Housekeeping issues: I hear you, I know: I need an RSS thingymajigger on here. I am working on it. (And a “favicon,” whatever that is.) It will be some time before I get nimble and good here. Now I know what I always suspected: Nancy makes it looks easy.
And, yes, I’d also like to streamline the approval process for comments, and I’m looking into that too, as in, a one-time approval process that A-OKs trusted commentators for repeat gabbin’.
I have two three requests already via e-mail from Googlers in search of the WaPo story I wrote in 2004 about the lingering gyno-cultural effects of Jake Ryan, the heartthrob character played by Michael Schoeffling in the 1984 movie Sixteen Candles. Schoeffling quit acting in the early ’90s and, according to some reports, became a furniture maker in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He’s the J.D. Salinger of Generation Ringwald.
The article used to be posted on the Original Recipe version of HankStuever.com and it was there for five years. Then came the Extreme Makeover on Tuesday.
Sure, I guess I could repost the full text of “Real Men Can’t Hold a Candle to Jake Ryan” here, but I hesitate.
One the one hand (and by far the most compelling reason to re-post), I’m pretty sure that Jake Ryan article was the only thing routinely drawing web surfers to my site at all. I still get e-mails about that story, about one every week or two. It eventually led to my happy participation in a documentary in 2008 that came with the DVD box set of John Hughes movies. (The doc was shot in a studio in Burbank; I had my makeup done next to John Kapelos, who played the janitor in The Breakfast Club and the “oily-variety beaux hunk” in Sixteen Candles.) So why not keep it here on the site?
I guess because something ticked me off about the three e-mails, which all went something like: I was searching for information on Jake Ryan and the link to it on your web site isn’t working anymore. Can you (fix it, e-mail it to me, etc)?… Implication: The thing I wanted is not working so please give it to me now. With no “hey, nice site, looks interesting, but I’m looking for …” They just clicked on “contact me” and insist on getting their free content. Which for some reason tempts me to say no.
Therapists call this “demand resistance.” It’s sort of like a rock show where the band won’t play their old hits. I totally understand the band: they have a new album, they want you to try it.
So may I just point out: You can get that article in the Post archives, for $3.95. It’s not that it’s worth anything to me. I got paid nicely, I have a great time doing what I do, life could not really be better. But it’s going to be a while before I believe in EVERYTHING FOR FREE. (You can also probably find it on a few blogs out there that helped themselves to posting the article in its entirety.)
The prevailing web ethic says I should just shaddup and be grateful that metacrawlers think “Jake Ryan” looks a whole lot like “Hank Stuever.”
So I’ll play your “Freebird,” babies — I will, I will — just let me be a total cock about it, for a minute. (And let me figure out the best way to post it. Quick, before I start getting e-mails asking for the 2002 story about Mormon underwear.)
Have a great weekend. While the Tall One is in Massachusetts, I am going to spend part of Saturday watching Rachel Manteuffel in a play at the Fringe festival. Then I’ll be at the office, working on a Washington Post Magazine article that is due Monday — about which my hopes are quite low. Also, if memory serves, I’m supposed to pinch-hit on the Style desk Sunday.