Wednesday, July 4, 2007

if you need me, me and Neil'll be hanging out with the Dream King

I don't know what they're talking about
I'm making my own decisions
This thing that I found
Ain't gonna bring me down
I'm like a junkie without an addiction


A long time ago, I posted a bit on Drow culture and Drow structure. While I still think that's valid...

...a friend has given me a head start on a better Drow.

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Mama don't cry
I just wanna stay high
Like playing with danger or fear
Everybody's walking but nobody's talking
It looks a lot better from here


I still need to work on the ears. I'm thinking I may go to the designer of the skin--Faedra Allen, by the way, in case anyone wants to look up Fantasies by Faedra, her little island store; she's starting to develop quite the line of 'fantasy' skins--and ask for a capture of the texture she used on this skin. So I can make and texture Drow ears, and then hey, I can offer them back to her to sell with the skin, or separate from the skin, maybe give me a cut of the profits, depending.

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All my life I've been over the top
I don't know what I'm doing,
All I know is I don't wanna stop
All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop
You're either in or in the way, don't make me
I don't wanna stop


The Drow, I admit, is difficult. All a shapeshifter does--past the original shape, which in my case, is a pale, red-eyed or violet-eyed neko--and whatever the main alternate turns out to be--which, because of my dancing time in Rivula, turned out to be a violet-eyed human, generally blonde--is imitate other life. I admit this. I imitate, I mimic, I recreate--by and large, I do not spawn original forms. Most shapeshifters don't. They watch the world and learn from it.

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Why don't they ever listen to me?
Is this a one-way conversation?
Nothing they say is gonna set me free
Don't need no mental masturbations.


So off and on I'm trying to learn the Drow. And in between trying to learn the Drow, I'm trying to learn other forms. I'm still trying to learn the bat--all I have is a dark, dire-bat-sized form, I don't use often. I'm trying to learn a different bunny--to date, I just have the curved soft angora lop-eared. I'm wondering if I can learn another fox--beyond my small Arctic fox. I'm really intrigued by the thought of an ophidian form--not my Naga, imitation of mythology, but an actual humanoid scaled form. I haven't seen anything like that on the grid. It will be interesting if I can discover it in me, without seeing it.

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Too many religions for only one god
I don't need another savior
Don't try to change my mind
You know I'm one of a kind
Ain't gonna change my bad behavior


In the meantime, I have the animal forms, I have my doll forms, unusual as they are...I have humans and vampires and zombies...I'm fine, not having new original forms, just imitating the life I see.

But in conversations with some of the Caledonians of my acquaintance, I'm yet again amazed at the difference, between me and those I know, between me and those who don't change. It's a perpetual realization for a shapeshifter--not everyone can change forms at will, nor wishes to, and that's also fine. I accept non-shapeshifters--after all, there are few who can, who wish to, do what I do. I think the grid would be very hard to recognize if there were.

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All my life I've been over the top
I don't know what I'm doing,
All I know is I don't wanna stop
All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop
You're either in or in the way, don't make me
I don't wanna stop


Consistency. It's about consistency and outrageousness, I think. And maybe malleability, but that's my side again. I mean, I don't think I'm that changeable--inside, where it matters, where I live--it's just the form I take. By and large, though each form does have its quirks--the Naga will not stay still, the bunny's a bit more nervous, my succubus is definitely more aggressive--I'm the same, inside. It's still me.

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All my life I've been over the top
I don't know what I'm doing,
All I know is I don't wanna stop
All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop
You're either in or in the way, don't make me
I don't wanna stop


But others may not see it this way. Consistency, it's been spoken of, consistency and affability, and the affability I have...consistence and respect, I have that too. Willingness to help, desire to learn. I've done those since my earliest days on the grid.

But consistency...I don't, precisely, have that. Though it does make me smile, thinking of Professor Sputnik--he doesn't precisely have consistency as one of his guiding traits, and has confused many people with his shift in form. And Miss Terry, one of his companions--she has horns, she has wings, but she doesn't always wear them. Her skin shifts from pale to dark and back again, and that also has confused certain folks.

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I don't wanna stop
I don't wanna stop
I don't wanna stop
I don't wanna stop


But even my kittens aren't consistent--sure, I was born pale with stripes, but I've been practicing all sorts of other striped forms--black, brown, golden, auburn, deep red, lavender, green, blue, even pink--and now, I have a calico form, I have three different shades of spotted, I'm working on a tiger-striped and considering a cheetah. It's all in what I can imitate. What draws my eye enough to work on, to test out, to see if I can have that form within.

I've been seeing mice of late...though that's irony in spades, the neko shifter getting a mouse form...

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All my life I've been over the top
I don't know what I'm doing,
All I know is I don't wanna stop
All fired up, I'm gonna go till I drop
You're either in or in the way, don't make me
I don't wanna stop...


So maybe consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I said it once on the profile to these writings--if you see the name, you're seeing me, regardless of which face you're actually seeing. Maybe that's enough. Maybe it's enough that the people I care for see me for me, regardless of attire, fur or lack of fur, tall or short or in between.

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I'm still me. Maybe that's enough. Because I don't want to stop being that...

(Lyrics from Ozzy Osbourne and the new album Black Rain--this song in specific, "I Don't Wanna Stop". Of course.)

4 comments:

Alexandra Rucker said...

You know that under normal circumstances my form will change at the drop of a hat into whatever catches my fancy at the time. :)

I find it odd that most people do have that consistency, with women changing outfits regularly, and a lot of men wearing the same thing each time I see them. I think that says a lot for why RL work is such a pain in the arse. Heh.

As a compromise to consistency, my profile picture never changes - even if it's not a picture of myself, it's always the same. I've had people look at my profile and go "oh, I recognize that profile..."

People as a whole seem to be more visual-oriented than textually oriented. Maybe it's all the years I've spent chatting online; I always focus on name and not the image, because I expect the image to change. :)

emillyorr said...

Well, and I do too--recognize the name, not the image, as a long-time veteran of the text-based net.

But more than that, I *expect* people to change. Whim and fancy, desire and intent--we live in a world where the physical is malleable, fluid.

It is interesting, I find it very interesting, when someone I know keeps the same face, the same form, the same outfit. To me, there's nothing wrong in that--there's nothing wrong in any expression of the soul, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone who doesn't want to be hurt--but it strikes me as very comic-book. And not dismissively so--superheroes, after all, are only partially recognized by the name--the rest of their heroic natures falls back to recognizing the 'suit', the image, the icon of heroism they choose to wear.

It's a wide spectrum. On one edge are those who choose one fixed appearance, always, and never change. This, they say, is me. This will always be me. This will always be my form. And on the far far other side of it, people like you, me, meQal Anna when he was on the grid, and a handful of others--who say, keep up, this won't always be me.

*grins*

turnerBroadcasting said...

em.

put two [ br ] break characters at the top of your comments template.


second point. your thoughts regarding how this world is fluid.

I am curious. have you ever used that fluidity to your advantage?

I mean, have you ever been in a situation ... in which that fluidity helped you. Instead of just being a feature?

emillyorr said...

Point one--using the standard system template, but I'll see what I can do.

Point two--sort of? Once I made exactly the wrong choice of appearance--an attack by giant spiders, I had little fighting ability, so I transformed into a giant spider--which resulted in several people thinking "KILL IT KILL IT" and I got stabbed and thrown into a tentacle pond.

The tentacle plant within it was very much of the "KILL IT KILL IT" framework as well, until I took a more humanoid form, and then it changed its mind about what it wanted to do. So I had to verrry carefully slip out of its more, ahem, amorous clutches.

I have been injured, have shifted and healed, I use that regularly. I have ported into a place furry, realized there were no furs present and that I was getting dark looks, and shifted to human.

But by and large, for the most part, I get trapped in the same conceit as the less changeable--I forget I don't have to obey all the physical laws of others. I think it's just a pattern of thinking. Maybe that will change, too. :)