Thursday, January 8, 2009

he ran for the fields and came back the next day, you had blown out his eye and you could see his brain

They don't see. They don't understand. They pin their grasp of things on one phrase, a set of words I've long abandoned in this.

Mayhap a brief lesson, then.

Pronunciation: \ˈnät-sē, ˈnat-\
Function: noun
Etymology: German, by shortening & alteration from
Nationalsozialist, from national national + Sozialist socialist
Date: 1930

1: a member of a German fascist party controlling Germany from 1933 to 1945 under Adolf Hitler
2: often not capitalized a: one who espouses the beliefs and policies of the German Nazis : fascist b: one who is likened to a German Nazi: a harshly domineering, dictatorial, or intolerant person

Between one thing and another, as the madness swept over Germany, between 1933 and 1945, between nine and eleven million people lost their lives. By medical experimentation; forced marches; starvation, torture, and separation of young from old; and, before the camps were established, systematic kidnapping and cremation of those who protested. Nine to eleven million died. From state-adopted Nationalsozialist thought.

What is so apparent, so manifestly clear to me, they bypass without a thought or care. They jest, they laugh, they spin, while I stand fast, and they circle unaware.

Soviet citizens and dissidents died; homosexual men and lesbian women; the terminally and mentally ill; most prisoners of war; anyone who was unfortunate enough to be disabled; Polish nationals and Slavic travelers; Freemasons; Jehovah's Witnesses; the Romani; and of course, the Jews. It was systematic; it was brutal; it was very nearly total.

"Oh, but can't you take a joke?"

You know, it is a funny thing. Having been raised around individuals with numbers tattooed on their arms from the camps; having Rom extended family who still tell the stories of the camps around the fires; and, between one thing and another, having an affinity for Jewish men on the grid...

No. Not attached to that word, no. Apparently, I can't.

Now I think the only ones who truly understand are the demon leaving and the ones already gone. Between the damned and the dead, the living haven't a prayer, and no gods that would hear.

And I tire, I tire deeply, of being the only voice raised in protest. I tire of being attacked without cause. Alas, though, I cannot tire of being misunderstood...because that has the weight of a pattern of a life, behind it. I should be used to it by now.

But what galls, what deeply I thought I had explained this, this, at least. If nothing else got through, this did.

Mr. Sascha Vayandar apologized, and I accepted his apology. I cannot yet offer apologies of my own to Mr. Hax, because I still feel he was, is, out of line.

But Miss Homewood, I expected better of you. And all that laughed with you when you let 'chat nazis' drip so lightly off your tongue.

This is my last word on the subject. I give you no more ammunition to strike against my heart this deeply. As far as I am concerned, this is over. And any of you who laughed this morning, you should be ashamed, that you even once would seek to compare me with them.

How dare you.


Darien Mason said...

I can't agree with you more, Miss Orr. That word should not be thrown about so flippantly.

Emilly Orr said...

This will not disrupt my life from this point on. I said I'd go with majority decision, having offered, I think, occasionally eloquent pleas to stop and think. And it seems thinking is also going the way of decency, tolerance and understanding.

Which is fine, really. It's not like I spend much time on the ground in Caledon now. In fact, I think today was the first time in over six months I actually walked back home from Penzance to Morgaine.

Icterus Dagger said...

You've not been the sole voice, Miss Orr. Some of us have made suggestions and attempted a rational discourse, both in public and in private only to be mocked or ignored.

It is the mocking and what has to be deliberate oversimplification and misunderstanding of the entire issue that galls me.

We'll see how it falls out.


Emilly Orr said...

No, that is true, and even hurt, I should realize that: I have not been alone.

But we have all been mocked for wishing things were better. Not radically different, not completely changed, not a bluestocking nightmare of high collars and fainting couches...just...asked for personal accountability.

Apparently that was too much to ask for.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

She said WHAT?!?

And here I was hoping she'd started to understand. Apparently my hopes were set too high again.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Does all rationality leave ISC chat at some time later than 5 p.m. SLT? Maybe it's just as well I have limited time in-world.

I recall an amusing circulation that summarized the typical on-line argument. One was how quickly that particular word gets into the argument, and how the initial user of the word has lost the argument at precisely that point.

