I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT. I regret to announce that — though, as I said, two years is far too short a time to spend among you — this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

I’m going to focus on some other projects, which may later be found starting April 2 at As of today, I’m ending this blog. I know this will upset some people. Simply put, I no longer enjoy writing it. It was a good run, and maybe in the future something else will come up bearing the name Blackbird Press. But as for this blog in front of you — it’s finished.  Thanks for reading. But don’t be sad — the change is a result of my own growth, and I am just ready to move onto projects I find more interesting, and more beautiful.

I leave you with a list of the things from the archives I think are most worth reading.

Justin Mulwee

Travis Lambert

Tia Murray

Other Authors / Multiple Authors


Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

2012: Blackbird Press Jumps the Shark

Dear Readers,

I’m bored with the Blackbird Press. The thing is, I’ve said everything I wanted to say when I started this. All my opinions about religion and the church are pretty much documented at this point, and I’m tired of rehashing them. I think our creed is great, and I’m proud of the things we’ve said to expound upon it, but I just don’t feel I have anything more to add to that discussion besides noise. Everyone has an opinion, especially on the internet, and I rarely feel like reading them anymore, much less writing them. I wrote my last post just because I hadn’t written anything lately. It is totally uninspired and forgettable.

So I thought about putting the Blackbird out of its misery.

But hold on. In December, it got over 1000 views despite having zero new content during that month. Someone once told me the Blackbird was the biggest spiritual influence on his life, and I still feel the internet has too few Christian sites that aren’t a dime a dozen in content and style. The Blackbird is one of my longest running and most successful creative projects. I’m not willing to let go yet.

So, I’m drumming up some new ideas. I haven’t decided exaclty what to do yet, but here’s some thoughts. I’d like to take a more journalistic approach and document what’s happening with Christianity and culture on a street level. I’d also like to gather more readers who aren’t Christians and don’t read other Christian blogs.

Often, agnostics are afraid to talk to Christians about anything of substance because they fear they will only be misunderstood or judged. I’d love it if the Blackbird community could be a haven for some of these people–a place where Christians are abnormally honest and unpretentious.

I’ve also always wanted the Blackbird to have a more artsy flavor than it currently does, perhaps with some more creative prose, short stories and vignettes. And man, it’s been too long since I published some good satire.

I’m not sure where I’m going here. I’d appreciate input on what you all would like to see more or less of, or any ideas you might have on how to reshape things around here.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

Posts From Now On Will Be More Awesomer

It’s recently come to my attention that we’ve been doing everything wrong. For a year now, we’ve struggled with obscurity, buried under the popularity of hundreds of religious blogs that are way more awesomer than the Blackbird Press. Well, all that’s about to change.

No more deep, philosophical posts. No more proddings toward moral excellence.  No more talking about ideas when we should be talking about more relevant things, like celebrities. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in the works:

The site definitely needs to be cuter. We’re thinking of re-changing our logo to this:

Also, more articles about Rob Bell, the most brilliant teacher of our time. Accented of course with dramatic shots:

Combined with even more awesome artsyness:

There’s one more fatal flaw of the Blackbird Press: not enough sex appeal. To that end, Tia has agreed to accompany all her future posts with a photo of herself wearing outfits like this.

I think our forefathers were on to something. Women are better without pants.

Last but not least, we made our creed better.

P.S.: If you were looking for something more intelligent to read, consider this theological treatise on the Deconstructionist View of Einstein’s Special Relativity Applied  Kantian Meta-Meta-Ethics.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

The Creed, Twitter, and a Furret!

You may have noticed posts have moved back to the normal schedule instead of being depressingly sparse. Let’s see if I can keep it that way, eh? Couple of small changes:

The Creed previously said “We oppose our culture,” which makes sense in context but still I thought it should be more clear exactly what we oppose. This is because I want to distinguish us from the “culture wars” people who are always antagonizing everyone and think everyone in evil secular land is out to get them. The creed now reads “We oppose the selfishness and shallowness of our culture.” I’ll write a more developed post about this later. The Creed is fluid and will continue to be revised as necessary.

That stupid array of social media buttons at the bottom of every article has been replaced with two simple buttons: facebook and twitter. If you like an article, please use one (or both) of those buttons. It’s immensely helpful to us and it takes like two seconds.

Speaking of those, I’ll be sharing more links via twitter and Facebook when I find something worth reading. But I feel obligated to say that if you choose to follow the Blackbird Press we will NOT (ever) spam your facebook/twitter page with 80,000 pointless links and updates about what I’m eating for breakfast (why I stopped following RELEVANT mag almost immediately). In fact, if you follow too many people, you probably won’t even catch the Blackbird updates and tweets because they’ll already have been pushed off your page because of all your dumb friends and their worthless Farmville/Yoville/Podunkville BS. But as a matter of principle, I’d rather be ignored than annoying.

