To step aside briefly from matters online, I want to know when it became de rigueur to extrapolate fashion choices into "slut" behavior. I'm serious, I'm not talking about the "she asked for it" stories that circulate after certain rapes (though that's not okay either). I mean, high school girl shows up in a slightly-above-knee-length skirt, she's now labeled "slut". Meghan McCain posts a Twitter pic of herself in a tank top (cleavage, yes, but otherwise? Completely covered up) and she's suddenly a "slut". If it were just from the so-called "older generation", I could maybe go out far enough on the limb to understand this, but at least one girl has died over this.
It goes beyond "she dresses trashy" and "man, that's a slutty look" into social shaming. When did social shaming come back into vogue? While I don't agree with the St. Petersburg Times' definition of "sexting" (for one, though it can involve photographs or audio files, it started out, and in the main remains, based around text-based sexual messages), I do know their numbers are way low. Beyond that, I know that the next big thing to sending pics of your breasts (or elsewhere), if you're a young girl (or certain extensions if you're a boy) is sending pics of yourself tied to things, or gagged, or in a collar. Master-and-slave games? Hugely popular among high schoolers right now. But the double standard is, if you don't send out sexy pics and/or sexy text, you're a loser; and if you do, you're a slut and hounded to death. Sometimes literally.
(And no, not kidding--single most popular game is to own someone, or be owned, because that means, somehow--obscurely--you're okay, you're popular, you're "in".)
What kind of culture are we creating, here? We might as well start sending out big cloth A's for dresses and put up punishment stocks in the city parks again.
PC Pro's Barry Collins asks, whatever happened to Second Life? The article seems curiously tilted; for all that he's calling it a wasteland and abandoned by all the cool kids, he's also noting that Second Life keeps making money--and lots of it. You can't make money off an abandoned property; people are still interested in SL, and all the bleating otherwise won't change things.
But I will say I agree with his assumptions in general: the Labs pissed a lot of people off, so now, yes, the mainland's pretty empty. It's rare I port to most stores and see more than one avatar standing around. It's equally rare that if I go to Zindra, I don't find it packed--at least by my definition of "packed" (which is still sixteen to thirty avatars visible).
I did admire how he ended the piece, though:
"It’s like the nouvelle cuisine of the 1980s: pretty, fascinating but ultimately unfulfilling. “What’s the point of Second Life?” I asked one of the “greeters” on the Second Life Help Island, desperate to find something that could make this vast, billion-dollar empire seem worthwhile.
“I’ve had a real life for 28 years and I haven’t worked out what the point of that is yet,” came his unexpectedly philosophical reply. “Second Life’s only been going six years. Give it a chance.”Sorry, I’m afraid I’ve got a proper life to be getting on with."
Though I admit the original reason I was fascinated with that statement stands (I read it as "griefer", and wau, when griefers speak up for SL, the world really has changed), even reading it in context is fascinating. SL's been around slightly longer than six years, but they've only celebrated six years of being officially open to the public, not closed off in alpha or beta forms. Perhaps all the turmoil of the last three years has just been growing pains? The evolving multiverse figuring itself out?
Maybe, maybe not; but it's still intriguing.
Meanwhile, the A-rez Info blog talks about copybotting as "intentional human error", to wit: if the base avatars were more attractive, and outfits made with the base layer system more interesting, people wouldn't infringe content on SL. I don't think that's entirely accurate, but it's a point to consider. I'd want to take it farther, though:
* What if the base avatar had more attachment points?
* What if the base avatar had a better, more flexible mesh?
* What if the base avatar had tattoo layers separate from clothing layers--so that, in essence, one could have a back tattoo and an undershirt, an arm tattoo and gloves, a leg tattoo and pants...
Still, though, would these things stop people from copybotting? Not hardly.
"The last year was characterized by a certain lack of leadership, reflected in what seemed to be happening around the middle of 2009 with lower level Lindens responding to the lack of direction by “going feral,” while the ones in the middle apparently started eating their young."
A more apt phrase to describe 2009 on the grid has not been written. Period. (Go read the rest of the essay, too--Miss Dio's on the ball again, and she also takes on the Barry Collins op-ed piece.)
There's a new Literal Video out--the creator takes on Beck's Loser. It makes about as much sense as the original, really. Though I'm not sure that's a good thing.
Did I already mention the third part of the Portal series? If not, there it is; you should read that to tie everything up (if you've been reading the first two).
Dear PX, I feel you are the one
What's your name? Where are you from?
I'm in love, though we never met
Looking for clues, I search the net...
It's not just geek rock that takes on online love--symphonic metal does it too.
And finally, there are advantages to adoring a Disney fetishist--he sends me things like this (all the while griping that my blog name is too long. Gosh, I'll try and work on that.)