Apricot splits…

I am sorry to report that Apricot, our American contributor and resident Georgia peach, has announced that she will be leaving SL for a period. Apparently this comes in the wake of an in world incident wherein ‘voice’ was being utilised’.

apricot

‘I found the experience creepy, sleazy and disturbing’, she reports. While she wasn’t using voice, the other party was, and Apricot said it was unnerving. This did not take place within the SL naturist community.

I hope that, having taken a break, Apricot decides to come back to SL and also to contribute to SLN. Her views were refreshingly different from those of expressed by we Brits on the staff, and which I often recognise means the blog takes on a Euro-centric feel from time to time. We shall replace Apricot’s voice on the blog in due course.

This seems like a timely reminder to everyone to take care of your personal internet safety in SL. Don’t give out phone numbers, email addresses, or real life photos of any description. If you don’t wish to ‘voice’, don’t voice. You have control over what you want to do or don’t want to do, and be sure to tp out of a situation you find distasteful and never be afraid to mute the person who wants you to do things you aren’t comfortable with. I’ve done this on several occasions, even with people I regarded as long standing platonic SL friends. I don’t cyber, my profile makes this clear in several languages, and I’m not afraid to use the mute button if someone hasn’t the intelligence to read and digest my profile, regardless of how long I’ve known them.

It’s a game, but there’s still creeps out there. Stay safe.

 

Ella

Excellent Horse-like Lady

Occasional contributor Apricot responds to threats an censorship over the film ‘The Interview’.

I’m American. (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, more or less…I’m originally from White Plains, just over the state line, who now resides in England’s county of Hampshire, assumed by some to be the area where Camelot was situated).  I don’t respond well to an inhumane dictator threatening my freedoms.

From what I’ve seen, ‘The Interview’ doesn’t come across as something likely to win an Oscar, many plaudits, the critics or public’s hearts. The trailer has ‘straight to DVD’ written all over it in terms of cinematic quality. The trailer suggests it’s a not very funny B-movie.

Nonetheless, I expect to have the freedom of choice to go and see it and not be dictated to by some tinpot, cheese-eating goon. If I get the opportunity to see it (and I’m back in the States for the holiday period) I will take it, even though I expect to be sitting with my hands on my chin, looking glum throughout. I will do that because in the land of the free we expect the right to be able to freely voice at, or laugh at, politicians. North Korea’s. Or our own. Or anyone else’s.

2014 has been a year in which it seemed that terrorism, real or merely threatened, by the likes of Kim Jong Un or ISIL, had us running scared. That’s not America. That’s not Britain, either, my adopted home. I sincerely hope that in 2015 we, the free people of the world, refuse to be dictated to by some asshole on the other side of the globe with a good line in rhetoric, a long track record of despotic behaviour and a dash of freaking insanity.

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I’m not alone in my contempt for this odious little man. The photo (above) is currently doing the rounds on Facebook (unlike Ella, I do use it), which pokes fun at a figure already readily identifiable as a figure of easy satire (even though he’s potentially dangerous). It’s accompanied by the hashtag #‎YouCantSilenceOurFreedomOfSpeech Which just about sums up our defiance. No, you won’t silence our freedom of speech, something denied to the citizens of the ‘Democratic’ People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, as they style themselves).

It was previously reported that North Korea had murdered the singer of the song ‘Excellent Horse Like Lady’ –Hyon Song Wol– for making pornographic videos, and at this point in the equation the tale (no pun intended) takes on an air of surreality.

Assassinated by machine gun firing squad, it was said, along with other members of the group in which she performed (which also included Kim Jong Un’s wife), only to re-appear at a much later date. So…what’s the truth? Were tales of her assassination a western media black-ops bit of propaganda? (You see, I’m free to express that view). Has someone been subjected to the plastic surgeon’s knife to act as a stand in for Hyon Song Wol (in much the same way Billy Shears has been standing in for Paul Mccartney all these years)? Who knows?

One thing that is fairly clear that there are many, many examples of the harsh reality of life in North Korea which aren’t subject to speculation and black ops media spin.

Jang Song Thaek, Kim’s uncle, was murdered a year for allegedly trying to overthrow the government, despite being regarded as the second most powerful man in North Korea. It would be interesting to learn if this plot to topple Kim was internal politics, or if Jang had leanings towards a more western style of government (or less authoritarian, at least). Over the past week, North Korea’s internet has been under attack, and America is silent on whether it’s evidence of retaliatory action promised by our President.

My wish, for 2015, is that we -the free people of the world- continue to put our scorn on nasty little men like Kim, on nasty little regimes like ISIL, and that the world is a freer, more tolerant place where terrorism never wins.

Apricot