This Is a Very Good Website
Sometimes I will be writing an article for the site, or re-writing an article, or finding images for an article and an overwhelming sense of satisfaction will sweep over me and I will think, “This is a VERY good website.” And you know what? That kind in my brain is right. This IS a very good website. Even if Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place was not essentially me in website form, much of my livelihood and how I pay the mortgage and put food on the table I would still dig it. I would still find enormous value in it. I would still find it worthwhile, something that deserves to exist and have an audience, modest as that audience might be.
Now you might be saying, “Hey, isn’t it pretty damn self-indulgent, not to mention narcissistic to write an entire blog post about how proud you are of your website and how you think that it is good?” to which I can only respond, “Yeah, I guess so?” But in about a week or so Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place will have been most of my professional life for two solid years. Two years where I have toiled non-stop to create the best possible website and the fullest, most satisfying experience for you, the Happy Place reader, patron and commenter. Two years where I’ve strived to find something meaty and substantive to write about for The Big Whoop, something worthy of discussion, something of value four days out of every week.
When I started this website in April of 2017, around the time the A.V Club cancelled My World of Flops, it was with the promise, “No garbage posts.” Two years on, I feel like I have delivered. I don’t always hit it out of the park. I’m not always operating at my best but when I publish something it’s because it is of genuine interest to me, because on some level I care, even if it’s something as stupid as Conservative Grandpa or the Coolest Tshirts people.
Everything here reflects my sensibility and my personality, as well as my appalling grammar and frequent typos. I work in pop culture media in 2019 and yet I am a free man. I can write about whatever I want to write about. I even feel in complete and total control when I am writing Control Nathan Rabin 4.0, and the whole point of that feature is for me to do your bidding in exchange for money.
Crowd-funding allows me to devote most of my time and energy to Happy Place but the site has a value above and beyond its page-views and the forty thousand dollars it brought in last year. A lot of that is you guys: it makes me incredibly proud that we have such a smart, engaged and loyal readership. I’ve built something here, with your help and assistance and participation, a website worth visiting everyday (although, to be fair, you can take some Fridays off, God knows I do) that adds something relevant and genuine to the great cultural conversation that is the internet. I’ve found a home here. Hopefully some of you have as well.
Y’all have given me the confidence, endurance and stamina necessary to realize ambitious, long-term projects like The Weird Accordion to Al and My Year of Flops II, projects other websites wouldn’t think about attempting, and I should know, as I’ve had ambitious projects get cancelled at lots of outside sites, something that has only made me treasure the Happy Place and the bottomless acceptance and validation it represents even more.
I know the Happy Place could always be more professional and polished. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to be even a little professional and polished, I suppose. But I like to think that’s part of the site’s scruffy charm. There’s a real, flawed, genuine, mentally unstable human being behind every labored joke and spelling error, a dude who is putting himself out there every single day, saying to the world, “This is me, in all my messiness and imperfections. This is my truth. This is who I am. Now, may I please have some money?”
I realize I could probably ease up on that second message but I do need money to pay the bills. You don’t necessarily need money to be free, but it is true that money can buy freedom and the money in this site’s Patreon account affords me a level of creative freedom that is downright life-affirming.
So thank you, Happy Place readers and patrons, for helping make this a thing, a sustainable business that’s only picking up steam at an age when a lot of business with the misplaced audacity to try to do something different and real and worthwhile on the internet have been put down as noble but inevitable failures.
This is a very good site. With your help and your support, as well as your readership, it’s going to get even better.
Please help ensure the future of this very good site over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace
or, more pressingly, hop onboard the Weird Accordion to Al Kickstarter as it blasts off into the stratosphere at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weirdaccordiontoal/make-the-weird-accordion-to-al-book-a-ridiculous-r?ref=user_menu