Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm feeling something taking over me, fading everything to black and blue (part I)

I don't care who you are, I don't care how good your shapes are. No shape on the grid is worth L$1800. Period.

So...I've been trying to stay away from the current drama that is Vic Zuzu and the Make Him Over 6 hunt...mainly because it all seems so juvenile, frankly. But it's reached epic levels, so I've been trying to parse things out.

For me, things started back here, with this statement on the SL Freebie Hunters' blog:
We here at SLFreebie Hunters had planned to bring you the Make Him Over Hunt 6, despite our disagreement with how the current hunt group came to be. We support all-male hunts, and think that since the guys get shafted so often on hunts, attention should be given to those hunts that cater to the SL male population regardless of WHO is coordinating the hunt. To that end, we covered the MHO5 hunt last time around.

This time, however, I was kicked out of the MHO group without a word of warning or explanation by the group owner. Considering I had not spoken in the group whatsoever, nor had I had any contact with anyone running the group and had not, in fact, joined the group until the hunt started so that I could do the hunt - I can only conclude that they do not want to be included in our blog, nor receive the exposure for their vendors our readers provide.
And my thought reading that initially--it was published on July 20th--was Wau, that's pretty hostile of the group owner, but my general thinking was that they might have argued in the past, or something. It happens. Blogging doesn't tread that careful line between gossip and journalism, it gleefully spray-paints it over in Day-Glo vibrance, then scuffs dirt, mud and less pleasant substances over the jagged, bright patterns. Let's be honest here--in days of paper and presses, we'd be yellow journalists at best, with some few of us upgraded to agony aunts.

However, on a cursory read-through, it does seem like they do have a history with the hunt, or at least those particular bloggers have a history with Zuzu. To wit, this entry from the last Make Him Over II hunt that circulated in November of 2010:
There is A LOT of confusion going around about this hunt, and most of it is being generated on purpose. The main thing you need to know - This hunt is NOT being done by the original MHOH group.

A brief rundown of events:
  1. MHOH group suddenly falls apart at the end of their last hunt. Thousands of people are kicked out of the group, and the group is deleted.
  2. The main group of stores and coordinators form a new group called Menstuff. (JOIN THIS GROUP!)
  3. ONE person, who is not a coordinator nor an officer of the previous group, decides to take things into his own hands.
  4. He proceeded to make a group with the identical name, use the identical icon, and copy the identical web site format.
  5. Thus creating more confusion and riding on the coat-tails of the original MHO group's success.
Good intentions or bad, this is definitely a shadey situation. There is more information about this fiasco at this site - Please read it and pass it around to anyone who asks what is going on with MHOH. Spread the word to join the Menstuff group and their upcoming hunt in January.
So okay, there were words exchanged, at least in terms of published entries; maybe that's why the blog owners were kicked out of the group.

But there's a couple problems with this--first, that the blogger in question got their details wrong, and second, the link given for more information has anything related to either Make Him Over group curiously redacted.

Okay, so is there another source for Rob Moonites? Well, yes, he's got his own blog, but that doesn't much help either:
In fact, I had all but forgotten about Vic and his “MAKE HIM OVER II” project, that is now apparently MAKE HIM OVER II – V6. That seems like a lot of numbers to me, and considering my name is Rob1977, that’s saying something. Unfortunately, Vic hasn’t forgotten about me, nor has he forgotten about MENStuff. It’s sad really, since his group seems to be doing fine, it’s not quite at MENStuff levels, but his efforts are admirable all the same. Most of the designers in his group also seem to be capable of ignoring Vic’s past. The past that has openly dismissed creator’s rights and that has laughed at DMCAs. The past that has taken original content and reproduced it. The past that has impersonated a Linden to use in his promotional materials and the past that has slandered and attempted to discredit other well respected members of the Second Life community.
I'd love to know if there's any proof to those accusations, specifically:
  1. Has Vic Zuzu publically published, or mentioned anywhere that has been officially logged, that creators' rights do not deserve to be upheld?
  2. Has Vic Zuzu, personally, engaged in copyright infringement himself?
  3. Has Vic Zuzu, personally, used a Linden's name as some sort of official 'endorsement' of his hunt?
Anyone with answers to those three questions, please leave them in the comments section.

But I digress:
The latest lie was just a step too far and has pushed me into breaking my silence regarding this matter. Vic is now claiming that the original “Make Him Over” group (the one that he took the name and logo from) is in fact a fake and his group “MAKE HIM OVER II” (even though it clearly states “II” after the name) is in fact the original group. He seems to think that the original group was deleted, but if that was the case then surely Vic himself would have taken the group name, but he couldn’t… because the group was never deleted.
That's pretty big right there. And I remember the first Make Him Over hunt, it was spawned by the Make Him Over group; while I've never been a member, I do remember the first hunt, and how absolutely refreshing it was to have an entire grid-wide dedicated to the people on the grid who don't want to wear the latest frocks or the highest heels. (Because really, I don't think anyone disputes this--men do get short shrift on Second Life.)

That's actually a good point, come to think of it. It's a little tricky finding pictures from the first Make Him Over hunt, but here's one from Shangreloo:

(from fashion album)

Granted, this is a picture of a female wearing the male gifts, but still, the center gifts from INDI, Bliensen & MaiTai, and Bryce feature clean lines, a subtle sense of fun, good shading, and excellent style. Versus...

(from the fashion album)

Yeah...your guess is as good as mine. But I figure that's a good contrast, to demonstrate the difference between the two hunts, and that's from Roughnecks, a biker-fashion shop. Frankly, were I male--and into biker fashion--I'd be too afraid that I'd move wrong on the bike riding down the highway and end up flashing a cop in the other lane, in this outfit. Guys really want to dress like this?

How'ver, this seems to be getting long, so I'll split this into two sections. (Hopefully just the two.) But, since I discovered something else in going through that blog for comparable fashion, I want to bring that up before I leave off. Because I think it's all part and parcel of the same mentality.

I found this...I can't even pull quotes from that. It is such a hash of implausible grammar and insanely offensive statements presented as some sort of (supposedly) smarter, better "truth" that my CPU melts down into slag, trying to parse out the logic. I have no words for such combined misogyny, misandrony, and hatred of all genders...

Actually, no. I am going to pull one section out of the combined TL;DR of utter wrong because it deals directly with fashion. In the words of Vic Zuzu:
As you probably know there is male corset too (which of course appeared first), but generally it looks different. An ancestor of modern corset is spanish jubon (pourpoint or doublet) of 15th century, which was a tribute to the Reconquistas armours. It covers mens chest too because men dont need to support the breast they naturally dont have. If it looks like Gabes variant its about fetish or "pseudofashion". Modern mens corset looks like this:
Whereupon he showed a picture from Madam Sher Corsets, Madam Sher being apparently a Portuguese maker of some skill.

While I understand the point he's trying to make, he's wrong--male corsetry did not start out just with the Spanish doublet; that indicates a poor understanding of corset history. Male corsetry goes back beyond Roman times, but the Romans took the corset/girdle styles known in the day and incorporated them into parade uniforms. There are ancient Chinese and Japanese styles of male corsetry. And there are very well-known frescoes of Minoan "taureadors" who wore girdles that were not substantially different from the male "day stays" depicted below.

Just to pick another maker at random, what about the styles of Contour Corsets?

(from the fashion album)

Yes, that is specifically designed for men, and that style has been around, in one fashion or another, since Thailand developed a fashion industry, at least.

Or how about French designer Sylvain Nuffer? His designs seamlessly integrate the modern vest with the corset of antiquity, and provide a glimpse into a corseted steampunk world of fashionable men:

(from the fashion album)

Or how about Romantasy's male 'day stays':

(from the fashion album)

My point is, though, that not all male corsets use the full chest rise; some are underbust corsets, for lack of a better term, and not for "fetish" reasons, but simply and solely because that is the style that has evolved through the centuries. Full-chest corsets can be made, and frequently are; but half-chest corsets are also "real" corsets, that have nothing to do with "fetish" and everything to do with male style.

You know, Mr. Zuzu, that thing you're supposedly the expert on?

(from the fashion album; All Rights Reserved to Gabe Bookmite and original photographer.)

And Mr. Bookmite, if you're paying attention? I think this is one of the loveliest images I've seen of a male in Second Life, gay or straight. It's perfectly appropriate, it's masculine without being steroidal, and it's fashionable.

Ignore anyone who thinks otherwise.


Rob Moonites said...

Please refer to this post regarding Zuzu's feelings on Intellectual Property:

and regarding Zuzu's use of Adam Linden for promotional purposes?

Also, towards the bottom - the list of retired Lindens
this stated Adam was retired when Zuzu released that poster... Unfortunately it's not dated for your own confirmation, but if you contact LL I'm sure they'll confirm a date when Adam Linden was retired.

Emilly Orr said...

Thank you! This is very helpful!