‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world
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.
What do we have? Bad SAO creative fiction.
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.
Y’know, what is this community? You’re all just text to me, anyways. What does it matter if I disappear? It doesn’t. So long.
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.
Hey guys. You might note that as Mushy has gotten back in gear I’ve kicked out of it. That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing anything. If you’ve missed me, you might want to check out my latest piece at Altair & Vega, Reinvention in HenNeko, or at Classy we recently posted a group fanfiction story inspired by OreImo, OreImo: The Fall of Vancouver.
Finally, I must note that this is not a farewell. I will likely write more for O-New as inspiration strikes. I’ll also participate in season previews and reviews, whenever those start happening again. As always, thanks for reading.
My New Feed Reader
(This is by far my most interesting and creative title yet.)
Thanks for all the responses to the previous post! I wasn’t able to respond (nor make this post!) on time due to academic concerns, but I think I’ve sorted things out now. The grand winner seems to be CommaFeed; not necessarily because it’s better, but because everything else has acute flaws that CommaFeed apparently doesn’t. Yet.
Google Reader, New Feed Leaders
I’ve never truly lived without Google Reader. Before there was O-New, before there was blogging there were readers. OK, that’s actually not a chicken-or-egg thing, because actually, before there were readers of blogs there were blogs. WHATEVER.
Google Reader is cancelling its service after July 1st, 2013.
Being an ardent admirer of Google’s autocratic policies (can you please stop asking me to change my YouTube name because it looks fake?), I could never imagine life without Google Reader. So I waited, and waited, and waited until I stopped reading blogs. Then I continued to wait. Eventually I started weights
and became really buff. Then I weighed myself and stopped weighing weights.
What was I weighting for? Did I really need to lose waits? How many watts could a lightbulb spin if it neither toils?
Others, of course. I’d never jump off a bridge unless all my friends do too, and since you’re my friends, I’m jumping now.
What feed readers are you using to replace Google? Is it desktop- or online-based? What’s the difference?
Perhaps I’m the only one still on the bridge. I think it’s apparently that I haven’t app parent for far too long (‘app parent’ means ‘read blogs’), but if there’s any other late stragglers, perhaps this will help. Assuming I get one comment from Flare.
Birds, Snails, and Pretty Colours
O-New is a blog, so I’m going to do blog-like things on it today. This includes things like posting low-quality videos nobody wants to see and images of ~daily life~ because apparently bloggers do that.
In other words, pictures of birds, snails, and pretty colours.
First Love, Last Love
Tamako Market is really a wonderful show. Each episode captures something so beautifully that I’m in love with life by the end. Often, as is the case with episode 9, what it captures is nostalgia.
Do you remember your first love?
Three years ago, I made this post.
Since then, we at O-New have been pumping out one post, every day. For the past three years.
But of course, all that changed last month. Why? Nobody knows. A combination of homework-related stress, reignited interest in erstwhile pastimes, and the general inferiority of this season’s anime waned my blogging spirit, and thus, I stopped posting. For a month.
O-New’s not going to last. I’ll have even less time and less interest in anime next year. But before it all gets old, I’d like to try again. Just a few more months before the end. Who knows? Maybe O-New will continue.
Who knows why I bother? But my life just seems… off, without writing. Perhaps one day I’ll sever myself from the yoke of writer’s insecurity. Perhaps, one day, I’ll grow up a bit from this fantasy. Because blogging really is a fantasy: writing mindless opinions about children’s cartoons to a non-existent audience of children who watch those cartoons, in the vain hope that my opinions might matter.
They won’t. I’ve lost track of O-New’s original goal. And before this is over, I’ll find it. Then, it’ll finally be over.
(To reorganize this mess, I’ve moved all posts published after January 13th to other dates. Just like in 2010, there will be no posts between January 13th and February 15th.)
