Thursday, December 12, 2019

we've tried the goodbye so many days

I...I can't even.


First line on her profile?
I am a redeemed child of the one and only living God and driven by my Christian faith.

I just can't.

From another random profile:
- I started putting in the same effort reaching out to you that you have to me. This is why we don't talk anymore.
That's fair in a lot of cases. I know people who unfriend when those friends stop initiating contact. For me, there are scores of people on my friendslist that are there because I used to talk to them. I'm the one not good at reaching out in many cases.
- Always beware of the fox being in charge of the hen house.
I get what they mean, but in a lot of ways, this is needlessly obscure. Just state it outright.
- If your presence can't add value to my life, your absence will make no difference.
See first point.
- When someone shows interest and passion for you and it suddenly disappears, they've already moved to their next victim.
A reference to the fox again.
- Someone's true colors will come out when you need them most and have nothing to offer in return.
Oh, always. A very old bumper from MTV once said, "If you truly want to know someone, and you don't have a lot of time, throw a glass of milk in their face." Because by doing that, you'll figure out how they deal with anger, hurt and shock all at once. It's valuable information in under a minute, if you really need it.
- Someone who has to be owned and controlled by another will never be loved.
Again, I know what they mean, but...obviously, I don't always agree. On the other hand, it's my choice to be owned. I know the parameters of that ownership. I accept the good--and the bad--within those parameters. And if I ever choose to walk away, I can do that too.

Not that I'd want to, but I am still an adult with choices. Choices I take responsibility for, choices I share responsibility for with another person. D/s, in this sense, is very symbiotic--both partners in the arrangement supporting each other.

Or at least, it should be. If one is owned in this sense, and it's only one way, that's not chosen, that's not submission under domination, that's just abuse.
- Love always takes time. You can't learn about somoene in an hour.
"Someone", and of course we can't. Second Life at large, though, falls into this trap quite often. I've told people in the past that SL is life in the spin cycle. People fall in love in an hour, marry over a weekend, divorce after two weeks. Every experience is more intense, more emotionally vital, and more emotionally devastating when it ends.

And I don't think, largely, that will change, because I see the same patterns of behavior in people who've been on the grid for a decade, that I see in people that just joined the grid. It's easy to be attracted to someone. It's easy to experience that first rush of infatuation. So of course it's as easy to get married, move in together, and, when something occurs that explodes that perceived level of connection and understanding, to storm off, unpartner, and move out.


In other news, running the advents again, I came across this lass. And I swear, when I first saw her, all I could think of was The Handmaid's Tale. I thought it was a scarily bold move to walk around in that particular attire. What a statement she was making.

That's when I realized no, it's just a holiday-red cloak and a white bonnet. Oh. I thought it made a bigger impact when I viewed it as political protest, but there you go. It's just fashion.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

the fiends nail time bombs to the hands of the clocks

Same complaint, same response, it's getting old...
[11:52] sxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I have to say beautiful work by the makers, 1 out of 10 I would give it a 8 but you know what would give it a 10? Hmmmm lets see. what could it be? what would make it a 10 out of 10.? If there were stuff for Guys to use more important us Gorean guys. Vikings Guys medieval....
[11:54] Emilly Orr: We've heard this before, and my response is the same: there are makers of Gorean clothing on the list, they do show up, you've just bought all of it. So find new stores and talk to them about joining the 25L list.
I mean, really. Want more makers of mens' attire on a sales list? Talk to the merchants who make them. If he doesn't know any, this is not my--or the sales list's--problem.

In the meantime, I finally saw Annabelle: Creation. While I very much enjoyed The Conjuring and The Conjuring II, the rest of the films in the series have been a disappointment. The Nun was nigh unwatchable, the first Annabelle film was tedious, and La Llorona was just ridiculous in every way. And pointless, to be blunt. Too much emphasis on jump scares over plot, on cranking films out over actual integrity of character.

But I liked the trailer for Annabelle: Creation. And while I knew it wouldn't be a great film, I thought it had a chance to be an okay film. But after seeing it, I'm just confused.


Don't get me wrong. They actually picked a good team of actors. That's not the issue. And the plot seems...well, it has iffy moments, but it seems (at least structurally) sound. And the setting definitely works--most Americans can easily believe the midlands, the so-called "flyover states", are haunted--whether they live in one or not.


No, I think it comes down to direction. John R. Leonetti had directed the first iteration of Annabelle, and the results weren't stellar. To be fair, while he has a solid footing in horror, most of his horror credits have been as a director of photography, not an actual film director. He did a capable job on The Conjuring, a film I liked very much, and had taken the first Annabelle, which...wasn't as good.

And he was attached to the project at first, but...not that long after, he was replaced by David F. Sandberg, who, while he has several directorial credits to his name, is mainly known for three: Lights Out a film with a strong plot and weak direction, Shazam!, a film that doesn't even start to become likeable until the last ten minutes, and...Annabelle: Creation.


So what's wrong with it, other than the emphasis on jump scares, which reduce all build-up of tension in any horror film, over actual dread? That's where my confusion comes in.

I truly can't fault the acting. There are some big names attached, and they're great, but even the unknowns are good--honest, heartfelt, we know their characters, we understand them, we feel for them. That's not the issue.

The issue really is the direction. In the sense do I describe this? It almost feels like it's a two-director film. It's like Alfred Hitchcock and Eli Roth decided to make a film together. There is a build-up of creeping dread, long, drawn-out shots that generate tension, and then...JUMP SCARE. There's the revelation of a plot point, and several breathless moments where we try to figure out--did we see something in the shadows, or is it just human brains trying to pattern our way through the darkness? And then...JUMP SCARE.


It's not a coherent whole. The two sides--the two stories, the feeling of twin directors, whatever it is--keep tugging at each other. It's..bipolar. It's a bad mix.

And even with that, it was a far better film than Annabelle, and received much more box office than its predecessor, and...I just don't understand why. All right, in the very basic sense of the term, it was a better film, because the original independent Annabelle movie was terrible. But this? This isn't good. It has good moments, but...that's all they are, a collection of moments that do not, on their own, add up to a decent film.

It relies on jump scares over storytelling. It's plebian. It's mediocre. And ultimately disappointing overall, because it could have been so much more.

Monday, December 9, 2019

if this is what we are, then I gotta move on

Ah, the days of yore, back when we had wood-burning cats, spindle-wheeled carriages were still popular, and Lolas Tangos were the newest Big Thing:
[11:13] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: I am looking through some old inventory and I am seeing things called "Lola" appliers. Does anyone remeber what they go with?
[11:14] Rxxxxxxxx Rxxxx: with Lola Tango boobs
[11:14] Jxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Those were bewb addons, in the days before mesh bods
Back in the annals of tiiiiime...
[11:14] xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: yeh lol
[11:15] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: how did they work? Should I keep them?
Weirdly, I still have my Tangos, even though I've thrown out all the clothing I saved to wear over them, and routinely toss out the Tango layers in new items of clothing. I should just throw them away, too.
[11:15] Mxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: old mesh boobs
[11:15] xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: huge lol
[11:15] wxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: thank goodness for them too. System boobs are an abomination
[11:15] xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[11:16] sxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: they can work with mesh bodies can't they?
Yeah, and people still make appliers and clothing for them.
[11:16] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: can they?
[11:17] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Remember, let's not denigrate others' decisions on their avatars, please.
I don't think anyone was, specifically? But of course, you know best, you're a mod of the increasingly restrictive group this chat arises from.
[11:18] sxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i'm not sure, i seem to recall something about how they can work with mesh bodies
[11:19] Jxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Can they? Yes, technically, because they are just another mesh addon. Not sure if they're even sold anymore. But if you put them on you'd have to alpha out the chest section of your mesh bod. The lines would be very visible
[11:20] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: hmmmm. Could they be covered with clothes so the seams don't show?
[11:21] Jxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Probably? But I'm not sure why someone would want to use both.
Me, neither, because most mesh bodies "expand", if that's what's desired, far better than any applier system ever did.
[11:21] sxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: actually, i have some breast 'deformers' that i use to make lara more natural, but they can be sized to where the old lola's look like flat chested lol
[11:22] Jxxx Gxxxxxxx: Ummm, I have some that i don't use anymore, but, I did put them on, and I didn't need to alpha out the chest...maybe bcuz I'm BoM now
[11:22] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: so I should probably delete them?
Entirely up to you. As I said, some people still make Lolas layers for outfits.
[11:23] txxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Thank you all for all the info on mesh bodies. i have been at a loss of even where to start. that helped alot.
[11:23] Cxxx Mxxxxxx: I am always at a loss. Welcome to the club, [Txxxxxxx] ;)
[11:24] Jxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Not the appliers [Jxxx], the bewbs themselves
[11:25] Jxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: The meshbodyaddicts blog is no more, but the group is still around and very active. A good place for comparison questions
True. Plus, running a search for Lolas Tangos and Second Life would probably turn up some articles.
[11:26] dxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: eh I hear they have gotten infiltrated and are no longer unbiased as a source.
Infiltrated by whom?
[11:27] Pxxxxxxxxx Exxxxxx: There are also videos on YouTube comparing various bodies. I think Strawberry Singh /Linden has some
She does, as well as a very informative blog.
[11:28] dxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I tend to see the omega using bodies as the best options unless you want a specialty body. so the omega blog is useful. though demoing and asking around and such can be useful and there are likely random blog posts you can dig up about the mesh bodies.
[11:29] sxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: sl forums are always a good place to skim through for current thinking as well
[11:30] yxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i seen once addons called cherrybombs... they are giant...
Not as big as the Overfilleds. With some lasses wearing Overfilleds, they couldn't see their knees, let alone their feet. Or the ground. Or their arms around each massive breast...
[11:31] yxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I wonder it isn't possible wear mesh clothing with those accessories?
Asked and answered.
[11:31] Vxxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxxx: remember, all designers are created equal in the eyes of God, even though some are major banking than others
There is no need to bring religion into this, thanks.
[11:32] yxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: this side of the plane, please ...
[11:32] sxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: all designers may be created equal, but talent is certainly not distributed evenly
[11:33] yxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: but we don't complain about ti here... specially if they are generously giving away gifts.
[11:35] Jxxx Gxxxxxxx: You would need appliers for those, I'm pretty sure
And then the conversation drifted away, and likely a good thing. The upshot remains the same: any implant system won't look as good as mesh bodies do now, but it is possible to still use them.

