Too Much Death

This week was a tough week. Three of the icons of my youth passed on - Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. It kind of stabs you in the heart. Ed made so many people smile for so many years as Johnny Carson's sidekick (and I, of course, am a big fan of sidekicks). Farrah and Michael both seemed to lead such tragic lives. I think, to me, the saddest thing about Farrah and Michael's death is that they both seemed to have such little happiness in life.

Of course I didn't know them, but one day, my dad went to a tennis tournament and sat right next to Farrah Fawcett. He somehow managed to form enough words to get her autograph, which I still have. I did meet Michael Jackson one time after a performance I did in Hollywood. He was very kind and gracious.

It would be nice if people would be less star struck, less interested in their fame, wealth, and scandal, and more interested in trying to make everyone's life better. Then, when someone who has become a part of our lives either personally or from a distance passes on, we can celebrate their life rather than mourn their death.

Style Notes:
Skin - Frick Retro Pinup: Peach Betty
Hair - unknown...whoever that is
Outfit - "coat" from Crimson Shadow lucky chair
Boots - AD Biker Boots from Animas Designs
Photo take at Little Heaven


“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Shakespeare, As You Like It (II, vii, 139-143)

“All the world’s indeed a stage,
And we are merely players,
Performers and portrayers.
Each another’s audience
Outside the gilded cage.”
Rush, “Limelight”

“Life’s a show,
And we all play our parts,
And when the music starts,
We open up our hearts.”
Sarah Michelle Geller, as Buffy, in “Buffy the Musical”

Why does fashion matter in Second Life? It's a virtual world, after all. It's not real. What should we care if our little avatar looks good? It's interesting that even though we can create an entirely different world in Second Life, we simply re-create and reify our own reality. We care what others think of us. We want to look good, be popular, find love, and have fun in SL just like in RL. Oh...if only....

We try to manage others' impressions of us by engaging in this virtual social performance. We go to our sky boxes or hidden bubbles and prepare backstage for this performance. We go through our inventories looking for the perfect outfit, the perfect hair, the perfect skin. All in an attempt to make others see us the way we want them to see us. Once we're ready, we make our entrance. We are the performer, and all the others that surround us are our audience, who are, in turn, managing their own performances for our benefit. We even use props - accessories, furniture, and decor. Our identity is constantly changing for the benefit of our performance.

Embarrassment results when our performance doesn't meet expectations. When we realize that something is wrong. "Oops! I forgot my underwear and I'm wearing a mini-skirt" or "Yikes! Where's my hair?"

(Really, I did that on purpose! I would never be seen in Zindra without my hair!) See! Impression management.

And if we're naked in public, it had better be in an appropriate place. Or, maybe just for the sake of art.

I've gotta go. It's time to strut and fret my hour upon the stage. Next blog...the significance of nothing.

Pictures 1 & 2
Outfit: Pixeldolls - Jewel Dress in Rasberry
Skin - Lara Skin - Rachel Pale
Hair - Starmilly Voom - Hair Black
Shoes - 50 Flats - jeweled flats
Location - Fotoscope

Picture 3
Outfit - Another World - Sisters Of Mercy tank dress
Skin - Redgrave 15 Pale Skin - Vivian smoky2
Hair - Starmilly Voom - Hair Black
Tattoo - Moloko Stardust Tattoo
Location - Zindra's Kama City

Picture 4
Skin - Lara Skin - Rachel Pale
Hair - KS Creations - Annah Black
Location - Art Box (recreation of "Christine Keeler" by Lewis Morley)

Dramaturgy is a sociological theory of social interaction originally developed by Ervin Goffman in his book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

"Life After Death" Fashion Show

Perhaps it is serendipity, but I was at Blue Blood Friday stalking the lucky chair, when, just on a whim, I decided to finally fork over the L$50 and join their update group. So, today, I was puttering about somewhere wasting time somehow when I received the notice for tonight's fashion show. How could I miss it? Certainly the terrible time difference wouldn't deter me. So, in the middle of the night, and into the wee hours of the morning, I sat, watching, listening, and enjoying the spectacle.

I do have to admit that I was a little star struck at the show. I was surrounded by some of my favorite designers and creators. Look at me on the left sitting right behind Ivey Deschanel of Sn@tch, who, by the way, saved the day when we lost sight of the other sim in the middle of the show.

Sl, of course, has glitches, and this show wasn't able to avoid them. Approximately 40 minutes into it, the entire view of the show disappeared. Spanning two sims in an attempt to avoid lag, the communication between the two sims simply died. Apparently, those on the Pulse sim could see us, but we couldn't see them. Both sims had to restart before the show could continue.

The opening announcement said, "Voshie Paine and Nocturne Modeling Agency welcome you to Snatch City and the "Life After Death" show today featuring Blue Blood creations by Ghanima Uriza and The Black Canary fashions by Morrigan Denimore. Accessories are from Tomoyuki Batra of Little Boy Blue and shoes are by Oriana Kuhr of Dilly Dolls"

The beautiful set was designed by Omaire Abattoir, Anicia Medici and Rayvn Hines.

Overall, 20 designs were featured in the show -all hand drawn. Below are my favorite pieces from the show.

