2017-A Look Back at Another Shitty, Shitty Year
Well, folks, we have officially reached the end of 2017. What a flaming garbage fire of a year! It’s been easily the worst year since 2016, and 2018 is shaping up to be pretty fucking miserable as well, and that’s not just my seasonal Depression speaking.
In 2016 a whole bunch of beloved entertainers, chief among them David Bowie and Prince, died unexpectedly. In 2017, the concept of hope died an agonizing death, as did my faith in the American people, particularly the ones who voted for Donald Trump.
But if 2017 was a waking nightmare in so many ways I managed to steal an awful lot of happiness and contentment out of it all the same. For me, 2017 was the year that I took finally control over my career by launching first Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place and then Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast.
I know I gush an awful lot about how much I love this site and how much I love you readers. I also used to gush about how much I loved The A.V Club and The Dissolve before everything went Pete Tong with both of them, so it might suit me to be a little more wary but I feel like I've cracked the code with Nathan Rabin's Happy Place and even though its a struggle everyday just to get everything done, it a joyous struggle, one that gives me a whole bunch of reasons to look forward to each new day.
Crowd-funding and Squarespace have given me the tools to cut out so much of the bullshit of being a pop culture writer in 2017. It’s allowed me to write specifically for my audience, to write about what I love, and what fascinates me, with very little consideration given to what will be popular or lucrative. It's given the freedom to attempt projects like Cannontober and Corey Feldman month.
It is a goddamn honor to wake up every weekday overjoyed to share between one to three pieces with the world. And it means the world to me that as of this writing, six hundred and thirteen kind souls have chosen to directly support me financially by pledging to the site. It’s because of these people that I’m able to devote so much time and energy and passion into Nathan Rabin's Happy Place. I’ve got a ways to go until that halcyon day when this site is able to provide a full-time income (we’re about sixty percent of the way there now, which is very good) but it’s no exaggeration to say that Patreon and Squarespace have completely reinvigorated my career.
True, The A.V Club cancelled My World of Flops, causing me to quit The A.V Club a second and final time, but that ended up working out in my favor because I was able to take the column to my site, where it’s a much better fit.
Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place led to Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast, which was another highlight of 2017. I am incredibly grateful to Clint Worthington for making the potentially terrifying and stressful process of doing a podcast a goddamn delight, in addition to being such a great co-host.
2017 was full of surreal honors. I was an answer on Jeopardy. I was referenced in an episode of Bojack Horseman. I wrote and published my sixth book and first work of fiction in the novella Kanye & Trump and finished my seventh book, on the video game and movie Postal.
Then there was that incredible day when I gathered with my fellow Juggalos at the Lincoln Memorial for the Juggalo March on Washington, where I was one of the final speakers.
Speaking at the Juggalo March on Washington was an undeniable highlight of 2017. I wasn’t just part of American history and pop culture history: I was part of Juggalo history. That is a rare and special thing. To go from motels in Cave in Rock to addressing my Juggalo peers in a sacred cathedral of American was a trip, literally and metaphorically.
So it seemed like a perfectly depressing bookend to that amazing, historic, life-affirming moment in D.C that of course Insane Clown Posse continues to lose their legal skirmish with the F.B.I.
That’s depressing, if not terribly surprising, but I don’t think the March was a failure just because it failed to achieve its legal aims. I don’t see the Juggalo March on Washington exclusively, or even primarily, as a means to an end. No, the fact that thousands of Juggalos peacefully assembled and showed the world who we really are—a loving, supportive, accepting community of outcasts and underdogs—represented a huge victory in and of itself.
My dad likes to compliment me for perpetually being in the ring, creatively and professionally, in always hustling and struggling and trying to make things better for myself and my family. Here’s the thing: I have no choice but to be in the ring, swinging away, hoping that my furious, relentless effort keeps me out of the poorhouse. I have no nest egg. I have no safety net. I'm in the ring because I want to be, but also because I have to be.
It’s the same with the rest of us. The latest Juggalo legal setback is depressing, but they’re going to keep on fighting. The passage of the sadistic Republican tax bill is similarly dispiriting but the Resistance doesn’t the luxury of giving up, or giving in to hopelessness either.
We’re all just going to have to keep swinging away, trying to make the world a kinder, more just place particularly when it seems like all is lost.
Support Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, because it’s almost Christmas, man, over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace