The Caledonian Cachet?

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A question was raised to me recently by a relative newcomer to our fair Caledon that I felt deserved a carefully considered answer, beyond the short form which I could give them off the cuff. The more I thought about it, in fact, the more I realized that a proper answer was anything but simple and might be helpful to many people recently arrived on our shores, as well as to many veterans who feel isolated or those who are only considering relocating to Caledon.

To paraphrase slightly, the question I was asked was “What is required to be accepted by Caledonian society? In addition, is it easier if I am partnered or involved with someone, or perhaps portray myself in a certain way?”

Of course, my initial reaction was that there is no trick to being accepted in Caledon, as we are such an open, tolerant, free-spirited, welcoming bunch. Each and every one of us a saint like Mother Theresa…if Mother Theresa threw great parties and flew a steam powered ornithopter while dressed in only a corset and a silk scarf, of course.

However, as I thought more about it, I realized just how naive such a position was. Caledon is a complex, somewhat restrictive and precise culture after all. Of course there are certain rules and customs that, if honored, will ease the way of any newcomer.

The trick of course was finding a way to put such guidance into words suitable for a newcomer, without being foolishly narrow or limited. It must also be understood that any guidance is not ALWAYS applicable, I can only speak from my own experience, others may have different views.

The more obvious such bits of guidance of course include being respectful and polite, well spoken and witty while staying within the parameters of the tone and custom of Caledon.

Beyond those, which hardly require mentioning as they are child’s play, I would advise a newcomer on three other points which may speed their admittance to Caledonian society, in my opinion.

1) Be true to yourself
Caledon is a land of eccentrics, dreamers, fighters and fools. The commonplace or the average is easy to overlook here. I would advise any newcomer to let their flags fly as an individual.

To often people assume that in order to be accepted into a society they must mold themselves to that society, at the expense of their individuality. I have found quite the opposite to be the case in Caledon. Here, the unique and iconoclastic is valued and sought as long as it is well-behaved and does not sow division or disharmony.

Do not allow yourself to follow a mob or conform to someone else…be true to the person you are and the traits that first led you to seek out Caledon and you will not go wrong.

2) Be Consistent
Caledon is made up of many different kinds of people and even more different kinds of activities and events. However, we are also a community in the truest sense of the word. Many disparate parts have come together to form a unified whole. We have a valued history and “conventional wisdom” that enlightens our day to day dealings with one another. This history can embrace anyone and everyone, as long as they are consistent enough to BE embraced.

Once you have a personal history or a certain manner or personality then I would advise keeping such a public face consistent day to day and person to person. In order for society to accept anyone it must first get to know them…and for that to occur they must be consistent. After all, if YOU do not know who you are, how is anyone else to.

That is not to say that a person cannot change. In fact, Caledon often has a changing effect on people. However, those changes must be consistent. Nothing is more unnerving then meeting someone on one night, then the next night finding that they are behaving as if another person entirely. Consistency will go a long way towards helping anyone be accepted as a vital part of Caledon.

3) Be Generous
Someone can be unique and consistent, but still utterly unknown to Caledon as a whole. The only way to become known is often to MAKE yourself known. Society is not for the shy. You must be generous with your time and your words. Go out and do things, meet people. Hail strangers at telehubs, strike up conversations at The Falling Anvil or The Salty Mermaid. Attend all the events that you can and offer your assistance in ongoing projects, such as the RFL.

Even more then meeting and attending, I urge a newcomer to EXPLORE. Wander Caledon and see what there is to see. Get to know the locations and people that will make up such a large portion of your time here in the Metaverse. Also, listen and contribute to the group chat as it rolls past. At times it may seem aggressively trivial, broadly obscene or as bizarre as a narcoleptic hippo on a cashew plantation, but many of my dearest friends in Caledon I first met in the group chat.

These are just three small pieces of advice to the newcomer which I hope may be of assistance. I now open the floor to my readers to give their views and guidance on the same topic, as well as on the second part of the question. Does being part of a couple make it harder or easier to enter Caledonian society, or does it have no effect at all? In truth, on this question I have very mixed feelings and would enjoy reading the views of my loyal readership.

What, dear readers, is the Caledonian Cachet, in your opinions? Is there such a thing?

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10 Comments

  1. An interesting topic, which boils down to your initial set of questions nicely:

    “What is required to be accepted by Caledonian society?

    ‘Required’.. hmmm. We have a broad range of types here in our micronation– from the sublime to the foolish. I think the word “requirement” doesn’t really fit the discussion. Rather we all show up, bringing our own particular sets of talents, quirks, dysfunctionalities, personality disorders and the like, and either Caledon proves to be maleable enough to *accept us*, or it doesn’t. FOR THE MOST PART, it has been that way for everyone. Though I have a very real recent memory of an instance when it was not. And I don’t speak of my own instance, thank’ee.

    In addition, is it easier if I am partnered or involved with someone, or perhaps portray myself in a certain way?”

    That’s two rather tangentially related topics, but they are both good questions.

    A) partnering and involvement: surely not a ‘requirement’ for acceptance in Caledon, I would think. There are MANY citizens of Caledon that openly partner with nobody, myself included. We all seem to be accepted in the bosom of society. I think the question arises because partnering opens up opportunities for insertion into cliques and narrow peer groups (yes, there are some here) whereas a ‘single’ person may feel more alone (and lonely) here.

    B) Should I portray myself in a certain way? Well, yes and no. I think character creating is part of the myth building process, and helps us write the larger story. I portray myself in a certain way, which is a more ‘mythic’ version of the real me (which, sad to say, never piloted a zeppelin, never kidnapped a Kaiserine, does not routinely drink and duel and romance ladies.. er, or at least not several at once). We create these personae to enhance the experience of our “game”/”hyperreality”/”evolving myth”. (Oh, I don’t have a melodic Irish Accent, either, which is why I’m loathe to go to voice chat).

    Now, the question is.. Do we HAVE to? Well, no. We can bring over an accurate reflection of our RL personalities into Caledon. Whether or not this is entertaining to you or anyone else depends largely on the person you are.

    Great topic, Lord B.

    Yrs,
    Hotspur O’Toole

  2. Lord Bardhaven…I, in essence, have to say “amen” to your thesis. That is exactly how I entered into Caledon. Consitency is a MUST! I dealt with an initial main grid Vamppyrism “infection” in a conssitent manner, looking for the proper rp method to rule it out of my life. I allow my rl love for drinking to show forth brightly in Caledon…I doubt there are more than a few of “old-timers” (pre-Tanglewood), who don’t know me as the prone to drinking Baroness, who isn’t afraid to go topless, and probably many of the newcomers as well.

    Generosity is ALL important! Except for very few instances (like grifers and and an obnoxious outlander police officer, I alway wish to greet and welcome newcomers to Caledon, frequently offering them my patronage or at least a building lesson or two.

    And what people see in me is the real me…as in rl I tend to be very polite, and at times stilted in language, so it can be found in Caledon, if maybe a litle more magnified. As I live in rl, I live on a grander level in Caledon.

    Finally, as to being partnered….when I first discovered Caledon, I discovered it before my partner….and I took to it whole-heartedly, she did not. My fiance, on the other hand, though introuduced to Caledon by a mutual friend (before we were emotionally involved), didn’t himslef get involved in Caledon till I drug him into it (willingly, on his part, I might add). Alot of his acceptance came about simply being associated with me, who was already established in Caledon for almost a year. As he is naturally shy, he probably would have had a tough time of it at first in Caledon, because his quietness is part of his nature. I on the the other hand, a true Aries, needed no one to introduce me. I made Caledon know me. *Grins* So like I said, I pretty much agree with what you have said.

  3. Err…

    *2) Be Consistent*

    *hangs her head*

    Well, that deals me out of this round. I am so very rarely consistent!

    Shapeshifters. Such a tragedy. Well, I’m consistently…inconsistent?

    *grins and scampers off*

  4. As a relatively new citizen of Caledon, I agree that the best thing to do is to get out there and meet your fellow Caledonians. One thing that I’ve found is that folks are certainly not shy. Of course, Caledon–like any society–has its own rules, but there are plenty here who don’t necessarily strictly follow them strictly. I’d say the main one is politeness. That’s why, as far as personality/character, there’s room for all kinds. Me? I am who I am and it’s not too different from what I’m like in RL–only a “little” bigger…

    As for the whole partnering issue, I’m surely not alone in not having one. Eh. It’s no matter. I have friends in Caledon who are and who aren’t. Besides, I’m rather committed to not being committed, LOL.

  5. Well, yet again, I can serve as a cautionary tale to others. *grins*

    I would recommend on the partnering issue, if you are at all able, to have one. Potentially two. Three causes…a rather large amount of strain.

    And as I’ve learned, six is right out.

  6. Another fascinating question to contemplate, Lord Zealot, another beautifully considered post.

    As I have been working rather diligently to ~not~ be accepted by society (/winks, eyes sparkling/), I must say that the advice you offer is quite sound. Alas! I have slipped and somehow recently found myself rich with new friends. I can only assume my sudden wealth is due to practicing said philosophies, with some modifications…

    Consistent in our inconsistencies, Miss Emilly … or perhaps more accurately, true to our varied facets and expressive of our screaming passions? We are of a similar stripe, dear, and I daresay the people who have come back to puzzle out our strangenesses have proven to be the most precious. What matter if some simple souls have wandered away confused.

    To be easily accepted into Caledonian society? Oh yes, be simple and easily defined. Shock and awe us with the hidden truths, should there be any, …later.

    Is it easier to be accepted if you are partnered or no? It seems to me that our society has grown large enough that there are ample activities for couples or singles, and near everyone is more interested in how pleasant you are over tea than who it is you’re going home to (or with). Where one’s romantic relationship(s) might be a help or a hindrance seems (to me) more to do with how you conduct yourself and who it is with, and less whether you are partnered or no. As anywhere, different sets of doors will open or close if you are close to someone who is a social hub, or if you conduct your “private” life (messily or gracefully) in the public eye.

    Should you portray yourself in a certain way? Aye, however yeh like, as long as it be an expression of YOU. If it feels right, be a rogue or a gent, an ingenue or a matron, a half-cat or wolfman or vamp or faerie or a wee baby carrot. Fly yehr freak flag, most of us will appreciate all th’ varied colour. But do not adopt a style simply to be accepted. Not even (/gasps!/) Victoriana.

    Now on to the words I most wanted to say…

    One can also do some foolish things to be rapidly accepted into society.

    For instance, rallying to a cry of war and hurriedly rushing into battle will usually earn you a splendid new set of allies and stunning new set of enemies. You might even find, after the dust has settled, that you chose the right side. You might. But more likely than not, you’ll just find yourself on a battlefield, standing over some poor person that you just broke, with blood on your hands.

    My best advice for someone wishing to be accepted into society, Caledonian or any other, is to simply choose your SLife carefully. ~Choose~ your SLife. Do you wish to spend it in battle, being angry, offended, striking out at others and being struck at in return? Then by all means, when you find yourself in conversation with someone and they say something odd to your ear, interpret in the most negative light possible, assume they are as foul as can be, and retort with as much vehemance and as little thought as you can muster.

    Or, are you in this world for joy, for discovery, for play and companionship, for creative expression, for inspiration, to laugh and dance and gaze in wonderment at something that makes your spirit sparkle with possibility? Are you here to enjoy? Then choose the high road and burn no bridges. Treat your time here as an adventure; surely the strangest encounters make the best stories later. And you can never have too few enemies.

    Tolerance of diversity is one of the greatest of the Caledonian virtues. While you may be able to be accepted into our society without it, and in fact by flaunting its’ antithesis, I daresay your position within it will be tenuous and much less pleasant than if you hadn’t ridden wildly into so many wars. Blood is SO difficult to get out of finery.

  7. Wee baby carrot…tempting…muahaha.

    And your point about what our choices bring us to is well taken, Miss Darkling–for it’s true for me, for all of us–what do we *want* out of this? Do we *want* argument and strife and pain, or do we want joy and beauty and freedom of expression, soaring builds of invention, witty repartee and lovely frocks?

    …all right, that last one may be just mine. Aheh.

    And I’m not saying, let us carefully tuck the darker sides of our lives away, and honor only the brightnesses–just that we *know* what our choices will lead us to. And every encounter gives us the option to choose again–to resent, to inflame, to pick apart and prejudge, or to accept, do our best to understand, offer what advice we have, and be welcoming.

    It’s not the easiest choice for me to make, at times. I’ve met far too many new ones on the grid for whom I’ve had to say, “And put on some pants!” as the last comment of conversation. It’s so *very* tempting, in such instances, to be rude.

  8. Regarding Consistency…
    When I mentioned the importance of consistency, I was referring to someone being consistent in their character, personality or history. I know many people in Caledon prefer to regularly change physical forms, and why shouldn’t they? The ability to be something completely different when of a mind to be is one of the glories of the Metaverse.

    For example, you may encounter my sister-in-law kiralette as a neko girl, a dragon, a mermaid, a doll, or a traffic accident victim…depending on her mood and desires of that day. As for most extreme transformation, I must submit my beloved Kirawill’s Jello Mold Avatar.

    Mis Orr, Miss Elytis…feel free to shift your lovely shapes as you like, as long as your personalities always show through.

  9. Oh, yes, Lord Bardhaven, I do believe my personality shows through plainly, even when I am wobbling across a dance floor as my own variant of Jello…and reasonably happy about it, save when Miss Tensai lights me on fire (which only happened the once)…

    But consistency I have then, for–barring certain quirks of form, which are inevitable–my personality remains the same. And potentially a good thing, too. Else I’d forget whom I was looking at of a morning!

  10. I must full agree with Darkling and Emilly….I personally abhor conflict…much of my life has been spent in the pursuit of peace. I don’t mind RP drama, as longs as ALL the participants AND observers realize that a play is being acted out for the amusement and entertainment of the audience and the actors. But let us really strive to keep the *real* drama out of SL, and especially Caledon. No matter what you do, in SL or RL, in Caledon or out of Caledon, live free, as long as you don’t bring harm to others.


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