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Things to be Thankful For

Posted: November 27, 2002

By Kevin Forest Moreau, Pilgrim Elder

As I write this long-overdue epistle to you, faithful reader, the dreaded Holiday Season is but a couple of days away, and I can already feel its steely tendrils coiling around my sense of calm and well-being. The holidays, despite their relentless emphasis on cheerfulness and goodwill toward men, are a difficult time for many, and sometimes, even if you're not suffering from any of the prime catalysts for holiday depression -- loneliness, singlehood, a psychotic reaction to "Jingle Bell Rock" -- the sheer weight of the season can weigh down on you.

It's during times like these, when Christmas decorations are already springing up across the well-manicured lawns of suburbia and the Butterball turkey black market flourishes like knee-jerk jingoism at a Toby Keith concert, that I like to engage in the time-honored cliché of reminding myself of the many things I have to be thankful for. Let's see, I have my health, my dog, my job, good friends, the company of lovely and stimulating women, a cool new apartment, and my very own search result on Amazon.com (the second edition of New Orleans for Dummies, written by yours truly, is now available -- makes a perfect holiday gift! -- here endeth the shameless plug).

And, of course, there's Shaking Through. Having just survived its first birthday, the site continues to break records for unique user visits, and it's slowly but surely nurturing a small core base of loyal readers, who subscribe to our monthly email newsletter (and why haven't you done that, already? What do you need, a Papal blessing?) and post on our sadly under-utilized forum -- a quick thank you to Jeremy Reed, with whose opinion regarding Audioslave I must respectfully disagree (although I appreciate the Matthew Ryan quote). It's corny, it's precious, and it's as obvious as the nose-looking thingie on Michael Jackson's face, but I'm going to say it anyway: We here at Shaking Through World Headquarters -- myself, Laurence Station, the Gentleman, even our roughneck Business Administrator Alan Sargent -- are all thankful for you, dear reader, for your loyalty, your opinions, and most of all for your discerning taste in entertainment-themed websites devoted to "humorous & insightful commentary regarding matters of pop cultural relevance."

Which brings me to a couple of other things we here at Shaking Through are thankful for this season. One is the addition of a couple of new faces to our ranks. No doubt you've already stumbled across Clemenza's Corner, a new ongoing feature in our Movies section devoted to the appreciation and dissection of B-movie absurdity. Finally, straight-to-video Van Damme flicks, late-night cable lesbian fests and schlocky horror classics have a home on our site, and we couldn't be more pleased. Joining the mysterious Clemenza in the ranks of Contributing Writers is my good friend Steve Wallace, a humble and forthright man whose goal in life is to become a smoke jumper, one of those crazy-brave legions of otherwise sane men and women who risk death and danger by parachuting into forest fires. Steve doesn't currently have a "niche" assignment, the way Clemenza and our longtime advice columnist Vatican Assassin do, but who knows? All things are possible. I'll also take this opportunity to point out that our virtual door is always open to prospective new talent. If you think you might have an interest in contributing to this burgeoning labor of love, why not pay a visit to our Send Us Stuff page? You'll be glad you did.

Lastly, but by no means least, we're thankful for another new addition to the site, one you likely can't help but have noticed: our new and improved look. Shaking Through version 3.0 is designed to make your experience an easier and more pleasurable one: we've thrown out the old section pages for a more efficient sidebar navigation format, which affords you deeper access to our ever-expanding content. We think it's a huge improvement over the old design, and we think you'll agree.

Well, it's about time to carve the turkey here at the Shaking Through office party, and you don't want to keep the Vatican Assassin waiting, especially when he's got a sharp knife in his hand. Here's hoping you've got much to be thankful for -- good health, good friends, shelter, money and love -- and that you'll join us in offering our heartfelt thanks to whomever deserves it for our continued existence on this big blue marble. As always, these are uncertain times, and let's spare some of our thoughts for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Okay, that's enough serious stuff for now. Pass the turducken, and good eatin'!

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