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If I wanted news, I'd read the news. I mean, I *do* read the news… - Sally's Journal
October 26th, 2004
05:51 pm

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If I wanted news, I'd read the news. I mean, I *do* read the news



I don't mind people commenting on John Peels death if they have something personal to say, along the lines of "oh, John Peel died and this is important to me because it makes me feel old / he inspired my career / I listened to him every day" But why do I need to see "John Peel is dead" with no real content 500 times on my friends' page?

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From:flats
Date:October 26th, 2004 10:05 am (UTC)
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I suppose, for those of us who chose to post about it, we perhaps didn't feel the need to explain why he mattered to us because we thought it'd be obvious - i.e. we listened to him, we liked him as a media presence. I thought of him as an institution like the BBC itself, and institutions are supposed to go on forever...
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From:mr_ricarno
Date:October 26th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)
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I concur. Some things don't seem to need elaboration.
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From:angoel
Date:October 26th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
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Just like Alistair Cook dying earlier this year.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 26th, 2004 10:44 am (UTC)
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You can't complain about what other people write in their journals just because you've friended them. If you don't like what people write there you can unfriend them.
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From:feanelwa
Date:October 26th, 2004 10:58 am (UTC)
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I concur.

Also: Any post that is short and about somebody dying has an implicit "And I can't think of a way to express how I feel that somebody else hasn't already said".
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:October 26th, 2004 11:21 am (UTC)
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Though it's not as if atreic does that all the time, or as if most of her friends post obituaries constantly; probably it'll be an entirely different set of friends who simultaneously do $annoying_thing_x next time, so there's no-one who can be conveniently unfriended. Since her post wasn't an attack, I think a short expression of puzzlement was fine.

However, I think posting one-line reports is absolutely fine. It shows some respect and solidarity for the man, and informs anyone with only a partial overlap with your friend list.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 27th, 2004 02:37 am (UTC)
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> Since her post wasn't an attack

I entirely disagree. Sally was telling people off for what they wrote in their journals, and demanding they write things more interesting to her.
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From:atreic
Date:October 27th, 2004 03:01 am (UTC)
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No I wasn't. I just didn't get the point. You will note I don't say "please don't do this" but "why do you do this?"

I'm not sure I get the point now, but I'm a bit closer to it. And the general standard of posts on John Peel has improved too ;-)
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 02:57 am (UTC)
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Aha, this may be one of those "expressing emotions in text is difficult" shockers. As rmc says below, I interpreted it as expressing frustration and annoyance rather than curiousity; I read the last sentence as rhetoric. Isn't language funny?

(A fun psychological/linguistic game which springs to mind is to say the words "the west" whilst thinking about different contexts/meanings of them (e.g. wild west, Tolkein, America-and-the-first-world) and noting how different they feel. I enjoy it, anyway).
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From:atreic
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:50 am (UTC)
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well, ok, I was pissed off too, but I was pissed off in a "this is annoying, please justify why you do this annoying thing" way, rather than a "stop doing what you're doing!" way.
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From:rmc28
Date:October 28th, 2004 02:35 am (UTC)
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Sally was telling people off for what they wrote in their journals, and demanding they write things more interesting to her.

No she wasn't, she was expressing frustration in her own journal about other people's actions. Most of us do this at some point or other in our own journals. If she'd written scathing comments in each individual journal she was cross about, then I'd accept she was "telling people off". As you have been telling Sally off.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:03 am (UTC)
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Point taken, though I still think it came across as a demand/order rather than a personal complaint, especially given the first sentence. See above.

And yes, I suppose I was telling her off, though I think there was a difference between our respective off-tellings.
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From:atreic
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:46 am (UTC)
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Yes, there was - mine was in my journal, where I'm allowed by your own definition to write what I want (especially when I put it behind a cut so people have to work really hard to be offended) and yours was in *my* journal, where you're not :-P ;-)
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 07:37 am (UTC)
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Feel free to delete my posts altogether :-)

What I meant was that theirs was a personal musing, a thought that occured and crystallised as text; their John Peel thougths weren't directed at you. Your post was, I believe, most certainly directed at them.
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From:atreic
Date:October 28th, 2004 08:18 am (UTC)
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That's a huge oversimplification. While I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say their John Peel thoughts were directed at me, people write LJ in the knowledge there's an audience. And I don't even think your distinction is correct; yes, I made my post because I'd seen their posts on LJ. But I would be prepaired to bet that a large number of the "sympathetic" John Peel posts were made by people who had already read other peoples. The spread was meme like. It feels to me that there is a strong feeling that many of the posts *were* directed at the people who had previously posted, in a kind of "amen, brother! Me too" kind of way. In fact, I would be prepaired to stick my neck out on the line and say many of the posts were only made because they saw other peoples posts on LJ (not necessarilly even in a cynical way, just because that was how they found out the news) So I don't think there's the distinction you would like, everything is reactionary. I mean, noone sat in a bubble and suddenly mystically knew John Peel was dead...
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 11:15 am (UTC)
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I still think there's a distinction. Your post came across (to my mind; perhaps I'm oversensitive) as an attack on a group small enough to be personal and large enough that we can be moderately sure their emotions aren't entirely unreasonable; did you really not understand that people might be genuinely upset and want to express it but not particularly chatty?

If you really think that people were putting up posts because they saw that others were doing it and wanted to be part of the crowd (as distinct from just hearing about it via another's journal (you note the distinction but don't consider it)), then your objection was entirely reasonable; I suspect that's at least a part of why some people posting below find public grief so objectionable. I don't think that. I think the majority of people were motivated by genuine sadness and shock at the man's death. And I don't think people were just agreeing with others, either.
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From:requiem_17_23
Date:October 26th, 2004 10:57 am (UTC)
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Then again, it's a good idea to comment on what the events one's reporting in lj anyway. Facts can be found anywhere, but only here can one add one's own opinion to them.
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From:rochvelleth
Date:October 26th, 2004 11:37 am (UTC)
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I'd agree with what you seem to be saying - that it's pointless and more than a little insincere to post a famous figure's death on your LJ without any further qualification. I wouldn't do it myself, anyway, but that's just me. I would mention a death if I had something to say about it, and have done so.

It doesn't mean I don't care that X has died, and admittedly LJ is usually the first place I find out such things, but I still think there's something of the mass hysteria we saw with Princess Diana in all this. Not to side with Boris Johnson, but isn't public grief peculiar?
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From:king_of_wrong
Date:October 26th, 2004 03:36 pm (UTC)
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Yes. Not to mention the mass hysteria over Ken Bigley's death recently or, gah, Diana.

Yes, people are dead. Yes, you've heard of them. Yes, it's quite sad and tragic and should never have happened. No, you didn't know them, so in what way does it affect your life?
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From:plinthy
Date:October 27th, 2004 02:42 am (UTC)
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I know of few things that affect me more than music; Mr Peel was intimately involved in British pop music for 40 years.

There's nothing wrong with showing a little respect, or even a little acknowledgment when someone dies, even if it's someone you don't know.

And having to scroll past a few journal entries on your friends pasge is hardly cripplingly irritating, is it?
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From:king_of_wrong
Date:October 27th, 2004 04:42 am (UTC)
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Showing respect is one thing. Asking for national days of mourning and/or sending (literally) tonnes of flowers to the funeral of someone you've never even met is ridiculous and selfish.

As for John Peel, yes, his death means the end of an era. As did the deaths of Elvis, Buddy Holly et al, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, "Mama" Cass, Jim Morrison, and at least a dozen others in the last century in music alone. He will be missed, but I doubt there are many people this morning truly saying "I don't know how we're going to manage without John", least of all the general public.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 02:51 am (UTC)
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>Showing respect is one thing. Asking for national days of mourning
>and/or sending (literally) tonnes of flowers to the funeral of
>someone you've never even met is ridiculous and selfish

I entirely agree, but I hardly think that's comparable to posting a short note in one's journal. (Not that I'm suggesting that you think it's comparable; just noting a non sequitur.
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From:atreic
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:49 am (UTC)
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tons of short notes in journals are in some way very comparable to tons of bouquets of flowers. It's that need to do something that can be seen publically and that everyone else is doing.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
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>tons of short notes in journals
>are in some way very comparable
>to tons of bouquets of flowers

Only to those who have been assimilated. :-)
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From:ilanin
Date:October 26th, 2004 11:38 am (UTC)
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I agree; I'm downright amazed at the innate defensiveness and hostility in most of these responses.

"If there is nothing you can say, say nothing" is, in general, a good creed to follow.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 27th, 2004 02:48 am (UTC)
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I'm (slightly) sorry if I appeared hostile; it was more to do with the fact Sally (who is one of my favourite people, by the way) was telling people off for their journal content that annoyed me, regardless of what she was telling them off for.

There's never absolutely nothing you can say; a short note of condolence, even in a journal, is not nothing
From:ex_lark_asc
Date:October 26th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC)
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THANK YOU!

I LOVE YOU!

I am so fucking sick of it too!

Whatsisname the much-ridiculed editor bloke was right, the whole world is full of sentimental Liverpudlians..
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From:filecoreinuse
Date:October 26th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)
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Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is his full name (are you suprised he is a Tory? :)).
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From:lisekit
Date:October 26th, 2004 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Boris Johnson may have had a valid point to make, but he really chose a shitty time to make it.
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From:robert_jones
Date:October 27th, 2004 02:24 am (UTC)
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I find myself agreeing with both lark_ascending and Boris Johnson. This may never happen again. It's probably an omen.
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From:plinthy
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:06 am (UTC)
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Condemning people's emotions is rarely profitable; even less so when you're doing it en-masse. It's not like people's public grief is aggresive, or harmful to others. Annoying, perhaps, but that's a long way from being the same thing.
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From:edith_the_hutt
Date:October 26th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I tend to find that people posting about such matters tends to make me feel worse. It's like compaining about the cold when everybody can feel it; if someone feels it worse than you then you forget your chill to help them, if someone is just moaning you notice it the worse.

Let's keep our chill to ourselves. Or at least make jokes about it to warm everybody up.
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From:bluap
Date:October 26th, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC)
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I suspect that people posted the information before it became well known. I certainly heard about it before it appeared on the BBC News website...
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From:senji
Date:October 27th, 2004 03:10 am (UTC)
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I didn't see it on lj until after the BBC had it (having bounced the BBC news article URL across IRC networks).
From:yrieithydd
Date:October 26th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
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I'm mildly amused by the fact the fact that I found out John Peel had died from your LJ (as you are the only one on my friends' list to have commented on it!).
From:neonchameleon
Date:October 26th, 2004 03:58 pm (UTC)

John Peel

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Do ye ken John Peel
with his coat so gay?
do ye ken John Peel
At the break of day?
Do ye ken John Peel
When he's far, far away
With his hounds and his horn
In the morning

Twas the sound of his horn
Brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds
Aas me oftimes led
For Peel's view holloa
Would wake the dead
Or a fox from his lair
In the morning

Do ye ken that hound
Whose voice is death?
Do ye ken her sons
Of peerless faith
Do ye ken that a fox
With his last breath
Cursed them all as he died
In the morning?

Yes, I ken John Peel
And auld Ruby, too
Ranter and Royal
And Bellman so true
From the drag to the chase,
From the chase to the view
From the view to the death
In the morning

And I've followed John Peel
Both often and far
O'er the rasper fence
And the gate and the bar
From Low Denton Holme
To the Scratchmere Scar
When we vied for the brush
In the morning

(sorry, just being subversive)
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From:atreic
Date:October 28th, 2004 08:20 am (UTC)

Re: John Peel

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Wrong John Peel, dear, he's been dead for centuries already.
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From:senji
Date:October 28th, 2004 03:11 pm (UTC)

Re: John Peel

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Sssshhh :)
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