Over ten years ago, I started blogging. Not about movies, but about politics. I got linked to in more than one post at the burgeoning Huffington Post, a blog so new no one had yet thought to give it a nickname, and found my own posts getting not only increased readership but increased vitriol. It wasn’t what I wanted to spend my time doing, arguing with hostile, belligerent anons screaming at me for writing opinions that differed from their own. I decided movies and music would be much better, even though I had avoided doing so. Why? Because I was already known for movies and music and had jobs here and there writing them up. I wanted to delve into the world of political journalism but quickly found I didn’t have the stomach for it. More importantly, I realized the arts beckoned far too strongly.
So I started a new blog, Cinema Styles, and spent every hour, it seemed, online conversing, arguing, and bantering with fellow film buffs. Little of it ever became hostile and differing points of view were welcome. I got a lot more freelance work as a result, more job offers, and, eventually, an email from Turner Classic Movies asking me to write for them. I was thrilled to have a steady job writing about movies and my own personal blog quickly fell away under the deadlines from paying jobs. Eventually, I deleted it and moved on.
A big part of my job, and better paying part as well, with TCM was writing for the website itself. Turning in articles on actors and directors, movies in the database, or writing up several pieces for The Essentials, gave me steady work but it was the blog, The Movie Morlocks, that gave me the most recognition. When Filmstruck came along, a supergroup team up of TCM and Criterion, the Morlocks were scrapped and I took a position as a blogger for Streamline, the blog of Filmstruck. All my other work at TCM remained steady and satisfying, and the assignments have only increased since the Morlocks went defunct. But the blog was gone and telling someone you work for TCM without being able to direct them to a blog link where they can peruse your pieces was pointless. Now, even Streamline is gone, moved to Tumblr where I’m not entirely sure anyone gives a damn about reading blog posts. Scratch that, I’m sure: No one gives a damn.
So I find myself reviving the personal blog in an effort to retain my sanity. It won’t be the same, I know. The comments won’t be there like they were in the early days. I know that. But I find I have to write about something, something about movies, and music, and the arts in general, and in a way that feels connected. Connected in a way that feels familiar because I’m older and nostalgic and won’t deny it. I love Tumblr and Unexplained Cinema has its own, and has for years, but I love Tumblr for different reasons. It’s about photo essays and video and gifs, not blog posts. So here I will write. And hold on to the past just a little bit longer.