WordPress bloggers, do you remember resisting the Block Editor? A year ago your groans reverberated around the globe: “Bring back the Classic Editor!” That feels like 1,000 years ago but no: it was only last year.
Last year I was searching WordPress Reader for blog posts about “editing.” All in vain. Instead I found endless pieces by people who were rebelling against a forced change to WordPress’s Block Editor.
Their resistance was only human. Many bloggers had mastered the old Classic Editor and were perfectly satisfied with it. They (OK, we) saw no urgent reason to switch to the less-old-but-not-exactly-new Block Editor. Bloggers shared no end of fascinating workarounds. Some were using far more energy and ingenuity to avoid the new editor than they would need to embrace it.
Ghost of an old internet platform
I too was a bit reluctant to switch, not from hostility but from a false association. When I looked at the WP block editor I was frightened by a ghost. I couldn’t help but see similarities with a certain horrible internet platform commonly used in the 2000s. That old internet platform forced writers to decide irrevocably in advance when to start a new paragraph, for instance. We had to think like a Knowledge Map in a Trap; shuffling sentences around was a nightmare.
Well, that was then, this is now. Bloggers persevered and found to their surprise, “It’s not so bad.”
Why a Verse block?
Interesting feature: a Verse block. What, a change of typeface for a poem? Paragraph breaks between lines? Purists may groan but today I say to myself, suck it up. At least it’s not Comic Sans. At least it’s easy to do. And it’s instantly obvious that—
These lines are poesy so put on your poetry face and brace yourself for lines that go ragged right and float in space. And toss a pretty posy to the noble poet putting words of graft and grace into their proper Verse Block place using the earnest Courier typeface.
Fear of losing control
At the time, many people worried that they could no longer place images in their favourite idiosyncratic places.
I understand how annoying it must be to lose the illusion of design control—but it always was an illusion. For the blog that you see (given your personal combination of browser, operating system, screen, preferences, platform and device) has never been the same as what I see. Never was, never will be, for multiple reasons. It’s a miracle that modern themes and styles can make our blogs look as good as they do, whether on a huge high-res screen or a klunky little old smartphone.
I’m happy. Yes, it took a few weeks to get my head around the Block Editor but publishing is now faster and more efficient, too. Thank you, WordPress. I appreciate your help with alt text and SEO and image compression and scheduling and yes, presenting poetry.
Like the WordPress Block Editor, Covid-19 vaccines aren’t that bad either
Humans resist change when it’s out of their control and when there is no obvious, personal, immediate need for change.
Inevitably I start thinking about the Covid-19 vaccine we’re lining up to receive. Yes, like the WordPress Block Editor it was new a year ago. And like the Block Editor, it’s not so bad, folks. It blocks the worst effects of a hideous, super-contagious, potentially fatal disease—maybe you heard that already?
If only the media would stop showing images of Big Needles forcing their way into bare shoulders. When you are the one getting vaccinated, THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU SEE—not unless you have a very long neck and can twist it around like a goose or a swan. What you actually see is your own shoulder and a nurse’s hands.
And what you feel is a little tiny nip, not half as bad as a paper cut, let alone a Botox shot or an electrolysis session or a bikini wax.
I searched for a very long time to find a realistic photo of someone getting vaccinated. Every photo or video except one focused sadistically on a massive needle drilling a hole into someone’s perfectly good arm. Alarming, of course.
By contrast, my Terrible Drawing above of a man getting vaccinated is far more realistic. If he looked at his shoulder, he would see a pair of gloved hands at work, not a needle digging in. I based my Terrible Drawing on a photo used by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, illustrating the following article: