I fell down a rabbit hole last night, well in the early hours of this morning, reading
rants essays from people extolling the virtues of small, performant, simple web design. When just 7 lines of CSS can make a page perfectly readable on just about any screen and things will be completely responsive because it's only a bunch of text.
I agree that we don't need to throw every available technology at a site, the old adage "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" is true for a reason.
I would equally argue that just because you don't have to doesn't always mean you shouldn't.
A typical day on the blog with a few posts and comments will come in between 100 - 150kb, including a jQuery library; the Garden page I used to draft this post was around half that. Not bad. Still, the brutalists would be shocked. Okay, there's a lot of whitespace to help make things more readable but my CSS file extends to around 1500 lines. Yep, you read that right. 1500! I hear your gasps.
I'm all for keeping page sizes small but get equally turned off by sites that look like the contents of a Notepad window as by those that are horrendously bloated. Minimal design is one thing but brutalist, raw sites are often visually jarring — an unnecessary overreaction to the current state of web technologies. It's about finding a balance.