It is a good lesson — though it may often be a hard one — for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world’s dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of all significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Scarlet Letter
It was inevitable.
I’m sorry, everybody. To you who read this post, you know what I’m going to say.
From the start, one million seven hundred eighty-four thousand two hundred and sixty-seven minutes and 1111 posts ago, for the precocious eighth-grade 12-year-old and the puerile chuunibyou 16-year-old today, O-New has been an adventure. Day in, day out, every single day brought something new.
At first, they were semantically meaningless (I made that post solely so I could celebrate O-New’s birthday three times each year). Yet, already, my current nature shone through; the endless comment-whoring, the obsession with contentless daily posts and of course, the endlessly rambling self-disorganizing reflections and obnoxious textual tics…!
2010 was a year of…. nothingness. I wrote some posts about
Maplestory *puke* gaming, some quasi-essay posts about schoolwork, and LOTS of themeless caret’d links. It’s a surprise I didn’t quit, even after only getting 10 daily views after three months. To think I had the audacity to recruit people even then….
Almost overnight, O-New transformed from a friendless schoolkid’s rant outlet to… an anime blog. How I still remember that first episode. By then, I was quite well immersed in the Touhou fandom, courtesy of my (still weeaboo) brother, so anime was the next logical extension. I had already previously covered the 1st Aniblog Tourney, which undoubtedly led to my following several blogs. I forget which was my first, but it had quite the memorable .gif of TK spinning into the air. From then on, it was all anime. Ever since then.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore.
It was still a transition period when I made my first manga post (incidentally, about 85% of all manga I have ever blogged were cancelled WHILE I BLOGGED THEM). I honestly loved that 2010 summer, when all of us would get together and each post whatever we wanted. O-New was not a solitary experience. I could never have gotten this far without my frien—ACTUALLY NEVER MIND. Out of our total 223,157 views, that pedo bear image has been clicked 9,824 times. The article itself, 2,798. The HOME PAGE OF O-NEW itself has barely four times that many views. Houraiguy is probably the only person who pumps out consistently HQ posts… though he never consistently pumps them out.
Eventually, as high school started, I cut down on the number of posts. My obsession became a compulsion; my compulsion became a repulsion; my repulsion became a fried plantain. Half-organized tagging systems, meticulous and useless. When did I first start Rewriting History? When did I first think O-New’s temporal structure mattered more than its literary content? I don’t really know, since the earliest post that mentions it (out of 274) could’ve been written years later. Notice the similarities between these querulous whines and my current plaintive sighs; people really never change.
And so I gradually stopped.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
Or not. The rush of excitement, the surge of passion, that brief moment of intellectual, literary, psychological, and emotional transcendence in the midst of a post. I couldn’t stop. Not even after writing a 11,505-word season preview. My best, most drunken writings surfaced then.
And so it continued. I wrote music, transcribed music, played music, but the life of O-New was still anime. Religious anime gimmicks, questionable fanservice reviews, non-canon alternative storylines, wannabe weeaboo gangsta rap, and metanime posts about Onew himself. I became too ambitious and started too many new post series. We had O-NEGs (game reviews), O-REWs (website reviews), O-NEBs (book reviews), O-NECs (stoned drawings), and even O-ASGs and O-NABs. To this date I have no idea what those last two are.
I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all.
I used to see and know. Every day, scrolling through Google Reader, I’d finish each day satisfied, 0 unread posts, with all the aniblogosphere gossip in my hands. My ultimate downfall was time. I’ve never been good at time management. Time all things devours; and steadily I grew obsessed. Time was ticking, every day, I’d rush home from school, running faster than the bus so I could catch it at the next stop (where everybody got off, so I could get on), just to get home to watch anime and read blogs. Blogs…. I currently still have 4644 unread posts in 263 blogs. I’ve read a grand total of two dozen articles…
…in the past five months.
It’s all become so empty now. The posts I once looked up to, the writers whom I once thought represented the pinnacle of human wit, wisdom, and wizardry. Now, all I see is a clique of normal, passionate milquetoasts, furiously droning endless variations on the same theme. I once thought all fanservice was camp; to my horror, I now realize that many find 2D women attractive. Though I could not judge anybody’s sexual taste, it gradually dawned on me that I could never truly fit in.
When I was young, I used to look down on everybody. Everybody, running around after school, worrying about homework and friends and movies and sports. Meanwhile, I was writing! People, strangers, across the world were reading my thoughts! I had a future in life, if only I could capitalize upon my newfound fame.
Now… I used to look down on everybody. The old me. The chuunibyou who thought anime blogs were important, that happiness was just a number of comments and views, that anime was somehow something more than chinese cartoons. It’s not. Yet, what’s important is that honestly, everybody’s the same. Minds are fickle and perceptions change; presumptuous and condescending as I want to be, nobody’s any higher up than anyone else.
Except that stoner in the alleyway he seems pretty high
Life was a reverie back then, those halycon Hamber days, an hour of homework every week. I thought I could do so much, relinquishing my opportunity to charge through adolescence, just to… watch anime. I thought I was going somewhere, doing something, naively organizing meaningless events that never took flight, vapidly pleading for unnecessary, preposterous attention, pretending that feet flexibility fetishes were normal… ok, that was really creepy. But I can move both my pinky toes now!
