Friends

Kill the Mad Men…

Osprey watches the best stuff (I’ll forgive her not liking Inception 😉 ) and she tweeted a link to this great documentary I’d not heard of called Starsuckers, a film all about how the world of media manipulates our base monkey instincts and wide-open childhood innocence to make us go gaga over celebs so we will buy shit. Any shit. Piles of shit. Mountains of shit. Enough shit to bury us all under again and again and again. Watch this and weep. Then punch an advertising executive or reality TV booker square in the space where their soul used to be, the bastards.

A few things occurred to me through this film. First off, as a child of the 70’s I feel I might be one of the last generation to have escaped the deliberate and cynical targeting of children as consumers. Not completely, but enough. I think you’d have to look at my dad’s generation to see people who don’t see shiny things and start to drool, but all in all I seem to have come through nearly unscathed. Of course I have just bought a netbook I don’t need but merely want, but I didn’t buy it because Scarlett Johansson was draped across a picture of it on telly.

Which neatly brings me to my second point. Monkey arses. If you haven’t watched the film yet, jump to around 42 mins in and have a looksee. Back? Good. So, monkey arses. I couldn’t care less about celebs – their choice of clothes, watches, cars, body odour masks, their desire to eat at gastro pub X and dance at nightclub Y just don’t figure in my life. It’s like watching the news and getting to the sport – my mind switches off and before I know it the weather girl is on and my interest perks up again. Sport boring, weather lady in tight top interesting. Celeb lifestyle duller than dull, beautiful celeb ladies in high heels Hello New York! I am naught but a monkey missing a slurp of my Juicy Juice for a snatch (no pun intended) of monkey bum. I have a vague feeling that this should make me feel bad but it doesn’t. I like monkey bums and that’s all there is to say. Mmmmmm, monkey bums.

There was a third point, but the images of Miss Johansson’s lovely curves in my mind forced it out for a while. It was something to do with God. God and SL. Oh, that was it! At 40 mins into the film, some fella talks about para-social relationships and I got to thinking about how my life & friends in SL fitted into what he was saying. After all, do I just choose my SL friends based on their looks or perceived influence? After much thought, I can say with a high level of confidence that no, no I don’t. I don’t do that in RL so it’s no surprise I don’t do it in SL. I think I have a very healthy, balanced approach in that I have several levels of interaction that seems to come naturally:

  • Upon meeting new people who aren’t in character I tend to be friendly and naturally not in character myself. If there is time and a connection, and if real life information is shared, then here’s a good possibility these folks will slowly become my friends and even my mates. If not, then they will stay an acquaintance before more than likely drifting off and being forgotten.
  • If a connection has been made and real life chat is shared, these guys become my mates both in SL and out of SL in emails, IMs, tweets, etc. I’m not going to name names but you guys know who you are 🙂
  • If folks are entirely in-character and nice then we may well become friends in SL but the connection doesn’t go beyond that really – I mean, how can it? Real life is rarely mentioned and without that, well I can’t talk about a made-up world forever. This is fine, this is normal and healthy – not everyone you meet in RL is your friend, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly. Think of that lass from sales you see in the kitchen, one repeating conversation about the latest phones or last night’s telly once a day and a brief nod & smile in the corridor is the top and bottom of it.
  • With the folks who are in- or out-of-character but are just plain unfriendly, well I keep away from them and almost never engage them. Why would I? That aggressive bully from accounting, you don’t seek him out for a chat about last night’s match do you? No, you stay the fuck away from the dickhead. Same in SL.

Out of all my friends I haven’t linked to any of them because of their look or position in whatever eco-system they inhabit, I became friends with them because I asked myself “are they nice?” and “do they share more than their avatar?”. If both answers were yes, they’ve more than likely become a mate, if it was a yes & no then they’re a friend or acquaintance. I’m simple fella (as I think can be deduced from the monkey bums paragraph above) but a happy one.

Cycling with Eliza

A long, long, looooooong time ago I met a rather lovely person in Oak Grove, Eliza Janus. She was sweet, funny and friendly at a time when life in Murray, my home next to Oak Grove, was anything but. Over the years we’ve stayed in touch and lately she’s been very busy gathering her friends about her, setting up groups in-world as well in twitter & flickr. A few weeks back I received a message from her asking if I could spare five minutes for a photo and as one who often drops such requests on my friends how could I say no? I TPed over and was met with an idylic scene in which Eliza was sat on a bike – I hoped on, set my emote to charming smile No. 8 and snapped away!
Eliza_007

Eliza_005

Take a look at Eliza’s version, as well as her other friends joining her on her bike, on her flickr stream here.

Ilia’s old place…

Way back in June I visited my mate Ilia’s place in Kishijoten – at the time she and a friend were tending to some rather charming ruins they had found of the old Forest of Lochraven (as well as to some equally charming sheep). At the time I meant to post the following pictures with a SLURL so you could pop over and see, but one thing lead to another and I didn’t get around to it, but hey! that would be OK I reasoned, after all Ilia was older than me (in SL – in RL she’s a mere babe-in-arms) and the ruins would be there for ages – the post could wait until after Steelhead.

Then she flippin’ went and deleted it as she left SL! Well I felt a right plonker then didn’t I! Anyhoo, never let it be said I’ll let a good post go to waste (and as Ilia is thankfully back in the warm embrace of her virtual mates I feel justified in reminding her of the gorgeousness she created! Hey Ilia – head over to Steelhead Nevermoor and take a look – you’ll love it!) I present you with the three pictures I took in my all to brief visit…

Ilianexsi Sojourner's Place 001

Ilianexsi Sojourner's Place 002

Baaaaaaa!
Ilianexsi Sojourner's Place 003

Why not head over and ask whoever you find if they’ve seen the old ruins of Lochraven – confuse the buggers, go on! 😀
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kishijoten/40/190/33

Destroying the Noyo Mall! Redux!

Remember the half-assed job the work-shy fops at Antfarm & Quinn did destroying the big old empty mall in Noyo? Well their efforts, whilst a bit rubbish, did have the effect of mobilising a small gang of Kahruvel’s friends (and some rabid ducks!) in to action!

Osprey pulled in some favours to call a meteor shower…
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Ilia brought a huge hammer!
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Kumi set some ravenous racing snails on the whole mess…
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Mari brought her construction kit (although I think a meteor smasherated her jackhammer!)
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Enjah let off what I think was some Mickey Mouse ordinance…
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Someone (no one knows who but I heard it was a handsome gazelle-like chap with horns and a rakish smile) crashed a wee UFO into the roof…
Nuking the Noyo Mall

But leave it up to me to bring a ruddy great 50megaton nuke to the party!
Nuking the Noyo Mall

Nuking the Noyo Mall

Nuking the Noyo Mall

Even the Deadly Ducks got involved!

So, did all our efforts bring the rancid old structure crashing to the ground? Did it bugger! The bloody thing was totally unscathed and mocked us with its still-standing-ness. Damn.

Edit: Salazar has managed to delete the mall at last – he says that all our efforts must have weakened it. Yay! Go us!

Dropping in on friends

I was exploring the Pompinio volcano the other day (post on that to come 🙂 ) and I realised I was really close to Bodega where three of my favourite people in the world live so I decided to pop over and see how their houses were doing.

My first stop was Young’s wonderfully elegant (you should expect nothing less) builds on her land – being a very clever sort, Young made these in some 3D software and did a lovely job of the textures giving them a warm, sun-hugged feel that you just don’t see enough of in-world. See them yourself here.
Young Geoffrion's Land in Bodega

From there it was but a very short hop across to Enjah’s amazing (and huge!) hollowed out treehouse. Enjha used to live above her art gallery in Davenport, but a while back she moved the gallery to the Grignano region of Nova Albion city and built her home in a massive tree in Bodega. Take a look here.
Enjah's Treehouse in Bodega

From Enjah’s tree, I took a walk further into Bodega to where Osprey has her rather amazing ‘home’. I say home, but it’s so much more – it’s her gallery, her costume shop, her wildlife reserve, her therma-vent, her gorgeous slice of old Sansara. Explore it here.
Osprey's Place in Bodega

I’m blessed – I know some really talented and friendly folk in SL and I’m lucky enough to call these three my friends 🙂

Steelhead: Nish’s Butterfly house is coming along!

Wowsers! My old mate Nish has been a busy bee! Her Butterfly House (visit it here) is really taking shape now – Frank and I took an early moring ride out into Boomtown (you don’t see the scamps up at dawn, and in Boomtown they tend to stick to the old mines and tunnels rather than the streets so I feel safe) to see it and we weren’t dissapointed! It’s going to be beautiful! Have a poke about and you’ll find she’s added a few fun things you can sit on 😀
Nish's Boomtown Butterfly House

Nish's Boomtown Butterfly houseNish's Boomtown Butterfly House

Nish's Boomtown Butterfly House

I hear that her experiments to breed an anti-vampire vampire moth are going so well she’s thinking of branching out into the anti-zombie field! Maybe she needs to speak to Osprey about these developments as Ms Therian is also a keen developer of anti-monster products

All Your Breadz Are Belong To Us

Osprey had a plan. A secret plan. A sneaky plan. A good plan. A plan to say a big fat happy birthday to Lucy. You can read more about it here on Osprey’s blog – let me merely bathe you eyes in the glory of a dozen large tin ducks on tricycles flashmobbing Lucy, then a prog rock gig, Philip Linden’s house, a pub and finally a nightclub quacking all the way 😉

On a small, forgotten island, Osprey watched the horizon for the unsuspecting Lucy…
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Whilst beneath the waves a silent army of ducks waited for her signal…
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

On cue (LUCY! DUCK!) the army burst forth quacking all the way!
Lucy's Duckie BurpdayLucy's Duckie Burpday

Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Lucy's Duckie BurpdayLucy's Duckie Burpday

After a quick party with Lucy, she donned the tin duck too and we set off looking for sims to gatequack!
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Lucy's Duckie Burpday

We quacked our way through a couple of numbers with The Invisible Band!
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Danced at a great little pub!
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Held a board meeting at Philip Linden’s house (we discussed seed funding)…
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

I took a dip in Philip’s pond… I mean pool…
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

And finally we took over a great nightclub where we demanded BREAD!
Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Lucy's Duckie Burpday

Don’t think this is the last the grid has seen of Da Duckz and their own style of Hamlet’s beebop reality, oh noes we’ll be back! 😉

p.s. For more pics and stuff see these blogs and flickrs: Osprey, Enjah, Lucy, Kumi, Ilia. I’ll add more as they appear 🙂

QUACK!