Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrating 2 Years of The Cooler

I’m pleased to report that today The Cooler begins its third year of existence. It’s a somewhat bittersweet anniversary in that over the past few months I’ve had less time than ever for the blog. I still think about it every day, and I’ve done a decent job keeping up with other blogs in the neighborhood, but time to write about movies, or even watch them, has been scarce of late. I don’t mean to complain. I feel fortunate to have a day job that is as stimulating as it is demanding at a time when so many in this country would happily settle for a job that would pay the bills. No, the purpose of this note is to promise my readers that I’m still in the blogging game, even though production might go through some lulls this year. I’m putting that in print not because I think that you need to come to terms with it, but because I do.

There are few things I love more than movies, writing, creativity and engaging in thoughtful debate. The blogosphere has enhanced – not just fulfilled – my affection for all those things. It would be easy to forget that not too long ago I was starved to find any movie writing whatsoever between release-day Fridays, and yet now I go into Google Reader at least once a day and never fail to find a handful of thoughtful, entertaining pieces worth reading. Today the challenge is keeping up. It’s a good problem to have. I’m grateful for the blogs I get to read each day and for the bloggers who grace The Cooler with their insightful and confident comments. Special shoutout to frequent commenters of 2009, including Adam, Craig, Daniel, FilmDr, Hokahey, Kevin, Sam, Steven, Tony and whoever I kick myself for forgetting. Special thanks to Ed Howard, for continuing The Conversations series with me at The House Next Door – and thanks to readers who reward our effort on those pieces by reading and commenting on them. And thanks to all the rest of you who stop by and read, offering comments here and there or no comments at all. I know you’re out there, and I appreciate it.

What can you expect from The Cooler over the next year?

Well, we’ve got the Steve McQueen Blog-a-thon coming up in March, which I’m very excited about. I hope lots of bloggers take part (feel free to make multiple submissions). Hosting the blog-a-thon ensures that I belatedly come through with one of my resolutions for 2009, which was to “quit teasing people and write at least one post about or related to Steve McQueen, for crying out loud.” Speaking of those resolutions, I’m happy to report that over the past year I did a better job of enjoying movies in my Netflix queue and my own private collection (Resolutions 2 and 3). Also, I have not only investigated but actually acquired the gadgetry necessary to do a video commentary or two this year (Resolution 5), so that’s something to look forward to. Those projects can be time consuming, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to launch my debut effort, but I’ve already begun collecting clips for a few presentations. If I could create three video commentaries over the next year, I’d be thrilled. Readers can also anticipate the return of my reviews of ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” series, which comes back in March for one episode and then goes back to a weekly schedule in April. Around all of this, there will be more rants (not all of them weekly), perhaps more quick posts than I’ve done in the past, more reviews and, with your help, more lively debate in the comments. Of course, even when I’m not writing, you can find links to interesting reads in the “Sharin’ the Love” sidebar or through my updates at Twitter.

I hope you’ll join me for another fun year.


The Film Doctor said...

Congratulations, Jason, for the continuing success of The Cooler. Your work is consistently exemplary (whereas I often think of mine as so-so, but trying). You are right about the way the film bloggers enhance "thoughtful debate" about cinema. It is hard to keep up with the stream of information pouring from so many, but we are lucky to have this forum to share ideas.

Craig said...

Big congrats, Jason. Both of us got into this gig only a few months apart, and checking out The Cooler has always been one of the highpoints of each day, as is your unwavering support over at my neck of the woods. Looking forward to more of your stuff over at The House (the new environs of which, if I may be honest, feature so many posts on a given day I'm getting whiplash). And looking forward to another year of good stuff here.

Ed Howard said...

Congrats, Jason. I don't think I need to say — though I will anyway — how much I enjoy your writing and thinking about movies, either here or in our conversations. You're a great writer, and I'm looking forward to the McQueen blogathon and anything else you have coming.

Unknown said...

Kudos for reaching your two-year anniversary. Very cool. In this day and age where blogs seem to start and end so quickly, longevity is certainly an accomplishment in and of itself.

I always enjoy reading your blog and look forward to every new post. I esp. enjoy your pieces on the ESPN docs and look forward to the Steve McQueen blogathon. Bring it on!

Kevin J. Olson said...

What everyone else said. You know how much I love your blog and your conversation pieces with Ed; and how grateful I am for your contributions over at my blog in sparking interesting conversations in the comments. Big time congrats, my friend. Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the McQueen blog-a-thon as well.

Daniel said...

On my recent Muriel Awards ballot, The Cooler was an easy choice for me for "Best Web-Based Criticism". Keep it up!

Richard Bellamy said...

The third year! How time flies! I'm heading into my second year but I may not celebrate till the second year is done. Like you, I'm busy. There's so much to do.

I want to thank you for starting your blog. I enjoyed the fun of your blog for a year, and then, inspired by your great writing, I launched my own blog, and it's been lots of fun. As you say, the exchange of ideas is great - and I have found kindred spirits out there and very faithful commenters whom I appreciate greatly.

Thanks for the fun that you modeled for me and continue to stimulate with things like the McQueen blog-a-thon. Just the other day I was watching some scenes from one of my favorite Steve McQueen movies, and when I settled on a particularly striking image, I said out loud, "God, I love movies!"

It's been so much fun sharing that love.

Jason Bellamy said...

Thanks very much, all. I truly appreciate the kind words. For me this blog has never been about generating the biggest audience but about generating a community. All of you help make The Cooler what it is.

Sam Juliano said...

Congratulations to you Jason for your formidable and ever-enriching tenure here at The Cooler and elsewhere. Your comments too at other blogs rank among the best out there. I've noticed at some other blogs - especially those that have enjoyed a long lif span - that time has become scarcer, and it's understandable that at some point there has to be at least a modest pull-back. All things considered - in view of the discerning/painstaking work you've sustained, this is a time for celebration.