Hello everyone! It's been almost two years since my last news post. Here's a quick rundown of everything significant that has happened since February 2019:
- Went on a Make-a-Wish trip to Tokyo in July 2019!
- Had a video go viral. Some people would consider it a "documentary," which never really occurred to me as I was making it. I just saw it as a really long commentary video. Most of my big hitters are videos discussing the controversies of various Internet personalities.
- Reached 58,000+ subscribers!
- Developed an incurable eye condition called blepharitis.
I'll split the remaining news post into 4 sections: Tokyo, blepharitis, my hopes for establishing a Newgrounds Creative Commons playlist for easy use, and general thoughts.
For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer in April 2017. I had to undergo 30 days of radiation and 55 weeks of chemotherapy because of this. My last chemo treatment was in July 2018, and I was able to go to Tokyo a year later due to the lovely people at Make-A-Wish! It was a really great experience, and I'm really thankful that I got to go before everything got corona-cucked. Here's some pictures!
This is me at the rabbit cafe. My dad and I ended up just taking a taxi almost everywhere we went. We went at the end of July where it was really humid, so it usually went pretty smoothly. On our way to the rabbit cafe, however, the driver ended up getting lost, but thankfully, two kind strangers helped us find our way.
The entrance of the rabbit cafe.
Here's the back of Tower Records.
Me chowing down on some noodles, and finally, some pictures of my dad and I:
Make-A-Wish is a really wonderful organization and I am immensely grateful to them for this experience. There's nothing quite like it, man.
In May of this year, I developed an incurable eye condition called blepharitis which was very limiting on what I can do. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, and generally entails bacteria and oily flakes at the base of your eyelashes. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this are multi-faceted. They have come in the form of super dry eyes (the eye drops don't really seem to help), itchy eyes, burning eyes, the feeling of 'hot' eyes (like a 'fever' kind of hot), and just irregularly growing eyelashes. It's very unfortunate because it's been taking a toll on everything I do. I haven't been able to watch shows, play games, or do a whole bunch of things that I used to. I can still work and write though, so that's good. See, the thing is, I wouldn't mind going through pain, but my concern is that 'trucking through it' would just damage something in the long run. Doc says I should stop if I hurt, so that kind of leaves me in a position where I can't really work a steady job, and I never really know how good or bad a day will be for my eyes.
Newgrounds Creative Commons Project
One thing I really liked about the Audio Portal "back in the day" was that the submissions came with the inherent implication that they could be freely used in movies and games. While the newer Audio Portal of the past several years gives musicians a lot more options in terms of permissions (unless I'm misremembering and this was always a thing.) Something that ended up happening as a result was that years of Audio Portal submissions that were "free to use" now defaulted to "Ask for permission," which is a problem when many of these submissions are from inactive users, sometimes with no way of being able to externally contact them.
I noticed that there is no way to sort Audio Portal submissions by which ones are Creative Commons Attribution or Creative Commons 0 (aka, Audio Portal submissions that can be used in videos without getting Content ID'd) and I think it'd be super cool to get something like a Creative Commons playlist going, whether if it's by me or someone else. An option to sort by permissions would be cool too. What do you think, @TomFulp?
And to everyone reading this list, if you wanna recommend some good free-to-use Audio Portal submissions, go for it! Free-to-use background music is a valuable resource.
Here's where I'll just ramble on about stuff. So as a result of the blepharitis, I've been outsourcing a lot of stuff related to the video-making process. In my most recent video about stan culture, I hired a bunch of artists. I'd also be interested to hire out audio editing (how this would work is I just give you a big audio file and you edit it down and choose the best takes to make them flow), and potentially, commissioning art in the form of .SWFs for easier use. Something else that was immensely helpful this year with my content was just paying for in-depth script feedback, or paying someone to watch a bunch of videos for research, so that we could have in-depth discussions about it. I'm just throwing this out there, I haven't started seriously looking for anyone regarding these yet, but it'd be quite helpful.
I've listened to around 80 albums this year so far. Most of them don't really stick with me in any meaningful way. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that I'm not a kid anymore. Here's the thing, when I first played Kingdom Hearts at age 10, I adored it. It was wonderful. It would be a different experience if I played it at age 20 (my current age.) I'm older now and I can better discern what's considered "corny" or "bad writing." But when you're a kid, you're just sort of vibing, y'know? I think a lot of people lose the childlike sense of wonder and imagination when they grow older, which makes sense - the problems become more practical, and the world becomes more daunting and drab than exciting. Some of the best albums I've heard this year: