Five thousand


It’s that Hollow Earth again.

Post no. 5000 breaks the format of earlier stock-taking posts by doing without a Roman numeral for its title. MMMMM isn’t technically wrong but the Romans used a V with a horizontal line over it to signify 5000, a symbol that I imagine the temperamental coding of this site would refuse. No matter.

Post no. 4000 (January 8, 2016) arrived almost a year after I’d stopped writing every day, and had consequently seen visits decline as a result. (You can’t really talk about “readership” here when most visits will be from people looking for pictures of some sort.) The WordPress stats show that visitor numbers had been falling even before I stopped the daily posting routine, no doubt as a result of the uptake in social media. What’s interesting about the present moment is that the visitor numbers have been rising again at a time when disenchantment with social media is growing. I don’t think these two things are connected—I’m bound to see more visitors if I’m writing more often, as I have been since mid-2020—but it’s a curious thing sticking with an endeavour like this while vast internet edifices rise and fall around you. Since stepping away from social media myself I value the autonomy of this place all the more. Another development since 2016 is the rise of Substack, and a return (although it never really went away) to long-form writing. Most Substack contributors that I’ve seen are producing essays but a few have been creating collections of miscellaneous items that away from the site would be regarded as old-fashioned blog posts.

One thing that hasn’t changed here is the popularity of the Gay Artists Archive, still the most popular destination by a wide margin. The other very popular page is the Illustrators Archive; both pages serve a function which isn’t supplied elsewhere in quite the same way. People seem to value having someone filter a specific cultural area for them even if (as in my case) they’re only following their own tastes.


Graffiti by Thoma Vuille.

Okay, stock has been taken. Thanks, as always, for reading. Monsieur Chat, the tutelary deity of this place, says “En avant et vers le haut!”

8 thoughts on “Five thousand”

  1. Congrats! Your posts have been a great source for me to learn about artists and works and books. Just the Weekend Links alone are always quite interesting, and often lead to new discoveries. Thanks for all the work you do.

  2. Congratulations! There’s always a little jolt of pleasure when a new Feuilleton notification drops into the inbox. Where will this new entry go? Usually, I’ve no idea but I know I will always learn something and often be exposed to something strange and beautiful. I really do appreciate the effort you put into this site and hope you can continue to do it for as long as possible.

  3. Archeologists recently discovered a 5000-year-old tavern at a dig in Iraq.

    Sikorsky recently announced the delivery of its 5o00th Black Hawk helicopter to the US Army.

    The State Bank of India has announced the availability of 5000 Junior Associate posts.

    Double spaced, using a 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font, found on college theses, dissertation research, or very comprehensive, in-depth blog posts, 5000 words is approximately 20 pages.

    There must be Higher Forces at work. Congratulations!

  4. Thanks, everyone!

    Graeme: I usually don’t know what I’ll be writing about from one week to the next, that’s part of what keeps the endeavour interesting for me. I think many of the blogs from the great wave of the early 2000s ran out of steam eventually by writing about the same subject (or themselves) all the time. I’ve been wondering how many of the current wave of Substack accounts will succumb to the same syndrome.

  5. When I gave up social media, I added your site to my morning reading, so at least 0.0002 of the uptick is connected! Thank you!

  6. Thanks ESPECIALLY for The Gay Artists Archive and illustrators Archive–
    invaluable as is Your own art.

    Well, you’re the grand one
    Have you noticed? –Maxwell Demon & The Venus in Furs


  7. Tom, Joe: Thanks!

    I love Velvet Goldmine, think it may be my favourite of all the Todd Haynes films I’ve seen so far.

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