Four years and four laptops later (yes, I just destroyed another one last week), and I feel like I'm only beginning to harness what the blog is capable of. I started blogging for a simple reason: as a reader, I was disappointed in what was already out there. Link farms and poorly constructed reviews abounded. And while I've authored more than my fair share of poorly constructed reviews, in my naiveté /arrogance I decided I could bring something new and insightful to grindcore. How successful I've been, I'll leave to you. You guys keep reading and hanging around, so hopefully I'm not completely wasting your time.
From my very first story, a discussion of metal heads' relationship with the military, I wanted to do something different, dig a little deeper. Not every post lives up to that standard, but that has been my goal and my template.
In an era of instant musical gratification, I consider most reviews superfluous. They're filler, a chance to start conversations about what like about music rather than a "this sucks," "this rules" summation. In fact, I've moved on more to Bandcamp/demo releases simply because I think those bands are more worthy of attention than the latest big budget release from a (relatively) giant metal label. They're pretty good at their own promotion. While I think reviews are declining in importance, those are the posts that keep the blog fresh week to week and buy me the time to work on the longer, more involved pieces that I prefer.
Looking back, a happy confluence of life experiences has pointed me in this direction. I have a degree in English, with plenty of emphasis on textual criticicism. As a result, I'm enough of a postmodernist to believe the distinction between high and low culture is purely artificial. All cultural artifacts are equally deserving of critical scrutiny to better understand how they work, what makes them successful and the role they play in culture and society.
Falling off the academic track post-graduation, I tumbled into journalism, which I thought would be another notch on my impressive resume of random jobs (ice cream truck driver, phone repair, Christian day care; ask me about it some time). Though I had done some work at the college paper (an unreciprocated crush on the editor; don't ask me about it some time), I had always considered journalism hack writing because I was an arrogant literature snob. To a certain extent I still do, but here I am a decade later, still doing it.
What journalism has taught me is how to extract information and present it in a coherent form. My literature degree taught me to poke in the cracks and muck around with the innards of things. I came to that realization recently while reviewing my latest project, which I hope to announce soon. It's consumed the last six months of my life, and I think it will be the culmination of everything I've set out to do so far.
So for the fourth anniversary of G&P I simply want to thank all of you for sticking around during my learning curve, giving me the platform, time and feedback necessary to shoot for some personal goals. When I am finally ready to announce that project, it will be the result of not only my work, but all of you as well, for the space and support you've provided. I've grown as a writer and a thinker because of your feedback. Thank you for making that happen.