Tuesday, December 23, 2008

you're wearing your anguish again

This is just breathtaking. Ms. Siyu Suen is selling the Odocoleinae antlers for a scant few more days, before taking this limited holiday release off the market.

You can find Ms. Suen's blog entry here, or simply port directly to her store in-world.

In other news...Last night, we 'waked' another part of Caledon history, Caledon Loch Avie, Duchess Eva Bellambi's home on the grid. Several dozen of us gathered to dance in the Conservatory and out on the snow-covered lawn, to share hope and memories, song and stories, and dance until the sun fell and misty dawn emerged.

There were tears and laughter, promises of good changes to come, as well as mourning the loss of the past, and the final announcement that Duchess Eva will be moving to Winterfell.


Dancing as day turned to dusk.


Her Lyonesse, the Vicereine, Kamilah Hauptmann, dancing as the music played.

Sadly, I have very few pictures; for over an hour of this gathering, there were so many people (we topped sixty at one point) dancing and sharing memories of Loch Avie's place in Caledon's history, that I had to turn all my graphics settings down to avoid crashing!


The Lyonesse chose, midway through the event, to don attire more suiting to her beladi movements; she contemplated (and then discarded) a rich scarlet number, a royal blue set, and finally arrived on the seasonally appropriate red and green set seen here.


The dancers en masse spin and dip in the menuet.


An overhead shot, as the Aurora Borealis comes in over Loch Avie.


Another overhead shot; snow falls as the evening draws to a close.

This makes three members of the Caledon peerage, by the way, that are moving from Caledon. We are now losing more than OpenSpace sims, with Linden Labs's stunningly short-sighted decision; we are losing the hearts and minds that make Caledon great.

The loss of touchstone points, for many, as well as the maritime sims; Caledon-that-was is passing, irrevocably. Will the flurry of new titles and new lands borne from such privation improve, or detract, from Caledon's future?

I can't properly answer that--yet--though I will say the direction Caledon is going, in some respects, is becoming a shocking one. There is more of mainland than of majesty, in these latter days.

But the loss of the peerage...Duchess Eva moves to Winterfell Anodyne; Duchess Gabrielle has already moved to Edison; Lord Bardhaven is in the process of relocating to Winterfell, as well. This can only be a bad thing, in my opinion. Am I the only one who sees this? Unfortunately, whether I am or not, the world will go as it will, and I am not a Linden to make these decisions.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

--William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The year turns, the new year rises, the old one passes away. If we carry anything from the past year, at least we retain our memories of glories and successes, the pageantry and charity that made Caledon great. Here's to Caledon remaining strong throughout the new year to come.

But I begin to have my doubts...


Darien Mason said...

It is invetable than Caledonians will move away, unplug, or pass away, just as more residents will enter through Oxbridge or migrate from other vanishing sims and splinterng communities.

Note that the people you mentioned are moving to other Victorian/Steampunk sims. I see that as a sign of Caledon's success. Our sensibilities are exported to other lands as they become part of a greater community. They may pay rent elsewhere, but we're sure to see them at another Caledon Ball.

I started in Steelhead and became just as entrenched in Caledon. My son Ash was built in Regency, and now wears a Steeltopian uniform and a Wulfenbach pin.

When I rebuild Gematria, she will sing the anthem she wrote for Caledon again.

As for Belhaven? That's my brother's business.

Icterus Dagger said...

Miss Orr,

You are not the only one who sees this as being a bad thing. I've been long absent from the grid, having come back to take care of matters relating to Sumi's passing. I have been somewhere between annoyed and angry at what I see my old Caledon becoming.

Some of that does lay in the Lindens' laps. Some, but not all.

Although many of us have this ill conceived idea that all rules are for ill, one can't have an influx of people such as Caledon has had (along with its land holdings) and not have some mechanism for enforcing the underlying theme. When you are smaller, you can self regulate; when you are larger, you need help. Perhaps some of us became swamped and unable to handle the load?

I have seen lapses in language and custom, in politness and tolerance such as I never expected to see, both in the group chat and in person.

One of the last projects I had the pleasure of working on in Caledon was the choosing of a motto. After much group chat wrangling, IM discussions and even a VOTE (*gasp*) on it, we (Caledon) chose "Tolerans, Civilis, Innovus, Laganum" (Tolerance, Civility, Innovation, Cake). To be sure, there is always an element of subversion in any place (and I've proudly been than element in my time), but the Caledon that is becoming is not one I'd take refuge to as I did a week after my rez-day.


Icterus Dagger said...

I should add, that there is still much beauty and goodness in Caledon - the outpouring if love after Sumi's death is evidence of that.

That negates nothing of my previous comment, and I hope the trend can be stemmed or that perhaps in time I might have a calmer perspective, like Dr. Mason's.


Alexandra Rucker said...


Rhianon Jameson said...

I'm not as pessimistic as Mr. Dagger - perhaps because I was not here when Caledon was smaller, or perhaps because I'm part of the problem. :) I think it's inevitable that as the number of sims grows, there will be some "drift" from the original theme. It's impossible to corral 800 residents the way one can with a few dozen.

I agree with Miss Orr that the brain drain is a potential problem. Although there are a great many residents, a much smaller fraction do a large share of the heavy lifting - interesting builds, social events, and so on. It remains to be seen whether Dr. Mason is right, that new blood will replace those departing, so that we will end up with a different but still strong Caledon, or whether the loss of some of the "pioneers" is irreplaceable.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I certainly miss some of the things that have changed in Caledon. Despite having over 1000 people in the ISC group the feeling of community has ebbed. Not so much that people don't get together and celebrate or dance or fly or whatever, but that there are now people who have been in Caledon for some time whose names I don't even know.

I can live with that. The most disheartening thing for me though is the loss of "manners". I don't force people to use titles, though I use them myself, but it's the over familiarity that makes ISC read like a Desperate and Dateless IRC channel sometimes. People posting up that they're now single, or commentaries involving semi-naked men you have shackled in your dungeon should be kept to intimates, not plastered all over for the world to see. Frankly I'd be surprised if the world cared less. But since group notices don't work half the time sitting through some of the more inane drivel on the off chance Des has some sort of announcement to make can be akin to mental anguish.

An ex-Caledonian recently trumpeted her reasons for leaving Caledon. Her parting shot was that she was not now or ever a Victorian. My own thought was (after some unpolite ones about not wanting the door to hit her on the way out) was if you don't like Victoriana, then why on earth come and live in a steampunk community?

Sad to say but I do agree that the behaviour of many Caledonians is far more mainland. They're people playing dress-up. I know there's no "authentic" steampunk but it reminds me of comparisons of 1950s cowboy movies to the real west. Often those making the effort seem to be drowning under a tide of a Caledon Reality TV series.

Emilly Orr said...

I think I'm answering the most innocuous comment first; then commenting on the rest.

Alexandra: "Beladi" or "baladi" means "country" in Arabic, and is the most commonly used term for Egyptian-form belly dancing. Though it can also have connotations of "low" or "ill-bred"--we might say "backwater" or "hick", to get across the same thing--it refers to the style of dance developed in the Upper Kingdom of Egypt, spread through the travels of the Rom (or, some say, actually brought by the Romani to Egypt from India).

I'm like most Americans, most of the time it's belly-dancing. But beladi or raqs sharqi (literally "Oriental dance") is its name.

Emilly Orr said...

Now, for the rest...and reading through it, I think I should take these to their own entry.