Tuesday, June 23, 2009

all your friends got behind my back and broke it

I look up to the little bird
That glides across the sky
He sings the clearest melody


Crackle of frost, chill of the winter wind, save it's part of me, unfurling shiver down the spine. I am restless, discontent, I wander, place to place to place, never satisfied.

It makes me want to cry
It makes me want to sit right down
and cry cry cry, yeah


Smoke over the mountains in Turkey; flowers in clay pots beside the tiled dance floor in Catalan. Sands sweeping between the ancient columns in Egypt. Wandering, drifting, directionless as snowflakes on the morning wind.

I walk along the city streets
So dark with rage and fear
And I...


I go to the forest, trees reaching for the sun, thick flowers underfoot, and I am yet dissatisfied. My mind is more full of thoughts, recriminations, distrust, than there are flowers growing here. I relax against the thick moss and I am not comforted.

I wish that I could be that bird
And fly away from here
I wish I had the wings to fly away from here, yeah


I walk to the edge of the sea, spray splashing me, salt stinging me, seafoam swirling in nearly recognizable patterns, and all this beauty is wasted on me, when the inside of my head cannot appreciate it. Cannot see past it. Cannot get past what happened.

But Mama I feel so low
Mama where do I go?
Mama what do I know?
Mama we reap what we sow


I sit at Mystique's hot springs, reflecting on the amusement of all the poseballs being butterflies, but it doesn't last. The water warms my feet but not my heart, never penetrates through the chill skin.

This is my fault.

They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test


I walk the mists at Stonehenge, thinking. The sky so bright and clear, it's like a silver mirror overhead. All the overhanging murk fades into the mist and I'm clear, I'm clear, crystalline as the snow in my wings. I have something, I hold something, and it's a truth, if not the truth.

This is your fault, too.

For I am just a troubled soul
Who's weighted...
Weighted to the ground


Listen. This is important. "Drama" is what we create. "Roleplay" is how we act. They are not separate. Drama can come and wrap itself tightly around the play, and it is not separate, it is not dismissed. It shouldn't be.

But even more than that, there are times and there are places for all things. Dancing has more to do with the societies we create, not the roles we live within. It used to be said in some places that the dance circle was as sacred as the place of worship, and all animosities, all recriminations, all feuds should be set aside for the dance.

When did we stop believing in this?

Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay my burden down


Sometimes our personal paths are strained and anxious, sometimes the paths we walk in world are dim and indistinct. We are, all of us, at least most of the time, doing the best we can, and some days are always better than others. Everyone falls, everyone fails. All of us. This is known, this is always part of how things work, when they work, when we make them work.

Give me the strength to lay this burden down
down down yea
Give me the strength to lay it down
Lay it down, lay it down


But perhaps I'm forgetting when Lord Bardhaven dragged the owner of a neighboring sim into the center of Victoria City and cut out her heart. I mean, for such vitriol, such acid loathing, as I heard at the Edison ball...it would have to be something huge, wouldn't it? Something EVERYONE would remember. Certainly something his friends would know...right?

Am I wrong? Was there something that happened that would justify the spite? Beheading Duchess Eva, mayhap. Or walking into Mr. Drinkwater's personal library, and setting it ablaze. Something large, now, something of scope, something that would result in nine hundred and two pages of shock across the Caledon forums.

Hmm. Can't seem to find anything that fits. So what was the reason everyone decided Bardhaven would look better festooned with arrows? On fire?

But Mama I feel so low
Mama where do I go?
Mama what do I know?
Mama we reap what we sow


Am I missing something? Because I stood there with the rest of you. I listened, I made token protests, and it's killing some part of my heart that I didn't yell back that you were all wrong. Even the people I work with, even the people I roleplay with, if it comes down to that.

Even the people who hold more of my life in their hands than they know, at least online. I am sick at heart that I was even a token protester to it.

They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test


And it will not happen again.

If I have to disrupt what I think of as the serenity of the gig...if I have to stand up and leave, what I consider the ultimate unprofessional act...if I have to leave the home I've made in Caledon if it comes to that...

I will not stand by again, no matter who is under discussion, and let a friend of mine be treated to such disdain and loathing. I. Will. Not. Dances may no longer be sacred, but by my gods they will be neutral, and if the lot of you can't agree to that, I have no business being around any of you.