On a lighter note, may I infer that you are a fan of Kathleen Edwards, Miss Orr? It's been a mild mystery as to how she doesn't sell more.

Emilly Orr said...

Edward: Oh, yes. In a retort to something Mm. Charlene Trudeau said, in fact. Which rather makes it worse, that, while I know it was meant "in jest", that people I thought trustworthy were laughing along with her.

So much for the progress and the promise I saw earlier.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Jameson: you're speaking of Godwin's Law, coined by Mike Godwin in 1990, originally to cover Usenet debates.

While it's not precisely in the law, there is the unspoken corollary which roughly states, whomever brought up Hitler, or Nazis, has effectively both killed the discussion as well as lost the argument, because there's just no retort for that that gets past such a condemnation, accurate or not.

I did not first use "chat nazi"; I was tagged with it, found it offensive, and reacted. This being the third time (and if there have been three times, there have likely been many, many more) it's struck me, I was, I will freely admit, cut more deeply than I anticipated. I thought at the least that we'd finally left the stage of name-calling.

I was wrong.

As far as Kathleen Edwards goes, she is a new discovery, and I may well need more of her songs. Somewhat raw, very intense lyrics. I'm fascinated.

Soliel Snook said...

I am saddened by the fact that being obtuse has become a desired personality trait in Caledon. This whole thing reminds me of a cocktail party where everyone started out polite, witty and intelligent and by the end of the evening the conversation has turned base and only the drunks remain..
Emilly, once again, you have succinctly and thoughtfully spoke my mind. I have been silent on this subject.. not because I didn't have an opinion but because I find the attitude of the whole one of adolescent hand waving.'Me me Look at me'and the best I can do is.. NOT.


Emilly Orr said...

For me, this was the snapping of the last straw. To go from voicing the problem--which is still the problem--to it being dismissed from Des on down as the current amusement, in less time than it takes the week to march out...It's saddening. Also depressing. And I'm done.

I am not one of Caledon's Old Guard. I'm not peerage, I'm not fostered-in nobility, there is no noblesse oblige attached to my name. I'm a merchant at best and a tattooed libertine--or worse--at worst.

To be painted as a self-pitying, repressive's shocking, in addition to being wrong. And I simply don't have the resources to spend being stressed over this right now.

They win. I'll still make the attempt to comport myself properly, dress properly, speak politely--but I'll know it to be attempt, not simply daily life in Caledon.

Soliel Snook said...


Magdalena said...

Oh, Miss Orr.

Truthfully, words fail. This should not be such heartbreaking business. You do not deserve to be marginalized and insulted.

Do what you need to do to keep yourself happy and whole. And know there are those in Caledon who respect you.

Emilly Orr said...

Again, Miss Kamenev, it wasn't about respect for me, respect for any one individual; it was about increasing respect for each other, for Caledon as a whole.

Apparently this is an outmoded value set. I will adapt.

Gabrielle Riel said...

*grabs Em and gives her a huge hug*

Now you listen to me. You are not alone.

You have my respect and my love. And not just mine. I know others feel the way I do.

"They win"

No, they don't. They lose, because now Caledon is no longer a community that values respect.

One of the things I used to love about Caledon was how we could all agree to disagree. Caledonians have always had different opinions, but we never let those differences affect the kindness that everyone showed each other.

I am here for you Em.


Emilly Orr said...

I know, and I thank you for that. And I have had more than a few people contact me over the day-odd since I posted this.

I know there are good people, respectful people, in Caledon. I know in some quarters, there is still a need, and more, a desire for the forms of neo-Victorian interaction--whether it's peasant or peer, merchant or mad scientist.

But I also know that such interactions aren't desired universally. And that they are especially not desired in chat.

That's daunting to realize, it really is.

Anonymous said...

I came to Caledon because it was Victorian, polite, respectful ... all the things (except maybe Victorian) that RL should be and isn't.

You are all those things, Miss Orr. I have known you for a while through the balls at the teahouse, before being part of Caledon, and you have always been those things.

