… the site | … the responses | … the constraint | … Oulipo | … guest contributions | … the author | … the podcast | … the publication | … the collections | … sponsorship | … the ads | … the ratings | … Short Stop | … contact information | … social networks | … the about page
About the site
The Stop Button started, if memory serves in late 2004. It was more of a colloquial film-viewing and comic book-reading experience blog, as opposed to just responses. It was hosted at Jablog, which was “a free service dedicated to making web journaling easier and more accessible.” So I guess it wasn’t a blog at that point.
Jablog’s creator is still around but he doesn’t talk about Jablog. I assume the lack of mention means he doesn’t have an archive.
The oldest extant post is Alien³, but if you read the first year or so, you’re clearly not missing much. Or, actually, you are missing a lot because the posts refer back on each other and a lot is missing.
After Jablog, The Stop Button went to Blogger for a while. A very short while. I think I really wanted tag clouds. Because mullets were cool once too.
Next up, in terms of platforms, was Sandvox. In those days, self-hosting was the cool thing to do–it showed commitment, because it costed–and Sandvox was the face of The Stop Button for quite a while. Design elements still exist from it, but only for eagle eyes. At this point, The Stop Button still had comic and movie posts.
Sandvox was never great in those days for daily updates and the site eventually transitioned to a self-hosted WordPress install. Over time the posts had become less colloquial and more “formal” responses to films. As such, I spun the comic side off onto its own site.
In late 2010, I decided to get away from GoDaddy. Not just because they killed elephants with my monthly fee, but because they started charging more for WordPress installs. So I headed to WP.com, with some add-ons, and The Stop Button has happily been residing here since.
About the responses
While I might refer to Stop Button posts as “reviews” in some places, both internally and externally, it’s mostly for SEO. I consider the posts to be responses, which are far less formal. Reviews have a structure (or should) and people either are paid for them, get free swag to produce them or are writing them pro bono in hope of eventual pay or swag. Responses, on the other hand, are whatever the author wants them to be, structured or unstructured.
About the constraint
Currently–and for the last few years–I employ a 250-word length constraint to Stop Button responses, though the “Short Stop” responses are constrained to 150 words. The constraints of the Oulipo group inspired The Stop Button‘s constraints.
Dr. Jess Stoner, alternate reality wife of Harry Matthews, guest contributes this definition:
Oulipo, founded in 1960 by writer Raymond Queneau and mathematician Francois Le Lionnais, is a movement that began as a gathering of folks to create constraints, like acrobatic mathematical formulas for novels to follow. The group’s name, an acronym for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, translates into “workshop of potential literature.” This was not a writing group, where stories were workshopped; their goal was not necessarily to write finished works, but to create constraints that might produce them (hence, the “potential”). Oulipo was created in some way to resist or defeat the notion that inspiration is singular or divine, or to put it another way: to show that artificial imposition of constraint can provide the opportunity for artistic breakthrough, and that this kind of imposition is a form of play–which they considered a very serious endeavor.
About guest contributions
Occasionally, I get email offers of “guest contribution” posts. I do not accept such posts on a complementary basis. If you are interested in a paid, sponsored post, please contact me.
About the author
I have a couple advanced degrees, one in writing, which is why I complain about bad narratives. As opposed to when I complain about Sam Jackson. I complain about Sam Jackson because he’s a bad actor. The other isn’t in film.
About the podcast
About the publication
In 2013, I began releasing a monthly collection of blog posts entitled “To Each His Own Rocket.” A manga-sized publication, “Rocket” is available in (two) stores in the Chicago suburbs and online from Indyplanet. The publication tends to come out–due to printing delays–approximately fifteen days after the month ends. For example, the February 2013 issue made it to stores on March 15. Issues at Indyplanet–including back issues–are priced as low as possible (rounded to the nearest 9 cent figure).
About the collections
There are a couple collections of Stop Button posts. All proceeds go to site upkeep and food for my cats.
The Stop Button now invites weekly sponsors. Sponsored weeks are instead of weeks with WordAds, so I will not actively be seeking sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring The Stop Button, see the sponsorship page.
About the ads
The Stop Button participates in WordPress’s WordAds program, which are hopefully inobtrusive. All proceeds go to site upkeep and food for my cats.
About the ratings (or lack thereof)
For many years, I gave star ratings on The Stop Button. With the move to wordpress.com hosting, I dropped the star ratings. When I dropped the star ratings, traffic to the site fell by fifty percent. I got rid of them for a number of reasons, but mostly because of a number of bad incidents. First was a forum at a Filipino medical school discussing why I deserved to die for saying bad things about Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight. People are going to think my medical alert bracelet about not wanting Filipino doctors educated after 2008 is racist. There was also a rabid homophobe who stalked me via Facebook and threatened my cat all because Mallrats sucks.
About Short Stop
I started doing short subject responses in 2011. These include traditional short films and cartoons–just like the Academy awards–but I also include responses to unsold television pilots, television specials and episodes of television anthologies. The criteria for an aired television episode is pretty simple–the show can’t have a regular cast (but a regular presenter or host–Rod Serling, for example–is okay). There is no minimum length for “Short Stop” subjects, though the maximum time is traditionally one hour. There are, of course, exceptions.
If any short filmmaker is interested in sending me a screener, please contact me.
About contact information
This contact form probably works best, though I just delete hate mail. Well, not if you’re famous.
About social networks
About the about page
I wrote this about page on 9 July 2012. I updated it on 15 September 2012. A very (very) similar about page is also on my comic response site.