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Raising a Cup of Kindness

toast

Because now is an agreed-upon time to do such things, and because there is very little baseball to discuss as we hang new calendars, this seems like a good time to thank all of you fair NotGraphs readers for your continued support.

Nearly anyone can create a web site these days, making jokes and poems and heartfelt observations to an absent audience. It takes a community of writers and readers to make something like this possible. It’s a place for jabs and hastily-crafted Photoshops, yes, but it’s so much more. It’s a place for Hopeless Joe, for Dubuque’s and Baumann’s ventures into the sports ephemera, and dumb reviews about dumb TV shows that are kind of about baseball. It’s a place for philosophy and prose — parody and pontification. It’s a place that allows Dayn Perry to post what seems like annotated opium dreams, but what are actually perfectly-crafted imagination exercises that are so well done I get mad every time I read one, because I know I’ll never be at that level.

But our fine writers are just part of the story. There’s a popular Internet chunk of groupthink that advises people to not read the comments of basically any web page. And certainly, on a CNN or an SB Nation or certainly a Yahoo! News, these sections are best left avoided. They are often full of vitriol and ignorance and self-hate pointed outward. The NotGraphs comments are, in comparison, a delight. It’s a gentle mix of back patting and attempted one-upping, but it’s done in a way that’s neither brown-nosing nor disingenuous. There’s also a shared experience of “getting it,” of messages that hit their mark and massage the part of our brains that don’t get massaged that much — especially when dealing with sports.  It’s obvious that the content here is reaching its intended audience, and that the audience is happy to find what they’ve stumbled across.

NotGraphs was my first “real” writing gig. I’ve found my way onto other avenues, both on the mother site and on upcoming ventures, but I will never forget my roots, to use an already-overused phrase. I plan to write for NotGraphs for as long as they’ll have me, and I hope you continue to come back to participate in our truly-unique section of the World’s Wide Web. Here’s to goofiness and thoughtfulness and the way our site tends to blur the lines between. Here’s to a happy 2014 for all of us.

NotGraphs Forever.