Perhaps it seems fitting, on this day of celebration, that our busy busy policy people warn us anew of Russia’s ever-growing desire to subvert our own fearless, God-loving country and tower astride it in ursine world domination. Roar.

Fitting, that is, because it is on this day that we celebrate the first anniversary of the Clandestine Panda Service.

Founded many months ago, on a server far away, the CPS had a humble beginning. I don’t think it was even called the Clandestine Panda Service initially: as some of our readers may recall, that name arose in the mind of one CPS staff writer after seeing a giant panda on the sweater of a man getting into a van. At least one of the first few posts was written from the point-of-view of a beaver, and the contemplation of shaving cream was a recurrent theme.

Hardly an auspicious start. However, many things have changed since then. The CPS moved house once, went through blog-themes faster than a 13-year-old girl goes through lipgloss; its writership swelled from a self-important, monophonic narrator to a vaguely schizophrenic first-person-plural voice reminiscent of The Economist or a scientific paper. Its content ricocheted from the heartwarming to the haughtily ironic, from the fictional to the narcissistically real, and everywhere in between. Stringent policies against links (e.g. the “no-blog-posts-about-random-internet-crap” rule) rose and fell like nomadic chieftains, and at this late hour are generally ignored.

Throughout it all, however, the CPS writership has striven to maintain a readable voice and a likable sense of humor. Our theory is that pandas are cuddly, and we should be too; that if we have to be ursine, we needn’t be so in the dominatrixine* manner of the Russians.

All the good intentions in the world, however, are for naught if nobody pays any attention. Like newspapers or characters in a novel, without our readership we cease to exist. It is therefore thanks to (or the fault of) a small-yet-dedicated group of readers that the essential work of the CPS goes on.

There is much not to like here. In fact, when you get right down to it, the CPS has almost none of the elements of a successful blog (consistent voice, regular postings, a topical focus), and is actually rather silly. It sustains itself with the belief that the world has enough of those things already, and if its problems are so grave that it can’t loosen up and read something meaningless then it’s about time it stopped fucking around on the computer and set about fixing them.

A gentle, submissive bear-hug to all who share, or at least tolerate, that world view, and who make the CPS what it continues to be, or not. At any rate, here’s to more of the same!

*It turns out that the archaic feminine suffix “-trix” has no adjectival form. At least, this source doesn’t mention one, and since we no longer go to school and are cheap, we cannot consult the OED on the matter. CPS lexicographers have therefore fabricated an adjectival suffix suffix, with the hope that, even if it’s not correct, it will at least have a nice ring to it. Thus is born “dominatrixine,” meaning “of or resembling a dominatrix.” Happy birthday.


11 Responses to “pandaversary”

  1. 1 jenlinnan March 29, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    That sweater was AWESOME. And so are you, albeit not in the fantastically hideous knitted garment sense of the word. Happy Pandaversary!

  2. 2 alden March 29, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    There was indeed something very funny about the sweater, but I think the combination of the sweater, the rotund man, and the suspicious looking van was what brought it about. And, probably an excess of caffeine, since I believe that’s what I was consuming at the time. It was very funny, at least then.

  3. 3 jenlinnan March 29, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I know, I remember you had the BRE (Best Reaction Ever). I was like “Haha, look at that guy’s sweater” and you were like “FFFFFBBWAHAHAHAHA *fall off chair*.”

  4. 4 Joseph Shoer March 31, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Happy happy birthday, and a VERY happy use of the word “ursine.”

  5. 5 alden April 2, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you. It’s truly underappreciated, especially given the sonic properties of its first syllable, which sound rather like a grunt.

  6. 6 Lisa April 3, 2007 at 10:25 am

    With all due respect to your well-constructed simile, when reading:

    “…went through blog-themes faster than a 13-year-old girl goes through lipgloss…”

    all I could envision was Sam and his affinity for Blue Razz-berry chapstick.

    Happy Birthday. (I refuse to use the “word” Pandaversary.)

  7. 7 Joseph Shoer April 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Has Lisa just made herself a Pandadversary?

  8. 8 Mary Beth April 6, 2007 at 1:17 am

    Oh goodness.

    That is all.

  9. 11 Yam April 10, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I invite you to come to New York MAINTENANT so that I can show you that my ChapStick is indeed of the normal variety and to prove that the FlavaCraze BlueCrazeBerry abomination that I had the misfortune of using for two weeks was but a mere blip on the radar screen of my lifetime ChapStick usage.

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