On Purpose - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
24Jan/121

On Purpose

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

When I was a boy, I used to spend hours pouring over "Calvin and Hobbes"-- picking up any collection, treasury, or newspaper I could find in an effort to memorize every strip down to the tiniest detail. Whatever curiosity I possessed about art, philosophy and the world, my ten-year-old mind was matched with a loquacious mastery.

And "Calvin and Hobbes", though a comic strip kids could enjoy, never talked down to them. It used big, annoying words like, say, "loquacious," and for those of us whose parents kept the dictionary out of reach, contextual clues were are only hope.

But that brings me to the word of the day, and the one whose true meaning eluded me for several years: "purpose". As I child, I thought that this word meant one thing, and one thing only: I thought it was the object that ringmasters stood on at the circus.

No, I have no idea how I drew this correlation. I can only imagine I heard the phrase 'on purpose' and pictured something goofy looking that people stood on.

Yes, that little thing.

Most of my life, I've struggled for a sense of purpose. I've wanted to write as far back as I can remember, but I've never had the talent or patience to accomplish anything that could be considered, well, accomplished.

However, for the past two years I've been trucking away on this website, writing two to three articles a week, designing every icon and page that you currently see before you. Can't Stop the Movies has evolved and changed in that time, but has remained  a passion project for Andrew and me. Over those years we've also taken on two co-writers for the site, Jacob and Ryan. While the four of us all of have our different styles-- Andrew's psycho-sexual analysis, Ryan's unyielding enthusiasm, and Jacob's rambling critiques-- we all have our own reasons for writing for this site.

And I enjoy doing it. My feelings toward life and existence is that creating something, no matter how insignificant, no matter how low on the summit of creativity, is something. Our lives should be measured by what we contribute to the world, good or bad, and that's what I've been doing for almost two years: contributing.

But working on something without planning ahead or creating goals always seemed like a waste to me. And if I figure if I share my goals, maybe I can contribute to breaking up the monotony I sometimes feel the site can get into: too many reviews, not enough of the people behind them.

Here's a completely random picture of me to prove both my sincerity as to what I'm about to say and the fact that I know half the people surfing to this page are just going to look at the pretty pictures. And, dammit, I'm pretty.

Here are my goals for this site. Mind you, they may run counter to Andrew's goals (since I by no means consulted him before this article since most of our interactions involve a considerable and hindering amount of butt grabbing), but here's what I'm going to lay out here for you to scrutinize.

1) I want this site to be easy to use and always interesting. I've been working on this ever since Can't Stop the Movies began-- every site is constant evolution, either behind the scenes or in front-- but my goal is to make everything we do as easy to find as possible. The inherent transitory nature of film reviews-- there are new ones up every single day, after all-- makes this a difficult, but, I believe rewarding task.

2) I want to become something akin to an expert on Pre-Code. Anyone who's noticed my project on films of the early 1930's can hopefully tell that I'm taking it seriously. I'd like to do more once I have some more time on my hands. I want all of my reviews to be in-depth, analytical, and, most of all, entertaining to read. Of course, I'm still writing reviews for movies from the early 1930's, so I'm not expecting to light the world on fire, but I'm doing it because I love it, dammit, and if I can convey that, then I've succeeded.

3) I want to become a semi-professional critic. Difficult for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I only update three days a week, and even more difficult because this site does not accept advertising (I have a weird thing about objectivity, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about that). I also can't stand film festivals, hate writing movie news, detest interviews, and, as you can tell by my inability to write the usual movie blog top ten lists, am just not very good at feature writing. So I have a hell of a path ahead of me there, let me tell you what.

4) I want to build a community-- extended, but a community. Besides the four main writers and our many friends who generously peruse this site (both from real life and other bloggers I've become acquainted with), I want to create a place for vigorous civil, discussion. Yes, on the internet. Yes, between people with different opinions. Look, I never said these were realistic goals.

And, lastly, 5) I want to always enjoy doing this. I'll hopefully be getting back to my Almodovar series soon, and, after that I will be tackling the most daunting of all filmographies-- the ten movies starring Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell.

Because, oddly, enjoyment for me runs pretty close to pain.

Okay, I feel a little better for laying these out. Thanks for anyone who's stuck around for the almost two years we've put into this site, and hopefully you'll stick around as we continue to try some new stuff. I don't know when this blog will end, when, like all things, it must, but I hope it will be with a bang rather than a whimper, and that something one of us created here will make the world just a slightly better place.

If you think that's completely insane, I don't blame you.

-- Danny

Posted by Danny

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  1. There were 10 Ernest movies? I know of three, maybe could figure out five but ten just blows my mind! Also, nice article.


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