I used to contribute to this site as Mr. Furious. I was indeed very Furious. Furious about how no one would listen prior to November 2004 on the consequences of re-electing Bush. Furious at the growing neo-conservative soccer-mom-ization of the entire country. Furious that gays, liberals, women, and other “elite” minority groups were being used as a scapegoat to divide the country. After November 2, 2004, I was devastated. Threw my hands up in disgust. I had written a 40 page diatribe outlining in detail why the Bush administration was driving the country into the gutter. I had cited credible sources! I had warned everyone I knew! Much of what I predicted came true. How could this have happened? I was burnt out on all things political and had this overwhelming sense that nothing I could do mattered, even though I knew in the back of my head that that was wrong. I was tired and I didn’t want to think anymore.
This had happened to me before. I tried for 3 solid years to become a screenwriter and sell my scripts to producers in Hollywood. I had come close. I secured a manager, got access to production companies, had friends in the industry who gave me valuable advice and assistance. Ultimately, though, it’s a tough game that is only successfully played by people struggling within the geographic heart of the industry – L.A. I wasn’t willing to move and leave my partner, family, and friends, so I had to let it go. Also, I had written so much, every day, for such a concentrated period of time, that I faced inevitable burnout. I cared so much for so long about the same thing that the fire had to die sometime.
It’s wonderful that this blog exists. People like Melissa and the rest of the contributors have toiled since day one to make it what it has become. I remember the day a few years ago when Melissa told me she had thrown together a political blog, “just for fun.” It was crude but it had all the basics, and the content was strong enough that I was duly impressed. Did I ever suspect it would grow and evolve and become the topic of national discussion, among other things? No way! I thought it was just a hobby of hers between jobs! But knowing Melissa’s incomparable intelligence and ability to build impressive things from scratch (how she learns such complex concepts like web design so quickly I will never know!), I should not have been surprised. When I collapsed in a heap at the end of 2004, she and her fellow Shakers kept going. A little weary, a little depressed, but they kept going and eventually help shape the undeniable cultural and political force that the blogosphere has become. I felt honored to be part of the beginning of Shakespeare’s Sister, and someone whose opinion Melissa always took seriously. But I didn’t feel there was anything more I could add. Every day the political landscape grows stickier and more complex and moves at such a fast pace – I could no longer keep up! I still don’t feel like I have a solid grasp of what’s going on, so I turn here to let the Shakers sort it out for me.
There are other things going on at Shakesville, though, and that is what I’ve grown to love about it. Cultural commentary, observations of society, rantings on stupidity and injustice. Although my political flair has waned, I can certainly weigh in on these subjects with enough fury for everyone. I hope you’ll forgive my lengthy blabber. I just wanted to explain who the hell I am and what the hell I’m doing. So look out, culture and society, I’m about to go Pompeii on your ass!