My place will always be dedicated to those ideals and if there comes a day when the niceties of Caledon's past are no longer observed there, in spite of my efforts to keep them there, I will destroy my place.

Yes, it IS important to a lot of people and I am one of them, as are those who frequent my establishments. That's what Caledon was about, isn't it? Caledon got big because it drew a lot of people. Everyone must have at least once been attracted by the qualities whose diminishment you and many others bemoan, or it wouldn't have gotten big.

Please don't give up. This is worth not giving up on. You have shown that you are a very courageous LADY and we need your example.

With respect and admiration,
Elspeth Woolley

Emilly Orr said...

As far as my "giving up" is concerned, I have decided some few things, after many hours spent in reflection.

* I refuse to change my behavior in Caledon. Unless specifically asked, those who hold titles will continue to hold them; and I see nothing whatsoever wrong in addressing those I do not know--or do know--by Miss or Mister (or M.). It costs no one a thing and it is polite.

* I refuse to wear miniskirts in Caledon. Unless absolutely caught out--needing to be summoned somewhere, for instance--I see no reason for it, and I will not do it. (Of course, my definition of "miniskirt" is not "knee-length skirt" or "Lolita outfit". Miniskirt is above mid-upper thigh for me.

* I have decided, unless a question is directly addressed to me, or I have need to answer a question, I'm no longer participating in chat. That's assuming I'm even keeping the window open; most days I will likely choose not to. I bemoan the circumstances that drive me to this decision, as I think it's going along with the trend of being non-involved...but it does ease stress.

These three principles may be joined by others, but for now, they will suffice.

Summer Gildea said...

Having taken a one month break from SL, I've missed the upheaval taking place in Caledon. There is much to be addressed, but to respond just to the "chat nazi" issue, it occurs to me that Jerry Seinfeld may be at fault here. His famous "Soup Nazi" character, so dubbed by a famous Jew, has led, at least in the US, to the colloquial and light use of the expression "(fill in the blank) Nazi" for anyone presiding tyrannically over a situation. I certainy empathize with the shudder felt by those touched by the Holocaust,and see it as akin to the word rape being tossed about casually in front of a sexual assualt survivor, but I do think the intent of the phrase-tossers may not be as sinister as it might seem. Now they know however, and the use should stop!

Emilly Orr said...

I do know I have readers, I am not oblivious to that fact, but also, I do not assume blindly that what I say here, will be reflected one whit in the memories and imaginations of avatars in world.

That having been said, I do agree with you. I don't particularly think that anyone involved that morning meant anything other than light comedy. And, any other day--any other week--I may well have simply rolled my eyes and gone on with my life. You can't please everyone; water under the bridge; eh, whatever; life would have gone on.

This did not happen any other week. This happened at the height of the whole affair; this happened after comments by Des led me to understand he understood the situation; this happened after receiving support from Miss Homewood, and many, many others, privately.

Had Mr. Vayandar so labeled me again in chat, I may not have been so crushed. Had people I do not know, do not trust, been involved, I doubt it would have affected me so. But it was not strangers, and it was not anyone who already had a reason to bear enmity to me.

It was the fact that it was Riven, and Des, and Charlene Trudeau laughing about what I did then, and still now, feel is a far more serious issue than most of Caledon seems to realize.

And it broke something. Beyond commenting to past entries, I'm done commenting further. I will heal, I will move on, I will lead my life, but I will be warier around those I had former reason to trust, now. There will always be a shadow behind my eyes--can I truly trust this person, that one? Can I expect good things from them and not harm?

In a world where expecting we treat each other with care, with tolerance, and yes, with manners, correct deportment, and proper language, is somehow quaint and old-fashioned, and no longer desired...I'm not at all sure I have a place, nor truly want one.

It's far from the most comfortable thought.

Icterus Dagger said...

Ms. Gildea,

I had taken a one YEAR break from Caledon and Second Life, and I found the degradation of manners and language and above all, RESPECT in AND out of chat apalling.

But after extensive attempts at a civil discussion and pleas for help in what, if anything, we might do, I have to agree with Miss Orr.

I'll just do what I do, with the time left in world. The people of Caledon indeed have decided how they wish to be... and so be it.