Manifesto

2017, Dec 31    

Years ago, I planned to assemble a team of folks to publish articles under a site called Mylymbo.com. The tag line for the site/brand was “Hear, Feel, React” which, I’ll admit, sounds a little trite and inconsequential. Either way, I did a fair amount of writing for the site and published a number of articles and even managed to garner the support of a few friends who were willing to submit a few pieces. The site was simple - a 19-20 year old’s attempt at working out his opinions on what was going on around him, in website form. The site’s gone now and has been for about seven years. It’s time for something new. Enter stage left - DonaldJohn.com.

First, the name.

An explainer: My name is Donald Adams, but I’m not the only one, my dear ‘ole dad’s name is also Donald Adams. There was also a famous actor back in the 1960’s or so also named Donald Adams. There was also a famous opera singer who also possessed the name Donald Adams. He’s the guy you’ll find first when Googling the name. Needless to say, the last thing I need, having zero influence, is a name conflict and a host of sites/videos/images that already have pretty secure top spots in terms of Google page rank. I needed a pen name.

I was loosely assigned the name Donald John as a nick name some years ago. I think it came as an english variation of the name Don Juan, but I’m not sure. Either way, it seemed to stick. I think it rings well as a pen name. In preparing for this project I didn’t think twice about using it…until the 2016 US presidential race. As you all know, I share a first name with the current US president. I have no interest in swapping out my first name. Many of you might not know, though, that the president’s middle name is John. When I found out, I was flabbergasted. There I was, at my keyboard staring into the screen, my name having been stolen…again. Call it coping, but I convinced myself that if I played my cards right, I could ride a wave of name conflicts and hashtag overloading to better success when it comes to page rank and generally getting content in front of as many eyes as I can. I’d also already purchased and owned the domain name for a year or so by that time - so there was that too.

Articles & Essays

If you couldn’t tell by how long it took me to explain the name of the site, I enjoy writing. I’ve stayed pretty silent on social media for five years or so, especially when it came to political and ethical matters. Most of this was avoiding public conflict with family and friends I know differ with me in terms of opinion on various topics. Another part of it was that Facebook and other platforms have changed quite a bit and I’m not very sure how I ought to use them anymore. It’s hard to believe I’ve had a Facebook account for about a decade - but the purpose and dynamics of Facebook have changed tremendously since I first created my account. No longer is it primarily a means to talk to friends, but rather, it’s a mega-source of news and entertainment. I hardly see original content come down my timeline from people I actually know. After a few starts and stops in engagement with the platform, it became clear that it and other platforms have become primarily echo chambers and soundboards for viral powerhouses, largely controlled by king makers and big corporations. I realized I needed a little self-operated corner the internet to organize my thoughts and hopefully persuade and change minds in the process.

What you can expect from DonaldJohn.com in terms of writing are a mixture of articles and essays. The difference here is slight but worth pointing out. Articles are more informative/explanatory and may develop over the course of the life of whatever it’s covering. Articles will likely cover a person, place, or thing and are written to highlight that subject and, to a lesser extent, offer my analysis. I believe the subject of articles should be magnified enough that, if the story is truly worth writing about, it (the subject) should carry the attention of the reader itself. All that’s needed here is investigation, research, and a faithful reporting of the findings.

Essays are different. What you’re getting out of an essay is a string of propositions - an argument. You will read facts, you will read my reaction to those facts, and then you’ll read my opinion or proposed solution to whatever the problem the essay is addressing. Essays will be longer than articles and generally won’t change very often unless for the sake of offering a correction or adjustment based off faulty info from a bad source. You can expect what I write to be backed up, and if it isn’t I should make it known that I’m entering into speculation territory. Don’t be fooled, I’m coming for your mind. An essay isn’t much of an essay if it doesn’t try to lift the reader up in the beginning and place them somewhere else by the time they’re done reading - hopefully closer to the truth. All this is done honestly, likely featuring an opening argument or thesis. Although essays will be lengthy, readers shouldn’t use that as an opportunity to skim or rush through. We need to bring back long-form expression and this is my attempt at helping to do that.

The Reasonable Podcast

In order to reach a broader audience and diversify the way folks can consume the content I create, I’ve decided to include a podcast as a part of this new site. The podcasts will be weekly and they are hosted on Soundcloud and automatically syndicated to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Anchor - so whether you have an Android, Apple, or some other device, you should be able to search your respective podcast app and find it. Each episode will also be available for listening on the site.

As far as format goes, the podcast should be simple and straight forward. A commentary on US and world news/culture, it will likely take a few events and articles from the week and tie them together according to underlying themes.

While in development, the name fluctuated a little bit but I eventually settled on Reasonable. I chose this name because I want those who hear the name to get the sense that what they’re about to tune into is simple, clear - logically manageable. There’s no slight of hand here. I also chose the name hoping it communicates a sense of ease when it comes to accepting or at least understanding the points made in the podcast. In short, I’m not trying to intellectually sell you something convoluted or something you don’t need. I’d like for you to understand and agree, but if you don’t I hope I’ve made the points clear enough that you can at least leave with a basic understanding of the worldview behind the opinion.

I’d like for both Christians and non Christians to listen to this podcast. The shape this will likely take is one where I speak as a Christian to Christians, in the hearing of non Christians. Who knows, that might change, but that’s the way I see it now.

Conclusion

There are other things I’d like to do - more content I’d like to put together and release, but my plate is too full as it is. I’d appreciate it if you supported this effort by helping to get the word out and subscribing to the various social outlets I post to. I’d also appreciate your prayers and encouragement.

Thanks for reading.

Donald John