What It Is, My Man, and What It Will Be...

If you are the sort of person who is nice and polite and checks back regularly with websites you enjoy and wonders sometimes why a website for which you retain a particular admiration doesn't update more frequently, then this post is for you.

Of course, I would not dare to presume that my humble website might be counted amongst those sites for which you hold particular admiration, but on the off-chance that it is to be counted within that group, then please let your eyes drift downward.

I have not posted on The Cinema 4 Pylon since July 10, and that post was Part 1 of what was meant to be a multi-part excursion into the world of straight-to-video action thrillers, a genre which I have largely avoided in recent years. The post was triggered by an impromptu and cheap DVD purchase in a Wal-Mart in my then just-completed holiday trip up to my home state of Alaska, and there was never meant to be a two-month gap between the first part and even the merest mention of the second part.

The last thing I posted before that was on the day after I returned from my trip to Alaska on July 7. It too was Part 1 of what was meant to be a multi-part excursion into something completely different, this time into a personal history of Disneyland and how my sense of the place was completely warped by a seemingly innocent children's book in my youth. The Part 2 and the Part 3 to that Part 1 were already written by that point – in fact, were written even before I left for my Alaska trip at the end of June – but I started to rethink the piece after I posted Part 1, and so has now been sitting in limbo until I have time to revisit it again. But it is the same story as with the first Part 1 I mentioned... it was never meant to get to this place.

So, why have I not been posting on here?

Well, a myriad of reasons. I can give those reasons in a list, but such lists turn into excuses, and then it just becomes a case of lying to myself. Basically, what I am saying in the end is that the Pylon became less important to me than everything else in my life. 

That isn't true, of course: the Cinema 4 Pylon is meant to be a representation of my mind, and my mind is all that I have going for me when all is said and done. What has happened is that I split that mind into too many fragments in recent months, and some of those fragments have taken on a life of their own unexpectedly.


Most important to me of late has been the success I have been having in getting The Shark Film Office to finally take off its water wings. The Shark Film Office has been around since 2006, but I just never committed to it back then, and kind of wrote it off altogether, especially when I went through my darkest period a few years ago and almost completely stopped writing. When I turned the engines back on the Pylon last September, however, I then followed suit on my animation blog, the Cinema 4: Cel Bloc. Once the Cel Bloc was up and running again to my satisfaction, I started to think seriously about The Shark Film Office and whether to revive it or not. There was a moment or two where my cursor hovered over the "Delete Blog" button (I, of course, had saved out all of my text elsewhere), but doing so seemed to trigger something in my head. I started thinking more and more about how I would do the site if really, truly committed to the shark site.

Knowing that Syfy had a full week of shark movies coming up at the end of July with six brand new premiere films was the kicker, and just before that was the latest edition of Discovery's Channel's Shark Week, which allowed me to expand to documentary reviews as well. But something happened on Google+ for me that allowed me to rethink my whole plan. I was getting a ridiculous amount of views on my Google+ page, far more than any of my friends on there were getting, and it was all happening since I started up the Pylon again last year. I don't know what triggered it, but now my Google+ posts were showing up high in search results for any subject on which I posted, most often in the Top 10 results. Sure, I would rather that the actual articles would show up in the search results instead – but, hey, a link is a link, and these results were translating into Rik-diculous numbers of views and in turn getting people to visit my websites.


In this mix are a couple of other projects that my writing partner and erstwhile pal, Aaron Lowe, and I have been bashing out over the past few months that have also proven to be a lot of fun and get us a little notice lately: Visiting and Revisiting with Rik and Aaron and We Who Watch Behind the Rows: Stephen King in Print and on Film.

I have written about both of these projects on this website already, and you can find out more on both by visiting the links to them above or going into my bio page. Of course, we have run into some difficulties in not just maintaining both of our own original sites (his is Working Dead Productions) when we spread ourselves out a tad thin with not just extra blogs, but also in maintaining a working life and a family life. In my case, I had been out of work for well over a year, which has allowed me a lot of free writing time and given me an opportunity to revive the blogs and get my shit together in that regard. Additionally, I have a wife who works, but our only charge is a small cat. In Aaron's case, he has a regular job and a wife and daughter, though they expanded recently with the addition of a second newborn daughter. So, now his writing is often done with baby in one hand.

