Zachary Scott (left) needs Dane Clark to be the man that he himself cannot be in this scene from WHIPLASH (Lewis Seiler, 1948), the best classic film I watched this summer. Click for a good piece about it.

Do other blogs not go on summer vacation? I forgot to inquire.

My vision for this blog, my grand encompassing vision, was a magazinish structure. Three big pieces a month and three sort of sidebars. It may be impressive that I kept that pace up for almost eight months, since it sort of depended on having co-bloggers, which have not as yet materialized.

With any sort of project, I generally fall into the trap of “making the perfect the enemy of the good”. If we can’t read the whole scientific article, we shouldn’t bother doing it superficially. If we can’t enter our vital statistics into a spreadsheet three times a week, we shouldn’t bother trying to have a half-assed diary. Get obsessed by something, then get disappointed in our inability to devote our life to it. The infrequent posting structure (three big pieces a month) was intended to minimize this problem in two ways. First, I could build up a backlog of things during periods of intense interest in the topic, and then parcel them out during periods of laziness or lack of free time. Second, I wouldn’t be spending every movie taking notes and watching out for things to write about, if I only needed to write about three things a month.

However, the infrequent posts meant that I wanted each one to be really good in some way. Therefore each should say something new, or at least juxtapose topics in a new way. Therefore I’m back to taking notes during everything I watch, because each film might only take up 1/3 of an essay. Or even worse, I decide I need to write about the movie version of a book that I want to recommend (1, 2), and that requires re-reading the book. Or I start various series of posts and then realize that there’s not much room left in the posting schedule for posts that aren’t part of a series.

To put it briefly, if you envision your blog as a micro-Onion AV Club, you need more than one contributor. In the words of Ringo Starr, “I’m warning you, with peace and love, I have too much to do.”

So at the beginning of the summer (summer defined as the period between my work-related week in Davidson, N.C. and my family-related week in Raleigh, N.C.) I put the whole thing on hiatus instead of letting it peter out. And now, it’s back.

 

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