Monday, August 13, 2012

Update August 2012

Yeah, I know the title isn't all that innovative, and might not 'sizzle' or attract an audience.  That's never been the purpose for this blog anyways.  If it started out as anything, it first was to express opinions that I couldn't at the time on Flickr without the Midian thought police at the time looking for a way to shut me down.  The ban at the time, around early 2010 RLAD, had effectively shut me out of the city's streets, but it didn't shut me up about the inequities and problems of the day.  They tried to on Flickr, but they couldn't when I moved here.  And effectively, that shut them up.

And then Auntie lifts the ban off of both Ioh and Luke. So now what?

Two years has changed Midian quite a bit.  Jade is no longer the owner, or at least not the main owner, if at all.  Apocalypse, Leviathan, and that hard to pronounce 'Q' - those three regions are all gone. Hybrid factions, including the Catwalkers all seem to be gone.  A good portion of the people that caused drama at the time of my ban are gone.  Some who were perceived drama people at the time have, or so I've been told, either taken up leadership roles or are friends of the new owners of Midian.

What does this all mean?

Good question.

Those that have moved on from Midian, this doesn't mean a whole lot.  The predictions seem to be running their course that indeed Midian has fallen, and may indeed finally go out in a slow and painful death.  So why should anyone that's left or been banned decide to return?  What would be the point, especially if your mind and heart are no longer in it - and especially if you feel better for it?

Truth is, there is no real or good reason to return to Midian, especially if you are tired of or no longer are interested in RP, or at least not the style of RP that has gone on in Midian.  There's plenty of 'dark' urban and post apocalyptic types of RPs out there.  They all generally do the same thing and appeal to the same sort of people that run around in those types of circles.  Once they've drained up the patience of RPers in one region or estate with their constant need for and craving of that addictive side of drama, these people just go on to pillage and plunder elsewhere.  It's funny how they often tend to be the loudest voices and claim to be the ultimate RPer and supporter of a specific region - that is, until the well has dried up and they no longer can get the high they crave from the place they had been oh so loyal to.

And I'll admit, I fell into that trap.  For nearly three years, I was loyal to Midian, for a couple years to NoR, CoLA, and DCS, for a year to Everwind, and a several months to Perdition, Cranberry Cove, and Covenant.  In the beginning, it was performance and enjoying a sense of creative productivity akin to ad lib, or free form/improvisational acting.  At least, those were the more high-minded reasons for getting into RP. That and a belief that such RP would lead to better writing, even creating a collaborative community to experiment on character and story development, having a real time experience of the story arc, and creating the future of fiction though 'living' through it in a more 'realistic' sense.

Sure, some of that was there.  There were people that were creative and claimed, if not actually were involved, in making their own stories.  Who knows?  Maybe there was someone who was a published author, or seeking publication within the mix of the RP population.  But, the words (paraphrased) of Stephen King about what makes a writer of fiction, in that those who want to write, ought write, always stood out.  In that sense, if you want to write to get published, you actually write with the intent to get published.  Still should work in the real world and try to find a day (or night) job to sustain yourself until you become published and can manage to gain enough of an audience or prominence in author circles that your writing becomes self-sustainable.  And let's face it, nothing in our wildest dreams or insane 'creativity' in a virtual world can compare to the real time activity in the real world around us.  Certainly, the risk is greater - particularly if your insane enough to get married in this day and age of no fault divorce and a marriage license being as easily made revocable as a driver's license, and then expect for someone to actually stay with you until death do us part.  As crazy as SL prices are for virtual goods (I'm sorry, US$40 for 52 animations to make your avatar twirl around, dance, and act drunk is insane), real goods in real life are just as insane, and have a greater impact on society as a whole than your whining over not looking like the hottest tart and/or trashiest bitch in the metaverse.  Cry me a river, and, if you could, let that and your bloated ego go to Eggo Waffles and helping out those starving and dying of thirst in the real world because of our excessive culture's political problems and planetary policing with population control for their ultimate end game scenario.

If I learned anything from Second Life and RP, it would be that what goes on in the virtual world mimics the real world.  And I don't want this to mean a negative either.  It's just what is.  And it should not be reduced to wicked and evil things, but considered in good and noble things as well.  If the real world has the good, the bad, and the ugly, so too does the virtual world have the good the bad and the ugly.  There are people out there that want to create a wonderful, honorable, and virtuous real and virtual world that can be shared by all who inhabit it. But there are also people out there that just want to stick with the status quo of vices, prejudices, hatred, fear mongering, and all that is wrong with the world. But this tale of two cities has gone on before Charles Dickens, before Dante's Divine Comedy (which actually split it between Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven), and even before St. Augustine's City of God, which was also sometimes referred to as a tale of two cities. For the Egyptians had the underworld of Duat and heavenly fields of Aaru. The Hebrews that the Jews came from had Sheol and Pardes (the divine orchard/garden, or 'Paradise'/Heaven, as translated and understood in English). Even the Greeks had Hades and Makarion Nesos, which is much like the Irish/Gaelic ifreann and Innisfail- or the Isle of Destiny to which Ireland to this day continues to claim as its true destiny as a great and noble land.  One could say that all this entails everything from human hubris to Manifest Destiny, and that ever looming Emperialism to which Corporatism and Statism have become the heirs of, for better or (more likely) for worse.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against destiny. I do distrust corporate and state destinies in as much as both are devastating to both our independent and collective destinies as individual humans and the whole of humanity.  They can be good, when they are set to work for the people, and not against them - when they serve man, rather than enslave us.  And this too is true about our virtual world. For indeed there are both the cultures cultivated there for both the ends and purposes of serving and enslaving those who participate in them.  The same goods and the same evils grow together, and do what they do under the same real and virtual suns.  And they both work to prove they are right, or hold the greatest might, in similar manners under both lights.

So what does this all mean?

I suppose it's meaningless to some, and meaningful to others. Still others might be on the fence, just trying to figure out where they fit in, if anywhere at all.  For me, the meaning matters when you're willing to make it so.  When you're willing to reach for your destiny, you find meaning, and necessity to prevent others from denying it from you.  Otherwise, if you don't give a damn, you don't care whether you are damned or not, and certainly care not if you, or anyone else goes to Hell.  Further, if you know not either way, it all seems a damned shame to be so troubled and Hell-bent either way.  So why be pulled, or let either take sway?

Maybe some day.

Somewhere, between Heaven and Hell, there is a middle ground.  But this lukewarm lake is neither safe or sound.  It might as well just be a slow boil or swell.  All paths may lead to Rome, but the many wide and winding paths, even those of good intentions can also lead to Hell.  No one ever said that the way to Paradise would be easy.  And keeping that garden and cultivating it is certainly a chore as well.  Living a good and fruitful life (not the good and glamorous 'rock star' life) is difficult, but comes with greater rewards than material riches and wealth can ever provide. To find and prosper in it, whether in the real or virtual life, takes a lot of work and patience.  It also takes discerning what is worthwhile to do and coming to terms as to why.

For these reasons, I find it hard to RP.  It never settled right with me the Midian motto of 'no heroes'. It never made sense to completely focus on the 'dark' and mockingly mimic the light.  It is also reprehensible to me to claim that the night must always be something frightening and bleak, and the day merely just a matter of the court of shades of gray.  There had been rays of hope, here and there, for a fuller story with a truer realism that has nothing to do with banishing ears and tails, but rather coming to a much better understanding of fantasy and fairy tales and their purpose, rather than making them a narrow and bigoted blueprint.

If someone could reason to me why I should honestly and earnestly have hope for Midian, I may take another look at it some day.  But for now, I would rather work on taking charge of my own destiny, and worry about my own lot in life.  I just can't reason putting myself back into that virtual city and its real strife.

As for other places, if you don't believe that any RP can devolve into these things, it may be time for you to get real and get a life.

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