Friday, April 9, 2010

you're tearing off the wings of all my unprotected dreams for nothing

Second Life,Avatar,Na'vi,braids,fashion

There's a Na'vi section of BooPerFunk now.

I words.

No, I have a few words. To try on any of these styles? Just get the De'mo.

Yes, really.


So...on to other news. This is insane and brilliant: what happens when NES pixel monsters interact with the real world? Pixel madness in real time!

Some of us were debating this morning, why the new explosion of pink things on the grid this month, and Lalinda Lovell said she might have figured out why:

[19:23] Lalinda Lovell: might have found an explanation for the pink stuff
[19:23] Lalinda Lovell: sn@tch says theres a wear a pink shirt day
[19:24] Pinkie Fellini: there is
[19:24] Pinkie Fellini: it's April 15th
[19:24] Lalinda Lovell: Pink Shirt Day is very important to me. Wednesday April 14, 2010 to show solidarity and to take a visible supportive stand against Bullying, we will all wear a pink shirt. Lots of designers will be offering pink things and lots more to get the word out about this very important day.
[19:24] Lalinda Lovell: so that explains the pink releases

Also, we're hip-deep in SLRFL at the moment; that explains the rest of the pink releases.

[19:25] Nakira Tennen: also breast cancer awareness, but that is october I think
[19:25] Elskede Blessed: that is wonderful, I was reading on cnn today about the little girl that committed suicide after several [other] students were bullying her :(
[19:26] Pinkie Fellini: it's not a ribbon, it's actually a pink shirt
[19:26] Emilly Orr: Wait...forgive me for perhaps a small lack of empathy, here, but--wearing pink in solidarity to prevent bullying? This is going to be the equivalent of painting a bullseye on your forehead and walking in front of archers, yelling that you bet they can't hit you with an arrow.

I'm hip on raising awareness; but I think this is another case where the color choice wasn't really thought through. Pink as a color, and that particular pink as a tone, is so ingrained in breast cancer awareness, it seems odd to pick it for the fight against bullying--which, to be honest, to change is going to take decades of campaigning, if not centuries.

[19:27] Lalinda Lovell: does pink cause bullying?
[19:27] Pinkie Fellini: true story of a boy who wore a pink shirt to school
[19:27] Lalinda Lovell: men seem to wear pink here a lot
[19:27] Lalinda Lovell: ah i see
[19:28] Pinkie Fellini: was bullied unmercifully that day
[19:28] Lalinda Lovell: men wear pink so much here it wouldnt matter
[19:28] Pinkie Fellini: they beat him terribly
[19:28] Nakira Tennen: I guess they picked on him for being "gay" and wearing pink? people are so dumb sometimes
[19:28] Pinkie Fellini: yeah

And it's true. Herd behavior manifests in repeating what the herd leaders are doing. If the herd leaders ostracize someone, to stay with the herd, the followers will repeat the behavior. They may not agree with it internally; but it won't stop them from following along so they, themselves, aren't made the brunt of ostracizing.

How far will you go to stay popular?

[19:28] Lalinda Lovell: football (soccer) teams [wear] pink here even
[19:28] Pinkie Fellini: so [that's] the concept behind the pink shirt day
[19:28] Emilly Orr: I'm just saying, pick another color. Pink is not going to get the word out. Or it is, but it's going to be in reverse--'beat the crap out of anyone wearing pink, yo!'
[19:29] Lalinda Lovell: like barbie pink team shirts
[19:29] Lalinda Lovell: if everyone wore pink would bullies tease those not wearing pink?

And that's a good question, too. If a color--any color--was deemed bad or wrong, would people wearing it then become bad or wrong? What if people respected them? Would that not cause people to think that maybe, just maybe, that color (or that attitude, belief, gender, orientation, race--insert your superlative here) is not wrong?

[19:30] Lalinda Lovell: seems like evil [always] finds an excuse
[19:30] Pinkie Fellini: it's just to bring awareness
[19:30] Emilly Orr: Eh, it's less evil and more desperately seeking power, in the case of most bullies. They need to find something in their life smaller than them, thus.
[19:30] Nakira Tennen: yeah, anything different or anything they [perceive] as a weakness they will go for, unfortunately
[19:31] Emilly Orr: The problem is, though, really--you had an awareness campaign. Great. Make it another color. Making it pink just adds to the perception that these are people you can pick on freely.

But maybe that's part of it. Forget the breast cancer connotations. Maybe they picked pink because it's something people sneer at. Maybe they picked pink because the herd will single out one person to bully, but if they're faced with one hundred? Generally they will back down.

[19:31] Nakira Tennen: like with me--I was shy. Like scared to talk shy.
[19:31] Lalinda Lovell: but if a strong male teacher wore pink, wouldnt that shut the kids up?
[19:32] Pinkie Fellini everyone talking
[19:32] Nakira Tennen: depends on how much they like/respect the teacher, I guess
[19:33] Pinkie Fellini: so I guess it's working a bit
[19:33] Lalinda Lovell: strong like the bullies wouldnt pick on a teacher
[19:33] Caraway Karu: strong?
[19:33] Pinkie Fellini: making those here aware
[19:33] Caraway Karu: i'm not sure about that one

I think it would, actually. Hip, aware, individual teachers have always made a difference. The teachers that, in the main, are ignored, are the teachers following the educational herd, so to speak.

[19:33] Nakira Tennen: a lot of kids ignore anything the adults say in school though.
[19:33] Lalinda Lovell: like setting an example that color doesnt matter

We could go farther, too. Shirt color doesn't matter. Skin color doesn't matter. Belief doesn't matter. Gender doesn't matter. Sexual orientation doesn't matter.

[19:33] Caraway Karu: people will laugh behind their backs : /
[19:33] Caraway Karu: it would have to be like some hip hop artist teaching, lol
[19:34] Lalinda Lovell: i heard south park ginger day created rl bullying

And no, unless she was joking: bullying has been around since Neolithic times. I'm sure, on some long-forgotten cave wall, somewhere, there's a scratching on the wall in red and yellow ochre of a bunch of men with spears taunting a smaller, weaker boy. It's happened forever.

[19:34] Emilly Orr: Pinkie, I'm not trashing the concept of the campaign. We need to raise awareness. We need to get everyone to admit that bullying to the point it breaks someone is bad.
[19:34] Emilly Orr: I'm just Really? That was your best color choice?
[19:34] Nakira Tennen: the problem is, a lot of kids get away with stuff like that every day... it's hard to do anything in school with no parent support
[19:35] Nakira Tennen: give them detention--they don't show up
[19:36] Sandie Bing: the problem is that as a society we got soo damned politically correct and went so far in one direction that now it's backfiring and we have kids that are really harsh mixed with kids that have been coddled and sheltered and spoiled and not taught anything about what real life is like and it's not good

And all of this I agree with. We do have that happening. There's a lot of sheltering that goes on, the inculcating effects of the monied society that insulates and separates. These are the kids that bully; these are the kids that throw out whole wardrobes of clothing, furniture, microwaves, phones, coffee makers, laptops when they leave for two weeks at home from college, because they know without a shadow of a doubt they can buy more things when they return.

[19:36] Nakira Tennen: and the teachers and administrators are all scared of being sued
[19:36] Caraway Karu: yeah, you can't do anything without having to double question whether it'll lead to something worse
[19:37] Emilly Orr: Very true.

So I'm still no closer to a real understanding, but I did look into it. So here's more information from Pink Shirt Day Canada and Pink Shirt Day New Zealand to round things out.

It's not the worst cause to support. Maybe wearing pink in a virtual world won't make much of a change, but maybe it will. From the notecard sent out with SN@TCH's Pink Shirt day dress:

Bullying happens when someone scares or hurts another person on purpose, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Usually, this happens on a repeat basis - the victim being attacked over and over, an unable - or afraid - to defend themselves.

Bullying can include physical violence, spreading bad rumors, purposefully excluding another person from a group or activity, teasing in a mean or inappropriate way, or even gathering others to "gang up" on others.

Cyberbullying happens electronically. This can include some of the categories of normal bullying, but can also include posting nasty rumors, pictures, or messages about others on blogs, forums, or other websites, or using another's name to pose as them and spread rumors about them via the internet.

YOU can make a difference! If you see someone being bullied and do nothing about it, you are just as guilty as the bully themselves. Turning a blind eye to any kind of abuse is only enabling the abusers to continue harming others. Speak up! Stand up! The more people are willing to stand up for what they believe in, the less power the bullies will have to abuse and control others.

Okay. It's a good cause. Mark your calendars for Aprille 14th. Pick a world--SL, RL. Wear pink. Maybe it'll change a mind.

The Second Sex blog mentioned a rumor about image throttling in older viewers; I haven't found anything that specifically says that, but I have found Joel Foner has a good post about the maximum bandwidth slider and how it's used, and a JIRA post came up under a general Google search for "image throttling" and "Second Life". I mention it not because it has any direct relevance, but because it's marked as being a critical failure, and has a Linden apparently assigned to working on it, and still isn't fixed yet, though it dates from 2008. Hmm.

Beware the goose-raptor! Not my usual thing, but I had to link it. (Slight language warning, but wau, is it funny. Her whole blog is, actually--check out her revised pain chart while you're there.)

And lastly, SYFY has given up entirely on quality programming. They're just in it for cash and the schlock value now, folks.


Rhianon Jameson said...

Frankly, if you want to reduce bullying, give the bullied superior firepower and let 'em use it. But noooo, schools are gun-free zones.

(That's a joke, by the way. Mostly.)

Emilly Orr said...

I get that, but it's a valid point. Maybe not institute Bring-a-Gun-to-School-Day, but seriously, what happens when you push kids too far, teasing them? Columbine. And we are too armed a society to make mistakes like this. The anger and the hurt and the frustration go inward (suicide) or outward (homicide); there doesn't seem to be a third option other than convincing people to back it the hell down.

Anonymous said...

I do think the color choice makes sense in this case. Pink, on a boy, is commonly taken as a marker of a sissy. There's no other color that would have the same significance. Deliberately wearing a pink shirt (if you're a boy) goes far beyond any symbolism one might arbitrarily choose instead; it's not just saying "I'm against bullying" but "I'm willing to make myself a target for this cause."

If you're a girl, that's another story, of course. :-)

Emilly Orr said...

Weirdly, I can see that, completely. Akin to the popular kids taking theatre the same year I did, because they knew I could sing, and my friends and I were pretty much THE tech crew at my high school for plays. So it was a case of enlightened self-interest: mess with the tech crew, and I look bad on stage. You bully the tech crew, I will strike back.

Quite effective, all things considered.

Still--you're right on the second point, too. The outrage level of a female wearing pink? Just...isn't there.

Edward Pearse said...

I'm in two minds about the bullying debate currently going on. I think that bullying should be actively discouraged otherwise yes, you get things like Columbine, where the two kids had finally had enough of the shit the in-crowd kept throwing their way.

That said I think a lot of kids need to harden-the-fuck-up. If someone calls you names on the internet, tell them to shove it, don't go and cut your wrists.

I don't remember ever being a bully as a kid. Being the fat kid meant I was usually on the receiving end of name-calling. But I never went crying to Mum about the nasty kids calling me fat. Probably because my little brother also did it. I gave as good as I got, he was after all, my brother.

I know that psychological bullying can often seem worse than physical bullying but I really think that some of the kids on the receiving end really need to toughen up otherwise they're going to have a nervous breakdown the first time their boss starts on them about their "work ethic".

Emilly Orr said...

The pecking order, depending on the school, is harsh. How different we are is the yardstick against which we are all measured. If we conform, we are nervous about fitting in. If we do not, we wait to be teased, ostracized, bullied. Sometimes it goes too far.

Granted, I doubt in HS I ever would have sent a naked picture to a boy I didn't completely trust...but then, as an adult, I did a nude photoshoot with a fellow I then broke up with. He still has the pictures. At one point they were on the net. They might be still.

So at what price acceptance? And wee have to add in, what strengthens one person breaks another. At what price integrity? When does it become easier just to play the game?

For what it's worth, I think you're right. I think a lot of kids need to harden their skins. And they need to realize that not fitting in it grade school, high school, college, does not have eternal life impact.

