Thursday, June 19, 2014

Random Thoughts

"Hands-To-Hold" by Tomais Ashdene
I started my four week long, glorious and wonderful vacation at 12.00 PM local time today. Well I didn't get away from work until a bit later, but who cares. It's going to be wonderful, just to relax and recuperate and enjoy my two lives. I am also going to try to use this opportunity to get back into a proper blogger mode, I have been slacking in my happiness of being married to Tomais.

The vacation was planned to coincide with the celebration of Second Pride Festival, which starts on Friday, because I so want to enjoy the festivities this year. The board of Second Pride made it despite all the many obstacles we have had along the way. I must confess that there were times I actually didn't believe we would have a festival.

The opening of the festival also coincides with the Swedish celebration of Midsummer. On Midsummer's Eve tomorrow I am taking my old parents to one of my nieces homes to meet the rest of the immediate family to celebrate in the traditional manner, loads of pickled herring, fresh strawberries and snaps. It will be great for them to get out of the house and meet their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The other day, I was upset when i learned that a ghoul from the past has showed it's ugly head again. One would think that almost a full year would be enough to get over losing an election and move on with ones life, especially since the ghoul himself once told me personally "that he really didn't have time for all this with his important first life studies and the rest of his busy life". But nonetheless, here he is back spewing his ugliness and viciousness on the Internet again. I have decided I do not wish to waste time or energy on him and his small army of supporters anymore.

I have been thinking about the two largest gay organisations in SecondLife, Second Pride and the Gay Archipelago. Mostly I have been wondering about the strange armed peace there seems to be between them. I know the history of course, but so many years have passed by now that there really should be openings for some mutual support and collaboration. I have noted and welcomed the news that Gay Gor, which is a part of the Gay Archipelago, will participate in the festival again this year. (It will be so fun to see them in action again! I really loved it at the last festival.) I have also noted that Petr made a peace gesture by attending the send-off party for Garth Raleigh, the former lead of Gay Archipelago. Other than that I haven't seen any tangible progress in the dealings between the organisations.

The Dark Knight
"The Dark Knight" by Tomais Ashdene

Yesterday I learned that that The Dark Knight (a.k.a. Batman for those of you who aren't well-versed in Superheroes) has actually had two Robins? The first one left to become "Nightwind" (never heard off) and was replaced by another young man. (Today I was told that there have actually been s-e-v-e-r-a-l Robins, oh my!) That's what you learn from being married to a man like my hubby. That man makes me so happy and calm and safe. Who would have thought that a year ago?

I don't like the fact that my doctor has sent me to get a CT scan to check on my pneumonia. Once the doctors start looking closely, who knows what absolutely unrelated things they may find with their high-tech instruments.

About the Gay Archipelago again, I was saddened to note not long ago that this venerable club of sim-owners seem to have drastically lowered the standards of whom to allow within their circle. The venerable club must believe it can control any damage that could be caused to their reputation from that recruitment by their meetings being completely secret and having none of their dealings exposed to public scrutiny. Let's hope they are not in for a surprise.

7 comments :

  1. I am glad to see that you continue to post your random thoughts as I enjoy reading them immensely!

    I wanted to clear up a few of the misconceptions that you may have regarding the statements you made about the Gay Archipelago. Having been the GA Lead for over two years, I believe I am qualified. :)

    Yes Gay Gor! is a group of allied LGBT Gor RP regions in SL. Only some of those regions belonging to this alliance are actually members of the GA. And yes, I have always enjoyed seeing them in action too.

    GA Owners Gatherings are called on a regular basis and are not what I would term 'behind closed doors' or;'secret.' All member region owners and managers are invited to attend and interact. Gathering transcripts are published post-gathering for all those who cannot make the time/date. Being 'exposed to public scrutiny' is something the GA does 24/7/365 and leads by example, not by the votes of a privileged few.

    The GA operates totally independent from Second Pride Organization, much by choice. While there are some individual member regions of the GA that participate in the annual festival presented by Second Pride Organization, most choose to not be involved. Why is this? Many reasons. Some being personal while others a matter of total disagreement with how the Second Pride Organization operates and presents itself.

    Here's my take on the whole thing, my dear. In SL, much as in RL, not everyone will get along nor choose to play in the same sandboxes together. As several have said 'its about the fun....not the politics.' I view, and have always viewed, the separation of the two LGBT organizations as a good thing, leaving options open for the entire LGBT community in Second Life to explore, create and express diversity in several arenas. All in all......more opportunities and a wider spectrum of ideas, events, etc. I'd never want to have a completely homogenous society in RL....and certainly don't wish for that in SL where so many people come to relax, enjoy and be creative.

    As for something you term as an 'armed peace'.....that just made me smile. There is no such thing, my dear. Its totally fine and acceptable for different organizations in SL to 'do their own thing' and support whichever causes they choose without malice.

    Pride season is upon us...and continues throughout the coming summer months! Think good thoughts about our diverse SL Communities and send them all your best wishes. Support those you can and try not to feel guilty about those you cannot.

    As for the reappearance of your 'ghost' bully....as I have advised you inworld and will repeat again here: don't feed the trolls and you'll be fine. :)

    ps. I have never met nor spoken with the SP chairperson, Petr and was puzzled as to his appearance at the retirement party given for me and Othon.

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    1. Thank you for your response, my dear Garth. As you are one of the few in the GA that I feel I know fairly well, have a great respect for and whom I like very much I accept your clarifications (especially concerning the inner workings of the GA) and friendly rebuke easier than if it were to come from anyone else.

      Regarding the issue concerning several Pride celebrations in SL, you convinced me about that the first time we "banged our horns". I have since then totally embraced the idea of the more the merrier. That was actually when I first got to know you and started respecting you.

      With all the above said, I would still like to add that I am not totally satisfied that the relations between the two largest gay organisations in SL should remain hesitant and characterized by suspicion and condescension for each other. I do not think I will ever accept that, but then again I am a stubborn and headstrong man.

      The ghoul is no longer of interest for me, not after my initial wrath at the news of its reemergence. It's yesterdays news as far as I am concerned.

      I am sorry that Petr's appearance at your's and Othon's retirement party wasn't perceived by the GA as the peace seeking overture I believe it was intended to as from his part.

      Hugs, my friend!

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  2. Bock, your statement that the GA has drastically lowered its standards for admission is a thinly veiled indictment of the GA for approving the application of someone you personally find loathsome. Like or dislike does not enter into it ...

    Given the diversity of estates in the GA, to say we have lowered our standards by admitting someone you dislike is absurd. There are cruise spots, public dungeons and RP sims in the GA, several of which I personally find unseemly and would never visit. There are also G rated sims focusing on sports, art, theater, and LGBT history. What standards have lowered? The mere act of admitting someone who has applied for membership does not damage the GA’s reputation since that reputation is based on inclusiveness, diversity, and non-discrimination. If The Gay Archipelago denied admission to every applicant with an ego, an axe to grind, a history of drama, or a paucity of interpersonal skills, the organization would be a small fraction of its current size.

    The GA owners meetings are not completely secret; members of the group are notified well in advance of meetings, transcripts are available to those in the group, and applications for GA membership are announced in that group. Neither our willingness to be inclusive and non-discriminatory nor the fact that the GA owners group is not open to all damages the reputation of the Gay Archipelago.


    I am disappointed in you Bock because you are unreasonable in regard to this issue and choose to snipe at an organization because it took in someone whom you detest. That seems a carry over of the SP election drama, and your anger regarding the “ghoul.”

    Is your loathing of this person so great that you insult friends and question the integrity of the GA? That is what that last bit was about, implying that there is something sneaky about the GA. The GA has avoided feuds and serious drama for over 3 years, and now you attempt to drag it in the wake of SP generated drama. When have GA members taken to blogs and FB attacking one another? I can recall no such instances.

    SP has a history of inviting drama and ill will in the extreme.. . one I had thought was in the past. If the so called ghoul from the past writes a blog post and everyone chooses not to read it, it is not relevant. Angry responses to such vitriol perpetuates the nastiness. Now, that ill will you feel toward this person is causing you to be unreasonable and vindictive because no, the Gay Archipelago did not bar this person from membership because the GA is separate from SP, with a different way of doing things, a different mindset, & different goals, and whatever happened with him in SP is an SP issue, and has nothing to do with any other organization.

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    1. Thank you your response, Nikolai. like Garth you are one of the few in the GA I know fairly well, have respect for and like much. As I told Garth, I say to you, I accept, your clarification on the inner workings of the GA.

      I would like you - and everyone else - to please understand that I am merely a member of Second Pride. I am in no way and by no means a spokesman or representative for Second Pride and have shared these personal thought without consulting with anyone, least of all anyone at the board of Second Pride. Do not lay blame on Second Pride for my thoughts and for sharing them on my blog.

      I expressed my worries that the GA (in all its might and with its historic lack of feuds drama) through the admission of a certain party may now have invited drama into it's inner circle. I did not "snipe" at the GA and had no intention of doing so. I have always and will continue to have the greatest respect for GA and what it stands for.

      I am sorry I have disappointed you, Nikolai.

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    2. P.S. Nikolai, I must add, that your - as it seems to me - condescending attitude towards Second Pride is rather boorish. It seems to me that you believe that the GA is completely safe from any nastiness and "drama". I am not as certain, as you seem to be, that the GA is impervious to such events.

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    3. I am sorry Bock, if you feel my attitude toward Second Pride is condescending, as it certainly is not. I think, historically, there has been more public nastiness in that organization than in the GA, perhaps due to public elections and the campaigns that come along with them, and the structure of the organization. A few years ago, there was quite a bit of nastiness in the GA. However, it was in large part confined to the owners group. Since then, people have tended to make public statements about the GA, if in disagreement with the direction it is going, by simply leaving ... and likely complaining to those close to them. No, the GA is not completely safe from nastiness and drama, but on the rare occasions it occurs, it is behind closed doors and not in public. Perhaps it is a matter of mind set ... Second Pride ... well, seems to pride itself on being (aside from one of the two top prominent LGBT organizations in SL) a democratic organization where issues can be aired in public. Those are two ingredients for "drama." The GA prides itself, so to speak, as being one of the top two prominent LGBT organizations in SL... and something of a diplomatic mission to the rest of Second Life ... therein, it seems to me, lies the difference in the public personae of the two organizations; it is more the difference between being a politician and a diplomat. Politics is messy and can get dirty. Diplomacy strives for the opposite. I have supported SP in the past and continue to do so; to be honest, more because it is important to so many of my friends than out of some visceral feeling about it. No, I am not an ardent supporter, just as I am not so in regard to the GA. I am not a fervent supporter of the GA ... I volunteer on the GA admissions committee because I am an estate manager of a member sim, and because for many, the GA is a first introduction to the LGBT community in Second Life, and I am concerned about what new LGBT residents may encounter ... so I like to be on the committee and do a wee bit to contribute to the GA public sims being friendly and welcoming. I help out with creating graphics and such because it is a big job to put things together, and I see people working very hard at it and I am fond of them and wish to be of assistance. Were I not the estate manager of a GA member sim, I should not be participating in GA activities, as the crux of the GA's mission is to promote the interests of member sims and the tenants and businesses that call them home. I have never felt an "us against them" sort of feeling in regard to Second Pride, but over the years the public airing of feuds and disagreements and such has had me shying away from Second Pride. If ever the GA were in a similar state, I would do the same. I have never viewed the organizations competing with or at war with one another, I have always seen them as having different purposes and serving the SL LGBT community in different fashions, with different missions and goals, which is why I am an advocate of polite consideration rather than collaboration.

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    4. Well, Nikolai, you have in your last comment unwittingly made many of the points I wished to make concerning the differences between the two organizations - and much better than I could do it myself with my lack of knowledge of the inner-workings of the GA.

      I, perhaps naively, wholeheartedly believe that a transparent democracy is the best way of government in all human endeavors, including nations and organizations. In my opinion politics is not a bad thing, it has it's place in human affairs just as diplomacy.

      Admittedly democracy is sometimes an unruly and messy way to solve issues. This is particularly the case when the individuals taking part in the process do not even try to separate between differences of opinions on issues and their attitude towards anyone with a different view.

      I do not believe that conflict or conflicting opinions are a bad thing per se. Airing differences of opinion is not in my mind to be considered drama. I also have an innate trust in my fellow man that they also want the best result for the majority and are not merely trying to promote their views for self-gain.

      In my mind it is unfair to blame a democratic organization for the fact that not all individuals taking part in the discussion can conduct themselves in a way we would prefer. But that is mankind for you, some people simply cannot accept and respect that others have a differing point-of-view which leads them to another position on the issue at hand. Instead they try to allocate blame on some personality flaw of the opposing party.

      I have the deepest respect for other peoples opinions and initially believe that they are all motivated by a will to be for the good of the citizens or members of a nation or an organization.

      What I despise is people who in this - sometimes loud and aggressive - democratic discussion use lies, create and spread false rumors, write anonymous blogs and use viscous and vile personal attacks in attempts to gain support for themselves and their ideas.

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