Pretty much by now I am guessing you are truly sick and tired of naval gazing into the rearview everywhere you look since everyone appears to have abandoned free will all together and instead moved on to behaving like they are criminally insanely bound to the birth of baby boy Jesus and have gone all in on the Big Man in the Clouds with a Beards' Anno Domini calendar. Oh well if this is not for you, it’s not for you and I understand, but we're doing it anyway. And I don't mean that in a bad way, it’s simply because when considering ourselves, we do that kind of thing better than anyone else does. We are just better at self indulgence. Way better.
It's no wonder the texture of this is that of a vainglorious smugly satisfied although somewhat low functioning person, let off the leash by their handlers. After all, while the world went to complete and total shit, when it took until 2021 for people to realise their government had been routinely taking the piss out of them and their families and communities for over a decade with what is the apotheosis of Edward S. Herman Beyond Hypocrisy doublespeak:
What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit.
While all that was happening, at OL we actually just got on with doing quite nicely and had our very best year ever. If ever is a decade, say.
Outsideleft is 17 and this is how it happened this year. Millions of people have come by and read our stories. But I don’t want to get into the numbers too much here. Never mind the quality, feel the width has never been our credo. By December we were clocking up ten times as many page views per month when compared to January. But that is all about the numbers. What is really important to me are the words that tumbled onto our pages. So many words. There have been some massive highs… SXSW where Lake reviewed so many films and unpicked genre types. Alex V. Cook popping back with some great reviews. We started a new Week in Music column. National Poetry Day was a monster, 24 brilliant poems in 24 hours. Featuring superstars like Hollie McNish and Emma Purshouse and fantastic new talent like Rebecca Stanhope who came with one of the best poems all day. I loved it all, although I fell asleep before the end and at first Alarcon in California and then Jay took over to finish it out.
The Great OL Year for books from our writers, Tim London - the thriller Smith, John Robinson - Famous for 15 People (The Momus Book) and Ancient Champion - Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere all published in 2021.
Alex V Cook’s The Rakers released a lovely single precursor to an impending LP. Ancient Champion released Music Inspired by the Museumgoer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
And with the Outsideleft Awards, perhaps Jay Lewis delivered one of the our most exciting moments of the year, an interview with Stephen Duffy who, as I look, is right there in the glossary of the Living Legends Pop Manual - so grateful to SD for talking about The Hawks LP.
Deficits, the only ones we care about. Okay, so not so okay - no live shows - what to do? And our record label and book publishing entity is still more of an idea than a real thing. They are ideas at least. We still need more writers, way more, and a far more diverse array of writers. We have like one teenager only, the incredible Erin, who contributes regularly, pieces about music, OL is her sandpit. So, for 2022, as always we’re going to be looking for more writers, under rocks, wherever you are. You can do it. Come on over let's get together and make it a great one.
Main Image Edward S. Herman