We have really enjoyed the first response to our first few attempts on both sites (the first several articles for each, you might recall, were split between our respective pages before we decided to build new sites for each title), and have big plans moving forward. Aaron and I are always throwing around ideas for a podcast, either audio or video, though I seem to be the one really holding us back in that regard.


Coming up first though, is the annual Countdown to Halloween in October, something in which both Aaron and I have taken part in recent years, and plan to continue this year. Countdown to Halloween is a handy site which allows people who run Halloween-oriented blogs, or blogs related to horror, toys, candy, masks, costumes, etc., to gather in one place and have people who are into any of those topics easily find websites of interest. Taking part in the Countdown gives bloggers access to badges they can display on their site and allows them to expand their audience.

I don't know what Aaron has planned for his own site, but here is what I can tell you about two of mine and We Who Watch as well:

The Cinema 4 Pylon – Semi-regular posts throughout October on various monster toys in my collection, more about monster trading cards, Halloween music posts, and a couple more editions in my relatively new The Monster's on the Loose! series, where I discuss the horror-related films, shows and cartoons that were most instrumental in developing my interest in the genre when I was but a wee lad.

Cinema 4: Cel Bloc – I have articles on several cartoons planned for October, all with spooky themes (naturally), with a concentration on Walt Disney cartoons this time. Scheduled shorts to include Lonesome Ghosts (1937), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949), Sicque! Sicque! Sicque! (1966), Spooks (1930), and Trick or Treat (1952).

We Who Watch Behind the Rows – Aaron and I are spending part of September reading Stephen King's first officially published novel Carrie (1974) and then watching the four film projects derived from it: Brian De Palma's seminal version (1976), the rather belated and unnecessary sequel The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) with Emily Bergl, the unnecessary TV remake (2002) with Angela Bettis (who makes it watchable, of course), and the still unnecessary theatrical remake (2013) with Chloe Grace Moretz. Then we will post about all of them throughout the month of October. Sorry to tip my hand on the films, but I haven't rewatched them yet; those are just my opinions going into this process, having seen all of them before. [There is also a Filipino version of Carrie, though I doubt we will find a copy in time for this series.]

We have not discussed plans for a Halloween film or two on Visiting and Revisiting, but that may be because it is hard to find horror films that neither one of us hasn't seen already. The next film we plan to cover there is Miracle Mile, which we will hopefully get to in the next week or two.


The robustness of our combined plans, of course, are always going to be hampered and/or enhanced by what we do personally. Speaking for myself – and really, I probably shouldn't even be that bold – I have told you all of this without relating to you the good fortune of recent weeks: that I have started to pick up freelancing work. Yes, this means money, which is alway a good thing to have, but it has also meant a reduction in the amount of free time that I have at hand lately. It started out small, as a mere handful of hours that has blossomed into a great many more than I was anticipating, and it has been nice to be able to work completely from home and at my own pace. And now a second project has landed in my lap at the same time, so I am now having to learn how to balance this along with everything else. But I feel productive in a societal and monetary sense again, and this will helpfully keep the wolves at bay for a short period.

In the end, I will be posting here on the Pylon again regularly, I just need my schedule to align with my goals a little more. For now, blog-wise, I remain focused on the shark site online, but there is another contender for my time of which I have yet to speak except to a small handful of individuals. Even with this utterance, I hope that they shall remain mum as to its details in the public venue, especially in response to this posting.

I have committed myself to a personal writing project offline that will hopefully turn into a completed book over the next year's time. Knowing that I am a few months into the project will also give you another idea as to why The Cinema 4 Pylon has suddenly been relegated to second class citizen status within the universe of its own creation. More details will be released in coming months. Or not at all, if the entire thing goes kablooey on me. In which case, forget you ever read this...



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