"i wasn't inviting anyone. i was responding to downvotes."
er... "downvote all you like"?
That sort of remark in response to downmods (or the expectation thereof) is precisely what that line in the guidelines is about. But, if you insist you weren't "inviting", let's look at the next guideline up instead:
Resist complaining about being downmodded. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading.
"i don't see why i should be civil [...]"
Because the guidelines of this community ask that you be civil, and they don't say "oh, but feel free to ignore that bit if someone annoys you". Because fighting incivility with incivility is the path to flamewars. Because, if you don't like the behaviour an online community expects of its participants, you can either: leave, and make everyone involved happier; or: stick around, flout the local etiquette, and piss everyone involved off.
"more generally, the problem with hn these days [...] read any thread here. this kind of cheap, cynical throw-away remark is the bland norm."
Okay, let's take this submission by way of example. I see... exactly one "cheap, cynical throw-away remark", the very one you replied to -- and it's been modded down to near the bottom. That's the usual pattern I see: sure, there's a little vacuous snark, but it's far from the majority of comments, and it tends to get downmodded pretty hard.
Regardless, if you're so convinced that HN has such endemic problems -- well, my comment earlier "if you don't like the behaviour an online community expects of its participants ..." applies equally well to "if you don't like the discussions on an online community...".
"maybe you should find some authority figure [...]"
Oh, my post wasn't about invoking authority. They're guidelines, not rules. But nice job trying to paint me as a cowed bootlicker because I pointed out you were either unaware of or wilfully disregarding them.