Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

So, we survived the end of the world and stuff! Figured I'd check in w/ those loyal souls who occasionally pop by here to monitor my infrequent ramblings. All in all, I regard it as a success that we've made it through a contentious election, disasters natural and man-made, and the end of the Fifth World/Christmapocalyse without tearing ourselves apart!

IGBC had a great New Year's Eve party, set in an amazingly detailed recreation of the legendary real-life Studio 54 (complete w/ secret VIP lounge and secret rubber naughty room, heh. Not that anyone could indulge in much naughtiness as we had the sim packed to the point of a sim crash. All in all, a great time was had by everyone, and I was proud to be a part of it. Cooper Janus handled the first half of the party, and I picked up just before the Central time zone's turning and kept the party rolling for another hour after the West Coast had broken through to 2013. I was most impressed by the stamina of our dancers AlexBrandon and Talen who hung in there through multiple time zones. Had lots of megasploders as well, thanks to the generosity of owner Brent Zulaman.

Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks to all of you who came by to party with us at IGBC! You guys are the reason that club is so darn fun to work. Here's to you, and here's to all of us in hopes that we'll approach the coming year with optimism and an acceptance of one another as we are, and work together to build a better world instead of tearing each other apart (as seemed to be the theme of 2012).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Over the past few weeks, I've kind of noticed a trend at a club for whom I DJ, which historically has been refreshingly fun and open to all, but is especially targeted to the GLBT set. It's not firmly tied to any one event or comment, but more of an aggregation of things that have come up. A particularly clear manifestation popped up, though, wherein one of the regulars recently went off w/ some really bad overgeneralizations about those of us with my background. When I confronted him on it, his response was that for us rednecks, stereotyping the whole group was perfectly fair and valid b/c it was all true in our case. And he wasn't joking. Then he apologized to me in IM.

That's been bugging me; the public attack, secret conciliatory gesture thing kinda rankles, and not for the obvious reasons. I'm not moping around nursing wounded precious little feelings or anything. It's more alarm went off. One of those lights on the dash that kinda makes you go "oh, shit."

I can see why he did that whole double communication thing. That's a clear pattern, and its meaning troubles me. When he was going off, he was getting lots of "amens" and "attaboys." When I spoke up in dissent, the room fell awkwardly silent. No one shot back another attack, but no one--not one single person there, many of whom have been friends of mine for  years--said anything even remotely along the lines of "Yeah, you're right, that's not cool. Bashing is bashing even if it's against the other guys." And this wasn't the first, nor was it the last. It was just the clearest cut occurrence.

I don't have "gay friends." I have a lot of really great, wonderful friends that I love dearly, all of whom happen to be unique individuals, and many of whom happen to also be gay, but that's one facet, and I don't consider us to be of different tribes, per se. Hell, for that matter, I'm fairly certain our entire GLBTS paradigm is pretty fatally flawed to begin with (and there are a LOT of folks in loads of different branches of the social sciences and a poo-load of empirical research to support that suspicion. But that's a whole 'nuther lecture, and I've turned in my final grades to the registrar's office and hung up my professorial mortarboard for the summer). However, just because something doesn't really exist doesn't mean it isn't real, at least in a subjective sense. If people think they're in a different "Tribe," even if the division point is arbitrary and unsubstantive at best, the division still exists. Gays and straights may not be members of different species, but there are an awful lot of folks nowadays who sure seem to feel they are, and that belief itself creates an exclusionary wall that may not be real, but is no less effective.

My buddy Thorn made the observation to the effect that when people who see themselves as a part of a marginalized group have a chance to be a majority, they want to turn the tables because, well, finally they can. I would have hoped that, having come from the other side, they would have avoided making that same error instead of inflicting the same harm they themselves endured. Isn't naivete fun? Anyway, while I think it's destructive and counterproductive, I suspect he's probably correct.

I still think that the whole divisive mess is the wrong course of action, and I'm not really good at sitting down and shutting up when I see something occurring with which I fundamentally disagree. I genuinely believe my critique of the fallacy of the Us v. Them binary (or trinary) model of sexual orientation is far closer to the  mark, but this isn't a dart game. "Closer to the mark" doesn't equal "will prevail." If anything, my presence very possibly might become a point of awkwardness, at least as long as this nasty polemic-ridden polarizing election season is done and behind us, I need to limit my non-work presence to prevent inadvertently spoiling the fun of the guests and staff. I think quitting the club I work would be a little extreme, but maybe I need to reduce my presence at those events I don't work and my time at other similar clubs when hanging out w/ friends there, at least until American society cools off a little.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fun with Visitors

OK, so here's an entertaining event that happened to me this week. For those of you who know me and bother to check out my inane and infrequent ramblings, I live in a skyhouse way above Club Amor. We do like to keep the grounds of Amor nice and naturally landscaped for public enjoyment. This contrasts w/ my house, which is my private space and is a little more unnatural (beautiful fantasy design by Isoblan Neva. Love her stuff, have for years). It floats around 1000m above ground level mostly for privacy. Well, and the floating confection just doesn't fit w/ the overall sim design anyway. So anyway, it's way up there out of sight.

I happen to be off work this particular day (burned a PTO day to take care of general non-work stuff), the Monday after New Year's Eve. My last event was a gig at a fantasy RP event, and I'm all elf-ed out, but don't particularly feel the Legolas in me today. As I am wont to do, I strip down out of my current outfit completely while sifting through my inventory to figure out what I'm gonna wear today and toss on my naked Passes For Human avvie setup. I"m standing there bare-butt nekkid in all my ken-doll glory debating outfits, and I go ahead and slide my camera around to front view so I'll be able to check the look of whatever I cobble together.

Lo and behold, behind me I see some strange woman w/ a screen name implying that she's an underage girl looking for a good time and a tag advertising her escort services. I, in shock, ask her, "Umm, who are you and why are you in my house?" No response. As I"m scrambling for coverage with sudden urgency, she poofs.

About 10 minutes later, I get this IM from her telling me that the location of my house was an escort club she used to work. I responded (politely) that I was one of the original renters when that sim was first created, I"m the co-owner of the club below, and we do not and never have been an escort club (we're a sort of casual ballroom w/ a 'please keep your bits covered' policy) and for that matter, the kinda public club & park are all down below. She, on the other hand, had been in my private residence where I change clothes, prepare for gigs, or just get some alone-time to decompress from being in the public most of the time. I thanked her cheerfully for having popped back out and also for respecting my privacy in that little sanctum space of mine now and in the future, but noted the grounds below do remain open to the public as a sort of park area. As far as I was concerned, it was amicably resolved. A little embarrassing to be walked in on like that, but really, no harm done.

15 minutes later, I get another IM, this one telling me off for being rude, although she cannot specify anything rude I've said. She eventually huffs that I made her feel unwelcome in my private sanctum and goes into great hysterics about how unwanted and unloved she feels and how her feelings are all my fault, etc, etc, etc. and what a terrible, horrible ogre I am for not welcoming her w/ open arms. She spends about 30 more minutes (I kid you not) trying to convince me that I'm supposed to feel bad for her feeling unwelcome in my one little private spot in SL (bear in mind, this is someone I've NEVER met before and who popped into my secluded little sanctum uninvited, apparently after flying around snooping for it).

I can understand curiousity and idle snooping around, but frankly, I'm kind of baffled at the federal case this 'lady' is makin' of it all, especially when in my book, any reasonable person would have been done w/ "OMG, I'm so sorry, didn't mean to intrude, was just checking out the build." Nay, verily, apparently my failure to welcome her onboard uninvited is the height of offensive behavior and she feels compelled to educate me on what a big meanie I am. Even though she admits I didn't eject or ban her (she left on her own before I had to get to that point, admittedly), I didn't call her any kind of name or say anything unflattering about her, and my request that she respect my space was rendered politely. She tries to blame the ongoing IM storm on me, but again, I note she IMmed me, we settled it peacefully, then she IMmed me back, and she's been the only one slinging around the accusations and personal attacks.

I really probably should have just muted and banned her, but I do try to be a gentleman. I don't buy her story that she used an old landmark, but whatever. I let her vent, but I remain politely firm that a) her feelings are her problem, and b) regardless of her feelings, my private space is still my private space and I DO intend to keep it private up there as that's my little getaway spot.

Eventually, she figures out that I'm not gonna buy her guilt trip, nor am I gonna invite her back up there. I challenged her to find the attack in our IM transcript, and after a brief silence, she finally (!) considers the vague possibility that she might have maybe been possibly out of line at some point. Maybe. I just let it go at that, b/c frankly, I wasn't really interested in continuing the conversation as far as it already had gone, much less to pursue it any further.

I DID check out her profile during her freakout, and it's loaded exclusively w/ ads for her escort services; all her picks market the places she's available as an adult-verified sex professional. Now, we at Amor don't go for escorts. We don't have them, nor do we permit escorting on the premises. It's zoned Mature, mostly to allow us to relax and not have to watch everyone's language like a hawk or dump out of, say, "Bilingual" if it happens to come on the land radio at some point, but it's NOT a sexually oriented kinda club.

Doesn't mean I have a problem with that activity per se. I'm a DJ. I've worked some pretty wild clubs, many of whom had escorts on staff. I don't use escorts myself, nor have I ever provided that service, but I"m a pretty laid-back "to each his/her/its own" kinda guy. Some of the nicest ladies (and guys) I know have escorted, and I say if you have the avvie design skills and the writing chops to make a go of it, more power to ya.

But not at my house.

I have a feeling she was scoping out places to take her clients, especially those who can't access Adult-rated sims. We DO allow scripts and rezzing of objects (w/ auto-return), which means those temp-on-rez sex huds would theoretically work there. And I was partnered once in the past; I've done some erotic rp and still have the furniture although it's really mostly just decor for the past few years. I guess I could take it all up to make the place less tempting, but I selected stuff based on the fact that it's well made and looks good in the room, and even if I've more or less outgrown the need for cyber-nookie RP, I really LIKE the bedroom setup as is. Besides, dammit, it's MY private stuff in my private space that I pay for myself; I shouldn't have to purge it. For some strange reason, I still really kind of enjoy kicking back in a steaming bathtub to let my avvie soak while unwinding. It may be a weird little affectation, but it's my weird little affectation and I like it.

My concern is that now the teen grid is open, and SL is crawling w/ underage kiddies able to put on an adult appearance and make their own porn. I could really see Our Lady of Negotiable Virtue here picking up some john, popping back to my place to romp around in my house (eww, must make note to have home fumigated and disinfected), then john's mom walking in, catching him in mid-cyberporn act and coming unglued. Escort Girl can pull a fast TP, but my unsuspecting house and our non-sexual club are kinda stuck where they are. Which would leave them as the most convenient target for her to blame for the corruption of her angelic little escort-seeker's morals. The fact that I wasn't a knowing or willing party to their little party MIGHT clear me, but I'd rather avoid the headache.

So, for the first time after 4 yrs in SL, I now own a home security orb. I hate that I've had to do that, but my faith in human nature has its limits (mostly b/c of my knowledge of human nature). I really don't see another way to protect myself and still be able to enjoy my property. It's been up for a week now, and the log hasn't shown any intruders (granted, after I told my sister and club co-owner, she rolled her eyes and insisted that my unwanted visitor be on the ban list purely b/c of the spectacular nerve and chutzpah, so she couldn't get back on-parcel anyway).

Fortunately, I can still set up a friends list on the orb, so I can still grant admission to the few friends who I do welcome to drop in and hang out in my little aerie. If you get booted by the orb and you're a buddy of mine, send me an IM reminding me to add you back to the authorized list.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Autumn reflections

It's quite ironic that in my last blog, I was celebrating the return of Nocturne, whereas here I'll be observing its closure on 11/11/10. Its owner, the ever-talented Nedria, is pulling back from SL significantly as she migrates toward InWorldz. She will likely recreate Nocturne there, as IW is now growing w/ SL ex-pats. I will probably not be joining the staff there, however.

There are many who love IW and are proclaiming it to be the successor state of SL as the pundits proclaim the approaching demise of Linden Labs's experimental little world we have here. I will admit I do have an IW account, and have had one for a while, and I will agree it's essentially SL 4 years ago. Kind of. It's actually less stable than I remember the old grid being, but it DOES feature the crappy graphics and crude blocky builds from back before I got a decent computer able to keep up w/ the demands of WindLight.

I have invested far too much in SL, not just in terms of inventory, but in the purchase of actual hardware to finally get to see the SL everyone else was raving about and taking those great pictures of. Besides, I flat don't get the appeal of going back to inferior performance. In my visits to IW, I did not recapture that sense of wonder that SL had back in the early days. All I found was frustration and annoyance.

Similarly, I have an account in Blue Mars, and for all the (empty) hype about how squee-tastically fabulous it was, frankly, I thought it sucked. I checked in on it a few wks ago. It still sucks. The only change is my utter loss of respect for the squee-ing bloggers who were raving about it (Iris, Hamlet, really? I thought you guys had taste). SL was my first experience w/ virtual reality worlds and was sort of my gateway drug to MMORPG's, but when, IF, Second Life does expire, well, I'll probably get busy reclaiming my First Life. I will still be active with Guild Wars, and the upcoming Guild Wars 2, but neither IW nor Blue Mars are interesting to me. There is, however, a great world just beyond the window to my study that probably deserves more of my time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall is falling!

