travel

IN RL I am sitting in the Oakland hills, looking out towards the Golden Gate Bridge, a roaring fire and my bff next to me, and an almost full moon beams down out of the frigid morning sky. It was a tiresome trek to get here, but Pacific Time rocks.

Back briefly in SL the other day,  to pitch a pose to brilliant artist Alizarin Goldflake the other day. She wanted a hibernating pose for her new installation, and she liked mine! grr can’t suss out how those wizards at Bits n Bobs achieve eye closedness… I love making anims more than painting clothes or building; minute shifts in shoulders and feet, and getting a body to sway and thrust just so, travelling between two tiny points on the slider is life smoldering inside the avatar… and most of all the challenge of getting body parts just the right distance apart to touch without sinking into one another, or that horrible  ‘phantom fat’ thing, where the man appears to be handling a much chunkier woman. It’s not easy, as anyone who’s tried Qavimator will tell you, because the 100% size avatar doesn’t actually correspond to your average SL person, and even using props, it’s difficult to get your perspective quite right. Of all the many things I’m crap at, this is the one I feel most likely to conquer. Lots of peering at the screen. And in Veesome it’s possible to tweak and tweak without bankrupting yourself, even if there’s no-one there to see it.
As I showed Ali the pose, I couldn’t help noting that Second Life is still the Ferrari of virtual worlds; the bells and whistles often don’t work right, but on the whole it’s undeniably a sleek, superb operation, delicious on the whole.  Travelling in virtual worlds, like Oberon’s Portable1, is a great adventure, but so much is reinventing the wheel. Is it going to be a better wheel? Everyone in OS is determined to learn from the Linden’s mistakes, but it’s a bit like how new parents think they’re going to give their child all the advantages their own mother and father ‘failed’ to provide – only to realize, years later, they simply passed on a different set of hangups and disadvantages, a journey to essentially the same place, by a different route. Soror’s IWz posts (I do hope she’s on commission, she has become a full-time evangelizer!) make it sound like they have found a good balance of old school and new. Thing is, it comes with all the baggage I’d like to escape.

But you can only see where you’ve gone when you get there.

And being unaware of one’s own lameness is key to actually getting moving, to completing tasks, in fact to the progress of world history in general.  Not noticing one’s own lameness is the ultimate way to travel light. Not that all of it is lame, but it can feel that way if you fail to follow Syd Field’s famous dictum – then you’re in the paradigm, you can’t see the paradigm.

Here is a classic piece of lame/non lameness. Thoth Jantzen’s Area 54, sometimes called Club 54 depending on what mood he’s in. He takes videos and makes them come alive in remarkable ways. It’s the best dance floor in the Metaverse. The lameness is all on the part of the teletubbies. I hate them, but they’ve never looked better than they do here. Like all the best people, he has no idea how good he is (apart, obviously, for his taste in British fictional characters).

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