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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

why not buy Flick Filosopher a beer for its 21st birthday?


On this day in 1997, I launched Flick Filosopher. It’s my baby, and now it has reached the US legal drinking age. Damn.

I like to say, in the tradition of “If I’d known I was gonna live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,” that if I’d known the site was gonna be around this long, I might have done things differently from the beginning. But actually, it’s tough to know exactly what I could have done differently, since I didn’t have a crystal ball that would let me see how the Internet would develop, how the movie industry would change, or how much publishing as a business and journalism as a calling would both come under increasing fire. If I had known, I might never have even started, because then I wouldn’t have gotten in this deep.

Everything that I do here gets more difficult, in a financial sense, every year. Yet I also believe that what I’m doing — as a woman with decades-long experience in a male-dominated field that needs more diversity — has value. I love this work, and I don’t want to quit. But quitting is something I must constantly consider: it would be the financially responsible thing to do. I’m really exhausted with my precarious living situation, which is not conducive to creativity and doing good work. It’s also damn stressful being worried about money all the time.

But then along comes #TimesUp and #MeToo. Along comes — maybe — some real action on getting women’s voices heard more in Hollywood and in the culture. Along is coming, very soon, Cherry Picks, a Rotten Tomatoes–style review aggregator for female critics. Maybe things are changing. So I can’t quit now. If I do, the bastards win. (I am the sunk-cost fallacy in action.)


While we wait for the revolution, you can help me keep going by becoming a patron of my work at Patreon:

support my work at Patreon

(I’m working on some rewards and on ways to give Patreon supporters more. I’ll be asking you all for input on that soon.)

If you’re afraid of commitment, you can make a one-time donation via PayPal:

support my work at PayPal

(You can also use PayPal at Patreon!)

A big thank-you, as always, to those lovely readers who have been supporting me throughout the years. I literally could not have kept this up without your help.

And a big thank-you to all you lovely new supporters to come!

posted in:
maryann buzz | Net buzz
  • Glad to celebrate this milestone with an extra tip in the bucket. Thanks for being here and doing what you do. Happy birthday to Flick Filosopher!

  • leah

    cheers to 21 years!

  • LaSargenta

    Congratulations for reaching 21!!

  • Thank you!

  • Tonio Kruger

    Congrats for reaching the big 21.

    I must confess, though, that I always thought you were more into wine.

  • I don’t drink beer at all. I didn’t say buy *me* a beer…

  • Sent enough for what I hope is at least a couple of pints over in Jolly England to mark the anniversary. Not sure if any of the developments you mention will really address the declining willingness of the public to *pay* for writing and other creative works though.

  • Done. Enjoy one on me. Thanks for all the great reading over the years.

  • No, probably not. But if they can increase my exposure, hence increase my readership, then the actual numbers of readers who WILL support my work financially goes up, too, even if it remains a tiny percentage overall.

  • scottc

    I’ve sent you a payment for your services. You are my go to film reviewer. That’s odd because I don’t “get” female writers in general and female film reviewers in particular. I agree with your reviews most of the time, and I always appreciate your views. I hope you can keep this going. You’re a great writer.

  • RogerBW
  • Yolanda Carroll

    Congratulations! BTW, I just became a patron of yours! I’ve been meaning to subscribe to your site for awhile now and since I already have a Patreon account I decided to do it that way. :)

  • Thank you. Maybe you need to try reading more female writers? What don’t you “get” about them?

  • Thank you very much!

  • scottc

    I mean that male and female views, attitudes and beliefs are generally slightly skewed from each other. While I don’t mind reading novels written by women, I know they will probably take a different path than a similar novels written by men. Maybe more talk and less action.

    As far as film reviewers goes, Ebert’s death left a gaping hole. I had no home, so to speak until I found you. While I definitely do not always agree with you, your words are always highly valued.

  • I had no home, so to speak until I found you.

    Wow, I really appreciate hearing that. Thank you.

    But, you know, the differences between individuals is much greater than whatever general differences may exist between genders. (I’ve read a fuckton of novels by women with plenty of action in them.) Maybe reading more women will convince you of this.

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