This past year David Bowie, Prince and George Michael died and I think the reason people are so upset isn't just because these people are so legendary, it's because they can't imagine current pop stars ever being so legendary. Our modern stars feel like emulations of the classics, or like The Force Awakens, everyone and everything nowadays feels a little too safe and familiar.
It makes me wonder, what IS edgy and cool now, because my attention isn't won by the same things as when I was a teenager in the 90s. What really won my attention this year was the people who just went above and beyond with their craft, which is why @Jaime-R feels so legendary because he made A Prank Time. I was also in awe of @PaperbagAnimator and @Kieran-s this year and I like how @Nutcasenightmare continues to make thoughtful games that present issues in a way that is fun to absorb while also showing off some impressive HTML5 chops. This stuff is enjoyed on multiple levels.
I was reading a Trent Reznor interview about rock music and his closing quote struck me: “But it’s not saying much either. Again, this is a blanket statement, this is certainly not including everything, there’s sure good stuff out there, but in general, I’m not blown away by 5 records a month, like, ‘Man, that’s speaking to me.’ Everything feels a bit tame, it feels a lot like something else that’s happened, polite. I think that some of the tastemaker elements, certainly the hipster arena, has leaned towards the praising of gentle familiar R&B twee pop stuff. A lot of what’s blessed as ‘the cool thing’ feels pretty generic, and also feels, a lot of it, like a desperate plea for commercial airplay and success, as there are fewer and fewer avenues for any bands to break out of obscurity these days.”
Newgrounds has been working hard to break interesting people out of obscurity for years now but the hardest part is that NG itself hasn't been able to break out of obscurity. My hope for Newgrounds is that it becomes so consistently INTERESTING that people have to take notice. We need to be our own unique pop culture.
I'd try to come up with a more ra ra closing to this post but I'm out of time at the moment and if I don't click POST I have a feeling I'll never actually post this, like many times in the past when I ramble out some thoughts and decide to save them for later. So I'll just remind everyone that we have a great Supporter upgrade that can go a long way towards improving the site and empowering the people who share their work here! Thank you everyone who has given support so far.
Also apologies in advance to all the amazing artists, developers and musicians I didn't name in this post; it was a quick stream of conscious thing and I'll regret not naming tons of people later. Like how about @aalong64 with Sublo & Tangy Mustard #4, every animator will find frames to study in that one. Or @Ferrantelli, who makes cooler games in 48 hours than most people make in their lives and he's only 19!
I guess my point is that the greatest people I know are right here on Newgrounds and I don't have to look elsewhere for idols. Sometimes it can make you feel crazy that the rest of the world doesn't see what you see but I know a lot of you do, so I just hope we keep getting louder in 2017 and beyond. RA RA!