C’est la vie
I wrote this abomination of mental diarrhea at the height of my fever-induced delerium last Wednesday; lethargy filled me from the crown to the toes, and I could do nothing but mope and whine and write. I left it on my computer in case I wanted to do something with it and decided, why the heck not: nobody’s going to read to the end anyways, so I’m just going to post it here.
In it, I somehow manage to cover all eight of my classes and their associated midterm exams/projects. If that doesn’t merit a literary achievement, it certainly was a mental one… it’s Hell Week right now for me, so this also explains the inexplicable lack of posts from my part. Mad props to redball for doing the first impressions post—solo—last week.
C’est la vie. Such is life and life is such. A life of lives lives lively. Liveishly? Livelylike? Livelily? Consider the livelilies in the field. They study not; neither do they write. So society spurns them, casts them aside. What use have we for lilies? C’est l’école. Senegal. Say lego. Lilies are unproductive. Humans would also be unproductive if we didn’t go to school. But school takes a long time and that time takes away from the time that it would take us to take a hike and make something. Few people live over a century. No lilies live over a century. We must maximize the work humans do in their lives. Each extra year of education increases productivity by 0.56. Transform into quadratic vertex form and calculate the vertex. (-b/2a, 4ac-b^2/4a) gives an optimum human productivity of x when years of education are increaseh by y. Calculate x and y in exact form.
Because we’re all just numbers, numbers in the face of the societal God that is optimization and industrialization and productifization and efficientization. We’re organic machines, vegetables to be harvested for fuel, lilies that toil in the field, spinning, spinning. Why do we work so God-approved hard? Is it worth it now? Sacrificing all those bloody midnight hours for an extra mark, that 0.56% away from getting an A, and now an entire week wasted. Everything ventured, nothing gained. Going to school at 7:00 in the morning to retake a math test because 75% just wasn’t good enough. Fuck me in the foot if I actually do better this time what with the world spinning around me as I spin and the teacher spins out another math test, a midterm this time, a midterm that I can’t retake because I already retook a test and the teacher’s too lazy to let anyone retake more than one test in a year. Anti-China policy #1: stop students from compulsively retaking tests in a futile effort to achieve more than they haven’t achieved. Am I Chinese enough now?
I blame the cold. I blame the fresh mountain air and the cool, clean breezes of trademark Vancouver Hospitality™ others call rain, liquid precipitation, the tears of God as he struggles to understand: why aren’t people being more productive? Why are so many people doing nothing in the rain? They’re just sitting there, not moving… what a waste of time! I blame the mandatory P.E. strip everybody has to wear. We had P.E. strip in elementary. The vice-principal had 13 words everybody must remember: something something be on time something something pee ee strip something something something. Memory serves me well as tennis serves me well or volleyball serves me well. Waiting outside an hour in the rain. Volleyball wasn’t outside, but for someone whose only shorts are emblazoned with the school’s currish emblem, coldness is to me as bad luck is to that girl in that anime. Which girl? Which anime? Why do anime girls never get sick despite always wearing less than I ever will?
I remember that look on the P.E. teacher? Assistant? His face when I told him I was sick this morning. “Go home! I was just sick last week! Don’t sic [sic] me again!” The verb, sic, was necessarily preferred to the adjective, sick. Which he used, I shall never know, and neither did context reveal to me. Was he a teacher or just the assistant? He seemed a sprightly young fellow, and hung out with the girls in our class. But he also lounged around the teachers’ lounge, where I found him lounging in the absence of the actual P.E. teacher who wasn’t my legal P.E. teacher, because my legal P.E. teacher was hit by a car over the summer, yet the school still decided to give her two classes in the same block to teach. She must’ve been a really good teacher to watch over two classes at once. I walk over to him during attendance as he converses with some generic girl and tell him, I’m leaving. Without missing a beat, he shoos me away with a pompous lack of reaction before catching me off-guard: “Wait, which one of them are you?”
