Thursday, December 25, 2014
JERKY'S CHRISTMAS LETTER
As most of you reading this are already aware, between February of 1999 and September of 2006, I produced an online satirical "adult" newsletter called The Daily Dirt under the nom de plume Jerky LeBoeuf. What most of you probably are not aware of is that I neither created, nor owned, the Dirt. I was simply a hired hand. I had no control over the (often grotesque) ads that were placed next to my copy, and over the length of my tenure I was subject to varying degrees of editorial interference by The Management.
When things were going well, and ad revenues were good, I was mostly left to my own devices. When profits decreased - due to a number of factors, many completely beyond anyone's control - interference increased. That's why I wasn't totally crushed when the decision was made to shut things down. Writing the Dirt - being Jerky LeBoeuf - hadn't been fun or rewarding for quite a long while by that point.
Thankfully, my employers still had use for my skill-set, and I continued to work for them in various capacities for another five years. I also pursued my love of cinema, taking part in the production of a number of short films with my oldest and best friend, Marc Roussel. We've recently had some success, and we're both currently working on interesting projects, and I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a very good year for both of us. So please keep your fingers crossed!
There was, however, one thing that I did miss about writing the Daily Dirt: interacting with the readers. After all, many of what I used to refer to as the "hard core" had been with me for the better part of a decade. At peak levels, the Dirt had a daily readership of over 200,000, necessitating the employment of an assistant who dealt exclusively with the incoming mail - requests for advice, editorial and joke submissions, hate mail, and even the odd death threat!
In 2012, after being laid off, and after years of emails from former readers asking when I was going to revive the Daily Dirt, I decided to start a sort of refugee club on Facebook called Daily Dirt Diaspora. It's a modest affair, with just over 200 members, but it was a start. It was also in 2012 that I decided to create a new blog of that same name... and here you are, reading it.
I found the process of blogging so enjoyable that I decided to create two more blogs in relatively short order. First came Useless Eater Blog, where I explore aspects of what I refer to as "paraculture" - everything from secret societies and conspiracy theories, to alternative spiritual exercises and advances in "mad" science. Proving that the Art Bell Syndrome is still running rampant, this is far and away the most popular of my blogs. Rounding out the triumvirate is Kubrick U, my blog about the late, great Stanley Kubrick.
I have ideas for another couple websites, including one devoted exclusively to my illustration and fiction, but what I really want to do with 2015 is make it the year in which I focus on producing. By this time next year, I want to be able to look back on what I've done, and be able to say that I gave it my all, that I produced good work, and that I grew as a writer, as an illustrator, and as a human being.
And so, this year-end Christmas letter is just as much a note to myself as it is to you, my dear friends, some of whom have been with me through almost seven years of relative silence. My promise to you is that I will do my best to create work that is worthy of your attention. And my promise to me is that I'm going to set things up in such a manner that I'll be able to make the most of that dwindling, precious, non-renewable resource... time.
Love, enlightenment and fulfillment to you all!
The Artist Formerly Known As Yer Old Pal Jerky
a.k.a Mark Thibodeau