As some regular visitors to this blog -- those who dig, and dig deep, into our archives -- may have noticed, a significant, bordering on vast amount of our past content is no longer visible. There is a reason for this. Between 2006 and 2009, roughly, thousands of images on this blog were initially uploaded to Photobucket. It seemed like a good idea at the time and, indeed, the images were preserved and hosted well. I had no complaints.
Very recently, however, Photobucket has drastically changed its policy with respect to 3rd Party hosting. Where before they hosted images gratis, or for a very small monthly fee, now they seek the sum of $400 per year for this service. And until such time as payment is made, we learn, none of the uploaded images will be visible anywhere they were meant to be seen. This has caused something of a controversy among existing Photobucket users. Words of condemnation and great censure have positively filled the air in some quarters. I will not argue with them (indeed, I could probably add a few).
A few years ago, I toyed with closing this blog, since its visitor stats were dwindling and its days of glory (such as they ever were) were fading in the rear view mirror. A few of you might remember that I actually announced such a closure at one time. I couldn't do it. Whatever the lack of new content and however low the stats had fallen, I found I couldn't bring myself to remove this blog from a blogosphere it had occupied, to some acclaim, since 2004; largely because I felt that its archive of images represent, in the aggregate, a somewhat valuable survey of mass culture of the past.
That's how I felt then; it's how I feel now. Sue me.
In any event, I realize now that I would have kept this blog going forever, even if not one further image had been posted by anyone. Just for the archives; no other reason. Unfortunately, Photobucket's decision to take their uploaded images hostage is forcing my hand in a manner I did not ever expect to encounter. I don't have $400 a year to give to these cannibals; not now, nor at any other time. So it is with the deepest regret in the world that I am closing this blog as of now.
In a few days I will post a link to a new blog I'm starting, somewhat (hopefully not too much) along the lines of this one. I'm calling it Facsimile: 'Gunslinger' in Exile, and it's going to be a mix of old and new material (images, podcasts, whatever else comes to mind; the old material repurposed and born anew). It is my hope that visitors to this blog will find something worthy of their time and attention at that one. I'll have it up and running within a couple of weeks. You will be the first to know when it goes live.
Unlike this venture, Facsimile will not be a collaborative enterprise. Other words, I'm flying solo on that one. Therefore, I want to extend my greatest thanks to my co-conspirators: anyone who at any time contributed images to this blog. I also want to thank everyone who ever visited us over the last 12 years, even those of you who hated it. Whatever you thought, you at least saw the images. That's all that matters.
If anyone has any questions about this, or the new blog, please post them in the comment section.
Thank you for your time.