by f, age 26.
1. People bitching about things that appear on their flist.
It's like this, cupcakes. People will post what they want, and you need to STFU and accept that people's journals are their own space and they will do with it what they want. LJ is diverse; there are many little etiquette thingys that are like Greek to new users and there are nuances even experienced users may not be aware of. People will spam, posting every time they get a new thought or attempt an unsupervised feat of human prowess, such as going to sleep or eating a jelly doughnut. People will post memes that everybody and their dog has already done. People will give play-by-plays of their sexual encounters with various members of our species and occasionally other species. People will bitch about life, they will be politically incorrect, they will express opinions. Some of these opinions will be interminably stupid, some vapid and others just plain inflammatory. People will post about things that do not interest you -- for example, about some overhyped children's book about a teenage wizard and his best friends, or about some show where a virile dude in tights and a cape leaps tall hos in a single bound, or about some freaky-deaky Japanese animated series where gay people with scary triangular faces play tennis all day long.
Some or all of these behaviours will annoy you. Is it okay to be annoyed by these behaviours? Of course it is. There is nothing wrong with being annoyed. You do not, however, have the right to bitch and moan about it and expect people to understand, because the minute someone bitches you out for posting something THEY didn't like in YOUR journal, you will probably not like that very much. Kind of like now (yes, I can spell "irony", thank you for asking). Guess what? You've likely annoyed your share of fellow LJ users. The only difference between them and you is that they had the social grace to keep their annoyance to themselves, because they understand that they do not get to control who posts what on their own livejournal. Or, alternatively, they're too chickenshit to say anything to your face and are waiting for the next anonymous meme so they can vent their spleen securely. See, not taking sides here; I've seen both -- seen people vent privately on a filter or via IM to a friend, and seen people bitch about others' post formatting in an anon meme. It takes all kinds, yo.
Obviously, there are things that are just plain inappropriate to post in any situation -- privacy breaches, reposting flocked material outside of the original flock without the owner's permission, plagiarism,
Basically, I'm not talking about reading a racist rant on your flist and reacting with your own counter-rant -- that's not about the fact the person's posted it, it's about what they posted; it contains an affront to a basic human right. However, posting five times a day about every flavour of doughnut someone happens to be eating is not an affront to anyone's rights. Neither is posting a meme that everybody and their dog has already done. That it is annoying, I do not dispute. I don't like eighteen million entries from the same user in the span of an hour. However, I do not have the right to tell this person to stop or tone it down, because it is their journal I'm talking about. And that's really what bitching about people's posting habits comes down to -- attempting to exercise social pressure in order to get people to do what you want. Which you have absolutely no fucking right to do.
Yes, you can turn right around and say "but it's my journal, and if I want to bitch about what other people do in their journals, I can, and by your own logic, you can't stop me!11" Absolutely, you're right, I can't. Despite all appearances, I'm not attempting to pass LJ legislation here; just ranting my head off about a behaviour I consider inappropriate and giving reasons for why I consider it inappropriate. I reserve the right to mock you for having the social skills of an aardvark. At the end of the day, you get to choose who is on your friendslist. If someone's entries are constantly annoying you and you can't see the content of their posts for the annoyance their methods cause you, you are free to remove them from your friendslist. LJ is not television, it is not a newspaper. And a friendslist is entirely optional, when you get right down to it.
2. People assuming that just because they're discussing matters of opinion, they cannot be wrong or mistaken.
Everyone's got an opinion, sure. However, saying "it's just my opinion" does not give you a get out of jail free card if your opinion happens to be unsupported by factual evidence or is just plain stupid and/or shortsighted. I'm afraid there are a number of opinions that fall into that latter category. An opinion's existence does not validate the opinion. You can think whatever you want: that the moon is made of blue cheese, that the girl next door is a body-snatching alien or that Brad Pitt is better off dating Edward Norton and who the fuck is this Angelina chick anyway. Thinking something does not make it true (no comments from the metaphysics peanut gallery, plz). When somebody challenges your opinion, it is not an appropriate response to say "well, it's my opinion!!1" as a defense. If you're too thick to hold opinions that are capable of withstanding intellectual challenge, that's your problem.
Not all opinions are created equal. Just because a discussion revolves around matters of opinion does not mean that all of the points made or issues raised will be equal in their validity. If you are of the opinion that the moon is made of blue cheese and someone brings up the samples of moon rock that those "giant leap for mankind" dudes brought back from their little picnic, it is not smart to say, "well, this is my opinion and therefore shut up". It is appropriate to point out that there are theories that involve a vast conspiracy wherein those dudes had their picnic not on the Moon, but in some Arizona desert and the TV footage was an elaborate scam. If these conspiracy theories are true and humans haven't actually been to the moon, then it is possible to claim, somewhat defensibly, that the moon is made of blue cheese. However, if the conspiracy theories are false, then you're pissing in the wind. In order to be regarded as an intelligent example of our excellently evolved species, you need to be able to realise that sometimes your opinions aren't worth all that much. It's what will ultimately separate you from the unfortunately obtuse. I'm not saying you can only hold opinions that are well-substantiated; heavens, no. I'm simply saying that the word "opinion" is not a shield that will protect your stupidity from spirited analysis. Don't look so surprised, now.
And the songs y'all didn't get the other day were:
01. AFI - Narrative of Soul Against Soul
10. Dr Dre - Housewife