November 21, 2006

And So It Began....

Friday, November 21, 2003. Somewhere, an angel belched and the madness known as the Llamabutchers was born.

Here's Steve-O's very first post:

Well, Rob? Let er rip

This was quickly followed by the Llama Manifesto:

We are the LLama butchers

We come in peace

to defenestrate the indefensible

to decapitate the corrigible

to spread havoc and fear among the idiotarians

we are llama butchers

hear us yip

And my very first post? I confess that I was quite nervous at the idea of seeing my own words out there in the Blogsphere, so I simply stuck in the pixalated equivalent of my big toe:

Yeeeeee-Haaaaaw!!!! (Sound of swishing cleaver) Yip! Yip! Yip!

As you can gather, of course, I no longer suffer from such shyness. Indeed, it didn't last long at all. The very next day, I posted my first substantive piece, one a) that turned out to be an ominous harbinger of things to come, and b) the sentiments of which I still firmly hold:

Cranky Movie Guy - I

I have absolutely no proof that the following conversation took place. However, I am morally certain that it did:

"Yes, Mr. Jackson?"
"Simpkins! Mate, we've got to discuss this character treatment of yours."
"Er, yes, Mr. Jackson - what about it?"
"Right. Look, mate, I told you off to do Gimli, right?"
"Yes, Mr. Jackson."
"Okay, so who is this Gloin guy? You give me five freekin pages of dialogue between him and Frodo at Rivendell. I mean, it reads like My Dinner With Andre, right?"
"Well, Mr. Jackson, Gloin was Gimli's father. He was also one of the thirteen dwarves who went with Bilbo to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug in The Hobbit. You know, where Bilbo finds the Ring? His conversation with Frodo is important because it both ties the stories together and also gives the audience an overall vision of the strategic situation east of the Misty Mountains. You'll see, Sir, that Gloin is also the Dwarves' representative at Elrond's Council and reports that Black Riders are looking for Bilbo and the Ring."
"Wake me when it's over...."
"Look, mate. First, I've already got a bunch of dwarves fighting each other and the elves at the Council. It's a very significant moment in my vision."
"But Sir, Gloin was the only one there in the book. And nobody fought with anybody else."
"F**k the book. Right. And for the tie-in thing, I've already got that covered in the prologue, right? I mean, I'm not paying Cate Winslet all that money for nothing, am I?"
"No, Sir."
"Right, and this dinner thing at Rivendell. Screw it. Would take ten minutes. How the hell can I find room for that and keep Liv Tyler's "Xena" chase with the Black Riders?"
"Well, about that, Sir....."
"Right. Now look, mate. LOTR is a very wonderful and meaningful vision of mine, right? So I need you to be really respectful of that. Now, we have a problem with Gimli."
"See, we have these big hunky Men, right? Audience will love 'em. And we got that dude playing Legolas, you know, the one who looks kinda like di Caprio on steroids? They'll be all over him. But Gimli is, well, not really eye-candy. Know what I mean, mate?"
"Well, Sir, it's interesting because Tolkein really went out of his way to explore the dwarves in some detail - their origins and so on, and to show how and why they were so different from Elves and Men. There is a lot of source material in The Silmarillion and...."
"I don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the Simil-whatever. Audiences don't care. How can I bring my wonderful and meaningful vision of LOTR to the screen in a meaningful and caring way if I can't connect with the audience?"
"Well. Sir..."
"Shut up. I'll tell you how. The dwarf isn't sexy, right? Can't do anything about that. I mean, dwarves are, well, YOU know..... Anyway. So what we want is something that's going to connect with the audience. Something that makes them think "Oh, that's a dwarf. I know about them. I like them!" So what you need to do is write something into the story that is going to cause that connection. And I've got just the thing for you. (Don't know why I pay these blokes when I have to do all the thinking myself.)"
"Yes, Sir?"
"Two words: Dwarf tossing."
"Dwarf tossing."
"Goddamit, mate, are you deaf? Put in something about dwarf tossing, right? Audiences will love that! Kind of a comic relief thing. Maybe when they're running around in that big cave thing. That'll really get them into it - and let them share my wonderful and meaning vision of what LOTR means in terms they can relate to. So you put it in. Got that? Dwarf tossing!"
(Sadly) "Yes, Sir."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Three years later and I wouldn't change a scrap of this.

