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Holy Shit, We're Five Years Old!

Posted: November 22, 2006

By Kevin Forest Moreau, Editor-in-Chief

What a difference five years makes.

Way back in the sepia-tinted days of November 2001, I was a moderately well-paid 30-something cog in a giant Internet conglomerate, newly single and just arrived in an imposing new city; needless to say it was a challenging time, to put it mildly. As I write this, I'm a low-paid 30-something editor for a weekly paper in Atlanta, married to an absolutely wonderful woman, happier and more fulfilled than I've ever been.

I bring all this up only as a way of illustrating how much things can change in a few short years, and also because I feel like, in some ways, Shaking Through's journey mirrors my own: The site -- a collaboration between me and my childhood friend Laurence Station -- started soon after I arrived here in the ATL, and as my personal and career trajectories have gradually arced skyward, so has Shaking Through matured and progressed into the healthy treasure chest of views, reviews and oddities we know today. In our first shaky year of existence, we averaged a paltry 68 unique visits per day, and a not-too-bad 2,100 unique visits per month. These days, those totals are more than 25 times what they were in 2001: We receive as many visitors in a day as we used to get in a month.

As I've said before, not too shabby for what is essentially a two-man operation that remains a part-time labor of love, fighting it out with demanding jobs, family obligations, other creative pursuits and just general life for scraps of our attention. It's not Pitchfork, but then again it's not meant to be: We haven't attempted to make Shaking Through a revenue-generating endeavor, partly because we just don't have the time (we're both firmly entrenched in jobs we're not inclined to give up) and partly because we're very mindful not to make ST an insatiable machine that requires constant daily input. If the site becomes something we do because we have to, because our livelihoods are intertwined with it -- and not something we do for fun, and when we actually have something we want to say, or review something we want to write about -- well, we're afraid it will lose whatever it is that makes it special for those of you who enjoy it. And if that happens, then what's the point?

Whatever that special something is, I'm pretty sure that long self-congratulatory editorials aren't a part of it. So since this is a birthday party, of sorts, I thought I'd rattle off a couple of birthday wishes for the coming year and beyond. And because I'm writing this the day before leaving town for the Thanksgiving holiday, I figured we'd also take the opportunity to give thanks for a couple of things as well. Here goes...

First, a couple of birthday wishes:

I hope that Saturday Night Live continues its recent upward surge. Last week's outing with Ludacris wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as Alec Baldwin's tour de force the previous week, but it was still pretty consistent.

I also hope everyone goes out and sees Shut Up and Sing, Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's engrossing and occasionally terrifying documentary about the Dixie Chicks, the fallout from their infamous 2003 incident and their recent road toward a comeback. Not because I'm a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks, but because we need to be reminded of how ugly, narrow-minded and just plain frightening ideologically straitjacketed people can be.

And now a few things I'm thankful for:

Courtney Love's imminent comeback. Go ahead, laugh if you must. I've always had a huge crush on this mercurial artist/songwriter/tabloid fixture -- even when the zeitgeist turned against her and things weren't really going her way for a few years there. I get a lot of crap about this, but I don't care. When she's clean and focused, she's a skilled actress, an incisive songwriter and an engaging performer. Sure, she's been a little too celebrity-obsessed, but I'm hoping that's all behind her. I'm not sure if I'll end up buying her new diary/scrapbook thingie, but if her new Linda Perry-produced album has half as many worthwhile moments as Celebrity Skin and Live Through This, then all is forgiven for America's Sweetheart. (Besides which, I think she's still attractive. So sue me.)

O.J.'s swift kick in the pants. Like anyone else with half a brain, I'm glad that the ill-conceived If I Did It book and TV special have been scrapped. Even if he somehow wasn't responsible for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and his trial was a victory for justice instead of a nail in its coffin, you'd think he'd clam the fuck up and stay out of the spotlight. C'mon, If I Did It? Have you ever heard a more passive-aggressive pseudo-confessional cry for help? Please. The whole enterprise was boneheaded from the start, but I hope publisher Judith Regan doesn't catch too much heat for it. So far I believe her reasons for wanting to publish the book. And I never noticed it until now, but she's also kind of hot.

Alec Baldwin. I have to concur with the folks on Entertainment Weekly's website last week who proclaimed he should win the magazine's Entertainer of the Year honors. Between the Nov. 11 episode of Saturday Night Live -- the funniest that show's been in years -- 30 Rock and his deft turns in Running with Scissors and The Departed, he's doing some of the best work of his career.

Casino Royale. The movie kicks ass. Seriously.

Our readers. Corny as it sounds, we're grateful to you for visiting Shaking Through and for apparently finding it useful, thought-provoking and, hopefully, funny. We couldn't do it without you. Well, technically, we could, but there wouldn't be much point to it, would there? Happy Thanksgiving, and see you soon.

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Archived Editorials
December 03, 2006: Happy Feet
November 22, 2006: Half Decade Anniversary
October 07, 2006: Jessica Simpson
September 30, 2006: New Orleans and SNL
June 2, 2006: Dixie Chicks
May 7, 2006: Are Yahu Serious?
February 16, 2006: Bill O'Reilly & Brokeback Mountain
February 12, 2006: Totally '80s (Grammys)
January 31, 2006: Freyed Oprah
November 27, 2005: To Be Continued... (Bringing back movie serials)
November 21, 2005: Fourth Birthday
November 05, 2005: TV Remakes
August 13, 2005: Ten Commandments of Rock
July 05, 2005: Live 8
May 05, 2005: Term Limits (for Rock Stars)
April 29, 2005: Pearl Jam Redux
January 26, 2005: Oscar Grouching
October 31, 2004: Three More Years!
September 27, 2004: Cleaning Out My Closet
August 25, 2004: Shaking Through Mailbag
June 23, 2004: Summer Reading List
June 11, 2004: World Without Heroes (Bill Murray and Garfield)
April 23, 2004: Sold Out (Bob Dylan, Victoria's Secret, & Iraq)
April 08, 2004: The Day the Music Died (Kurt Cobain)
Mar. 17, 2004: Copping Out
Feb. 27, 2004: The Passion of Howard Stern
Jan. 30, 2004: Sex and the City
Nov. 17, 2003: California Über Alles
Nov. 7, 2003: Not-So-Terrible Twos
Sept. 19, 2003: Magic & Loss (Johnny Cash and Warren Zevon)
Aug. 17, 2003: Those '70s Shows
May 27, 2003: Patriot Games (Darryl Worley)
May 24, 2003: American Idol
Mar. 23, 2003: Non-cents-ical (Dixie Chicks-50 Cent)
Feb. 8, 2003: Where's the Love? (Pearl Jam)
Jan. 1, 2003: High Resolutions
Dec. 16, 2002: All I Want for Christmas
Nov. 27, 2002: Things to be Thankful For
Nov. 8, 2002: Near Wild Heaven (Nirvana)
Oct. 21, 2002: Happy Birthday to Us
Sept. 11, 2002: The Little Things
Aug. 20, 2002: King for a Day
July 9, 2002: Bill of Rights
Apr. 18, 2002: Celebrity Skim
Apr. 15, 2002: We Will Never Lie To You
Jan. 6, 2002: Something to Believe In
Nov. 3, 2001: Who We Are