First things first: Why should anyone read this blog? After all, if it’s going to be weekly dissertations on some schmoe’s favorite movies, shows, games, or books, there are hundreds of better known and well-vetted sources to choose from. Why read this one?
I’ve been writing for the web in one format or another for five years. (Here’s some proof.) This hardly makes me a veteran, but I’ve done enough reading and writing to know when a horse has been beaten to death. The traditional web writer formula – put out a trickle of news commentary alongside big weekly reviews, and wrap things up with an obligatory top ten list at the end of the year – is finished. Opinions are cheap, especially when they’re couched in boring reviewerspeak tropes and hyperbole. Find me a rave review on the internet that doesn’t use the words “compelling” or “works,” and I’ll owe you a doughnut. It gets even worse when you realize that most writers have no idea why a plot point is “compelling” or why something “works.”
And then there’s the scary trend of writers bucketing art into “it’s awesome” or “it sucks” bins. This binarization of commentary lies at the root of fanboyism, and is a discussion killer. To quote my Polish mother in law, “there’s nothing so bad that no good can come of it;” in fact, bad, poorly-thought-out movies can generate just as much healthy discussion as a classic. FilmCritHulk (who is, seriously, 2011’s great new voice) explains this perfectly in his NEVER HATE A MOVIE essay. I’m more interested in why a story connects with us or sends us running rather than treating directors, games, movies, or franchises as our favorite surrogate sports teams. If you’re like me, then please consider giving this experiment of mine a shot.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a sample of some of my favorite things I’ve written recently: