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What’s wrong with LJ. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
What’s wrong with LJ.
There are times when one is hard pressed not to feel a certain sneaking sympathy with Kipling’s view of our Eastern neighbours: Adam-zad, the Bear That Walks Like a Man: ‘Let it be clearly understood that the Russian is a delightful person till he tucks in his shirt. As an Oriental he is charming. It is only when he insists upon being treated as the most easterly of western peoples instead of the most westerly of easterns that he becomes […] extremely difficult to handle. The host never knows which side of his nature is going to turn up next’.
 
This is of course very wrong to think, and yet more wrong to say. It is also upon occasion difficult to resist – thinking, at any rate.
 
I have noted before, at length, the initial cosiness – to put it mildly – between the Vozhd, Vladimir Vladimirovich, Tsar Put(a)in, and the woolly Mamut and his mammoth-ear SUP. (The pun is Polish, not Russian.) Aleksandr Leonidovich was a member in good standing of the kleptocracy / kakistocracy commonly (dead commonly) referred to in the West as ‘the Russian oligarchs’. Bugger is yet, for that matter – and has the neck to own Waterstone’s. Bloody cheek. Foreigners.
 
But as all kakistocrats eventually learn, in the New Tsardom (this makes Moscow, what, the ‘Fourth Rome’, is it, now?), one’s utility to the Vozhd comes with a certain planned obsolescence. However Useful a Fool one may be, however dedicated an agent provocateur, soon or late one Displeases the Vozhd, or the Counter-Revolutionary Dissidents whom one was setting a trap for become too noisy, and then one is for the high jump and the Disturbing Elements and their False Consciousness attract the DDOS attacks of the Nashi / Putinjugend. This is why so many of the ill-tailored, nouveau riche thugs are cluttering up London nowadays rather than Moscow or Petersburg. LJ’s service problems are not solely the result of DDOS attacks upon Russians who seek liberty, alas, but are made far worse by the fact that SUP itself is and has always been in a rather equivocal situation vis-à-vis the masters of the Kremlin (and the Lubyanka). Nekulturniy bastards.
 
But how, you ask, does this same unfortunate relationship underlie the latest idiocy w/r/t comments and design?
 
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
 
Allow me to introduce Artemiy Lebedev, son of Tatyana Nikitichna Tolstaya (who in the role of Candid Friend makes rather a good Putin apologist), and thus great-grandson of the ‘Red Count’, Comrade Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy: graphic designer, hipster, poseur, chauvinistic despiser of the Lesser Breeds, and perhaps the most arrogant sod in all the Russias. Mr ‘Design Will Save the World’, who wishes it to be clearly understood that he is Considerably Cooler Than Yow, founded his studio in 1995. Remember 1995? The fuddled and ailing Boris Nikolayevich – remember Yeltsin? – was, in principle, In Charge (it was the year of the assassination of Vladislav Nikolayevich Listyev, the crusading journo. No prizes for guessing who was behind that). The 1996 general election was looming. And Boris Nikolayevich therefore launched his second ‘privatisation’ programme – that is to say, began the creation of the oligarchy and erected crony capitalism as an integrated feature of the Russian state. It worked – in a sense. He won, in something of an upset, due to the support of the kakistocracy and the kleptocrats, and the conniving of his daughter Tatyana Borisovna … a dear friend of Our Mammoth Friend, Aleksandr Leonidovich.
 
Now, of course I wouldn’t at all suggest that founding a privately held company in Russia in 1995 is in itself indicative of crony capitalism. Oh, No. Not At All. I merely note the background of the times.
 
In any case – no doubt Heroically and Against All Odds, With Every Man’s Hand Against Him and the Evil Oligarchs Seeking to Do Him Down at Every Turn, wee Arty Lebedev has prospered, and is a Revered Figure amongst the Russian Weberati. And it is Mr ‘Design Will Save the World – My Design: That Will Be Two Thousand Guineas, Thank You’ who is responsible for the new comment balls-up layout and the other changes against which the paying public and the parties to contracts with LJ’s chicken SUP are (bootlessly) railing. The utter buggeration of LJ is not mindless, comrades friends: it is intentional. Revered Figures Must Be Appeased, don’t you know, and Friends Rewarded.
 
And thus, to the persistent and increasingly insistent questions, What is wrong with LJ, and, Why in buggery should a business conduct itself with such disregard of its patrons and contracting parties, the answer is quite simple. Crony capitalism does these things. It distorts markets. (This why Classical Liberals and conservatives despise it, in our Hayekian, Thatcherite way, far more than can – and do – any puling Leftists.) Or, more simply, this is what comes of making a truce with Adam-zad, the Bear That Walks Like a Man.
 
We’re stuffed – unless we make it so abundantly clear that their revenues are in such peril as to force them to conduct themselves as businesses in the West must do. That’s worked before. We sod them, or they sod us. You pays – or withholds – your money and you takes your choice.
 

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Comments
thisgirl_is From: thisgirl_is Date: December 20th, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

When brute force fails...

Aaah, that rather makes sense. If we can't break you from the outside, we'll take you down from within.

Was rather alarmed to see, while flicking through the Metro (shut up, it was there) that Russia appears to be buying substantially bailing out Europe. How nice of them. I'm sure there's no way that can end badly.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 20th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Watch the wall, my darling...

... when the gentlemen pass by.
thisgirl_is From: thisgirl_is Date: December 21st, 2011 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Watch the wall, my darling...

Ashamed to admit I had to look it up, but I did recognise it once I had context.

'Them that asks no questions' seems to be the order of the day in politics generally. Not sure whether it's more so currently, or whether it just feels that way.
taradiane From: taradiane Date: December 21st, 2011 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: 'Them that asks no questions'

My parents would say that it just feels that way...that little has changed in politics over the decades. We talk often about the state of politics/government today, and my dad just gives me a funny look and says, "You think it was different forty years ago? It wasn't."


Of course, then I remember Alexander Hamilton's fate at the hand of Aaron Burr and think the old man might be right. ;-)
thisgirl_is From: thisgirl_is Date: December 30th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: 'Them that asks no questions'

Yeah, I know. It just seems like the whole thing should, if nothing else, not be so bloody stagnant. Of course, it could be worse, in that it could have got actually worse.
fpb From: fpb Date: December 20th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Waterstone's deservers its owner. I remember our shezan commenting that the conversion of a Piccadilly shop into a Waterstone's was the only time she had regretted the transformation of a rag trade shop into a bookstore.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 20th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

There is that.

Alas.
taradiane From: taradiane Date: December 21st, 2011 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Methinks that I need...

...a Gorby icon.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 21st, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

No. No. No.

We could do business with that man. Unlike this shower.
taradiane From: taradiane Date: December 21st, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well that was rather my point...

...a visual reminder, if you will. A stick in the eye and all that.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 23rd, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ah.

Penny drops. I was mazed: sorry.
From: optasia Date: December 21st, 2011 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you for the overview!

We’re stuffed – unless we make it so abundantly clear that their revenues are in such peril as to force them to conduct themselves as businesses in the West must do. That’s worked before. We sod them, or they sod us. You pays – or withholds – your money and you takes your choice.
I have three paid accounts and an icon package on one of them. Between the DDOS attacks and now this comment design change LJ has lost it's appeal. I spend quite a bit of time on certain fic comment memes which depend on the subject line to be usable. LJ's attitude of not caring what their paying customers think makes me not want to put another dime into it.

Edited at 2011-12-21 07:42 am (UTC)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 21st, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

It is appalling.

Sod the lot of 'em.
matilda36 From: matilda36 Date: December 21st, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Exodus

Why don't we simply migrate towards the greener pastures of Dreamwidth? I use it as my primary for posting and keep lj for communities (that are slowly setting up on DW too ) and friends who are not on DW?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 21st, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Judges.

I think many will, and ought. I intend to cross-post, but remain here as a nuisance, as I've a permanent account, for my sins, and, to paraphrase the then-candidate Mr Reagan, in New Hampshire, I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE.
taradiane From: taradiane Date: December 21st, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Judges.

I adore you, sir.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 23rd, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Lamentations

The fondness is reciprocated.
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: December 21st, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
http://advancing.livejournal.com/133124.html

http://stoppedhiding.livejournal.com/1903.html

Both of these provide code and/or pointers as to how to restore some semblance of the old ways. If you are of a mind to do so, of course.

Either way: Merry Christmas and all the best to you!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 23rd, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

For the advice, the (reciprocated) wishes, and the sheer joy of seeing you once more. It's been too long.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 23rd, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not at all.

Glad to have been of service.

And I don't mind being taken for an OG, although they are rather manly-but-thick for my Old Ravenclaw taste.
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