Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Announcement regarding the future of Ed Wood Wednesdays (UPDATED)

Jeffrey Jones as Criswell in Ed Wood (1994).

"We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." It was a line Criswell swiped from a 1953 Rock Hudson-Donna Reed flick called Gun Fury. (Rock's version went: "I'm interested only in the future, 'cause that's where we're going to spend the rest of our lives.") Cris recycled this fortune-cookie-ready adage throughout his career: in Plan 9 from Outer Space, on his 1970 album The Legendary Criswell Predicts Your Incredible Future, and even into latter-day personal appearances in his waning days. On the Plan 9 DVD commentary track, Ted Newsom recalls seeing the old faker at one such event and cringing when Criswell nearly forgot the second half of the famous sentence. (To Ted's relief, Cris eventually remembered his own catchphrase.) Though mocked by the Medved-inspired bad movie crowd, there's a certain forehead-slapping truth to those well-worn words. We really are going to send the rest of our lives in the future. Isn't that exciting? In fact, the dull, ordinary day you just had would probably be extraordinary in a thousand different ways to someone who lived a century ago.

Folks, I'll not beat around the bush. I'm here to discuss the future of this blog in general and of Ed Wood Wednesdays, far and away its most popular feature, in particular. Writing about the films, books, and stories of Edward Davis Wood, Jr. is one of the great passions of my life, but it does not pay the bills. On the contrary, it sucks up money and time that could be (presumably) spent on more profitable endeavors. In 2014, while my rent, insurance, and transportation costs all went up, my income actually slipped a little. To quote Arthur Miller: "That's an earthquake." (He meant it metaphorically, as do I.) In order to fix this problem, I have applied for -- and gotten -- a promotion at work. This new role will require more of my time, attention, and energy. Therefore, I will be doing much less writing in the foreseeable future. There is no joy in my heart as I write these words. I'm just telling you how it is, as straight as I know how to tell it.

I am not shutting down Dead 2 Rights or even Ed Wood Wednesdays. Writing is my first love, even if I don't have a single reader other than myself, and just like the song says: "Without love, you're only living an imitation... an imitation of life." I don't intend to live an imitation of life. Here is what I propose for now: Ed Wood Wednesdays will drop back to a once-a-month schedule. Let's make it the last Wednesday of each month, huh? This month's article would appear on June 24. And in between, I'll try to post as much non-research-heavy content as I can, whenever I can.

Stick with me, will ya? Maybe I can turn this thing around yet.

Your pal,


Addendum to previous article: I wrote that announcement several days ago in a moment of frustration, and I wanted to clarify some points made within it. First off, I don't mean to give the impression that I am in desperate financial straits at all. I'm not. Not even close. In fact, by living extremely frugally and denying myself nearly every luxury, I have managed to save enough money so that I could survive for a year and a half, maybe even two full years, at my current standard of living with no income whatsoever. I pay all my bills on time and have what I'm told is a very decent credit rating. That's the good news. The problem is that, in recent months, my monthly expenses have been slightly outstripping my monthly income, forcing me to dip into my savings just a little. That frightened me. In order to counteract this, I applied to be a salaried, full-time employee at my current place of business, where I have been an hourly employee for the last decade. I won't even be leaving my current department at work, just moving a few cubicles over and doing a slightly-different-but-mostly-the-same job. There is no adventure or challenge to this. It's strictly a financial decision made with an eye toward the future. The upside to this is that, ideally, I can worry a little less about money. The downside is that I will have to curtail some creative pursuits in order to focus more fully on a job to which I have no emotional connection whatsoever. That worries me, too. There's no truly "good" news here, just some half-bad, half-neutral news that I wanted to share with my readers. Thanks. - J.B.