Sunday, March 18, 2012

MuppetFreak Debut...the Second Time...

In March 2009, the original Muppet Freak Blog made its debut.

The concept was to fill a void that existed at the time in the world of online Muppet fandom; a site devoted to indepth commentary, reviews, ramblings, essays, and analysis of The Muppets/Jim Henson from the perspective of d.w. mckim, a lifelong Henson fan/scholar.

Prior to Muppet Freak, i had contributed in various ways to several other Muppet fandom venues - some of which no longer exist, others still living on to this day and even some new ventures that had popped up since.

The main focus was to be centered around the theme of Fandom.  Even if the articles sometimes covered other areas outside Muppet/Henson Fandom (i originally figured 10-20% of the content would be non-Muppet related.)  It was also important to come from a place of fearless truth...not afraid to counter praise when earned with harsh criticism when warranted...even if that meant never being officially recognized, endorsed by or affiliated with any of the production companies that own the various Henson-evolved properties.

I had lots of great ideas and stuff i wanted to touch on including several ideas for regular features.  During the original Muppet Freak's run, i scratched the surface of what i wanted to accomplish but life got in the way...and got in the way...and kept getting in the way.  My life for the last decade has been anything but smooth sailing (at times, i've even theorized i was actually already dead and in hell) but things really got pretty ugly for me personally since the time the original blog started and due to various other obstacles taking my attention's priorities, MF went on a hiatus or two during its original run...and then what was most likely going to be a permanent break...

In 2011, i accepted that my time on the earth was coming to a close.  I had gotten to a point where i had no joy, hope, dreams that could realistically come true, or reasons to live left...with the sole exception of my areas of fandom providing anything close to a "reason" to hang on one more day or provide a form of escapism to make life bearable or bring a smile to my face.  This actually was a state i found myself in prior to 2011, but given that it was the year that was to end with my 40th birthday and everything in my life was just continuing to get worse with no signs of hope, i accepted that the time had finally come to just End.  I faced a similar decision a decade prior, not planning on allowing myself to live to turn 30...but then the first (and to date only) official Muppet fan convention just so happened to occur on my 30th birthday.  (As you'll come to read, i cover these issues in more detail in some of the upcoming archived articles.)

Being that it's now 2012, needless to say my departure didn't occur this time yet either.  As my self-imposed deadline approached, i found there were some areas of my fandoms coming up past that time that i wanted to hang around for...including one of my all time fave long-running tv shows ending in January - and a good chance that its network television ending wasn't going to be the last chapter in its history.  Since i had contributed a lot of energy into the fight to revive it, i at the very least wanted to hold on a little longer to see (a) how it ended and (b) what form its likely revival would take.

The area of fandom described above was one of my non-Muppet/Henson ones, but as Muppet fans know, late 2011 was a landmark time for The Muppets with its huge new movie hitting theaters in Thanksgiving.  Not only were the Muppets back in a major way, but the theme of the movie itself was...MUPPET FANDOM...and it seemed like a blog like this one would be a lot more relevant if i chose to revive it.  I wrestled with the decision if i wanted to try again - i had no shortage of ideas i wanted to explore - but i had to decide if i wanted to bring it back when chances are very good that my time left on the planet to write for it would still ultimately be very short.

...And there was also something else in the way.  Even though i made the conscious choice to hold on and keep going after turning 40, there was a major unplanned side effect that's consumed my being since...i sunk into the Mother of All Major Depressions on my 40th birthday that pretty much left me numb and confined to bed when not doing tasks that couldn't be avoided like going to work and such.  It was like my body, mind, and soul had gotten so accustomed to the idea that i wouldn't be here, that i just kind of "shut down" and "turned off" so to speak.  Any moment i could spend in bed, i did.  This went on for a week - then two - then here i am over three months later in still very much the same condition.  I don't know how long it will take to recover...or if i even will.  For the last few months, i've just felt like i've been unplugged or turned off or broken.

I knew that if i did recover and start getting back to "normal", reviving Muppet Freak should be a priority since as mentioned, the time for it seems more right than ever thematically and more than ever my areas of fandom are the ONLY things that bring me any kind of joy or escape and reason to hold on.  But i didn't know if given my current state if i'd have the energy or will - or remaining time - to devote to it.

Turns out the decision was made for me -

The original blogging host that the first version of Muppet Freak was on folded at the end of January.  Muppet Freak (and countless other blogs using that host) disappeared.  Even though i was already wrestling with the decision to revive Muppet Freak - and most likely move it to a new blog host...even going so far as to experiment with setting up the initial template...i had no indication the original Muppet Freak blog would actually disappear on its own - and i always intended for the archives to stay up even if i was no longer here.  So now i found i HAD to at least set up a new Muppet Freak - even if just for the purpose of finding a new place to host the archives (thank Frog for Google caches which allowed me to retrieve the material!)

So right now as i type this new introduction, i don't yet know if this Muppet Freak v.2 will just be the archived articles on a new host or if i'll proceed with new content or not...i do know there's a few new articles i DEFINITELY want to write and probably won't even want to wait until i've finished reposting all the old stuff...but whether this ends up being basically a "second edition reprint" only or it turns into a whole new major endeavor with regular new content with lots of followers months down the road...this is at least where its starting from.  Right now i can't tell you what exactly the future holds as i type these words, but of course down the line - whatever this may or may not have evolved into, you'll always be able to look back at this inaugural post and see how it began.

Stay tuned for the reposting of all the original Muppet Freak's articles which i should be steadily putting up over the next days/weeks - and keep an eye out for some possible new content snuck in between them...

And if you have any thoughts as to what you'd like to see or suggestions about content or even just construction/design, feel free to email me at - i'm very computer illiterate (mainly due to having been online for so long without technically HAVING a computer) so even just little tips and hints as how to add some bells/whistles/extra features are welcome.

d.w. mckim

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