And so I suddenly find myself with a bit of free time (shockingly) to actually do a blog entry! I"m astonished. Lots of new clubs added to the mix, and I've been sold at auction for Bid4aCure to help fund new research into eliminating diabetes.

I'm looking at adding a calendar to the site so I can refer folks here to check my schedule. I've set up a Google calendar and hopefully by the time you've read this, I'll have figured out how to add it to the blog. I've been more active in world lately, but I've been horribly remiss in posting my misadventures there.

Lemme see...Nocturne's back up and running, so I"m DJ'ing there in my old slot 6-8 PM. It's hard building up the crowds at that time (It's a little early for most), but much later causes me trouble in RL the next morning, since that's 8-10 PM in my time zone and Friday involves a 100 mile commute each way as I hit my most distant locale. I've also assumed the Twisted Tuesdays show at IGBC, desperately trying to fill Cooper's shoes as she takes over Wicked Wednesdays. And of course, I'm still kicking around in Eternity, at least as a minstrel if not much in the RP anymore.

Eternity's moving to a RP hud that I personally don't care for, but to each his/her/its own. It has sort of left me on the sidelines of most of the RP, but if the greater good benefits from SpellFire, then so be it. And so I sink back into the role of Enigmatic Figure Who Moves Mysteriously About On the Fringes.

That's preferable to me over the constant eating that I find problematic in SpellFire. You have a constantly degrading nourishment score for eating and drinking, kind of like a fuel tank. In my case, I find that my first-level character's fuel tank is so tiny I can't do much more than cruise around the proverbial parking lot of the gas station while waiting to level up enough that I can actually go somewhere and do something. That's frustrating to me. I'd rather not mess with it, even if that means I'm disqualified from most of the RP. I tried it several times and gave up in disgust when I couldn't walk from my house to the nearest tavern to at least get some conversation in while I sat and ate. And I drowned at every sim crossing b/c I ended up stuck under the water. That didn't help either. I have 4 sims to cross to get to the tavern. Not gonna happen.

So anyway, that's the news from Arc-Land. Now, to see if I can attach that calendar...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June rolls on

I kinda have a tendency to be a workaholic. The beautiful irony is that my player started SL due to the fact that his RL job had pretty much eaten his soul. So, at the direction of others already in SL, he jumped in there to try to find the missing bits, which created me. Who has become a workaholic DJ who pretty much only logs in to perform gigs. Ya can't outrun yourself, I guess; no matter where you run to, there you are right in the middle of your hideout.

This has been a running battle for me from the beginning. I've been addressing this by tryin' to pull back a little on the 'jobs' in SL and leave myself more time to play, in both SL and RL. So, for those of you wondering where the heck I've been and why so few DJ group notices, well, I've been taking a break. I"m about ready to put the headphones back on now (there's only so much rest I can tolerate), so rest assured I'll be cluttering up your inbox again really soon, but for this second, I'm luxuriating in actually NOT being tied to the virtual DJ booth so much. Although if I stay Primal like this here, I might have some trouble fitting the headphones around the antlers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fun with arrows...

OK, yeah, my last post was really pretty bummed out. I still agree w/ it; banking on making it rich in SL is up there w/ telling your high school guidance counselor that your career goal is to win the lottery. However, that bugs me less today.

In the interim, I've increased my presence in Eternity, an 18-sim fantasy kingdom w/ some of my favorite people in SL occupying it. I've been a part of the kingdom for years, but always as simply a semi-ooc service provider as the regular DJ for recurrent events there, but I just never had much time to get more involved than that. Well, until recently. It started innocently enough; I was killing time after a gig and got invited to check out the archery pit.

Quick aside: I'm running nowadays on a much, much spiffier gamer system than I had for the first few years I was in SL. And in that span, I played in Toxian (which is a favorite hangout of the Lag Monster). I'm used to fighting through crushing lag (2 fps was normal, less than 1 was not uncommon. 10 was downright luxurious). And since getting the new system, oddly, I've NOT done any combat in SL.

Combat on a system that gets 30+ fps in High Graphics Mode is a LOT different from what I'm used to. I kicked the archery gallery's butt :D.

So, I introduce you now to the latest Elven Archer of the Rangers of Eternity. Not sure I'll have free time to RP there in every storyline that comes up, but then again, I've always been happiest w/ Arc as Entertaining Supporting Cast Member rather than Leading Man, so it all works for me. I haven't been in-world at all this week; lately I've been hitting the grid one day out of 5 due to an active RL, but if they can handle my absences, I'm thrilled to be a more regular recurrent character in the ongoing sagas of Eternity.