Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The 16th Anniversary of A Shroud of Thoughts

If A Shroud of Thoughts was a human being, it would now be old enough to drive. It was sixteen years ago that I launched this blog. At the time I did not realize I would be writing this blog so long. In fact, I have been writing A Shroud of Thoughts longer than any job I have held outside of writing. In some ways this blog has become my life's work.

For those of you who may have forgotten or are simply too young to remember, between 2002 and 2005 blogging was something of a fad at the time. Blogs had actually been around for a while. Jorn Barger coined the term weblog in December 1997 and Peter Merholz shortened weblog to blog in the spring of 1999. It was in the years between 2002 and 2005 that the media really began to take notice of blogging. Eventually it seemed as if everyone and their brother had a blog.

Among the people who had a blog at the time was a lady friend of mine. It looked like fun so I decided to start my own blog. At the time the fashion in blog titles was to have some variation of the word thought in them. I took the phrase A Shroud of Thoughts from a line in Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage canto iii stanza 113 (I won't quote here, as over the years I think I have quoted it enough). If I had it all over to do again I would have settled on a name more fitting for a blog dedicated to pop culture and nostalgia. Had I known of the word retrophilia at the time (which Collins Dictionary defines as "a strong liking for things from the past"), I probably would have named it that. While I would eventually consider changing the blog's name, by that time A Shroud of Thoughts had something of a readership and I worried it would confuse people if I changed the name.

Of course, here I must point out that A Shroud of Thoughts is not the only blog that has been around for years.  Immortal Ephemera is older than this blog, going back to 2002. Inner Toob is about a month and a half older, starting in April 2004. Both The Stop Button and Laura's Miscellaneous Musings date to 2005. The Rap Sheet dates to 2006. My friend Raquel started Out of the Past in 2007.  Blogs older than a decade are hardly common, but they are not as uncommon as some people might think!  By the way, I strongly recommend that you visit all of these fine blogs (they've lasted so long for a reason).

A good deal has happened in my life the past year. It was in July that I travelled to Los Angeles to scatter the ashes of my dearest Vanessa Marquez with her mother Delia and a few friends. While there I also attended a screening of Stand and Deliver (1988).  In September, Turner Classic Movies held their TCM in Your Hometown event in St. Louis, with a special showing of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) at the Tivoli Theatre there. I got to attend a Meet and Greet at the Moonrise Hotel where I met Margaret O'Brien herself and Ben Mankiewicz in person. I also got to meet Diana Bosch of TCM and Yacov Freedman of TCM Backlot. Of course, I also finally got to meet some of my fellow TCM fans in person, including Annette of Hometowns to Hollywood and Jeff, who is another TCMParty member. In December I was featured in TCM Backlot's Member Spotlight. Sadly, not all of my memories of the past year are happy. In March (curiously, the day before the Los Angeles District Attorney election) the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office released their report on Vanessa's death. To say that I was angered and upset by the report would be an understatement. There are many things about the report that do not make sense to me and for me it creates more questions than it offers answers. It certainly contradicts some of what I know to be true. As a freelance writer and an introvert, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had little impact on me other than being unable to get Dr Pepper for a month. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's TCM Classic Film Festival was cancelled, but Turner Classic Movies scheduled a TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition from April 16 to April 19 2020. I enjoyed that immensely, particularly as I got to host the TCMParty for A Hard Day's Night (1964). I figure it will be as close as I will get to hosting the screening of a film at the TCM Classic Film Festival!

Anyway, each year I pick my favourite posts from the past year. Here are my favourites for this year.

"The 75th Anniversary of D-Day," June 6 2019
"The 50th Anniversary of Judy Garland's Death," June 22 2019
"The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)," July 1 2019
"The Radio Show Revival of the Seventies," July 19 2019
"Genevieve (1953)," August 3 2019
"The 50th Anniversary of Sharon Tate's Death," August 9 2019
"The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)," August 15 2019
"The Phantom of the Opera (1925)," August 24 2019
"One Year Later," August 30 2019
"The Count of Monte Cristo," September 7 2019
"The 60th Anniversary of Bonanza," September 12 2019
"ER Turns 25," September 19 2019
"Border Incident (1949)," September 22 2019
"The 60th Anniversary of Dobie Gillis,"  September 29 2019
"The 60th Anniversary of The Untouchables," October 15 2019
"Horror Hosts," October 26 2019
"The Crow (1994), Putting the Wrong Things Right," October 28 2019
"Aniki Bóbó (1942)," November 12 2019
"The 60th Anniversary of Rocky and Bullwinkle," November 19 2019
"The 70th Anniversary of Holiday Affair (1949)," December 17 2019
"The 51st Birthday of My Beloved Vanessa Marquez," December 21 2019
"A Charlie Brown Christmas," December 23 2019
"Marvel Comics Westerns Part One: The Beginning," January 8 2020
"Marvel Comics Westerns Part Two: The Fifties," January 9 2020
"Marvel Comics Westerns Part Three: Riding Off into the Sunset," January 10 2020
"The 70th Anniversary of What's My Line?," February 2 2020
"Maverick: 'Shady Deal at Sunny Acres," February 3 2010
"A Brief History of the Fantastic Comedies of the Sixties Part One," February 21 2020
"A Brief History of the Fantastic Comedies of the Sixties Part Two," February 22 2020
"A Brief History of Fantastic Comedies of the Sixties Part Three," February 23 2020
"In Defence of Vanessa Marquez," March 6 2020
"The 30th Anniversary of Twin Peaks," April 8 2020
"The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)," April 16 2020
"The Ziegfeld Follies (1946)," May 15 2020
"The 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back," May 21 2020


Realweegiemidget Reviews said...

Hey there, just a huge congrats from me for reaching this milestone - you really are inspiring. When I get to 16 years - in eleven years - I can see you inspiring me then too! Thanks for these lovely posts and I'm sure Vanessa would be rooting for you too with your touching posts about her.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your lovely list. So many I'd missed/forgotten. My first movie, which I'd been told not to see, was The L Shaped Room. Thank you!

Caftan Woman said...

Step back and give yourself credit for the amount and quality of writing you have given us all these years through A Shroud of Thoughts. It is staggering and deserving of pride.