Not, “Who are you,” but “Which one of them are you?” What did ‘them’ mean? The students? That wouldn’t make sense, because I’m none of them, I was physically separated from all of them by the direction I was in and by the condition I was in. Why ‘them’? It had to be something that included me, because I’m one of ‘them’, but didn’t include the P.E. teacher-assistant-hybrid. The P.E. assistant-teacher wasn’t a student, and he also wasn’t…
…Asian. Situated as it was, our entire school was entirely Asian, save the French Immersion minority. There were only two non-Asians in our P.E. class. Did he just refer to an entire continent of cultures as ‘them’? Could he really not tell the difference between ‘us’? The audacity of… and the tone of his voice, that half-laughing, half-mocking sneer that momentarily claimed his mouth, as if he had made a nice joke by deindividualizing the entire class he was supposed to assist-teach. It felt weird. It wasn’t like my non-Asian friends telling genuinely offensive anti-Asian jokes which should really get my blood boiling but doesn’t. Here was some stranger, directly insulting every essence of my first-world-raised being, us who are taught from birth in our ‘specialness’, how each of us is a little lily in our own special little lilyponds. Do not toil—you’re special! Do not spin. Do not pass Go. Collect $200 anyways. This wasn’t racism. This was life. C’est la vie. If this mild annoyance disturbed me like this mentally incapacitating headache, then true racism would be the chronic cancerous tumour of mental termination, an end of life as life knows it.
Then, I saw. Saw his eyes met nobody’s but his pencil, searching down the list. What did ‘them’ mean? The names. “Which one of these names are you?”
But even so, that’s all I’ve been thinking of. Why did I go to school? The response would have to be this. People would look at me disapprovingly, and when, by a stroke of fortune or a stroke of the major arteries, they themselves succumb to the disease of human incapacity, who’ll take the blame? Find the most ‘logical’ explanation. It’s common sense, right? But it’s Wednesday and on Friday, we submit our French film projects. A grand total of two scenes filmed over seven hours Sunday as I lay on the floor—the floor!—of that room with the dimmable lights and giant television set, while we waited for our camera to recharge itself. The camera was a literal potato wired up to a 4×4 red monochrome LCD display screen that approximated the red light shining backwards through the pinhole. We had four iPhone 9GS+s, but everybody was too busy playing 2004 Flash games ported to iOS.
I’d say it was all an excuse. We used ‘recharging battery’ as an excuse to not do shit. For three hours before I arrived (because nobody told me there’d be a meeting), three people did nothing but translate two scenes in already-written English into French. Each scene had three lines. One of those people was a native French speaker. I arrived, the fifth member arrived two years later, and while I lay on the warm, soft, disease-matted carpet, they clicked around on their iPhones and now I know how I got sick I know how I got sick now.
I’m a bloody idiot.
It’s due on Friday. We need to shoot eight more scenes, as well as finish writing the actual script for those scenes—in English, not French. Translating the script is another beast entirely. I know, I tried it, and promptly succumbed to a large dose of not-giving-a-fuck anymore. I have two more scenes with me in it, and then there’s dubbing the French because we shot those scenes not having translated the script yet. If we finish all that within two hours tomorrow because the only guy who knows how to edit has school plays going on every night this week from 5:30 until 10:00, then we can hand in our French project. But if I’m sick tomorrow then I’ll have to skip the next day and get a doctor’s note in the vain hope that the teacher gives us an extension instead of yelling in our faces that we should’ve started sooner WE SHOULD’VE STARTED SOONER
A lifetime of procrastination begs to differ. We should’ve started later. Look, they shot three scenes yesterday in two hours. Productivity! 3 scenes/2 hours with 4 people. Person A can shoot one scene in two hours. Person B can shoot one scene in four hours. How many hours will Person C and D take to shoot the entire movie together? The implication is that I shoot an average of negative one point two scenes every hour. Shoot. Skipping school has its advantages. If she gives us an extension, we just got three extra days. If she doesn’t, I will literally become the bloodiest of bloody pulps, the mushiest of mush, my bones ground into paste, my organs cut into bite-sized chunks, my meat stewed into gravy and served on a platter to appease Armok. Your arm OK? No soap, radio. My arm is paralyzed from the fingers down. Falling down, tripping, moving my foot up to stop the fall—wrong foot—crack. Hitting the pavement while accelerating at 9.8 metres a second. Blood red, crimson, palm not OK: four cuts, bandaid slips, too much blood. Now two warts on my fingers. Now lip bleeding. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Doctor, doctor! It’s OK, no apples here; come, Eirin, save me!
