(This is what happens when you get drunk at the Science Museum of Minnesota.)
Well, here we go.
Just to clear up any rumors that you may have heard over the last few weeks (and who’s the paparazzi that’s been gossiping on my Wikipedia page, anyway?), I’m not retiring from writing in a couple of weeks, nor am I retiring as the mastermind behind the CDP.
I’m quitting. There’s a big difference.
To ‘retire’ means that I’ve made my peace with the world. Done my job as well as I could have, accomplished all of my goals and rode off into the sunset a winner and a symbol of perseverance and hope.
We can all probably agree that this definition doesn’t quite suit the work I’ve done over the last five years here, which in tune, means that I am quitting. I’m ripping off my tacky nametag, giving my boss the finger, hopping into my 1986 Buick Somerset and driving to the nearest liquor store so I can cry in the parking lot.
On Thursday, February 12 of 2009, the Communist Dance Party will celebrate its Fifth Anniversary. A decent blog milestone to say the least, made even more impressive considering that I’ve published a little under 900 essays in that time. Sure, there’s a few ahead-of-the-curve hipsters out there that have been blogging since the BBS days of the early 90’s, and many more out there with thousands of posted entries, but I feel confident in saying that the CDP has always been one of the better humor blogs on the web when it came to consistent quantity and quality. I can be comfortably denied a litany of accolades, but never let it be said that I couldn’t poop out 3,000 funny words almost every other day of the week for no pay or expectations of appreciative reciprocation.
It also goes without saying that I’ve somehow managed to attract the most wonderful group of readers and fans on the planet; miraculously keeping nearly 99 and 44/100ths% of the assholes out in the process. I’ve always found it beautiful that I could reach over 20,000 readers every month, yet still feel close to everybody that took the time to comment or e-mail me. It’s the balance that I always knew I wanted, but figured was impossible in the Internet Age. My perception has been changed for the better, and I have a filing cabinet full of handwritten letters to prove it.
As you can probably surmise, in addition to the celebration of the CDP’s fifth anniversary, February 12 of 2009 will mark the Communist Dance Party’s final essay. This page has been my top creative priority since I turned 22 years old, and now that I turned 27 (yesterday), I feel that it’s time to find another medium with which to entertain people. Of course, if I knew just what that medium happened to be, I’d probably be a much happier guy with a more optimistic sense of upcoming direction. Truth be told, I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I know it will be something, and I know it probably won’t be the same thing that the CDP has been since 2004.
The CDP has been with me every step of my adult journey: graduating from college, finding a decent job, moving from apartment to apartment, marrying the love of my life, buying a house and (hopefully) settling into the halfway-decent existence we’ve created for ourselves. I don’t know what I’m going to do without this place, but I am looking forward to the new experience.
I always knew I’d be blogging for a long time, but I knew for certain that I wouldn’t be doing it into my 30’s. It’s a young man’s game, and I’m more than ready to sit in the rocking chair and whittle for a while. Of course, Chuck D almost didn’t get into rap music because he thought it was a young man’s game, and he turned out the be the greatest MC of all-time. Damn it, Chuck, why must you challenge my theories and perceptions of what adults can and can’t do well? I just want to take the trash out or clean the basement without feeling the need to run to my computer immediately afterward and write an essay about it that takes longer to compose than the initial act itself. When you think that I’ve been doing that for five years and on almost 900 different occasions, it begins to feel more like an illness than a creative outlet.
Anyway, despite my attitude and work ethic towards world domination, I never wanted to be a huge, popular writer (nor did I wind up anywhere near such a preposterously vain status). Dreaming of making tons of money and having millions of people cling on your every word is one thing, but being faced with the reality and pressure of it actually happening would have been the worst thing to ever befall me. I would have cracked. Lost it. My anxiety and perfectionism would have eaten me alive from Day One. Every moment in my life that contained an above-average amount of stress is equally proportionate to the amount of Writer’s Block I was suffering from at the time. It ain’t my style to fret about my hobbies, yet I do it almost every day of my life.
Instead, I didn’t get what I had fantasized about (and who should, really?); I got exactly what I needed. A medium-sized, devoted and vocal fanbase that cared about my content and stood up for me when I wasn’t around. A local scene and press that respected my work, supported my actions and left me alone when I didn’t want to be advertised. Family and friends that genuinely felt pride in my meager accomplishments. Basically, I’m lucky enough to have been surrounded by an extremely positive force for the last five years, laying the groundwork for me to do absolutely anything I needed to do to achieve my creative aspirations and goals. It’s nothing I’ve ever deserved, and you all made it happen without even knowing. My appreciation is limitless. I sincerely hope you follow me into my next adventure.
I haven’t done everything that I set out to achieve with the CDP, but then again, I accomplished a lot of things that I never thought I would, either. I consider it an even trade, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Besides, if I didn’t have more stories to tell, I wouldn’t be able to write more books in the future, which I promise you will happen. I also wouldn’t be able to do continued freelance work, which will keep happening as well. This isn’t the last of Ryan Zeinert, Humorist, Raconteur and Nimrod; just the end of this particular chapter.
Thank you so, so, so very much for enjoying the essays, the time spent here and the attention you’ve given me over the last five years. It’s been a great journey, and to everyone out there that snorted milk out of their noses, forwarded one of my stories on to another friend, spent money on my book, bought a t-shirt or just sent me a nice e-mail, you have my sincere thanks and respect. The Blog Train will roll on without me, a thousand more insecure narcissists will take my place, and the World won’t skip a beat at my departure, but I hope that you enjoyed the time you spent being entertained at the Communist Dance Party.
So, in short, Thursday, February 12 will mark the Fifth Anniversary of the Communist Dance Party, and the final CDP essay ever.
…And on Friday, February 13, the completely redesigned and ALL-NEW CDP will launch.
New ideas, new projects, new essays, a new direction and a new outlook. The first five years have certainly been wonderful, but the next five will be even better, and I’m not going anywhere.
What? Did you honestly think I would just up and leave like that? What am I, some kinda asshole?
Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week.