Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Old Poll Is Dead; Long Live The New Poll!

An amazing 60 people voted on the old poll, concerning which century is your favourite, and what a modern bunch you are, too. The overwhelming winner, with 23 votes, was the 20th Century.

Check out the new poll in the sidebar, and try to take it in the jovial spirit in which it's intended, please.
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A Compromise?

Owing to the immense popularity of the Pop Culture Institute amongst those few who do read it, for the time being I will continue to publish POPnews - and those posts I can repost without extensive rewriting - until such time as I can justify returning full-time and/or my up in the air employment situation has settled back into some kind of regularity.

Thank you in advance for once again coping with my galloping neurosis.

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A Sad Day

It is with a heavy heart and an acute sense of my own shortcomings that I come to you today to announce the closure of the Pop Culture Institute.

Having spent many hours daily on research and the creation of content over the past 18 months, it's clear to me that after nearly 2500 posts I have failed to connect with the public in any meaningful way; not only that, where I once had maybe 8-10 regular readers, in recent weeks my numbers have dwindled to 2 or 3. I routinely go a week now without a single comment; whereas my original purpose in starting this blog was in the creation of a dialogue, I seem to have created a monologue instead - or an endless droning lecture more like. Clearly my famously lovely personality has once again gotten in the way of my success.

I suppose I could have continued writing it for myself, but the fact of the matter is that even I am no longer interested in it - I've a feeling that the endless hours I've spent crouching over a computer would have been better spent doing almost anything else - and maybe it's that quality that has crept into the work, and turned off my readers. At heart, of course, I am a deeply needy person; my desire for validation makes me weak, I know. I also know that I am the only person in the world with such a need, in much the same way that I am the only person who has ever expressed bitterness or anger or sarcasm. I know this because of the number of times I am accused of such things, by people who would never dream of accusing anyone else of them, and have certainly never been guilty of such things themselves.

I will be leaving it up for an unspecified period of time as I cut and paste those posts I feel like keeping into some kind of archival document. In doing so, I am mindful of the praise and support I have received over the months, even if I have often had to fish for the compliments I've gotten. Given the bait I'm using, I should be grateful to have gotten what I have, I guess.

The greatest human failing is the assumption that everyone else is like you - that your interests are shared by everyone, that your motivations are universal, and that your prejudices are perfectly natural. Clearly, that is where I have gone wrong here. I thought (erroneously, as it turns out) that my zeal for things historical would infect all those who came into contact with this blog. In this I was wrong, and for that I apologize; to those of you momentarily touched or even moved by something I may have written, I thank you.

Being a writer, of course, I can't altogether give up writing, even though the failure of this enterprise (and my failure at it) has only served to confirm what I have already known- namely that my lack of formal education has doomed me to always be a writer, as opposed to a Writer. No doubt there will be other blogs, and in them perhaps even the elusive formula for success I have been chasing for what seems like my whole life. I may try fiction, or photography, or a subject matter which is more specific - maybe in them I will finally achieve the connection of souls which every artist (even a poor one such as me) seeks.

UPDATE: So, you may have guessed by now that not only have I not closed the Pop Culture Institute, but it's even more alive now than ever. The only reason I haven't taken this post down is a) I'm proud of the writing, even if it is a bit* on the self-pitying side, and b) I agree with every one of its sentiments.

When I initially undertook this endeavour I knew it wouldn't be easy; I knew it might be years before I found my audience (if ever) and that those who did find it would do so in a piecemeal fashion, thanks largely to the efforts of search engines. I also knew going in - as how could I not - that I am emotional and moody (a deadly combination), and that among the blog's many posts would appear works which are as deadly peevish as they are peevish in their deadliness. In this, at least, I have not disappointed.

Many thanks are due today to the ministrations of Mr. Gagne, whose management of me in the years that I've known him has skillfully alternated between feather light and hammer blunt; the most amazing thing is how he always knows which method to use when, with his method's remarkable efficacy running a close second. Though all that you see here has been due to my hard work and sacrifice, the fact that it's still here is due entirely to his steadying influence.

*Okay, a lot...
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In Theatres Now: "Baby Mama"

Michael McCullers wrote and directed Baby Mama, an unusual girl-on-girl buddy comedy, starring two of my favourite ladies - Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; although reviews have been typically sniffy, the consensus is that this is a likable (if predictable) romp through the minefield that is expectant motherhood in this day and age.

It's on my list of movies to see, but given my track record in this regard I'm sure I'll enjoy the DVD even more once it's released.
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