Other news.

The comments on Viewer 2009 are priceless, and deserve to be read again. Especially Penny Patton's. But changes are coming, and it's far more extreme than just a shuffling of buttons.

With the Lindens pledging to listen to user feedback all the way. Of course.

As they did so well with Zindra.

(Lyrics, of course, from Annie Lennox' Little Bird. Many shots were taken at Vegetal Planet. I highly recommend going, it's all sorts of amazing there.)


Eva Bellambi said...

I am moved by your words. May we all be able to stand up for friends when we know it is right and just to do so.

I was out of world all this weekend due to the ill health of my typist - and it seems I am glad that I was.

I am with you, Emilly. I will strive always to be defender of my chosen Clan, my friends, my family.

Whose head is most assuredly still on her shoulders.

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

I have no idea what has happened, but I hope you are ok x

Gabrielle Riel said...

Dear Emilly,

And to me you are Dear Emilly. You've stood by my side and supported me personally and professionally, and that means *everything* to me in such a transient place as SL. It's rare and basically unheard of.

I am so sorry that you are so distressed about conversations at my dance in Edison, which was the last event/stop on the weekend's Grand Tour. And I'm going to call a spade a spade here, I'm 99% sure you are referring to a conversation in which Bardhaven was mentioned.

Now keeping in mind that I was *completely* distracted with malfunctioning RFL vendors for my gown sale, the fact that I could not rez anything, from dance machine to RFL kiosk, and the fact that I kept crashing every 5 minutes, I have to say I did not hear any "spite or vitriol" coming from anyone! It's quite possible I missed something though in a crash. I was so "in and out" of chat.

I do remember pieces of the conversation to which you refer, and from my perspective (hear that everyone MY PERSPECTIVE, not the gospel truth) I heard anger and frustration AND I heard you speaking up and providing a wider perspective. And I don't think you were alone...although I really can't remember due to my stress in fighting with the RFL vendors. :-(

I want to be clear about something too, lest people immediately jump to the conclusion that the Edison dance was nothing but a big, 90 min bitch fest. I think the conversation in which you defended Bardhaven lasted for about 20 lines in Main chat? If conversations continued in private IMs, well, I have no knowledge of that.

I felt you spoke up well and provided excellent reasons in defense of him. And again, I did not see the conversation as a "big deal" and most definitely not "spiteful". As I said above - I heard anger. I heard frustration. Venting.

Another component here, I think, was the fact that several of the people at the event were beyond a point of exhaustion and stress. I can say that I was one of them...with Edison Hypatia being down all weekend, and scrambling to get the event going. When people asked me afterward how the event went, I responded with the same words: brutal and bloody. That's how it was from an event management perspective.

There could have been more behind the conversation than anyone knows. Many of the people that were there are "oldbies". Who can say what history added to the detractors and the defenders? What previous conflicts hovered invisibly in the room? What previous pain infused angry words?

One thing I know. I am so sad to see you so upset by it all. And I believe you totally when you describe how the situation appeared to you and how it made you feel. And that just makes me so so sad. :-(

My point in this comment is NOT to incite anger, nor to "disagree" with you and your feelings. It's to provide some more perspective and to express how I saw it. And I was definitely not "all there", so readers, please just take this as my peek through the window, whilst running around juggling RFL vendors.

And I do love you Em.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

I managed to read some of the transcript of this event. My word! It's appalling! From my perspective, I don't think you are overplaying the issue one whit, Emily. Intolerance and, yes, spite, were definitely on display from what I'm reading. Calling a human a racist.. or "living in a cesspool", or even "an arrogant son of a bitch" ... that's hardly something that one can excuse off as a quirk of a stress filled evening. Shame on them. SHAME on them. And shame on people for fostering the idea that this is acceptable behavior.

Thank you for posting this one, Miss Orr. As you have said, we are not always in agreement, but we are violently in agreement on this one.

Soliel Snook said...

Dear Emilly,
I was there, I just reread my transcript. I don't see it.. sorry.
(Hotspur I have the whole context and no one was called a cesspool)


Emilly Orr said...