It’s midterm weak. Midterms are for the weak. The strong stay at home, lie in bed of an unknown delirium and appear all fine and well the day after the midterms to find out all their group projects have failed. Science fair? BAM! You just lost 25% from your term science mark! Planning project? BAM! You just failed the entire course because that’s the only assignment this entire term! In the teachers’ minds, spinning: “Let’s give these poor bastards more pointless projects because it’s midterm week and they need one project for every single course! That way, it’ll be a FULL-COURSE MEAL!” Strings field trip next week sounds nice, but that’s two hours of nonstop performing and lugging cousin-sized violas on ~public transit~ (poor bassists) in a class we could study in. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? This fever isn’t killing me. Am I stronger now? Can I lift, bro? Please?
The God of Blood answers from his omnipotent throne, made from the ashes of countless anvils He has wrought with his bare hands: “Has the Campbell opposition changed their stances?” It is a task, an ordeal that We must struggle through to find the light that He promises, the light of a Good Future™ where we might be Good Numbers that increase our productivity by 0.56 each year until the year of parabolic maximum. To appease the Blood God. It seems meaningless now, but someday, someone will ask you; “What do you think about the Campbell opposition during that year when they said those things?” And you might respond in the affirmative, or in the negative, and you’ll think back to those halcyon days when you were lying in bed with a fever, typing out these monotonous words while praying to God, let Him have mercy on me, let He that deals divine judgement on souls spare my marks! Take my sons, take my fathers! Leave my grades alone!
“wat a horrible time to be sick lol”
“do you have the note cards”
“o ya i should probably buy those lol”
So the God decreed, “And I shall require, on the 29th of January, a supply of note cards appropriately purchased from capitalist establishments, that one may take notes on; And notes on other media, shall by this day be—Prohibited.” Was he being sarcastic? Was he implying something there? What did the ‘lol’ mean? If he was being sarcastic, he could have not really meant ‘horrible’ and ‘sick’; maybe he thought I was faking it? For what? So I could possibly get an extension for a French project we already failed, by association with me, that failer of failures? Or was he genuinely sympathetic towards my slightly irritating plight? Regardless, I’d have to buy those note cards before I can start taking notes on that in-class essay on the 29th. Did the Campbell opposition change their stances? Tiger stance to a dragon stance?
Ineluctable modality of the audio-visual. He says these words with a digital accent, one with no sarcasm detection. We may lower-case no-punctuation caps-exclamations-maximum on twitter if we’re being sarcastic, but he cannot. The culture of texting vs. the culture of often-at-home twittering. He does not say these words, nor do I hear them. He types the words, no, the letters, on the keyboard with his fingers. He feels the words. Ineluctable modality of the sensual. Story of my life, à la Joyce. Is this how I think? Not with pictures or ideas—with words. Do you dream in words? What was the last image I image-ined?
Ulysses is a modern masterpiece. Even looking just through chapter three, you see the rich interwoven tapestry of words and language that Joyce bends to his will. He’s a master artisan that manipulates, carves, and molds language itself into expressing more than language. More than meets the eye, more than the ear hears, more than the conscious mind can ever process—Joyce paints a picture of THOUGHT itself, making his characters more than simply human. The characters become us, we become the characters as we’re literally swept into another’s shoes, and body, and mind. Have other books done this? Possibly, but none to the refined needle of trenchant wit and biting description that is Ulysses. And definitely none have its epic scope, flooded with allusions. I used to think allusions were pretentious bullshit—who cares if you’re referencing some dead white guy? But no: they add scope, each allusion is a new story that enhances a tale, and Ulysses is that tale, a tale of tales, a mundane epic about a common hero, the towering modernist achievement of the century.
Writing essays is fun when you don’t have a headache—but you need to choose a topic. That’s the hardest part, because choose a topic you don’t like, and you don’t have yourself an essay. Have another choose a topic for you, and you don’t have an author. “Compare Ulysses to the Odyssey,” so the God decreed, “Rough draft due Friday.”
Weighing the options in my head, weighing mentally a loaded die that flipped over, once, twice, heads, tails, spinning like the world around me and my head spinning around and the God of Blood weighed in with a shatter of the skull, a weight upon it that sent vibrations of nausea echoing down my throat. Consider the lilies of the field. They don’t have throats. That’s why they don’t toil. That’s why they don’t spin.
Skipping school tomorrow and the next day? Failing our French film project? Having no class time to prepare for midterm week?
C’est la vie.
It is a thing. I procrastinated last week, because I was paralyzed from sickness.
That didn’t turn out too well. We (two people; the third disappeared) crammed our planning project until 1:00 last night. We presented it today without rehearsing, and it turned out OK. Unfortunately, we had to hand in our socials essay notes early—otherwise, it’d be unfair to the people who have to write their essays Monday instead of Thursday.
Unfortunately, I didn’t actually have any notes. But before I could go home and start taking them, we had to finish shooting and dubbing our French film project. It was due last Friday, but we got an extension because I was sick until today.
Filming should’ve taken until 6:00, but the cameraman got the wrong extension cord, and we had to go to his house to finish dubbing. Seven hours later…
…it was 10:00 when I got home. With an entire socials essay to finish researching (including outline, bibliography, and citations!), I wanted to get to work. Instead, I’m writing this post because I’m just too goddamn tired.
Tomorrow, I have to start and finish writing an entire English essay, and study for the science unit test I missed last week. Math midterms is on Thursday. Science Fair is due on Monday, and we haven’t started that either.
See, at this time, I always tell myself: stop procrastinating! Finish all of these as soon as they’re assigned! But whenever I get the ‘don’t procrastinate’ feeling… I’m too busy. I never feel busy when the due dates aren’t rushing up at me. All of these were assigned before winter break; yet, I didn’t start until now.
How do you guys deal with procrastination? Do you just roll with it anyways? I know many students just push everything to the last day, and we end up only mildly unscathed… but it surely isn’t the best way to go about it.
The whole point of this post was to tell you: save some homework-related ramblings I wrote and will publish tomorrow, I’m pretty much dead this week. Expect complete radio silence.
12 Chapters of Manga—Christmas Edition
So the previous venture failed pretty badly, having only written eight posts yesterday. No more of the stupid chronicling thing anymore, here’s a list of rewritten manga posts:
(Adding four onto yesterday’s eight, making twelve):
These are all from Shokugeki no Souma—after all, this is a manga-rewriting post! also because manga posts are the easiest to write although they still take me half an hour each why why WHY
- Chapter 2 is about PLEBEIANS and how Souma’s exaggerated art is comparable to Hyouge Mono’s;
- Chapter 3 is about LEBEIANS and how Souma’s exaggerated meatphors are NOT comparable to the Legend of Koizumi’s (although I just compared them…);
- Chapter 4 is about ASIANS and how competition and stupid shounen level-ups are the only way to write a shounen manga;
- Chapter 5 is about BADASSES and how Souma is one. Also how Shounen Jump HAS NO WIMPS except in harems in which case they are invariably wimps.
Chapter 6’s post is scheduled for tomorrow (read: today) because it was just released and I have nowhere else to publish it. WE’RE GETTING THERE, O-NEW; 81 posts to go…
- Chapter 24 is about bad Indonesian editors and how ‘quotation mark’ abuse doesn’t make any ‘sense’ in ‘English’;
- I’m not sure what chapter 25 is about but I guess it was aliens???
- Chapter 26’s post is about twenty-six words long. If each word were five letters long, I could fit that in a tweet!
- Chapter 27’s post is about two words longer than Chapter 26. Ditto about the tweeting thing;
- Chapter 28 is about SCIENCE and how ST&RS is NOT SCIENCE enough. Also how ST&RS is moe and that’s the only reason I’m reading it anymore. It’s not a very good reason.
Chapter 29 and 30’s posts are scheduled (read: I lost motivation and stopped reading) for sometime this month. 76 more posts… I guess I’ve failed once again. Just five posts today, for a total of seventeen… here’s my final string of posts before I collapse of exhaustion:
Good news: there was a slight comeback in views for yesterday, though not the infinity% increase I expected (cause we posted 8 posts yesterday vs. no posts for the eight days before)!
…diminishing returns not worth it arghhhh it’s over though.
School starts on Monday, expect us to decline to our usual inactivity then.
Life is a Bus Ride to Nowhere
I can’t find anything to write about so I guess this is an essay maybe sorta yeah. I haven’t written anything for too long and I don’t know how to write anymore cause all I’ve written is bad high school essays that are boring and bad and nobody will read them. You’ll see the tone change dramatically in this post because I just need to get rid of this writer’s block… I think it was a pretty fun experiment. I feel a lot more in ‘the (blogging) groove’ now.
I will develop it in TRADITIONAL ESSAY FORM; that is, thesis, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. This way I practice the art of Formulaic Essay Writing. Because the structure’s entirely devoid of all creativity, we can use this creativity to… oh, no, you can’t, because you have to follow your outline.
Well, here’s my outline.
Introduction (with !~THESIS STATEMENT~!)
PALINDROME DAY 2012
HI GUYS TODAY IS 12/11/21 THIS IS A PALINDROME AND THIS POST IS NOT A FILLER POST ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALLRIGHT ALL RIGHT NONE LEFT ONE LEFT TWO LEFT SAA YOU MAKE MY TEA
Announcement: Half Season Reviews
I wrote my last Anime Half Season Review exactly one year and one day ago. I didn’t write any more because I no longer caught up to any shows in a season other than the ones I blogged.
An Anime Half Season Review is a time-honoured O-New tradition. When we want to talk about some show without going into episode-by-episode detail, or about a mass of episodes without any overarching theme, we resort to Half Season Reviews.
They’re reviews of half a season. Calendar season, of course. That’s six (or seven or five for noitaminA) episodes of any show. Usually, they come up halfway through the season, and o-New’s flooded with a veritable deluge of badly hashed thousand-word regurgitation of sleep-induced delusional commentary.
And they’re coming, because I’m actually keeping up with shows.
Welcome to another You Say Tuesday, where the power is in your hands to make a difference (in O-New’s comment count) by arguing against my incredibly biased claims.
All you have to do is click a button; you don’t even need to think of anything witty or insightful. Just click a button and you’ll have boosted my self-esteem to moderate levels after a crushing math test blow.
Now imagine if, by pushing a button, you could stop a warlord. Yes, a real life warlord – a warlord who’s forcibly recruited over 100,000 child soldiers and sex slaves over the past 26 years. How? It’s simple: by sharing a video, you ‘raise awareness’ of these horrible atrocities, allowing you to lobby the United States government or the Ugandan military to send military forces into the region, apprehending Joseph Kony.
Hello! Also, Words About a Word
Hi everyone, my name is John Sato, and it looks like I’m the latest blogger to catch the Mushy bug! (Get it? ‘Cause a bug is like a virus, and “Mushy” sounds like “mushi” which is Japanese for “bug,” and. . .forget it.) I will supposedly be making the occasional post here on O-NEW, and since Mushy pretty much gave me free reign of topic, I guess you can probably expect something on anime, video games, and/or writing/grammar from me at some point.
