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« SEARCH WORKS! THE LINDENS *ARE* THE BOTS! | Main | Rebuttals Page »

April 17, 2007

Comments

buridan simon

All I responded with was 'no one knows yet' and you launch into hatespew. There is a time and a community appropriate for your hate, but that was not it. Given your past, the ban was to protect the gathering from your eventual outburst, which now we have here.

Prokofy Neva

Um, there was no "outburst," buridan, there is just you behaving like an asshole, from start to finish. I think it's important that people SEE this and think about it.

I didn't "launch into" shit. As soon as I landed and saw you were behaving like an ass, I IM'd the girl who had dragged me there, a stranger, and told her what I thought of it. She had sent me an IM about it, trying to drum up a response from public figures or something, who knows.

Out of respect for the occasion, I refrained from taking it further, and didn't.

Your notion that I said "three inappropriate things" is completely fucked. And I mean COMPLETELY.

And this isn't an "outburst," it's a reasoned essay. The kind of thing you're unable to produce, evidently.

And it isn't a "hatespew," whatever Newspeak THAT is, it's a very sharp criticism of somebody pompously trying to posture and play "community leader" -- you.

Why are you trying to choreograph public rituals?

With a horror of this magnitude, people will have differing responses, how dare you script it?!

You should have *shut up*.

There is no "we".

And I "love" the concept of you, as..."community manager?" Elected by...whom? "protecting" the public? on whose say so? From what? Somebody's uncleared and unscripted expression about a horrible massacre?

You will never be able to do that, ever.

just asking

So in order to honor the dead, you point out the morning after a memorial that the memorial was both not spontaneous enough and not the right kind of organized? Imagine if someone from VT were there last night. I wonder how they would feel?

Here's a thought: where was your head during the only memorial held for the dead at VT so far in SL? Certainly not in a very good place for someone who wants to quote Matthew. I mean, if you're going to do that, why don't you just follow the entire Sermon on the Mount (a favorite of Vonnegut's) and extend charity to people who probably, *just like you*, are stumbling around trying to figure out what the hell just happened? Maybe it was scripted, maybe they didn't have all the interactive bells and whistles you complain about missing with the candles (would that have made it a more spontaneous event? No idea.). But you know what? It's not about you either. You complain about this being a mediated event, but reading your post here, all I can think is how nicely the worst of your comments dovetail with manufacturing the morning's news the night before. There is nothing in here that displays any of the Christian self effacement and charity you seem to want to trot out, depending on the person you target with a particular verse in mind.

And here we sit, while all these people are grieving. It makes me feel really gross fighting about the service while all these people are in mourning, but I hope we all take as sincerely as possible anyone's comments in death, and more importantly, the fact that people actually died and that no one knows exactly how to deal with it.

Next time, give it a week before you start mocking a memorial service, at least for the sake of the dead.

PS Susan Sontag had the class not to stoop into ad hominem attacks. Maybe take a cue from her on that one.

Prokofy Neva

I appreciate where you're coming from, but I simply don't agree.

buridan repudiates religion and angrily spouts about those who are believers. But then he goes and makes church -- church more rigid than anything those believers he hates could come up with.

If there's one thing that's artificial and coercive about SL (which amplifies the same features of some RL situations), it's the concept that "we must all come together because of X" or "let's all put aside our differences because of Y".

Whether a week has passed or not, whether someone from VT is there or not, what changes? It's a horror. A horror beyond comprehension even with all the media serving up more clues today, ie that the guy was disturbed, stalking women, taking medications, writing wierd essays in English class, hating rich kids, experiencing the woes of an immigrant to this country from South Korea, whatever. Maybe all relevant; maybe none relevant.

If SL can't help us think more and better about this and be better to each other than RL, then what is it for? Why is being banned from the Church of Channel Joi Ito "better" than RL?

I simply reject that we are to stop trying to think, or think critically, because something like this has happened.

No doubt Susan Sontag was a better person than me. It's irrelevant.

Reading more and more about Joi Ito, I'm disturbed. He literally calls for destruction. Nothing worse than fake peace which is really about destruction.

I don't claim to practice Christian self-efacement. Do you?

Sage Straaf

While I'm not a huge fan of structured grief rituals, anything this soon after the event will always retain some degree of spontaneity, and there are plenty of people who need (or feel they need) some kind of organized framework in which to express their grief.

That being said, I'll be more than a little creeped out when people start selling (if they haven't already) fully-scripted and customizable memorial kits. The protest kits are bad enough -- they just encourage bored kids to make a big show when they neither understand nor care about a cause -- but I simply can't agree with any attempt to both profit off and dehumanize the grieving process.

moo Money

Feel free to label me as a fat cow too, since I know you have a strict height/weight requirement.

Interrupt Spitteler

Honestly, After reading this i think that Prokofy Neva is a self righteous b*tch. Let it go. Buridan felt was appropriate and in good taste and you have to turn into a psychopath about it.

Prokofy Neva

moooo, I speak as one who really wrote the book on being a fat cow, but as I don't recall what you look like in RL, it can wait, surely.

Pile on if you like Interrupt, but use an SL name. I can't join the Church of Channel Joi Ito. I'm sorry. I'm just have to nail my 99 theses on the wall here, as awful as everything is, and as much as the Commmuuuuunity needs the New Priests of the New Media to Do It All For You.

Reading about the victims of VT. The Romanian Holocaust victim who threw himself against the door. The African American engineering student. It's all too much to comprehend. That is, especially if you go in the direction of "it's all the mosaic of God's will," because, nothing seems to tie together a higher sense that involves ruining the promise of a black student who overcame odds to get to college and get good grades, and nothing seems to invest higher meaning for somebody to survive the Holocaust -- the Holocaust! -- and then die *this way* in a classroom in Virginia.

Basically, this is the first national tragedy to be covered by the new media, I mean the fullblown Web 2.0. Sure, Katrina had its blogs and Internet news sites.

And, I'm determined to look to see if it is also media, new or old, that has a role in *making the tragedy itself*. That is, you have to ask that, given the epidemic of school shootings in America, that nobody quite wants to look full-bore in the face right now, but has been creeping around the edges of our consciousness for months, years. It is near the anniversary of Columbine. It's near the anniversary of Hitler's Death, often a date when people fueled on Internet psycho loonie theories and abetted by psycho loonie chatrooms go beserk. Then there's video games.

Here, we're really demonstrably seeing old media crumble and give way to new, in ways we've never quite seen before (and they may patch it up, and it may not be permanent, but it might be the first inkling).

Old media has completely cracked and fractured into a thousand references to MySpace memorializations, and independent amateur cameraman with footage put on YouTube that CNN is now showing.

I have no doubt that the clicks people make on the Times page isn't on the official lead story, but on the bloggy thing called "Lede" with its bazillion links to other media to consume.

The Times has been absolutely gushing about new media, making a huge grab-bag of Flickr pictures of people wearing VT caps, blogs from the region, the student newspaper -- it's like a kaleidoscope of pieces you many never put together.

I'm recalling a colleague in Moscow, a Russian local, trying to cover the bombing of the Russian White House, back in 1993. He could have "finished" covering it as a "regular journalist" and just put the death total, the aftermath, the memorialization of the victims, the speculation about who is to blame. But somehow, as a human rights activist, he became engrossed in covering every single participant's memory of what had happened.

He kept going and interviewing and interviewing and taking notes and taking one lead to the next and getting more pictures and tapes and documents and interviews, endlessly. And when I met him he was in near despair. He didn't feel as if he knew "what had happened," anymore. That is, there were so many factors, people to blame, things happening nobody thought about, like a stuck door preventing an escape that maybe was deliberately jammed but maybe just not working, Soviet style, etc. etc. He was sitting there with boxes of notes trying to make sense of it, to end, to stop the report, to close, to say something final, and I don't think he was ever able to do so (like the JFK assassination).

So let's not forget that what old media did, for all its faults, was at least to tell a coherent story, a narration, to give people a line. People usually *want* a line. And what the new media is doing is fracturing the story line into a million bits and telling people to make up their own story.

So we'll get lots and lots of loudly competing stories. For some, the dominant narration will be "gun control" yet that will be insufficient, because obviously loads of people buy guns at the local Sears and don't shoot their family or fellow students.

"Medications" will be the other theme as the side effects of these psycho-tropic drugs which demonstrably *do* cause violence get new scrutiny.

"Copycats" will be the other theme.

At my son's school, just like most NY city schools, there are metal detectors at the door, and the two security personnel manning it work more thoroughly, with more check-ups and alertness, than any personnel I've seen anywhere, whether an airport, the UN, the State Dept. I mean, these are two black ladies, looking *real* sharp for what's going down because they know their metal detectors are there for a reason.

A phalanx of some 6-8 policemen, fully uniformed and equipped, from the local precinct, are deployed right inside the school.

If you wander around or are lost or look like you don't know what you are doing, a policeman or a supervisor or teacher will ask you what you are doing.

Three times in the last year, when various incidents happened at various schools where my son was, personnel called our home and warned us that some children were talking about "shooting people" and we needed to be on the alert, check backpacks, be available to discuss with children or their friend or neighbours anybody who seemed to be having "issues".

The fear is so great, and with rationality because of the incidents that do occur, minor and major, that they overreact, and send many unformed and impressionable children to school detention, hospital emergency rooms for psychiatric detention, and juvenile hall detention -- thereby worsening them and hardening them.

I really don't like to use this blog for discussion of RL issues. That's because I just frankly don't enjoy discussing RL issues with anonymous Internet fucktards, most of whom turn out to be white male semi-educated or tekkie-educated losers with axes to grind and half-baked leftoid or extreme rightoid views.

Yet the reason I bother debating them in SL is that I think SL is supposed to be a "better world" where they shouldn't be able to amplify their awfulness, and I really despair when I see that in fact they *are* able to do so.

Prokofy Neva

moooo, I speak as one who really wrote the book on being a fat cow, but as I don't recall what you look like in RL, it can wait, surely.

Pile on if you like Interrupt, but use an SL name. I can't join the Church of Channel Joi Ito. I'm sorry. I'm just have to nail my 99 theses on the wall here, as awful as everything is, and as much as the Commmuuuuunity needs the New Priests of the New Media to Do It All For You.

Reading about the victims of VT. The Romanian Holocaust victim who threw himself against the door. The African American engineering student. It's all too much to comprehend. That is, especially if you go in the direction of "it's all the mosaic of God's will," because, nothing seems to tie together a higher sense that involves ruining the promise of a black student who overcame odds to get to college and get good grades, and nothing seems to invest higher meaning for somebody to survive the Holocaust -- the Holocaust! -- and then die *this way* in a classroom in Virginia.

Basically, this is the first national tragedy to be covered by the new media, I mean the fullblown Web 2.0. Sure, Katrina had its blogs and Internet news sites, but this is full-blown now.

And, I'm determined to look to see if it is also media, new or old, that has a role in *making the tragedy itself*. That is, you have to ask that, given the epidemic of school shootings in SL, that nobody quite wants to look full-bore in the face right now, but has been creeping around the edges of our consciousness for months, years. It is near the anniversary of Columbine. It's near the anniversary of Hitler's Death, often a date when people fueled on Internet psycho loonie theories and abetted by psycho loonie chatrooms go beserk. Then there's video games.

Here, we're really demonstrably seeing old media crumble and give way to new, in ways we've never quite seen before (and they may patch it up, and it may not be permanent, but it might be the first inkling).

Old media has completely cracked and fractured into a thousand references to MySpace memorializations, and independent amateur cameraman with footage put on YouTube that CNN is now showing.

I have no doubt that the clicks people make on the Times page isn't on the official lead story, but on the bloggy thing called "Lede" with its bazillion links to other media to consume.

The Times has been absolutely gushing about new media, making a huge grab-bag of Flickr pictures of people wearing VT caps, blogs from the region, the student newspaper -- it's like a kaleidoscope of pieces you many never put together.

I'm recalling a colleague in Moscow, a Russian local, trying to cover the bombing of the Russian White House, back in 1993. He could have "finished" covering it as a "regular journalist" and just put the death total, the aftermath, the memorialization of the victims, the speculation about who is to blame. But somehow, as a human rights activist, he became engrossed in covering every single participant's memory of what had happened.

He kept going and interviewing and interviewing and taking notes and taking one lead to the next and getting more pictures and tapes and documents and interviews, endlessly. And when I met him he was in near despair. He didn't feel as if he knew "what had happened," anymore. That is, there were so many factors, people to blame, things happening nobody thought about, like a stuck door preventing an escape that maybe was deliberately jammed but maybe just not working, Soviet style, etc. etc. He was sitting there with boxes of notes trying to make sense of it, to end, to stop the report, to close, to say something final, and I don't think he was ever able to do so (like the JFK assassination).

So let's not forget that what old media did, for all its faults, was at least to tell a coherent story, a narration, to give people a line. People usually *want* a line. And what the new media is doing is fracturing the story line into a million bits and telling people to make up their own story.

So we'll get lots and lots of loudly competing stories. For some, the dominant narration will be "gun control" yet that will be insufficient, because obviously loads of people buy guns at the local Sears and don't shoot their family or fellow students.

"Medications" will be the other theme as the side effects of these psycho-tropic drugs which demonstrably *do* cause violence get new scrutiny.

"Copycats" will be the other theme.

At my son's school, just like most NY city schools, there are metal detectors at the door, and the two security personnel manning it work more thoroughly, with more check-ups and alertness, than any personnel I've seen anywhere, whether an airport, the UN, the State Dept. I mean, these are two black ladies, looking *real* sharp for what's going down because they know their metal detectors are there for a reason.

A phalanx of some 6-8 policemen, fully uniformed and equipped, from the local precinct, are deployed right inside the school.

If you wander around or are lost or look like you don't know what you are doing, a policeman or a supervisor or teacher will ask you what you are doing.

Three times in the last year, when various incidents happened at various schools where my son was, personnel called our home and warned us that some children were talking about "shooting people" and we needed to be on the alert, check backpacks, be available to discuss with children or their friend or neighbours anybody who seemed to be having "issues".

The fear is so great, and with rationality because of the incidents that do occur, minor and major, that they overreact, and send many unformed and impressionable children to school detention, hospital emergency rooms for psychiatric detention, and juvenile hall detention -- thereby worsening them and hardening them.

I really don't like to use this blog for discussion of RL issues. That's because I just frankly don't enjoy discussing RL issues with anonymous Internet fucktards, most of whom turn out to be white male semi-educated or tekkie-educated losers with axes to grind and half-baked leftoid or extreme rightoid views.

Yet the reason I bother debating them in SL is that I think SL is supposed to be a "better world" where they shouldn't be able to amplify their awfulness, and I really despair when I see that in fact they *are* able to do so.

Prokofy Neva

moooo, I speak as one who really wrote the book on being a fat cow, but as I don't recall what you look like in RL, it can wait, surely.

Pile on if you like Interrupt, but use an SL name. I can't join the Church of Channel Joi Ito. I'm sorry. I'm just have to nail my 99 theses on the wall here, as awful as everything is, and as much as the Commmuuuuunity needs the New Priests of the New Media to Do It All For You.

Reading about the victims of VT. The Romanian Holocaust victim who threw himself against the door. The African American engineering student. It's all too much to comprehend. That is, especially if you go in the direction of "it's all the mosaic of God's will," because, nothing seems to tie together a higher sense that involves ruining the promise of a black student who overcame odds to get to college and get good grades, and nothing seems to invest higher meaning for somebody to survive the Holocaust -- the Holocaust! -- and then die *this way* in a classroom in Virginia.

Basically, this is the first national tragedy to be covered by the new media, I mean the fullblown Web 2.0. Sure, Katrina had its blogs and Internet news sites, but this is full-blown now.

And, I'm determined to look to see if it is also media, new or old, that has a role in *making the tragedy itself*. That is, you have to ask that, given the epidemic of school shootings in SL, that nobody quite wants to look full-bore in the face right now, but has been creeping around the edges of our consciousness for months, years. It is near the anniversary of Columbine. It's near the anniversary of Hitler's Death, often a date when people fueled on Internet psycho loonie theories and abetted by psycho loonie chatrooms go beserk. Then there's video games.

Here, we're really demonstrably seeing old media crumble and give way to new, in ways we've never quite seen before (and they may patch it up, and it may not be permanent, but it might be the first inkling).

Old media has completely cracked and fractured into a thousand references to MySpace memorializations, and independent amateur cameraman with footage put on YouTube that CNN is now showing.

I have no doubt that the clicks people make on the Times page isn't on the official lead story, but on the bloggy thing called "Lede" with its bazillion links to other media to consume.

The Times has been absolutely gushing about new media, making a huge grab-bag of Flickr pictures of people wearing VT caps, blogs from the region, the student newspaper -- it's like a kaleidoscope of pieces you may never put together.

I'm recalling a colleague in Moscow, a Russian local, trying to cover the bombing of the Russian White House, back in 1993. He could have "finished" covering it as a "regular journalist" and just put the death total, the aftermath, the memorialization of the victims, the speculation about who is to blame. But somehow, as a human rights activist, he became engrossed in covering every single participant's memory of what had happened.

He kept going and interviewing and interviewing and taking notes and taking one lead to the next and getting more pictures and tapes and documents and interviews, endlessly. And when I met him he was in near despair. He didn't feel as if he knew "what had happened," anymore. That is, there were so many factors, people to blame, things happening nobody thought about, like a stuck door preventing an escape that maybe was deliberately jammed but maybe just not working, Soviet style, etc. etc. He was sitting there with boxes of notes trying to make sense of it, to end, to stop the report, to close, to say something final, and I don't think he was ever able to do so (like the JFK assassination).

So let's not forget that what old media did, for all its faults, was at least to tell a coherent story, a narration, to give people a line. People usually *want* a line. And what the new media is doing is fracturing the story line into a million bits and telling people to make up their own story.

So we'll get lots and lots of loudly competing stories. For some, the dominant narration will be "gun control" yet that will be insufficient, because obviously loads of people buy guns at the local Sears and don't shoot their family or fellow students.

"Medications" will be the other theme as the side effects of these psycho-tropic drugs which demonstrably *do* cause violence get new scrutiny.

"Copycats" will be the other theme.

At my son's school, just like most NY city schools, there are metal detectors at the door, and the two security personnel manning it work more thoroughly, with more check-ups and alertness, than any personnel I've seen anywhere, whether an airport, the UN, the State Dept. I mean, these are two black ladies, looking *real* sharp for what's going down because they know their metal detectors are there for a reason.

A phalanx of some 6-8 policemen, fully uniformed and equipped, from the local precinct, are deployed right inside the school.

If you wander around or are lost or look like you don't know what you are doing, a policeman or a supervisor or teacher will ask you what you are doing.

Three times in the last year, when various incidents happened at various schools where my son was, personnel called our home and warned us that some children were talking about "shooting people" and we needed to be on the alert, check backpacks, be available to discuss with children or their friend or neighbours anybody who seemed to be having "issues".

The fear is so great, and with rationality because of the incidents that do occur, minor and major, that they overreact, and send many unformed and impressionable children to school detention, hospital emergency rooms for psychiatric detention, and juvenile hall detention -- thereby worsening them and hardening them.

I really don't like to use this blog for discussion of RL issues. That's because I just frankly don't enjoy discussing RL issues with anonymous Internet fucktards, most of whom turn out to be white male semi-educated or tekkie-educated losers with axes to grind and half-baked leftoid or extreme rightoid views.

Yet the reason I bother debating them in SL is that I think SL is supposed to be a "better world" where they shouldn't be able to amplify their awfulness, and I really despair when I see that in fact they *are* able to do so.

Interrupt Spitteler

nobody gives a shit

Prokofy Neva

If you're upset by my blog, and you need something life-affirming, soothing, and with a coherent narrative, go here, to the Blingsider:
http://www.secondlifeinsider.com/2007/04/17/second-life-educators-mourn-together/

Eloise explains that the Kula event was arranged by the Educators. And that made sense, because it was teachers who wanted to show solidarity to a college suffering from such a tragedy. A noble and proper impulse, of course.

Of course, the outsider isn't going to understand that Kula, Channel Joi Ito and all the rest are Educators unless they've tuned into SLED.

And SLED, the newsletter of the edutators, as it turns out (those Eloise didn't mention it, I saw it elsewhere) is edited by a professor who actually teaches at VT and went to work that day and didn't realize at first what was happening.

The Educators are a sacrosanct and privileged group in SL. Indeed, they're the new priests in the new church, responsible not only for managing public rituals but just about any ideological work at all. After all, religion, politics, etc. is all discredited and even hated by these Educators. They are destroying, breaking up, repudiating what they believe to be "outdated" and "outmoded" religious, political, even RL secular practices" and replacing them with synthetic ones.

That doesn't prevent "education" from becoming more zealous, more ideological, and more political than any actual political group, of course, in its set of beliefs.

So Eloise puts the lid on the experience, canning it as follows:

"I am no longer surprised by the solidarity and grief that runs throughout Second Life with these tragedies. I'm getting used to the idea that news from anywhere in the globe actually closely affects someone I know. But I'm still deeply touched to see so many others coming together to mourn."

Linger for a moment on the dismissive "these tragedies". Because...they happen so often. Why?

We are never to understand the springs of hate that make people shoot, or write wierd essays that their professors even worry about, or be given anti-depressants or play video games too much or have to emigrate to a strange land. We are never to really think about the absolute raw horror of those parents still not fully believing the news, or the individual and unsung acts of heroism that took place during the atrocity.

We now have converted -- within 24 hours of the new media cycle -- from grief into relief. Now, we can applaud that newest of the new religions, Second Life Solidarity and that newest of new rituals, the Coming Together. THAT's what's important, keep your eye on THAT!

If you overlook the secondlifedeals site spam in the comments (I *think* it's not relevant) you'll scroll down to an Outlet for Your Grief which is a Fund. Perhaps $117 US or $1047 US might be raised in Linden micropayments to help pay for rehabilitation of those injured.

Some pictures are on Flickr of the Worthies who put on the event -- and we're done! You can go back to playing SL or Wii or Twitter now!

Prokofy Neva

So I guess for me the moral of this story within SL terms is about the further destruction of the public space into the niches of tribes.

Desmond Shang

Prokofy, I note your focus on this, and your dislike of the New Media, but I think there's more than one side to it.

The New Media has laid tragedy at our door like never before. And the New Media, as we are often reminded, is us.

Some examples are in order.

SL's own Flyingroc Chung (unharmed fortunately) and honest-to-god statements of concern: http://forums.neufreistadt.info/viewtopic.php?t=1029

Some commentary that the perpetrator was on 4chan: http://forums.secondcitizen.com/showthread.php?t=11330

Truly horrifying and scary, and very personal. A site like 4chan, normally dismissable as a gathering site of relatively harmless losers - now takes on a deeply, deeply sinister dimension. Is it all of them? Certainly no. But I think internet threats on 4chan and elsewhere will resonate a lot louder for decades to come.

* * * * *

Events in SL are hard to do with the 'right vibe'. Hell, it's hard to do in first life. I've never been to a memorial in first life that didn't have awkward silences.

People are real people, not actors... if you *did* feel a really touching memorial was done flawlessly right, *then* I'd start to worry. Then it would be strong evidence of rehearsal.

I've met Moo on the grid, and she's about as real a person as they come. I have no experience with any of the other characters in your writeup, but Moo is quite genuine, and very inaptly named too I might add.

* * * * *

Once upon a time, the Vietnam War was brought into everyone's livingroom with that New Media, television. It horrified people when they didn't want to be horrified.

Now, it's more real than ever. I know a US citizen on the grid who was sent to Iraq, in the armed forces - someone who is in very real danger.

The New Media is truly us, and it's brought tragedy even closer than our livingrooms. It's not just a bunch of twitters or a link montage off a consumerist news site.

The Iraq War tragedy is now a part of our personal collective playground - its participants are on the grid, its danger is palpable and its face very human, avatars notwithstanding.

Real people we know in ordinary fashion... horrifically in harm's way amidst the dream houses, the whimsical art, the lols and the rofls.

That's the New Media I see, and that's the side of it that has stunned me to silence lately.

Even as little bits of text in a laggy pretend world, it's unfolding in more gritty, realtime manner than anything I'd ever wanted to experience.

Sage Straaf

@Desmond Shang:

I agree with many of your comments, but I feel I must correct you on the 4chan thing. Last I heard, the rumour started when somebody saw a poorly-photoshopped screenshot (check out the incorrect format on the time), so... if the guy frequented 4chan at all, we can be pretty damn sure that he left no such message.

Of course, it was still a pretty sick joke, most likely perpetrated by /b/tards for the lulz, but it's better to blame them for what they DID do and not for crimes only jokingly attributed to one of their number.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond, I don't "dislike" the New Media.

Media is media. It's like air. You can't "dislike" air. Air is just a conveyor. It can convey airborne viruses or pollens or rose scent or oxygen.

The old media in McLuhan's concept of the Global Village actually did all those things you are describing about bringing wars to living homes, but then they also reduced them utterly and made them commodities and things to ignore or feel helpless about. I don't think McLuhan lived long enough to see that effect, back when he was excited about the Global Village.

In fact, if we're to be scientific here, we might say New Media actually starts long ago in the 60s when it makes the local so global and visa versa, or begins that process.

I just don't see why I need to celebrate the flowering of a thousand manifestly mediocre or even malicious egos in the fractured fairy tale of the new media. Or even proclaim that it is in fact this wondrous pluralistic thing when it's just a more efficient mind-meme virus carrier for a lot of warmed over Leninist extremism at worst or blan Marxist politics at best that people would blush to spout even in their college dorm bull sessions.

I was waiting nervously all day for someone to write just what you are writing, Desmond. That the perpetrator was on MySpace, or even, God forbid, Second Life. And that's he is on 4chan is no surprise, if validated. 4chan is of course the thing that spawns some of the worst griefers in Second Life.

And yes, I've always said that as above, so below, like the ancients, that what you do in the fantasy of cyberspace does affect your soul and does play out in manifestations in RL. And I cited also this fellow I know who works on hate crimes, and their information about how a goodly percentage of those who hate-monger on the Internet take it into violent acts in RL.

And that's why things like "a rape in cyberspace" and W-hat and V-5 antics *matter*.

But...is this even accurate information? And how will we know? And it's bruiter-about in the SL-sphere is Joshua Nightshade, hardly a recommendation for accuracy. Ugh.

I'm finding the comments to the effect that it's more likely the 4chan people are mocking the tragedy with no empathy than that they are involved, but who the hell knows.

What press reports and interviews with his room mate say is that he spent long hours at his computer.
Doing what is not known. Interestingly, everywhere, the authorities keep citing "privacy" as a reason not to examine the contents of essay copy-books and computers. Of course they need the confidentiality for the success of the investigation.

Now, is this all to say OMGODZORZ the Intarweb and gamez are responsible for massacres? No, they aren't for most people. But they are for some obviously. So could we look at this with an open mind and try to parse it? Is it too much to ask people to keep an open mind about the causes of such a horror, given that it doesn't end, but repeats, again and again?

It's very hard to get people to look at their online activities -- shooting, griefing, banning, muting, kicking, perpetuating hate, or lulzing about photoshopped mockeries of horrors, or whatever awful thing they do -- as related to real life stuff. If you even *try* to get people to think about it, some moral-quivalence squads come along and try to berate you for even trying to reason by analogy.

And yet we must. Because it is related. And we need to keep an open mind about how it is related.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, I need to pause and note that they hysterics on SC are now claiming that I "griefed" this memorial. That's just insane. I said two lines at this memorial, in which other people talked incessantly, including of course buridan, who dominated it. The record shows that.

I have no idea why I was *invited* to this event by someone I don't know -- I think it's because they were staging it as a media occasion and wanted media coverage of their posturing.

Prokofy Neva

To continue, Desmond:

1. I have tenants who are deployed in Iraq. They come and go, sometimes disappearing for a long time. I talk to them and try to maintain as much normalcy for them as I can. I worry when I don't hear from them but I don't probe. I figure they don't wish to talk about the battlefield while in their second lives, or if they did, I'd hear about it.

2. What wasn't clear to me from the start about this choreographed memorial is that it was the Educators getting together to perform a synchronize ritual.

Here's the somewhat garbled and unclear message I got about this event before going to it:

[18:28] Keiko Ketsugo: I thought you might beinterested
[18:28] Keiko Ketsugo: [17:40] buridan Simon: Tonight, at 8pm pst, sltime, turn the grid dark, midnight in rememberance of those lost in the Virginia Tech mass murder, there will be a candelight vigil in the kula coloseum from 8pm until midnight kula 251, 255, 27 all are welcome, come let your light shine out against the violence.

That didn't say "This is for Educators (hushed whisper) to show solidarity to their colleagues at the Church of Channel Joi Ito."

It didn't say "This is a solemn program with speakers, poets, music."

Instead, it said "Candlelight vigil". So I took that to mean, "Bring a candle, and try to let your little light shine in the darkness of this awful national -- and international -- event."

Like I said, I'm out of practice for the right gestures to make for the biggest mass murder in U.S. History.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, Desmond, let me also respond to your claims about Moo Money.

>I've met Moo on the grid, and she's about as real a person as they come. I have no experience with any of the other characters in your writeup, but Moo is quite genuine, and very inaptly named too I might add.

I don't care that her name is "Moo Money" with any kind of associations -- that means nothing.

Everybody has their own experience of people like Moo Money.

Mine is different. I see moo Money chasing after the FIC at every event, trying to ingratiate herself into their ranks. She's a hanger-on, a groupie. Every society has one. And such people are the lubricant that makes the society flow, and that's fine. But it's just not a role or a persona that I care for much.

moo, from my outside observation, is busy going around to various conferences, getting sometimes sloppy-drunk with other sloppy-drunks, and then filming jagged and jittery clips of things like zefrank being shanghaied on the sidewalk and told to hold a teledildonics device. I find this sort of frat humour crude and stupid.

A lot of this game conference reporting is basically along the lines of "Wow, here's the famous Eric Linden I'm trying to suck up to" or "wow, here's some more famous people and we met some other famous people and then we all went to a bar". That's the sum of the reporting you get on blogs, on Twitter, on the Blingsider.

Forgive me if I find that less than compelling, Desmond. I gather you wouldn't either, but perhaps moo flattered you in some way.

moo makes valiant attempts to flatter. I recall it was she who came up to me at the Herald party last year and said, "I'd like to extend a hand of friendship," which she was doing merely out of some sense of career-building and being able to style herself as talking to everybody.

I frankly said that no, anyone who supports SC as she has done, and titters along with all the assholes on SC, is going to have their hand of friendship bitten off up to the elbow. That sounds really nasty and harsh, doesn't it? But the treatment meated out to me on Second Citizen is far, fare more psychotic, wierd, and harsh than anything I might dream up, and a little silly sycophant like moo needs to hear that.

moo flopped big time trying to make the grid review with her little girlfriends, but in fairness to her, she learned from that experience and was gracious about passing the baton. moo will eventually grow up and become more professional. She has little of any role model to follow among the set she runs with, who tend to be shallow and mediocre. Still, she might rise up above it!

Prokofy Neva

In any event, anything we might say here about personalities and events and squabbles in SL will naturally sound petty and stupid in the face of the awful and epic national tragedy.

I am just hoping to try to go on thinking about it, that's all, and fighting against the trivialization or exploiting of it in SL that I saw going on.

reeneebob Birmingham

Prokofy, you are a disgusting inhuman waste of space.

Just when I think you can't stoop lower, you manage! Your family must be *SO* proud.

You make me sick.

Desmond Shang

Indeed, I saw that there was *commentary* regarding the perpetrator making statements, and as such I listed the source.

I personally believed the commentary at the time, but now seeing things progress I'm not so sure.

It would be nice to have some official statements forthcoming with regard to the facts, from the investigation authorities.

Lorelei Patel

"nothing seems to invest higher meaning for somebody to survive the Holocaust -- the Holocaust! -- and then die *this way* in a classroom in Virginia."

You know, I've been thinking of that. He was killed on Yom Ha'Shoah, Holocaust rememberance day.

I'm in no way saying that it was good or fitting, but...

In it's own way, it is beautiful. For me, at least, thinking about the Holocaust always gets around to the question of "what would I do if...?" What would I do if I were suddenly faced with true evil? Would I have the courage to save others, or would I only be able to act for myself.

One of the lessons of the Holocaust, I believe, is that there comes a time when you have to be willing to save others, even when your life is on the line. Perhaps Librescu learned that 60-some years ago. In any case, he put it into practice on Monday.

A hero, in the truest sense.

Also, in light of what happened Monday, where true evil was seen ... Prokofy, doesn't it seem a bit silly to be calling your SL rivals the same? To call this shooter evil, just as you called Aimee... rather devalues the word, doesn't it?

Prokofy Neva

No, it doesn't. That's a typically facile and innane thing to say. Because evil isn't one word that applies to only one manifestation of evil, it applies to many, and the scale of evil, while different in virtual rather than real still draws from the same springs and dynamics.

For one, I don't believe in tragedies somehow wiping out people's bad deeds, or forcing some hydraulic operation that wipes all slates clean. Why?

I remember Jennyfur trying to play this manipulative game by invoking the death of Felicia and the need to focus on "higher values" as a way of distracting from the shamefulness of her conspiring to ban me from SLCC, then lying about it (that was done, given the public record already on her very own rat's nest, SC). And I stood my ground and called her on it. Just because someone died in RL doesn't mean you get to be an ass and lie about something you did, which was wrong.

I'm a big believer in the Auden poem "About suffering they were never wrong the Old Masters"
http://poetrypages.lemon8.nl/life/musee/museebeauxarts.htm

I could see this starkly on 9/11 when the lower half of Manhattan was in flames with people dying, and there were actually people sunbathing and walking their dogs in the upper part of Manhattan.

It's always going to be like that, someone will be having a horrible death and someone will go ahead with their wedding anyway on Sept. 12, as I saw one person do. They have to. Life always goes on living and the dead bury their own dead. One doesn't get to trump the other.

Aimee *is* evil for deliberately lying and hyping and exaggerating and even apparently believing her own hysteria that I'm some dysfunctional nutter stalking, libeling, making violent incitements and making death threats. It's she and her little companions in the cesspool of SC that are doing that merely because I criticize their behaviour in SL, which is my right and indeed duty.

Maybe Aimee should get a grip and really think what real violence and real death threats are with a thing like this VT horror, and stop lying about them and trivializing them in a virtual-world related situation. Nobody has made any violent incitements or death threats, and she knows that perfectly well, she just choses to be contrarian, literalist, and obnoxious about it, like a little toddler who is told not to touch something or not cross a line and does it anyway, in some surge of practicting for possibly a later full-blown case of opposition defiance disorder.

Why don't you take your literalist and pestery questions back to Aimee, Lorelei, and ask her how on EARTH she could use words like "violence" or "death threats" about *somebody calling her on her bullshit in a virtual world where she has overexposed her underwear for sale* and *somebody saying they'd cheerfully strangle an obnoxious stalker*. I mean seriously, Lorelei, do you have any sense or logic at all? Here's a situation where we can see REAL signs of death threats *carried out*.

Don't you think it's pretty ridiculous -- and then starts to just become pathological and even sinister -- for a recluse game-clothing designer spending too much time online to continue to make false claims of stalking, violence, and death threats about my *legitimate* criticism of her behaviour? Hello?!

Some people seem unable to form their own personalities without constant references to others that they constantly ridicule or reject (SC posters suffer from that problem in spades with their Prok obsession). This seems to be common to young people online today. I've already formed my personality being twice their age, so it seems like a really obvious problem to me.

I think it's evil to lie, evil to keep lying, evil to keep lying on top of lies, to keep arrogantly, obnoxiously, deliberately, maliciously misrepresenting a situation. Aimee thinks she can run this gambit. I'm here to say "no," something probably her parents never did enough of.

kirpaan dagger

This is so much bs. It makes me sick. I barely see aimee say two words about you but you go on and on about her.

You last blog attacking her specifically was the biggest pile of lies I have ever seen. You intimidating that girl and everybody sees it. Its sick.

If aimee is watchin... Get a lawyer, file a restraining order against prok before you get hurt.

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