Is there a way to ignore the living story? I can collapse it, and it does look cool, but it's just a little extra clutter on my top-right that isn't relevant to me.
Just like the Personal Story, the Living Story is part of the "event assistant", which sits in the top right of the UI and is a "permanent component" of the interface. You can expand/collapse it, but currently you can't disable it as a whole. There's been talk that the UI will become more customisable with future releases, though not to the extreme that Guild Wars was.
Your only option, if it bothers you enough, is to turn off the UI completely (Ctrl+Shift+H), which, as one player demonstrated in a video, works better than you'd expect, or to add your voice to those asking to be able to hide Personal and Living Story elements of the UI.