Blog Update: Everybody Calm Down

Happy New Year! I know saying “New Year, New Me,” is cliché, however New Year, New Blog would not be entirely untrue. With the New Year I’ve seized an opportunity to make some improvements to this blog, utilizing every tool available to me to make this the most functional and aesthetically pleasing reading experience you can possibly find.

Okay that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I have been working on some changes to the blog to improve readability. You might’ve already noticed a few design changes, particularly on the home page (if you’re reading this on a phone you may have trouble seeing those.) This is a work in progress, and as I continue to play around with the design, more changes will come.

But the first major change is to give this blog a fresh name. The original title of this blog was Reflections of the 24. Let’s be real, that’s a terrible name. Starting in 2019, this blog will henceforth be titled Everybody Calm Down. It rolls off the tongue more easily, is a little cooler to say, and for bonus points, comes along with a functional acronym.

Beyond that, one of the biggest problems in our political climate is excessive hyperbole. Everything has become the end of the world. In reality, most of what we’re dealing with is nothing new, and most of our problems are getting better. One of the purposes of this blog is to show this, whether we’re discussing gun violence or illegal immigration. This goes back to the point I made in Life is Pretty Amazing – our modern world is nothing short of a miracle, and I want to be the guy answering the apocalyptic shrieks of partisans by simply saying “Everybody Calm Down.”

The second change is structural. I’ve gotten into a rhythm of posting twice a week, once on Monday and once on Friday. The way my schedule looks for next semester, that will remain consistent. There will be a post every Monday and Friday, with the rare exception of things like Christmas. In a perfect world, I will get to the point I am releasing all these pieces at the same time (3:30 looks like the time for that), but I have some work to do if I want to be there.

Every post will now be fall into six categories:

  • News- Anything where I try to explain what’s going on. These posts are not devoid of my opinions, but the primary purpose is news, not opinion. Think of the Midterms Recap
  • Commentary- Anything where I analyze my opinion on a piece of news. Think of the post The Rich White Civil War
  • Ideas- Any question of policy, something apart from the news. Think of the post How to Improve Voting
  • Big Ideas- Anything involving religion, philosophy, or the state of society. Anything above government. Think of the post It Starts With Me
  • Movies- This is self-explanatory
  • Sports- This is self-explanatory

So far, I’ve down a mostly commentary and news, and not much ideas or culture. This is going to change. There are many people writing on the daily news, people more knowledgeable and more skilled with a pen than I. The more abstract questions of policy or the future are more interesting, and it’s something I can do to make this blog something other than a worse version of National Review or HotAir. I’m also going to work on finding an overarching theme, which could be tribalism, political parties, or just political predictions. I don’t have the time, skill, or knowledge to discuss everything, and specializing can make this blog something beyond just some random kids half-baked thoughts on the latest Twitter cycle.

So going forward, there’s going to be a much larger focus on the stuff beyond daily news. Every Friday we’re going to step back from the news, and talk sports, movies, policy, history, religion, or whatever is on my mind distinct from the news. On Mondays I can discuss 2020 or the future of the Republican party, but Friday’s we’re going to have a little fun. One of the design changes includes a sidebar on the home page (at the bottom of the home page on phones) that will direct you to all the posts in each of the six categories, so if you’re less interested in politics and more interested in movies, that will allow you to navigate to the movie posts more easily.

And third is size. All post of news and commentary are going to be caped at 1000 words. If that means I need to break up posts into two parts (which I did for the midterm predictions), I will. I’ll try to keep the movie reviews, sports breakdowns, and policy prescriptions under the same limits, but I know if I was writing a review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it would end up being a 3,000 word rant, and I would never dilute that glory.

Welcome to 2019. I’m grateful for those who have joined us thus far, and I look forward to what’s in store. I’ve got most of the month of January planned, and there’s a lot of great content dropping, everything from 2020 predictions to climate change to 2018 movie breakdowns. Be sure to hit that follow button in the bottom right, or the button now on the sidebar of the home screen (or at the bottom on phones).

In the meantime, happy New Year, and welcome to Everybody Calm Down.

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