I think that at this point, I'm supposed to say something profound about what the Butchers has meant to me. Well, maybe Steve-O will do that, but I won't. Not enough time to concentrate and I'm really not sure I'd have anything in particular to say even if I did have the time. Suffice to say that I love this blogging gig - I feel comfortable enough in my more or less anonymous state to serve up whatever thoughts cross my mind without regard to whether anybody actually reads them or what they think as a result. Paradoxically, at the same time I enjoy the challenge of shaping those thoughts into posts clear and concise enough to ensure (hopefully) that if somebody does read them, he or she will know what I'm talking about. (Okay, okay, I'd be a liar if I denied that I also am gratified when I know that somebody has read something of mine and enjoyed it one way or another.)

Of course, there is the sociability of the Blogsphere, as well. We've made many acquaintances in our time here and some good friends as well, both among fellow bloggers and our non-blogging readers. And I am truly thankful for all of these relationships. The medium may be artificial, but I don't think that lessons the pleasure I've experienced in interacting with all y'all. (UPDATE: Well, almost all y'all. Had to go and kill the afterglow, didn't you Bill?)

Anyhoo, all I really meant to say - to Steve-O, the LMC, Chai-Rista and all of you who stop by here - is Thank You. I've had a blast. And here's to many more years of this silliness. I know I'm looking forward to it!

Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at November 21, 2006 04:25 PM | TrackBack

Congrats on the milestone. Here's to many more years with you Llama Butchers!

Posted by: jen at November 21, 2006 05:09 PM

Congrats and many happy returns...

Posted by: JohnL at November 21, 2006 05:50 PM

Happy aniversary, and thanks for letting me hang around with you cool kids.

Posted by: rbj at November 21, 2006 07:25 PM

And I am truly thankful for all of these relationships. The medium may be artificial, but I don't think that lessons the pleasure I've experienced in interacting with all y'all.

What a freaking SAP.

Man up, will ya?

Posted by: Bill from INDC at November 21, 2006 07:55 PM

Right Ho, Jeeves!!!

Posted by: Basil Seal at November 21, 2006 08:14 PM

Happy Birthday. Yip Yip.

Posted by: NBS at November 21, 2006 10:34 PM

Happy anniversary, boys!

The world wouldn't be the same without this place.

It would be more sane, though.


Posted by: Kathy at November 22, 2006 01:12 AM

I will drink a toast from my Llamabutchers mug, and thank the good lord above for the day I first discovered the Llamas. No better friends, and if you're an enemy, well, they'll spit on you. Many more years, guys.

Posted by: The Colossus at November 22, 2006 06:21 AM

Many happy returns of the day, Llamas.

Posted by: beth at November 22, 2006 07:22 AM

Congrats, you freekin Llamas...
No lawn chemicals!!! Yip.

Posted by: Babs at November 22, 2006 10:04 AM

Late to the party but I wanted to offer my congrats on making it this far. Here's hoping you'll stick around for many years to come.

Posted by: utron at November 22, 2006 10:31 AM

Here's wishing you 40 specially trained Ecuadorian Mountain llamas, 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas, 142 Mexican Whooping Llamas, and 14 North Chilean Guanacos (closely related to the llama), and many happy returns!

Posted by: MCNS at November 22, 2006 11:06 AM

Congratulations, guys!

Posted by: Rachel at November 22, 2006 11:06 AM

Well, looking at the Blogspot site, we can certainly agree that they were some humble beginnings.

My, look how you've grown! Congrats, kids.

Posted by: Gordon at November 22, 2006 11:44 AM

Thanks for blogging! I came here by invitation of the Chai-rista and really adore the place.

Looking forward to more years of reading with y'all!

Yip! Yip!

Posted by: keysunset at November 22, 2006 11:48 AM

Wow, if you hadn't turned three today I would have never found this place -so, thanks.


Posted by: Jen at November 22, 2006 01:35 PM

Happy yip to one of the most original blognames there could be. Thanks to Six Meat Buffet's link, I'm a smarter person than I was 15 minutes ago. Ok, so THAT'd be as hard as feeding me grain pellets to get me to count out with my foot how many stupid things Al Gore says each day...

Posted by: geezer at November 22, 2006 09:35 PM