Clothes, in perpetuity?

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As you know, we like cultural diversity on this blog. So it’s a shame, on discovering this couple at an African themed sim called Drakenssburg Mountains, that the outfits worn by both -clothes as might have been worn by the Massai tribe, originally came from a SL store called Peace & Lol, which no longer exists inworld, nor on the Marketplace.

Yes, it’s strange for a naturist blog to be blogging about ‘clothes’, but wait a moment!

What do you think about items offered in SL stores also being necessary to list on the MP, in perpetuity? I confess it was the uniqueness of these clothes that caught my eye and demanded that I speak to their owners, a couple called Mtendere and Abdoul. Both bought the outfits, which came complete with skins, hair and all clothing and accessories, some years ago. Mtendere confirmed that Peace & Lol was a store that specialised in ethnic clothing, and that the outfit ‘probably cost around L$200’ (although she couldn’t accurately remember).s-l300

Where on earth might you buy clothes like this in SL today? And wouldn’t you like the opportunity to buy such exquisitely tailored items?

It seems to me that there is a clear and obvious case for all items that are made available inworld to also be listed on the MP, and for those clothes to be there in perpetuity. Why should the clothes disappear if the designer leaves SL? After all, in the real world we revere vintage clothes when the designer is ‘no longer with us’, so why not something similar, moving forward, for SL or Samsar?

I favour a system whereby the clothes remain in the MP, and allow the designer to pick up a few L$ here and there in the future. If they decide they no longer wish to have anything to do with SL, well they could ‘sign off’ the cost of the clothes to a central Linden Labs account which could re-distribute any money raised for charity.1199545090_fcbc276b43_b

I also favour this approach to ‘hunt’ or ‘group gift’ or ‘fair exclusives’. After a specified period, 3-6 months, why shouldn’t a L$1 item, or freebie, or GG or hunt exclusive go on to be listed on the MP (at whatever the designer wishes to set the cost at, either into their own coffers or once again to a charitable trust). I do get frustrated with some hunt items I’d love to own, but can’t find, or don’t have the time to find. Screen shot 2011-11-12 at 3.23.55 PM

I suspect I’m not alone in this. You too? I thought so.

So why not provide us with the chance, six months hence, to pick up a dollarbie or gift for L$200-300, whatever, should we choose to do so. And once again existing in perpetuity on the MP.

While all this talk of ‘clothes’ may have you scratching your head as to its relevance to a naturist blog, let me put it like this…there are also many, many, many items (skins, naturist accessory) that I see other naturists wearing or using that I think ‘I’d love to own that’. The same must be true to those of a textile persuasion. But we can’t! We didn’t join SL early enough, or lacked the time to locate the items!

It seems to me that to re-jig the MP to allow designers to benefit in perpetuity, or to allow charity to benefit, would be a good, positive step. Those of us in SL are good at supporting charities.  Why shouldn’t we raise a little more?

 

Abigail

 

Trine adds…’There was also a shop in SL called Yak & Yeti which specialised in ethnic clothing, notably from the Indian sub-continent as Far East and they too appear to have been lost to Second Life users, which is a shame. Yes, I’d be in favour of some repository where we can pick up items that once appeared in SL, even if the designer has long since left SL, and for some sort of charitable donation to be made on their works if they opt not to continue an association with SL. An alternative might be to have it listed on the MP for 10 years after which (like music) it comes out of ‘copyright’ and becomes ‘public domain’ unless the designer decides to ‘opt in’ to copyright renewal.

 

War and Peace

Tolstoy’s epic novel ‘War and Peace’ is currently being shown on the BBC in an equally epic costume drama.

It stars actress Tuppence Middleton as Helene Kuragina, who uses her sexual attraction to move in Russian society. As a result, there’s a fair bit of stripping off, apparently. I’ve read the book, but wouldn’t be disposed to block off a period each Sunday evening to watch it unfold (although I might be tempted by it as a box set).

War and Peace BBC Episode 3 Pictured Tuppence Middleton plays Helene Kuragina in bed with Aneurin Barnard plays Boris Drubetskoy a young army officer Credit BBC Grabbed from Preview site for Christopher Hastings


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This has prompted esteemed British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, who starred in another BBC version of it, made in 1971, to be interviewed in respect of the new ‘sexed up version of Phoar! & Peace’ (you can tell it’s the Daily Mail who get all hot and bothered under the collar about a bit of nudity).

We felt it only right that we should try, in a small way, to re-enact the scenes above within SL.analiya1

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Emily in the role of Helene Kuragina, and Jake in the role of another lover who will aid her rise through Russian society, with ballroom scenes taken at Wilanow Palace, and bathroom & ‘production’ shots taken at Bumrose Club on the Eden Estate

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Abigail

 

Oscars 2016

As we’re examining the state of play regarding skin colour in SL, it was interesting to read about some controversy going on regarding the forthcoming Oscars ceremony, and a boycott by black actors.

I couldn’t care less. Stay at home, black actors. Indeed, while we’re on the topic, stay at home white actors. It’s an awards ceremony. Not something that should be ‘up there’ in vexing any of us.

I get dragged to the cinema once in a while, and come out feeling…rested. Best 90 minutes power-nap I’ll have had today. Sorry, but I don’t identify with actors’  work. I couldn’t care less for their portrayal of …whoever. Nope. Couldn’t care less. It doesn’t make me fool good, feel sad, feel anything, other than bored and sleepy. Someone can tell me what happened at the end in the car on the way home.

My other half is a cinema enthusiast. I’d prefer to be home, cooking something up,  listening to the radio, washing my hair or watching paint dry than stuck in a cinema with an overly loud soundtrack (we aren’t deaf, you know),  while numerous people, or various skin colours, who couldn’t hold down a proper job if they wanted to, be someone else for a while and then talk about their ‘art’. Ha-ha-ha.

An absence of black actors being nominated for this year’s awards has led to a boycott and a hashtag #Oscarssowhite.

Spike Lee, who is apparently a director, said he wouldn’t go, then an actress married to Will Smith said she wasn’t going. (I’ve heard of him, but don’t know who she is, other than as Mrs. Will Smith).

British actress Charlotte Rampling weighed in and said ‘perhaps the films just weren’t good enough’.  Those boycotting were being ‘racist to white people’. Cue another social media storm about that too. She then said she regretted remarks being misinterpreted, by which point I’d long lost interest in a story that just doesn’t go away. How needy are you luvvies anyway?

Then Ice Cube, the rapper turned actor/director, weighs in on British TV. ‘I don’t know what the controversy is about’, he says.

I don’t know, or care, enough about The Oscars history to know if it has undertones of racism in how it hands out awards, but I’ve also learned that they’re planning to change their membership rules to include more minorities and women in determining who gets an award. It seems that 6000 (!!!!) people get to cast a vote, subjectively of course, to determine the winners. I don’t know, the whole process seems as purposeful as saying ‘this is the greatest piece of music made last year, in the last decade, ever’. An entirely abstruse ‘argument’.

Ultimately, this comes down to a particular luvvie being told by a group of luvvies how luvvly they were. ‘And the award for best petit pois on a plate of peas goes to…’ It’s that pointedly pointless.

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Anyway…there’s no such racism at the SL Naturist Awards ceremony, as both main characters in the film ‘Confessions of a Linden Lab Mistress’ are up for gongs (yes, there’s a lot of nudity involved. Why else would we cover a story about a bunch of stupid real life black and white actors saying stupid things about not getting stupid awards for their stupid films?).

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A scene from ‘Confessions of a Linden Lab mistress’

Abigail

 

Topless in NYC (in RL & SL)

It’s legal to be topless in New York City. (link goes to a gallery showing women exercising their right).

The mayor wants to put a stop to this freedom, but apparently has a bit of a fight on his hands.

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NYC topless rights activist Moira Johnston

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The police don’t seem too bothered, do they? 

Why the Mayor wishes to get involved, I’ve no idea. Wait, I do! He’s a politician who feels he needs to interfere with people’s lives, people’s freedoms instead of concentrating on bigger, more important issues. New York’s a great place, everything seems to work well and it has long gone past the days when it had an image of being a dangerous place for tourists and its own citizens alike. I like the vibrant, bustling, colourful melting pot that it is.

Second Life has a fantastically good New York sim. It’s listed as New York 2036, a role-play sim, but teleporting in you’re faced with instructions in German, which I don’t speak, so I can’t actually tell you what sort of RP is involved. The sim has an associated blog, also in German, and a site where the builder(s) list numerous excellent items they designed (descriptions of the buildings in English). What I can say that it’s not some sort of post-apocalyptic imagining, despite some indication that that’s its function. It looks just as NY would look today. There’s no allusion to futuristic cars or anything, the yellow cabs are just the same. The little German I do have suggests it’s maybe a different kind of RP, a gentler one. ‘Kein Force RP’ – no force RP. Having wandered around at length I didn’t see any pose balls or scenes of a specific sort, either, so it would seem that the usual twisted sexual ideas of ‘the future’ are refreshingly absent.

