The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.
– Arthur Schopenhauer, The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion
Behold the day and month is 7. This means Strong AF is 365 days old, or one year if you insist on using the Gregorian calendar. When the site launched, the overarching intention was not only to investigate The Riddle of Strength, but to provide training programs, courses or other resources around these subjects. It turns out that investigation has meant a great deal of time thinking on how to craft measured, mildly articulate (at least in the author’s opinion) discourse on these matters. The result has been less focus on the provision of resources for the causal reader, which perhaps reveals how little concern Strong AF has for those not yet ready to spend some of their time listening, reading or thinking and probably highlights the intention behind the sometimes cryptic or obscure references that guarantee this audience will remain small and discerning.
Another aspect initialised in Year 1 was the production of tiered apparel, again catering to a microscopic subset of internet nomads. It has been endlessly surprising seeing orders placed by names I do not recognise in places I have never been. The pricing tiers are intrinsically linked to the three memberships offered, though it seems memberships (including the free tier) have been inexplicably (at least to the author) ignored, despite there being clear benefits to joining.
The narration of articles has also proven to be more troublesome and time consuming than expected, due partially to immediate environmental factors – like the relentless patrolling if helicopters and inexorable construction efforts around this area, but mostly due to it being a total fucking hassle. As stated in Goal F*ck Yourself, habits are difficult to grow with infrequency, so naturally narration will become easier if articles become more frequent. No pressure then.
Year 2 will sees some changes, additions and subtractions. The store contains a selection of apparel emblazoned with obscure references (as usual) though the tri-blends have been jettisoned and replaced with a heavier weight material, largely because the print company only does sleeve details on a limited range. The colours (yes, this site will always use en-gb spelling) have also been reduced to mostly monochromatic. Finally, The Y1 specific clothing is gone forever. If you have Y1 clothing, you are now a collector. Congratulations.
You’ll notice a number below the Strong AF logo. This is an ISSN or International Standard Serial Number, which means all updates on this site are recorded in America’s Library of Congress. Why? Because why not.
Membership tiers have been adjusted. The Sapling membership has been reduced from $3 to $1 per month and Oak has been reduced from $5 to $3. Acorn memberships remain $0. All memberships now provide access to a closed Discord server, where you can safely discuss any of the topics covered on this site, along with learning about local meet-ups that are likely to involve fire.
Along with this, the site now offers potentially the best coffee you will ever drink. This was a long process to perfect and while the site does not profit from any sales, the idea that some of you may be sipping Strong AF coffee as part of your daily routine is joy enough.
The last new addition to the site will be a Strong AF podcast, which will materialise at some point this year. All recordings will occur in Discord, and Oaks will be able to listen to the recordings live. Each recording will be 90 minutes in length, with 60 minutes made available on the usual platforms and a 30 minutes after hours type format will be available to members of the site only. That last third will be for the Strong AF community alone, and may include answers to questions posed during the recording of the podcast. Let’s see how that goes.
Finally, I’d like to recognise those of you who have visited, commented or purchased something on the site. Part of the theory behind this site is that like minded weirdos will somehow find it, despite the best efforts of shit like Google attempting to convince you to stay mind-numbingly mainstream and the author’s flat refusal to entertain any open social media network further than telling you something has occurred on this site.
Steps towards that recognition of you weirdos has been to create the closed Discord server – a social nichework, if you will. It is this author’s opinion that we are spread too wide and too thin, clamouring for hope in a sea of hopelessness. Year 2 focusses around what The Riddle of Strength means for the Strong AF community.
For us, by us.