Friday, December 6, 2019

misguided, high-minded, I'm missing the train

This made my brain snicker briefly:
[22:12] Sxxxxx Jxxxxxx: can anyone tell me where was the Jenny located?
[22:13] sxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxxx: in my lap...
[22:13] Sxxxxx Jxxxxxx: that's nice..but not the Jenny I'm looking for I'm sure
[22:14] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: no forests jenny
[22:14] Sxxxxx Jxxxxxx: lol
[22:14] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: is the one he has
[22:15] Mxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: wanna get the jenny ?
It's starting to sound like the "Who's on First?" routine.
[22:18] jxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: wow! Everybody wants me? :)
I have to slightly de-anonymize this one to make her answer make sense; her first name was Jenny.
[22:19] Mxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ohh
[22:20] Sxxxxx Jxxxxxx: lmao
In other news...more spam from my inbox.
Hi Emily,
The name has two L's.
I'm Anife, representing [another useless search engine mill] the #2 job search engine in the world.
I guess you gotta be proud of something.
As we are having our network base getting bigger we would like to offer you a partnership with any hidden cost or meaning,
Which is it? A hidden cost, or a hidden meaning?
The idea consists of placing a banner ad (shown on the image attached) of the services you r offering on our high traffic page, starting off our barter type of cooperation with asking you to indicate [the search engine mill] as a job partner on your page.
That should be "you are offering", but near as I can make out on the enclosed image, they're going to somehow list my blog's banner (which, uh, I don't have) alongside their ad banner? How does that even work? How is that profitable for them?
Let's discuss the details,
Go away.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

every time I look away, I find a hiding place

Short little snippet I caught today:
[10:38] Fxxxx Rxxxxxxx: We have a griefer do we?
[10:39] exxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Copybotter
[10:40] Qxxxxxx Nxxxxxxx: he copied a part of the Entrance Hall at Oxbridge, and placed it insides of the building. He was still busy, and my impression has been, that he just started.
How much of a knuckle-dragging idiot does someone have to be to copy something, then rez it out on the premises? That's either insane levels of arrogance--which means they're very young, and very stupid--or actually being too dumb to add numbers up to ten without counting fingers and toes. And possibly dragging in friends to help. Which doesn't discount the stupid in any way.
[10:41] Fxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ahhh..... I presume that an AR was also issued?
[10:41] Qxxxxxx Nxxxxxxx: there is a community of copybotters, who have their own viewers, a kind of marketplace with copybotted content from SL, and they offer a service. e.g. when you want a copy of something you have seen in SL, they will copy it for you.
Ugh. I knew there was a dedicated community of ethic-less copyright infringers who pulled mesh objects in from computer games to the grid, but I thought actual, in-person "copybotting" had died down as being too slow and ineffective. Guess I was wrong.
[10:42] Qxxxxxx Nxxxxxxx: yep, I sent an AR with photo proof to LL
[10:42] Fxxxx Rxxxxxxx: nods nods
Always wise. I hope they stop this little fish; sounds like they're too young and too dumb to wander around by themselves.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

'cause my house fell down and I can't live there no more

Running the advents a couple days back, and I ran across this lass. Lady, that can't be good for your skin. Or your health. It's cold out.


I'd bring up the baby hands deal, but I'm more worried she's going to get frostbite on her tender bits.


Also, how does she walk in those?

People and their hobbies...she did have one good quote in her profile, though.
"If you're in a relationship and all you do is cry every day, you need to stop and ask yourself, am I dating a human or an onion?"
~Jessica Kate Plummer
It's a good question.

In other wanderings, I came across this spraddle-hipped individual:


Hoo, boy. So on the plus side, she didn't seem to complete the look with the pouty fish lips and the narrow eyes that was mysteriously so popular a few years back, but...the hips are still wrong. No woman, who is not anorexic, on the planet, has a thigh gap like this. Because human legs are not square. They're curved. Even with those individuals thin enough so that one can see scenery behind them through those legs, there are still curves. Perceive:


A reasonably fit model on a tropical beach somewhere. Note the curves.


A (very) young model, in a portfolio shot. She does seem to have a fairly rectangular gap, but note that that is in clothes. It can clearly be seen that without them (and even in those pants, this can clearly be seen), she would also have curves, just less of them.


An anorexic patient (note presence of hospital bed, those terrifyingly protruding hip bones, and the fact that her inner knees have been bandaged because the bones rubbing under such thin, fragile skin was causing damage). This is the closest we will ever see to the once oft-imitated rectangular thigh gap in Second Life, only...this is on a real person. A real, very unhealthy person. And even she still has (limited) perceivable curves, because humans are designed with padding. And even starving ourselves down to non-viability will only reduce that padding so much.


From the back it's not as bad, at least at certain angles. But again, it's such a weird shape to go for--I'm truly glad she didn't go for the upsetting pouty face, but this combination of extraordinary curves and that thigh gap is just so unnatural that it stands out, jarringly, every time.

Monday, December 2, 2019

on the rooftops they dance, Valentino-type tangos

There is good and bad news in this.

After meeting someone with an Altamura head (which I mistook for Akeruka), I joined the Akeruka group. I demoed a few heads with my usual tragic failure rate. Then I drifted over to Valentina.

This is Valentina after the base shape tweaking:


This is my normal system look:


That's...really close. Like, the closest I've come with any mesh head in three years of searching. And it's on sale...for another day.

The bad news? Akeruka only accepts Omega appliers, I believe. But that's not the big problem. The big problem? I don't have L$1,750 to buy it.

In the end, honestly, I don't care how much I pay for a mesh head--honestly, I'll put things aside and save for it, even though I'm tragically inept with personal finances. I care about how much it looks like the me in my head--the system me. So while yes, the price tag is a sticking point, it is something to keep in mind.

But that price tag. So, the search goes on.

In the meantime, Schadenfreude is showing this off at the SaNaRae event:

I showed this to an actually Jewish friend. I didn't think it was amazingly accurate, but I was amused about holiday tentacles. He said he would have wanted a better place for the shamash, and I agree--it's pretty much just plunked on top of the creature's noggin.

But come on, nine different metals, sixteen different candle color options, all for L$175? I think a little historical inaccuracy can be allowed.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

moving on up and forward onto all that will become

Out of the blue, wandering the Erratic Black Friday sale, I got an offer to friend someone. The greeting sent with it was in French and I didn't save it, I just pulled the profile. One day old. Yeepers.

So the next step was figuring out why:
[11:25] Emilly Orr: Do I know you from somewhere?
[11:25] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: salut (Hello)
[11:26] Emilly Orr: Hi. Do I know you? I tend to friend only people I already know, or who are interested in my work.
[11:28] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: j ai pas compris le concept de jeux (I did not understand the concept of games)
[11:32] Emilly Orr: j ai pas compris le concept de jeux?
[11:32] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: oui
Okay, off to Google Translate it is!
[11:33] Emilly Orr: Tous le jeux ou juste Second Life? (All the games, or just Second Life?)
[11:34] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: just secon life
[11:35] Emilly Orr: Pensez-y comme à un simulateur de vie. (Think of it as a life simulator.)
[11:35] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ah ok
[11:35] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: merci en tout cas (Thank you anyway)
[11:36] Emilly Orr: Vous pouvez tomber amoureux, vous pouvez trouver un emploi, vous pouvez construire des choses à vendre. (You can fall in love, you can find a job, you can build things to sell.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for Google Translate, but one must keep things fairly simple to get the point across.
[11:36] Emilly Orr: C'est moins un jeu avec des niveaux et des points, car c'est juste ... une autre vie. (It's less a game with levels and points, as it is just...another life.)
[11:36] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: et j ai pas de maison (and I do not have a house)
Oof. You're really straining the coherency of my ability to translate the words. Which, by the way, regarding French, and several other languages, I just don't have. A few words here and there is about as fluent as I get.
[11:38] Emilly Orr: Vous pouvez en trouver sur le marché, gratuitement ou gratuitement, et vous pouvez louer un terrain pour le mettre en vente. Ou achetez un compte premium, qui vient avec une maison. (You can find cheap or free ones on the Marketplace, and you can rent land to put it on. Or buy a premium account, that comes with a house.)
[11:39] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ok
[11:44] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: et toi tu as acheter quoi a ton debut (and you bought what you started)
Uhh...was she talking about Lindens? I wasn't sure, but I assumed she was talking about Lindens.
[11:45] Emilly Orr: Vous pouvez obtenir un compte premium à tout moment. Vous pouvez acheter des Lindens à tout moment, par le biais du site Web ou du navigateur. (You can get a premium account at any time. You can buy Lindens at any time, through the website, or through the browser.)
[11:48] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ok
And that seemed to be that. I moved on, she stopped talking, I declined her offer of friendship, but it was puzzling. Did she just hit the wrong key? Did she think friending people is how you ask questions? The Lindens really need to bring back Orientation Islands in some form, there's just zero instruction on what to do with Second Life before they're shotput onto the grid.

And a bigger question is, if she doesn't know what Second Life is, why is she here? Why'd she make an account in the first place? Seriously? It's not like Overwatch or World of Warcraft, there are no points, there are no levels, there are no quests--at least, within the main grid, there are countless mini-games people have come up with to entertain themselves. But Second Life itself? As I said, it's more a life simulator than anything. At its basest level, it's a 3D chatroom.

So why did she make an account?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

felt the pages now, this chapter's done

Found on a random avatar's profile:
1. Slaves are not human beings
Even if a human being is kidnapped and forced into sexual or servile slavery overseas, they are still human beings. So that's wrong.
2. Slaves have NO rights !!!!!
This is also wrong. Even if someone signs one of those "full revocation contracts" from the web site that tattoos bar codes on the backs of submissive individuals' necks, they still are legal entities to sign such a document, they are legal entities after, and that document can be challenged in a court of law, so even signing their names to it do not revoke those rights.
3. Slaves are commodities that can be bought and sold, & they have no choice who they serve
Also not true, for the BDSM community, and also for the slavers that operate currently--they may sell an individual, but they are still human beings. Every person has a choice on whom they serve, even if trafficked in a criminal operation, even if that choice is "or death".
4. A slave’s body is not her own. It is the property of her owner and has no say in how its modified
And this is also complete nonsense. What community are you dealing with, where these are your ideals, or your perceptions of BDSM??
5. A slave’s reality and truth are determined by her owner
6. A slave can be punished for no reason at all
Anyone can be punished for any reason at all, people are cruel. But if you're talking BDSM operations, again, you seem to think of submissives as having depersoned themselves, and of their having no personal identities beyond that point.
7. A slave should always have a collar on her neck
Not every slave is collared. Not every submissive is collared.
8. A slave’s collar is her heart and they cherish it with their entire being
This varies, person to person.
9. Slaves seek discomfort and wear it like a badge of honor
Some slaves, certainly not all.
10. Slaves should always be shackled or be ready to be bound at all times
Really? Says who?
11. A slave is required to be in top physical shape, hair, and skin
It may be required by some, but people are people. Some people put on or take off weight easier than others. Some people who are genuinely submissive (or dominant) are born with disabilities, and thus can never be in "top physical shape". It varies.
12. Slaves always obey their owner
Again, it depends on that particular relationship. Sometime disobedience is part of the game. Sometimes the rules are clear, sometimes the rules are not. There is no "always" in anything involving humans for the most part.
13. Slaves will always submit at the whim of their owner
See above.
14. Slaves only care about the pleasure of their owner and not their own and never complain
And again, no, because people are people. A hardcore, 24/7, "Chain me to a wall Master" slave will still get caught up in things and find enjoyment in their lives. No one is completely, 100%, focused on another person to the exclusion of all else 24/7. It's not possible.

And wow, just wow. Way to present BDSM in the worst possible light ever.

I'd add to that that even in the days where slavery was common, at least in the United States, many of these precepts were untrue even then. And that was when said slavery was in practical use, and not as an interchangeable term for a specific practice. Conditions were terrifying for slaves, many died, or received injuries for no reason other than their 'masters' had had a bad day. They certainly never accepted being slaves, or valued their collars (if they wore them). Many of them did not obey the orders given, because they were human beings with human emotions, not robots.

Just such a tragic take on the topic.

In the meantime, this happened just a few moments ago:
[22:46] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: 12 BEAUTIFUL TEXTURES MM 5/25 [SLUrl to texture store]
[22:46] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: that slurl didn't go through properly, and if it's not a [group] board you're calling, you can't call it in here
[22:46] oxxxx Rxxxxxxx: if it doesnt hit the goal then no one wins it resets at midnight

[22:47] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Ixxxx] that's not even close to a proper slurl.
[22:47] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [she typed out the SLUrl again]
[22:47] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: THAT ONE
[22:47] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Ixxxx], is that a [group] board?
[22:48] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i dont know, its a mm
Well, that's a dumb answer. What are you, new? (Actually, based on later revelations, she's very dumb, so that question's answered.)
[22:48] oxxxx Rxxxxxxx: if thats not a [group] board you can NOT post it in here :)
[22:48] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ok
[22:48] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: nvm then
[22:48] oxxxx Rxxxxxxx: happy holidays everyone :)
[22:48] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: You can only call a board in here if it's got [this store's] set on it.
[22:49] Emilly Orr: There are other groups you can join, [Ixxxx], to call boards from anywhere.
[22:50] mxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Mod gives out the SLUrl for the group's store]
[22:51] mxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: emilly is correct
[22:52] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Ixxxx], if it's full perm stuff yoiu can call it in Midnight Mania for Creators, and Creative Horde.
[22:52] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: WICH ONE WMILLY
WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING? Seriously, that's not necessary.
[22:52] Emilly Orr: Which one do you want? There's tons.
[22:52] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i want one forMM
Yeah, I get that, but seriously, there are hundreds of them.
[22:52] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: If it's not full perm stuff, do a search for midnight mania spam and join a couiple of those
[22:53] Emilly Orr: The two [Jxxxxx] mentioned, there's SL Frees and Offers, there's a few Lucky Chair/Lucky board groups that allow MM boards to be called.
[22:53] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: those groups i just entioned are for full perm midnight manias
[22:53] mxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: creators work hard for thier stores is why most dont like other stores adverts in them
[22:53] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: SL Frees and Offers is not worth it
[22:54] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: if it's not full perm stuff, do a search for 'midnight mania spam' in groups, and join some of them.
[22:55] Emilly Orr: It's not for everyone, I just mentioned it because I know about it. But search is good, too. 'Midnight Mania' in SL search will turn up some, 'lucky chair', 'lucky fortune', 'lucky board' turns up more, or read through the titles of freebie groups, you may find one you like.
[22:56] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i dont have any lol
[22:57] Emilly Orr: You don't have any what?
[22:57] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: nop
"Nop" is not an answer.
[22:58] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: any group for lucky boards
[22:59] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: or MM
[22:59] Emilly Orr: Well, there you go! Ways to look! You might even find one or two in your local language.
[23:00] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: sure
[23:02] Emilly Orr smiles
I thought that was where it would end, but then I got this IM:
[23:11] Second Life: [attempts to port me to wherever it is with the MM board]
[23:14] Emilly Orr: Tied up at present, but thank you!
[23:14] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: cum help
You misspelled "come", there.
[23:14] Emilly Orr: Would if I could
[23:14] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: haha
[23:14] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ur mean
[23:15] Emilly Orr: Not mean, just can't move. There are ropes.
[23:16] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[23:16] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: do u need help i have scissors
[23:16] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: then u can help me back
Lady, no. Busy. "Tied up" is not a joke in this sense, and I do not want to go,, and I am not going to go, so stop asking. Sheesh.

And the saga would have ended here, but...not half an hour later, this happened in the group's chat:
[23:38] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: 18/25 MM board TEXTURES! [the SAME board she linked before]
[00:03] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Ixxxx]. If that's not a [group] board you cannot post it in here.
[00:18] Ixxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [dxxxxxxxx] take a trip to the moon and dont come back
I contacted a mod at that point, explained the situation, and her too-dim-to-learn butt got kicked from the group. Her own fault, too. I explained what had happened--because of course on top of everything else, it caused some distraction locally--in a handful of sentences, and then finished with this:
[00:54] Emilly Orr: And that's when I tapped two mods in the group and asked them to look into it.
[00:54] Emilly Orr: She got bounced, and bitched at one of the mods until he blocked her, the other one was AFK, and just got back to me and asked for both incidents, and I copied them out to her.
And that, hopefully, really IS that, and my gods, why don't some people learn?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

river swells and breaks its banks, acting up instead of thanks

[10:35] Txxx Rxxxxxxx (god): LALALALA
Handy life tip: if you have to specify you're a're not one.

Also, unless you're specifically playing an idiot god, might be a good idea to upgrade the level of pronouncements from "LALALALA". Just sayin'.

In other news, I got a card today from the creator behind Caverna Obscura, and I will honestly be shocked if more people don't follow her lead:

Maybe some of you have heard the news that Linden Labs will raise Marketplace fees to 10% on December 2. Here is the blogpost with the official announcement:

It is a 100% raise from what we are paying now (5%) so many creators/merchants will be raising their prices on Marketplace by 10% come December 2.

Caverna Obscura will also raise MP prices by 10% on December 1 (for all mesh items and some of the older prim/sculpt items). The in-world prices for everything and MP prices on most older prim items will remain the same. Here are a few examples of the price difference:

an item that is 595L$ in-world will cost 660L$ on MP, or

an item that is 395L$ in-world will be 440L$ on MP,

just to give you a feel of what it all means. I encourage everybody to use MP for finding items you like, then going in-world stores and using your viewer’s Search Area tool to quickly locate the item you are looking for on the sim. If you can’t find something in-world please don’t hesitate to contact Elvina Ewing. Of course those who prefer the convenience of MP and will not mind the price increase can continue to buy on MP.
Now, for me personally, I am likely going to see how this plays out, and make the decision then on what to raise. My biggest seller on my tiny MP store is still my very, very vintage Sukkot kit, which desperately needs revision, and the only reason I charge for that at all is because I want to track who's bought it in case I do find a way to revise it. (There are, still, no Sukkot poses on Second Life. It's not that they're hard to do, just that a) I'm not an animator, and b), I'm not Jewish. Shouldn't someone more qualified be doing this?)

But that seems to be where things stand. It's either a cash grab on the Lindens' part, or they're trying to drive traffic back in-world, and honestly, not sure which.

To the rest of the blog post, bringing back last names is a great thing, and everyone's been asking for it for years now, but what's cheap and underhanded in that is, they're requiring people be premium members to make the change, and they're charging an additional fee on top of that. It's baffling.

From the article linked above:

We heard you loud and clear.
That's difficult to believe.
Soon it will be possible to change the name of a Second Life account. This is one of our Residents’ most requested features and we’re working furiously to make it available by the end of January. Name Changes will be exclusively for Premium members at an additional fee.
But note, they're not mentioning what, precisely, will define that fee, nor whether the fee will be in Lindens (as most in-world transactions) or in actual real currency (as in in-world divorces).
Changing one or both of your First and Last Name will be available as a single transaction. Last Names will be picked from a list, which you can help us curate.
What’s a last name you would choose for yourself? We’ll soon hold a contest seeking your contributions to the pool of last name options. From all of the suggestions, we’ll pick five, and those five lucky Residents will be able to change their names completely free of charge! You will not need to be Premium to participate or to win. The contest will run December 16 through January 15th, and participation details will be announced shortly.
How...lucky for those residents. I don't want to enter, because I'm pretty happy with my last name, but this all seems very strange. Especially that post-January, people who choose to pay $12 a month (which feels like a forced choice, because elsewise, they're stuck with Resident until the end of time) will gain the ability to pay more to change their names, which is something Linden Labs shouldn't have completely screwed up so badly in the first place. Great. It feels like they're asking us to pay for their mistake.

Though it wouldn't be the first time...

Sunday, November 24, 2019

and there's two white horses following me, waiting on my burying ground

Treesicle's take on COPPA and the YouTube behavior that got us here.

See also Game Theory's contemplation of what happens after COPPA, Ian Corzine's first COPPA video, Ian Corzine's second COPPA video, what's wrong with the FTC's COPPA agreement with YouTube from Folding Ideas, Chadtronic's take on the whole mess (using the previously mentioned $40,000 fine figures, not the revised $42,500 fine figures), and ReviewTechUSA's opinion that COPPA won't be the problem, YouTube's dependency on the machine algorithm system (as usual) for detection will be.

Also have PKRussi's video on how COPPA potentially can affect YouTube animation, and animation channels.

This is taken from COPPA's FAQ page:
(March 20, 2015: FAQ M.1, M.4, and M.5 revised. FAQ M.6 deleted)
1. COPPA applies to websites or online services that are “directed to children.” What determines whether or not a website or online service is directed to children?
The amended Rule sets out a number of factors for determining whether a website or online service is directed to children. These include subject matter of the site or service, its visual content, the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives, music or other audio content, age of models, presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children, language or other characteristics of the website or online service, or whether advertising promoting or appearing on the website or online service is directed to children. The Rule also states that the Commission will consider competent and reliable empirical evidence regarding audience composition, as well as evidence regarding the intended audience of the site or service. See 16 C.F.R. § 312.2 (definition of “Web site or online service directed to children,” paragraph (1)).

As described in FAQ D.5 below, the amended Rule also considers a website or online service to be “directed to children” where it has actual knowledge that it is collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service that is directed to children. See 16 C.F.R. § 312.2 (definition of “Web site or online service directed to children,” paragraph (2)).
Taken from Chadtronic's video linked above, I found this image:


I wish I could track down the specific pamphlet to which he refers (it seems to be titled "Protecting Children's Privacy under COPPA: A Survey on Compliance"), but in essence, this tells me that basically, any video from January 2020 that potentially uses any of these objects or styles:
  • animated or that uses animated characters (either original art, or using known cartoon characters, video game characters, art from childrens' books, animation of children's toys, or animation of childrens' TV stars or themes from childrens' TV shows)
  • uses video games at all, either playing or reviewing
  • uses bright engaging colors
  • uses "simple" language and/or short, colorful descriptions (that's 98% of the videos on YouTube right now)
  • offers freebies or free games
  • uses bold or fast-moving graphics
  • uses or describes subject matter that is "appealing" to children (in other words, childrens' jokes or games, childrens' sports, any story considered to be 'for kids', anything featuring pets that might appeal to children, or anything that is primarily purchased for or consumed by children, like candy or sugared cereal)
  • is a "how to" or "DIY" video for "child-centered" arts and crafts (or can be taken for same)
  • features childrens' toys or items considered to be childrens' toys
  • features a child celebrity (even if said child celebrity is over the age of 13, think JoJo Siwa, who's sixteen as of this writing, but started her YouTube career--with parental consent--much younger)
  • features a celebrity of any age whose largest appeal is to a childrens' demographic (think Jake Paul, who is--at least legally--an adult, but whose demographic at personal appearances and concerts averages to about nine years old; he even admits the biggest sector of his fan base is under twelve)
  • uses "slang" that children would resonate with (they give terrible examples in one of the publications, like "Dude" and "For sure")
  • uses "child centered" sound effects (think cartoon sound effects for that one)
  • features video participants under the age of 13
  • offers contests geared towards a childrens' demographic
  • asks questions, either in the video or below in the video's description, requesting personally identifying information from anyone under the age of 13
  • anything within the video, or linked to the video, considered "child-based" or "child-directed" entertainment
  • or pertains to anything the FTC as a ruling body would consider "child-directed"
could be considered "child-directed", and thus, if said video is NOT LABELED AS "child-directed", said video's creator could be liable for a fine of up to $42,500. (That's US. It's still high anywhere on the planet, though. 42K is not a small number.) So basically...if the new legislation is enacted with no changes to terminology or text, then there will no longer be any financial incentive for child-centered content creators to create anything, because BY creating a video, and uploading it, they will be uploading said video to:
  • no advertising (because YouTube can no longer legally collect data and statistics from known child accounts, and rather than be responsible and deal with this rationally, and develop an age-gating system, and requiring every user of YouTube to register an account WITH YouTube, they're passing the legal responsibility for data collection down to the individual content creators)
  • no comments (thus, no interaction with viewers)
  • no ability to post user polls
  • no ability for non-subscribers to find that video using YouTube search
  • no notifications sent out TO subscribers that a new video has been uploaded
  • that video will no longer be suggested or recommended to anyone
And why yes, all of this sounds dire. Which is why I'm bringing it up, on the off-chance I have readers who are also YouTube creators.

I'll keep on this, in the hopes that things change,'s not looking good, folks.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

the Reds are just over yonder, boys, and we ain't gonna be here long

Hoo boy, I haven't seen something this jarring for quite some time. (And before you ask, no, she's spent far too long on the grid for this level of rookie mistake.)

I present: 2019's Worst Feet award.


Yes, I know, hooker platforms are hugely popular on SL. I'm not saying that. I personally think that particular style of shoe is unflattering, and I refuse to buy any that don't have VERY impressive design features. But as you can see, that's not really the problem. The skin tone is the problem. Did no one mention to her she's not black?

Maybe she's genuinely lost on this point--I was mainly focused on her feet, not the tragedy of the dress (which isn't great) and the fact that her hair was literally larger than her entire head twice over. But then I swung around to the rear, and I realized we had a bigger problem.


I am 98% sure these are vintage shoes, from that era in SL where people made shoes with prim feet in them. Why do I think this? Two reasons, and neither of them have to do with the skin tone that's so jarring. Point one: There was a certain curve to the foot, a very unnatural curve to the foot, that was only seen in really big play in the early days of sculpted feet. It can clearly be seen from the above shot; toes just don't bend like that, period.

But point two is worse: measure the feet. Her feet are the same length as her entire calves, and that's terrifying. That is cartoonish in the worst way. That is ludicrously oversized. Don't do this.

And learn how to use the skin-tinting HUD. Jesus.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

and it hurts even more to have to be with somebody else

My heart weeps for the future. Seen at the Fenix event:


Oh, this hurts. That is not Carmen Miranda's outfit, you dolts. This is Carmen Miranda's outfit:

This is Josephine Baker's outfit:

seen in her so-called Danse Sauvage attire. GET IT RIGHT.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

throw my heart out on the stones and I'm almost gone

This is going to be something I do not, as a rule, do--post a full transcript of someone else's video. But I think so many of the points are important, I really wanted to share this.

So to start, this is the spoken text from CreepShow Art's video, Why does everyone hate Vivziepop?
"Fine, I will talk about Hazbin Hotel and Vivziepop, but not because you told me to--actually, yeah, it's only because you guys told me to.

"Hey guys, it's Shannon, and I have been getting non-stop requests to talk about Hazbin Hotel, and Vivziepop, and just throw my thoughts out into the atmosphere. Which is fine, uh, that's what this channel is really for, me just haphazardly screaming my opinions into a void, and random people I don't know telling me that they agree, and I'm a queen, or that I'm a living trash heap that they despise. That's essentially what I do online.
This bit hit home hard for me. Because a lot of times this is exactly how I feel--I get passionate about things, I take several entries to fully explore and post them and get zero feedback. I post a toss-off "this is a weird avatar" thing, and I get people jumping on my head for being mean, or hating on whichever group they think that avatar blends in with, or in general being a baby-eating Satanist. (Yes, that's a quote. No, it's not from an SL comment. I have been called a baby-eating Satanist twice in RL. I remain baffled as to why.
"But there's only one heaping, ginormous issue with this: and that is the fact that I have no friggin' idea who the frig Vivziepop is, or was. (Actually, it's just 'is' because it's not like she's dead; I just don't know her, is what I'm saying.) I don't really know who she is, I don't know what she really does, I don't know anything about her, and I don't know her favorite color, and, like, all of that is basic information that I need to have to form a definite opinion on someone, and what they do and how they are.

"So basically, when I started getting requests to talk about her, when I started this journey that is this video, I was a blank [f**king} slate. And luckily for me, that did not last very long. You see, the internet has two, TWO, very large, differing opinions on Vivziepop. One, is that she is a crazy talented young artist, who's just trying to make her way in the world, and the other, is that she is the personification of a devil, she is a terrible, evil woman who will stop at NOTHING to destroy this world. Which is great, and awesome, and amazing, and completely and entirely unhelpful for me forming an opinion on her.
I agree. I'll note at this point that I had no idea who Vivziepop was, until I started doing idle Google searches whilst listening to Shannon speak. Turns out, about two years ago there was some underground buzz about a show featuring a hotel in Hell, and it looked quirky and fun and interesting, and then...well, TWO YEARS went by, everyone forgot! I didn't even know the pilot had finally launched until those side searches turned up. (The pilot aired on October 29th, by the way. So I likely wouldn't have noticed anyway because I was hip-deep in haunts then.)
"I also feel like that's the internet's opinion on everyone, by the way? Like, literally there is never anyone online tweeting about how they're neither here nor there for a person, that they think the person's fine, and it's okay. They're either full-on fan-camming that person, and saying stan Gerard Way for clear skin under-[f**king] tragedies, or they are posting three page long Twitter threads on every reason why this person is terrible, and anyone who likes them is terrible by default, and that they should DIE.
This. Oh, so very much this. It's actually been an ongoing trend for about the last five years--basic civility lessening, genial social discourse being replaced by screaming matches, the gradual, "they're on the other side so they're not like US, they're not HUMAN like we are!" thinking becoming ossified into steel-trap brains. But of late, it's become real obvious online, especially on Twitter, which has largely gone from cheery social interchange and international connection service, to toxic waste dump we have to put on the haz-mat gloves to venture into. And a lot of the reason for that is this obstinate, ossified mindset on every side. "This person is EVIL and BAD and kicks puppies out of orphanages, and thus is Satan and needs to die immediately, and if you support him at ALL you'll be next against the wall when the revolution comes." "This person is AMAZING and INCREDIBLE and made of good and win and thus has been touched by God and we are unworthy to touch her feet and if you say anything even SLIGHTLY out of bounds about her I will take a chainsaw to your face." It's too extreme. There's no middle ground left.
"It's like that thing where you go to Amazon and you're trying to buy a toaster so you can make--I almost explained to you what you would make in a toaster, but, like, toast, duh, you get it, my brains are fried, I'm sorry. But like, you want to buy a toaster on Amazon, and you go to the reviews, and there's one person who's like, 'FIVE stars, this toaster cured my depression, got me a husband, and I have sex with this toaster every night. Ten out of ten, fantastic lover, would recommend.' And then there's a one star review right under it, talking about how the toaster stole her husband, her kids are now calling the toaster Mom, and she hates the toaster. Ruined her life, would destroy if she could.

"Vivziepop is the toaster here. Vivziepop essentially is a little toaster strudel that everyone either fucking loves, or hates, and nobody is neutral, and I can't figure a diddly darn thing out. And I feel like honestly, that's just the internet, you see this kind of trend now, where if someone dislikes someone else, they are just the most problematic person in the world and they have, like, list upon list upon list on why this person should be canceled, and all it really amounts to is this person made a very human mistake a couple years ago. This person got angry, and did something that they probably now regret. It's like, great. And I'm not saying that no one online has ever done anything wrong, and no one online has ever [f**ked] up, and no one's allowed to not like people, that is not what I am saying. I know that people are flawed, and it's inevitable for something to happen to make other people not like them. I know that. Not everyone's gonna vibe on the same level with other people, and it's fine. That's a real thing. I've felt it before, you've [f**kin'] felt it before, you're lying if you haven't...We all just kind of wait around for a person we don't vibe with, or don't like, to give us a reason to not like them, and right when we do, we just kind of pounce on it, like cute little baby mice, eatin' [f**kin'] cheese. As they do.
The other thing I've noticed? A lot of people seem fairly stable, at least on the surface, and will come off as essentially rational sorts--until someone steps up and says a thing. And then it's chaos. Half will be in utter slavish support of X, half will be in utter frothing disregard of X, and the clashes have gotten violent. People have died. (Look up Heather Heyer. Or the innumerable incidents where swatting has resulted in injuries and deaths. The first was just because the yahoo behind the wheel wanted to hurt people more than he wanted to calm down, and the latter is generally because someone won an FPS game that person wanted to win. It's so...petty.)
"A great example of this, is take what happens with Sashly, literally every month or so. I am not a fan of Sashly, I don't know their content, I don't watch anything they've ever done. I wouldn't even say I know who they are. But I watch content of people who talk about her, and it's [f**king] WILD how people treat this literal child online. Like, there is a creator who is literally fourteen, who people want to call every name in the book, because she acts like a creator who is fourteen years old. She is FOURTEEN, and people are having post threads about why she is the worst person in the world, and I'm just sitting there like, that's a CHILD, guys!

"People often forget that pretty much until you were about twenty-five, your mind is in a constant state of flux, and you are constantly learning, and changing, and growing into yourself. People act like who are and what you posted when you were thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, like, that represents you for the entirety of your life. And that you're going to stand by it to the end of the world. And you aren't gonna be and act like a hormonal person who is being ravaged by puberty and how terrible that [sh*t] is. Literally, back when I was fourteen, I was writing a story, a full-on, thirty page story, about being in love with Gerard Way, and made up an entire life where me and Gerard were together, and yes, at some points, that story did get steamy. Now, some part of my very stupid teenage hormone-fueled brain knew that I shouldn't share that story with the world, because I would be made fun of until the cows come home, and also, you know, it's just embarrassing. I knew [if] people read that and were like, Shannon made that, it would be embarrassing for me. But I always feel like now, if I had made the mistake of uploading that to, then that story would be used TODAY to expose me in some way. Like, my puberty fanfiction and fan art of me with an adult man (that I was in love with because I was a hormone addled teen going through puberty), that would be used to expose me as a [f**kin'] adult. Which is the STUPIDEST thing ever, like, some stupid thing I did when I was young is gonna be brought up as a reason to hate me now? Even though that story was written by a girl who just wanted to be liked by a guy with cute long hair?
Putting aside the fanfic angle--I think enough of us, me included, have written fanfic that we fully understand why it would be embarrassing to find, years later--let's just talk about the war between generations is heating up, too. I mean, there was always a divide, there always will be, but at this point, it's like literally screaming over a wall. "Okay boomer" versus "Millenials are lazy", and every generation in between.
"Even saying that, I feel like someone's gonna watch this video right now and be like, Shannon just admitted to making smut with a minor in it. Send! Her! To! The! Ranch! Like, I feel like that's gonna happen on this video. And you know what? Okay. The ranch has horses, I wanna pet a horse.

"People also have a tendency to overextend nowadays, when they talk negatively about people online, because where you would say before, oh, I don't like Viv because she made weird, not-safe-for-work art that made me uncomfortable when she was younger? Now you would say 'She clearly believes in bestiality and zoophilia, and she thinks that's all sanitary and good, and she DEFINITELY practices that in her real life, and if I see anyone talking about her positively in any way, shape or form, I'm gonna leave a [sh*tty] little Twitter reply saying that you support someone who would have sex with an animal', even though drawing that does not equate with that at all.

"After I got plenty of requests to make this video, I posted about this on Twitter, trying to get a real good feel, a little touch, about why people do not like her. Because I wanted to hear, straight from the horse's Twitter, why people rage against the machine that is Vivziepop. And most of the responses I got were fair, and neutral, and normal. And then the Fire Nation [f**kin'] attacked. And I got so many angry responses that I had to delete it. But I'm going to read you one of the more neutral ones explaining their side, and explaining why they don't like her. Back when she was nineteen, she made various images depicting pedophilic and zoophilic imagery. So let's start there. No, that is not the whole tweet, it's just part one, it's gonna take a while.

"First off, no, she didn't make any pedophilic imagery. She drew two characters, one of which was eighteen, the other of which was nineteen, meaning both characters were above the legal age of consent, and is in no way pedophilic. There's another drawing of an adult being creepy to a child character, but straight up, it seems like it was a dumb joke that she thought was funny at the time, and I know, look, that's exactly how she explained it. It was a dumb joke that she thought was funny. She doesn't think it's funny now. She regrets it. She apologized for it. If you're going to say that she is a pedophile, and hold her to a standard that a joke now makes it impossible to be a fan of hers, and a joke makes her that label, you better have the same energy when talking about Shane Dawson, or Tyler Oakley, or essentially all of 2007 YouTube creators, because they all were making those jokes.
Yeah, if animating furries is bestiality now, 60% of Second Life is going under.
"She also hired a known sexual abuser and accused abuser onto Hazbin Hotel. So, I don't know if this is supposed to be two separate people, or if she's saying that this person is both a known abuser, and an accused abuser, but those two kind of, you know, it doesn't work like that. But because there's only one person on the roster for the show that I know has been accused of abuse, I'm going to assume that that is what they meant. Which makes no sense, because she is stating in the same sentence that this person is also terrible, known, and there is proof of it, and everyone knows it, and it's a fact, and also that this person has only been accused of abuse. So which is it? Are you fighting that there's physical proof out there, that this person has done this? Are you saying he's only been accused of this?

"Actually, I know which one you're saying, seeing as there's only one person on the roster that's been accused of abuse, and there's no actual proof that it's happened, and it hasn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And I've actually talked about this a lot in my time on YouTube, but just because someone was accused of doing something, just because someone stated that someone hurt them, that does not make it true. To say as much is to also say that no one has ever gone on the internet and lied, and that's incredibly short-sighted.
As she touches on below, I think it is incredibly important to validate victims' experiences, and to support them, painful as it is to type...she's not wrong. Not all men are guilty, not all women are truthful, and if we believe in these monochromatic definitions, we lose a lot of depth in the eventual conversations.
"While it's really nice to say that you want to believe all victims, and you want to believe all women, that actually doesn't work in the real world. Because you are diminishing a woman's capacity to lie, and her agency to do so. You are actually saying women do not have the mental capacity to be dubious, and they do. Do we know if the person she hired (whose name I am NOT going to say, because I don't want to label him as an abuser, when I don't have any proof, other than accusations) is an abusive [pr*ck]? Conclusively, no, we don't. Do we know that he isn't one? No, we don't. But it's innocent until proven guilty, and because we can't say for sure, should we all collectively [sh*t] on someone who simply gave that person a job? No, we shouldn't. Let's continue.

"There have been several cases of her cyberbullying, and encouraging her fans and friends to bully others. Along with that, many see her to have a really rotten and immature attitude, especially when it comes to criticism, and the fact that she refuses any and all, and often paints any person who criticizes her as being haters, and on a few occasions, has gotten her fans and friends to harass people who try to give her critique and constructive criticism. Now, this, THIS is something I can actually understand. I am friends with a creator whose name is Miss Zi-Zi, who is a sincerely wonderful person, and a fantastic artist, and you should all go subscribe to her...She made videos critiquing Vivsie before, and in those videos, she of course made jokes, but she was incredibly insightful, and made a lot of constructive criticism. And when Vivsie saw it, she kind of snapped at her. Which is in her right to do, but it does come off as bratty and rude.
As Catu Draws pointed out in the comments to Shannon's video,
Say it with me. Criticism is NOT telling someone “I don’t like how you drew that.”
It’s “You could improve this drawing by doing...”
And they're absolutely right. But it does seem largely that Vivziepop, like Anne Rice before her, refuses any and all criticism at times. And maybe it's because it's being presented with the hostility of a thousand mongered rumors. I can't honestly tell. But it seems from what little I turned up, that even the most well-meaning phrasing gets kicked to the curb as fast as a "You suck, die" line.
"And I get it, when you are a creator, especially an art creator, you kind of set yourself up to be [sh*t] on by everyone, because they have eyes, and they want to tell you how terrible you are. So someone sees your art and decides they are going to tell you that is the worst thing that they've ever seen, and that you suck and everything you try to do. And it only gets worse the more popular you get. It can be frustrating because maybe they are talking about a piece that means a lot to you, and maybe you worked so [f**king] hard on it, you just wanted people to like it, and say that they like it. That [sh*t] is rough, and annoying, and sometimes you see it and you get a bit [b*tchy]. It happens. And people are fine for not liking her for that reason, because you have so much success, it comes off bratty if you [b*tch] at someone who simply criticized you. But this is the first real reason given for people not liking her that I think stands up. The first reason that actually works as an argument, versus everything else that was stated. And if I was given this argument only, as I was with various other comments, I wouldn't have made this video. If the majority of people who don't like Vivsie only commented on the fact that they find her to be a bit bratty and they don't like how she holds herself, then cool, awesome, great, we can vibe on that point.

"But don't lump in that she supports blackface, that she is racist, she is transphobic, she's made inappropriate art of minors, she supports men who abuse women, she's evil in every sense of the word--that to me doesn't fly. Because that's wildly, wildly overstepping. Now that, again, was not the only comment I got that painted Viv in a negative light. Oh, no no no no no no. That was probably one of the most well-written ones without telling me to kill myself, or that I'm supporting a child predator; that was one that, you know, didn't deliberately threaten my life in any sort of way, and I loved it. I love angry comments that make no sense, but literally me asking someone why they are hated, me asking about that, looking for clarity, that's enough to get someone to try to send [sh*t] on me. That's ridiculous. Oh, I literally just got one. Oh, my god, it's threatening, it's threatening my husband. Great. I would love to see you try to hurt my husband, you absolute moron. [F**king] Jesus Christ.
And by the same extension, if you find someone who's asked a question about why everyone is hating on X, don't answer them with death threats. That's severely uncool. And it makes you sound insane. Just answer them as politely as you can. They may GENUINELY not know what's up, and you could be the calm and rational voice they'll remember in years to come, who told the truth without threats, without condescension, without acid rancor.

Not exactly a case in point, but a sidewise corollary: dear friend of mine asked who PewDiePie was. And my jaw fell off. I knew my two choices in that moment were, are you stupid, everyone knows who PewDiePie is...and to answer him honestly with a brief series of comments. I chose the latter.

But I easily could have gone with the first. It is so, so very easy not to think before we speak. And yeah, it's also a pain to constantly monitor what emerges from our face holes, because sometimes talking is a lot like breathing and we forget we can actually control it.
"Well, let's continue, though, because as that comment did list a lot of reasons why people have issues with Vivsie, it didn't go over everything. There's also a thread on Twitter that talks about Viv and Hazbin Hotel, and comically censors the name, which is very strange to me. I don't know why you're doing that. And I was going to go through it point by point by point, but then a fantastic creator by the name of What the Cheick, I think is pronounced, I don't know, made a video the other week about it and it's fan-friggin-tastic. I have that video linked in the comments down below, and in the description down below, and I highly suggest you go check it out. But I did want to briefly touch upon the other claims that What the Cheick didn't go over in their video, and those are the claims that Hazbin Hotel is homophobic, racist and evil, because I've been seeing that quite a lot. I got a lot of comments saying that that's the case. Which is astounding, because there's literally two gay, female leads in a relationship, which was made clear at the beginning of the episode, and neither of them is putting up any sort of gay stereotype, and I just, I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't, guys, I just don't. If you haven't watched the show, it's about Charlie, the daughter of the devil, who is wanting to make a hotel that rehabilitates demons and sinners, because she is tired of angels coming down from heaven, and killing them every year. She wants to help the population of Hell be better, and earn their way into Heaven. And with the help of her girlfriend, Vaggie, I guess her name is, she sets upon doing it. So you have nice, well-meaning protagonist, who also likes to break out into song randomly, and has a really sunshiny disposition, despite the fact that she lives in literal Hell. That is a fun romp-a-roony of a cartoon, that has a great premise, and though I didn't really, like, I just think it's okay, I can see why people like it.

"And it's even more fun because in the world where this sunshiny protagonist is, in the world surrounding this girl, everyone's fucking terrible. Everyone else, except Vaggie I guess, because she seems like a genuinely pleasant and protective person, and is really cool, I don't know why she has an X on her eye, but whatever, she seems cool. So you have these two nice people, these two people you actually want to root for, in Hell, trying to make everyone who is bad and likes being bad better, that's [f**cking] great. But apparently, people didn't understand that it's set in Hell? And in order for a show like that to work, you have to make everyone in Hell be terrible people? Like apparently, that didn't cross anyone's mind, and they didn't realize that that would be a thing that would have to happen, because the moment that a character, someone who was set up to be a literal antagonist, who works as a news reporter in Hell, said that she doesn't touch the gays, everyone shit themselves. Everyone started screaming that that was homophobic, even though in my perception, that's, like, probably why she ended up in Hell? Like, it's not saying, look at this nice homophobic character, don't we love her? It's saying, look at this character who's in Hell, oh, she's homophobic? Makes sense, that's probably why she's in Hell.
I freely admit, I don't get this angle on the protests. Why do viewers expect demons to be good? Why do viewers expect Hell to be a pastoral nature reserve? It's like watching the show Lucifer and being shocked and horrified when he tempts someone. It's in the name.
"You know? Like, i-it's why she's an antagonist! I don't know how this joke went over peoples' [heads], and how they're interpreting it as, like, oh no, oh no, that's--she's a good character, and we sh--all are trying to root for her, right? And I, I'm, I don't, I don't, I don't know what got lost in the sauce, but boy, did it get lost. I, not kidding, I got a literal DM that Viv hates gay people because of this line, and I just, I just, I, I don't know what to do! I don't know how to explain what a joke is, better!

"There are also people commenting that Charlie's girlfriend Vaggie was a terrible person and is terrible representation because she was angry in the first episode? Even though, in my viewpoint, the show gave her a very good reason to be angry? And in that scene, at least to me, it doesn't show her in a negative light. Like, one character just ruined their chances of being taken seriously. He made them look terrible on live television, and instead of standing up for herself and what she believes in, Charlie just sat there and did nothing. So Vaggie stands up for her girlfriend. If anything, it shows her in a great light, and I related to that, because that's me.
Kind of me too, on both sides. I have trouble standing up for my own person a lot of the time, but come after someone I'm loyal to, and I go feral. Generally to everyone's detriment, including my own. But I get Vaggie's anger--she thinks Charlie's a bit of a soft touch, and she's insanely innocent considering who her father is, but she'll be damned again if anyone will hurt her and get away with it.
"Then, there's the character of Angel Dust, who is a gay porn star named after drugs, does drugs, and revels in violence. People are saying that he's bad gay representation because he's hyper-sexual, and also a demon. He acts like a demon.. He's hyper-sexual because he's a porn star. He's a bad person because he's in Hell and is a demon. Like, the show went out of its way to explain why this character acts that way, even though it didn't, it didn't have to, 'cause once again, literal demon. And literal Hell. And people are upset, and I'm, like, I don't know what you wanted from a literal demon in Hell, but if you wanted them to be a good person, I don't know why they would be in Hell! I just, I don't, I don't, I don't get it, I don't understand. It would make less sense if she wrote him as a nice, uwu, good boy, because in...Hell. And therefore, his worst attributes, his worst tendencies, are going to be on full display. They're gonna be cranked up to eleven. She's not saying that all gay people are like this. She's literally having a gay couple be like the most nice representation on this show, this is nothing like that. I don't, I don't know, I feel like something got lost in the sauce, and people were like, this show about demons being in Hell is gonna have the best characters who are just uwu so good, and I'm, I'm confused, I'm confused at what people thought. Again, I think the show was just okay, I thought it was fine, I don't love it, I'm not worshipping the ground it walks on. But, like, those complaints just don't make any sense to me, and I' I don't know, whatever, let me know if you guys are going to be unsubscribing to me because this problematic hot take, that the show is just 'okay', Viv isn't a literal devil, and we should all just generally care less, a little bit, about everything, and maybe take a nap? That's my hot take--take a nap, before you tell me to kill myself again, guys.
I tend to agree about Angel Dust's character as well, namely because I've known people like that. Self-destructive to a fault, looking for the nearest exit with the shortest waiting line, zero concern for person or heart or mind that's in the way of that focused intensity towards oblivion...They're out there. They're usually broken, careless, and strangely charming, and it's a very bad combination. But Angel Dust, people should keep in mind, is not a representation of a gay man; he's the representation of a demon who happens to be gay. There's a HUUUGE difference between those two portrayals.
"Anyway, I hope you guys are having a genuinely nice day, I will see you in my next video. Good night."
And that's about it. I thought her words codified some thoughts in my own head that were refusing to cohere in any identifiable form for me. So there you go. Who the talk is about, in the end, really doesn't matter; what she says about how the internet as a whole treats that person--or any person who becomes even vaguely controversial--does. And as the internet in no small part is a reflection of the world we bring into it, it's also a reflection of how we are treating each other, on a daily basis. Just...step back. Take a breath. Think through what you want to say. Do you really want to say it to hurt the other person? Do you want to say it to hurt in that way?

Consider why you want to, before you do. Right or wrong won't matter ten years down the road from this argument, but your words, if they strike home and sink deep enough, will. So...treat them with respect, your words. Try to be conscious of what you say.

I'm trying to do the same. And we're all going to fail for a long time, working back from adversarial everything. But I think it's worth the struggle.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

well, the preacher in the pulpit, jumpin' up and down

Now, I'm going to be dealing with the actual text of the changes as written below, but I'd like to point out a Council of Geeks video that takes on the topic, as well as Mutahar's look at it from the SomeOrdinaryGamers channel. There is deliberate bad language in the latter, so be aware, it may not be safe to play audibly at work.

Before I take on the changes, though, I do want to mention the text of another email I received:
Hi Emilly Orr,
Important changes that may impact your monetization and content discoverability are coming.

Starting today, all creators are required to tell us if their content is made for kids in order to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws. To help you comply, we are introducing a new audience setting in YouTube Studio.

Depending on the amount of made for kids content on your channel, you can set your audience at either the channel level or the video level. For those who are setting at the channel level, it is just one click.