It would be rude not to adopt the ‘top free in New York’ policy while there, though, wouldn’t it? :)

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This young man wanted his photo taken with me

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And the SL-NYPD seem as unperturbed by top-freedom as their RL counterparts.

All in all, an excellent sim, fantastically photogenic, and refreshingly different. Well worth visiting. Be sure to exercise your top-free rights! ;)

Abigail

Method existence, method writing, method acting, shapeshifting

I’ve picked up a thing on the BBC about authors adopting ‘method writing’ in their work -living the life of their characters- in the same way actors now do ‘method acting’.

I kind of sighed at this as ‘news’, because for many people in Second Life, ‘method existence‘ is what we do. An amalgam of ‘writing’ and ‘acting’, aren’t we directing our avatars, writing their script, producing their ‘back story‘, much of the time, particularly in, but not exclusive to, role-play within SL?

I know that the nature of the beast, for me, is that I’m as real, in mindset, actions and behaviour as my first life. How I act and behave is how I am in real life, in other words. But that wasn’t always the case, and I have had times where I’ve been someone else, most recently when setting up an ‘alt’, who was black skinned. In doing so, I would be trying to get inside her head. Of course, and I’ve said this, I can’t possibly comprehend the casual racism black people probably encounter on a daily basis, so it doesn’t exactly work to plan. However, that ‘method existence’ occasionally opens up a mindset we didn’t expect, either in ourselves or others. I would guess there are many males, at the keyboard, living life as a SL woman. Many females, at the keyboard, living life as a male. (I’ve not created a male alt, I should add).

From Puss in Boots (the ogre tricked into changing into a mouse) to Harry Potter (the magician as a rat), shapeshifting is a regularly used device. Just as it is in SL.

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Classical art includes ‘shapeshifting’, as in this Van den Eeckhout painting, where Velrtumnus, as an old woman, woos Pomona

We can shape shift between outfits, looks, gender, skin colour in an instant. And in doing so, for those who do so, there’s a bit of method writing, method acting, method existing going on each time we log in. Mature men pretending to be young men conjure up their memory of youth in order to woo mature women pretending to be young women, whilst conjuring up the memory of youth.

We inhabit our avatars in a kind of ‘method acting’ manner, and have done for more than the decade of SL’s existence. It’s only now that the world of RL literature is catching on?

Trine

 

 

Papa Dom’s Havana Hangout

Cuba. While ‘western’ in terms of its outlook (America’s only 100 miles away), its ideology looks to the European east of the past, and a communist regime. As a result of US sanctions against the communist government, the country (I’ve visited) has a sense of being time-warped. Very much ‘American’ in a sense until the outset of the communist government in 1959, it has meant it is a country still peppered with American cars for which no spare parts can be sourced, leading to a sense of invention and ‘make do and mend’.

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While some communist countries were abject failures, and the very few that remain are laughable in their definition of communism, some worked to greater or lesser degrees. Czechoslovakia might have been regarded as a success of sorts (but how much of a success it was has to be measured by the fact that there was an intelligentsia in the country who were tempering communist excess. East Germany was a semi-success in terms of its industry (great cameras, great radios), but that has to be measured against stereotypical German industry, and East Germany’s a definite failure if one examines the paranoia of its secret police, the Stasi.

Cuba, despite overwhelming odds, ‘worked’. Certainly it worked in terms of education, literacy and universities, and is possibly the best example of Caribbean education systems at work.

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My observations were that the country, while being ‘communist’, contained people aware of and connected with American culture. Their ‘communism’ wasn’t dogmatic, more something they did while not really believing in it too much other than making the right noises for those in authority. For a ‘communist’ country, there was also a deep connection with Catholicism, the state having previously dropped the old communist idea that they were all atheists.

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It’s also worth pointing out that Cuba has a tradition of naturism, notably at Cayo Largo.

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It’s odd, isn’t it, how ‘repressive’ regimes have a history and tradition of ‘ease’ with nudity.

A new sim in SL combines these elements, at Pappa Dom’s Havana Hangout. Is made by the same people who brought you the lovely ‘Lupe’s Magical Forest‘, very much a naturist location we recommend and a place where, if you know it, also contains a Cuban ballroom.

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Trine and Fidel

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I’ve spent some time there recently, and I happened to bump into avatar Ellana, a Floridan with Cuban roots which had attracted her to the sim. The naturist beach there has a nice geography, not the usual palm trees by the score, that gives its naturist area a unique feel much in the same way Lupe’s feels unique.

We’ll be publishing more ‘Havana’ photos, both from the naturist area and the old town area itself, in the coming days on our Flickr page.

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Ellana in Havana

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The naturist sauna

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Trine