OK…I’m struggling to get inworld over the past few days. Firestorm keeps crashing me each time I’ve logged in, so I’ve had to strip out the Firestorm programme and re-installing it. Yes, I know there are other viewers, but I hate the official SL/Linden viewer, and while others are ‘OK’, they’re only that. Firestorm remains my fave. So bear with me until I see if I can get stable again, viewer wise, over the next couple of days. It’s also affecting the posts, as Areola sent me a few tga images and I’ve not ben able to collect them, so we’ve frantically altered the means of contact and finally got a couple of images via email to adorn this post. Sorry for the delay in posting Areola’s report, and forgive me if this situation continues for a week or two yet. I’ve a new computer ordered up with enhanced graphics, but won’t be able to collect it for about two weeks hence.
In the meantime, with not as many photos as I’d have liked, here’s Areola’s interview with SL’s ‘Naked Rambler’
In my last post I gave you the back story to Britain’s ‘Naked Rambler’ and told you of our own SL version. I caught up with ‘Steve’ at Su Casa and chatted with him at length.
A: Why adopt such a persona as a naked rambler, considering all the things you could do in SL?
S: SL promised a new beginning. But there can be as many rules to obey in Second Life as there are in real life. So I opted for a slightly ‘outlaw’ avatar whose purpose is to have some sort of…purpose!
A: And that is to….?
S: I am naked. All the time. And I think that what I’m trying to achieve is a message that ‘hey it’s a naked body, so what?’, even in what are clothed sims.
A: You could be accused of acting irresponsibly.
S: Oh, I am. Just like the real life Naked Rambler. I’m a real life naturist when I can be, so I was drawn to Second Life naturism, obviously, in that our avatars are generally extensions of our real selves. I am also a very keen explorer of Second Life. I don’t really settle to just a few sims and have always jumped around all over the place. And I’m a keen student of politics, all manner of politics, including feminist perspectives, socialist perspectives and so on. That’s a legacy of my university life. So I dived into this new, alternative existence with some fervour and was appalled by some of what I saw. The sexual morality, or a lack of it in some ways, and the enthusiasm for violence and stereotyping of certain people. It’s like black people can only be hookers, pimps or gangsters and all of womanhood is some great collective virtual sperm receptacle. There’s something not quite right with the moral compass in SL, and to some extent because men can pose as women in SL it means that woman are given a male mind -not that there’s a great deal of mind at work in some respects- with a male perspective on how women should act and behave, thus reinforcing the idea that women are little more than whores who’ll jump on a poseball and do whatever within 20 minutes of a guy meeting them.
A: How does this relate to being the Naked Rambler?
S: The real life version is challenging perspectives. He’s accused of being irresponsible too, but I see him more as political action. The fact that so much cash has been wasted on him (on legal fees, prison costs etc) should lead us to question the authorities view on all of this. And that’s what it’s doing. Steve Gough has been accused by some naturists of bringing naturism into disrepute. I don’t see that. He’s not having sex in public places, offending people. What they’re getting offended by is a naked body, and in most instances aren’t even offended by it. It’s archaic laws that are offended by it. Few people make a police complaint. They may think he’s a bit weird, particularly in British weather, but other than seeing him as eccentric, it’s not a major issue when there’s so much more to worry about. And I took that on board and adopted my own avatar to do the same. I don’t act irresponsibly. I’d try and keep out of PG sims, although I don’t necessarily teleport out if I teleport in, as I think a penis isn’t something to be frightened of by comparison to some other things. I do tend to adopt the Naked Rambler persona when I’m trying to make a point. And the point is to enter combat zones, mostly and just wander around. What’s more offensive? A gun or a cock? Me running around with my dick out is less offensive than glamourising drive-by shootings or adopting gangster personas.
A: And you’ve been banned from some sims?
S: Yeah. More urban ones than war-combat zones. You know the Naked Cowboy?
S: He’s a guy who plays the guitar in cowboy boots and a stetson in Times Square..
(Here’s a pic, for those of you who don’t know of him : Ella)
S:..and he’s not actually naked, but he’s now almost a tourist fixture. I did think about adopting that persona for some sims. I might still do that, hahaha. I think something like that is political too, more so in Second Life than real life. You could adopt a political stance within Second Life, strumming a guitar and being rather disarming in the context of people glamourising drug deals going down. Second Life is a wonderful thing, but there are rules imposed that need to be broken, and others that need rethinking. I’m not against people forming relationships or having sex in Second Life, but I am against them enacting rape scenes or reinforcing stereotypes that the only role for black women in Second Life is as prostitutes. We need a better sense of morality and a moral compass that includes the treatment of others with some respect.
A: The argument is that it’s all roleplay, better in a controlled environment and virtual sense than for real.
S: Yeah, but people can get confused. Not everyone in Second Life is too bright, hahaha, and I imagine that there are some teenage boys whose views of women is becoming highly confused by Second Life and imagine how they treat women in Second Life, all that ‘hi, do you wanna f***?’ approach, maybe rolls on into real life. I dunno…my perception of it is that it’s maybe how things go.
A: We need to get you posing as the Naked Cowboy!
S: I’ll maybe do that!
The Naked Rambler also spoke about the glamorisation of guns and gun culture and warped perspectives during the course of the interview, and touched on ‘Columbine’ in his remarks, which took place prior to the cinema killings in Aurora. Now is not the time to discuss these things, or maybe it is, but I’ve edited out those comments out of respect for those killed/injured in Aurora. Ella.