Sunday, 24 June 2007

The face of bias

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead


I'm irritated by the conduct of some of my fellow SL 'journalists' over the last week. I've always been a little bit in awe of the writing talent in-world, but as usual someone has to go and spoil it.

To be a reporter is to be balanced. It is to take neither side, to have neither view. It is to hunt out the facts and give them verbatim, to take the quotes and report them exactly. It is to remain impartial even if the facts are set in stone.

It is not to use column space for debate or argument: that is a job for the reader.

A reporter does not take half-truths for granted. No article is ever finished, there's always another point of view that could have been included, another piece of information that's been missed. All news is global news.

There's a reason journalists are always the bad guy in movies: it's because we controlthe flow of information and that's a power that can be corrupted with a single word.

We are the one link between the busy citizen and the world around, and it's our responsibility to honour that right. And yes, that moral code should even hold true in this virtual world: if your heart and soul aren't committed to Second Life, you should leave the recording of its history to those of us with a passion for it.

Every human being has the right to hold and express opinions and feelings, but a reporter is on a different level: the medium through which information reaches the people.

And this is why such regard is held for those who can claim to have integrity.

Ah well, I guess there will always be tabloids.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Dingle dangles

Willow Caldera: UGH my nose is running SO much
Willow Caldera: I have tonsilitis -.-
Laura Leandros: oh no!
Laura Leandros: in your nose? thats v. unlucky Will
Laura Leandros: :P
Willow Caldera: LMAO
Willow Caldera: they dangle out of my nostrils like mini bollocks
Laura Leandros: LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This quote has amused me almost constantly for the last 6 hours. Hurrah for those rare times when you meet your comedic twin! Bless her for keeping me sane...ish.

It's been a funny old day...

Well, maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya

It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah
Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah

Sometimes life goes on a bit of a down-slide, and this is one of those times. We were given our marching orders on Tuesday, which means I'll be out in the cold in just over four weeks. I've decided to go freelance so I can continue to work for my boss in his new company and stick with everyone else.

I know it's a bit pathetic that I'm having such a hard time with the idea of letting go, but they're like a family, really. So while one half of me is focused on sheer efficiency, the other's stuck in a bit of a sentimental rut.

Still, if anyone needs an editor or writer, this little freelancer volunteers!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

To Live As Your Doll...

Syssy, thank you for making it all ok, and thank you for letting me nestle.Everyone else who answered her call and offered your support, thank you with all my heart.

Friday, 15 June 2007

More hero worship

I had no choice, really - he might be getting a scary number of mentions in this blog but then I've already told him I'm his stalker and this is entirely his own fault for insisting on churning out all these insanely beautiful things. What's a girl to do?

Yes, this image was today's worktime output from Graham - I would give my right arm and several of my toes to be able to even imagine the stuff he comes out with.

This was made for the cover of the psychology magazine we've been working on together, but I suspect it's a little too quirky for the readership. Determined not to see it disappear, I've thieved a copy to put here - the original, more colourful version is in the bar to the side, because I love it so much I want to pick it up and cuddle it to my bosom. I'm considering having it framed!

I'll be having to do a website to advertise my talents soon (anyone who knows anyone or is anyone who can do websites and feels sorry for my jobless ass, please shout! I pay in magic beans...), the colourful version will be my opening illustration.

I will now try to write at least 3 posts in a row without mentioning Graham.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A Doll's House

It never ceases to amaze me how Second Life's so-called 'alternative' communities, the ones that cause the biggest fuss and bother and draw small-minded muppets out in droves to shake their tiny fists and wave pitchforks at the sky, are often the warmest and safest places in the virtual world.

I had the genuine pleasure of covering a fashion show for SLNN over the weekend called Breaking the Mold. The models were subscribers to the doll lifestyle aiming to showcase their own interpretations of the word 'doll'. The poster, shown here, and all the photography was done by the ever-stunning and always delicious Sysperia Poppy, who as you know I adore, worship and allow to stalk me. Oh yes. The show itself was arranged by Doll Box, talented creator of all things doll.

What I love most about these events, when SL's dolls come out to play, is the atmosphere. Supportive and affectionate, loving and good-humoured, accepting and delicate, these are some of the sweetest and friendliest members of Second Life. They know how to enjoy themselves and they know how to accept and work with their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths.

These dolls like to shop, dress up, prance about, look pretty and be creative...which I think actually makes me a doll too - doesn't it most of us?

Monday, 11 June 2007

Sugar rush

A new Starbucks opened today, right under our office, and the generous peeps inside were giving away free, well, anythings. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I trotted down for a chocolate frappucino and a mini muffin.

Half an hour later I felt a little bit sick and giggly, perhaps because I'd consumed half a cow and a month's ration of sugar. This explains the surreal nature of my own behaviour for the rest of the day, but I'm not sure what to attribute everyone else's to.

In between swapping favourite words with Tim via email (for example: gnu, elk, sponge, bung and dink), I managed to convince the rest of the team that we ought to set up a website advertising us as a group, because between us we've pretty much got the whole creative process covered. As editorial teams go, we ain't half bad.

Emma came up with the clever name Phoenix for us, as we do seem to rise from the ashes on a regular basis, but I think I prefer Graham's suggestion: Bucket of Fuckers.

Dean ran out of oxygen halfway through a sentence and pretended to be dead for 10 minutes, reviving to defend himself against the accusation that he once twisted Tim's nipple until it turned black. He claims Tim did the same to him, but we think that's cheating because it already was black.

Emma cast blame in my direction when she couldn't hear a word Graham was saying and he complained she suffers from sound blindness. She said it was my fault because I suck up everything they say before it reaches the other person's ear - I am a word hoover.

Then someone walked past my desk pushing a cupboard.

See why I'm going to miss these guys?

On a side note, anyone in Brit-land who hasn't been watching Britain's Got Talent really needs to tune in tonight - click here to see why.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

The beginning of the end

My new blog banner incorporates a piece of original artwork by Graham Miller, designer and illustrator of unparalleled talent with whom I have worked for the last five and a half years.

Our company, Summertime Ltd, is no longer. The incredible group of people I've had the privilege of working with all this time will soon be separated.

This won't be our first redundancy scare, I only wish it wasn't our last. During that time we've learned each other's strengths and weaknesses, seen each other at best and worst, laughed and cried and grumbled and slowly become a unique team.

I'm facing unemployment and all the associated financial panics, but the only thing worrying me is what it's going to be like not to work with them all any more. I can't imagine finding the magic elsewhere. I will really miss them all.

But anyway: I've added a link to Graham and Tim's collaborative graphic novel, with which I was jaw-droppingly impressed when I first saw it.

You know how, if someone asked you to name the people you were closest to in the world, you'd forget to put your family down, because in your mind it should be taken for granted? That's the same sort of principle Graham's art works on, for me: I assume he can do anything, and he has yet to let me down.

I'm not sure how you can get hold of him - I've sat 3 feet from him all this time, I've never had to try! - but if you'd like to see more, give me a shout and I'll flail at him till he pays attention.

Oh, and if you're in the market for a ready-formed 8-person magazine editorial team, I've got one handy...

Saturday, 2 June 2007

She's good, that Charlotte bird

I've seen enough now
To know that beautiful things
Don't always stay that way
I've done enough now
To know this beautiful place
Isn't everything they say

I heard that evil comes disguised
Like a city of angels
I'm walking towards the light
Good Charlotte: The River

I've added my most recent Happy Song to the right for your viewing pleasure and I really do recommend it for mood-bolstering and rump-shaking goodness. Not only can I not help performing chair-dancings and annoying teenage emo head-bangings when this is doing its 'Repeat Song' duty on iTunes, the boys have conveniently showcased exactly how I would like my future husband to look and dress please.

Until you hit 35, then you'll just look ridiculous and I'll thank you to pay closer attention to the woollens section of Marks & Sparks.