A Response to Martineaux's Essay
"Neocities and a Lack of Passion" || 01 Aug, 2022

1/3/2023 Update

I wrote a follow-up to this article, criticizing my own harshness towards Mariteaux's words and why Mari's articles actually bring up a lot of good points regarding the state of Neocities. Give that one a read if you can!

(Trigger warning: ableist and homophobic language)

TL;DR: Pretentious gatekeeping? In my Neocities? It's more likely than you think!

Ignorance is Bliss...

I was browsing the Dokodemo site until I came across a couple of links in his "Articles" section, titled "Neocities and a Lack of Passion" (Warning: There is quite a bit of swearing in that article).

Sunny, owner of Dokodemo, pointed out that this was a "well-written rant" about nostalgiamining on Neocities. I was expecting to read a rant that listed good points about the dangers of this "nostalgiamining" without resorting to insulting or undermining other users.

I was horribly wrong.

A "Good" Site vs. A "Bad" Site

I do want to preface this by saying that Mari, the author of the linked rant, made many good points about sites that had this need of "nostalgiamining", which included needlessly putting copious amounts of flashing GIFs, walls of 88x31 buttons, MIDIs that autoplayed, content that was nearly illegible, or all of the above, without putting contributing much to the table. I agree with this to some extent since it is something one will see when something becomes "trendy". When this happens, many users will try and join the bandwagon just to look cool, without really adding in their own touch/individuality/passion/etc. I've seen many artists who would churn out lifeless fanart for a popular fandom just for the likes and follows.

While I do understand Mari's frustration, if someone is mostly using this argument to belittle other Neocities users (especially younger teenagers), then that is a kind of behavior I can't agree with. This is not to say that people cannot vent their frustrations, but you know what they say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all". This is especially true on a public online space where there is a high probability that users will see it. When it comes to negativity such as gossip, drama, etc., you know people will see it eventually. If one isn't willing to deal with the consequences, then those thoughts are better left unsaid.

My own thoughts on these "nostalgiamining" really comes down to just a few words: "Who cares?" What gives you the right to insult these "shitty kids", as you call them, for wanting their sites to look like they're from a time where they weren't even born yet? What gives you the right to say these people aren't "interesting" or lack "passion"? I'm not saying that my site is interesting by any means; it's literally an alternative place for me to post my artwork and other things without being boggled down by "promoted" posts constantly shoving products down my throat.

Who cares if so many of these sites don't fit your impossibly high standards of a "good" Neocities site? Who cares if these people want to make a little corner of the internet just for fun, for themselves, or both? If you really want to make such claims, you should have common decency to at least provide some resources on making "better" websites. The whole point of having a Neocities website is to be free to do whatever the heck you want with it, "nostalgiamining" or not. Are you going to shout at people for wanting record players, VCRs, or walkmans? It isn't yours or anyone's call on what makes a good website, especially with thing has versatile as Neocities.

Seeing as how Mari wrote those articles around the time he was about to enter college, I can only assume that he was a disgruntled "just-turned-18" adult who thinks they're smarter than everyone else. I don't blame him, though, because I used to be like that as well. However, at least I was smart enough to not say Neocities was "filled with autism", or call the Neocities founder a "faggot" who hopefully gets AIDS. But sure, Mari, it's the users here who are being unreasonable, surely not you! Heavens, no! *end sarcasm*

With this kind of thinking, Mari wouldn't be any different than those elitists who belittle artwork that doesn't fit your personal palate, instead of actually providing good advice. However, I digress, and there's no point of me beating a dead horse any longer, especially since Mari has left the supposed "autism" that is Neocities.

Closing Thoughts

I probably shouldn't have made this blog post about an article that's almost four years old by now, but goshdarn, those kinds of pretentious and gatekeep-y people really make me miffed! So, instead of closing off on a bad note like Mari did, I want to at least provide some words for anyone who read Mari's article in the past and became discouraged about their own sites.

Keep making those sites!! Make them as flashy as you want them to be. I'm 30 years old and these flashing sites give me so much joy and nostalgia! The eyestrain was normal! The only piece of advice I would give is to always keep an open mind, and to continue finding ways to improve your website. If you feel like your site could be better but can't quite figure it out, don't be afraid to check other sites that would fit your aesthetic.

Keep the Web free!

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