That’s a long time to maintain a blog, especially in this fast-paced online ecosystem. Hell, I’ve been using Pussy Goes Grrr as a writing platform since I was a teenager. In the context of my life, it feels like the digital equivalent of those towering redwoods that grew from saplings over a span of millennia. Other apps and profiles may since have fallen by the wayside, but here I am, still typing on this likely antiquated website. It’s seen me through half a dozen distinct disillusionments, with writing or film or criticism; periods of dormancy and regret. After all that, I’m still struggling to hone my writing, and this is as good a place to hack away as any. At this rate, maybe I’ll find some creative satisfaction midway through the 2020s. In the meantime, well, I suppose I’ll keep on posting.
Category Archives: Meta
Wow, weird to think we’ve kept this blog going for seven whole years now—ever since that fateful Earth Day during my sophomore year of college when we threw caution to the wind and registered its name on WordPress. Every year when I put up this anniversary post, it startles me to realize how much the blog has changed. The writing here is much less frequent, but much higher quality. I’d love to have it be more frequent, and I have a lot of ideas for what I’d like to write. In the meantime, here’s my most recent work elsewhere: a dispatch from the 2016 Ann Arbor Film Festival for MUBI Notebook and more capsule reviews on Letterboxd, one for every movie I’ve watched since March 1 this year. (Shortly after I unceremoniously dropped my tough-to-sustain “Viewing Diary” idea.)
As always, thank you to anyone who’s ever supported our work by reading it. Even if writing only pops up here once every few months, we still hope to keep this website going into 2017.
Way back in 2009, Ashley and I decided to start this blog. It gave us a shared outlet through which we could say whatever we wanted on the Internet. Initially, we just rambled for paragraphs about any subject at all; gradually, our output became more refined and organized. Sometimes the blog would go on hiatus for months, then become active, then go on hiatus again. We hosted blogathons and guest writers. Occasionally a post would garner some attention and kind words. Every so often the blog’s whole layout would be revamped.
Through it all, though, three constants have defined Pussy Goes Grrr: the two of us, the fact that we like to write, and the gratifying generosity of anyone willing to read what we have to say. So if you’ve ever read anything we’ve posted here, then we thank you from the bottom of hearts. Happy birthday to this website. Now let’s try to publish on it more regularly!
In 2010-11, I wrote a series of articles for the magazine Paracinema. They only ever appeared in the publication’s print edition, so now that several years have passed I’ve finally opted to publish them online. I’ve only made minor tweaks for the sake of formatting, which means that the versions below preserve my often questionable prose and ideas, but I wanted to have a digital record of these pieces available.
Tell Your Children:
Dwain Esper’s Sex Madness and the Aesthetics of Exploitation
[Originally published in Paracinema #10, Oct. 2010]
Between the end of World War I and the late 1950s, Hollywood had a dark secret. A sordid industry thrived in its shadow, unaffiliated with any major studio, less respectable even than the hacks of Poverty Row. Working on the cheap, auteurs of sleaze would churn out ostensibly educational films and crisscross the nation giving roadshow presentations, often restricting their audiences to men over 18. They were the purveyors of exploitation films.
Happy 4th of July! In honor of this hallowed day, I’m finally breaking a month of radio silence, mostly to explain that radio silence. As the postcard above suggests, I recently moved two states away from my native Minnesota to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Between the move and some related life upheavals, I’ve been writing almost nothing lately. (You know how it is.) But I’ll be posting some more updates over the weekend and, I hope, settling into a new film criticism groove before the summer ends.
Enjoy today’s holiday if you choose to celebrate it, and if you’re ever in southeastern Michigan, please say hello!
I can hardly believe this website has been around for four whole years. Admittedly, that number doesn’t mean too much in terms of online longevity, let alone the grand scheme of things. But four whole years translates to a lot of time, energy, and passion even with a small, no-profit project like this. Four years of insecurity, uncertainty, and gradual change. (Was that “change” actually improvement? I suppose that’s up to you!) Of course, every second has been worth it for me. Writing here has given me the privilege of being read; of throwing my ideas out into the ether, and sometimes receiving others’ ideas in return. And because attention is as good as money for anyone who writes online, I have boundless gratitude to everyone who’s ever read me—including you, reading this, right now!
But, well, I don’t exactly think it’ll incite controversy if I observe that writing online can be demoralizing. There are about as many movie blogs as there are stars in the sky, and it’s equally tough to distinguish between them. Bad writing is everywhere, while jobs for even the most reliable critics are becoming nearly nonexistent. I learned a long time ago that if I want to do this, it has to be a labor of love. So it is! Because one way or another, I have to write about movies. It’s a fundamental (if agonizing) step in my personal viewing process, not to mention my primary creative outlet. The least I can do is try to write more, and better. I’m going to keep tweaking my writing process, keep chasing after deeper wisdom about the movies I love, and… eh, I’ll probably fail a lot. But I might succeed a little, which is the best I tend to hope for out of my endeavors.
What do the next four years hold for Pussy Goes Grrr? (Will this site even exist in 2017? Will I?) Oh, I’ll probably babble on some more about movies while struggling with the very idea of regular scheduling. Maybe Ashley will pop up more often, and maybe we’ll invite in a guest or two to stay and chat. Louise Brooks and kitties will, of course, stick around. And, if we’re lucky, so will you. Thanks for reading.
And now, to put the finishing touches on this year’s Queer Film Blogathon, we have our raffle winner, determined via random number generator! Drum roll, please…
(The winner will receive a copy of Boze Hadleigh’s book Celluloid Gaze.)
The winner is Margaret Perry of the blog The Great Katharine Hepburn! As they say on TV, “Margaret, come on down!” (I.e., send an email to email@example.com so I can mail off your book!)