Lastly, I really need to do something about the staff page because it’s a poor indicator of who really does things around here. But it is nice for visitors to click the page and see a few faces besides mine. But I’m not sure whether there is or should be any real distinction between “staff writers” and contributors (which are numerous), as at the moment there aren’t any consistent writers besides me. Any suggestions?

I can explain. In keeping with the tradition of using pics of random animals for site update posts, I decided on a ferret. However, I accidentally typed "furret" which is in fact a Pokemon.

P.S. If you knew the above image was a Furret, you’re a loser.

P.P.S. Furret’s rudimentary paws and legs are deceptively nimble, making Furret a quick, unpredictable predator especially skillful at hunting Rattata, its main prey.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

After 100 Posts, the Creed Matures

This is post #101, and we’re approaching 1000 comments. This makes me warm and fuzzy inside because it seems like most blogs fizzle out after half a dozen posts which all have zero comments. So, thanks for reading. Over the course of all those articles and discussion, the Blackbird Press has matured. I think its’ writers have too. I know I have. In that spirit, we have changed our creed. For comparison, here’s the old one you’re used to seeing:

The Blackbird Press is a counterculture magazine challenging the shallow, self-serving, intellectually bankrupt and otherwise lame Christian subculture in America. We believe faith is no excuse for ignorance, tackiness and thoughtless conformity.

We believe Christianity is a mind-renewing, flesh-mortifying undertaking. We reject watered-down, unbiblical, cheesy versions of our religion. We criticize the church because we are a part of it and are not afraid to make fun of ourselves for the sake of honesty and change.

We also believe abject cynicism has no place in the church. We hope by our vigilance to reveal Christ, who stands apart from the mockeries which infringe upon his name.

It’s nice, but it’s also too narrow. We don’t just challenge the lame Christian subculture in America. We challenge a lot of things. After some thinking and discussion, here is the new creed:

The Blackbird Press is a magazine combining passion for reformation with unwavering loyalty to the church, rejecting the twin vices of foolish jingoism and abject cynicism. We resist the temptations of self-righteous separatism and lend our talents to solving the church’s many problems.

We oppose our culture, not out of juvenile nonconformity, but out of acceptance of the fact that Christianity is countercultural to a world populated by the half-hearted, the double-minded, and unbelievers.

We believe Christianity is a mind-renewing, flesh-mortifying undertaking. We therefore commit to pursuing a life of virtue without compromise, and we combat hypocrisy with honesty, righteousness, and love.

We believe faith is no excuse for ignorance and anti-intellectualism, which stifle the church. Authentic faith provokes honest questions and fosters intellectual growth.

Lastly, we demolish cheesy, watered-down, noncommittal and unbiblical quasi-religions which masquerade as Christianity in academia and popular circles. We hope by our vigilance to reveal Christ, who stands apart from imposters.

And it will change again when needed. I think this more accurately represents what we’re all about these days. Don’t you?

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

The Death of Columns

Despite the dramatic title, this is just some quick housekeeping notes on the navigation change. If you look above you will see that the columns are gone from the navigation: The Naysayer, The Sniper, The Old Hat, The Looking Glass, etc. Why? Simply put, we’ve outgrown them. When we first went online, we decided to have a few specific columns to give us focus and distinguish ourselves from the rest of the vast webbertubes. But as the Blackbird has matured, it’s become more unified by attitude and purpose than a few narrow topics. To that end, over on the right is the new topic navigation, which will make it much easier to find what one wants to read, especially to newcomers. All posts have been cataloged into these 11 topics. The old categories technically still exist, and old links will still work. Also, there’s a search bar (finally).

For those who care, I’ll explain why the old columns weren’t working.

The Naysayer was dedicated to bashing bad ideas. Of course, we still love doing that, but often it’s in the context of a more nuanced thesis than a vague and vindictive “this thing is stupid.” Furthermore, columns seem to suggest regularity, which leads to: “gee, the Naysayer hasn’t been active lately. Guess I better manufacture angst.”

The Sniper made the most sense of all the columns, and it’s pretty much intact, simply called “Satire.” The Old Hat also made sense, but its writer (Mark) is in China. He will hopefully write for us again when he comes back, but it might be on a sporadic basis. And we still want to talk about oldschool saints and writers, but will likely do it in other ways with other writers in a variety of contexts. All such posts are now under the topic “Oldschool Christianity.”