Duchess Eva: Yes, I am pointing to one incident, but I believe it also points to more--mayhap I'm wrong to put so much emphasis on certain things, but I am learning that if I cannot be better here, more effective here, in what is essentially considered a 'game'...how am I going to be better, more effective, in RL? SL shows flaws and virtues under very intense light; we are more than we are, here, than elsewhere. If for no other reason, we are given the opportunity to see ourselves without blinders; and I, at least, am trying to use that to my advantage.

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Antfarm: I will be. But I'm not only pointing at other people, I'm pointing at myself--I was as much to blame as anyone, and that's not good, either.

Emilly Orr said...

Duchess Gabi: I am more than willing to concede that these were comments made by people who were overtired, overstressed, and very, very frustrated with a malfunctioning grid. The reason that the last stop was the only one I made--booked or not--was because I couldn't get in to any of the other events! I couldn't even log into world.

(And, considering I identify him by name, I think you can move that up to 100% sure it was Lord Bardhaven under discussion.)

I'm fine with people disagreeing with me; I'm fine with people hating me if it comes down to that (Miss Burton wasn't the first, nor will she be the last; I seem to inspire strong feelings, if nothing else, in people). I'm not fine with the concept that pleasant socializing was more important to me than stepping in, and if nothing else, telling people that this was not the time for such conversation.

That damages my function as a host; and personally, it damages my standing as a friend. And I would like to think it's not any one person I'd do this for, but everyone I consider my friends, in any world.

Or what's the point of it all?

Emilly Orr said...

Hotspur: My point exactly, and--while Duchess Gabi is right, it wasn't a large part of the conversation--it lingered. All the more so because when I flailed, trying desperately to turn the conversation towards anything else, and picked up mention of what happened at the New Babbage dance--without knowing anything about what actually did happen--Miss Burton screamed at me and stormed off. At that point, I felt I'd lost on two fronts, and had no idea what to do to salvage things.

Brutal and bloody, as Duchess Gabi puts it? I don't think that's wrong. Sometimes brief fierce conflicts linger longer than the ones that stretch out for years. And while I am wholly behind the concept that it was fraught with challenges, start to finish, just on a technical level...the emotional plays into it.

I simply must be better. Somehow.

Emilly Orr said...

And Lady Soliel, especially on this issue, I cringe correcting, but yes...he was...by Frau Lowey:

[15:50] Emilly Orr: I wouldn't have been friends with him for two years if I couldn't cope with him, but I don't always agree. :)
[15:50] Annechen Lowey: The caring human at the bottom of the cesspool is still under the cesspool.

Was Lord Bardhaven directly termed a cesspool of a human being? No. Could such be inferred from the line in question, though? Absolutely. And it was said.

(If it helps anyone in this, I have the conversation's transcript as well. And my words, through the vagaries of chat lag, and my not explaining myself well, as usual, come off as just as damning and non-supportive.)

I am doing my best not to single any one name out and place blame directly upon them. This is an example. This is what can happen when we don't think. I am no less tarred with this, I was there too. Mistakes were made by others, mistakes were made by me, too.

I'm not claiming innocence in this, by any means. If anything, what hurt me more than anything else was what I said, and did. I am no less a victim of the tendency to snap judgement.

Miss Poppy said...

What concerns me more of this incident is that I heard several of the same comments made in open group chat out of Steelhead several nights earlier. I did not save that conversation but instead closed the chat window because it was sickening.

I was at the Edison dance but had to leave early so was not there during this particular part of the conversation. I wish I had been there to offer my support in stopping these damning statements. Those who uttered these words should be ashamed of themselves and should apologize to Bardhaven publicly, imho.

Some of these people are highly thought of in our communities. It makes me wonder why at this point.

Gabrielle Riel said...

If any of you have a problem with what I said or how I said it in my Sim? Come speak to me directly about it please? Indirect, passive aggressive, sanctimonious statement of "shock and dismay" are downright silly and positively hypocritical.

Seriously! Grow up people! Why might "highly thought of people in our communities" make statements in anger and frustration?? Things do NOT happen in a vacuum!

Emilly Orr said...


Things do NOT happen in a vacuum!

