Thursday, May 19, 2011


In nearly nine years as an anonymous internet author, the most difficult piece I've ever had to write was my final "Friday Music News Bootleg" column in February 2006.

That weekly column ran for three years beginning in February 2003 – 51 weeks before my son Jalen was born – and ended just a few days after his second birthday. I bawled like a baby as I pounded out the last few tired jokes at the expense of my favorite pop culture punching bags and wrote my goodbyes to everyone who had read and supported my work.

I remember when I decided to end it. At the two-year mark, I began to feel like I'd written everything possible about outrageous rapper behavior and the unwanted reunions of decrepit rock stars. I slogged through one more year – with increasingly uneven results – and knew the time had come.

That same feeling of finality hit me a few weeks ago – on May 1, to be exact.

It was Sunday night and I was sitting where I always sit on Sunday nights after Jalen's gone to bed and Mrs. Bootleg's just begun step three of her seven-step Sunday night hair care escapade (somewhere between "pre-wash scalp massage" and "navigating her salon-quality, sedan-sized hair steamer in from our garage"). I was less than 10 minutes in – staring blankly at the screen, overcome by the creative inertia washing over me – when I was jarred back into the real world with breaking news from my local FOX affiliate: Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

Obviously, it would be silly to question the newsworthiness of this interruption. But, if my Sunday night routine had been broken up – under similar circumstances – five years ago? I'd have lost my mind. (And, yes, I concede that I'm overwhelmingly in the minority here.) I used to be unnervingly rigid with some of my more whimsical pursuits. Three Sunday nights ago, however, I was transfixed to the television, watching this internationally impactful story unfold.

Afterwards, I could've easily opened my laptop and tried to finish my Sunday night as I usually do, but the desire simply wasn't there. Truth be told…the desire's been missing since at least last December. Some of my readers have even called me out on it. Just one more reason why I love you guys.

Earlier this week, I found myself deleting material I hadn't even half-finished. I never thought I could be so abrupt with something I once loved so much. But, like my decision to end my weekly music news column five years ago...the time, I fear, has finally come.

So long, The Simpsons.

You were a credit to dementia.


CrazyCanuck said...

Good lord, don't scare us like that.

I haven't read enough near-death experiences yet!

Anonymous said...

nice column, you had me really worried that I would lose all the amusement you bring me, if you do decide to quit I will hunt you down in SD in give you a tongue lashing that would make a black woman proud!!

that mexican guy said...

Oh FUCK you, Cam. I figured there was a swerve in here somewhere but by the end, I was almost buying it.

It's pretty awesome on the second reading though. Congrats: your writing is the equivalent of leftover pizza.

Lew B said...

As relieved as I was when I realized at the end you were kidding, I was actually understanding of your reasoning.

I'm having a really hard time getting inspired, lately.

But glad to hear I'll still get to lean on you a little longer.

M.Nicka Shamalan said...

Nice swerve! F*** YOU! The whole time WE WERE ACTUALLY DEAD????

Other Joe said...

I saw the title and thought of two possibilities:

1) Cam is leaving and I will actually have to do work at the office
2) This was your eulogy for the Macho Man

Don't scare us like that again!

Carrie said...

Glad I wasn't the only one who had a minor cardiac event while reading this piece. ...Bastard.

Aaron C. said...

Thanks being good sports about this one, y'all. I'd wanted to do one of these goofy swerve posts for awhile and -- ironically enough -- I was inspired by The Simpsons. Again.