But at the same time, at least in America...we are bottle-fed violence as an acceptable rebuttal. And most of us are armed. Over half the time, kids tease other kids...and the next week, they show up with pistols, with knives, with bombs...and it's happening, over and over again.

At this point, it's sick and wrong, but I'm almost relieved when I hear someone's taken his or her own life over bullying...because I think Oh, good, no one ELSE died...

Edward Pearse said...

I suppose that's one of the major distinctions. Here we're having concern about a growing knife culture. Oddly I used to carry a small pocket knife for many years starting with my final two years of High School. Flick knives are banned here and guns require immense amounts of permits and safety compliances.

The knife I carried was a folding knife that used to belong to my grandfather. I eventually changed to carrying a Swiss Army knife with a 3 inch blade - the longest blade length that could be carried without a permit. In fact I wore it onto an international flight to the UK in 2001. It went through the checkin and was seen by security. How that all changed 6 months later.

To my knowledge we've only had one case of going Postal in a school locally, and that was at a University by a person who was a registered gun owner.

I think also that with the passing of the generations discipline has fallen. My Grandfather made sure we were taught to respect guns as weapons, and even toy guns were not to be pointed at people. Knives were tools for use in the shed or the kitchen.

I'll be first to decry anyone trying to link violence to movies or videogames, but I think daily exposure to it through entertainment as well as news desensitises us to the point where a gun is no more dangerous than a cigarette lighter and the domino effect takes over.

Emilly Orr said...

You make points.

For my part of theorizing, I think blaming any one causative is on the silly side--it's not any one thing that makes someone pick up a gun and go off in a public place. I think--at least over here in the US--that it's the culture as a whole.

Yes, if you grow up with violent video games and violent television shows and violent movies and violent music? You might be tipped slightly towards violence as a quicker means to the end. But I think more than anything else, walking home from school and watching shoot-outs in your neighborhood; arriving at your door to find a family member bleeding, or dead, at the hands of another...I mean, at this point it's gone pandemic, practically.

It's not the artifacts produced by the society doing the damage. It's the society itself. No game, no song, no story is going to make anyone shoot someone. But seeing that violence in person, knowing where the guns are--especially if there's no care taken with how they're kept--yeah, that can cause violence.

When I was growing up, my mother wanted me to properly appreciate firearms. She took me to the gun range--I was three--and shot a cinderblock with a .44. I'm sure the effect has been magnified with time, but as I recall, the thing vaporized, and I decided then and there, no guns. And there's not one in this apartment.

But, just to hazard a guess, without stirring from my chair, I can lay hands on two punch daggers and a moon blade, there are two twelve-inch Pakistani military knives on the bookcase just outside the door, and my usual purse carry is a six inch steel fold-out. Have I ever used any of them? Save for the fold-out on a camping trip, gutting fish and chopping vegetables? No.

But they're there. And they're not the only ones in the house.

Icterus Dagger said...

On a less serious note (I think). Mega Piranha was every bit as bad as you'd think. It had none of the "so bad it's watchable" feeling for Meag Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Where Debbie Gibson was so bad it was funny in MSvGO, it was damn PAINFUL to watch Tiffany in MP. The Mega shark leaping 10s of thousands of feet to grab a 747 was some weird inspired awfulness. The giant Piranha leaping to nab the helicopter was just anticlimactic. I mean, they'd already devoured a U.S. Destroyer... hull and all.


Emilly Orr said...

The trailer made me shudder. And the way it was pitched..."Big fish! Improbable scenarius! Has-beens! Why, this is MALL-WORTHY!"

I do believe the 'mall-worthy' was actually something the trailer I saw pointed out...

That, and, not that they hadn't done it when wrestling came aboard the purportedly sf channel, OR when they changed their name to Git Incorporated--I mean, "SyFy"...but really, MegaShark was pretty much textbook for jumping the shark, LITERALLY...what's the encore?

I can guarantee you, it is not having a smaller fish swallow a smaller thing!

Icterus Dagger said...

It was the Yahoo! blog(?) review of the trailer that mentioned "mall-worthy acting" and all that. I don't think the trailer actually did. But yeah, it was pretty bad.


Emilly Orr said...

THAT was it...Just tragic either way, though.

My sympathies. I'm not sure I could take that even on a Bad Movie Night.