The following is not . . . I repeat, not . . . a Farewell Address; rather a disclosure of what one might call internal malaise here at Gunslinger.
Let's not resort to euphemisms at the outset. This blog is in trouble; it's on the ropes.
I don't know why it's on the ropes . . . I have a few, highly speculative theories. I just know that it is, and that for months now I've been trying to locate some lone spark of inspiration that might possibly revive it in its present form. I've come up empty. I've also given serious thought to moving it in a new direction, whatever that might be. This too has yielded nothing. In short, I've run out of ideas (workable ideas, anyway); what's more our visitor stats have fallen to pre-2006 levels.
I can give you a bit of the history of how this came to pass: Over the last 9-10 months, certain events have occurred in my life, both (very) good and bad. I expected they would all distract me from what I do here, if only for a time, but for whatever reason their impact has been far greater on this blog than I would have imagined, for whatever mechanisms existed within me to keep this thing going were, I found, depleted. At best I could find the time, the energy, the inclination to update this thing only rarely . . . and that is directly contrary to what I'd resolved to do once the format had more or less manifested itself in mid-2005, which was to provide a consistent, steady, hopefully even unceasing stream of such content as I and my co-conspirators might generate. There was also the departure some weeks ago . . . never announced here, for I would not be party to my own public humiliation . . . of a (nameless) member of Team Gunslinger; someone better affiliated among the brethren who could not help but rub it in that they had moved on to bigger and better things, thus making any continued residence in our blogospheric leper colony not only untenable, but more of an embarrassment before the Film blog community (a term I use advisedly) than it had been . . . if such a thing were possible, of course.
As a side note, let me point out that this did not come as a complete shock, however demoralizing it had been. In fact, there are a great many . . . some of whom will no doubt, and with characteristic pettiness and sub-collegiate glee, be passing along the link to this post, prefaced by something along the lines of 'Hey! He's having another meltdown. Get the popcorn!' . . . who would find risible the notion that it takes any effort whatsoever to put this blog together, or that you could call anything that fills its pages content. I won't even bother defending myself against this low-rent elite consensus. I will only say that these people (and you know who you are, you soulless creeps) would hold this view regardless of anything that appeared on this blog . . . the nature of their disdain being, from first to last, entirely personal.
But I do know that there are a few of you who do appreciate this blog for what it is, and it is to you that I'm addressing the following question: What should be done here: Should the plug be pulled entirely? Should I move it in another direction; and, if so, what might that be? Should I take on more Team Gunslinger members? Should I just get out of the blogosphere . . . where, in the opinion of many, I am most decidedly unwelcome . . . for good? Should I just leave the blog here to rot, as a symbol of its ultimate failure to realize whatever potential it might have had. In other words, I'm hoping to start a dialogue with those who actually get what we've been doing here for the last seven years.
I invite your input . . . starting . . . now!
(for those who require one)
And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather