Happy Birthday to Me! Nathan Rabin's Happy Place Celebrates its First Anniversary
On April 20th, 2018, Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place celebrated its first birthday. Not gonna lie: I’m pretty damn proud of myself and my little labor of love. The site began in a frenzy of fear as well as anticipation. The A.V Club, my employer for something close to two decades, had just killed my decade-old signature column, My World of Flops, with a blandly worded Friday afternoon email about declining page-views and the ever-changing needs of the media landscape and I was genuinely worried about my ability to continue to make a living and feed my family as a professional writer.
The immediate response to Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place made me feel like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. The universe was kind to my scrappy little venture. Fortune smiled upon it. Pledges flooded into the site’s Patreon page that first day and throughout that first week in a way that gave me confidence that this could be a full-time job I could throw my time and energy and belief into, and not just a vanity project.
The first year of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my professional life. I feel like this website is the best possible use of my talent and energies, like it’s what I was put on Earth to do. I can be a man in full here at Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place. It’s allowed me to realize my full potential as writer and communicate with the world without a filter.
I wake up every weekday morning excited to have something to share with the world, something personal, something unique, something special. The online world is, for the most part, a bottomless cess pool. I like to think that Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place is a lovely little oasis in the flaming garbage fire that is contemporary life and also the Internet, a breezy yet despairing and emotional place to hide out from the commercial calculation and shameless pandering that characterize so much online discourse.
I wanted to create something special. I feel like I succeeded but there’s still plenty of room for growth. I’d like to have more diversity in terms of features, and in terms of the kinds of entertainment that I write about. Obviously I love writing about terrible movies and terrible entertainment. That’s kind of my thing but in the future I’d like to write about entertainment that I love as well.
I’d like for there to be more of a balance between good and bad, trash and art, stuff I love making fun of and stuff I just plain adore. To that end, there are columns that I feel like I’ve been neglecting here, first and foremost My World of Flops. I’d also like to write more Lukewarm Takes and I really should write more than one entry in my Manic Pixie Dream Girls column.
It can just be tough to plan ahead when you face such an enormous daily workload. That’s why I’m proud of myself for pulling off ambitious ideas like Corey Feldman Month, No Respect January, Cannonvember and Monkey March. They may not have done well in terms of page views but there’s something deeply satisfying about coming up with a big, audacious idea and then making it a ridiculous, ridiculous reality.
Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place would not be what it is without you, the reader, as well as the site’s 667 patrons. I’d also like to thank my sister-in-law Romy Maloon for building this site and making it so easy to run and my Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast partner Clint Worthington for editing, producing and posting Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast to the site. I could not be more proud of the podcast, which is about to drop its lucky 13th episode, or the work Clint has done for it.
So thank you, world, for making Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place’s first year such a delight. Here’s to an even more auspicious future together.
Help celebrate the site’s first birthday with a pledge over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace