Sunday, February 28, 2010

you must never shoot trout in September, you must never feed babies on gin

More information on the banning at the Caledon Fourth Anniversary party.

"By acting as the hostess for Caledon's anniversary party, she is acting with the Guvnah's voice. And I know a public banning of ANYONE to this event is not what he would have wanted done in his name."

I tend to agree. The main problem here is that it's already over with, the damage is done. Apologies may come (I tend to think not), but from everything I've heard, this wasn't an isolated incident, it was all dances hosted at this location, and more than one person banned from them, by this host.

I didn't go to the main 4th Anniversary ball, not because I didn't want to, but because I'm still having difficulty breathing, and I tire easily. But I don't think it's overly paranoid to wonder--had I gone, would I also have been banned?

This sets uncomfortable and galling precedent. Because Mr. O'Toole is right, on this thing--whomever hosts the dances for an official state event, hosts as Desmond Shang in absentia. While each person differs, and there is no word-for-word accountability standard, those who host official events are, in this sense, acting with full accord of Des for their actions.

Logically? We can likely dismiss this as an aberration and move on. What does it truly change? But ethically, this is far thornier. Ethically, by this definition, Des wanted those people banned, which I don't believe for a minute. But by this definition, Des also supported the banning--and again, the banning of more than one individual at more than one event--by the fact of the ball's host banning these people.

This sets an excruciatingly poor example. And it's deeply saddening to hear.

In other depressing news, according to Ann O'Toole, creators will no longer be able to save full permission textures to their own hard drives, for use in creating clothing to import back into Second Life, without such practices being a violation of the Linden Labs' Terms of Service.

This is staggering. This changes the entire game. And this may well be the start of the nails in the coffin for content creation on Second Life--or, as Miss O'Toole puts it, "Mark Kingdon's new facebook life".

'Facebook Life' may be becoming more appropriate; without creating our own textures, and modifying them off SL, THEN importing them into world, taking pictures of them against backgrounds we have created using prims that we have textured, then taking those images off...oh, wait, will we even be allowed, come Aprille 1st, to save any textures/photographs/images to our hard drives?

Potentially, using even the literal interpretations, this kills:

* clothing designers
* home designers who take textures off SL to add windows or aging
* furniture makers who take textures off SL to bake on shadows
* photographers
* filmmakers

Is this the SL we want? A world where thee is no user content? A world where there is nothing that we can do that won't be a violation of LL's ToS? What's next, webpages set up for people to pass textures to each other under the table to modify? I can see it now: Nighty Goodspeed sets up a web page. I buy the Isfahan Pavilion set but I want the door a different shape. I can do that in Gimp, but I can't export the texture.

I leave a coded message for Nighty on the web page's forum. She pulls up--out of world--the Isfahan Pavilion texture pack. She sends it to me encrypted with the key. I match my key to hers, decrypt the texture, make the edits I want, then send it to her email.

Nighty opens her email, and imports the altered Isfahan texture, and sells it back to me for whatever price we agreed upon, so I then have legitimate in-world rights to use the texture she made and I altered and gods, it's sounding like it's easier all the way 'round to play City of Heroes.

In the meantime, I've been following a lot of random links to random boards today from Schnaeppchen's blog. One entry she has is on the new Lucky Chair offerings at Violent Seduction (a group I'm also in). This is the Broken Hearted skin:

Shopping,skins,Second Life,fashion

And this is the Buckled Up black gartered outfit:

Shopping,skins,Second Life,fashion

Last night I finally won the outfit, but I'm still trying for the skin. It's very frustrating.

But I don't have the patience or the strength to build, and I'm not looking forward to playing a Second Life where we are only gamers, not creators, not builders, not dreamers of the dream. It would, in my opinion, profoundly lack what I originally started playing SL to gain: the ability to create, to see what's in my head, in three dimensions on the grid: to learn from other creators, to see what they create, and to take what I've learned back to my drawing board and learn to make better, build better, draw better.

My world. My imagination.

But M Linden doesn't see it that way. Facebook Life, here we come.


Edward Pearse said...

Meh. The day the Tool left Caledon was a wonderful day indeed. And this storm in a tea-cup that's arisen seems to be on the misapprehension that he was banned solely for the Caledon celebrations. He was banned from Edison for the entirety of its existence, is banned from new Toulouse and that he's banned from other property controlled by Gabi is not surprising, considering his past behaviour.

But in keeping with his hypocritical moral high-ground he's claiming the role of the victim again. Oh poor little black kettle. Ask Puck or Sin Trenton about our club some time.

That someone as obnoxious as the Tool should be declined an invitation to a party on private property is hardly surprising. Trying to equate it with some sort of defacto will of Desmond Shang is astonishing.

Since when did people holding anniversaries in Caledon become the will of Des? We've had Caledon anniversaries before where people were banned from the parcel of the person hosting the event, so it's not even a precedent. Why is this particular case so different? On what pretext should the Tool's abusive behaviour be given special dispensation?

I know I'm biased in this case but you're drawing an amazingly long bow here Emilly. I would have thought you above stirring up drama just for the sake of it.

Rhianon Jameson said...

I'm always so pleased when I recognize the title, Miss Orr! It's so rare.

I don't want to wade into the specifics of the incident (which I have no first-hand knowledge of in any event). Mr. O'Toole has been unfailingly kind and polite on the few occasions we have met, as has Miss Riel on the somewhat more frequent occasion of our meeting. Obviously, other people's experiences differ.

But, specific individuals aside, it seems to me there are two issues involved: first, under what circumstances can (or should) an individual be banned; and second, what constitutes an "official" Caledon event?

The Covenent does not prohibit banning individuals (thank goodness, given some persistent griefers!), but my recollection is that there are some words recommending sparing use of the feature. Is it sufficient for the property "owner" to dislike someone? I don't know the answer, but it seems a fine line. (Particularly if the animus has continued over time. When Sister was banned by a Mr. Catan Shamrock for the crime of standing on someone else's property longer than Mr. Shamrock liked, I thought that was reprehensible.)

With respect to "official" events, I get the impression that Des doesn't specifically bless much. I suspect I could have hosted a "Caledon Fourth Anniversary formal ball" without a thumbs up or down from Des. I know he's been proactive in protecting the Caledon name in various forums (e.g., Avatars United, where he specifically requested that no one create an official-sounding Caledon group), but within Caledon itself? Maybe he's more proactive than I know, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that hosting an event is an implicit endorsement. What I will say is that an individual could reasonably conclude that an event hosted by someone close to Des is much more likely to be perceived as an offical event than one hosted by, say, uh, me. But that's perception and not necessarily reality.

Just my two pence.

Eva Bellambi said...

Though Hotspur is the seeming lightning rod for this (a place he seems to hold with certain folks), he was not, in fact, the only person on the ban list. And it is ridiculous to think that personal issues from years ago could not/should not have been gracefully dealt with for this occasion. From what I can tell, neither gentleman in question feels particularly victimized by being banned or muted – this time or any other despite past public wounding. They are however, upset that they could not have celebrated Caledon with their friends and friendly acquaintances if they chose to do so. It simply was not an option.
Regardless of how we do or do not feel about one another in world, there is a larger issue here, which is, I believe what I have seen and heard most often in this latest Caledrama and debate: the conduct of events which bear the seal (real or implied) of the Independent State of Caledon.
Whether anyone cares that Gabi, Edward, Auntie Bessie, or the Loch Ness monster are still angry with Hotspur, BardHaven, Emilly, Mother Superior, or even me over past offenses (and vice versa) really is much less important – and only so much gossip mongering. People in a community will not all like each other – we never will. Banning and muting are effective tools that all of us have in our SL trunks in order to create the most enjoyable experience possible for ourselves. SL is after all a choice that we have for entertainment and socialization, and artistry – among other things – so we should make it a good personal experience. Not seeing or hearing someone with whom we cannot get along (as in real life) is sometimes the very best option.
Caledon as a community has grown exponentially over the course of her 4 years. She was and is a brilliant creation. Most who know me at all understand that I have had my ups and downs with Caledon and some of her residents, but in the end, I still support the dream that is at the core of her existence and am enjoying watching the new residents come into their own.
We are a community of diverse creatures, both onscreen and behind it. And we are MANY. And now we are back to the heart of the matter. The argument at the center of this is the right of all citizens of the Independent State to join in the celebrations of the State. Here is where personal banning becomes corporate/organizational banning. For Miss Jameson is correct that perceptions exist. And perception, my friends, is reality. Even if these balls were actually private events, the perception was that of being sanctioned by Desmond and by the State.
I believe that we need to give serious consideration to having Official Celebrations which are planned by a selected committee. Perhaps these events would be held on Commonwealth property so that personal bans may remain in place without corporate ramifications. In the end, Caledon takes center stage and the drama fades to black.

Emilly Orr said...

In some sense, I agree with all of you, but I'd like to address some specific points.


There are tons of events held in Caledon that are held without Des' specific blessing, or, on occasion, even knowledge. But my perception--and again, all this may come down to perception--was that "official"--and by that, I mean specifically, Caledon Anniversary celebration affairs--were authorized by Des, even if the actual planning was done by other people.

If this is not the case, then I withdraw the inference. Also, I was not aware that others had been banned from official celebrations in past years.

Miss Jameson,

I think that's the point exactly: what constitutes an "official" Caledon event? I think the line is drawn, and clearly, around the events that take place to honor and celebrate the Caledon anniversaries. But I could be wrong here.

Lady Eva,

You're absolutely right, and if I cavilled on that point, that's my fault for not being clearer; but that was what I was trying to address--the perception of official events, the definition of official events, and what happens when the owner of the land such official celebrations are held on and within maintains a ban list that the Independent States do not have?

Even if these balls were actually private events, the perception was that of being sanctioned by Desmond and by the State.

Which is precisely it--I fervently uphold the rights of any private citizen to keep themselves safe. Just to play the personal card, so it's not all about other people: if a sim owner feels that I, by my presence, threaten their safety and security, then (banned or not) I stay away from that sim.

But what if that sim becomes the site of an official--and again, yes, by perception, if not actuality--celebration? I might want to attend, but attending would put me in conflict with the owner. Now, I like to think that that particular individual and I could work things out and be civil for the space of two hours; but what if I decided I simply must attend, and then found I was banned from the parcel? Of course I would think of the sim owner first; but (based on my Caledon anniversary experience, which is not vast, admittedly) I would also think that this was sanctioned by Caledon at large, if not Des in specific.

There were planning committees in the past, I know that; but a large part of the planning of such events evaporated over the course of this last year (or, well, this year and the year prior). It may very well be a good idea to revive, but Caledon society has changed greatly over the same period.

Edward Pearse said...


*shrugs* Official or not, why is this case worthy of such a dispensation? The Tool has been running a smear campaign against Gabi and Radio Riel for over a year and has been banned (and probably muted) from all her holdings and a few others. Since he had no intention of attending anyway this just reads as gossip and drama for the sake of it - The wailing over the hypothetical question of whether he could have attended even if he wanted to.

It's more probable that the parcel ban was not even remembered until someone mentioned it. If it was an "official" ban he would have been banned from the sim or the Estate. If "perceptions" are that this was a decree from Des then it's really time for some glasses that are less rose coloured.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

*Shrug* Hello, the dreaded "Tool" here. Headie's as unpleasant a human as he's ever been, validating my assumptions that there can be no dialogue with the fellow. I've enjoyed three years of not communicating with him and I'm not going to soil an otherwise perfect record by doing so now.

To the point at hand, I've said to many people, in public, on Plurk and blog, I don't give one whit about Riel's New Toulouse, Edison and the Caledon Rothesay plots. Even Headie and the rest of the sycophants must agree that I'm not going out of my way to insert myself into things Riel. I make a point of NOT doing that. I don't mind being banned, I don't mind being muted. I think my life is just fine without Radio Riel and the Crazy Cat Lady in it. As I've said before, and will repeat now, It's not about me whining to get into an event I likely would not have attended anyway.

Since Headie can't seem to consider any point of view from "the Tool" without ascribing his own shoddy motives to it, let's take me out of the equation for a second, and lapse into the theoretical. Say it was ANY other Caledonian with or without longstanding history and involvement on the ban list. Is it just, and fair, for that person be banned from that event, solely because of the CCL's grudges? I don't think so.

And what's more, it appears that many, many, many other people agree with that conclusion, no matter what Headie and the gang say.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly. Those that think this issue got wound up by ME are sadly mistaken. This was being discussed broadly for at least a day before I was even aware of it. I only gave voice to the irritation that MANY people felt about someone taking liberties in Desmond's name. Perhaps that's impossible for Headie and co. to grasp, but it is the *truth*, and will remain the truth, no matter how nasty they get.

Emilly Orr said...


It's not just O'Toole in this. There are others. That's not the real issue, though.

Think of it this way: You are a sim owner (or even a parcel owner). You have a dance hall on your parcel. You keep a ban list on the land tied to that dance hall to keep me, someone you (hypothetically, for the example) disagree with.

This is fine. This is exactly how parcel and sim ban lists are supposed to be used.

But it ups to another level, ethically, when you as that same parcel/sim owner hold a dance for official Caledon purposes and I'm still on the ban list. If I'm not banned from Caledon as a whole; and it's a dance to celebrate Caledon still being around; and I'm still a Caledonian...then why am I banned?

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. O'Toole,

I find myself in the curious position of being squarely in the middle of an issue where, in all likelihood, I should be taking sides. Because I still like Radio Riel. I still laud what they're trying to accomplish. I still think their DJs are witty, intelligent, vibrant people who know enough about music to really play to the crowd. And while my opinion is, and remains, that management took a few wrong steps along the way (and be fair, people, how could I not hold that position?), I support the station as a whole.

This is not about Radio Riel directly, though. This is not about Duchess Gabi, even, save indirectly, as the host of this event.

This is about the ethics of banning someone who is not banned from Caledon at large, from an event celebrating Caledon and the people who made her.

I think you're right, in that if it were any Caledonian, who was invited to a Caledon celebratory ball, it would be the same problem. You; me; Baron Wulfenbach; Miss Bamika; anyone. It's the same issue.

All I'm trying to do is keep that issue clear.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

Relax, Miss Orr. This isn't the Caledon Manners debate reborn, I don't think anyone is asking to pick a side here (well, I'm not anyway). I think you and I are in violent agreement. I'm not going to pick on the source of the quarrel with Radio Riel or (as Headie calls it) "play victim again". It's not about how Radio Riel has treated me, or how they perceive my simple decision to boycott them in response to earlier events. That situation hasn't changed and isn't likely to while we all breathe air. It is what it is.. unpleasant, but both sides in that dispute can deal with it in their own fashion. As YOU have said, and I have said, and many others have said, it was about perception. You quoted the crux of the issue (in my view) from the very beginning. Ban in Governor's name, and you create the perception that the Governor has made policy. As we both agree, take ME out of the equation and substitute ANYone else, and it's still the same issue, no matter what is said. It's a shame that it was me, actually-- there's too much emotional baggage on either side for either side to make make a convincing rejoinder at this stage. I, for one, have talked it out until I'm blue in the face-- any more expostulation will have us refighting the battles of three years ago, and that is true tedium.

For what it's worth, I do think you've taken a very objective tone, and I recognize it must be difficult with so much emotional investment in your former employer. I appreciate that, as always.



Icterus Dagger said...

Regardless if Hotspur is Tool or not, what strikes me in this case is that, by Gabi's own admission, she brought the issue of her hatred of Hotspur storming to the fore, unprovoked. Being drunk is no excuse.

As Ms. Jameson says, both parties in this drama have been unfailingly polite to me, even when one of them had no reason to be, so I have no first hand experience with either a "Tool" or a "Crazy Cat Lady."

Mr. Pearse, you cite a smear campaign. I've not heard one word from Hotspur on anything regarding Radio Riel until this week when this whole drama exploded. I've even been at events where Hotspur has been in attendance and he's never so much as spoken a word about his boycott.

I don't know what he did (or was perceived to have done) to get everyone so damn riled up. Was it that unforgivable?

Secondary to this is the implication in Hotspur's blog that the list was public somehow, hence his dance partner whom mentioned it to him knew about it in the first place. How did that work exactly? Were people shouting out who was banned? I've been to parcels where people are likely banned, but there's no written or spoken proclimation. I'd like some clarification on that issue.

As to whether or not there are any "official" Caledon state events, I know I've certainly taken such events as the anniversay balls and so forth as about as official as we get in Caledon. Does that imply that those in charge are "Des by proxy" or whatever? No, I don't think so and despite my even commenting on it, I think the remains of this need to be either resovled or ignored by the parties most involved and then move along.


Rhianon Jameson said...

"The Tool"? "Headie"? Shame, gentlemen. ;) (Is this an international version of the name-calling that goes on between members of different branches of the U.S. armed forces?) (Nah, I don't want to know.)

In an effort to depersonalize the whole thing, I'll note, as have others, that there is at least one more name on the ban list - or at least there was when I checked it out several days ago.

Banning over personalities seems odd to me - yeah, Y would rather not see X, but a ban seems excessive, not to mention interferes with activities such as flying over the affected property. It's one of the things that makes the Mainland so annoying. Banning seems much more appropriate for griefers and those clueless bozos that treat one's property like a sandbox and fail to clean up afterward. (Kaye Robbiani noted the other night that she banned some creature who repeatedly set up an elaborate something - a house, maybe? - in Giverney, then had the gall to tell Miss R. that she would report Miss R. to the "owner." Heh.)

Hotspur O'Toole said...

I've not heard one word from Hotspur on anything regarding Radio Riel until this week when this whole drama exploded. I've even been at events where Hotspur has been in attendance and he's never so much as spoken a word about his boycott.

Thank you sir. As you might have already guessed, you haven't heard a "smear campaign" from me because it doesn't exist. Except, possibly, in the imaginations of two people who are given to projecting their own motives on other people. As I've stated, I've kept the Radio Riel boycott personal and relatively private until now-- I find it works as an ethical response for me, not having a radio station to respond to insults with. In practice, this has worked out to hearing announcements about events and me occasionally asking in public "what stream is that on?" and if I hear "Radio Riel", I either say "Drat" or nothing at all. If someone asks me "Are you boycotting Radio Riel?" I'll tell them the truth and my reasons for it. In private. That's not a smear campaign, even by the broadest definition of the term "Smear". Regardless, my unfortunate relationship with Radio Riel had little to do with the issue at hand last Saturday, other than to serve as a foundation for dispute.

Secondary to this is the implication in Hotspur's blog that the list was public somehow, hence his dance partner whom mentioned it to him knew about it in the first place. How did that work exactly? Were people shouting out who was banned? I've been to parcels where people are likely banned, but there's no written or spoken proclimation. I'd like some clarification on that issue.

Mr. Dagger, I believe anyone can see who is banned from a parcel by clicking the land information hyperlink at the top of most clients, which brings up a menu, then there's the "Access" tab which should depict who is banned. I suspect the sequence of events (from the perspective of the lady I spoke to over the weekend) was she invited Mr. Wymbrow (not me) to the event, he couldn't get in, he complained to her or several other people there, someone checked the access rights, and there it was for anyone to see. I started to get IMs about this somewhere during the course of the evening. Shrug.

