23 January 2009

The Laughing Man

So I hang out with this boy. I'll call him Clifford.

He is plagued with feelings on inadequacy. He carries a pall of sadness around like a cloak. He knows big, honkin' words. So we get along quite well. Plus, he's pleased to see me, which is a nice little bonus.

We met in a 'sex' sim, where I was testing out my new dress. It's a daft little ritual I go through; I buy a dress and then see how appealing it is by going to a sex sim and seeing how many boys and girls are drawn to me. If they are obviously talking to someone else and stop their conversation to chat me up, I know I've got a good dress. Clifford was chatting up another girl, and it was going very poorly for him. Not that the girl wasn't appreciative or interested, but the broken English made it almost impossible to make out what she was trying to convey. I teleported him to a ballroom and forced him to dance with me. "You're too much!" he said at the time, but he was content to go along for the ride. I liked that, too.

It was Clifford who I mentioned in a prior blog - the public fellow who shouldn't be found wandering sex sims. And it was Clifford who I advised about this, and it was Clifford who was quite shocked by my investigatory skills. And it was Clifford who now IMs me when I'm not online just to say hello.

Clifford and I are like people who meet on the train, both heading to distant and different destinations, who get along like a house on fire. I think he's brilliant; he thinks I'm funny. That can go a long way. Second Life does definitely help pare down the small talk and get on with the business at hand (you can't just type 'um' or leave pregnant pauses all the time or else you risk the other person getting bored - such is Generation A.D.D.). The only problem is that, although you can share great laughs and profound statements, you cannot prove a lick of them. Some of the people I follow deride those who put up a wall between RL and SL; I can certainly respect that, in some ways envy that, but I *have* to keep a wall up. If I went into why, most people would understand, but then I would have breached my own levee, so to speak.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a little bit about Clifford, the man who finds me funny in this short part of our long journeys.

13 January 2009

Cartoon in the Louvre

Things are things, there's no doubt about it. And things in moderation are usually alright. Things to the extreme are usually harmful, or, in a worst-case scenario, really stupid.

The stupidest thing I've come across lately is the painful need of people to talk in absolutes. Examples abound in your own head, I would guess, but let me illustrate some fine examples: "omgz that's the best!!", "I feel you completely!!", "you're the best!", "I have the best friends!", "This weekend was perfect!"

I know you've heard things like this, cuz, you know, UR THE BEST. Proclamation without elaboration. A cartoon in the Louvre.

A statement that says, 'please like me because I am making a definitive effort to make it sound like I like you!', or in the alternative, 'please see how gregarious, happy and peace-filled that I am!' Where we may part company is that, when I hear something like this, I automatically and without reservation think it's bullshit. Like the bloke you don't know who insists on puncuating his speech with 'trust me', it's used-carsalesman philosophy. Say it enough and it must be true.

Admittedly, some of my negative feelings about this absolutism is that I am unable to do it. I can't get away with latex boots in real life, so it is my natural inclination to dislike latex boots. I also can't get away with Burberry scarves and... well, the list goes on. But I digress. I find myself absolutely unable to absolutely think anything is the best. Even when I look at myself, I can only consider myself the best I can be at the moment - there's always room for exploration, development and maturity. The world is almost infinite with possibility and promise; to label something the best would bring any journey to an end.

And I'm afraid I just don't want to end any journey just yet. Why are so many people so anxious to?

On a related note, I'm not all that fond of people who send me emails asking me questions and ending with 'thanks', as if I've done what they've asked already. In fact, in my journo-world, 'thanks' does not mean thanks at all anymore; it rather means 'I'm ending my email now.' Does that make sense? Thanks.

02 January 2009

Interviews with a Vampire - More Bloodlines Rants

I have really had it with Bloodlines. Not only do they interrupt the regular play of Second Life - no matter if I'm at Orientation Island helping new folks or at a ballroom doing a foxtrot with a random boy toy - but they are pompous and blithely ignorant about it.

Today, I was invited to be bitten by a woman named Karin. I asked her how she felt being part of a group that was rapidly becoming the most hated group in SL. She was shocked to hear such a thing. She was further surprised to learn that the nickname her ilk had inspired was "spampire." I followed her back to Warwick Village and conducted interviews with some of the people hanging around. The king of the village, a fellow named Mgcjohn (I assume that means Magic John, which puts me in mind of a self-cleaning toilet) and his sidekick, named Wild, seemed completely unaware that Bloodlines was an irritant to regular gameplay. The more I asked of Mgcjohn, the more incoherant his answers became. Wild, on the other hand, got irritated with my continued questions. At one point, he asked, "What's with all the questions?", to which I replied, "It's how I learn things."

During the interviews, I came up with an idea that I think is well worth pursuing. Since not a single Bloodliner I've interviewed has a problem with playing their game in every sim they can get their pale asses into, I asked Mgcjohn and Wild if they would mind, say, fifty furries wearing particles showed up in Warwick (which is beautiful and stark, by the way). They both agreed that visitors would be welcome; I countered by saying that such a clan would not be there to visit. They'd be there to flash particles, dance, play music and ask the vampires to join their clan.

Neither vampire seemed too awfully wild about that idea.

And, for me personally, I think fifty particle-wearing music-playing furries (or the like) in Warwick would look horrible and compromise the integrity of the sim. But fair's fair, right?

A third vampire I interviewed later said that SL is all about RP anyway and I should chill out. I disagreed, pointing out that when I have been RPing as a domme, I don't show up at the Universal Church of Christ. And when I'm feeling all Neko and wearing ripped hose and torn blouses, I don't tend to turn up at Avilion Ballroom. And when I'm shooting zombies and decked up with guns and combat gear, I don't turn up in, oh I don't know, a vampire sim.

So, I went on, if I can be that respectful of everyone, what's wrong with Bloodliners that they can't?

As with every Bloodliner I've had the fortune - or misfortune - to encounter, he didn't have a really good answer either. He bandied about some rationalizations - the training is bad, I could wear garlic, I could just say 'no' to being bitten, etc. - but nothing he said suggested that he could understand that RPers should confine their game to their specific sims.

I would not wish to put too much importance into any facet of SL - it's there for a laugh, after all - but I'm seriously considering spearheading some sort of virtual movement against Bloodlines, an organization that is known for simply sucking.