That I'm sure of. I hadn't figured out how to reply to Lady Poppy yet, but if it helps at all, I posted what I posted because I was disturbed at my OWN behavior--as much as by anything else that was said.

If it had just been you--if it had just been any one individual person--I might have taken it to IM, but while brief, it got acidly intense, and there was more than just one lone voice. I didn't post this to single anyone out specifically; but to remind me, and perhaps others, that a dance should be the last place for controversy.

Though it frequently isn't, more's the pity.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

Indirect, passive aggressive, sanctimonious statement of "shock and dismay" are downright silly and positively hypocritical.

If you mean my statement above, Miss, I am entirely sincere, if perhaps a tad too hyperbolic, for which I apologize. I do think the term RACIST causes enough pain in the real world-- REAL people die every day for that kind of hatred. To see someone apply "Racist" to a straightforward statement of preference in a *computer game* is profoundly depressing. That is not easily laughed off or excused. REAL people go to REAL courtrooms to defend themselves against charges of racism. To ratchet back the melodrama a bit, I won't wring my hands and shout "fie! for shame!" but really, how can *you* defend or excuse this?

As for going to IM, the participants certainly made their statements publicly, should they not defend themselves in the same forum of the public eye?

Miss Snook: Yep, I'm reading the same transcript you are. Miss Orr is right, it was "under a cesspool" not "a human cesspool". Glad we cleared that up. :-D


Desmond Shang said...

"...into the center of Victoria City and cut out her heart."

Eh, WHAT!?

I am not aware of any such event, and am having big trouble believing that anything even remotely like this happened.

What the *hell* is going on?

desmondshang at gmail.com.

Miss Poppy said...

I did not condemn one person who was against the use of the name calling at the dance.. I'm not sure how several of you took my comments but obviously not in the way I intended.

It is crazy what is happening (or rather what has happened) and the turmoil that these conversations have caused.

People in leadership roles should not be conversing these hateful statements in public chat I don't care what the reason was... just as you said, Gabi, they should take it to the person(s) individually. I have no idea where the Steelhead conversation took place. I only know what I read for a minute or 2 in chat and how damning it was and then to hear of it again a few nights later? by the same people yet?

I haven't singled any one person out in my comments nor do I care to... I do not live in a vacuum in Caledon but name calling and slanderous remarks do not go over well with me especially when it is carried over who knows how many nights and to how many people.


Desmond, it might be good for you to find a copy of the IMs in question. It will enlighten you.

Emilly Orr said...


My point precisely--nothing like that ever happened. But one would think from the comments that Lord Bardhaven was the chief instigator of all that is ill in Caledon, the prime eater of babies, the destroyer of all that is worthy and good.

But forget all that, this is not about him, this is about the treatment of anyone like this in public. By me, by others. It does not foster community, it serves only to hurt, and it should remind us all that what is said in private is said for a reason--public airing of private grievances steps up to evisceration from simple objection.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

public airing of private grievances steps up to evisceration from simple objection.

Not to mention the liberal distribution of conversation transcripts to enable other "shocked and dismayed" hypocrites to continue the outrage.

Emilly, I think many people were overly tired by that point in the night and lapses in judgement were made in some choices of words. Some took to sulking, some to venting and you have taken umbrage.

I haven't reread any transcripts as I was there. The use of the word "racist" was shot down pretty much from the get go.

Bardhaven isn't exactly some fluffy bunny innocent and has and will continue to disjoint noses, ruffle feathers and piss people off. That some people have strong feelings about him, you have yourself demonstrated superbly but presenting it as some sort of all out hate attack by everyone there is hyperbole and worthy of a gossip magazine.

Over-reaction seemed to go hand in hand with that whole weekend and this was just the final part of the night. Over-reacting to the over-reaction is just another layer.

Genie Burton said...

What caused me to shout and leave was anger to enter and discover the incident from the previous night was being discussed and then having that word thrown out -again-.

Admittedly, that did cause me to react in a bad way.

On another note, I *detest* that the perfectly good word 'drama' has been perverted into a meaning far different than the one that I loved in school when I was *studying* drama.

Genie Burton said...

I also think people started using the word 'drama' because they couldn't spell 'histrionics'.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Burton: would "throwing a fit" have been better?