Wednesday, December 28, 2011

French Poem

For some reason tonight, I was inspired to write a poem in French.


Rêves ma amour douce
être traité puissiez-vous
dans le plaisir
à reprises deux

trouver puissiez-vous
dans les votre rêves
tranquillité pour d'vous


Sweet dreams my love
may you be treated
in pleasure
to times twice

May you find
in your dreams
peace for you

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Story on Mars

This is a pet project of mine that kinda gets some inspiration from RP.  However, this story is one that holds on its own, much like the Latin Story, Stabat Mater.  Difference is that this is a more recent project.  Check it out for yourself on my Livejournal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Penalty Of Living Too Close To The Flesh

The title is a play off of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ, where he stated, “The penalty of those who live too close to the flesh is to never understand the spiritual.”  I had recently in my more 'real life' journal, put up an article on the matter of such words with regards to pornography.  You can read this article here, if you like.  Though it's certainly not required reading or anything.

I thought about this concept, about there being a penalty upon persons 'living too close to the flesh.' Ioh, as a hybrid, his character was produced naturally by birth of other natural hybrid felines called Feles.  Under his core background, he sees his particular world as natural, his flesh and bones as natural.  He comes from a feline society that has culture, religion, and tradition.  Sexual intercourse is managed in much the same manner of tribal societal design.  That is, among the leaders, the chiefs and elders, sex was managed through matrimony and intended as a matter of continuing the lineage of the leadership.  Thus there was an importance imposed upon the children of leadership, to which arranged marriage would be the common tradition.

However, in the most recent diaspora caused by human poaching that amounted to genocide of the Feles found in Africa, what remains of the tribes is unknown.  In these uncertainties, purity of breeding is lost to the expediency of having some sort of lineage to pass on.  That meant the loss of any taboos associated to tribal societal differences and, later, what extended to the modern feline hybrids, and ever further 'degradation' with regards to interbreeding with humans.  However, it is reasoned among Feles that this is the only way to maintain their lineage in the world, even though it is at the cost of no longer the existence of a pure Feles race.

Understand, none of this is intended to support any notion of interbreeding between humans and animals.  It is also not meant to be an argument in favor of racism, or any sort of racial or species supremacy.  However, it does denote various lines of such undercurrents that can be found in a staunch or extreme zeal if culture, religious and social principles, and other things of humanity go unchecked.  Discernment of the principalities that guide or rule us is always important.  For if we do not safeguard ourselves from an overzealous nature that would dictate our possible extermination, and that of life around us, then what we have instead of the intended desire for life is that of a hardened practice of a cold, mechanical culture of death.

But even in the speaking of a 'culture of death', I do not mean to demonize death.  There is a place and time for it in the nature and order of things.  For if indeed our soul is eternal, then passing on from this life, we therefore transition into a 'new' or different phase of life.  And maybe while we are in this physical body, there are the warring factions of the principalities going on that both promote and demote human life.  We both present a case for and against the human race, offering ourselves up to their judgment, or ordering our lives to certain principalities as if to follow their precepts will somehow bring us to greater fulfillment in the life hereafter.  And maybe that is so.

And maybe what precepts we carry into this life beyond the physical are the strongholds that may either expand or limit our experience in that dimension.  It's almost as if our life on earth is but a testing ground, and maybe indeed little more than a vacuum test tube inside a bubble for a long term experiment that's lasted some thousands, or maybe millions, possibly billions of years, depending on what time frame you wish to consider.  Regardless, whatever this experiment is, it's creation goes into that timeless dimension that we have often imagined, but always come away from with more questions than answers.

I suppose I've gotten astray from Ioh a bit.  But inevitably, even this tangent finds its way into the core of Ioh.  For I cannot deny that he is me.  He is an avatar, and one extension of me within a virtual world, or metaverse.  And that grid is much akin to a microcosm of the macrocosm of the world we reside in within real life, which is still in turn but a microcosm of reality within the fullness of the universe itself.  When we move about in Second Life, we find ourselves in a simulated metaphysical universe, which could be cause enough for why to coin a virtual world as part of a metaverse.  It also may be a kind of reflection of the universe itself, if indeed it is a bubble to which the earth is like a test tube in a vacuum within. Thus, Second Life, and all the other virtual worlds created, or yet to be created and populated with virtual avatars, they are all part of our created vacuum of a test tube  that we experiment within for our own purposes.

Of course, the question always remains of, why?  And the answers are just as vast and riddled as the nature of 'why?' with regards to the universe as a whole.  And I'm not about to try to answer and explain them here.  I doubt I adequately could.  But I do think that our participation within a virtual world has the potential to help us tap into the mysteries of the universe, in as much as as we see the reflection of it within our created metaverse.  But even there, and like St. Paul is believed to have written that, "We see now through a glass in a dark manner" (I Cor. 13: 12a).

Living too close to the flesh becomes a concept for Luke in the current RP he is in due to the particular nature of were self. Were creatures in the Cove are not allowed magic by way of their 'disease' of lycanthropy. In some ways, this reflects on the 'penalty'. Because the 'disease' affects were creatures in a certain fashion, they are more attuned to animal instincts, and thus the 'flesh' is more imposed on them. Does that completely deny them any spiritual aspect? Of course not. But it does play on that concept that magic is denied them by way of some punishment.  Were creatures still can attain certain other supernatural aspects and awareness. And from that, they can develop a mysticism and a rationale among them that would rather deny their particular species as diseased or cursed, and possibly among themselves consider themselves blessed or better enhanced. A certain pride may come from this. They may even see themselves as leaders and people that, with power and might, are intended to rule.

Luke, however, sees his world through mystery, though mysticism. He prefers to hide his abilities as much as he can. He masks his were creature portion of himself in as much as he can manage it. The nature of being a were creature does not always help him abide in that secrecy, but he still works hard to maintain it. His world is prioritized between his business of Cairo's Cardamom Coffee as the front, or what he wishes to extend as the image of who he is to the RP world of Cranberry Cove. He speaks of his 'family', which is important, both in regards to maintaining the business front, as well as of private importance as those he as Aleph, or the Alpha of the Pard is in charge of to protect. And under that layer of family, within the Pard Lair resides the core, or heart of Luke, the Pard, and Cairo's. The 'inner sanctum' holds the mystery of all that comprises Luke and the Pard, to which Cairo's maintains through what business the coffee shop does within the Cove.

In some ways, Luke reflects a particular way in which I feel about religion in my first, or real life. While I do have a religion, which is Catholic Christian at it's core, it is not something I purposely nor actively display to the world. It is not that I deny any commission to go out and spread the faith to the ends of the earth. I do my part through my own testimony, and I do have my failings in my own fractured nature as a human. But I just don't run all over town and shout to the ends of the earth how I am a Christian and Catholic in faith. My best testimony is not going to be in what I say, but what I do. It's also an imperfect testimony, because I can be a hypocrite, and I can be all the things that are not so great about being a human. But maybe, in as much as I seek out for something greater than myself, I testify to what is better than me, to the One who is the far better being than I am. But I am still in the process of becoming. I am still waiting and anticipating the day that I am face to face with my Creator, the One who has ultimate authorship over my life. And so, even as St. Paul had written, so do I reflect on how "I know in part, but then, I shall know even as I am known" (I Cor. 13: 12c).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Past Postings

I remember when MJ said he'd do it, that he'd copy my blog posting to PDF.  And on recent searching of Ioh's name, I found this:

Thus, even while I deleted the posting here on the Acta, this is still floating about on the web.

But that's fine by me.  I have nothing to hide even now.  But, after over a year since posting it, and nearly two years since the final fallout, Things have changed enough in my life to be able to re-read it and reflect a bit.  

While I may have nothing to hide, it doesn't mean that I don't regret the things that happened to bring us from that 'in love' feeling to being so out of it.  And despite a still common opinion that I just left, not just Bails, but Midian itself, because I wasn't getting my way, it was never how I intended things.  It's just how things 'progressed', and not in a positive way.

There's people that are angry at me to this day, and likely will never speak to me again.  And that's fine.  I can't change that.  The difference having been felt were that some of these people are people that I once trusted and cared for.  They likely don't believe that I ever did, and I can't change their feelings and opinions on the matter. So I won't try.  If they choose some day to talk, and not make it into some drag out drama or argument, I'll consider talking to them, maybe even friend them again.  But I'm not going to force the issue.

Some people might consider it caving if indeed I did talk to them again, and especially if I were to ever become friends again with them.  But I just can't close the door completely on people.  I might lock it for a while if I feel that's the best thing to do, for both our sake and sanity.But I can never keep it fully closed to anyone.  Not to say it's completely open, but it's not completely closed either.  Only time and circumstances can tell what will be the end result, on if the door remains open or is shut completely.  But I'm not about to go seeking out anyone.  They know where to find me.

The main reason I post this is as a reminder, first and foremost to myself.  One aspect is that nothing that goes out on the web is ever fully taken off.  There's still some residuals, even if such things may be linked or copied, as well as what memory other people choose to keep.  That being said, few things are private in a web community, and many things can come back to haunt you.  But, they can also be reminders of how things used to be.  And not just the bad stuff, but even the good.  

And maybe, just maybe, can learn from those things that stick in the web how to work towards preventing the bad stuff from happening again, and consider ways to bring out the good stuff that makes a life (both virtual and 'real') worth living.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Idea of Home

A friend on my FaceBook put this clip up:

I haven't seen Garden State before, but this scene kinda hits me.  Probably because of some crap I've been through lately.  Frustrations in certain things I've tried to do, and everything I worked on being just tossed.  And there is that sense of being there, but not really.  Like there was an idea, but it's getting lost.

The intro to the pool scene, where everyone but Largeman jumps in is kinda where I've been at.  Everyone's jumped into an idea, or made up their own world, their own pool, that largely is theirs.  And I'm looking at it, and while I'd once seen the idea, or thought I had ideas for how I could be in that pool, I can just see myself looking like some 'wet beaver.'  And I know how to swim just fine, thank you.

But to some extent, I did jump in, with encouragement of people I've considered friends.  Or at least one.  But I didn't lose that 'wet beaver' aspect, and wound up on one side of the pool away from everyone else.  Despite encouragement, even compliments, and told how wonderful my ideas were.  Nothing really has stuck.  Instead, pretty much everything has been thrown to the side, and I'm the one that's supposed to accept it all.  Pretty much, all I got is a damn sympathy vote keeping me anywhere in this pool.

I can't help but feel that any idea of home is gone.  Sure, I've rented, paid rent in this place, put up my ideas, tried to promote things.  And what do I get for it?  Told that I've got great ideas, but no, they're not usable.  They need to change.  'We' think, and yet, I get two separate views from those that are in this royal 'we' usage and dictator-like authoritarian crap I get on one end.  And yet there is the other that encourages me, tells me that I'm doing great things.  And I'm like, "Well which the fuck is it?!?!"

I feel like one side of this 'we' wants to send me out packing from town, while the other side wants me to be a part of things.  And I'm so damn confused and frustrated.  I don't know which side to believe.  I don't know if it even matters any more.  Because no matter how many times I'm told how wonderful I am, just as many times I'm told how horrible I am.  And this isn't even starting with my own damn mind in my own damn thick ass skull.

So I don't know what to do.  I'm writing in my journal this because it's at least better than trying to rant to individuals that I don't know if I should trust.  And I'm trying to keep this as general and ambiguous as possible, while still getting the bullshit out into something cohesive and constructive.  But one side may just continue to say that whatever I type is dung and hating me all the more.  At this point, anything I say will not change that.  So I'll say what I have to say here, because it is one place they can't play that authoritarian bullshit on me.  Because this is my blog, not theirs.  This is where I should be able to have my say, and not be told, "No, you're not doing what we want you to do!"

I hate that royal 'we' bullshit.  Or saying "We're all part of a team," when you really mean that you, the one using the 'we' is the lead bully that wants everyone to conform to your way of thinking.  Or to be all authoritarian about guidelines and try to micromanage a person to death.  I don't consider that wanting people to work as a team.  Not when every damn thing I've worked for has practically been thrown out the window.  It feels more like trying to throw me into place, and that place, from what it's looking, is not within the pool.  Nope, I wasn't wanted in the pool, in the first place is the message I'm getting.  Why should I join that sort of team?  A team I consider more of a dictatorship with me the unwanted minority.  Why say, 'Come be a part of the team!' when you really mean, 'Get the fuck out of Dodge!'?

The more things continue this way, the more I believe I don't belong in the pool. So maybe it's about time to just get out of the pool and find my own swimming hole elsewhere.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To be a hybrid or not to be?

That is a question.  It's one that comes up often in SL, particularly in RP, though sometimes in non-RP areas as well.  It's kind of a mixed bag, regardless of whether you RP or not.  Though I would say that there is more room to move about as a hybrid in general SL than RP.

Why is it harder to RP as a hybrid character?  It's both a mixture of IC and OOC issues.  ICly, if you play it right, a hybrid is somewhat like a second class citizen in RP.  I tend to consider it much like African Americans from Civil War times on up to the Civil Rights.  I'm not saying a Hybrid has to be African American, nor originate out of Africa, though Ioh does happen to derive from North Africa in the area around where St. Augustine of Hippo came from.  There's many reasons for that choice beyond some connection to a 'out of Africa theme.  And those choices are personal and intimate to Ioh's character.  But this I think is not so uncommon for most mature RPers.  If you want a 'real' character, one that comes 'alive', you have to put that sort of depth and history into a given character you choose to create.  I could have just as easily made him some African tribesman, or Hungarian Viking, and all this would still apply.  Whether black, white, furry leopard hide with spots.  There has to be some sort of realism/verisimilitude to the character for someone to buy in to their authenticity.

This by no means implies 'acceptance'.  At the very least, I am not asking for a favorable reception of my character from all other characters he comes across.  And, honestly, I never did find that ever to be the case in places like Midian, where there was the UAC actively persecuting hybrids, and Human's First that was a political activist movement against hybrids.  These may, or may not have been OOC realities of the persons behind the characters in these given groups, but they were very real reactions within the IC.  They were things that Ioh had to interact with, and chose how to respond.  And I was fine with that, as it was all part of the story.  It was part of how the RP worked.

But, it's not just on the human side of things that hybrids have difficulties.  There are also the characters that are under a mask or stay hidden in the shadows.  Is it fair to have lycans always hiding their beast-like appearances when a hybrid can run about with ears and tails?  Why can't a vampire always show their fangs and be all vampirey all the time?  Or what about fae and glamour?

These are all good questions, and on the surface, it may seem like a hybrid gets favorable treatment to be able to have their ears, tail and fur shown to everyone.  But if that's the case, then why is it that hybrids have to be limited to a second class citizen and constantly being questioned about whether they are more animal or beast - whether they have a soul and can have equality with humans.  Consider then, that the non-human races that can more easily disguise themselves have it better off.  They can hide what they are and not have to deal with the constant questioning out in the open.  Sure, they may have ideas that humans would not accept them, but hybrids know for a fact that they are not accepted.  They are confronted with it.  The discrimination is right out in the open as much as their particular features are there to be examined and disapproved by a human oriented society.  All the other non-human races that can hide themselves get a pass from such open hostilities, for as long as they can keep their existence hidden.

Of course, the other races may question, "Why hide?"  If they are indeed so superior to humans, then why hide?  This is always a curious question.  The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs explores this concept pretty well.  At the beginning of the series, the fae wind up having to come out.  It started with a case where a fae was put on trial for murder.  It wasn't known at the time that the person suspected of being the murderer was fae.  He was a gardner for some rich person, and this person got murdered by use of gardening shears.  The only way to prove the gardener's innocence was for him to drop his glamour to show what he is.  For, as a fae, he could not use items made of metal, so he couldn't possibly have used the shears without them harming him.

The story goes on to talk of how the werewolves decided they had to come out.  And yes, there was conflict there, even among the wolves as some of them did not want the wolves to be outed to the public.  Part of this was from watching the treatment of the fae, how in many places, humans sought to harm them due to fears and prejudices.  Of course, the not so great history of the fae and their encounters with humans don't help much either.  Yet the Gray Lords deemed that lesser fae, such as brownies and whatnot out themselves.  Eventually, for 'security reasons' the fae were placed in reservations, and, while outed, they generally keep to themselves.  The wolves against werewolves being outed did not want to go through such things.  Yet, there were wolves in certain professions of law and medicine that were realizing that the abilities of modern technology were starting to make it harder for them to stay secret for much longer.

And so the Marok, the head wolf of the North American Werewolves selectively had certain wolves come out to act as representatives of  the werewolf population.  They put on the front that wolves are protectors - they are among your cops, your military, your firefighters - and are all out to serve and protect as outstanding heroes in your community.  Of course, wolves have many dark elements underneath that front.  But that is how the Marok chose to portray the wolves in hopes of trying to gain acceptance for the existence of werewolves among human society.  Yet, there were opposing groups that looked to find instances of werewolf attacks, and other ways to discredit the werewolf image.  More so, laws were being pushed to consider that werewolves are more animal, or at least not human enough to be regarded as citizens or to have equal rights to humans.

Vampires in the Mercy Thompson world did not want to be outed at all.  After all, it becomes harder to feed off humans when they become aware of what you are.  And despite their greater strength, it just wouldn't benefit them to wipe out their food.  So they came to prefer the shadows over coming to the light.  The obvious reason about light and all is because most vampires are not able to go out by day, unless they want to die - er, no longer exist to be animated undead.

For me, you cant spotlight just one race, such as hybrids, and say because they can do something another race can't (such as have ears and tails showing) , and call it unfair or preferential treatment.  In the long run, and looking at each particular race from its own individual traits and unique aspects, you can't say that is being treated with more or less preference.  They each have their own abilities, their own reasons to do things, their own motive and individual characters and depth of play.

If there's anything I would ask of a human, or non-human, but also non-hybrid character to consider is that it's quite alright to have IC reasons to hold prejudice against hybrids.  It's another thing to hold them in OOC.  If you would like to have hybrids as part of the general reality of your RP, then by all means.  I may even enjoy RPing there.  But, don't measure the quality of a hybrid, or any character by the personal perceptions that come from a singular experience or stereotype.  Be true to your character's genuine reactions, but don't let that flow into OOC.  Assuming we all want to make good stories, we have to step away from the first person or our character and take a look at the big picture as well.

However, I will admit that I have my particulars.  They almost have become personal rules.  If I find a place doesn't fit how I would like to RP, then I move on.  It's a hard road to travel on, and it often can leave me with times when I can't find places to RP.  But, I figure it's a quality measure.  If I can find a place with the right balance for my character and can enjoy the RP there, then isn't it worth the wait?  It's a discerning, not a discriminating, to be able to know when a place fits for your character or not.  It's similar when it comes to creating a place as well.  You;re choosing, you're discerning what is going to be the reality of the place you're trying to create.  Granted, it gets frustrating as a seeker who's found so many places that look nice, but don't fit, or seem to not want me to fit.  It's also hard on the other end when you try to fit as many as possible, but still try to figure out how to maintain the integrity of the RP.  And let's face it, RPers can be very picky.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


First things first. This is not meant so say, “I'm sorry.”  It is just to explain. I'm not asking for forgiveness, nor do I expect for much to change from putting this up in the Acta. But I'm putting it up anyways. It's how I do things.

The first part goes to Midian. Ioh had spent three years there. Had become a prominent character there. Have to admit, I did like some of the prestige that came with it. Doesn't mean I liked everything about it. Nor did I  like everything Ioh did. But he did what he did. I'm not going to defend nor deny him as a character. He was who he was there. OOCly, I got into a few arguments. Bit off more than I could chew, and, certainly, the whole drama with Bails blew a lot of cans out of the water.

Towards the end, I resented a lot of things. Was very angry, and hurt. I lost a lot. Sure, some of it was from my own pride, and letting the anger and hurt guide me. I shouldn't have, but I did. Even so, I will not retract the Latin in which I essentially said Midian must be destroyed. Why? Because it was true. And apparently, Midian itself came to realize that. The Midian that was at the time indeed needed to be destroyed.

To that end, Levi, then Apoc faded away from the landscape, as far as I understand. Now, most RP in the reboot is centered around the main sim. Before, that's generally what happened anyways. Granted, when Midian had a population to where when Midian main became full, Apoc would find some people to head there, and certain factions and events made sense over there. But, Levi had spread things too thin, and brought in things that didn't quite mix too well with the general theme of Midian. Sure, Levi had more of an appearance of Blade Runner, but not quite the theme of Midian. Blade Runner itself wasn't all that much about Nazis either, nor about holding hybrids as slaves. Blade Runner had more to do with cyber punk. It is a (as in once of many) post apocalyptic theme where cyborgs that were aging were going mad and growing murderous as they sought out to rid themselves of the aging process and seek out survival as near immortals. This is hardly the theme of Midian – at least not a main theme. There were all sorts of stories within a diverse number of themes that happened in Midian 2.0 (Midian 1.0 being the sky box, and the reboot, somewhat of a 3.0 - but it seems like it may be more like a 2.1). One of the themes had to do with hybrids, to which Ioh was a part of.

Now, I'm not going to lament the sanitizing that has happened to hybrids. Maybe it was time to put an end to some age-old rumblings in the city. Although, there should be no surprise that new rumblings will likely arise in the reboot as well. But, I will say that the destruction of Midian was needed, and Midian came to believe that too, even if it came from the bad economy irl. Certainly an irony in itself, what with all the talk of how OOC should never effect IC, and you can't get much more of an example of OOC doing just that than a sour economy taking down at least two expansion sims.

One can say what they want about my drama doing harm to the sim. But Midian was already heading for a fall before I did. I just happened to point that fact out one too many times. It's just funny that it turned out that the only way to (possibly) save Midian was to do something I said ought to be done, in that Midian must be destroyed. Now that it pretty much has been destroyed, the question I have now is what will happen in the reboot? Will it provide sufficient enough change to bring Midian back to life?

Oddly enough, I hope so. Even if Ioh may never be able to set foot in Midian again. I hope some good will come out of the destruction of Midian. And no, I'm not asking for Ioh to be able to return. And certainly, I am not begging and pleading for such. As far as I'm concerned, Ioh's time in Midian has passed. It would take certain things that I don't percehF� happenin� any t�me soon, if ever, to happen. The biggest one being a lift of the ban upon him.

Of course, with Midian, there also comes Bails. She had an impact on my life for nearly a year. Ten months to be exact. That's the longest running relationship I have had ever. I had a couple that were promising after that, but didn't quite work out. So even though there can be some resentment in admitting it, Bails was among the best I've ever had. And yeah, I blew it. Big thUw.

No, I'm not going to ask for her back. No begging, no pleading. What we had is lost and I'm certain it can't be recovered. And I won't ask of it. Regrets? Plenty. But there's nothing to be done about it now. It's in the past. I have to be in the present. I may hope for a better future, but I'm not holding my breath for any reunion to happen between me and Bails. What's been said has been said. And apparently some of it can still be found of a PDF made of a long since deleted post I had in the Acta. I won't say any more on it. If you're really that curious about it, you can do a search, if you like. Finding it was partly what inspired this apologia. Just felt I ought to update where I'm at on things. People will make their judgments regardless what I say, but I'll have my word. I'll speak my voice. Because I have one. I just don't mean any ill will to anyone by saying what I have to say. That goes for you as well, Bails, if you happen to read this. I mean no ill will to you either and hope you're getting along fine now.

Amara. If there's anyone I feel an 'I'm sorry' type apology should go to, it would be to you. In what way? I'm sorry that things have led to some disappointments in the Project, and I'm sorry I can't help give you more than words of advice on things. You are a dear friend, and I really hope you the best. You are in my thoughts, and I have hope for good things to come to you. Maybe I should just be straightforward and say, “Stop worrying!” But I don't know how much that would help. But, if it means anything, I hope that it does help.

Beast. I do miss you. Been so long since we've RPed, let alone talked much. Things had always been kinda quirky with us. But eh. Guess it is what it is. You were my first Kitten in the Honorarium, and I can never forget you, regardless of all the stupid shit I put you through. Maybe we kinda put ourselves though it. Though we did have some fun times along the way. You taught me that people from Main are indeed insane, but funny as hell too! I'm sure you might want to kill me after I say this, but I'd let you take all of Ioh's nine lives so I could tell you I still care for you, you crazy bish cat! XD

Ok, fine. I'll add it. Not only were you the first Felix, you were also the Felix who's memory they all had to contend with. All of them had a bit of something that reminded me of you, Beast. But none of them were you. None of them ever could be. And only maybe one of them could possibly understand this. But I still care for you and hold a piece of you in my heart. Call me insane, or too much of a sentimental bastard, but hey, as long as you still call me, I'm fine with that.

Elise. It's hard. Ioh considered you the Godmother in dual capacity, as Matron and as his Godmother in the Midian Baptism. My biggest regret is knowing that someone I thought in many ways as a mothering sort of soul had to come to hate me so vehemently. I don't know if it will ever change. And I can't ask it of you, nor anyone to do something their heart won't allow them to do. Just know that, despite it all, I did respect you, even if it apparently didn't come out that way.

Eamon. I said much of my raw, wounded feelings about things already. No, I'm not going to take those out of my postings here just yet. As much as I don't like those feelings, they were earnest for what they were. That feeling of being betrayed and having so much taken out from under me. Much of it had little to do with you. There were certainly some personal areas. But I did once trust you and considered you a fatherly figure in RP. May not mean anything any more. But it was what it was.

Ashur. You may find this apologia betraying yourself. But, I just can't hold these things much longer. Sure, a lot of things were screwed up in Midian when we were there. A lot of things are probably screwed up in Midian now. But, I just can't hold all those things in. People are assholes, including me. We do stupid things. Like the people that keep calling to activate their cards, even though the sticker says nothing about having to do so. And how these people get angry at you for just doing your job. And I'm fairly certain that a few of those cranky sorts have tried to get me fired just for doing my job.

It's much like rooftop patrols as a Catwalker. People knew we were up there. They got warnings about getting on the roofs, and we're hated for doing our jobs in keeping people off the rooftops. And yet, people tried to get us fired. And sadly, people succeeded in doing so. But even so, I can't stand to continue being angry over it. We got screwed, and not in the best way. But, maybe forced leave from Midian was the best thing? Only time can tell. But I do miss RP with you, and hope things are going good with you.

With Chamber, I regret that I couldn't do more. Yet at the same time, I only heard about what things may happen through rumors first. And when I asked what I could do to help, it went from asking to try to build up traffic to trying to help pay for the sim, and with a limited time to do so. I really wanted things to work though. They just didn't.

Custos Noctis. I was glad to be a part of it. Even lead it. Now, regardless of what anyone says, whether the Catwalkers or otherwise, I never asked, nor wanted to be Patron. But I became Praetor of the Custos Noctis, which made Ioh basically the same thing as a Patron. It was an enjoyable role, and I have all in the Custos Noctis to thank. I also hope those kits, who may not all be kits any more, will understand that I cared for them, regardless of what happened. I would have loved to have kept the group, but it belonged in Chamber, and there was no home elsewhere. Maybe that is my fault, for being short-sighted. But I hope those in the Custos Noctis do find a new home. If I can help with that, I will try. But you have to communicate with me, as I do with you.

Angel, I know things didn't work out for us in SL. But, I still consider you a good friend. You cared for me, and were far more patient with me than I was with you. I can only thank you for that, and hope things are going well for you. Maybe will see you again. But even if not, I wish the best for you.

Az, I hope I haven't tried your patience too much. I know you would like to see the Project revitalized in some manner. Not sure exactly where it might go, or what it might do, but I'm considering it. The one thing that I strove to make clear from the beginning of it was that collaboration would have to be a key to its success. I've had my failings on that. My greatest regret is not being able to effectively present things in a way that would help people understand the importance of participation. And maybe I had been too overbearing in my attempts to communicate. There were people in the group that did indeed want to see something grow from our funky multi-dimensional ziggy-thing-a-ma-doodle. But frustrations got the best of me. However, maybe we can still try to create something out of nothing, eh? ;)

Imari, I know you wanted to see the Custos and the Project become a success. You worked hard on your concept, and it was one that I thought to be very good. Maybe, if you're still interested, we can consider how to make it applicable in the revision of the Project. I would like to see that come to fruition, because, in my books, you earned it by merit of your efforts to write it up.

I could go on with an apologia on many things. But I think I'll end here for now.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Singing Cat

These lyrics came practically from nowhere, but they are funny.  I'll go with the Spanish first, then to the English.  And without further adieu, here is The Singing Cat.

El Canto Del Gato

La cola de un gato se está moviendo a la izquierda y a la derecha,
a la izquierda y a la derecha.
Está maullando a la luna ya que está brillando en la noche,
ya que está brillando en la noche.

Le encanta cantar sus canciones de amor y canciones de un corazón roto,
de amor y de un corazón roto,
que brilla sobre él como ella se ilumina con un brillo en la noche,
se ilumina con un brillo en la noche.

El gato es un gato gentil, palabras dulces cantando aunque agridulce,
palabras dulces aunque agridulce.
Un aristócrata que el gato, que nació con una cuchara y una lengua de plata,
con una cuchara y la lengua de plata.

Silvestre le llamaban, aunque nunca se encontró en el bosque,
nunca se encontró en el bosque.
Plata pelaje era, Selene la llamó, como lo hicieron hace mucho tiempo,
lo hicieron hace mucho tiempo.

Y la luna, llorado cautivado por sus cantos que hizo cantar,
sus cantos que hizo cantar.
Arrobado por la rapsodia, en éxtasis, como la cola que hizo influir,
la cola que hizo influir.

A través de la noche, la luna de Selena a su tono se hizo escuchar,
su tono se hizo escuchar.
También el hombre en la luna, y su zapato a la gata, que hizo lanzar
su zapato a la gata, que hizo lanzar.

And now the English:

The Singing Cat

The cat's tail swings to the left and to the right, 
to the left and to the right.
He is meowing at the moon as she shines in the night, 
as she shines in the night. 

He loves to sing to her songs of love of broken heart,
of love and of broken heart.
She shines upon him, glowing with brightness in the night,
glowing with brightness in the night.

The cat is such a gentlecat - singing sweet words while also bittersweet,
sweet words while also bittersweet.
An aristocrat that cat, born with a spoon and tongue of silver,
with a spoon and tongue of silver.

Sylvester they called him, though never to be found in the woodland,
never to be found in the woodland.
Silver furred was he, Selene he called her, as they did so long ago,
they did so long ago.

And the moon she wept, enthralled by his cantos he did sing,
his cantos he did sing.
Enraptured by the rhapsody, in ecstacy as his tail he did sway,
his tail he did sway,

Through the night, Selena the moon to his tune she did listen,
to his tune she did listen.
As did the man on moon, and his shoe at the cat, he did throw
his shoe at the cat, he did throw.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Old Conversation

This was a dialogue from back when trying to figure out how to get some traffic into Chamber.  But yes, it does go back to aspects on Midian.  It's pretty much generic to any RP.  

Ioh: Midian started in a sky box, did you know?

***** ***** I did. I'm sure they had people though.

Ioh: well, they had a small group.  The original leaders of the first factions - CWs, Hounds, Night Breed (I think it was among them),  MPD, and the Dolls.  Most of what is Midian main was on the skybox. Not all, but most. And once it outgrew the skybox, and they were able to get the funding for it, they went to the full sim, then eventually Apoc about the time I started there, and then Levi and the swamp.

On the other hand, Chamber is like a retro fit.  We have a full sim, and a lot of things are in place.  It's just a matter getting that right nudge to get the momentum going. We got RP we want to do, and have been partially putting it off to get clearance on this and that.  And, if we can set these certain things in motion, we should be able to get the boost needed to get traffic flowing. So, from my perspective, our challenge is to set the wheels in motion, and once it flows, who knows... anything goes.

***** ***** but it can't just be us

Ioh: you know how many times, whether it was in Midian, or Everwind, or Perdition, or even here in Chamber that I have started up RP with one person, and within an hour or two, it's grown from 2 to 4 to up to 10 people seeking to RP?

***** ***** yes. That happens when there are people passing by
Ioh: I used to have Ioh or Luke just lay on the bench near the beach and in front of the Doll house, and people would just start up idle RP which would grow just from my characters being lazy and giving way for opportunity.  People come into a sim, see dots, and huddle to them.  Midian has grown to a point where they complain about that flocking phenomenon, because they have enough players to show disinterest in having people do that. But, it's exactly that phenomenon by which RP first grows

***** ***** I think they dislike the flocking phenom when those people barge in on a scene not meant to be barged on. Some do it by mistake, others try to be some kind of hero before they know what's going on.

Ioh:  True.  There is that.  Because there is RP there already to be barged in on.  When you have a population, you can be more picky about such things, because it deters particular RP of interest to an established group.  In Chamber, well, pretty much the vamps and nekos are about the most established groups out there.  And that's pretty much because we have a certain reciprocal relation to each other's survival, both IC and OOC. Because, without either of us there, there's no 'food', both in the IC literal, and OOC figurative in meaning of that which fuels RP and brings growth.

