What a Difference Two Years Make
April is an intense month for me. I was born in April, April 24th, 1976 to be exact. Being born led to a whole bunch of crazy, intense shit, both good and bad: hanging out at Robert Evans’ mansion, delivering a speech at the Juggalo March on Washington, reviewing the motion picture Meet the Deedles, getting married, fathering two wonderful boys and being abandoned by my mother to name just a few.
But I was also laid off from The Dissolve, easily the most painful professional experience of my life in April 2015 as well. These kinds of things stick out in your mind and I will never forget that my Dissolve dream died a few days after my 39th birthday.
On a similar note, the A.V Club chose to cancel My World of Flops on a Friday afternoon late in April 2017, a victim of declining page-views and the ever-changing needs of pop culture media, giving me the option of writing one final farewell My World of Flops where I could say goodbye to my readers after a decade of writing the column that made my name and reputation and introduced the world to the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
That rejection felt like death. If My World of Flops wasn’t popular enough to merit the 425 dollars a month it cost a national cultural force like A.V Club then seemingly nothing I did was safe. Sure enough, I’ve steadily lost outside columns in the two years since My World of Flops lost its original home and found a new one here at Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place.
Thankfully while April taketh, and taketh, and then taketh some more, and I’m not just talking about those ghouls at the IRS, it giveth as well.
April witnessed the death of My World of Flops at A.V Club and then its Christ-like resurrection as one of the core features here at Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, particularly this year, the annum of My Year of Flops II: Desolation of Smaug, a sequel I like to think is better than the original. Death gave way to new life. From the ashes of my crumbling career as a former staff writer and columnist rose a site, in April of course, that allowed me to re-invent myself professionally as a scruffy independent making his living through the miracle of crowd-funding rather than relying on an industry that seemed to be in the process of falling apart.
I launched Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place in April of 2017 and it changed it my life. It saved my career and reinvigorated it. I had been terrified of stepping out on my own out of fear of not being good enough, not being polished enough, not being professional enough.
But at a certain point I felt like I no longer had any choice. I have to do this. I have to feed my family and pay my bills and I do not know how to do anything other than write. So in April 2017 I was reborn as a website and a little later as a podcast along with my friend, cohost and producer Clint Worthington.
I didn’t plan it that way but April will also see the conclusion of the Kickstarter for the Weird Accordion to Al book. It’s the culmination of two years of hard, fun work that began in April of 2017 on the day the site launched. Since then I’ve ground away at The Weird Accordion to Al despite its modest readership, confident that what I was doing was worthwhile even if the page-views didn’t seem to justify the work and time involved.
So it was incredibly validating and encouraging for the Kickstarter to take off in a way the column itself never did, quickly meeting its modest 2000 goal and then doubling and tripling and quadrupling that number. As I write this, the total is up to 14,148 dollars.
I’m once again humbled and blown away by your love and support for my life’s work. What I say and do and write here may not be terribly important in the grand scheme of things but it’s important to me and you have illustrated, through your words and loyalty and financial and emotional support, that it is important to you as well.
You are my April miracle so while I will probably always associate this time of year with bad, traumatic events it’ll also be inextricably linked to really wonderful, validating experiences as well, and you are largely to thank for that. So thank for letting me be me and make a decent living at it in the process. I will continue to work as hard and as joyously as humanly possible to justify your faith in me, because without it, there would be Happy Place for me, or for you I suppose, but let’s be real: I need this shit WAY more than you, and thankfully I have it, and will continue to have it in all the many tumultuous but joyous Aprils to come.
I make my living through crowd-funding over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace
but, more importantly, today is the FINAL day of the Weird Accordion to Al book at so get onboard! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weirdaccordiontoal/make-the-weird-accordion-to-al-book-a-ridiculous-r?ref=user_menu