One of the best things about blogging reminds me — and I may have made this point in an old post; I write a lot and can’t always remember what I said — of Bill Florio’s approach to punk rock. In some old MRR column, Bill described how when his bands get boring, he’d break them up and reform them as slightly different ones a little later, often with his same bandmates/friends involved. It seemed odd to outsiders, he explained, but since the whole point was to have fun and be creative, resetting the board just made sense to him.

I thought of that when I saw my friend Andrew Exum announce that Abu Muqawama is going to switch to a more ponderous format. Longtime readers of AM know that Ex has “retired” before, and so I’m pretty sure that’s why his headline references the Black Album. But as someone who read that blog back when it was a playpen for some very smart friends of mine, I’ve loved seeing it evolve into the centerpiece (along with Small Wars Journal) of a community, a place where that community goes to try to define itself. An AM commenter pointed out that the blog got too big too fast. There’s something to that. But it got big because it spoke to a constituency that was waiting to be rallied. And if Ex decides that it’s getting in the way of what he ultimately wants to do — well, hell, it’s great to see him display the bravery that goes with changing the script. Speaking as a devoted reader, I’m going to stay with AM to see what comes next, because I’m interested not in a particular style, but in the way Ex and his comrades think.

Speaking of. What I thought was a Twitterborne joke has actually happened. My friend Julian Sanchez has launched Cockpunch, an outpost for his more pugilistic — dare I say Attackerman-esque? — impulses. The first post is a wonderful piece of writing as well as an admirable mission statement. I view the sentiments of Julian, an OG blogger, as on a continuum with Ex’s. He has a desire to write in certain ways that don’t exactly comport with either his personal blog or his employer’s, and so he changes up and starts something new. We should all be that brave and creative.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman