faces. And, though I admittedly traffic in my fair share of nostalgia, remember…there’s never any time like the present.
Hasty, obligatory year-end recap, notes, and plugzzz…
* I have a few ideas cooking for 2015, and can report I already have the beginnings of a movie review (for a semi-obscure ’90s horror opus) written, plus half of the long-delayed but, I promise you, inevitable, next installment in my “Top Ten (+5)” series. I am cautiously optimistic I’ll be able to finish my top 20 albums list in time for it to be 2015’s inaugural post, but can’t make any promises, given the amount of work involved. If I should get around to the list late instead, or not at all, it sadly wouldn’t be first time. Mine is a staff of one, after all, highly dedicated but also easily distracted.
* I fully intend to write at least one more “Steelers Thoughts” post for the 2014 season, but it almost certainly will not be a week 17 recap. Part 6: The Curse of Michael Myers really mucked up both my Thanksgiving holiday and my previously sunny disposition, and with year-end festivities looming, and lots of time on the road already booked and holiday cheer ready to dispense, I’ve decided I’m not even going to try to stay on schedule this time. Hopefully, the Steelers have a deep playoff run ahead of them, though nothing at all is set yet. I hate playoff scenarios. I’m still of the opinion our remaining games both fall into the “must win” category. Either way, though, I’m sure there’ll be quite enough to discuss to warrant eventually doing so.
* If you’re just itching for something goofy and obtuse to read, here, in chronological order, are the, er, sixteen pieces I most enjoyed writing this year and/or thought objectively were among my best work (I won’t tell you which is which):
Movie Review: “Her” (2014)
Philip Seymour Hoffman – An Appreciation
On Dr. Hannibal Lecter: The Man, The Myth and the Icon Reborn
Post No. 25: Powder Burns and Uncertain Terms
Concert review: The Decibel Magazine Tour 2014
Movie review: “Spring Breakers” (2012)
Mad Magazine and editor Al Feldstein – An Appreciation
DVR Hindsight #6 (5/22/14): The Americans – season two, and finale
The Top Ten (+5): “Weird Al” Yankovic song parodies
Post No. 50: Iron Maiden saved my life.
Concert review: The New Pornographers
Ranking, dissecting the “Friday the 13th” series
Movie review: “John Wick” (2014)
Movie Review: “Broadcast News” (1987)
Movie Review: “Much Ado About Nothing” (2012)
“Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways”: an uneven soundtrack to a killer roadtrip
If you like what you’ve read here, do consider following this blog via email by clicking the “Follow” button located a little down the sidebar. It really is the most reliable, hassle-free way to keep up with new posts. My thanks to the dozens who already have. I’m going to keeping writing regardless, but any tangible support I receive does nothing but warm my coal black heart…
follow me on Twitter:
or perhaps you prefer Tumblr:
You can also always comment, or try me on facebook (though friend requests w/o introductions or at least prior knowledge tend to face tha shredder):
What I guess I’m saying, clumsily, is keep in touch, everyone. I’m just awful at that sometimes…