It's been a while. We hope you're weathering the AI storm well (and the typhoon, too, if you happen to be in Japan, what a typhoon there is today!). Things are only going to get weirder, so hold onto your data and make sure you have some meatspace gold coins in a treasure chest and analog copies of your important info, just in case.
We have received a number of inquires from y'all in the past few weeks about whether we'll translate the lyrics of Izora. Don't worry! We are currently working on translating Izora, and have already translated many of the songs. However, Izora is an even more complex album than Abracadabra, with many interwoven oblique references, and so this time, unlike in the past, we've decided to do things differently and translate the whole thing before writing the notes and posting each song. We know that y'all come to NGS/Blog-Tick because you want more in-depth analysis and background info, and we would like to give that to you - so please, give us a little more time and stay tuned. We have not, I repeat, have NOT decided to abandon NGS/Blog-Tick.
On May 30th, 2023, Google Sites summarily deleted This is NOT Greatest Site, without warning. This is NOT Greatest Site was powered by Google Classic Sites, which was retired in 2021. We have been considering options on where and how to port This is NOT Greatest Site over to another platform, but it's taken us some time due to the onus of work commitments outside our work for NGS/Blog-Tick. Google Sites previously claimed that websites hosted on Classic Sites would continue to be accessible to visitors, it's just that they couldn't be updated or edited anymore. They gave us no warning that they would delete NGS, and no timeline for when they would do so. The deletion of This is NOT Greatest site was NOT our fault or our intention. We still have all the content of the old NGS, and will do our best to get a new site up and running as soon as we can, but realistically, this is going to take some time, as there are many updates we need to make to the content that's out of date, and we also plan to review and revise translations as necessary.
Furthermore, several posts on Blog-Tick were automatically censored by Google's algorithms for supposedly containing "sensitive content." The posts in question are "Babble of Babel" from November 17th, 2017, and "Thighgate," from January 21st, 2017. You readers who have been following Blog-Tick for a while know that while we are unapologetic in our use of profanity and our discussion of sexual themes, we only use profanity in service of artistic expression, and we only discuss sexual themes in the context of literary and sociocultural analysis. We made a commitment when we launched Blog-Tick to keep all the content of this blog friendly to viewers of all ages. We don't believe that it's inappropriate for "minors" to read discussions of sexual themes - let's be real, how many people under the age of 18 actually have no sexual experience? We're going to bet it's far less than half.
As for profanity... "fuck" is not only the most versatile word in the English language (or maybe any language currently widely spoken by earthbound human beings), but also, how can hearing some little swearwords actually hurt a child? (Provided the swearwords are spoken in love and devotion, and not in the purpose of shame and child abuse. NGS/Blog-Tick is 200% opposed to child abuse). But, come on, admit it. Children are wild, magical, tough, resilient beings. It's adults who are full of shame and fear, and who love pinning their shame and fear on innocent kids who just want to play in the mud and run around screaming nonsense because it's fun, collect bugs, jump in the leaves, live in the moment. It's the adults who actually need to be looking in the mirror and doing some soul work and figuring out their issues. It's adults who pass on these issues to their kids, but we've got to break free of this Pandora's loop (see the lyrics to B-T's "Bran-New Lover" for more info, oh wait, they deleted our fucking website so you can't. Damn.) Anyway, adults, it's time we all do what we need to do to grow the fuck up. Therapy, meditation, whatever works for you. But we're out of time, the world needs you, stop pearl clutching and hand-wringing, get your shit sorted so you can get down in the trenches and help humanity get our collective shit sorted because hooo boy oh boy is there a lot of shit that needs sorting and the world is not waiting for your selfie.
There are a lot of big discussions going on in the world right now regarding censorship, free speech, and the use of AI and algorithms to enact censorship. The issue is too vast and complex to delve into in this post. To keep things brief, we'll say that in principle, we're opposed to hate speech and other kinds of content that actively hurts or exploits people (kiddie porn, revenge porn, all that good stuff) - but we also believe that censorship is an extremely slippery slope and censorship as it's being wielded by governments and corporations and Big Data in general is bad, bad news. We have no intention of censoring Blog-Tick in order to please algorithms, and we've had it up to here with the way in which Google has screwed us over on this project (i.e. NGS/Blog-Tick).
Therefore, we are planning on leaving Google's services, both for Blog-Tick and for NGS, ideally for a platform that supports independent expression, distributed authority, data privacy, and free speech. We were never tech savvy to begin with, but things are changing at such a dizzying pace these days that if we ever had been keeping up with the changes, we surely aren't able to keep up anymore.
This is where y'all readers can help us out!
First, if any of you have suggestions for blog and site hosting platforms that are more friendly to freedom of expression, please let us know. We're working with a wonderful web designer who's helping us redesign the site, but we're also welcoming suggestions from you readers just to cast a wider net before we make a final decision. We hadn't originally intended to port Blog-Tick to another platform, but now it seems like a necessary step. Those of you with suggestions, please post a comment AND also email us directly at themadaristocrat at gmail.
Second, most web hosting services aren't free to use. Google Classic Sites was entirely free to use, which is one reason why we used the platform for so long. But in order to re-launch the site on a different platform, we are in all likelihood going to need to opt for a paid subscription service - but our budget is very tight at the moment, and quite frankly, we can't afford to do this without your help. Therefore, we would like to ask you all, how much would you be willing to contribute to getting This is NOT Greatest Site up and running again, and keeping it running? We understand that we haven't been posting new content lately, but your financial support will make it easier for us to begin to post content more regularly as we used to do.
We estimate that the cost of running the site will come to something in the neighborhood of 30,000 yen per year (barring total financial and societal collapse that is lul), hopefully less, but it depends on the service we choose. If y'all are interested in helping out, we'll create a poll to get more detailed data, but for now, please leave a comment and/or send us an email, to let us know whether you would be interested in contributing on a monthly or yearly basis, and how much you would like to contribute. Things are changing so rapidly that we'd like to get at least some rough feedback from y'all before we make our next move. We would like to keep all the content freely accessible to everyone and not use a paid subscription tier system as is so common these days. Why? Because this subscription model is just designed to bilk people out of more and more money anywhere and everywhere, and we want NGS to stay in the spirit of the free and open internet where this site was born and raised. But in order to do that, we'll need to receive contributions from readers, or we may be unable to continue. Thank you all in advance!
Also, to add insult to injury, we're dealing with yet another serious crisis in our personal lives. Any positive vibes you could send our way would be much appreciated. Imagine the Great Giant Mantis of Andromeda raining blessings down upon us all! The power of collective intention is strong. We'll be getting the Izora lyrics up as soon as we can.
Thank you all again, from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn't have carried on this project so long without your support. We promise you, This is NOT Greatest Site is NOT dead. Just in suspended animation, getting a DNA upgrade.
P.S. If we haven't answered your emails in a while, don't worry, we'll get back to you. It's just that the past few months have been a lot to handle. We're not gonna lie, the deletion of the site was like steaming dog poo on the top of a fresh shit sandwich. We're feeling pretty tapped out at the moment. Send us some rainbows and moonbeams to get us back up again, like Imai's broken leg on those transparent Lucite platform chunk heels.