Embracing The Empire

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The opening scene of A New Hope–or Star Wars, as purists insist on calling it–is a display of efficient storytelling. In only a few seconds, the movie reveals itself as a David and Goliath tale, as we see the rebels cruising along in the intergalactic equivalent of a jalopy, trailed by the powerful and ever-reaching empire.

Once the movie introduces us to Luke Skywalker, we cling to the reluctant farmhand because we all know what it feels like to be denied a greater destiny due to forces and circumstances beyond our control. Later, when the Death Star explodes into space scrap and Princess Leia has donned our heroes with some new bling, we bask in our happy ending while never having asked what made the empire despicable in the first place. We merely accepted that we were rooting against them for two hours of runtime.

Sure, we can judge Darth Vader as evil since he wastes no time choking fools and throwing them around like rag dolls, but sometimes leaders have to exercise extreme measures for their desired results. With no elaboration of the situation, we could see Emperor Palpatine (who is, of course, introduced in the next film) as Abraham Lincoln and Vader as Ulysses S. Grant, both doing their best to keep a nation together.

In hindsight, this story formula likely explains my reluctance to embrace WordPress when I re-entered the blogging world. I previously used WordPress for a former version of jakelacaze.com but was determined to stay away when my domain freed up again after I let it go like the idiot I am.

I likely wanted to rebel for rebellion’s sake. I can’t help rooting for the little guy (which might explain why I celebrated the fall of the empire despite never understanding why it might be a good thing), and WordPress is the empire of the blogging world. Hell, it’s the empire of websites in general, as WordPress boasts that it runs nearly 40% of all websites.

My blogging rebellion led to hosting my blog on write.as, a platform focused on privacy and simplicity, the latter of which is why I was able to focus on writing and publishing anything on the web. But as my writing progressed, I started wanting something resembling a traditional blog or website. I wanted fully responsive and easily customizable navigation menus. I wanted flexibility on certain page layouts. I wanted the world! In short, I had become something other than part of the market for write.as, but I am grateful for finding it when I did. write.as was the right platform at the right time. Maybe I’ll be back when the platform matures since I locked into a five-year subscription only earlier this year.

As I get older, I have less time to tinker, so now I understand what the old people meant when they used to say they wanted something that just worked. Telling people you use WordPress may not get any reactions or cool points, but WordPress does work. Just to be clear, I’m not going to go out on a limb and possibly equate it to the Abraham Lincoln trying to keep the internet together. But it’s a company that offers a platform and helps people run their websites and businesses.

The masses have spent the last few years waking up to evil empires, most notably Facebook, Google, and Amazon. While I have no problem saying that WordPress is an empire, I’m not sure that to tack on the adjective “evil” would be fair.

Maybe that’s something I tell myself so that I can feel good about letting go of my ambitions to fight the good fight. idk