||[Mar. 19th, 2008|05:52 pm]
We had a proper spring shower this afternoon, a half an hour of sprinkles followed by about twenty minutes of serious rain, including a windy period that sent several acorn woodpeckers scurrying for shelter in the lee of the utility pole. The clouds are beginning to break up now, but too late for the sun to dry the shiny pavement or the water-beaded lawns and shrubs. After the rain, a hummingbird visited the empty feeder on the back porch. I guess it's time to fill it. I also see that the camellia bush has produced its first blossoms of the year, and the azaleas are blooming. The oaks have put out new leaves and there is a smell of fresh grass in the air. All this springishness is entirely justified, given that the Vernal Equinox is March 20. Tomorrow! The very next night will bring the first full moon of spring. Everything is happening almost at once!|
I'm amused that Anton Nossik's current default icon appears to be him having his brains eaten by Frank the LJ goat. This must be in reference to something growing out of the contretemps (translation: LJ Drama) over the sudden, unannounced termination of the ability to create new, ad-free, basic level LJ accounts. This decision by LJ's new Russian Overlords, SUP, resulted in some LJ users calling for a one-day boycott during which no posts or comments would be made on LJ. Their intention in this was to emphasize to the operators of the site that the users are the ultimate source of the content which attracts the viewers whose page views the site sells to advertisers. Given the fact that such a boycott wouldn't cost the company any money (as everybody participating would already have either a paid or a basic or a plus account), it was probably a pointless gesture, but then aren't pointless gestures what LiveJournal is all about, anyway?
What happened next is that Anton Nossik (whose name appears to be misspelled by practically everybody on teh Intarwebs), a fairly high level SUP employee, gave an interview (in Russian) to a Russian journalist, and some of his remarks have been posted in what may or may not be a bad English translation around LJ (here, for example), setting off still further LJ drama. Some of his purported statements have a rather, shall we say, rantish quality, and are somewhat unflattering to many of LJ's users. Viz:
"In this situation, where they attempt to blackmail and to intimidate us, threatening to destroy our business, there is a business-reason not to reward this behavior. This is not the simple reaction of being more resistant the more pressure is applied. The fact is that through history no successful enterprise runs by being subjugated by unfriendly forces. No change, even the most correct one, will not experience some resistance. Oooh, trying to fight hyperbole with hyperbole is seldom a good idea, especially at LJ. Naturally, the main result of these remarks was to elicit a storm of comments from users who hadn't even been considering joining the boycott, saying that now they would surely support it. Well, duh!
"It would probably be best to reconsider the recent changes. But from our point of view it is now necessary to wait until after the boycott has faded. Let it pass and have the voices of protest fade. Then we can consider changing this policy."
So Anton makes (in a second LJ account he has) a long post defending himself, and shifting the blame largely to the Russian journalist who interviewed him. A lot of his post strikes me as melodramatic, self serving, and a bit dickish, and reading it I suddenly realized that, OMG, Anton Nossik is truly one of us! In addition to the fact that he's had an LJ even longer than I have, and has made more posts than I have, most tellingly he has that unmistakable LiveJournalak propensity for hyperbolic utterance which, to at least some extent, marks almost all of us. His hyperbole in the interview (and I don't care how bad the translation or how much of it the journalist took out of context for the final edit, there's still got to be quite a bit of his real attitude in those remarks) was just so... so LJ! If he weren't already so popular (and if he didn't write almost exclusively in Russian, which I can't read) I'd so friend him! Besides, that icon of Frank eating his brains is perfect! LJ drama LOL!