I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this site a regular stop on their daily read, or even weekly read. I want to thank the readers who have stuck with me and my reflections on film and television through thick and thin (like last week's non-posting....sorry!) The blog has grown tremendously from 2005, and 2008 is on track to be the biggest year yet.
A lot has changed in three years. I'm a Daddy now, which I wasn't when I started. I've also written four books (and am on my fifth...) during the life of this blog. I've also produced my own no-budget drama, which began in 2006, and continues to this day. I've seen some posting categories come and go (anyone remember "guess the movie?"), but especially enjoyed the dialogues with you - the readers.
I thought I would take a stroll down memory lane today, in light of the birthday. This is how the blog began, on April 23, 2005:
Hello everybody, welcome to my blog. And to start us off, I quote the illustrious Admiral James Stockdale: "Who am I? Why am I here?" Good questions...My name is John Muir. and I'm a published author who writes under the name John Kenneth Muir, not because I'm pretentious or anything (though I am...) but because - for some reason - there are a lot of writers out there named John Muir. Specifically, there's the great American naturalist from the last century, and also a fellow who writes about fixing Volkswagens. Others too, I think. In the age of the Internet, I realized I had to distinguish myself a little for Google, Yahoo, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and other search engines, so for the record, I'm the John Muir (the John Kenneth Muir...) who writes about film and television for a living . And I know nothing about Volkswagens, so don't ask...
Looking back over the three years of the blog, the two postings that have generated the most controversy and discussion are my negative reviews of the new Battlestar Galactica (called "Making Lemonade") from June 16, 2005 and my review of a first season episode of Ghost Whisperer, from November 12, 2005. I have high hopes my recent review of Transformers will join this very select club of despised reviews. Let me remind you of some of the comments, for instance, I received on the Ghost Whisperer piece:
"Ghost whisperer is brilliant. You dont know what you are on about and you dont know what good tv is. I know what you think you wrote about it is funny but it isnt!!!!!!"
"So saaaaaaaadddddddddd I am late for this. The guy who wrote about it is basic, shallow, ridicolous and the type of guy who must surely have two frogos hopping inside his head. If you do not believe in ghosts or in the capacity of communicating with the dead..ok. But Please!! A little respect!!!! Well, I really do not know why to waste my time in someone like you... Surely the only series you like are Beavis and Butthead or maybe those basic and disgusting rockers from MTV."
"Even though I am a huge fan of Ghost Whisperer, I couldn't help laughing my ass off at your blog.I mean.It's so true in so many ways, yet, it's so strangly addicting."
"I just read your comments on the show Ghost Whisperer and even if I have read stupid comments before from other idiots like yourself, you have won the prize. Your are clearly the definition of a true ASS !!!"
"Ah, personal attacks from fans of Ghost Whisperer.Frankly, I'm amazed they can type, let alone figure out how to use the Internet!Keep on going, Muir!!!
"Ghost whisperer is the best. If you don't like it don't watch it."
"Touched by An Angel was one of the greatest shows ever produced for TV!! Ghost Whisperer is right up their in the same category! What wrong would you rather have our children watch people killing each other and a other such negative shows? You got it wrong and need to be a big enough person to admit it!"
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I don't think you gave ghost whisperer a chance. It is a really good show and I agree I would rather our children watch shows like ghost whisperer instead of all the sex, foul language and gorey shows that are on now. I think Jennifer Love Hewitt has real winner with this show."
After re-reading some of these comments, I'm not worried so much about the state of entertainment in our culture, but the state of spelling and punctuation. Note to these parents: turn off Ghost Whisperer and teach yourselves how to spell! (Was that elitist?)
A special delight for me on the blog has been how our discussions of film and television have led into discussions of bigger life issues. Who knew that a review of Veronica Mars would lead to a discussion of feminism (and post-feminism), as it did here? Or that a thought from my mentor -- the late Johnny Byrne -- on political correctness would ignite a debate on that subject (as seen here). Personally, I think this is all way too cool.
One of my favorite features on the blog came in 2007 (just about a year ago, I think) when readers submitted posts about their favorite examples of pop art. We saw those fascinating posts from readers here, here, here and here.
Some of my favorite reviews over the years aren't the ones with the most comments. Looking back, I feel especially good about my reviews for Silent Hill, Soylent Green, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hostel, and Eyes Wide Shut. In terms of toys, I've covered 75 "retro" toys in three years. In terms of cult video efforts: 49 TV series. Much more to come on both fronts.
The blog has my name on it, but it's you -- the readers who comment and the people who visit -- who make it so much fun, even after 942 posts and thirty-six months. Thanks guys and gals. Drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know your favorite (or most infamous...) post here on the blog. Cuz you don't want two "Frogos" hopping around in my head, do you?