Wednesday, January 10, 2007

500th Post Spectacular!

It all started inauspiciously back on March 1, 2004, with this post, which claimed that...

This is a place for me to archive my postings from various places on the web, and in the process, create a little time capsule of my thoughts at a particular time.

I put some message board posts on there, but it wasn't until October 2004 that the blog proper began with this post about Cowboy Bebop. And things kept going from there, until roughly three years after the first post, we're at the 500th. To note this occasion, I'll be going back through the entire history of the blog to spotlight what I'd consider my best posts. There's no spoilers below, so read on, if you've already read/seen the works in question, you'll have some reading material here, if not, I'd reccomend checking out all this stuff.

Was the Past Really Better (I) (II) - This was an early article that explored the way memory warps our perception of things, specifically with the creation of 'Golden Eras' of music and film. Most of this is still relevant, particularly the comment about the pitfalls of 'ironic nostalgia.'

Writing People/Finding Meaning in Discussion: On Linklater and the Before Duology - These are two lengthy articles. The first explores the way that fictional characters seem to take on a mind of their own as you write them. This segues into a discussion of Before Sunset, and a lengthy analysis of Linklater's oeuvre and what makes his films unique. After seeing Before Sunset, I was so in love with his dialogue heavy style of filmmaking, this article reflects my feelings at that time.

The Office (II) - Because it's ostensibly a comedy show, you don't see that much in depth thematic analysis of The Office. After rewatching the series, I wrote two lengthy pieces on it, exploring the thematic intent of the show. There's a lot of layers in there.

Top Ten TV Moments - This is exactly what it says, my top ten favorite TV show moments. In retrospect, I'd place OMWF over the Office ending, but I wrote this right after watching The Office, so it still had that shiny glow of the new.

And the Work which Has Become a Genre Unto Itself... - This is an extremely long analysis of Cowboy Bebop, which I wrote after rewatching the series. I've read very little academic analysis of the show, there just isn't much out there, if you've seen it, give this a read, there's so much in the series, and you can easily watch it without unpacking it. This may be the longest post in the history of the blog.

Pop!/More Pop! - These two posts are critical to understanding my approach to fiction. I'll frequently throw the word pop around, and if you're curious what exactly I mean by it, read this two parter.

Promethea: Until the End of the World - Another massive post, this one an analysis of the last eight issues of Promethea. It's an astonishing work and worthy of better analysis than I can give it. But, this is my reaction.

Better to Burn Out than Fade Away - This is an analysis of Angel's final season. I wrote it after my first rewatch. Angel season five is my third favorite season in all the Buffyverse stuff, and it's one of the most thematically dense.

Time Destroys All (Irreversible) - Irreversible is one of the best films I've seen in the past five years, and one I just love talking about and analyzing. It's a perfect example of what I want from cinema because it's simultaneously a visceral experience in the moment of viewing, and full of material to consider after.

Irony and Filmgoing - This is a more general post, discussing my issue with the 'ironic filmgoer.' It's a major problem to this day, so consider it.

Ten Works that Changed My Life (I)/(II) - This a critical post for me personally because it explores the works that shaped my personality. And, if you're a regular reader, you'll probably see the way that these works shaped my perception of everything I watch/read.

Magnolia: PTA's Masterpiece - It's one of my absolute favorite movies, and this is my definitive statement on the themes and construction of Magnolia. If you haven't seen this movie, watch it now, then read the post.

Six Feet Under: Goodbye - If you want to check out my reviews of the entire last season, and some additional analysis, go here, I chose to link this post because I wrote it right after seeing Ecotone for the first time, bowled over by what happened there. Other than the last episode of Twin Peaks, I was never so shocked watching an episode.

Making Films About 'Real' Events - This post explores my personal bias against films based on real events. I think it's a shortcut to use our cultural memory of real events to produce an emotional reaction, and makes it impossible evaluate films centered around events like the Holocaust and 9/11 on their own merits. Battlestar Galactica is a more valuable exploration of what 9/11 meant to our culture than United 93 is.

X-Men: Wrapping it Up - This post was the culmination of my eight month long readthrough of Chris Claremont's original X-Men run. Again, I spotlight this post because it's an extensive analysis of something I haven't seen addressed in a critical fashion. Sure, a lot has been written about the Dark Phoenix saga, but to really appreciate what Claremont did, you have to look at the development over the course of the whole run. It takes a bit to get used to the style, but Claremont's work on this title is one of the greatest, most influential long form narratives ever created.

The New World of TV and Film - Here I explore the idea that TV has surpassed film as a storytelling medium. To quote the final sentence: "Conventional wisdom holds that The Godfather is one of the top five movies of all time. If The Sopranos does everything The Godfather does and more, doesn't that mean that The Sopranos is better than any movie ever made?"

Meeting Morrison - Over the course of the blog, I've met many of my idols, but no meeting was cooler than talking with Grant Morrison about the Supercontext. If you ever have the chance to see the man speak, do it, to speak to the mind that created The Invisibles was an awe inspiring experience.

Seven Soldiers Wrap Up - Speaking of Morrison, this is the index of my coverage of Seven Soldiers. The thing I love about Seven Soldiers is that it practically demands blog-length analysis. There's so much in the work beneath the surface, unless you've broken it down and thought about it, you haven't really read it.

From Hell: Gull's Ascent - Another major blog project was the read through of From Hell. Gull's Ascent was my favorite part of the book, and the most thematically rich. This post brings in The Invisibles and a lot of general Moore/Morrison concepts to look at the work.

And that brings us pretty much up to the present. What does the future hold? Probably more of these longform review/analysis projects, we've still got a ways to go with Babylon 5, and I'm planning on doing a re-read of Grant Morrison's New X-Men soon. But, pretty much whatever interesting comes up, I'll write about it. And, if you're interested in checking out more of the archive, all the blog posts are indexed here.

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