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Suppose they gave a flame war and everyone came? - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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Suppose they gave a flame war and everyone came? [Feb. 14th, 2004|02:59 am]
Just me.
Here's something kinda meme-y: LJer asks "who should I be reading" question, gets responses. then asks "Who should I NOT read", aka, who's got an annoying, offensive, or otherwise remarkable LJ. The result is 17 pages of comments, some anonymous, some not, now nicknamed "The Doom Thread".

The thing I found most surprising is that the name that came up over and over was someone I've never run into called shadesong . The reasons given for hating this LJ included that she's incredibly self absorbed, overposts, and that she goes back and reedits old LJ entries to reflect new realities as she sees them (aka "revisionist history"). Okay, I'll buy those as reasons not to read someone's LJ But then the weird thing is that her LJ has 730 friends- I mean, people who list her as a friend, AND there's a community for her (with 58 people in it) whose sole purpose appears to be "do people who list shadesong as a friend have anything else in common". I read about 20 of her entries, and they weren't inflammatory, just dull. Maybe they're compelling if you know her in real life, but I suspect that isn't true for most of those 730 people.

to put this into terms y'all can relate to:
avphibes 365 friends/readers
jathomas 406 friends/readers
merovingian 450 friends/readers
spoonfeeding 467 friends/readers
zeppo 803 friends/readers
kim_jong_il__ 2964 (not a typo) friends/readers

go to any of these LJ's, and you'll understand why their LJs are so damn popular. And none of them are conceited enough to design a GIF you can post in your LJ stating that you've gone back and read their ENTIRE journal (which shadesong has in fact done- see her user page) But I cannot understand the cult of shadesong. Unless there's some great friends-only stuff in there, I can't even see friending her out of schadenfreude to laugh at emotional-trainwreck posts (not that I would ever do that, of course, but I'm told it happens occasionally on LJ), because the material just doesn't seem juicy enough.

One of the comments in "The Doom Thread" was something like "Reading shadesong is like LJ basic training; you read her, you take your lumps, and eventually you get wise to the drama and unfriend her". Has this happened to anyone out there?

Interestingly, of her 730 friends of, the only ones I have in common with her are 3 people on my above list of "people with over 300 friends that 'everybody' reads because they write so well", who may well have friended her out of reciprocity. None of my "non LJ celebrity" friends seem to read her. I guess I'm just surprised that someone can be both so popular AND so reviled AND that I was unaware that anyone cared one way or another.

PS only one of my friends made it into the Doom thread, and he already knows he's there. Like shadesong, almost all of the people mentioned were LJers I'd never run into.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: quelqueparte
2004-02-14 04:35 am (UTC)
one of my friends made the doom thread, but i've not mentioned it to them. but i'd never heard of shadesong at all.
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[User Picture]From: avphibes
2004-02-14 10:37 am (UTC)
Interesting that you bring this up, because i read the whole doom thread (back when it was only 15 pages) just to see if me or any of my friends got listed (I once made a "love to hate" list, but didn't make the doom thread), and it was my first time ever hearing of shadesong. Just like you, I checked out her journal out of curiosity as to why everyone had such strong negative reactions to her and totally didn't get it. Her journal seemed pretty mundane. Also, I thought it was odd that someone could be such an LJ mega-personality without my ever hearing of them.

It's like there are whole other LJ worlds out there of which I know nothing!
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[User Picture]From: drexle
2004-02-14 11:59 am (UTC)
I've never even heard of shadesong either. I have yet to check out the journal... don't know if I will anytime soon.

I don't think I have anyone I'd put on the doom list. The only person actually on my list currently who I'm even mildly irritated with is someone who posts about 5 or 6 humongous entries every single day, but usually at least 1/3 of those entries are very interesting and totally worth keeping them around.
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[User Picture]From: drexle
2004-02-14 12:02 pm (UTC)

Re:

And by the way, I don't add "LJ celebrities" to my list no matter how interesting they may be because I simply don't like exposing my friends-only entries to people I haven't actually talked that much to. I guess that's what you have filters for, eh?
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[User Picture]From: tyrsalvia
2004-02-14 12:34 pm (UTC)
shadesong is a real life friend of my boyfriend and his other girlfriend (m0usegrrl, who is illustrating a comic with shadesong). From what I know about her through that interaction, she's very magnetic. She's a big social networking hub and very friendly, but also has a pretty dramatic life both in terms of shit she does herself and stuff that just happens to her. People either want to fuck her or want to protect her, and that's pretty powerful. And, as you've seen, those who don't like her *really* don't like her. A lot of them feel personally rejected, so it's not just about disliking her in general, it's more about feeling not good enough for someone they've decided lacks morals or whatever. There's a lot of bitterness. There are people who create fake journals and friend her and friend her friends just to try to get more information about her. One person created a fake journal and friended every single person on livejournal she's ever slept with, and that's it.

I don't get it either.
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