***** ***** I see
Ioh:  Otherwise, if neither of us are around, there's no RP to 'barge in' on.  There's nothing to draw on, or otherwise manipulate into one stream of storyline, or break into multiple storylines that came from that one initial interaction that started it all

***** *****  Doesn't that mean that we need more groups and variety to bounce off of too? There is only one human. There are a few supernatural types - a demon, one or two lycans maybe, then your choice of vamps or nekos

Ioh:  True, but that comes with time.  Just think of how many groups merged and spawned from the Pack in Midian, or even the CWs, or the Hounds, and MPD. Hounds, I remember the Sarcina was an offshoot of them via Oceana, who was a pet of sorts to Damian when he was the Canis. Then, later, another women's group started called the Phoenix.  MPD, well, there was the UAC to which some would say the anti-hybrids went to when MPD went soft on cats.  And then the Judges and the Midian Militia as well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Midian 'Vast Majority'

Sometimes I wonder if I talk to Midian people for inspiration for a good rant.  Just last night, I figured I would talk to Auntie, suppose out of old habit. Did the usual hellos and how are yous, and by about 10 minutes into the conversation, yep, you guessed it, we were in conversation about Midian.

What's the news?  Apparently, after selling off all three expansion sims (Apocalypse, Leviathan, and Le Chuck's bayou Quin-something-or-other), Jade wants to reboot the main sim.  This is all apparently not gossip, but fact. The money issues are now all resolved, which was apparently the key factor, according to Auntie.  They're also remodeling, and, as claimed, rebooting 'back to the original tenet of Midian'.

To be fair and honest, if Midian were to go back to its 'original tenet', it would be more true if it went back to being housed in a sky box and to the descriptions found in this classic article from 2006:

That was back when the original creator Baal was around, and the original story (and thus, original tenet) is found in the article.  It was more of a Predator/prey sort of play then.  At the time that I came, when Apocalypse had been put in as the first expansion, there was a 'hapless victim' text title one could put on if looking to advertise yourself as prey.  However, Midian was developing out of that original tenet and becoming more of a place for text RP, rather than run, hunt, and chase.  Will Midian: Rebooted go back to the Pred/prey run, hunt, and chase days?  I somehow don't think so.  For one, that might mean actually going back to use of a meter, since the original Midian did allow the standard weaponry of the day, such as Black Ops.  Considering that weapons are going to be greatly limited, this is one aspect that the reboot is not going back to the original tenet.  Plus, I find it hard to see the current player base, assuming there is still enough RPers left to claim there is one, being all that interested in the way of play way back in the day.

I suppose pressure of being an adult sim and having to adhere to SL's standard for such a sim designation (and possibly the lack of interest/the falling out of such players) child avies will no longer be a part of the character roster for Midian.  Also included in the list of character types to be dropped are hybrids (except cats and dogs), and mechs (other than 'basic' ones - no super uber ones).  Humans, as long as you're not a child avie, you're fine to be reloaded into Midian: Rebooted. (And yes, that sentence is fully loaded with sarcasm.)

Despite all the talk of going back to the original tenets, the reality is that Midian is not going back to what made it a great sim.  Rather, its just defining the restraints for the reboot to make it very clear what is and is no longer allowed in the sim, as well as who is and is not any longer welcome.  I guess that's a step up from the usual arbitrary use of ignoring, threatening, and eventually banning that Midian has become so well known for in its usual enforcement.  And Auntie seems to point out somewhat of an altruism in saying that there was never a lack of rules in Midian, just a lack of enforcement.  In part that's true, but more so, when Midian did enforce something, it was always very arbitrary.

Although, on one hand, the very reason I got banned was that I spoke out against the then hidden agenda of Midian in trying to get rid of the hybrids.  And guess what?  That's exactly what has happened now.  Some of Midian's veteran characters that still had some interest in playing there, such as Ayr, who played a kitsune and was leader of the Pack, now cannot play his kitsune character in the very city his character has come to know as home.  He either has to define himself as either a cat or a dog, become a human on 'basic' mech, or leave town.

Sure, one can say that the kitsune is 'just a character', so what's the big deal?  The big deal to me is that it is a matter of forcing a conforming the identity to a norm because of a black and white specification of what hybrids are allowed.  This goes against a principality for me that finds its core in my first life.  Sure, I'm 'free, white, male, and over 21' and, according to the standards of my father's generation, and my grandfather's, that makes me  qualified, and therefore entitled to my freedom to do as I like.  It also claims that, if I were not any of those things, I wouldn't qualify, and therefore be entitled to my personhood in the 'real world'.  Either I should accept the supremacy of being a blond, blue-eyed (ok, hazel) white man, or deny it and become subservient as all the non-white, non-male, not of age people who do not apparently qualify to be free people under this supposed status quo.  So of course I had fought, and still fight for hybrid rights beyond the cats and dogs, because such are a 'minority' that I think have a legitimate and intriguing diversity outweigh the bigotry of the so-called 'vast majority'.

But, Auntie is right, there are generations of people out there that have a sense of entitlement.  She plays into that quite well, being that, as proclaiming to be in the 'vast majority' that entitles her to shit on those that are not allowed into her dystopic utopia of Midian.  Silly?  I suppose.  Life can either be a comedy or a tragedy, or a mixture of all sorts of drama.  Our life experiences are what we make of them, and how much gravity we put into what they mean to and imply about us.  But, apparently, because we're sitting in front of a computer, we are a floundering lot that can be pissed on.  Why?  Because Midian's all about business, and businesses don't give a shit about anyone, unless they can make money off of them, and just try to draw people in to consume their poison.  At least, this is what seems to be the business model Auntie describes.  It also sounds much to the status quo of what Midian did before the reboot, so, it's just Midian, back to business as usual.

The thing is, who is Midian: Rebooted going to latch on to?  The problem is, the facts are that Midian has no fan base left.  Most who were there and of any caliber as RPers have felt shit upon and left.  One can blame generations in a generalization all one wants to, but the truth is, Midian has passed its prime, pissed on its player base, and has now run its course.  Sure, it may go a few more months, maybe a year, but unless there is found new blood ignorant of the BS that has gone on in Midian, it's just going to be a money pit.  No, I don't think one can please everyone, but you can't fool everyone all the time, as a very wise leader of one halfway decent (though certainly not perfect) generation once said.  How can there be made a claim that Midian is in a 'vast majority'?  Show me the green!  That is, show me all the green and yellow dots on the map of the sim.  Not one or two dots here and there. But the clusters once seen, like back in the days when Midian was a worthwhile place to RP.  Those in Midian know they can't show such concrete data and just blow hot air.  In reality, it seems to me the vast majority is passing on Midian.  Sorry to any people that may hold a small bit of hope for Midian, but it's the truth. I'm not going to be delusioned by a lie.  I have learned, or should have learned my lesson after being banned. Midian doesn't give a damn and is going to eventually go under for that very reason.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

To Bring A Positive Outlook Out Of A Tragedy

This came while discussing about Nickelback's song Leader of Men, which I have used recently as a recurring theme for Ioh in this recent Flickr pic:

Leader of Men

The recurring theme was done in a bluegrass arrangement by Cornbread Red:

When I first used the song back in the summer of 2009, it was the Nickleback acoustic version.  This was the summer things were starting to go sour with Ioh's ex kitten Bails.  Even so, I still like the tune, regardless.

For me, I think it's more the lyrics than anything. They're on the youtube link, but  you can see them here without having the song come up on autoplay:

My friend that I was discussing things with said he liked the lyrics, with positive message behind it. I agreed that it is, in a melancholy sort of way, which kinda the point to bluesy, or blue grass song.

You see, when I first used this song as a theme, a depression was forming for me between RL job searching and SL drama with gossip and rank jockeying starting up in the CWs. Added on to that was a low period in my relationship with Bails. Added all together, it's pretty easy to see now how the first verse sang to me:

Tell your friends not to think aloud
Until they swallow
Whisper things into my brain
Your voice sounds so hollow

Yet, despite all that, and the tragedy that hit and all that culminated in my being banned from Midian, I still find myself searching for the way to 'get higher'- or to go past and break through the stuff in a hero's journey that can either pull one down to make things a tragedy, instead of the final triumph and happy ending that is strove for, like the saving the girl at the end of the song.

My friend noted that he prefers a happy ending. I think everyone looks for that final resolution, even in a tragedy, to find something redemptive, if not a retribution for what caused the tragedy. Though I'd prefer the redemption, like the story in the song, as if to say, "Here's what everyone was thinking and saying, now see how the final action has proven them wrong."

Tragedies, as my friend pointed out, generally involves some sort of mistake on the hero's part.  That I have made mistakes, I cannot deny. But even so, a lot of movies and stories in general are filled with flawed heroes.  They're not envisioned perfect, whether they are the demigod super hero or the average joe type who just happens to step in and heed the call to action. That the listened to the call to action is what made them heroes.  It's what they do that gets talked about, and that talk is often a voice sounding hollow, about the past, and a fruit gone rotten.  A hero does not live in the past.  He sets out to press on further, to go higher, to persevere and continue to listen to the call to action.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abandon All Hope

I stumbled upon the Midian City website tonight and couldn't help but shake my head.  The one thing that particularly got me was the text on the main graphic.  'Abandon all hope ye who enter.'

Why does that make me shake my head?  Because that was the very thing I was promoting as part of the core to my RP in Midian back when Ioh was in the CWs.  I had worked and reworked that theme of Dante's from the Inferno.  It was the sort of mature dark theme I tried to give.  And it was also the sort of theme that often I found being rejected.  And now I know why.  Because I had the idea, and not them.  But, with me gone, guess that means the theme was up for grabs, and to be screwed up as always.

For me, the theme came from actually reading the Inferno, and integrating some of the concepts into Ioh's persona.  Through this, Midian became the setting of the journey through hell and seeking a way out.  Not so much out of the city, but out of the things that tormented him then.  That is, like the violence and philandering ways that was prevalent in Ioh from the time he became a CW.  Mostly, he was looking for peace and hope in a place that had none apparent.

The last year was Ioh trying to find redemption. Ultimately he failed.  Unfortunately, the failure was not through RP as much as OOC drama making it impossible to go any other way.  Being banned kind of leads to being unable to further the journey and see if indeed Ioh could have found redemption.  He was, after all, trying to seek a path through Purgatorio at the time that things went sour.  Once banned, that pretty much made impossible any attempt to potentially find Ioh a way to Paradiso.

I won't cry for Midian. Though I think it's a crying shame what it had become.  The things I warned would ruin Midian, they paid no attention to.  And the concepts I had been working on, they stole and deteriorated them into a farce of what they once were, or strove toward.  For these reasons am I glad to know Midian has finally destroyed itself.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alternate Ending, or Different Dimension

This comes from a background story I had written back around 2008.  I had heard of a place called Naraka that I decided to try RPing in for a time.  So here's an old story that is an alternative future for Ioh compared to the one that actually happened to be the end of his term in Midian.

*Ahem*  Please forgive any editing mistakes, as this is fairly roughly being typed from the paper itself in as authentic to the original writing as I can tolerate.

Ioh RP In Naraka

Once a long time resident of Midian for nearly four centuries, Ioh came to be in exile in this prison called Naraka.  His first life in Midian, being his second of nine lives, he had gained prominence in the gang called the Catwalkers. Throughout his time in Midian, Ioh had witnessed the rise and fall of many factions, and many movements.  He had seen several Matrons come and go as well.  As time went on, Ioh would help the CWs to rise to become a strong political and militant force that would persuade the validity of hybrid rights, as well as drive out the opponents, such as Humans First, that wanted to cleanse society of hybrids.  As three centuries went on, success came in the hybrid movement as CW Matrons were being elected to office, and a strong political and victorious military campaign by the CWs led to nearly wiping out the human prejudices and discrimination.  The empire of hybrids that Ioh had dreamt of was nearly established.  However, an underground cell of human terrorists captured Ioh and, by their political backers in the Solar, they exiled him to Naraka in hopes of being rid of their greatest opponent for good.

Will Ioh gain prominence in the prison and attempt a rebellion to break out?  Or will he succumb to apathy and live among the criminals, becoming more and more like them, and live out his remaining three lives in this prison?  Who knows what forces will push him one way or the other?  Only time will tell.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Have A Voice

Because this was a little less about Ioh, but about 'me', that is to say the person 'behind the mask', I wrote this post in my LiveJournal.

Feel free to check it out there.

Monday, June 20, 2011

IC and OOC - does this standard really work?

I've thought about this for some time.  General concepts I've heard for RP on IC and OOC is that they discern from that which is in character and what is out of character.  You are supposed to dull your emotions to what may happen to your character, or others around you and only play as your character would react.  Being somewhat method in my approach to RP and acting in general, I find this basic concept disingenuous.  How can you immerse into your character without having certain emotions?  Those emotions can be both what arises in character and out, as we relate to both the characters around us and to their players that are the authors of their words, thoughts, and actions - words and actions being the most readily available aspects that a person can react and interact to.  And while I can agree that it would be nice if everyone was at least OOC friends, and should just let the drama only unfold IC, that is just plain not going to happen.  This isn't a perfect world, and not everyone you meet is going to be your friend and have your best interests - IC, OOC, or otherwise - in mind when they do things.  Thus is why, first and foremost YOU have to be in control of your character, and YOU have to decide what is best, and what you want to do with your character in any given scene.

Let's take a step back and put this more into acting.  The whole drama  between Michael Bay and Megan Fox is a prime example of how the utopic concept of 'let's just be friends' OOC just  doesn't work.  It also shows the consequences of such a belief.  OOC, Fox called Bay's style of directing as being like Napoleon or Hitler.  At the same time, she also says,  "[W]hen you get him away from the set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it's endearing to watch him."

Granted, what is said is not very tactful, but I think it is in earnest to her comparison of the director and the person (another similar aspect to IC and OOC, IC being the director on set, and OOC being the person the director is off set and away from work).  I don't think Fox's comments were anything worse than, say the Seinfeld joke about the 'Soup Nazi' or the common way in which many of us in college used to joke about campus police being parking Nazis for their near relentless duty to giving out parking tickets to students who had let their time expire on their meter, or had to park in the wrong place due to all other spots being taken already.  Most of us would distinguish calling such things as being Nazi-like as something said in jest, and not meant to harm or damage a reputation.  But apparently Spielberg, according to Bay, anyways, decided the Hitler quip was foul play enough to fire Fox.

In this instance, whether what is being told is true or not, the changing of Fox out of her role had nothing to do with her acting, but that her words outside of the set were in bad taste.  The OOC completely changed the IC.  No more Fox means her character is written out and a new leading lady steps in.  And that's how the 'professionals' in this whole playing of roles deals with things.   The reality of it is, and as La Beouf so aptly put it, if you start "Shit talking the captain," IC and OOC have no boundaries.  You take the OOC and you edit out the undesired IC.  And that's the way the 'professionals' play this game.  You don't like it?  Then don't play in the big leagues.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cat People

No question what the theme for this post is.  Cat people.  This has been the pulse of my RP in SL for a long time, and likely will remain a pulse within me even after SL.  Neko seems so confined, and werecat is such a small niche, but it's one that I think can be just as interesting, if not more so than the werewolves.  My characters have had the ability to change, even if it wasn't particularly allowed in Midian.  Regardless, people still RPed with my feral neko and four legged leopard, and it was fun.  If I could find a sim that would allow such, I would try to RP it out in some manner to be sure.

But more so, and going more general, cat people can come in various species, such as the neko and werecat mentioned.  And they sometimes blend, depending how a person RPs their cat character.  For me, there are three potentials of the types I've played.  These, I'd call neko, werecat, and hybrid.

Neko is a catch all name for cat people in SL.  It wasn't the first name, but it was the one that stuck.  The old cats, from what I have read, often just called themselves cat persons, and had a general belief in the cat persona being a part of them, and not just merely something they put on for fashion or just a RP character.  It was their way and what felt natural for them in SL.  Some nekos have this or a similar belief, but not all.  After all, neko also originates from a Japanese style of playing 'cute'. And because this style is primarily female, some nekos originating from this trend consider that 'neko' should only refer to cat girls.  However, Japanese animation has had a few references to cat boys, or guys with features of a cat in some manner.  Black Cat's main character is one example, as Train Heartnet's eyes are often perceived as being like a cat's eyes, and his persona as a stray cat.  But, for the most part, the primarily human features given to most nekos gives the impression that what makes neko is mainly having cat ears and tail - and sometimes just down to being human with a cat-like style or some type of attitude, or 'cattitude', as some call it.  Yet, there are some nekos that are a bit more furry, for fuzzy, having short haired skins patterned in both the ways that house cats and the big cats of the wild have, such as tabby, calico, leopard, and tiger skins.

Werecat is much a mixed form as neko.  How to explain it, I would say has some dependence on the idea of shape shifting, or maybe having two parts to the persona of a neko or cat person of the more 'human' style and the 'feral'.  That is to be able to switch between such shapes and personalities considered human and something more animal or beast-like.  Werewolves are a common character, to which werecat has partial origins in, because they are so similar.  Not to mention the cat and dog play that goes on between the concept of werecats and werewolves being within the same environment.  The similarities, as I see it, and besides the shapeshifting ability, potential of being 'moon called' (that is, the moon or 'luna' having a particular power over the animal side, or the play on the 'madness' and concept of lunacy originating from the moon), the one important aspect that is shared is that of the human/animal nature.  In theological terms, the make up of 'human' has been envisioned in various ways as being of three parts - an 'angelic' or spiritual nature, the human cognitive creature, and the beastly/animal creature.  Sometimes, the idea has been mainly summed up that humanness is some in between, or part divine and part animal.  Thus, beliefs, and the more origin of the horrific aspect of were creatures is the idea of a human being overcome by the beast.  For the beast to be conjured up, not just in terms of mental state, but even that graphical state of being formed into an animal. Of course, not all looked at such as a curse, but the concept of being 'lowered' to the level of pure animal was one way in which people looked at this idea as a curse.  Some of the characters changed in various were-stories, such as the classic Wolfman, or the particular one highlighted above, Cat People, would agree that the change was a curse, and often ended in tagedy.  However, a more modern concept that gives were's and 'preternaturals' more leeway to be seen in a societal way is Patricia Briggs' novels about werewolves who's American leader is called the Marrok, and lives in Montana.  They have a sort of underworld feel, and the life is practically like mafia or gangs in general, but you still want to see the main characters as having strength, resilience and desire to live within human society and somehow co-exist.  However, controlling the beast can be hard, and those that can't have to be 'taken care of' and led to a tragic end.  In many ways, it's a play on social Darwinism as much as it is on theological concepts of what makes a human.  Science, philosophy, and theology all have a particular range within this particular form of cat people species, which is probably why were-creatures are prominent in much fantasy and science fiction (particularly the steampunk genre, in consideration to it's Victorian emphasis), and is becoming part of the more mainstream 'urban' fiction being published today.  Cat people of this nature tend to sway towards the big cats (leopard, tiger, jaguar, panther, lion, etc.)  and have a four legged counterpart to them.  They may have a primary form of human or neko in every day appearance.

The hybrid is just that.  As neko is such a generic term for cat people, both werecats and nekos can be called hybrids.  Hybrids in general encompass more than just nekos and werecats as well.  Werewolves, even if the 'purists' of this species of human-wolf concept don't want to admit it, the fact that they do have a human part, and either a wolf part and/or bestial bipedal mixture of both - , such features make them a hybrid by their very nature.  In my RP, I have seen fox (kitsune), coyote, snake/reptile, mouse and rat, and even just general dog (inu) hybrids.  The diversity of hybrids is incredible, and the types of stories that can develop from them is only limited to the imagination and creativity of those who RP or the authors that may choose to tell the stories of them.

At any rate, these are three general definitions that make up, or are used by cat people to describe themselves.  It's not an extensive, nor end all, be all definition, but these give some basics on the concept.  And being able to be immersed in the concept, and letting out the cattitude in my persona were a few of the reasons I have enjoyed playing and being a cat person on SL.  It is one reason I strive to find places where I can RP and, essentially, just 'be' in one of my various feline characters and forms.  A place open to accept this, I am open to accept them.  A place that doesn't, then, as the old phrase goes, I'll excutere pulverem de pedibus meis (Matt. 10: 14, see English text).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Midian City to Close

Theme: A 'Dark' Farewell To Midian
Song: The Wrong side - Abney Park

I run on the wrong side of life...
I run where the darker crowds run
On the rain-swept streets where black rain runs

I play where the darker kids play...
I dance where the darker crowds dance
In the pitch black clubs in a clove stained trance

I see things the darker kids see
Though you wouldn’t believe all that’s happened to me
I’ve been to the backside of Hell
And I've played with your fear and enjoyed it well

This our time, the night's our day
We'll dance this fading life away

Through a source to remain unnamed, I have heard a rumor that Midian is likely to close soon. This is not really all that surprising to me.

As far as I see it, RP needs to come out of the dark.  It's not sustainable, especially with more dark themed sims needing an adult rating just to operate in seedy, deviant ways that are near, if not completely pornographic in nature.  It was my argument back before I was banned from Midian that if they wanted sustainability, they would need to consider quality of general storytelling, rather than try to go with the gimmick of sex sells.  Sure, sex sells, but if you want to just have an orgy fest, then quit calling it an RP sim and open it up as a free sex sim.  However, even those come and go (pardon the pun <.<) like all the other trendy things in SL. For instance, the numerous clubs and raves that get discarded once another newer and shinier club opens.  There are only a few clubs that have held sustainability, and that's mainly been because they've been true to the genre they play and fan base of that genre.  Midian could have learned from that, but no, they chose to screw over their fan base virtually from the beginning.  It's why they imploded before, and it's why they imploded now.

What was Midian's fan base?  That's a good question.  From how I saw it, the general term would have been cyberpunk.  This is a catch all phrase, much like it's younger sister steampunk.  They both have similar aspects and origins in the novels of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.  Both of these also were influenced by Edgar Allan Poe.  The difference, as I see it, is that cyberpunk looks at a cybernetic future while steampunk considers an alternative present (or future) that tries to picture what the world might be under a British Empire with Victorian styled clothing, and a sort of progressive science still centered around steam and clockwork gears.  In a way, Watchmen (the Graphic novel, anyways) merged the two paths in the one character of Dr. Manhattan, who's father wanted him to go into watchmaking type machinery until learning about Einstein's work.  After that, the father told his son that the atom was the way of the future now.  Yet, Dr. Manhattan still had a mind that ran like a clock, both in the matter of continuous and unstoppable grinding gears, as well as seeing the multi-dimensions of time and space in the quanta of things and events.  

But Midian was supposed to be of the post apocalyptic sort of cyberpunk.  And this worked quite well for a good many years, especially when people were allowed a good amount of freedom to write and RP within the environment in a manner that allowed room for interpretation.  Not everyone agreed about what exactly made up Midian, and that was completely fine.  You could have the Hounds being that rowdy, low-life thug gang that went around abducting people for all sorts of seedy purposes, and have the MPD at least attempt to be useful in trying to 'serve and protect', even though they were more about serving the needs of the corporation funding them, and protecting their own asses.  The Catwalkers could roam about the rooftops with both seeking to keep their territory protected, as well as to plot and pull off various pranks and cat and mouse play, seeing all who come up on roofs as prey for such ends.  The Pack likewise could hold together as that hybrid family that attempts to keep together, fighting those that would try to take them from their place in the ruins, or reshape the ruins, and effectively destroy their home.  

The possibilities for the various factions and groups mentioned and unmentioned were endless.  So the problem for Midian wasn't in lack of creative possibility, but more in the growing frustrations by lack of creative vision by those in charge.  Bottom line is a fine thing to worry about. Though, honestly, bottom line is a needless worry for those that are willing to let the creative possibilities flow.  But that is hard when people tug and pull in so many ways and become narrow minded to what they could do if they put away their greed and narcissism.  So much jockeying for positions of power, and so much denial of things being wrong, to the point that anyone that pointed out these problems was destined to be shunned and eventually banned from the RP community.  That is, if they didn't quit before then.  That the forums have been put in lock down, as I have also heard, only shows the end result and that indeed Midian is on its last legs as a sim and RP community in SL.  

Am I sad for what is happening? Yes and no. 

Yes, because I remember a time when Midian had so much potential as a sim and RP community.  I had spent nearly three years of my time in SL and RP in Midian, immersed in two main characters within that city - both nekos, one a Catwalker, the other in the Pack.  Even though I had some part in the one of the initial treaties between the Pack and CW, it was not by metagaming, nor specific intention.  If anything, I had been hearing various things on both sides, both IC and OOC to which sounded like both were willing to join forced, and part of the common cause was in both groups being hybrids, the other was the common enemy of the UAC.  But it was never explicitly my idea for them to make an alliance.  Mainly, it was from suggesting the Pack Alpha to talk with one or both of the Matrons at the time, and it eventually happened.  It was never a perfect deal, but who said RP in an apocalyptic, dystopic future would make for a utopia?  But, it was in this period, around the time when the artifact RP was about to unlock its secret that I saw as one of the great moments in Midian RP history, because of the collaboration that was going on.  

No, I'm not sad to see the destruction of Midian.  I am not sad because I see it as burning away the vile things that Midian has become.  Sure, those things were there in the beginning, and were reason for the first implosion. However, all communities live within vices that living communities try to put out of scene.  It is by their nature that they are off the main stage and called obscene.  They are not celebrated, but things to fear and be wary of - the things that are dark and should fly in the face of light.  A bump in the night no longer has much the same effect if it happens every night and becomes known, rather than unknown.  And the things of Midian became just that - so common place to no longer be feared, but jeered at as cliche.  And I don't mean the use of over-sized guns, as Midian banned those just because people lacked imagination to figure out how to play out such a conflict.  No, they kept with things that went from the frightening vampire stalking the night to the gratuitous vampire feed, fuck and snuff scene.  Sure, the story has a beginning, middle and end.  All pornos have that, usually.  But it really isn't something that gives much leeway or leverage.  In short, it's not RP that flows and goes on.  And thus is now the fate of Midian, to be fed, fucked, and snuffed.

And all I can say is, "C'est la vie, c'est un pute!"

Monday, June 13, 2011

To RP Or Not To RP...

That has been my question for a while now.  I'm not really sure, and therefore, my basic answer right now is no.

Reasons I would want to?

When I used to RP regularly, it seemed a good creative outlet to help me play out story ideas in real time.  It pushed me to improvisation, so I couldn't say, like I can with writing a story, "Oh, I'll just sleep on it and see what comes to mind later."  In other words, I can't just procrastinate when a particular scene or conflict got messy.  I had to deal with it right then and there, minus unless RL issues came up during the time.  And it forced me to consider alternative realities when things didn't work out.  In writing, you might have to pose other possible ideas, but you are not imposed to the belief that one or the other concept you were considering would be impossible because you don't have to hold to the actualities of how a story progresses unless you the author wishes to play it out.  In other words, you can revise a story you write to play out as you (or your publisher) likes, but you have to forfeit alternative revisions in RP when others take that control away.

Reasons I would not want to?

Let's face it, loss of control of a situation can be both a positive and negative for RP.  Procrastination aside, being forced to deal with other people controlling things, especially if it seems inequity and unbalance are in play can just make it frustrating to RP.  And as much as RP can be a creative outlet, it can be mentally taxing and morally draining.  At least I can stand only so much 'dark' (ie. fetish fantasies about being abused, raped, butchered, drinking blood, killing my character(s) or killing off everyone else's, and other moral and society depravities that you can think of and can be excused as being fine to play out as long as it derives under the banner of 'dark') RP before it gets old.  And it gets old because there is no balance in it.  Many of those sims play the 'no heroes' card, and that all things done in RP are consensual.  And yet, they commercialize the aspects of 'dark' as being forced.  So there is a conflict right at the core of these RPs on just what exactly is consensual and how to define forced, but yet the need for permission to make something forced.  This leads to a lot of problems eventually, and I don't see many ways around it.

But, I think ultimately, I am feeling like maybe I"m maturing beyond the nonsense of such RP.  While the real time of RP can give a certain genuineness and realism to a story, the fact that most RP found is 'dark' and, for the most part, immature deviancy with little or no power or ability (or maybe just plain want) for quality of story beyond just making something filled with gore and other such pornography and profanity, there isn't much incentive to remain.  There isn't any balance in such RP.  To find balance, where you can deal with things more realistically - where not everyone is trying to be evil, and you can actually have good people trying to better themselves, regardless of having a seedy past or not - is something that you can't find very often in RP sims.  People are more obsessed over the gor, the violence, and the sexually explicit to really delve deep enough to find something 'real.'

When I speak of real, I don't mean that fantasy cannot exist.  In SL, I play cat characters.  I find fantasy a great outlet for the imagination and overall creation.  I'm also working on a story that has cat characters in them that form one society in a world alternative to ours on earth.  And I think that I can play a realistic character, even as that character is a cat.  Ioh is a testament to that, and his story covers a wide variety of dimensions, and various planes of existence in the SL world, such as RP and general SL personae.  While Ioh's story in Midian is 'dead' to the current RP, it still lives on and can branch out in different aspects, if I so chose to do so.  The Dreamwalker sets (Beginnings of a Dreamwalker, Wanderings of a Lost Soul, and A New Dream for a Dreamwalker), as well as Chamber City, all convey a particular evolution of Ioh from out of Midian.  On the other hand, while the sets of The Covenant RealmForgotten City, and the concept of Project Ziggurat can be said to have a certain kernel of development from Ioh in Midian, they have components that are much more independent of the events that happened in Midian and ultimately spewed forth the need for departure from that forsaken sim.

Funny, it may seem, though, that in speaking about Midian, even in the negative, it will likely draw people's curiosity to go there and see for themselves if that place is really as bad off as I may make it seem.  Publicity is publicity, even if it may be good or bad, no?  However it be,  and the further I grow away from those events, the less I care one way or the other.  I still feel that I was ill-treated, and that there are still some there that would consider me an enemy, even though we once were (supposedly) friends, or at least well-wishing associates.  And sure, my public protests of the wrongs that happened to me may have not been well thought out at the time.  I can excuse that as being hurt if I want to, and as true as it might be, it's still an excuse.  What I've learned since then is to not be so trusting.  That is a valuable life lesson, regardless the cost of it.

To be quite honest, the reason I'm not RPing, or at least not so regularly as I used to comes on many levels of being busy.  I work 10 hour days of 4 out of 7 days in a week.  When I do have time to be online, or otherwise have free time, I have to consider what is of most value for me to do.  RP is at the bottom of that list, and for a variety of reasons.  For starters, it's becoming more and more impossible to do it, and to do it in the nature and quality that I personally demand and require to make it worthwhile.  I'm not a 'dark' RPer.  I may have RPed within 'dark' or 'adult' themes, but, consistently, the main thing I looked for was quality of story.  I may have lapsed a few times into some things for the ridiculous vanity of pride and wanting to display that I could play my characters on a variety of levels and in dark situations, but ultimately, I want to make a good, timeless story.  Something that people step back from and say, "Whoa, that was epic!" and not mean it in the trendy fashion of the phrase as it is used today. But that it was truly something epic, that flowed throughout the journey of the story.  Something with an impact beyond the mundane of gore/violence/pornography/etc. for the sake of doing it.

I'm not alone in this vision.  In one of my writers magazines, there was talk about the origin and nature of using 'obscene' when it came to the use of violence as one form of conflict within a story.  To put it basically, obscene was that which was 'off the scene', or 'not on the stage.' Some RP sims have used fade to black (FTB) to this nature, mainly when consent is not given to follow through with playing out the scene.  The purpose in writing is that, while the explicit visuals (or description, as it is) are not used, the off scene engages the imagination of the reader.  There is something far worse in knowing, but not showing the fate of a character.  In some ways, I feel that is fitting for Ioh's ending in Midian.  Being banned just cut Ioh's fate out of the place completely, thus making it more severe than tar and feathering (among whatever perverse imaginings my enemies might have for my character).  It's funny, now, to think that I have truly become obscene in the truest sense by way of the nature of how I came to no longer be in that city.  Even though I may not be a dark RPer at heart, my ending from that city was truly dark in its abrupt and permanent FTB.  I'm not dark, but I do love a good twist of irony.  But anyways, the point is that you can have dark elements thrown in with shades of gray, and the inevitable struggle to try and seek out light in the most bleakest of times and events, and not have to always go for needless or overuse of explicit and gratuitous violence/pornography/etc.  This is what is truly 'real' and multidimensional. But this is what is disregarded in most RP any more.  Self gratuity is the name of the game for most, and it is, in my opinion, the most pathetic aspect of RP as it is in many RP sims still going today.

My hope, for a much more progressive and better future of RP is that places that are truly Steampunk in their origin will become a prevalent force to drive change in vision of RP.  I don't mean the poseur sorts that are just in it for fashion and machination, but that seek to push a vital and creative force, and that the spirit of that force permeates into other aspects of SLRP.  Steampunk, or at least the 'punk' aspect, that is truly interested in pushing a social dialogue, fighting to revolt against status quo in recent generations that has washed much of our lives into irrelevancy and just trying to stay sane in an otherwise insane world that, frankly, does not give a damn for anything but the bottom line ($$$).  To see our generation strive for something better than the bullshit offered to us, and to finally see real change in our world that seeks out for that better future, even while playing with the past to help envision it.  Maybe Steampunk will not pave that way, but what spirit for such things comes from it, and how it develops, I find more excitement in that than I do in the bitter past that remains the legacy of Midian in my SL experience.

But for now, I am trying to focus on different projects that are not so SL related.  I still come on from time to time, but often do not have time to RP.  So I hang out with someone that I am very fond of, and who has allowed me to relax and start to try and love and live again in this second life.  What will come of it?  Only time will tell.  But for now, no more RP for a while, maybe longer.  At least nothing serious and demanding.  Feh, we'll see...