Shark attack

Maybe you’ve seen this footage of Australian surfer Mick Fanning beating off a shark at an event in South Africa this weekend? Thankfully, he was OK.

I have to confess I didn’t see this, but Howie clearly has, and has sent me a SL-replicates-RL photo of himself and his friend Jan scrambling for shore! 🙂

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Ella

Angela Merkel dressed

If you’ve been following us over the past couple of days you’ll know that South Korea has gone mad about photos purporting to be Angela Merkel nude, with over 16,000 page views from S.Korea alone yesterday.

The Huffington Post reported these same photos in 2013, and says they’ve been doing the rounds since 2009. It’s fairly clear that they’re a hoax, an April Fool’s joke, according to some.

What’s less likely to be a hoax is the following photograph.

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From 1972, it shows a then 17 year old Angela Kasner taking part in a civil defence exercise under the watchful eye of an East German officer.

This photograph surfaced a couple of years ago and apparently did not meet with the approval of the German chancellor, who has always denied links to East Germany’s communist past. 

Personally, I don’t see this photograph as anything ominous. To be able to attend university, it was necessary to be part of these exercises, regardless of one’s personal ideologies, so there’s nothing particularly sinister about this, bearing the time and the divisions in eastern Europe.

What I’ve said before, and maintain now, is that -also within the time and the ideologies involved- I’d be wholly surprised if Mrs. Merkel hadn’t observed or participated in naturism as a part of normal, everyday life. Prior to the Berlin Wall and the communist bloc collapsing in 1989, east Germans were strong advocates of naturism.

After the war, naturism didn’t gain popularity in the capitalist west as it did in East Germany, where it took on more social significance. By the 1960s, it had become a mass movement, said historian Hans Bergemann, who in 2000 organized a touring exhibition in Germany on the FKK movement. 

“FKK became so popular that in principle no one noticed whether people were naked or dressed*,” Weinreich said of people’s casual attitude toward nudists.

With this mindset, can we really believe that the Chancellor never participated in naturism in her youth? I find that hard to believe.

One thing I would say is that if real photos ever were to surface of her participating in the naturist lifestyle, it would be an enormous fillip to the lifestyle not just in Germany, but right across Europe. Furthermore, I believe those photographs would be a enormous boost to Mrs. Merkel’s personal popularity. If such photos exist, there’s currently no evidence of them likely to appear. Naturism, it seems, is rather more of a skeleton in the cupboard of public figures than the political taboo of the past couple of decades: ‘I smoked a joint but didn’t inhale’.

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(above: the young Angela Kasner)

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Angela Kasner camping at Himmelpfort, 1973. Yes, there are facilities for naturism at Himmelpfort (although this is true for many locations in Germany)

Ella

*in naturism, this remains true, even now.

 

 

Denial of service attack?

Thanks to Vanadis, who has pointed out that the current, ongoing, interest from South Korea in this site may be a ‘denial of service’ attack from arch-conservatives in that country.

Today has begun with figures that demonstrate continuing interest in SLN, and one thing we can be sure of is that it’s possible it’s not for ‘virtual world interest’ reasons or, indeed, wholesome naturism.ddos-attack

I have a back up blog in place in case this site is attacked and should suddenly go down or disappear. We’ll continue as before should there be ‘issues’ that become apparent in the hours and days ahead.

We often think of ‘conservatism’ as being the sole preserve of, say, elements within Islam or fundamentalist Christianity, people whose idea of freedoms being the right to express their definitions of freedoms while denying the same right to others. Not exactly democratic, is it? I would never have imagined that South Koreans would be reacting to a site like this, a niche lifestyle blog within the context of a niche online game (let’s face it: SL is someway down the table from even some of those Facebook games like ‘Candy Crush’). Isn’t this type of action more in keeping with what we might expect of their northern compatriot, Kim Jong-Un?

Essentially, we just re-locate. An attack will, ultimately, achieve nothing (if it is, indeed, such an attack, although Vanadis’ links would suggest that this is probably the case). We’ll simply return, elsewhere, and continue as before. Well, maybe not exactly as before. 😉

 

Ella

 

 

 

 

Naturist beach closed to accommodate wealth and power

Before I got distracted by the spike in viewing figures, discussed in a previous post, I’d logged in to comment on the following story. It appears that members of the Saudi royal family have ordered the closure of a French naturist beach ‘for their security’.

One needs to be exceptionally careful with the Daily Mail, a paper that will do anything it can to demonise Muslims. As a result, it reports that the closure (of a public, municipal beach) is for ‘security reasons’, with its readers then given free reign to comment on how the real reason might be the nudity and how this shows that western values can be trumped by money.

The Saudi royal family own the villa next to the beach, of course, and have every right to stay there within the house and grounds of their own property. But as they’ve owned the property since 1979 and the concept of ‘security’ is now only becoming an issue, once suspects that ‘politics’ is playing a key part in this. How might the closure of a beach on which, let’s face it, users are unlikely to be carrying anything concealed, improve the security? And what ever happened to the spirit of the French Revolution? Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite? Some people would appear to be more free if they’ve got wads of cash to make things happen, and the French seem ready to set aside the tenets of their Revolution in order to do politics. How might bending over backwards to Saudi Arabia, for example, fuel the sales of French fighter jets?

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The Daily Telegraph has been reporting this too, and surprisingly is a little more candid about the reasons for the closure. It is, according to locals, to allow the Saudi Royals to have the beach to themselves. Ah! So it’s not security? It’s not even the presence of naturists? It’s money, power and a replication of the reasons as to why Marie Antoinette got her head chopped off.

 Ella