Sunday, June 15, 2008

he's a cold-hearted snake, look into his eyes

Just when you think it's safe to go into JIRA again...well, actually, this is more a report from the front lines.

Mr. Gryffin Hax is somewhat well-known in Caledon for avatar paintings. He was commissioned to do one for some Caledon-based celebration, and his chosen subjects were Desmond Shang--our Guvnah, sometimes I think the hardest-working man on the grid--and Caledon's own clockwork princess, Miss Cornelia Rothschild.

Today, that image--that completely innocent image, of an adult (the governor of Caledon, surely above reproach!) standing next to a young girl (Miss Cornelia, talented maker of hair, sublime songstress, charming to the extreme and above reproach, herself!)--was disallowed for the cover of Caledon's chapbook for SL5B.

STANDING. He is just STANDING next to her.

Nothing else.


This? This is ludicrous. And infuriating. And deeply, deeply STUPID.

Y'know, at least when I got my reputation hauled over the virtual ashes, I knew I'd done something to deserve it. While it wasn't penetrative, I was only partially clad, and I was wearing a shorter (NOT child, I stress again, NOT a child av's shape!) doll shape than I do these days. And my partner in that image--that so incensed so many people--was taller, and broader, and most definitely male.

Did I mention Governor Shang and Miss Cornelia are fully clothed in Mr. Hax's painting? Quite respectably so, not that I would expect otherwise from either of them. And yet they're still treated as something shameful, something that by its nature needs to be denied, repressed, swept under the virtual carpet by a group of small-minded, very petty-thinking individuals.

It's just plain dumb. And I'll say again, just plain wrong.

Meanwhile, in non-ranty news, Skin City is having a hunt. For bottlecaps:


Yeah, they look nice and large, don't they? Let me let you all in on the real size of the things:



This? Is gonna be tricky...


Christine McAllister Pearse said...

The most stupid thing about this all is that Miss Rothschild is not even a child avatar....she states so quite adamantly on her profile, if anyone from Linden Labs cared to read it.

This has got to be the most overblown twisted thing that LL has done yet. I would say that this has got to be the most stupid thing that they could do, but I'm sure they'll be able to prove me wrong. Makes you wonder what's going on in their heads, that they think all of us are capable of thinking such twisted thoughts looking at a picture of an adult standing or sitting by a child.

Emilly Orr said...

Remember, the guiding principle seems to be, the perception of. If someone could perceive such images in an improper fashion, they don't want that to happen.

The thing is, they've gone insanely overboard. First no child avatar builds. Then no builds featuring combat or weapons (nicely sidestepping the proposal from the one Gorean who wished to have not women lounging in silks, not people on chains, but gladitorial combat in an arena). Then the sim was PG-rated, no mature builds at all. Later, that was further refined to state, no lms to Mature-rated lands can be given out at the event...ooh, I'd better confirm that one; Caledon Penzance is a Mature-rated is most of Caledon.

Now? No depictions of child avatars standing next to a) adults, or b) beds.

It's completely out of control. This, plus the three team heads they've had on this project (it may be four now, I don't know if Phayley's stormed off in disgust yet) is convincing me this has been mishandled from the start, and will continue to be.

Eladrienne Laval said...

This is utterly ridiculous!!! My GOD.

So what now? Will all of the Caledon Strand Magazines have to be recalled? Will Gryff have to take down its display inside and on the side of our shop/gallery? Miss Rothschild will be the first to tell you that she is NOT a child! LiLa's losing their minds.

Riven said...

I think this is a terrible thing, but I'm not sure LL is going overboard. They are frantically doing damage control, trying to counter the image of SL that is being used by people such as Rep. Mark Kirk.

He's latched onto the issue of sl as the ultimate Internet danger to kids, since it's a sure way to garner votes with his conservative constituency. Remember, these are the same people who gave us Swift Boat and the Barak Osama video - imagine what they could do with an image of the Guvnah and Miss Rothschild.

Cornelia Rothschild said...

Hi, this is Cornelia. ^_^ I posted a response on my blog at

Anonymous said...

~applauds for Riven~ I have an idea.. instead of bitching at LL for protecting their business why don't you all take your case to the media?? hmm??? Your going to have to change public perception before you can expect LL to lighten up.

Vivito Volare said...

Miss Orr, there is no more issue surrounding this image. I have cleared things. It will be displayed.
~Vivito Volare

Emilly Orr said...

For the many comments on this:

Miss Rothschild, Mr. Volare, I'll be overjoyed to post that the issue's been resolved.

For everyone but Mr. Savon--I don't yet know, in a confirmed sense, that landmarks to Mature-rated lands cannot be given out. I need to confirm that.

And for Mr. Savon--perhaps it's me, but if I--or anyone--speak to the RL press, this could all spin even further out of control. I wish I were the type to blithely rise above such things in any sense, and brush it all away with a calming cup of chamomile tea, but I get feral and offended at times.

How'ver, there's a large part of me that says, getting more of the media than is already involved in this is not the best way to go about things.

Anonymous said...

actually.. I as kidding about contacting the media.. I doubt anyone thats bashing LL would actually take the time or wanna be identified by the media anyway.. Point is though, they are being very careful with all the crap surrounding them.. As they should.

Emilly Orr said...

I doubt anyone thats bashing LL would actually take the time or wanna be identified by the media anyway..

You either have a sense of humor I don't find funny, or you really don't know to whom you're talking, and were just sent here from someone else's quotation of a post.

While, for the most part, I keel SL and RL separate, I've already been identified by the media. That wouldn't be a problem for me, being identified again.

The problem, as I see it, is: would taking the campaign beyond gaming blogs small and large help or hinder us? Right now, the perception--and I don't think it's an unfair one--is that the Labs are substantially disconnected from their players, but would that disconnection worsen if we made a bigger splash?

The Labs have a long-established history of mishandling things. If, when the original story splashed down on child sex, they had actually investigated, found out who and what, and then stood up and said, okay, we learned we had a problem, it was a problem specifically with X, it's now taken care of--it would have been drastically different.

Instead, they issued vague dire warnings to the group of SL users and communities, issued vague and vapid reassurances to the media, and tried to tone everything down as much as possible.

The same thing is happening again--the media is hearing 'no no no, everything's fine'; we're hearing 'stop EVERYTHING, it might look bad'; and in the meantime, they're hiding again.

This is not the way to solve problems. And it wasn't the way to solve them in the first place.