The Looking Glass was added on when we first decided the existing columns weren’t enough, and it quickly became a catch-all for everything remotely reflective, personal, inspirational, etc. In the end it was nondescript.

Most importantly, when newcomers visited the site they saw a list of post categories that was probably meaningless to them.  In short, navigation is better now. The new topic names are still open for revision, so feel free to suggest.

Because it’s too hard to find pictures which conceptually relate to site updates, I will just upload yet another awkward closeup of a funny-looking animal. Have a nice day.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

Reader Poll: Favorite Articles

As usual, we’re trying to make the Blackbird better. You can help. If you’ve got a minute, please look over the site and then leave a comment on this post listing your five favorite articles. I’d also like to know what sort of thing you’d like to read more of. I mean, why the heck do you come here, anyway? That includes you lurkers who usually read but never comment (yes, I see you).


Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

Logo Design Contest

I decided it’s time for a new logo. Some of you know this but I’ve neglected to actually post about it. There are those who would say not to change the logo (for the sake of brand consistency, blah blah blah) but I have ignored their advice.

Here’s the current (old) one. It’s been around since the birth of the original Blackbird Press almost 3 years ago. There are also several variants.

Nathan Grajek - current logo

It was great for what it was back then – a small logo quickly thrown together for a brand new publication. But it’s a bit rough around the edges (literally, if nothing else).

Elizabeth Jordan, a talented artist friend of Travis Lambert, was kind enough to make this recently.

Elizabeth Jordan - click to enlarge

Wow, much sharper. The talent here is undeniable. But I’m not quite in love with it yet. It’s very menacing, which I have mixed feelings about. It’s probably better to have a non-terrifying logo, but then again, better to err on that side than on the side of cuteness:

Erm.... no.

Let’s look at Elizabeth’s logo scaled down.

I find it a little hard to make sense of (perhaps its that upper wing?). It’s also very rectangular, making it look stretched out.

So here’s the deal: we’re having a contest. A graphic designer by the name of Derrick Robbins has agreed to give it a go, and we’re looking for other takers. The more, the merrier. If have artsy skills and think you can top Elizabeth’s logo, be a hero and create a logo.

– Obviously, the blackbird logo should be a black bird. Transparent or white background.
– It should be good up close, but easy to comprehend when very small.
– You may send as many entries as you like to
– Deadline is July 30ish*

Once they’re all in, we’ll have a vote about which people like the most and pick the new logo.**

*May fudge this date if you’re really not done, because it’s arbitrary and because I meant to post this 2 weeks ago.
**Because this is a dictatorship, I still reserve the right to pick the logo everyone hates.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

Features, Store, Schedule

You may have noticed a couple of changes.

No, the hippo does not relate to anything I'm saying. I'm not even going to try this time.

The features panel was axed. The main reason is I’ve never figured out quite what to do with the features section. It may make a reappearance if I ever do, but in the mean time it was becoming a waste of space. People might come to the site thinking it hadn’t been updated because the features at the top were old. Another reason was that the text on the right side didn’t display quite right, and it looked crazy when you first reloaded it. Well, problems solved. I wanted to clean things up.

I did however just start working on a project which will eventually become an awesome (feature?) article, or perhaps an e-book if it becomes too long. Anyway, it’s a secret. You’ll like it. Eventually.

There’s also a store now. The books are hand-picked to be ones I (or we) think you should read if you haven’t already. Anyway, it’s there if you want anything. If not, just ignore it. No guilt trips.

In the mean time, enjoy the satire that should post automatically in about 3 hours while I’m sleeping.

Oh yeah: the schedule at the moment (subject to change after the summer) is simply that SOMETHING new will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:00am.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.

Not Dead, Not Dying

“You’re alive! I was starting to think that all of you guys over at Blackbird had been in a fiery car crash or something.” – Tia Murray

Dear Readers,

Many of you have criticized or otherwise commented upon our laziness here at the Blackbird. You may be worried that the Blackbird has gone the way of the majority of new blogs on the internet. That the author(s) have lost enthusiasm, that the publication is now doomed to pathetically sparse posts, half of which are either apologies for not posting more or stupid crap about what we had for lunch and how our cats are sick.

Above: dead. Unlike the Blackbird Press.

I owe you an explanation. I am on the verge of graduation and bogged down by those requirements. To illustrate: less than an hour ago I printed off enough paper to kill a small tree. All for school.  Because I knew this would happen, I originally wanted to wait until graduation to even start The Blackbird Press, but my enthusiasm would not be restrained.

Anyway, things will get cooking again in about two weeks. I promise.

Justin Mulwee

Justin is a penniless vagabond with a tiny internet soapbox.