The Big Four-Oh (K)

We have just turned over the odometer. We [um, I] have now received more than 40,000 page views* since YOU AND ME, DUPREE debuted in summer 2009. We, I, recognize that this figure is nothing more than a slow moming at the biggest baddest blogs, but I’m good with connecting to somebody almost a thousand times every month. That’s nice.

You can’t count on me for any particular topic. Book publishing has been my most popular subject by far, probably because aspiring authors don’t often get to read about life on the other side of the editorial desk, but that’s been a small fraction of my scribbling here. A short piece on Jackson, Mississippi’s delicious “kumback” salad dressing is my second most visited post ever, possibly because there’s a Wikipedia entry that refers back to this blog, and I’m just as gobsmacked about that as you are.

I occasionally review works of art in several media, but long ago I decided not to waste my time writing about anything I couldn’t recommend heartily (the sole exception is my reports on the Sundance Film Festival, where I calls em as I screens em, but there’s nevertheless been something to love every year). Otherwise, life’s too short, and there’s already plenty of snark out there on the Internets. So Y&M,D veterans know that if they see a post on a book, stage show, flick or whatever, that must mean I loved it. You keep on reading only if you want to know why. I’ll probably break this rule sometime, but that necessity hasn’t come up after four whole years of reading, hearing and watching. So far, nobody or their publicists have ever suggested that I review something (that knee-jerk refusal used to be a badge of honor back when I was a rockcrit in the vinyl era, and it even caused me some trouble a couple times, but that’s another story, with which I may one day burden you), but I’ve shared a glowing post with maybe four or five content creators now, and each of them has returned a wonderfully kind and frank response.

My sort of free-form thither-and-thathering is counterindicated for a blog that’s determined to collect hits. You also can’t count on me to whip myself into a froth like an insanely partisan geek, with which the Web is already well crammed. I definitely have a moral and political point of view, but I try to mold these essays a tad more reasonably than that, even when I’m Just Mad About Something. You really have no frickin way to predict what next shiny thing is going to be dangled before my eyes. Such (to be kind) eclecticism may inhibit bloggy faithfulness unless you simply like the sound of my voice (as I do, say, Harlan Ellison’s or Stephen King’s). My brother John says reading my blog is just like talking to me in person, except you get this wonderful button that makes me STOP! (Now he has his own blog, and I get to push the button!)

I do fine-tune the entries. (As David Crosby once told an impatient Tonight Show audience, “We tune because we care.”) Those of you who receive new-post notices via email or WordPress get pointed to the very first draft that I’m willing to loose into the wild. But I go back and improve every single one. Even an editor needs an editor, and for me that sage is simply the passage of time. I see so many missed opportunities in short stories I wrote fifteen years ago, but I can’t go back inside a printed book to fix them. Here I can. The “for keeps” version has usually emerged within three or four days, and it’s always better than the one I originally posted. So if you really hate an entry, young man or lady, maybe you ought to take a time-out and come back a little bit later, hmmm?

I kid because I love. Really. Thanks for hangin, or whatever else the heck it is you do here. I’m gonna keep on poundin while my mind wanders (I just got a cool keyboard that looks, feels and sounds like a 1980s Apple…you know, it makes that same clicking noise you hear in any computer scene in any 80s movie, from TRON to WARGAMES…oops, sorry, there I go again). Your job is to keep talkin back, and to take care of each other.

*7/23/13: The actual tally, not quite at our fourth birthday, is almost 43K. A good week would kick it over.

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