Maybe it’s just me, but birthdays are a bit of a weird thing, and blog birthdays weirder still. I’m a sucker for the sentiment, but often at a loss for what to do with them. In years past, I’ve tried to be pithy about it, but these days pithy feels frivolous and deflective, so please pardon me while I interrupt our irregularly scheduled programming for a little sentimental reflection. Think of this as a fresh start, a (re)introduction.
Hello, this is Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner, and I’m a blogoholic.
When I started Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner back in 2009, the only thing that seemed to be bottoming out in my life was the economy. I had moved to New York City for an M.A. in Cinema Studies, but afterwards I found myself working as a receptionist. The job market left me paralytically anxious, and while I was grateful for my employment, I was feeling restless and overeducated.
And so, a blog was born.
I told myself I was going to write a movie blog, but my first post was about Worcestershire Sauce, and the next was about Paula Deen (who back then was regarded as a charming Southern caricature instead of a racist one). When I would get around to writing about movies, I’d sometimes celebrate them, but frequently I’d berate them. At the time, I thought this was the currency of the internet. Looking back, I was needlessly snarky and too often spiteful. I’d always thought of myself as a nice guy, but on my blog, I was becoming a real bitch.
That said, a few good things came out of that first year.
I discovered Rena Riffel’s directorial debut and Sara Carlson’s dance magic, and rather unexpectedly, they in turn discovered me. I imagined everything in this blog would be lost to the ether, so I was moved to find them sharing some love in the comments. Wherever they are these days, I hope they’re well.
Moreover, I got a lot of kind words and positive reinforcement from friends and e-quaintances who read and shared my blog. I’m truly grateful for all of it. I’d always loved writing, so it was deeply rewarding to give it place to thrive. Camp is a particular sensibility, and its greatest pleasure is to share it with sympathetic company.
I didn’t keep up with that, though.
Work got busier, and I made less time at home. Even though I still loved tending to this corner of the internet, I started to resent having to make time for it. I tried to recover my consistency, but increasingly spent the next years off the wagon.
Eventually, I picked myself up, dusted my blog off, and last spring I had a pretty solid run at it. Hell, I even tried my hand at making a meme, a No-meme Malone, if you will! I felt a bit rusty, but I had a clear head about me for the first time in many years. I’m not sure it showed, but I knew it was there.
And oh, how I’d missed this.
After all these year, I’ve found myself eager to start this blog all over again.
I’ve given a lot of thought about what it would take and what it would mean to take this blog “seriously” again, and I think I’ve got a few ideas. Posting more frequently than never, for example, but also not forcing things in order to make some sort of quota. Focusing more on the writing, and less on latching onto the viral zeitgeist–unless, of course, there’s sufficient camp overlap. Write more about movies, more in long form, more about anything and everything else that excites me. Still be funny, but maybe less flippant. Most importantly, though: Camp, not c*nt.
See, if there’s anything I hold true, it’s this observation from Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on Camp’:
56. Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of “character.” . . . Camp taste identifies with what it is enjoying. People who share this sensibility are not laughing at the thing they label as “a camp,” they’re enjoying it. Camp is a tender feeling.
The world is already a garbage dump, and internet doesn’t need another shrieking harpy in its perpetual pessimism machine. I don’t want to be another shrill bleat laundry listing the things I hate. I did that already, and the results were nil until…well, you know.
So be a tender feeling this time around, I figure.
I’m probably just getting too sentimental in my old age, but I’d prefer to think of it as my seven year itch.
[Magnolia title card via And So it Begins…]