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Three More Years!

Posted: October 31, 2004

By Kevin Forest Moreau, Commander-in-Chief

My fellow Americans:

Three years ago, when I assumed control of this great Web site that we call Shaking Through, I made a promise to you, the people. I promised that this site would strive always to be "Sifting -- shaking through, if you will -- the music, films, books and even comics that strike us, panning for gold, for some small kernel of truth that will point the way to a clearer way of thinking, a more enlightened path through the dark and scary woods."

Well, my friends, I'm here today, as Shaking Through prepares to celebrate its third birthday, to tell you that those woods are as dark and scary as ever. We live in a world of uncertainty and confusion, a world that displays no fealty to the laws of logic and reason -- a world, I daresay, that mocks us with its cruel twists of fate and inexplicable horrors. It's Halloween as I address these words to you, a day of ghouls and goblins, of haunted houses and terrors from beyond the grave. But the unimaginable horrors that besiege us stretch far beyond the 31st of October.

The smug, arrogant and misogynistic Mel Gibson is considered one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Madonna is still regarded as a serious, important artist. R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen have conferred a kind of implied relevance on Conor Oberst, thanks to his participation in the historic Vote for Change concerts against President George W. Bush. Incubus is still unreasonably popular, as is Gwen Stefani. There's Oscar talk once again for Leonardo DiCaprio. Jimmy Fallon may very well graduate to a successful film career. Avril Lavigne is still seen as more "real" and less embarrassing than Britney Spears -- despite the fact that Avril's been seen making out with the repugnant troll from Sum 41, a lapse in judgment many magnitudes greater than dating Justin Timberlake, or marrying your backup dancer after he cheats on the mother of his unborn child with you.

That's why, in this polarizing election season, it's more important than ever for you to stay the course with Shaking Through. To put it bluntly: If you don't continue to come to Shaking Through for humorous and insightful commentary regarding matters of pop-cultural relevance, you could very well pay the price. What if you failed to heed our advice, and ended up driving home from the record store (or, if you're really morally compromised, Wal-Mart) with the latest Good Charlotte or William Hung monstrosity? What if you chose to ignore our warnings, and went ahead and plopped down ten bucks to see Shark Tale, or The Village or even What the #$*! Do We Know?!? Whose fault would that be, America?

Three years ago, we here at Shaking Through swore an oath to give you the straight dope on the music, movies, books and comic books vying for your attention. We vowed to guide you through the frightening wilderness with intelligence and humor; to stand as your first line of defense against unwatchable blockbusters; to be the first responders when respected bands let you down with sub-par albums, or geeky-but-talented TV idols serve you sentimental dreck and expect you to buy it.

We feel we've delivered on that promise, and the numbers agree. Shaking Through has enjoyed three years of steady growth; this month we will set yet another record for hits and unique visits. So we must be doing something right. But we're not content to rest on our achievements. No, we're still hard at work at the mean business of protecting and serving you, the American consumer, from bad movies, bad albums, bad choices.

From his lavishly appointed undisclosed location, Vice President Laurence Station subjects himself to the highs and the lowest depths of Hollywood cinema, all so that you, friends, don't end up wasting your hard-earned dollars. Mr. Station and myself are constantly vetting the newest music releases, subjecting old favorites and promising newcomers to rigorous scrutiny so that you, the American people, aren't saddled with an $18.99 stinker.

And on this scariest of days, it's only right to recognize the oh-so-important contributions of our Secretary of Stale, our own Department of Offense: Clemenza, who stands ever vigilant to protect your retinas from dead-on-arrival zombie flicks and your DVD players from unintentionally horrific Z-movies. Not to mention his under-secretary, the enigma known only as Vincenzo.

And then there's our own Minister of Malfunction, our National Stupidity Advisor, the Vatican Assassin, who tirelessly tells it like it is with some of the hardest-hitting advice available anywhere. You think Bill O'Reilly's a tough interrogator? You think Rush Limbaugh can shout you down? You've never been on the receiving end of VA's verbal assaults.

Now that Shaking Through is three years old, it's time to ask yourself: Do you feel safer in your pop-cultural decision-making than you did 36 months ago? It's an important question. And it's important to consider, in this fractious election season, that when you go to the pixilated polls of the World Wide Web, when you register your digital vote, nothing less than your entertainment security is at stake.

Every time you choose to turn to another site (say, one named after farming implements) for your music reviews; every time you decide to place your trust in a web site named after some form of vegetable for your movie reviews; every time you consider frequenting a web site that declares that everything matters (except, apparently, for decent writing) to read about the latest books and comics -- you place your wallet, your home entertainment library, even your senses at grave risk. And the bad guys win.

Are you scared yet? Good. Then you know in your hearts, my fellow Americans, that a click of the mouse for those of us here at Shaking Through World Headquarters is the only sensible choice -- the only right choice. So when you sit down and log on, vote wisely. To do anything else would be, well, un-American. Not to mention downright scary.

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Archived Editorials
December 03, 2006: Happy Feet
November 22, 2006: Half Decade Anniversary
October 07, 2006: Jessica Simpson
September 30, 2006: New Orleans and SNL
June 2, 2006: Dixie Chicks
May 7, 2006: Are Yahu Serious?
February 16, 2006: Bill O'Reilly & Brokeback Mountain
February 12, 2006: Totally '80s (Grammys)
January 31, 2006: Freyed Oprah
November 27, 2005: To Be Continued... (Bringing back movie serials)
November 21, 2005: Fourth Birthday
November 05, 2005: TV Remakes
August 13, 2005: Ten Commandments of Rock
July 05, 2005: Live 8
May 05, 2005: Term Limits (for Rock Stars)
April 29, 2005: Pearl Jam Redux
January 26, 2005: Oscar Grouching
October 31, 2004: Three More Years!
September 27, 2004: Cleaning Out My Closet
August 25, 2004: Shaking Through Mailbag
June 23, 2004: Summer Reading List
June 11, 2004: World Without Heroes (Bill Murray and Garfield)
April 23, 2004: Sold Out (Bob Dylan, Victoria's Secret, & Iraq)
April 08, 2004: The Day the Music Died (Kurt Cobain)
Mar. 17, 2004: Copping Out
Feb. 27, 2004: The Passion of Howard Stern
Jan. 30, 2004: Sex and the City
Nov. 17, 2003: California Über Alles
Nov. 7, 2003: Not-So-Terrible Twos
Sept. 19, 2003: Magic & Loss (Johnny Cash and Warren Zevon)
Aug. 17, 2003: Those '70s Shows
May 27, 2003: Patriot Games (Darryl Worley)
May 24, 2003: American Idol
Mar. 23, 2003: Non-cents-ical (Dixie Chicks-50 Cent)
Feb. 8, 2003: Where's the Love? (Pearl Jam)
Jan. 1, 2003: High Resolutions
Dec. 16, 2002: All I Want for Christmas
Nov. 27, 2002: Things to be Thankful For
Nov. 8, 2002: Near Wild Heaven (Nirvana)
Oct. 21, 2002: Happy Birthday to Us
Sept. 11, 2002: The Little Things
Aug. 20, 2002: King for a Day
July 9, 2002: Bill of Rights
Apr. 18, 2002: Celebrity Skim
Apr. 15, 2002: We Will Never Lie To You
Jan. 6, 2002: Something to Believe In
Nov. 3, 2001: Who We Are