Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mutual Nontreadance

You know, I'm sick and tired of having agendas pushed on me that go against my fundamental beliefs or practises.  I'm also sick and tired of people who have the nerve to object because I do not follow THEIR fundamental beliefs or practises.

The art crowd in NYC - when there still was an art crowd in NYC - were comprised of a range of individuals as diverse as a typical SL show & tell audience.  It truly was.  But we got together to discuss comics, what so n so was up to, who was going to San Diego or Angouleme, pass around sketchbooks, xeroxes, or the occasional printed comic or graphic novel.  At the end of the evening he went there, she went there, they went there...  It was a non-issue.  Maybe a piece tied into heritage (like this awesome project Howard Cruse showed us that became Stuck Rubber Baby - there, I namedropped someone) but nobody pushed an agenda, be it to convert to their faith or to badger someone to their lifestyle regardless of what it was.  
Sometimes show n tell audiences are more awesome than the presentations

That's what makes the current gay marriage controversy so stupid: one tyrannical culture deciding how everyone else should live, love, and file their taxes.  No one is asking anybody to go gay or force them to like what others like as consenting parties, and nobody's demanding they watch (it wouldn't be consensual any longer, would it?).

Some people in Second Life confuse the issue.  They feel they have the right to do whatever they want anytime or anywhere they get the urge.  There may be a million places which welcome this, but they can't get off on it unless it's in front of or with someone non-consensual.  This can be construed as a form of griefing btw, and in RL it's prosecutable as harassment in many places.  If I want that experience, I'll pursue it thank you.

I do not get involved with any aspect of slavery, bondage, or confinement. It's not fun or funny to me, and it doesn't serve as any sort of outlet borne of a repressive faith or relationship. My RL and online heritages involve histories of struggle to rise above such circumstances and to be counted as a valid member of society. When on my property, everyone is a free soul and an equal among others. If that troubles people then - as I always say - SL is a big place. Maybe mine wouldn't be for you. No hard feelings. We're all here for different reasons.

When I started hosting sporadic fishing contests, the "No Slavery or Bondage Please" condition was met by a lot of drama by someone who just wouldnt shut up about her being some member of some S&M group. Well that's fine but not on my land. And saying it after a giggle every time I posted my event in group chat was just rude.  Too bad  she couldn't just wear a buttplug under her clothes like RL ones sometimes do and be done with it - and just fish. Cut the drama crap: If you don't want to come to my little parcel in the middle of this massive grid because people are equals there, it's really no trouble. Everyone has a choice and you can't be everywhere.

So we come to someone who I approached as an organizer of an upcoming festival. "Oh we'll have this and that and this and that..." so far so good. But then they went into Jail n Bail.  There's nothing wrong with Jail n Bail - for other people. It's not for me. It attracts attention and raises lots of money for charity. That's very good. But saying it wasn't for me and that my persona has a history of confinement and I don't like to think about it, that it's a cultural thing etc - none of these were enough. Instead of telling me about other things I could look forward to at the festival, they pushed and dug - and twisted - about how great Jail n Bail was going to be and how so n so was going to be there (presumably jailed for a fee) etc. They wouldn't let up. That really was way over the line. I asked them if they could please change the subject and they abruptly said I should contact them by notecard from now on. I told them it takes all kinds to make a world and respect works both ways. Her response suggested I offended her for not wanting her to go on and on about jail and bail.

I was disgusted and disappointed with someone I thought better of. They are since no longer an organizer. And you know something? For a change I have absolutely no regrets. They probably do this to others who take it instead of speak up when they're offended. But really: You shouldn't work with diverse groups of people if you lack empathy or cannot respect others who may have a different perception of fun than you, or that one person's fun may be another person's persecution. You need to listen for that. The point of big festivals for mixed crowds are that they have much to offer for people into different things.  Tap in, not dig in.


  1. Bravo. I've been party to the in-your-face folks in SL on more than one occasion. I hope that their no longer being an organizer meant someone at the organization recognized just how rude and unacceptable that was.

  2. hope so. sometimes people never get it.