It was twelve years ago today, on June 4 2004, that I started A Shroud of Thoughts. At the time I had no idea that I would still be writing on the blog twelve years later. It has lasted longer than any job I have had, as well as any romantic entanglements. In many respects, I suppose A Shroud of Thoughts has become my life's work. Short of Google shutting down Blogger, it could be a legacy I leave behind long after I am gone.
For those of you wondering about the title A Shroud of Thoughts (admittedly an odd name for a blog devoted to pop culture and nostalgia), in the early to mid Naughts the fashion in blog titles was towards ones with the word "thoughts"or, at least, a synonym of the word "thoughts", in them. I then borrowed a phrase from Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage canto iii stanza 113:
I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bow'd
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles, nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo; in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such; I stood
Among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.
I must confess that after a time I thought of changing the name of the blog, but by the time I seriously considered doing so the blog already had a small readership. I thought it might confuse people if A Shroud of Thoughts became something else. Even today I have thought of changing its name, but I fear it would throw my readers off! It seems it will then remain A Shroud of Thoughts forever.
A Shroud of Thoughts has changed some over the past twelve years. It has always been devoted to pop culture, but in the early days I also wrote things of a more personal nature. I finally decided people probably weren't interested in my rather dull life, so the more personal posts fell by the wayside. One big change on the blog is that I find myself writing many, many more eulogies for actors, musicians, and other pop culture figures who have died than I once did. Indeed, from January to April of this year I swear the majority of my posts were eulogies. I must confess I hate writing eulogies (let's face it, for me to do so someone has to have died), but I feel an obligation to do so as a means of honouring those who have an impact on my life with regards to popular culture. There was a time when I also reviewed more recent movies and TV shows. I never made a conscious decision to stop doing so, but being more interested in popular culture from the past the reviews of more recent films and TV show simply fell by the wayside.
Here I must point out that A Shroud of Thoughts is not the only blog that has been around for a long time, as there are many others dating to the early to mid-Naughts. Immortal Ephemera is even older than this blog, dating to 2002. Inner Toob is about a month and a half older, launching in April 2004. Both The Stop Button and Laura's Miscellaneous Musings date to 2005.The Rap Sheet just celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. While blogs older than a decade are rare, they aren't exactly as rare as one might think! By the way, I strongly recommend that you visit all of these fine blogs (they've lasted so long for a reason).
It is a tradition here at A Shroud of Thoughts for me to post what I feel are the best posts from the past year. With that in mind, here are the best posts from June 2015 to June 2016: