Anyway, probably the most prevalent post today is the "Gay Rights" post. Because I agree with and like the quote, I am going to post it here as well, though everyone has doubtlessly seen it by now.
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"
- Ernest Gaines
Most people have pasted the accompanying part about posting it to show your support or ignoring it to show your lack, but since this has caused problems on the journals of well-meaning people who inadvertantly offended those not prone to post-spam of this sort, I'm going to refrain from that. I don't think that there are any homophobics on my flist anyway. I can't imagine that they'd stay around long, what with me posting slash on a regular basis.
If posting the quote makes you feel as though you are making a positive difference, though, by all means, please post it! I certainly don't mind seeing it around more.
But I'd sooner hear people stop using "gay" as an insult, sooner see people make an effort to become more aware of how they stereotype others not alike to them, and sooner see people have the guts to speak up when some idiot starts their BS about gay people being somehow less of human beings because of their orientation. Perhaps this would lessen the perception that homophobia is okay.
Or maybe posting a thought-provoking quote is a place to start. :)
On a more frivolous--though equally heated--note, there is a petition on LJ to convince LJ not to allow companies to purchase "sponsored accounts" that would allow them to promote their products on LJ. I gave the debate on lj_biz a quick scan, and there seems to be a lot of questions and concerns over this. People fear the power of the Almighty Dollar trumping the rights and wishes of LiveJournal customers.
Having read all of the posts made by the LJ folks and a handful of comments by disgruntled LJ members, I do get the distinct impression that LJ was trying to slide something past us, dressing it up as something that will benefit us as users while really trying to ease past LJ's longstanding commitment to "no ads anywhere!" A commitment that was somewhat broken by instituting the "Plus" accounts that show ads. I know for a fact that sponsored communities were showing up on the front page of LJ for paid users because scienceofsleep showed up on mine for a couple of days as a "Sponsored Community," then disappeared. I remember seeing it and thinking, "Huh. What's this? So now I can get silwritersguild on the front page by handing over some bucks?" Never mind that 99.9% of LJ users won't give a damn about silwritersguild, but money talks more than customer interest, otherwise we would talk to real live people when we call our banks, Internet providers, and credit card companies and our IT concerns would be handled by people who at least spoke our language.
Of course, when the paid users began to complain that they paid not to see adverts--and this includes adverts cloaked as communities--scienceofsleep mysteriously disappeared from my front page. And suddenly, "No, no, no! Paid users won't see this at all unless they choose to see it!" and admission to poor choice of wording on the part of LJ staff (who did, in fact, say that paid users would not be able to avoid seeing sponsored communities listed). However, I saw it for several days, enough to wonder over it, so this makes me immediately skeptical of their honesty on this issue.
Slippery slopes are a dangerous place, but I think that a valid point is made by the folks pointing out the insidious introduction of advertisement onto LiveJournal. First the Plus accounts, now the "sponsored communities"...frankly, I am sick of advertisement, period. I am sick of not being able to go to "Ravens Stadium" but having to go to "M&T Bank Stadium." No, it's not the fucking bank that plays there, it's my damned favorite football team, the Ravens. Or the Republicans who wanted to open national parks to corporate advertisements on the sides of park buildings and buses so that Exxon can dump oil into the sea with one hand and pander to environmentalists with the other. Is there any place left to go where some eejit isn't trying to hawk something at me? I pay $9.25 for a movie ticket (well, really $8.00 since I still have my old UMBC ID card) to sit for the half-hour before the movie starts watching disgusting Sprite commercials of sumo wrestlers smashing a guy's head between their bellies and advert after advert for TV shows where the same startled-looking yuppies somehow go missing. Meh. Let them stay missing, I say.
Advertisement is a necessary evil; I am not so dumb to think otherwise. But as it fills the world more and more, it becomes more and more obnoxious to draw your eye from That Guy's ad to Our Ad. I won't even listen to the radio anymore because I can't stand the blaring, strident ads designed at getting my attention.
So anyway, I signed the petition because LJ, for me, is a community for sharing my thoughts and writing and striking up conversation with like-minded folks and keeping in touch with friends. It is not where I go to watch movie trailers or get free deals, and I think that a good point is made by the folks who bring up that LJ had proclaimed relatively few restrictions for these "sponsored accounts" until a shitstorm was made over the idea that didn't go over quite as well as planned. When companies start throwing big money into a service, those of us who pay our paltry 20 buckaroos per year start to feel understandably nervous of how our rights as customers will shake out next to theirs, and as someone with a fan fiction community, say "Children of Hurin" was made into a movie. Would silwritersguild be made to shut down to give monopoly to the childrenofhurin sponsored community? Surely, they can outbid me.
Anyhoo, those who agree with me or want to read further, check out the petition. And thanks to ithilwen for calling my attention to it! Additionally, the lj_biz community has the posts that have been made about this move and the literally thousands of comments mostly against it.