Sunday, May 16, 2010

I've been doing it for years, the goal is moving near

This is another post ranting on SL children. While I by no means think that every SL child is some maniacal, sweaty-toothed pervert with dire intentions towards sexualized ageplay (I really do not believe that, though I still do maintain that Marianne McCann traipsing around Zindra when it first opened damaged the cause of SL children for DECADES), I will say there are just some children on SL who, by their very nature, make me want to strangle them. Or their mothers. Or everyone involved.

I will forbear quoting what came before this point, because really, there's no call for that sort of conversation in main chat, it's as offensive as sex HUDS used in public telehubs. Let me merely state that what started all this was shall I put this...'tummy talker' that located the anatomy in question, in which the virtual child was growing, considerably further south. (A friend of mine, more up-t0-date on current SL fetish shops, suggests that someone might have purchased a male pregnancy device. I'm not a prude, but beyond that my mind does not want to venture. Considering what said 'talker' said in open chat.)

How'ver, one of the "children" (and I use the term loosely) in question did have some comments to follow up:

[2010/05/16 23:38] Emilly Orr: Oh, gad, we had a child here for this language?
[2010/05/16 23:39] Emilly Orr facepalms

[2010/05/16 23:39] udder Philly: uh huh go figures
[2010/05/16 23:39] Shelby Easterling: you was mean to our mommy
[2010/05/16 23:39] Emilly Orr: How'ver, my work here is done. Off to Taborea!
[2010/05/16 23:39] Shelby Easterling: come on sissy
[2010/05/16 23:39] Proty Stenvaag: Moi? I was kind.
[2010/05/16 23:39] udder Philly: dat girls ober dere made fun of our baby sissy (that more girls waiter made fun of our baby sissy)
[2010/05/16 23:39] Shelby Easterling: me cans reads
[2010/05/16 23:39] udder Philly: otays
[2010/05/16 23:39] Shelby Easterling: not nice you wasnt
[2010/05/16 23:40] Proty Stenvaag: Can reads but not can spell
[2010/05/16 23:40] udder Philly: :P
[2010/05/16 23:40] Proty Stenvaag: Have fun 'kids'

No doubt.

I know I harp on this at least twice a year, but really, this kind of nonsense needs to stop.

ONE: If your first name is "udder", you should be henceforth BANNED from playing an SL child. For the love of God, make an alt.

TWO: Children may lisp, and children may mispronounce words, but they will rarely, and I do mean this sincerely, get entire tenses wrong--so while "dat girl over dere" might well be heard, it will never be "dat GIRLS over dere". And what was up with "that more girls waiter"?? What the hell does that even mean?!?

Also, this passage from udder's profile is positively crippling to the senses:

dis ish me and my sissy...she's da bestest sissy anyone could eber habs....

I'm with Proty--LEARN TO SPELL. Also, CHILDREN DO NOT TALK LIKE THIS unless they have severe head colds. Dear gods, where do these people come up with this nonsense??

THREE: And I realize three is an odd point, but I feel I must make it--confusing people on who is who is a good way to get banned, imitation children. To wit: was your mother insulted, or your baby sister? Because you mention both in this snippet of conversation.

And people wonder why I have no children in SL. THIS IS WHY.

Next up: aggressive greeters.

Friend of mine told me there was a female AO at Point's Animations. I came in and immediately there was the drop-down blue menu with several options: receive a landmark, gift, or join Point's group, or I could choose "No Thanks" if I didn't want any information from them. There was also the traditional "Ignore" button beneath all the options.

[17:06] Point's Greeter shouts: MizzMello Soulstar, you chose to ignore this message ~
If you like this place,
add it in your profile picks, please
you could be paid for that!
I wish you a wonderful day!

All of that in green spam, exactly as sent--line by line on my screen. So, fine, that's bad enough, but it really didn't sink in until I'd made my choice:

[17:07] Point's Greeter shouts: Emilly Orr ~ No Thanks ~
~ Thank you ! ~
If you like this place,
add it in your profile picks,
you could be paid for that!
I wish you a wonderful day!

Now I was irked. Every avatar who comes in gets the drop-down screen. Then for every avatar who selects any option, that message is shouted: what they picked, their name, and because it's a shout that means avatars up to 96 meters away hear it.

Never going to Point's Animations again. EVER. That's rude, and a ridiculous way to operate a business.

I'm still not sure how affective playing a virtual reality game is over actual anaesthesia, but I do know that for more than ten years, some dentists in California have been offering headmount systems for their patients over general anaesthesia. And they've said the same thing--pain requires attention. If you're not thinking about it, you're not feeling it.

And lastly, though this sidetracks completely from the realm of the virtual to the realm of the all-too-real...we really won't miss Texas if we just wall it off, right? It can be its own realm of deeply stupid, and the rest of us can actually go off and keep learning and educating ourselves about the reality of the worlds we live in.

I'm feeling magnanimous, I'm perfectly willing to toss in Arizona.

Who's with me?


Sphynx Soleil said...

I'm with Proty--LEARN TO SPELL. Also, CHILDREN DO NOT TALK LIKE THIS unless they have severe head colds. Dear gods, where do these people come up with this nonsense??

I Can Has Cheeseburger. Seriously. I recognized "eber habs" from many a lolcat caption.

And I agree with you SOOO much!

Lalo Telling said...

Miss Emilly, I agree about Texas. However, by an accident of fate, I currently live there. Will there be a program to resettle refugees before the wall goes up? I would be glad to undergo an exam in science and history in order to qualify...

Rhianon Jameson said...

Amen with regard to the poorly-played "children." It's like nails on a chalkboard at best, and offensive at worst.

I haven't followed the Texas textbook kerfuffle closely, but I'm willing to believe that there's nonsense in there. Perhaps even more nonsense than in other textbooks. But the logical conclusion is that we don't want politicians of any stripe deciding on what should be in textbooks, and, as a corollary, we don't want a monolithic entity of any sort deciding what should be taught. No one seems to want to draw that conclusion, however.

Brinda said...

Yes Lalo...There will be a ship stationed several kilometers above to rescue emigrants, ROFL.
As for Arizona... Sadly, living in California, I get to watch them often. Many seem to be very unhappy that Califonia doesn't demand forehead tattoos with immigration status prominently displayed.

On to the main post re: child avies and "baby talk".
My children real life are 40 and grand daughter is great grandchild is 4. If the 4 year old talked like that she would be summarily kicked in her sweet lil butt!
Here in Secondlife I find child avies creepy. If I'm addressed by one I immediately tell them that they make me uncomfortable, sorry I must leave.
Tummy talkers are like people that chew with their mouths open and smack their lips in a public resturant.
I'm guessing it's not politicaly correct to legislate manners.
Oh next life will include some of these lessons I hope.

Emilly Orr said...


I thought the point of lolcat as a slang variant was to emphasize how amusing it is to misspell things--not to act as if that's the only way TO spell those things!

And Mr. Telling, I have more than a few friends in Texas. I figure we institute a broad outreach program, to get all the cool people out of Texas and Arizona before the wall goes up.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Jameson,

Too true, I should not target just Texas, but the growing trend of "I don't like what you're teaching, so I'm going to make sure you can't teach that" in schools.

It's not Texans in general; it's that attitude. You don't want your kids taught evolution in schools? Move them to private schools. Or home-school them; as long as you keep to the basics (though those basics vary state to state), you have every right to home-school your own children.

But to get involved on textbook decisionary bodies, to prevent actual historical facts from being printed in the first place? Big Brother, thou art here.


I used to have a severe lisp; I actually had a minor genetic defect that prevented my tongue from active movement. Between an operation on the ligament underneath the tongue, and a year of speech therapy, I lost the lisp; but even when I had it, I did not put an S on the end of half the words, just because.

I have met some very polite children on SL; I would say about one in twenty, on average. Ten out of the remaining nineteen on average are thickheadedly 'pretending' childhood by acting childish, not childlike.

And the last nine? Are basically the ones following me around, asking if I want to be their "mommy" or, on rare occasion, if I want to "baths" them because they "iz durty". (Not kidding on that; and both of those offers tend to come about 50/50 male and female, so it's not even a gender thing). So I have a slightly higher tolerance initially on SL children and interaction with same; but it rapidly and speedily goes downhill if anything hinky happens. I've been known just to port off or actually log out of world when conversations go south with SL kids. I just don't have the patience anymore.

slhamlet said...

Austin, Texas is justly famous for being the live music capital of the world (not just the US, because during SXSW, the place becomes a veritable United Nations of music), has a thriving indie arts and film scene, is a major hub of the tech and gaming industry, has one of the nation's best state universities, and is home to the coolest, easy-going, most open-minded people in the entire country. You know, the kind of folks who wouldn't condemn a whole state due to the actions of several dozen yahoos in it.

At this juncture, when someone is told all this, their usual response is to say, "Oh I don't mean Austin, just the rest of Texas." Which is when I point out that Houston, Texas is the first major city in the US to elect an openly gay mayor. Not San Francisco, not Boston. Houston. Houston, Texas.

Edward Pearse said...

Sadly they Texas thing is what makes headlines outside the countries borders leading many people to think you're all a bunch of religious nutters in the first place.

If only Miss Dunbar would stick to teaching her children in religious establishments and leaving the State Schools to teach a secular curriculum then the issue would resolve itself. When religious people decide they need to interfere in other people's live too that they become a problem.

If anything the US History curriculum needs more Thomas Jefferson, not less.

Emilly Orr said...

Which is when I retort right back that if Austin and Houston are that cool--and they are--why haven't they STOPPED these idiots?

But then, I know the answer to that one, too--because the gay community in this country has the wrong focus. We need the right to stand tall as military service personnel, yes; we need marriage rights, in whatever form we can get them, because our partners are literally dying on the vine without our help, in those communities where we are prevented access because we're not 'family'.

But another point of our focus should be education. And why are we losing these battles, over and over, nation-wide? Because we haven't learned the lesson that the radical right has been steadily teaching us, year after year, decade after decade--that if we can't get inside a process, we will never control that process.

I remain convinced--because I've seen it happen--that in those communities where families from all walks of life come together to decide school board issies, these kinds of battles happen--because there are still radical right steeltrap minds wanting that control--but the bad guys do not win.

And I have a very simplistic idea of bad here, in case anyone's confused. If it's not the truth, and people want it in a school textbook, to be taught to students who don't know any better because they're not hearing the truth anywhere else...then that is bad. Bad for us, bad for the process, bad for the children...and bad for the future.

Rhianon Jameson said...

The "send your kids to private schools" reaction is understandable, but doesn't get to the root of the problem. Texas is big, so the school system buys lots of textbooks, and because there are scale economies in producing textbooks, other states use them. All understandable.

But the question should be: why does any state government mandate what goes in the textbooks? Do any legislatures have expertise in what's important to learn? Don't we have teachers who are supposed to be professionals in that area?

A second issue, though, is why the legislature felt a need to get involved in the first place. I haven't followed this closely, but I got the impression that they were in part upset with the anti-American bias they perceived to be common in history textbooks. I get quite annoyed at ignorant teens wearing their Che t-shirts, or carrying backpacks with the old Soviet logo. Texts that refer to Che as a "freedom fighter," or the Soviets as "our allies in World War II," without mentioning the totalitarian nature of both Cuban and Soviet communism, do a disservice to kids. That's just one example of how the people who write textbooks add their own biases to the process. When legislatures get involved, they tend to be reacting to something, and it's a mistake to ignore that something.

Now, good teachers will recognize the omissions and slants in a text and supplement the material, or make a decision to skip certain sections and instead emphasize others. Eons ago, when I was a public school student, I had both good and bad teachers, and I'm guessing the situation hasn't changed much since then. (The increase in the use of standardized tests hasn't helped, I'm afraid.)

Finally, it's human nature that when someone spends money, he or she will want some control over how the money is used. I don't know about Texas, but I suspect it's little different than Maryland, where roughly half the county budget and a smaller but still substantial share of the state budget goes to public education. Furthermore, because we're not content to provide funding for education and let individuals choose where to go, but instead have created an elaborate infrastructure of government-owned and -operated schools, with thousands of public employees staffing those schools, we've practically invited this mischief. Just a thought.

Lalo Telling said...

@Rhianon: In Texas, it's not exactly the legislature. It's a State Board of Education, whose members are elected by the public, independently of the Texas legislature. You have explained its existence in you own comment: a combination of when someone spends money, he or she will want some control over how the money is used and scale economies in producing textbooks.

The current round of proposed changes in the Social Studies curriculum and textbooks come on the heels of a similar attempt to revise the Science curriculum to include the oxymoron "intelligent design". Both efforts have the same thrust: to force inclusion of fundamentalist Christian indoctrination, by any means possible, into an operation of government, in violation of the "Establishment Clause" of the 1st Amendment.

It has nothing at all to do with a reaction to "Soviet chic", or other manifestations which appear to you to be anti-American. On the contrary, in some cases the proposed changes whitewash periods of American history the proponents of those changes feel uncomfortable with. One example is the re-casting of the slave trade as "the triangle trade" (I refer you to "Molasses to Rum to Slaves" in the musical 1776, one of the most succinctly powerful indictments of the Anglo-American slave trade ever penned). Another example is the redaction of Thomas Jefferson's central role in the global philosophical movement known as The Enlightenment.

Texas was a slave state: QED. Jefferson was not Christian enough for the likes of the American Taliban who occupy a majority of seats on the State School Board: QED.

The current legislation granting the State School Board the power to review, revise, and establish textbook content was passed in 1995, and signed into law by then-Governor George W. Bush.


Emilly Orr said...

And I would love to say it all comes back to Bush being the problem (and, at least where Texans on death row are concerned, he seriously was), but I think it goes far deeper than that--because where personal education is involved, you don't get that stupid without serious help.

I believe, Miss Jameson, that while you make good points, Mr. Telling is right--and it's an issue that's been problematic in this country for decades. It's just far more obvious in places like Texas and Arizona, because the ruling bodies have embraced the groupthink of religious extremism in frighteningly vivid ways.

Fundamentalist thinking in any religion is the problem, flat out: that religion can be Shiite Muslim or Satanism or conservative Southern Baptist Christianity; the religion, on the surface, absolutely doesn't matter to the extent that "I'm right, you're wrong" thinking does.

Lalo Telling said...

PS: Here's a link to the film performance of that song, with the incomparable John Cullum as Edward Rutledge of South Carolina.

(You may also remember him as Holling Vincoeur in Northern Exposure)

Emilly Orr said...

I may have to track that musical down. For some reason it's managed to escape notice until now.

Thank you.

Lalo Telling said...

Two days before the final vote:

U.S. history panelists express “collective disgust” over SBOE changes

(Austin-American Statesman, 5/19/10)

These are the people who wrote the curriculum submitted to the Board for "review".

Emilly Orr said...

Wau. Though what kills me are some of the comments..."heathen rage?" Focusing way too much on "minority contributions? "Fair and balanced" portrayal of American history?

Wau. Just wau.