Memory Lane

Oh, um, alright. This is awkward, huh?

I think, if you count what I did at the long-defunct old home of the daily blackout, there have been at least two hundred individual reviews. Since 150 or so have been lost to the canceled hosting monster, all I have to go on is what you can find here, on thedailyblackout.com

Back in 2013, before I started this site, I felt a tremendous sense of loss when I realized all of the money and time I’d spent on this stupid hobby/pursuit/endeavor/death wish was vaporized, just like that. I never made any backups of those old TDB entries, and the hosting account for the old site wasn’t in my name. So, I felt both helpless and idiotic when everything went to shit (more than usual, I mean).

I felt similarly this week, when I tried logging into this site for the first time in years, and found that something was corrupted, broken or otherwise jacked up. Once again, a project I’d worked semi-hard on for a year and half would cease to exist, and you’re damn right I didn’t have any backups because I’ve never once learned from a mistake and I’m not starting now.

So, why’d I try logging in, after…

Uh…

1,533 days. One thousand, five hundred and thirty three fucking days! Think about the changes that happened around us while I neglected this poor website. Celebrities, a great many of them, died horrible deaths. A smaller but equally disturbing number of celebrities turned out to be rapists, creeps, pederasts, or miserable gelatinous hell-forms. One of these miserable gelatinous hell-forms became our president! And still is! Fuck!

Other stuff happened, too, I’m near certain of that. The point isn’t that the passage of time is strange and spooky, but that this here little website stayed stuck in time in 2013-2014, and having logged back in, I feel a terrible longing for those years. Of course, I didn’t completely forget about TDB. I still paid for hosting and domain renewals and all of that sexy stuff. Anytime I saw an bus stop ad for Russian vodka, or a TV spot for Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a small part of me thought, “shit, that would be perfect for the daily blackout!”

My email signature still has the URL in it!

So, why’d I try logging in?

I figured, if nothing else, I owed it to myself to log in and back these puppies up, one way or another, so I could read them to my grandchildren while they play Fortnite 3. I wasn’t turned away when I saw a bunch of PHP salad where I would normally put my username and password in. As you can see, I figured it out! Good for me!

And, as it turns out, some of those earlier TDB entries are still accessible, via the entirely-too-cool-to-not-be-pure-magic Internet Archive Wayback Machine nostalgia thingy. The images are gone, the links are broken, but I can prove they exist. They are, uh, not great, but they exist:

I’ve never professed to be any kind of a great writer, but shit, I read four or five of those old entries and I was horrified. You ever see a photo of yourself you didn’t know existed? Maybe one where you’re in the background of a party eating a slice of Kraft American, and even though there’s no way to make that pose flattering, somehow you’ve made it extra unflattering? It was like that.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me. So I read every single one of the entries I could (many aren’t archived). And, yeah, a lot of them suck. But some are just fine! One or two are even good! I do wish they’d preserved the comments, somehow, because I’d often get angry messages from diehard Night Train fans. And while they couldn’t spell very well and often used the “F word” (not fuck) in their comments, in many ways, they were my most loyal readers. I almost miss them.

Which brings me to another point. Why should I start doing this again? Whatever readership I had before the 1,533 day nap has surely moved on. I never had much of a following, but if you trust Google Analytics, there were real live people reading this shit heap every day. Some of them were probably related to me. But not all of them!

At any rate, even at the heights of my insufferable college kid writer delusion, I was never doing this for money or recognition. I think I was always just writing it for myself, as a kind of corn-syrup and red #5 based liquid therapy.

Or, and this is not a stretch, maybe I kind of liked the noxious bullshit I was reviewing.

All of this rambling is to say: I’m going to give this another shot. There’s absolutely no chance in hell I’ll be able to maintain the “daily” part, so we’re going to have to transition to a “weekly blackout.” If I can’t commit to one lousy review a week, then I’m even worse than the guy who disappeared for one thousand five hundred and thirty three consecutive days.

Weekly. That is fine.

And, instead of just talking about the alcohol, which I never could do anyway, I’ll bring something more entertaining to the table. We’re talking hundreds (thousands?) of words on illustrious topics like Will Smith movies, Tommy Lee Jones movies, movies that star both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, etc. You get the point. I’d also like to introduce a weekly section for my true area of expertise: bizarre YouTube channels. Who knows where any of this will go.

The point is: I’m fucking back.