There's a whole smug semi-language of jargon and claptrap that I've never felt comfortable using with regard to this site. When describing our Tumblr-bound prehistory, for instance, which spanned November of last year, I have not yet been able to describe it as a "soft launch." Thankfully, no one ever really asks me about this.
When this site finally surfaced, more or less as it is now, I suppose it was a hard launch. Which is even more unappealing, honestly, for a bunch of reasons; the fact that I keep reading it as "hard lunch"—and keep recoiling at the various possibilities in terms of what a hard lunch might possibly be, like does it involve plyometrics or sex or what ugh sorry—is just one of those, but it's enough. But these are the terms we use to describe things having to do with websites, and this is a website—has been for something like a year now, counting backwards from this end-of-the-first week post—and so there you go. Except that I can't quite hack the jargon.
If we absolutely have to talk like that, though, I'll say that I prefer this: I prefer to think of this website as "going live." That's older jargon, I know, but I like it more: it's less business-neutered, less gymnastic in its starchy and secretly dumb avoidance of the colloquial; it has some intimation of humanity to it. It also feels righter, here. So say that, then: The Classical has been live, alive, up and on the internet, for about a year.
The first thing to say about this, and really the last thing and everything in between, is thanks. The site certainly would not be here without you, both in the basic you-funded-our-Kickstarter-campaign-with-your-money sense and in a few other more basic and more fundamental senses. This stuff is implicit, and it's hard to make it explicit without it sounding grandiose and puffed-up, but yeah: You read, so we write; You write, so we edit. If all of you didn't do those things, this wouldn't be a thing. There is a lot of individual labor involved, but this is fundamentally a communal endeavor, and as such it wouldn't work without the strength and support of the people in that community. You know all this.
But it's you first, and it has been like that for as long as we've been doing this. It has to be like that: writers write because they hope that someone might read. We all depend on each other, in short, and we depend especially upon you. So far, it's working.
The issue on our end, all along, has been capacity. This is not a full-time job for any of us, although it's safe to say that a number of us think about it pretty much all the time; doing what we have to do elsewhere necessarily makes it difficult for us to do everything we want to do with the site.
To lose that abstract plural for a moment, doing what this site demands has at times made me frustrated and anxious; I spend a lot more time than I'd like in a stress-narcotized Time To Make The Donuts zombie state. It has also been the best word-related experience of my life, and among the proudest and the most edifying and most inspiring and worthwhile experiences, period. Which is all very nice for me, naturally, but also not the most important thing at the moment.
The most important thing at the moment, as it has been for the last year and sort of always is, is the next moment. There are things we haven't done yet that we wanted to do, and we'll try our best to do those. There are things we want to do, which can broadly be classified under "new and better ways of doing this thing," and we'll try to do those, too. This sounds vague, and that's because we're still working on it and worrying about it and slowly figuring it out, both in the broad sense and in several specific instances that we hope to make real fairly soon. But it's not really vague. It just means we need to get to work, or stay working.
Tomorrow, we'll do all this again. And the day after that, and then after that it will be the weekend, which is nice, but then we'll do it again after the weekend. Tell us how you think we can make this better, and we'll do our best to do that. Tell us in an email, or on Twitter, or on Facebook, or email me. This year has been humbling and awesome and fun and difficult and otherwise everything I could've wished for it to be. The next year should be better. Thanks for getting us this far, and for tomorrow and for the days after that. Thanks a lot.
Classical wallpaper by Jacob Weinstein.