Today I move to Madison, Wisconsin, having convinced a bunch of people to pay me to spend the next several years watching and writing about movies, and then getting to call myself “doctor” as a result. Nice work if you can get it.
Moving is, of course, absolutely no fun, and I’m hidebound and lazy to begin with. So this is, like, a rough and irritating day, preceding a rough and irritating week, and that means one thing in the short term: I’m taking a vacation. Partially, an enforced one: if I told you how long it’s going to be until I get the internet set up at my new apartment, you’d wonder if we had regressed to some repellent Dark Age, like the fucking early 2000s or some beastly pre-civilised state. But mostly, I think that with emotional stress coming upon me like I haven’t known in years, I need to spend a week where I don’t try to write words, especially words good enough for other people to read them.
I have taken the initiative of setting up a few odds and ends to post over the week; enough to keep you all from abandoning me entirely, I hope (one of those odds and ends is not tomorrow’s Blockbuster History review, which I hope to rectify with the help of my friendly neighborhood free Starbucks wi-fi). I’ll be back to business on Sunday, August 23, but with some pretty steep changes in place, the most obvious of which is that this place is going to slow down, a lot.
I do not like doing this with the enormous stack of ACS fundraiser reviews I’ve still got to work on – just look at all those names that don’t have a review yet! – but I will throw myself on the mercy of those who donated and promise that I will get to your essay. But it’s going to take a while, and if you’re one of the kind folks to whom I send an e-mail including some variation of the phrase “I don’t know when I’ll get to it, but it’s definitely going to be before the end of the year!”, I think I should apologise especially hard, because as it turns out, I was lying to you. Not maliciously. Just with much too much ambition as to how many of these I’d be able to turn over while putting fair effort into all of them. Starting at the end of this month, I’ll be constantly re-upping that list of donors every Monday with a countdown of how many reviews I have left, so you can all keep me honest.
There’s going to be another shift: I have to be a realist, and know that with a full classload breathing down my neck, I can’t keep up with these 1200-word reviews for every movie that crosses my transom. Some 1200-word reviews, sure. Every last damn one of those fundraiser reviews for starters, as well as the series and retrospectives that are ill-advisedly going to show up along the way.
But I’m going to experiment with something new: once a week, probably on Saturday, I’m going to post a round-up of shorter little reviews of the films I watched that week but didn’t have a full essay’s worth of thoughts to share. Maybe this will be an awesome time-saver. Maybe it will break me in half. Maybe it will turn me into a boring, thoughtless writer. Let’s get through September and see where we stand.
And lastly, I want to astop talking about tedious administrative stuff, and turn back around to the elephant in the room. So, yeah. Grad school. I do not have any damn clue what kind of person I’m going to become as a result of the next six years or so of my life. I hope it will be an interesting, rounded person with a whole new arsenal of ideas to share with enthusiasm. I hope it will not be a person who dives up his own ass in the thickets of academia. My goal with this blog is to be as casual as if you bought be a couple of stiff drinks and then encouraged me to go on a rant about the last movie I saw, and I hope to continue that no matter what.
The point being, if I ever use the word “hermeneutics” on the pages of this blog, you have my permission – nay, my earnest request – to tell me to fuck right off. Let us pray it never comes to that.