Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

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My rant on ratings communities.

You want to know something that truly bothers me? Misplaced prioritie. Why do I say this? Well, last night, I went around promoting darfur_crisis on about any community promotion community I could find. If you are reading this journal, I'm sure you are aware of how passionate I am about this cause, and so I figured I'd get out there and spread some awareness. So I went around, posting on these promo communities, hoping it would reach someone, anyone, and encourage people to take an interest in the crisis.



Fifty thousand are dead. Hundreds of thousands more could die. Over a million are homeless. This is not a joke. It is REAL.

Wake up to your world.

Be aware and informed. The crisis in Darfur, Sudan has been ignored for too long. Join darfur_crisis now.

With that posted all over the show, I felt I'd done some pretty decent work and raised a bit of awareness. I felt a bit 'dirty' for joining all these promo communities, but it's for a good cause so I can live with it. I went to bed, hoping maybe I'd managed to alert more people to the crisis - after all, awareness is the first step to a resolution. When I got up, I was less than impressed. There were only THREE new members, and I'm pretty sure they were all thanks to my non-promotional post on african_studies. Let me clarify that this isn't some "I want more members for my community!" whinge. Oh no, it's far from that. I'm pissed I even had to make that community, because what's happening in Darfur SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. And what totally confuses me is that despite widespread promotion, people are more than happy to completely ignore a very serious community and yet pointless ratings communities THRIVE. People won't get out of apathy and join a community about a world event that demands their attention, but they'll throw themselves enthusiastically at these petty ratings communities.

I looked over these promo communities, and a large number of the communities are ratings communities or similar. For those not 'in the know', a ratings community is essentially an LJ community where you make an application (generally involving basic questions about who you are, what you like, and what you dislike, and usually require photographs) and on the basis of this, you are either accepted to or rejected from the community by the members. These communities typically judge based upon looks, 'inner beauty' (yeah, right), musical taste, et cetera. It's entirely arbitrary, and yet the fad seems to be sweeping LJ like wildfire. On every promo community, there are promos for new ratings communities for just about anything - "are you sexy?" "are you goth enough?" "are you cool enough to be on [pop TV show]?" "are you hot and RAWK?" and so on.

To me, they're pretty lame. I'm not going to insult anyone who's joined or created one, though I think the concept is silly to say the least, but what really bothers me is that people are going to place such major importance on these communities at the expense of communities about something that's worth a damn. I don't care if you are hot or sexy. I don't care if you're ultra-goth, if you are emo enough to make my glasses shatter, or if you rock so much that if you came within fifty kilometres of my house, my pool table will start doing cartwheels from the vibrations emitted from the essence of your very being. I don't give a toss if you were accepted to i_am_cool_like_a_penguin or rejected from noone_is_rejected_from_here. I DO NOT CARE. What I DO care about is issues that MATTER. Whether you are sexy or not DOES NOT MATTER IF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN SUDAN ARE FACING DEATH. These ratings communities seem to just pander to and encourage people's insecurity and shallowness and don't really have much of a decent use. They are definitely not important. They have absolutely no priority over communities such as darfur_crisis. There are more important things to worry about than whether some stranger online thinks your butt's big or your nose is out of shape.

So why do these communities thrive? Why are they so prolific and why do waves upon waves of them keep coming? How does it make sense? Are people really that shallow and insecure that there is such a massive demand for them? Are people really that apathetic that they're more concerned with what people think of their looks rather than issues that directly affect over two million of their fellow humans? Am I missing something here, or is it totally nonsensical that ratings communities are widespread and popular while one about the WORLD'S WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISIS is barely warranting any attention at all? It's infuriating and it is a truly PATHETIC commentary on the nature of people. Just ... get your priorities in order. Darfur is more important than the size of your arse.

Oh, and by the way, there's one thing I don't get about these ratings communities. The new ones are often promoted with a line such as "the first five applicants are automatically accepted!" Excuse me? So you are going to be rating people on various attribute/s, but if I am one of the lucky first five, I'll be accepted NO MATTER WHAT? OK, let's test out this logic.

Community: Are you a hot black American woman who truly loves Justin Timberlake?
Me, the lucky first applicant: a pretty boring-looking white New Zealand man who vehemently despises the fact Justin Timberlake exists.

And I'll be automatically accepted? Well, that community's existence just got consigned to redundancy.

It's just pathetic, it really is. I think the world's worst humanitarian crisis is far, far more important than whether your tastes in movies is as good as that of ten people on the Internet who are self-appointed judges.

That rant didn't come out as well as it was scripted in my head, but you still get my point. Bah, it's just such a bother.

And on a more positive note, my mother's back from her holiday. Woo, I am pleased. She's definitely seen some sun ... I'm just glad it's no longer just James, Robby, and I. The last two weeks haven't been impressive. I just don't cope well living with other people who I've basically been placed with without any real agreement on my behalf, especially not with my mother or Alan to keep them in line. This entry's long enough so I won't go into detail about last night, but basically, I can't stand living with them, I don't want to, I'm particularly less than impressed with James, and I want out. Living with my mother is fine. Flatting with friends is fine. I doubt I'll have any objections to living with my wife. But with two guys who I have nothing in common with and whose presence I do not desire? No. It doesn't work like that. Anyway. More to come tomorrow, I suppose.

7 November 1984, Glasgow - one of the greatest gigs of all time with one of the most awesomely enthusiastic and fun crowds.
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