Yeah, but what about TGTV?
(Ah, yes. I really do have a soft spot for Graham Parker, since back in my rock critic days. And he's currently in the 6-CD mix in the car right now. And I just love that line.)
But anyway, as "The Wire" winds down, I thought it might be time to address the future of this blog, since some people have asked me what's next, others are still confused by The Bastard Machine/TGTV duality, still others have claimed (rightly, it turns out) that this site is primarily geared toward "The Wire" and there's the issue of people having trouble/suffering through the annoyance of leaving comments.
Let's go in reverse order:
1. Is leaving comments really a pain? Any other woes?
2. Honestly, it wasn't meant to be a "Wire" only blog. My intentions were many and complicated and probably not too well defined, but it was never about one show. I think it's important to have my "own" blog, since I don't actually "own" The Bastard Machine, despite what all the content lawyers on my block told me I should do to protect my work. My free work. My mistake. So, anyway, I tried to rectify that. Everybody close to me said to do it. Besides, there was a lot of what Variety calls "non-pro" work popping up on SFGate that revolved around television - of course nobody asked me about it - and so why not have my own side project. (Now? I've seen the future of those blogs. And they suck.)
Strangely enough - follow the logic here - I also started a second blog to blog less. Pause. It's true. Over at The Chronicle there's this unspoken pressure to get a lot of hits and blog frequently and blah blah blog. We get e-mail reminders of what blogs are doing well. You can get caught up in that. I mean, it's EASY to blog. Plus, you just press the "publish" button and...well, you know. Instant gratification. Of course, the more you blog, the more hits you get. Feeding the machine, as I say. But then you go on vacation for a couple of weeks and the whole audience implodes and you have to build it up again. Pretty soon you realize what I already knew before I started The Bastard Machine - you're working a second job. For free. This is an industry-wide concern among writers, as it should be. I wrestled with it (as most of you know from me thinking out loud in public before I started TGTV.) There were no good answers then. I still have no good answer now. Because I like to blog. If something is breaking, I'm inclined to write about it. If issues pop up between my three-times-a-week column in the paper - as issues tend to do - I want to post. But for a long time I've been battling annoying "repetitive stress injuries" - RSI - and sometimes no amount of Aadvil can fix that. So I paid for acupuncture (I miss you, Master Ken Luke. Move back!) And massage therapy. And really good wine. Out of my own pocket. That's called blogging at a deficit.
Sometimes, as Billy Bragg sang, "the only way to disarm is to disarm." So I figured if I got off the treadmill, so to speak, over at The Chronicle and contributed but didn't exactly get caught up in the horse race part of it, I'd be fine. Strange logic, but it worked. I'm not caught up in the numbers over there. I do periodic posts. I keep the lights on at The Bastard Machine. I podcast. And I do TGTV when I feel like it. All told - less blogging. Still haven't started the book yet, though.
3. I started this blog before "The Wire," but I also knew that the best show on television would migrate smart, funny, insightful readers over to TGTV. And I was right. Thousands of Bastard Machine readers - and others - from all around the country (and the world, for that matter - more than 40 countries with people from there being regular visitors, not just one-timers) check in. That certainly validated my decision. But again - the bulk of "The Wire" posts are just a timing thing.
4. I can't imagine this duality thing would mess people up, but if it does, let me know. Which do you prefer? What would you like to see more of on this blog - because I'm changing its direction after the season finale of "The Wire." And the name, too. See below.
5. I thought of a bunch of great titles. Really creative shit. Or so I thought. Then I changed my mind. Then I lost interest. I mean, if I really want to do cool names, I can do that in my Fantasy Baseball League(s). So I'm just going to call this site Tim Goodman. I know. But still.
It's not going to be just about television. And I'm too anal retentive to leave the "TV" part in "TGTV." I like order. And meaning. Anyway, I'll be blogging about a lot of things, from TV to music to film and books even (somewhere, Oscar Villalon just fell down and hurt himself) and who knows what else. But there will be a primarily critical bent to it. I've been lucky enough to be paid for that for years now, both as a rock music and television critic. So, do what you know...Can't say how often the posts will pop up, though.
6. I'll probably start blogging more regularly on The Bastard Machine (especially if people prefer that). I know, life is strange. (Acupuncturist references welcome.)
7. On the plus side, I got the book outline done. And the RSI has calmed down a lot.
8. "I forget what 8 was for."
9. I like these music sites, and hope you do, too: imeem, Pandora, The Hype Machine. I've got the itch to write about music more often.
10. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came over and supported TGTV.