Had someone not pointed it out to me, I would have completely missed the fact that my next article would be number 500 on Blogcritics. I thanked my friend and then confronted the matter head-on: should I not recognize the fact that this is my 500th article by writing about it?
I had mixed feelings, so I went back in time (it is so nice to be able to do that) and looked at my first article for BC. Published on July 25, 2005, “Star Trek’s James Doohan Dies” is my farewell to the actor who played Montgomery Scott so memorably in the TV series and the subsequent movies. My first thought was that I couldn’t believe it was that long ago, and then I thought about all the other people I’ve written about over the years who have passed away, including my Mom.
I scanned the pages of past articles (50 pages in all), and it seemed incongruous that I could write so many things about so many topics. Yes, I like sports (and function as co-head sports editor with the amazing Charlie Doherty), but I have also written articles for most other sections including Sci/Tech and Tastes. I still get compliments on my turkey meatloaf recipe, by the way.
One of the most memorable things for me was writing about the great TV series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. All those seasons and episodes are refreshed in my mind as I glance over these articles, and I wonder if I would watch (say season 6) again and have the same reactions. Each episode comes back to me as I read, and it’s hard to believe that I used to commit to writing 24 articles about anything each season, but that is how much I enjoyed that program.
Having an overwhelmingly positive experience writing about so many topics, I can only say that I am indebted to the people here at Blogcritics who made it all possible. It all begins with Eric Olsen, former publisher to whom I sent an e-mail and got the ball rolling. Over the years I have worked with so many fine editors: Lisa McKay, Matt Sussman, Alex Jurek, Barbara Barnett, Josh Lasser, Dave Nalle, and Jon Sobel to name just a few. It has been also a privilege to be here and to work alongside so many fine fellow writers, and the list is too long to even begin to name names.
As an editor I must say that I am usually knocked out by what I encounter from my fellow writers. Most of the problems are minuscule and easily corrected, but there is so much excellence going on here that it is astounding. We have writers from all over the world contributing on a variety of topics on a daily basis, so what editor wouldn’t love to sink his/her teeth into that? I know I enjoy it very much because I am learning something new all the time here at BC, and I never know what to expect when I open each story. It’s sort of like opening a present and getting delightfully surprised, which is my usual experience with most writers here.
There have certainly been changes over the years, and each time it seemed like BC would be irreparably compromised, new people came in and kept true to the essence of the thing. I think that is most important to me and what keeps me coming back (500 times at this point). I think the purpose remains the same: to provide an unparalleled forum for fine writers to be seen and heard by a vast online audience. As a writer (and editor), you just have to love that!
So here is number 500. In a way it feels like a copout, reminding me of one of those TV specials where they show clips from previous shows, but in the end I don’t think I am compromising in the least. I have become a better writer thanks to this place, a better editor too, and a vastly improved person (but I attribute that more to my wife and kids). I am proud to be associated with this “sinister cabal” and hope to be for a long time to come.
Now, to borrow my old sign-off from the 24 articles, until next time Klaatu Barada Nikto!
Photo credits: Star Trek- Forbes.com; Gort – virginmedia.com