Jumping right in to the post at hand, an otaku, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a huge fan of anime culture, probably on the adult side age-wise. The definition is a little more complex, of course, but for the most part, it’s basically the Japanese equivalent of a brony, if that helps (though bronies only apply to one show, whereas otaku are fans of any number). It’s a social stigmata: most otaku are already in or are entering adulthood, and yet they’re still watching cartoons. How weird is that? Cartoons are for kids. See, on either side of the Pacific, that seems to be the general thought process. Whether you’re in Japan or elsewhere, whether you’re called an otaku or a nerd or a brony, you are a cultural oddity. Obviously, the backlash and judgment differs from country to country, but in the end you’re the strange one, the one that’s different, no matter where you are. Mushy’s excellent post (yeah, I like O-NEW posts, I know I’m weird) from a couple of weeks ago went over some of this territory, so I feel that I don’t really need to discuss it any more here.
Here’s the weird thing about it, though; people brand themselves as otaku. Think about that for a second. People willingly give themselves a social stigma; they want to have it. Why? Why would someone intentionally want to be different (in a bad way)? I feel the answer lies in how you view the word. See, you can view “otaku” as an insult of sorts; I mean, it kind of is. But there are a couple of other ways you can look at the term, too. The first is as a challenge, of sorts. “I watch cartoons at 29, and I’m proud of it!” That kind of thing. By using it to identify yourself, you broadcast a message of your hobbies, and show you’re ready to stand up for them.
The second main view is in stark contrast to this conflict-ready approach, though I suppose they can also go hand in hand quite easily. By calling yourself an otaku, you’re telling everyone that you watch cartoons. That includes other otaku. You’re broadcasting an entirely different message. This one is sort of like, “Hey, you watch weird foreign cartoons? So do I! Don’t worry, I understand what it’s like.” You become part of a subculture, a community, whose purpose is more to build camaraderie and a sense of belonging than it is to actively defend the hobbies you share.
Either way, though, the thing that really interests me here is how the meaning of the word (or words, if you want to include the other terms) can change so drastically from person to person, even as the definition stays the same. An otaku is always an anime fan, no matter who says it. But whether it’s a positive term or a negative one depends almost entirely on how the speaker wants to use it.
tl;dr Otaku is a versatile word and oh lord Mushy is going to kill me I didn’t use capital letters for large amounts of this oh lord oh lord
Breaking the Ice
I’m suddenly one of those not-so-mysterious transfer students in school now. With new students come new relationships, but you can’t be friends with somebody you don’t know. So, the school organizes mandatory social welcoming events.
Think back to the first day of high school. You might’ve known a dozen people from your elementary if you came to high school together. You might’ve known nobody if you were attending a special program. Regardless, there are new people to meet, and the duration of September seemed like the essence of awkwardness.
But was it really?
I shrug these icebreaking events off as cheesy and forced. We spent full yesterday outside meeting new people (it should’ve been a three-day camp, but in today’s economy…), and I was unimpressed at first. Arriving at school forty minutes early to… play a game of chain tag? Run around poking people’s backs? I didn’t know anyone, and was loathe to link faces to names – it took me fifteen months to memorize az’s full name, and after five years, I still don’t know hourai’s.
Yet, at the end, it somehow worked out. Despite forgetting names, I knew they were friendly. Comrades, if you will, comrades in the fight towards university. The awkwardness was dispelled not by the activities’ amusement, but by the activities’ stupidity and our shared contempt of those puerile events. By late afternoon, we were united not by fun, but by groans of disdain. A collective dejected sigh was unceasing during the events.
What about you guys? How do you break the ice with others? Do you go straight up handshake-style and introduce yourself to random strangers in the halls? Do you sit back and wait for people to talk to you (hah, not likely)? Do you just only hang out with people you already know?