So this is YouTube's supposedly "helpful" graph on who needs to pick what setting. My way was clear--as I'm planning (if I can EVER afford a good microphone!) to enter the realm of absolutely non-monetizeable horror narration--to pick NO kids' content whatsoever, but for other content creators, it's going to be something of a battle. Due to the provisions mentioned below, even clicking "partial" on this scale will likely remove monetization options for creators. There's no way to win.
These changes are required as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and NY Attorney General, and will help you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other applicable laws.
So, what exactly is changing? Well, as the email goes on to say:
What is changing?
Starting today, all creators are required to mark their content as made for kids or not made for kids in YouTube Studio.

Starting in January: we will limit the data we collect on made for kids content to comply with the law. This means we will disable personalized ads on this content (which affects revenue for creators making content for kids), as well as certain features like comments, notifications and others. Note: You may see some small changes as we experiment and refine our systems over the next few months.

For a list of affected features, go here.
Those features pretty much go more into detail on the above, but it all boils down to this:

  • If you own a YouTube channel, and it has even one video, or if you EVER intend to upload even ONE video, you now MUST BY LAW pick one of the three options--and you have to do that either once, for your full channel, or per video, for EVERY SINGLE VIDEO YOU UPLOAD.
  • You HAVE to use the website's YouTube Studio to pick and set your settings. Want to do it by phone in the YouTube API? Tough. Want to stay in YouTube Classic? Sucks to be you. You HAVE to pick one of the settings, and you HAVE to set it in YouTube Studio.
  • And if you think, hell, it's a big service, like they'll notice if I don't set the thing by January, this can't possibly matter...oh, you sweet summer child. YouTube won't kick hard alt-right synpathizers off their platform, but with the full weight of COPPA and the FTC's hammer hanging over you, you really don't want to swing and miss on this one.
So. This was the first email I received from YouTube:
We’re updating our Terms of Service (“Terms”) to improve readability and transparency. This update does not change the Google Privacy Policy, nor the way we collect and process your data.
We’ve provided a summary of key changes but here’s what you can expect:
  • Terms that are clearer and easier to understand with useful links to help you navigate YouTube and better understand our policies.
  • Expanded commitments to notify you about changes that may affect you, such as product updates or future changes to the Terms; and
  • Better alignment between our Terms and how YouTube works today.
The new Terms will take effect on 10 December, 2019. Please make sure you read the updated Terms carefully. If you would like more information, you can find additional information in our Help Center.
If you allow your child to use YouTube Kids, then please note that you are agreeing to the new Terms on behalf of your child as well.
This was the first line in the email to YouTube creators that had people worried. In a strictly legal sense, the only way a child can legally enter into a contract situation is by parental permission, or emancipated permission. If the latter, that child is legally responsible for their own actions, due to the emancipation, or at the very least, their court-appointed guardian is responsible for their actions.

But, as very few children--and, I would hazard to guess, no children under 13, which is the cut-off age for full COPPA provisions--are emancipated, it falls on the parents. Which makes those parents culpable for any problems their child causes on YouTube. In some cases this may legally involve a federal fine--the amount $40,000 has been tossed around, but apart from Mutahar's video, I haven't found mention of that anywhere else--but any financial fine is an issue, and may well involve parents ceasing their child's viewership of YouTube as a precautionary measure.
You can always review your privacy settings and manage how your data is used by visiting your Google Account.
Thank you for being part of the YouTube community!
Yeah, right. So. This brings us to the terms.

I'm only going to cover the changes from their existing ToS. This is made a little more difficult because, in addition to adding provisions, YouTube has substantially changed the language of the entire document.
Who may use the Service?

Age Requirements
You must be at least 13 years old to use the Service. However, children of all ages may use YouTube Kids (where available) if enabled by a parent or legal guardian.

Permission by Parent or Guardian

If you are under 18, you represent that you have your parent or guardian’s permission to use the Service. Please have them read this Agreement with you.

If you are a parent or legal guardian of a user under the age of 18, by allowing your child to use the Service, you are subject to the terms of this Agreement and responsible for your child’s activity on the Service. You can find tools and resources to help you manage your family’s experience on YouTube in our Help Center and through Google’s Family Link.
So this part's fairly clear. They are now stating formally that while LEGALLY they are only permitted to allow individuals 13 and up to use the whole of the service, that the YouTube Kids section now authorizes 12 and below individuals to use that service--and that service alone. And, as mentioned above, parents are solely responsible for anything their children do in the YouTube Kids area, or any other section of YouTube.
Your Use of the Service

Content on the Service
The content on the Service includes videos, audio (for example music and other sounds), graphics, photos, text (such as comments and scripts), branding (including trade names, trademarks, service marks, or logos), interactive features, software, metrics, and other materials whether provided by you, YouTube or a third-party (collectively, "Content”).

Content is the responsibility of the person or entity that provides it to the Service. YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve Content. If you see any Content you believe does not comply with this Agreement, including by violating the Community Guidelines or the law, you can report it to us.
This was the second point of worry for people. Now, every company has the right to refuse service, that's sort of an everywhere law. But this was the first time YouTube has specifically stated they have no obligation to host or serve content at all. There's a much longer, more involved layout of how an individual can use YouTube; all that's been thrown out in the new terms for "We host what we want to host, deal".
Account Suspension and  Termination

Terminations by You
You may stop using the Service at any time. Follow these instructions to delete the Service from your Google Account, which involves closing your YouTube channel and removing your data. You also have the option to download a copy of your data first.

Terminations and Suspensions by YouTube for Cause

YouTube may suspend or terminate your access, your Google account, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if (a) you materially or repeatedly breach this Agreement; (b) we are required to do so to comply with a legal requirement or a court order; or (c) we believe there has been conduct that creates (or could create) liability or harm to any user, other third party, YouTube or our Affiliates.

Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes

YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.
This is another huge red flag, especially for users of YouTube. What, precisely, defines "no longer commercially viable"? If it's "does not raise income for YouTube", MILLIONS of user accounts--including my own--are on the chopping block. If it's "no longer monetizeable", that's another problem, because by YouTube's own previous terms, much of the LGBT community's video output, most news channels, all horror narration channels, nearly everyone covering true crime and urban legend stories, in addition to the great number of accounts that put together historical reference content for colleges concerning historical incidents of racism, bigotry, and genocide...well, all those are gone, too. So what exactly do they mean? Sanitized, kid-friendly content that never references drugs, alcohol, mishaps or mature language? But then we're backed into the corner of, if we only upload 100% safe-for-five-year-olds content, these videos cannot be monetized anyway save for the largest channels, and even they've seen a radical reduction of advertising on their content for over six months. So what does YouTube mean by "no longer commercially viable"?
Notice for Termination or Suspension

We will notify you with the reason for termination or suspension by YouTube unless we reasonably believe that to do so: (a) would violate the law or the direction of a legal enforcement authority, or would otherwise risk legal liability for YouTube or our Affiliates; (b) would compromise an investigation or the integrity or operation of the Service; or (c) would cause harm to any user, other third party, YouTube or our Affiliates. Where YouTube is terminating your access for Service changes, where reasonably possible, you will be provided with sufficient time to export your Content from the Service.

Effect of Account Suspension or Termination

If your Google account is terminated or your Google account’s access to the Service is restricted, you may continue using certain aspects of the Service (such as viewing only) without an account, and this Agreement will continue to apply to such use. If you believe your Google account has been terminated in error, you can appeal using this form.
By extension, this section has been completely revised. Formerly, the Terms of Service detailed specific reasons that a user's account could be terminated. This is both more specific, and more vague, in that they no longer lay out what needs to be done to kill someone's account, just vague considerations of general behavior. On the one hand, I understand, if someone specifically lays out that the first eight letters of the alphabet are taboo, users determined to get around the rules could take that as the rest of the alphabet being alloowed. With this version, it's more "We'll decide what's bad, but we'll tell you", without giving specific provisions as to what, exactly, YouTube qualifies as "bad".

The other part that has people largely getting hysterical is the "Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes" section. As the Council of Geeks video points out, while it can be taken on the surface as saying, if a user loses their YouTube account access, they will also lose all Google/Gmail service access, but I tend to agree that interpretation is imprecise, at best. I believe what they are saying is, if Jane Whimsoe is a YouTuber content provider, and Jane loses access to her YouTube account through misbehavior, that neither she on YouTube, nor she through use of Gmail or other Google account options, will be able to access YouTube as a content provider in any way.

But overall, what they've done with these changes is vague everything up. There are very few exacts in the new Terms of Service; just general unspecified terminology that things could be bad if we do something YouTube thinks isn't viable, saleable, or airable. Which conceivably could be...everything.

I guess, buckle up for December, folks, and let's see how bad it gets then.