Smile in public

I dimly recall Ella once did a post about whether SLN was ahead of the pulse, on the pulse or ever so slightly behind the pulse. I can’t find it, but I’m sure she blogged to that effect.

Earlier in the week we did our ‘Topless Tuesday’ posting featuring a Turkish model who used it as an opportunity to educate and enlighten us into the tension that might exist for and against Muslim headwear, and also to go topless as message of her support for Iranian women who don’t have the choice to go without a headscarf and have resorted to Facebook with their ‘Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women‘ campaign, in which they post photos of themselves without headwear.

Yesterday, almost right on the pulse in terms of SL reaction to the real, screwed up world, another avatar sent Ella a photo and a notecard which Ella has passed onto me.

It appears that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, declared that Turkish women should not laugh in public. Further reports on this comment, which also included remarks on sexuality, sexual behaviour, and even the use of mobile phones, can be found here, here and here.

And I guess it’s the use of mobile phones (cellphones) that has accelerated a sudden and maybe unexpected backlash against Mr. Arinc wh0 -surprise, surprise- appears to have an election in the autumn.

Because Turkish women have immediately responded, using their mobile phones and the social media apps on them, to post photos of themselves…..smiling and laughing!

And this has already gone all the way to SL, with one reader sending a smiling photo of herself and asking us to publish and promote it in order to highlight yet another attack on the freedoms of women in the Middle East.

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A Turkish SL avatar asks us to add her defiance of the ‘smile ban’ (her words).

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RL Turkish women take to Twitter and Facebook to also defy the Deputy PM’s advice.

You can read about these acts of defiance here and here and here

Our old friends Femen have also got in on the act with their Turkish Twitter page…

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If there’s any other Turkish avatars out there who would like to add their smiling photographs, send a photograph to me, Eva Pookes, and I’ll post them here on SLN.

Pookes.

Skinny dipping will get you on the Sex Offenders’ Register?

As you know, most of the staff here are in the UK. That’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland to give it its official title. (Great Britain refers to the countries of England, Scotland & Wales).

So this story, from Northern Ireland, has been getting great mileage in the UK media for the past few days. Essentially it was particularly warm in Northern Ireland at the end of last week and two young men went skinny dipping in Belfast Lough. It would appear that there were a large number of people on the beach, the police were called, and the young men given a talking to.

But then it appears to have gone wrong for the Northern Ireland Police, who put on their Facebook profile that they’d take the thing seriously and people could end up on the Sex Offenders’ Register. While the young men involved could be prosecuted under Public Order legislation for ‘offending decency’, the likelihood is they’d get a slap on the wrist, a fine and a caution. And even that might depend. One English judge was recently moved to castigate two young men in court for fighting, and asked them why they couldn’t perhaps indulge in good wholesome activities…like skinny dipping!

The Sex Offenders’ register is seriously bad karma, for those of you reading this from outside the UK. It is intended for those who’ve undertaken the most vile sexual acts, or acts of paedohilia, not a couple of lads who strip off to skinny-dip. And in making what appeared to be threats to place the duo on the register, the internet has kind of gone into overdrive and most of it anti police.

The official organisation of naturism in the UK, British Naturism, are (rightly) livid about the situation, and it’s likely that there will now need to be urgent legislation placed before the Northern Ireland parliament to clarify the situation.

The story is now global. The story is making it into the pages of the UK’s heavyweight press. And most of it looking negatively on the police’s over reaction.

I’ve little sympathy. Facebook, and other social media, on all sorts of levels, appears to be a stopping shop for people to get their information out before checking it, be it on a personal, social level (‘John has split up with Jane’, prior to John telling Jane to her face), a business/professional level (the manager of Spanish football club Atletico Madrid recently posted something about the death of a journalist, only for the journalist’s wife to read it on FB prior to the police calling her to inform her), to the legal….in this case the Northern Ireland police acting in a threatening manner and without actually checking what the proper legal position on it is.

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Harry’s rounded up a model, obtained a Northern Ireland flag (from the World Peace Flag Garden, no doubt), and she’s showing her support for nudity on the beaches of Northern Ireland (staged at Su Casa, in this instance).

 

Pookes.

 

 

 

Topless Tuesday: Turkish Delight

Today’s Topless Tuesday (I’m going to do my best to bring you a TT post for the duration of my curation of SLN) comes from the landmarks that can be found attached to this post on the wonderful Ad Vitam Aeternam blog whose purpose is to show off particularly photogenic sims.

Harry has delivered a wonderful set of photos, and a rather wonderful back story from today’s model, a Turkish girl who has asked not to be named.

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Our model pointed us at a campaign on Facebook, called ‘Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women’, on which Iranian women will post photos of themselves without the headscarf.

‘I have a choice’, our model said, ‘but these women do not. For them, the feeling of simply being in public without a headscarf is daring. What a ridiculous situation!’

Which brings us to our model’s appearance for ‘Topless Tuesday’.

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An exceptionally interesting story, and a brave thing to do given the backdrop to our model’s real and second lives. Many thanks to her.

If you’re a Turkish avatar, male or female, I’d be interested to hear if our model’s story mirrors your own experiences. Or do you disagree with her findings? Please, let me know.

Pookes

Introducing….Anne

Hi, guys and girls of SL and SLN!

I’m Anne, and I’m joining the team for…however long you’re interested in reading my stuff. I’m gonna show great offence now with something Pookes has already said, and that is that I’m SLN’s first American writer. I’m not, I’m Canadian…biiiiiiig difference. 🙂 And I’m French-Canadian, originally from Montreal. I moved just across the border to the US about ten years back, to the shores of Lake Champlain on the US side, and I guess that’s where Pookes gets the idea I’m American. An honorary American, for sure, but still a proud Canuck! Enough about me though.

I’ve been given a little bit of a portfolio of things to cover for SLN, but before I get to that later this week, I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m still getting to know the rest of the staff, and as we’re on different time zones that’s gonna take a while before I can say that I know ’em well. But I’m heading out later today in SL to bring you my first report from the grid. I hope you stick around to read my stuff.

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Anne

Vacations mostly over?

How is your summer going? Already had your holidays, or are they still ahead of you in August?

Ella & I, as you know, concluded ours on different days last week, Harry’s never been away, preferring to spend his summer in the company of his dog and his sketchbook & camera in different parts of England, Barbara appears to be active behind the scenes, her two weeks in Italy already concluded, and only Diane seems to remain ‘missing in action’, as we were aware she would, touring parts of eastern Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, as far as I’m aware).

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English Fenland No.3 (©2014 Harry Leistone)

We’ve two new writers lined up, one a temporary replacement for Ella, an arrangement that works well for both parties as it helps pick up the slack left by Ella’s temporary withdrawal from SL to study various elements of SL & web design to improve the long-term look of SLN, while the new writer we’ll introduce you to returns to university at the end of September and won’t have time for blogging. Apricot appeared in SLN for the first time last week in our Topless Tuesday post. A couple more shots of her are below.

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Our other new writer is potentially a longer term prospect, depending on the reaction to her contributions. And she’s our first American writer! 🙂 More of her in the next few days.

The daunting task of editing SLN just got a little more daunting as the inbox begins to fill with contributions, photos, and the task of me having to assemble them into a cohesive whole rather than simply write my bit, pose for a few photos and head off to the RL pub with my husband, job done.

Wish me luck. I think I need it for the next 6 weeks or so. (As far as I’m aware Ella resumes editorial duties on September 7th).

Pookes

I haven’t abandoned you

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Just to let you know that, although I’m not going to be posting regularly, I’m still undertaking SLN-related stuff in the background. I’m currently working and experimenting with a programme called ‘Pixelmator’ which has several different tools which should hopefully improve the finish to the photography. On the basis of my taking it up, Harry is also experimenting with it. Early experiments are with tools that have allowed me to slightly improve photographs, as with the above ‘before and after’ shots. Using ‘Pixelmator’ I’ve been able to lose awkward shadowing. In this photo, the bottom photo has lost shading from the model’s chest, knee and groin area to create a more realistic look. And this is how my summer’s going to play out, undertaking behind the scenes work -not just with photography either-to improved the overall quality of SLN for you, our readers.

Ella.

How brave are we? The final contribution (until next year?)

Without Ella’s presence to embolden me, or possibly mine to embolden her, I know that I’ve been a bit more reticent with my appearances for the camera since Wednesday. But I’ve gone through the photos on our digital SLR and found that there’s one I hadn’t previously seen, and which I’m quite happy to publish for you as our final contribution to what turned out to be an unexpected mini-series.

 

 

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This is possibly the clearest view you’re going to get of us…until next year? 🙂

Pookes