Archive for the ‘Caledon’ Tag

Revisiting Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies ….

George Gordon, Lord Byron, “She Walks In Beauty”

Writing the previous article reminded me of a piece I wrote back in 2013, close to this time of the year, in fact (I published it on August 31). It had been about the time of the 2013 Black Fair, and Pure Poison … who were making clothing instead of shoes back then … had just released this lovely gown, all glittering sequins and a netting overgown that melted my buyer’s resistance into a puddle of goo. I just about titled that last article the same thing as six years ago; fortunately, I recalled the previous, and found another poem, by a poet I’ve loved for years, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

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By the Pleasure and Grace of Her Ladyship….

Writing from Destin, Fla.:

Since I’m on vacation, and away from my regular ol’ standby, the Black Tower of Birmingham, I haven’t been able to go around Second Life and do my usual photography or scrounging for subjects.  So I’m catching up a little on the blogs in my blogroll.  (A very long blogroll, it should be noted, and one that I’m starting to winnow as time permits.)

I would recommend to your perusal and delight today the writings and poetical musings of Her Grace Eva Bellambi, Chief of the Clan Bellambi and Lady of that Name, sometime Duchess of Loch Avie, etc. etc., and longtime Resident of Caledon.  She currently resides in Winterfell Anodyne, where she continues to distill fine virtual whiskies and fulfill her duties to her clan and Guvnah Shang.  At the same time, she has a turn for the poetic and beautiful, touched at times by Wiccan influences that show her delight in the Goddess-aspect of the world.  You can find out more about Her Grace’s travels at The Realm of the Red Rose, her own blog.  Two old articles I’d recommend right now cover her discovery of Seraph City region, and a celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, a date to remember for all women who are involved in the sciences and technology.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll adjourn to the breakfast room downstairs for a glass of orange juice, and perhaps a toasted bagel.

Dropped Stitch Cafe, Caledon II

The Dropped Stitch Cafe is a coffeehouse in the Caledons, and is a lovely place for knitters and crocheters.  Basket chairs and couches all about a blazing fireplace, a nice espresso machine (remember, Victorian-styled Caledon is steampunk, so this is quite acceptable), and look at the two yarn racks behind me!  There’s at least one more to my right (your left) that’s out of shot.  There’s even free knitting needles on the mantel.

(By the way, did you know that Queen Victoria crocheted?  It’s very much certain that she did; a British Army regiment, the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, received several scarves crocheted by Her Majesty and presented to various people, four of them to servicemen.  More details, and pictures, can be found at the regimental site.)

If you’re interested in visiting, I would urge Victorian dress; but, as I recall, most folk in Caledon aren’t sticky about visitors observing the dress code.  Just be polite if there’s a Caledonian in house with you, and dig something out of Inventory if they do request.

Virtual Democracy

Writing from Atlanta, Ga.:

Eric Reuters reported on Thursday about LiveJournal’s decision to hold an election in the community at large for two seats to its advisory board:

Election winners will participate in quarterly conference calls with executives from Russian media company SUP, which owns LiveJournal, and be flown to an annual meeting in Istanbul to discuss issues relating to LiveJournal’s administration.

LiveJournal’s democratic elections of user representatives closely parallels recent elections in CCP’s EVE Online, in what may be a growing trend among new media companies with loyal but contentious user bases.

This started me thinking in my spare moments about the spread of virtual democracy. It appears to be a trend that has much support; even the Russian-owned LiveJournal is embracing the concept to a degree. As for Second Life, we have the well-known example of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (better known as Neufreistadt), (Wikia, blog). The CDS is one of the longest ongoing projects on the Grid, with a reasonably successful representative government elected every six months, three working parties, and a good participation from many of the Residents. I featured a photo of the last swearing in of the CDS’ Representative Assembly in Contact Sheet, with the well-known Gwyneth Llewelyn administering the oaths as Dean of the Scientific Council.

Slightly less free, but still quite democratic, are the regions of the Independent State of Caledon. Government here is more by mutual consent to being governed under the benign despotism of the sims’ owner, His Excellency Desmond Shang, the “Guvnah.” Being the owner of the many regions that comprise Caledon, what happens here is basically what Des allows to happen; but he is also an easygoing and much-loved tyrant, and all his rules are embraced by the neo-Victorian Residents [1]. On a parallel might be Steelhead (Caledon wiki, newspaper), which is owned by Kattrynn Severine, but managed by three others and advised by four councilors.

These and other examples show that self-government in a virtual world is possible. The one difficulty that cannot be overcome, however, is that of the overarching dictatorship. In other words, the Host Company! Whether it’s Second Life, There, World of Warcraft or LiveJournal, someone owns the host computers that the software runs on, and they make the rules in the end. The only control we have over them is economic support, by choosing to continue or not continue our accounts with them; and if they lose enough subscribers, the servers will be shut down along with the “countries.” (So far, there has been enough support to keep the owners firmly “in power.”)

Second Life at least allows the nascent micro-nations to continue, only asking that Residents observe the policy decisions made by Linden Lab. There’s no sign that this will change in the future — but remember the truth of the situation that you live in.


[1.] Emissaries from other sims have other ideas, but Guvnah has an ace up his sleeve in the form of the Gun Bunnies, his elite bodyguard. They have foiled at least one assassination attempt during the war with Neualtenburg.

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