A Rambling Inauguration to Future Rambling

Greetings hearts and minds! Welcome to A Helpless Compiler, the latest of the blog incarnations to spring from the mind of Les Chappell.

Viewed by some as the next incisive wit to approach the offerings of popular culture, and viewed by some as “another goddamned TV and video game blog,” A Helpless Compiler can fit fairly easily into both categories to start. This is a place where I intend to talk at great length about the things that interest me, with an emphasis on the multitude of media I’ve been consuming and the occasional self-analysis of my tastes and experiences. Essentially, it’s a place where I’ll take a lot of entertaining things far too seriously and allow myself to ramble without the need for an editorial filter.

Many of you, particularly if you’ve heard about this site through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, know that for the past few years the main exercise of my blogging muscles has been through my book review-centric blog, The Lesser of Two Equals. Operational for two and a half years now, dozens of articles posted without missing a month, I’ve long considered it to be what I wanted to devote the bulk of my writing attentions to. However, the site has entered a much more sluggish period, with content taking longer and longer to generate to the point that I actually put the site on an indefinite hiatus (though that collapsed a couple of weeks later when the next three books I read turned out to all be titles I had close to a thousand words to write about).

Since that burst of activity though, I’ve fallen into a bit of a slump writing-wise, a problem which I’ve tried to explain away by being exhausted at the day job. And while that’s still partially the reason, the wider explanation is that while I’m not exactly bored with book reviews, it’s begun to feel more and more limiting. The pieces I’ve had the most fun writing (and coincidentally, have also generated the most hits on TLOTE) have been the more expansive ones, such as my Text-to-Screen series on films and television that have sprung from works of literature.

Concurrently, I’ve been watching a hell of a lot of TV and playing a lot of video games, and reading more of the media coverage associated with that – stalwart sites like The Escapist, The A.V. Club and Hitfix.com have worked their way into my daily reading so fiercely that the pages could refresh every ten minutes all day and save me the trouble. My activity on various message boards and Twitter has outmatched my blog output for a while now, to the point that my output is spent on debates over the merits of “Community” (I’m for it) and the grounds for legitimizing addiction to video games.

So I’ve figured, why fight the current? We’re talking about these things in a limited detail, let’s take it past the 140-character limit and really get into the intricacies.

The establishment of A Helpless Compiler doesn’t mean I’ll be abandoning TLOTE, for those of you literati who do enjoy it when I put a title under my reviewing knives. The original site continues to exist and will exist as long as I can still turn pages, will be populated with content from myself and contributors as I have the time, and all posts will be linked through here in semi-regular recap posts. However, I feel that remaining literary-centric is detrimental both to my continued development as a writer and my ability to produce the amount of content rattling away inside my head.

So, that exposition out of the way, what can you expect to find on A Helpless Compiler? Well, right now that topic is a little hazy – I’ve been inside the library for so long I’m still furiously blinking as I emerge into the sunlight. Expect to see weekly to twice-weekly updates on a real melange of things you might not care about, and others you may care about a great deal. I’ll be talking about television shows I like and hate, video games I like and hate, pulling some of my favorite freelance archives out of storage complete with color commentary, and regularly going on diatribes that a) interest me and no one else, b) discuss things I am nowhere near qualified to discuss, and c) abusing my perpetual right to be inconsistent to contradict prior posts or praise and bury myself in the same sentence.

I’m excited, personally. You?

Until the next,


About Les Chappell

The Mad Hatter of media criticism. Co-founder of This Was Television, contributor to The A.V. Club, founder of A Helpless Compiler and The Lesser of Two Equals.
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