Stop Sopa and Pipa

I was in Spain when websites and bloggers, including some SL bloggers, closed down for a day to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills being put through as law in the United States. It didn’t really affect me, I thought, because I’m not really one for sharing music or video files.

But after some thought, it seems to me that closing ‘megaupload’, and apparently causing widespread panic amongst music and video sharers, could just be the thin edge of the wedge.

Of course producers, of music and of video, should get paid. But they’re still getting paid -just in smaller, more realistic amounts than the days when rock stars where the millionaire sex gods of the planet. And they’ve achieved fabulous wealth while getting paid a pittance; it was the record labels who were making the really big money. And it’s hard to feel any sense of sympathy to record company executives who fed, leech like, on the backs of those who actually made the music.

So maybe we’re back to square one with this one, and the need for music to reinvent itself as it did as something for teens in the 1950s, and the way it coalesced into ‘rock and roll’ without there being big business involved. In America, local furniture stores even sometimes had their own record label, recording local bands. (In Britain, a furniture store owner called Brian Epstein was also taking a punt on getting a local act recorded). It was a hit and miss approach, and furniture store owners didn’t really have the expertise to say what would sell, instead taking a punt on what they liked, and sometimes it created what we now think of as great, maverick, timeless music.

None of which has anything to do with SL. But…but..but..if SOPA passes, becomes law, and alters the landscape, where might it end? Legislation gets dressed up and passed off as ‘anti terrorist’ or ‘child protection’ or ‘anti piracy’. Could there come a time when representations of the naked form become ‘the man’s’ next target? (And who says the ‘land of the free’ is so much better than life under the Taliban or the Mad Mullahs of Iraq?) Who’s to say some Tipper Gore figure isn’t going to lurch out of left field and press Linden Labs, or other grids, to shut down skin designers who show nipple? American bloggers, in the main, seem to have this weird reticence to display he female breast in their cartoon representation of the female form anyway. There’s one or two exceptions, of course, and the same goes for inworld stores where nipples are removed in favour of pasties or blurs. Sorry, but I don’t have pasties or blurs in my brassiere. I have nipples. I’m not afraid to display them, in SL or in RL for that matter. They fed my infants, to begin with, they were a source of nourishment. We should fear that?

All it takes is some fundamentalist nutter with a self-serving agenda to begin targeting SL nudity and, well, where are we? We get ‘born’ into SL with PG skins that have underwear attached. It isn’t until we get a new skin that nipples (and vulvas) become visible, or guys go off in search of penis attachments as their first act in SL upon discovery they don’t actually own one as born.

I’m not a poseball hopper either (read my profile!) but I understand there are those who do and enjoy the cyber experience. But I’d be opposed to SL being targeted to eradicate poseballs too. So while SOPA and PIPA don’t affect me as a blogger, or internet user, there could come a time when my internet freedoms are quashed under the guise of something or other. And for that reason I’m in full support of any campaign to diminish our online freedoms.

Miss (and Mr!) Nude Second Life?

The Miss World competition has become an anachronism to the 21st century, and one derided by the feminist movement who see the celebration and exploitation of beauty as having no place in the modern world. While I can broadly agree with those sentiments, the flip-side is that for many of the recent winners, girls from the likes of Venezuela, India and Turkey, it’s possibly an escape route to a more glamorous life. No one forces the girls to participate, so why shouldn’t they freely compete is that’s their choice?

In the naturist world, things are slightly different, with many resorts organising their own beauty pageants. Miss Koversada (above), Miss Cap D’agde (2008 and 2009 winners pictured below), and Nudes-a-poppin’ to name but three. Often, there are male equivalents, too. They’re all done in a bit of fun, with the usual evening wear (naturists are always big on getting dressed up of an evening), swimwear and, finally, nude. The Miss Koversada competition does this as a towel wrapped section, in which the towel is eventually dropped.

All in all, good fun to watch and, I suppose, I’ve never done it, participate in. So…what about a Second Life equivalent? Miss (and Mr!) Nude Second Life?

I’ve got a few ideas where, perhaps, participants from various naturist sims could crown their own Miss and Mr Naturist, with the winners moving forward to a grand final. If the idea grows legs, we’ll look at finalising it all at the end of this year, but in the meantime I’d like your input. Good idea? Bad idea? Exploitation? Pointless? Sexist? A bit of fun? Let me know via the comments if you think you’d like to see (or participate in) a Mr or Miss Nude Second Life 2012 competition.

 

 

Seize the day!

Carpe Diem is a new one for me, but I’m pleased to add it to our list of naturist venues visited and enjoyed.

There’s a lovely spacious, golden sandy beach, not too much clutter on it, and a small mall. Club rules state ‘no bloodlines’, but there’s a bloodlines related shop in the mall, which is a bit odd. Never mind, as long as vamps aren’t asking me for bites, I’m not that bothered. 

Look, it was early morning, there was no one else around, and it was still a little chilly, so I kept my tank top and sarong on, OK?

There wasn’t anyone around when I visited, but I immediately liked the vibe here, because of the lack of poseballs, and another club rule saying that ‘not everyone wants to have sex, no harrassing’. Quite. Maybe they read my profile! 🙂 I’d like to go back, soon, and see it with a few others around. I suspect this will be an excellent socialising sim.

Carpe Diem , as you all know, is a phrase from a poem by Horace, from the longer quote ‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’. Latin scholars amongst us (well, I sat at the back of class and did homeworks in other subjects when I was at school) understand this as ‘”Seize the Day, and put as little trust as possible in the future”. This is an aphorism well suited to Second Life. Live for the moments you have in your alternate existence and enjoy them! I do!

Now…all I have to do is seize a little more SL time while waiting for the RL sun to tilt in the general direction of the northern hemisphere!

I’m back.

Lovely little break and some great winter sun (as well as wet days) on the Mediterranean coast. I spent a lot of time taking photographs (of scenery, there weren’t many naturists around, except by the indoor pool) and painting (canvases, not walls). I’m going back in a couple of weeks to finalise, I hope, the purchase of my very own little bolt hole in the sun, and sign up the papers. In the meantime, I’ll just let you know that I encountered a couple of naturists while out in Spain, and they also happen to have recently joined Second Life, with a view to replicating their own RL naturist community with an online presence.

I explained that SL doesn’t often work like that, but I wish them every encouragement in trying to realise their dream. More of them in subsequent posts, but in the meantime here’s a pic of their avatars.

No posts for two weeks

Having just got over the Christmas/New Year period, which distracted me from SL, I’m just stopping by to let you know I’m off on holiday. Nominally naturist, but I’m not sure how widespread the naturism will be in January 🙂 I do know that some good friends of ours just returned from an equally ‘nominal’ naturist holiday at the same location and spent the entire afternoon of New Year’s Day nude on the beach, so I’m hoping for equally kind weather!

I shall see you all on my return, sometime about the 20th/21st of this month.

The links list (part 1)

As of 4th January, 2012, the following are the live ‘naturist’ sims in SL. It may not be complete, so please feel free to add comments and suggestions as you see fit. The list will be across several posts, just as I squeeze in time to visit, explore and describe each.

I’ve also added a box to the sidebar where this will be updated as sims close and others re-open, and will contain a comprehensive list of the links featured in these next few posts.

Have fun! 🙂

in no particular order, just as I visited them from my own landmarks or from search…

Turtle Beach is an adjunct of the popular Wild Coast. It’s an odd one. While Wild Coast has ‘genuine’ naturist values (emphasis on social nudity without ‘in your face’ poseballs) Turtle does have poseballs -lots of them- yet oddly manages to retain a more ‘wholesome’ and grown up attitude, possibly because many of its members have become used to adopting a grown up attitude at its older ‘sister’ venue. L$500 joining fee.

Which brings us to Wild Coast.  It has been around SL longer than I have, and has genuine naturist credentials. L$400 membership fee. Well worth the money, in my opinion, as it’s a place where you can hang out and not be pestered too badly by sex pests. Most of the guys there appear to be nice, sweet types. You can run into creeps everywhere, not just in a naturist setting, but Wild Coast seems to discourage them. A nice sim, and given its long history, one that can be relied on.

Eden Naturopolis isn’t a sim, it’s a huge collection of sims encompassing lots of islands, water to rezz or sail your boat on, apartments, shops, harbours, an airfield and much else besides. Fantastic construction by its owners, Elbag and Brenda, and very, very genuinely naturist. Not a poseball in sight, and marvellous for it. Just relaxed social nudity and recreation. L$300 joining fee.

Buffy’s Cove  may just be the oldest, continuously operating ‘naturist’ sim in SL. Naturist in the sense that you will encounter naturists, but also home to retired pirates and…er…fairies! 🙂

Sunland is apparently the most popular naturist location in SL. Again, it has been around since mammoths roamed the grid 🙂 but it’s not somewhere I’ve  frequented much since my early days in SL. An odd mixture, to my mind, encompassing pole dancers, shops and yes, even a beach. Not many poseballs I could see (although there are stilted huts with the appropriate poses), and membership was free. I probably need to revisit this for longer and explore more, but for now, I’m popping it in the ‘wholesome’ section, even though this may require review at some point.

Sunset Nude Beach  is another ‘oldie’ in SL terms. Se beds, yes, but discreet. Free membership.