For me, anime was my entire life. I thought I would never give it up, even up to the last seconds of this post. I thought it would always be with me, forever. Je cherchais pour l’étérnal, mais a seulement reçu l’éphémère.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
Eventually, I lost my purpose.
I originally started blogging… because I could. It wasn’t about anime. Then, I started blogging because anime was da’ shiznit, yo! But then it started devolving. I continued blogging so that I could interact with you, the aniblogosphere, my first real social circle of friends. And then, after those friendships waned, I persisted in blogging to improve my English skills.
It was ruined from the start. As soon as I forgot that anime was fun…. I forgot that anime was fun. Instead of posting about anime because I loved anime, I started posting about anime because I was obliged to post. I obliged MYSELF to post.
Time. Slays kings, ruins towns.
Brought the blog of O-New down.
And vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
The last straw was really Pre-IB. Ever since our height in Spring 2011, O-New’s been slowly waxing—just waxing, not waxing lyrical or waxing crayons or waxing candles. But Pre-IB’s time constraints really just decimated the smouldering remains of my burnt obsession.
I could no longer post.
No anime, no manga, no music, no essays. Nothing. Life seemed meaningless. O-New was my entire life for so long; it was my home. Without O-New, without Twitter, I had no home, nowhere I could go home to and be myself, nothing I could point to and say, ‘There, I live there.’
But then I realized—life did have meaning. Not everything had to be a monument for posterity; my new home was in my heart. I made friends. Real friends, people whom I could trust and rely on, people I could hang out with after school, go volunteer with, eat dinner with. I had never done any of these before; friendship was an alien concept to me, a waste of time compared to the intellectual pursuit of ~chinese cartoons~. It was my compulsion, my obsession with time, with O-NEW that was causing this feeling of endless despair and banality. But I had already spent too long on it.
40 posts in the past six months. August 2010 alone had 62 posts.
Yet, I realized this long ago. Three years ago, at the height of my unbridled adolescent rage, I hated my life, and ultimately, everything boiled down to my addiction to time. Time waited for no one, not even me; and so, always trying to catch up, my life deteriorated all my relationships, my physical/mental health, and my interior design (which subsequently became deterior design). But I could change.
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done.
O-New was ultimately a work of supreme chuunibyou. Chuunibyou four years ago and still chuunibyou today. But I will change. Really, I am O-New. O-New’s ups and downs, lefts and rights, Bs, As, selects, starts—all ebb’d and flow’d with my ocean of life. And now, as my life drifts increasingly further from the sea-gluten, I’ve decided. I will change. I will grow up. O-New is my adolescence and my adolescence is over.
I make many rash decisions in my life. During the previous Angry Rant, I threw away all my elementary assignments in a fit of puerile rage. Those memories are lost forever, now.
It was in another frenzy of lethargy that bade me reflect of life’s futility. Every time I can’t think, whenever I lie down and nothing appears and everything is mud and nothing matters, I make a rash decision. Two years ago, flash gaming dominated my entire life. One day later, I never touched Kongregate ever again. Up until yesterday, I spent more time on O-New and anime than on all real-life socializing and homework, combined. Today, I’ve deleted 196 GB of anime, all my Touhou music and hours of savefiles, and all these screencaps that will never see the light. It was rash, and I’ll regret it, but the deed is done and through.
Now, the last remaining active blogger, redball’s left. It’s been a good run, guys, but this is how O-New ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
That’s it. In one post, that’s O-New. Past, present, and future. Here it stands, monumental, the single most important influence of my entire life. Here it stands, untouched, a monument to frivolous verbosities.
What does O-New stand for? Countless people have asked me over the years. Literally, one day in 2009, walking with to the Central Library in Downtown Vancouver, my friend and I were making observations truly fit for sixth graders: ‘u studios’ spelled backwards was ‘soidutsu’. For some reason, this was inherently hilarious, and we spent the rest of the day translating similar corporate names. ‘O-New’ soon arose out of my attempt at hiding backwards messages. weN-O; we know. What did we know? Who knew it? Nobody knows. We know the answer to the question but not the question itself.
Symbolically, O-New represents unity. One-w. One world, one word, one writer. At O-New, though we are all different (more so than any other blog!), our goals were one and all. As paths diverged in broken hills, one-w collapsed.
Emotionally, O-New is everything. Four letters is the optimum length for an acronym; three doesn’t leave enough verb space, and five stretches the imagination. Our headers used to change every day with new meanings, but as these meanings changed less and less frequently, so too did the inherent meaning our posts delivered. O-New is truly anything you want it to be, and I didn’t. I didn’t want it to be. But O-New is that which it is.
Which just happens to be me.
Thank you, everybody. These three years have completely changed my life; for better or worse, the experience remains, and once or twice have I gleamed that untraveled world that I shall seek again, and tomorrow, and forever and onward.
Thank you. Thank you for helping me through the years, for teaching me how to write, to talk, to listen and read closely, to appreciate life and beauty and art and chinese cartoons. To you who’s showed me the light: thank you for releasing me from my self-imposed chains. The caged bird has sung and can fly once more.
I hate to be a #twitterplagiarizer, but you, all of you who are reading this…
…I love you. I truly do.
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.