The difference between real life introductions and Internet introductions is also interesting, although similarities exist, such as my shouting in all caps and being extremely obnoxious. What do you guys think of that (of the difference, not of my obnoxiousness)?
I PASSED PIANO FOREVER
NO MORE PIANO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE or until next musical monday
(P.S. Mark was 74%.)
On a (Large) Boat
I, Mushyrulez, will be on vacation from this Sunday until next Monday.
The O-New crew will fare without me.
Except not really because az is tanned and thus not FAIR (skinned)
ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa
THAT’S IT THE END
I HAVE FAILED EVERYTHING
MY LIFE IS MEANINGLESS NOW
Thus I must reject its meaninglessness and replace it with mean meanings, viz. writing shitty anime posts and watching Horizon in the Middle of Shit.
unrelated: some big Canadian Tire closed today and we got in 15 minutes before final closing and bought half a bushel of shit nobody wants
related: the examiner’s face when I finished was the literal embodiment of disgust. my performance was so repugnant I am pretty sure the older examiner nauseatingly puked on his $699.99 mac and the other distracted himself by playing touhou on the other $1499.99 mac. their revulsion was literally palpable and I took some of it home with me and now it is in my stomach and whoops now it is on the keyboard
unrelated: this was the quality of ALL of o-new’s blog posts pre-2011
related: oh god the piano was just some lame yamaha and I don’t know whether it was because the stage acoustics were wonderful or because the piano was just that euphonious but man every other piano I’ve played before PALES in comparison to its delicate keys, the imperceptibly minute pedal, and the sheer range of dynamics with the softest pianissimo as easily expressible as the loudest cadences that I don’t even want to continue typing
P.S. I may not have failed but the chance is approximately 30.5% that I passed
PIANO EXAM TOMORROW
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF MY LIFE
IF I DO NOT WRITE A POST TOMORROW CONSIDER ME TO HAVE AWKWARDLY DISEMBOWELLED MYSELF TO ATONE FOR THE EMBARRASSMENT OF FAILURE
IF I DO WRITE A POST TOMORROW IT WILL PROBABLY DEAL WITH MY IMMINENT SELF-INFLICTED AWKWARD DISEMBOWELMENT
I’m going to need all the luck in the world and then much more to even have more than 59% chance of obtaining a mark greater than 59.5%
I’m also going to need money
a lot of money
HEY AZ HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM LONDON
too bad a) nobody’s in london and thus it’s not his birthday yet unless he was born in london which is possible b) the olympics are over c) have this birthday acronym because I’m too lazy to do anything meaningful:
az’s balanced stories of lively unusual television endemic (to) zipangu exposes readers’ opinions (2five5furious)
p.s. not really
2012 August 2nd
TODAY IS AUGUST 2nd 2012 DEAL WITH IT
(Made this after O-New died just so that we’d die with 1,111 posts.)
DID YOU GUYS KNOW:
O-New has an RSS FEED that you can SUBSCRIBE TO with GOOGLE READER. This allows you not only to view new posts without bookmarking O-New and visiting every day (although you can do that, since we cough cough always have new posts every day), but also lets you keep track of posts I rewrite! The next three posts up for rewriting are: Sword Farts Online 4, Tits in the Middle of Nowhere 1, and the Middle of Tits in Nowhere 3. ok never mind maybe you shouldn’t read those
tl;dr: hello filler posts. here’s the feed link: https://onewdesign.wordpress.com/feed/. You can click it if you want.
P.S. stop lurking
He ate us? No, he didn’t.
Today’s Tuesday, and it’s time for You Say Tuesdays. I’m not supposed to say anything (besides, I don’t say things here, I type words words words) other than provide the topic for discussion.
The topic for discussion this Tuesday is: should I come back from this stupid twitter/skype-hiatus thing
(That is to say, sorry guys, I’ve been bad with posts lately. DON’T WORRY I’ll have time to post after my piano exams are over and before school st-oh wait, I’m going on a cruise to Alaska then. Haha. Hah.)