Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zeno's Paradise

According to Blogger's Dashboard stats, this is Subway Rambler number 698. The number is probably a little off, since there are a few Ramblers sitting in the draft phase, and I did finally go ahead and delete the entry with the ultra-cheesecake photo of the pneumatic woman. It was a silly struggle with myself to do so, because I really do believe in standing by what I write - and keeping it in the 'public' record even after I've been proven wrong, either factually or morally. Of course, that was the most popular entry, months and months after it had been posted, and I finally decided - thanks to the continued contentious replies - that it went against one of my core blogging principles, which is not to write negatively about people. Maybe the tone of my original post wasn't 'negative' per se, but it certainly wasn't a Nobel Prize moment on my part, either.

Nonetheless, I'll take Blogger's count as the official one - unless someone out there has been keeping score at home? - which means that even with the depressingly sporadic posting this year, I've still racked up almost 160 entries. Not quite the equivalent of one Rambler every other day, and certainly far off the intended original mark of a daily Rambler, but, still: like everyone else, I've had the impression of the Rambler as being pretty much not even existing this year, and the idea that I've gotten it together enough even through the haze in my head to crank out 160 entries makes me feel a little better.

It's perhaps too soon for a postmortem on 2009 - I'll save that for the end of December or early 2010 - but it's safe to say that I've pretty much been in a funk so deep and drawn out this year that it has, at times, been indistinguishable from a state of shock. I've long struggled with anxiety and depression in my life - not to mention the maternal gift of an acerbic and pissy outlook and demeanor - so I've been taking a lot of extra energy just to maintain focus through this year, which has pwned me like no other. That energy first comes out of extraneous things, of which I considered the Rambler to be one.

Silly me, I forgot that writing the Rambler is actually an energizing exercise, so to not do it is to just feel that much lamer. That's not a promise to anyone that I will henceforth bring back the standards of quality and quantity that the Rambler set back in its halcyon days of 2007 and largely maintained through early 2009 - I've made such promises before and never seem to maintain them. But I can promise that there will continue to be... something here on a more than semi-regular basis, and that until you hear a statement otherwise, the Rambler shall sustain.

It should be noted that it was an email exchange with Walrus editor Ansley yesterday that spurred the theme of today's Rambler, to wit: "and if you're not rambling anymore... you can do a blog on walrus.. maybe
you can focus it to one theme.. like music or something.. specific to you."
My initial reaction was, of course, the usual mix of Kopperman guilt, denial, and offense, but then my brain started cycling and I wondered just what types of things I would write if I knew I had a larger audience. Turns out, pretty much the same kinds of things I write here, only (hopefully) more polished. Over the course of 700 entries, there's a few dozen that are essentially articles that are masquerading as journal entries. Or not - sometimes editing a piece for readability is far more difficult than just blurting it out in the first place. But it's nice to think that the Rambler has been good enough to have generated something like a 'best of,' so whatever Ansley and I both agree is worth reviving and revising, I'll let you know.

"Keep you posted," as it were.

The first resurrected piece - a ReRambler? - is already over at Walrus Comix, in their much nicer brand-new Wordpress relaunch. Through a comedy of errors, the piece went up unedited - Ansley thought I was saying "HERE! Publish THIS!," and I thought I was just saying, "Hey, this one might work if I polished it up." Anyway, it's such a minor entry that it's fine as is. Oh, what is it? A semi-review of Jack Kirby's comic adaptation of Kubrick's 2001. You'll find it HERE.

Also, a brand-new article - well, an unpublished and heavily revised 18-month old article - on the fairly recent phenomenon of comics being sold in bookstores and generally having a much higher and more positive cultural cache, which I proceed to find the grey cloud behind. (Excuse me, did I say 'comics?' Surely I meant graphic novels.) It's long and dry and essentially written as commentary on a situation that I'm presuming most readers would already be familiar with. But it does contain the phrase "nerdier than Bill Gates getting a handjob from a Honda Asimo while watching a Powerpoint presentation on 3D Hentai porn at SIGGRAPH," so there's a little something in it for everyone. Go HERE.

Also don't forget to visit the main page for lots of great content by people who are not me. I recommend Ansley's (Walrus and/or Hermit) Top 100 Songs of the 2000's and Bran's (Zeitgeisty) takedowns of pop-culture 'icons' (the Fame Hype articles, also on The Faster Times). Chances are good I'll keep that going for awhile, and I hope hope pray hope that I'll get the kroompst together to revive the Vomit Comics over there as well.

Curiously, I also wrote an expanded version of my brief Christmas Carol review from a couple of weeks back for the local paper (the one I provide layout for), and it's in this week's issue. Walrus did repost the original tossed-off version, so I'll see if they want to put up the extended remix.

At any rate, here we are, two Ramblers away from the semi-mystical number 700, and that seems like a nice milestone to reflect on, especially as it dwindles in the rearview mirror.


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