IF, as some aver, this was in truth a private event with just the name "Caledon Anniversary Ball" and not held with the Guvnah's blessing, then really, there's no issue here after all. I will gladly retract any outraged posture over being denied access to a state event post-facto and we can resume our happy, banned and muted existence. I've asked the Guvnah to explain his position on this, but have heard the usual nothing, so it's six one way half a dozen another to me now.


aka Tool

PS: Miss Jameson, there's no need to presume either of us are shocked and outraged over name-calling. I grew up in a Navy family and I work for the Marine Corps. I think I've heard a lot worse than "tool" in my day. It kind of reminds me of a 70s adult movie star name, actually... It's fine with me to remain "Tool" "Headie" and "the Crazy Cat Lady" .. no harm, no foul.

Tanarian Brenaur ferch Owain fab Bran (Davies) said...


I respectfully dispute your claims of "the Radio Riel boycott personal and relatively private until now". Yes, what you do is "...hearing announcements about events and me occasionally asking in public "what stream is that on?" and if I hear "Radio Riel", I either say "Drat" or nothing at all.""

Unfortunately, when you've done this in Plurk, it's occasionally been at the expense of ongoing conversations; one thread could even have said to be hijacked.

It's not been my place to step in when that happens, but when it's reported as if it's completely innocuous and non-disruptive, that tweaks my sense of fair play.

You make a point of asking about events that you know perfectly well from either context or existing announcements are RR-attended to get your two cents in. No, you don't make a big fuss after that, but it's disingenuous.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to add to this but I had to say something.

T. Davies

Emilly Orr said...

I think everyone's forgetting the main point.

Of course, the conclusion seems to be that there are no official Caledonian events. So I suppose it doesn't matter either way.

Still would like to hear that, said openly; but hey.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

Tanarian, respectfully, don't make an assumption about what is perfectly obvious to others. I'll be happy to find some examples of threads where it wasn't so obvious. I don't know every one of the Riel DJs. And if a host or hostess is making the announcement, they don't always include the information "music by Radio Riel." I'm sorry, it may be obvious to *you*, but I'm asking that for a reason. There have been many announcements that have been very obvious, and I haven't requested information on them. Actually, lately I just ask the person making the announcement privately if there is any question about it, so even that example doesn't hold much water.

Emilly Orr said...

I wouldn't take away Miss Tanarian's answer for anything, she's still welcome to respond--but I think I should add this:

She seemed (to me) to be primarily focusing on your behavior in Plurk, a service I hold at the same level of adoration and respect as other, slightly larger, institutions, like Facebook, MySpace and WalMart.

On the other hand, I can, when I choose to, see your threads in Plurk--some do not allow that level of access to non-Plurk users, or non-friends.

This also holds for Twitter, but that's a separate debate entirely, innit?

Hotspur O'Toole said...

It's quite true that plurk is a social networking service akin to Twitter and like that service, one can choose what he or she would like to see. Miss Riel has taken great pains to describe how she is ignoring my "plurks" and myself in general on that service, so to characterize the minimal interaction with any Radio Riel subject line as badgering, stalking or harassment falls far short of the mark-- e.g., it hardly qualifies as a smear campaign. Projecting motivations onto another person you disagree with is easy enough to do in real life-- I think the effect is exponential in a virtual world.

Edward Pearse said...

Mr. Dagger,

the smear campaign has been running many years and perhaps you've just missed it. I admit to not having seen anything of late but since the Tool and myself have each other muted it's not surprising. It ran more towards the snide comments and the derogatory remarks but on occasion flashed into discourse about how overpaid DJs were.

Miss Davis seems to still be noticing the snide remarks so it doesn't appear to have gone away.

I've been banned from his parcel since myself and Sin Trenton dared to comment on his appalling behaviour towards Zoe Connolly some years back. I have no idea how long I've been muted though.

I *am* curious as to which events you refer to though, that the Tool has attended despite his boycott claim.

Icterus Dagger said...

They were not RR nor Caledon events, so that's largely irrelevant, Mr. Pearse.

I confess to not having a lot of information of what the heck happened to initiate and inflame this whole sorry mess, and I am not sure I want or need to know.

By the evidence that *I* have seen tells me everyone just needs to can it and move on, really.


Emilly Orr said...

By the evidence that *I* have seen tells me everyone just needs to can it and move on, really.

Yes, but apparently, that is destined not to occur.