The Dark Queen - this simple black dress with a tiered skirt has lovely shading and detail. It's the little black dress plus.

Temps de Catedrali - This dress is sweet and versatile. I love the lace underskirt and the white sleeves.

Lord Lucian - an audience favorite, this suit elicited an audible "ah" from the audience. How could a man not be the center of attention wearing this outstanding outfit?

Another gorgeous dress featuring layered detail and stunning coloring.

My bias is for the more simple and casual; however, for those favoring the more elaborate, the designers delivered:

Of course, I was already a fan of Blue Blood and Dilly Dolls while the work of The Black Canary and Little Boy Blue were new to me, but I found the fashions presented today to be a unique combination of timelessness, class, and dark beauty. They are the visions of creative souls, and I applaud their efforts.

Congratulations, Blue Blood, The Black Canary, Little Boy Blue, and Dilly Dolls!

I, too, am an Ivalde fan!

I'm definitely a fan of Ivalde. It's a store full of beautiful things. How could anyone not walk in and want to spend every last Linden there? I do!

I have a terrible problem, though. I walk in and want everything. I have spent hours wandering the store trying to figure out which of Neferia's creations I'm going to buy. Maybe I like her stuff too much! The decision making is just too hard for me. I did, last time I was there, manage to decide that I was definitely going to get one of her 1940s dresses....the next time I go there. So, of course, I was disheartened to hear of Ivalde's closing. I've been drooling over this dress for months. Lucky me, though! I can still get it at Retrology! Yay!

Another thing I love about Ivalde? The generousness. I wanted to highlight just how beautiful the clothes that I do have are. They were acquired during the Easter Egg hunt this past spring.

I am always amazed at the creativity I see in Second Life. I love beautiful things, and I wish Neferia all the best.

Picture 1:
Dress - Ivalde (Easter egg hunt) Sara Yellow
Hair - Exile - Summer Black
Skin - Chai Skin - Sugar Tangerine Dream Freckle
Flowers - Alstromeria Buquet with on/off Particles in 1 Prim ~ The Point
Pose - TSM004 - Tsubura Sexual Motion (from

Picture 2:
Dress - Ivalde - Juliette Lavenderros dress
Hair - The Stringer Mausoleum and Shrine - Cherry Bomber - Black
Skin - Dulce Secrets - Alais Creamy Skin
Scooter - 19 Motorcycle - D-Hello 1.06
Tree - Glas Garden Centre - Apple Willow
Flowers - The Point - Orchids Flower & Garden 1 prim/64 Faces + Particles
Pose - Ray Skin - **pose3**

Social Control

Social control is the organized way in which society gets people to behave. We all engage in social control every day in our real lives, so it only makes sense that social control would exist in Second LIfe. When people gossip, make rude remarks about one's dress or behavior, ostracize, ban, laugh at, and sometimes blog about or "FUG," they're engaging in social control.

Second Life doesn't have a police force as we know it. The only form of law that exists are the terms of service, and the rules there are relatively sparse considering the size and complexity of the society. That leaves much of the development and enforcement of social norms up to the residents.

Because of the anonymity, the basic rules of RL society are easily ignored. People can go around in SL doing things they never would have dreamed of doing in RL (like wearing crazy checkered gowns and top hats), and the sanctions, if there are any, only exist within a virtual world. Rarely is it even possible for them to spill out into RL where they tend to be limited to violations of copyright laws or fraud. Even prostitution is open in the virtual world, and people are free to walk around wearing labels proclaiming their availability. Because no actual RL sex occurs, the criminal laws do not apply.

An excellent example of social control within the virtual world is the blog, "What the Fug." In this blog, writers and contributers snap screenshots of avatars who they feel violate general norms about fashion or behavior. Both within the blog and the Flickr photostream, contributers express their disapproval of things like "prim boobs," oiled up skin, public nudity, and ill-fitting clothing items. Behavior is also subject to condemnation, especially "stripper AOs" and public expressions of slavery. Some people do feel the pressure to conform that exists because of this blog and photostream while others fight against the social controls (it's actually a form of what's called tertiary deviance). The degree to which one's self concept is tied to their avatar's appearance would seem to be an important factor in the effectiveness of this form of social control.

Interestingly, in the Second Life world, being a "noob" or displaying characteristics of newness in the virtual world is also sanctioned. Not having a realistic skin, prim hair, or prim shoes can result in punishment, especially if the avatar is more than a few months old. Second life seems to be unforgiving of newness in a way that we would never see with tourists in RL. There is, even at some level, a sense of fear (there are sims that won't even allow avatars less than 30 days old). That probably represents the development of a community at least on some level. Throughout history, it is common for close knit communities to be extremely suspicious of strangers.

Social control is one of those emergent properties of human interaction. Virtual worlds are no different. Social control draws people together, creates a sense of belonging, and paves the way for innovation. If people aren't willing to violate the rules, they never change. It's simply part of the developmental process of creating a society. Good or bad, it's here to stay.

Style Notes:
Outfit - Race Day by Cat Tracks
Hair - Word Multi by Magika
Skin - Retro Pinup Beach Bridgett by Frick
Pose by Ray Skin