October Beckons…

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The first chills of Halloween can be felt behind the wind, and so it is time for yours truly, The Dread Baron, to begin seeking out the macabre and unusual for your nightmarish reflections in beloved Caledon.

I begin with the work of a fine and decidedly insane Steampunk Master of the Macabre, the artist Alex cf. He has created many impressive artworks that illustrate the darker side of steampunk and the Neo-Victorian aesthetic, and he has out done himself with what I present for your pleasure today…

Behold…the Bio Aetheric Laboratory!

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Much Ado About Something?

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There is no academic argument as evergreen and, dare I say it, as dramatic, as the controversy over who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare. Theories have come and theories have gone, and I have never found any to be particularly convincing.

This new wave of an old controversy is interesting to me simply because it highlights the fact that the debate has never really waned, just ossified and that it is being supported by Derek Jacobi, another of my personal heroes.

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Poetry Corner

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You will pardon me a small digression, but I composed the following free verse over the long holiday weekend deep in uffish thought and mutable memory.

I share it here simply to place it on the aether, not due to any illusions about it’s merits but because perhaps, if I do, somehow he will be able to read it.

I am not expecting him to reply.

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Hitchhiking to Atlanta

When I saw the ad for the second instance of this apparently annual event, I deeply regretted that there is absolutely no way for me to be in Atlanta this Saturday.

It certainly seems like it would not only be a blast to participate in, but to watch as well. I may not be much of a bowler myself, recent injuries making that all the more true, but it would be an experience just to hold there peoples balls. I have a sneaking suspicion that this event  is unique in all the world…or if it isn’t it should be.

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Dead Horse, Beat Well

I am taking the liberty of sharing with you another media report on the recent SLCC convention in Chicago. This one is mainly notable for the fact it appeared in the political magazine The Weekly Standard, which is William Kristol’s main soapbox and not especially cutting edge on technology.

Not surprisingly, the article is not exactly cutting edge either.

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Alternate Histories

 

Landmarks are a way of life in most European cities. On nearly every corner or old building is a sign commemerating this riot, or that birth, or some other battle. I am all for it, as I feel that having a sense of the history around you is essential to life. However, as is typical of such things, the plaques put up by government agencies or Rotary Clubs only tell part of the story. There is always ANOTHER history, a history that the Rotary Club doesn’t want you to know about. .

It seems that some people in England have decided that this other, less socially acceptable history has been kept shrouded for too long…and they are doing something about it.

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Heroes in Utopia

As my mind began to recoil from Yom Kippor (and personal event) inspired self-reflection, I found myself returning to one of oldest questions. What exactly constitutes a hero in themodern world. In many ways, we live in non-heroic times. Heroes are now people who do the small things, little acts of heroism like helping little old ladies across streets or volunteering in soup kitchens, the things which in previous times would have been considered simply good citizenship. Trying to perform large acts of heroism (with the exception of those paid to do so, like policemen and firefighters) is more likely to get you sued then praised.

That is not to say that incredible deeds are not done, but simply that the concepts of great good and great evil tend to be viewed as not only passe and quaint, but downright anti-social these days. In olden days heroes saved dragons…now we are urged to look at things from the dragons point of view and consider WHY eating the Princess may have been justifiable, perhaps cultural norms are different for dragons. Perhaps the dragon was frustrated, or uneducated, or poor, or striking back at a society that had rejected him. After all, dragons have civil rights too. We live in a society which is geared towards and therefore celebrates the average and mediocre and considers both heroes and villains to be non-PC relics or worse…simply irrelevant.

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A Moment of Silence

Another of my heroes has left the stage. Marcel Marceau was the first famous performer I ever saw live. I remember it vividly since it was also my first trip to the downtown Civic Theatre. As awed as I was by the surrounding and the “grown up” situation, I was still transfixed by Marceau’s craft.

Mimes are held up for mockery and derision these days (and my god, considering what passes as pantomime these days who can blame you) but Marcel Marceau was something so far beyond the street corner clown.

He was an artist, and artists never truly die.

Alivah Shulum, Adon.

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To Rule in Caledon

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There has been much talk over the last few months in our fair Caledon concerning the nature of noble titles, and I indeed have already addressed the topic several times. However, it has been given a bit more relevence due to Caledon’s rapid expansion of late, a noteworthy influx of new residents with little knowledge of our strange customs and the Duchapaloosa which brought so many new nobles to the table.

I feel that due to these facts it is worth revisiting an exploration of what exactly constitutes the noble classes in Caledon, and the duties and powers held thereby.

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Lots of Lil’Lives

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Considering how many pundits discuss the futility of Virtual Worlds, it amazes me how many companies try their hand at the art. The current media darling amongst the contenders is the just announced Metaplace, a Virtual World creation system designed to be web based. The idea seems to be for people to create lots of small, interconnected virtual worlds, sort of like Switzerland.

I have heard of this concept before, and I am dubious. I prefer a large, cluttered, noisy world to a smaller, orderly, more limited one, even if I can jump from world to world. The fact that as of now it is 2D (3D version in “development”) also doesn’t fill me with love.

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New Releases – Morgan at Silent Sparrow

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As autumn’s musky grip tightens around Caledon, the thoughts of gentlemen turn to new suits for the season. Thankfully, this year we are spoiled for choice, and at the top of the class is this collection from Silent Sparrow’s hyasynth Tiramisu, designer of Gothicish NeoVictorian Wonderments.

As all regular readers know, as far as SL fashion is concerned, I worship at the alters of Versatility and Texture…and that being the case, the Morgan suits by Silent Sparrow may be my Annunciation.

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The Pirate Code

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There are some holidays which I always try to observe, and one of those is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

In the interests of that noble endeavor, as well as the quickly advancing fact that Yom Kippor is this weekend, I offer you the following Piratical Theology Mashup.

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Desist from Tasing…

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Following a bit of idle musing and sloganizing in the well beloved Caledon Group Chat, the inestimable Mr. Darkle Sands created the above T-Shirt based on my words.

Perfect for wearing to future Linden Town Halls in which they explain that you may be banned for “sexy walking” or some such decadance, or to the Guvhah’s next Caledonian Independence Day address before Gun Bunny thugs drag you out, I am quite sure this shirt will become all the rage through our Caledon.

If you wish one, IM Mr. Sands and ask him nicely…and praise him highly for his initiative and insanity.

New Releases – Bare Rose

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Sometimes an outfit appears that simply screams to be reviewed. It is usually not due to any tangible reason, such as quality or a lack there of. It simple imposes itself on my conciousness and I know I need to discuss it here on the blog.

Doctor D by June Dion of Bare Rose is just such an outfit.

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Secret Cabinets

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The interesting and often scandalous nuances of history always delight me. Take for instance this interesting tidbit on the role that sex played in the hidden lives of some of the great museums in Europe.

In our modern arrogance, we always tend to see the past as either much more virtuous or much more decadent then we enlightened/benighted souls. The fact is, people have always been people, and our obsessions and foibles are little different from those of our Victorian ancestors.

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