It's a strange feeling for me to sit here and type this entry knowing it's a milestone of sorts, one that would probably go ignored under most other circumstances as “just another year.” --- I strongly remember sitting in the same spot -- at my desk with my computer in the kitchen -- because single people don't need a dining area, they need a damned office. When I typed up the post around the third year, I wasn't really sure where the blog was going from there, mainly because at the time I found myself unemployed and unsure whether people were still giving a damn.
You see, in these Web-driven years, blogs have a shelf life shorter than NBC comedy shows. And much like those shows, you get roughly the same themes: the first few are good, then there are a few lull points along the way. You can tell the first year is awkward while finding a pace people like, then at some point, you go overboard and the term “shark jumper” is used a lot, and then one day you find the audience bored and you're barely keeping pace ... then it just ends. Except for Community, damnit! Six seasons and a movie! For further analysis of the prime-time landscape, might I suggest CW editor Bill Frost's column.
In addition, do you know why online media mark yearly anniversaries so frequently? Because you never know what tomorrow may bring. Case in point: The podcast Groundbreaking Shit! came to an end back in September after a two-year run, simply for the fact that their lives were too busy to continue making episodes. And they were the one show to rise in 2009 out of a dozen others who died out before they could reach their first year. Another example would be UtahFM, a community-run online radio station, shutting its doors amidst a slew of issues, and they still haven't come back since shutting down in October. I don't mean to dredge up the losses from the year gone by, but in this day and age, the fact that I have a blog that's still standing and supported after four years is the Internet equivalent of a 10-year NFL veteran linebacker still having knees that don't click when he walks.
In any case, tomorrow -- Sunday, January 1 -- this blog turns four years old. And with it comes two stunning realizations, the first being that it's become a staple of the community, myself and City Weekly. You know you've made it in Utah when people refer to you by your “somewhat” name. “Hey, everybody, it's Gavin Underground!” Yes, absolutely, of course, that's my real name. This is a real occurrence that happens frequently and I've lost the passion to correct people. Same as how I'm sure the other CW writers have given up trying to correct their new names: Big Gay Brandon and The Handshake Dude. The second realization is that I have a broad readership who, believe it or not, actually read this fucking thing! I remember years ago, two months into starting this blog, being told very bluntly by a news producer that my blog was “too repulsive to be read by anyone beyond drug addicts.” It started a joke I used to do in person whenever someone would say, “Hey, I read your blog.” To which I would reply, “Oh, you do?Awesome! I've now got 22 readers!” Upon checking Facebook, that producer currently runs one of the least-watched news broadcasts in the state and has an ulcer. Schadenfreude is a beautiful thing, and it's also something that TV folks mostly can't spell but practice frequently.
As with any year, I threw a few bombs, most notably at my former occupation and employer, which I still have a ton of kerosene to dump on that fire. (I wouldn't retire in tears anytime soon, Dave Fox.) There was David Burger at the Salt Lake Tribune, who didn't seem to mind the exposure or care; pre-recorded evening DJ and obsessed 311 fan Corey O'Brien with his half-assed attempt to play local music, when in reality he was just playing whatever got mailed to him as opposed to what was interesting; Governor Gary's daughter-in-law Carmen Rasmusen Herbert, whom I still can't figure out why that other "paper" has her classified as an “entertainment blog” when she's clearly the poor-woman's Dooce; and then there's Brogan Kelby, which to write about him as a footnote here wouldn’t do the subject matter justice. Look for that fun music entry in the future. As a side note, all seems to be good with the Neon Trees after what could possibly be the most-read blog entry of the year. Yeah, it was fun roasting people on occasion, but looking ahead to the following year, I think we'll focus more on the entertainment news than we did in the year of the rants. But that doesn't mean I won't still criticize when I feel it necessary.
As is one of the few traditions with this blog, the pictures you're looking at for this post are some of the collages I've created throughout 2011. To recap a little for those who don't know, like any writer who attends events and covers various projects and shows, you tend to pick up a few things along the way -- business cards, flyers, post cards, mini-art, promotions, advertisements, name tags, press passes, etc. As one collects these things, they then to build up and take up space. I once saw SLUG Magazine and Big Movie Mouth-Off film critic Jimmy Martin display everything he's collected from film festivals alone, in which you could also fill a trunk with every necklace he's received. Rather than allow these to take up space in a box somewhere (or me to take up scrapbooking, which I have no patience for), I started framing them and mounting them on my walls. They've taken over a hallway and invaded my kitchen to the point where they'll need to start heading into my bedroom. One of these days, I'll have to take a page from the local art scene and display them at Kayo with price tags on all of them. For now, you can check out the complete collection I've made to date on this blog's Facebook page.
As for this blog ... I have no idea what 2012 will bring me -- other than a lot of laughs as I watch people in Central America get rich off stupid North Americans who head down to get a “last look” at a stone calendar that didn't have enough room to etch more dates into it. Oh, and I'd like to win Best Blog again this year when the City Weekly Best Of Utah awards come up, but we'll re-visit that in a couple of months. For the next few weeeks, we'll have an interview from a local show, talk with four very different artists in their respective genres and check out a music-driven campaign with a bigger purpose. At least, that's the plan for now. As demonstrated this past Thursday, nothing is for certain and, as always, we'll see what happens.
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