Saturday, 16 July 2011

A Crack In The Veneer

When anyone asks me, "Why Raglan?  Why Tinies?", I tell them that Raglan is the nexus of innocence in Second Life.  It is the nexus of all the great qualities of experience that you have when innocence is in such abundance!  I've been to Disney and I really believe Raglan has it in much greater quantity.  I love Raglan--Sometime in my first weeks in Raglan I walked by a pink cat who bid me welcome.  Soon after, I watched one of the most touching memorials of my life--A New Orleans jazz procession for that same little pink cat.  Great and tender hearts are attracted to tinyhood and to Raglan--hearts that know and cherish innocence.

But "innocence" does not mean the same thing to all people.  For some, like myself, it means unabashed kindness--easy forgiveness--seeing the best in our neighbours.  For others, it is all about defining boundaries around "being and doing".  For example, "I am innocent when I do this or I am like that".  Not long after moving to Raglan, I met someone like this.  This "someone" IM'd me and began to explain the terrible deteriorating condition of Raglan's morality--citing, nudity, homosexuality and male "cat" calling... Every incident a threat to Raglan's pg status.  And our "gendarme du moralitay" complained heartily, that Raglan's leaders were lax in attending to it.  As a result, this person had come to declare themselves, (I quote) "the self-appointed morality police"--dedicated to making sure Raglan residents are people who do things right.  I tried to be nice and did not confront--after all--we each have a right to our opinion and if this person had no real authority...

What harm could they do?

Over this passed week, I have spoken to two individuals who have felt forced to distance themselves from Raglan as a result of the influence of our morality cop.  I spoke to each separately and never told them that I had spoken to the other.  Both had the same story--they were approached by someone who indicated that they (in some way) were not acceptable in Raglan--and had heard from other tinies who agreed.  One of my interviewees recited the names of tinies who were "said" to be in agreement.  That other tinies could be cited to be in disapproval and wanting action against theses so-called, "violaters", raises some questions.

First, if there is a real list of tinies who were disapproving, did they know their names were going to be used?  Did they actually give the "self-proclaimed-cop" permission to use their names to inform our two so-called "violaters" of the mounting dissent against them?  Or is it possible that names were gathered in private IMs and used as ammunition without knowing their names would be used to "run tinies outa town?"    Is it right to allow someone to go about running tinies outa town?  

I have to agree that there must be circumstances when action is taken to protect the pg status of Raglan.   But I disagree with actions that are expedited in secret, by people who do not have the authority to make the determination.  I don't like controversy and I know this is going to be controversial--but it has to be brought into the open.  Many tinies know about the morality cop and, like me, ignored them, until I learned a tiny I hold very dear was affected by it.  It must be made clear to all that, community cleansing and by surreptitious means, is unacceptable in Raglan. 

If you find something so loathful that you want Raglan to be rid of it...grow some waffles and say it publicly...


  1. Thank you for posting that. A lot of people know that I've riled the morality police several times over the years, but I have learned to ignore it for the most part, thanks in part to the leaders who support my being there (for which I am eternally grateful in so many ways).

    But I think your post was right on the mark and needed to be said. And I know of a few of the morality police since a long time and, even though I still like them as people, I think they should back off on some things. Raglan is PG, not G, and we're all adults, not children.

    Some of us adults don't happen to conform with victorian religiously fundamental ideals about society. That's our right, and it's our right in Raglan as well - so far. I'd rather keep that right than see it disappear.

  2. Thanks Summer, I wondered why I haven't seen you about lately...I am glad that you posted here! Your opinion is important. I wish all tinies (and biggie visitors) received the same blanket message--"that ***you, whoever your are in the diversity of life,are welcome here***".

  3. I can't comment here in my tiny persona as I don't have an online account in that name - but no matter. Thanks for posting your article One, that indeed is very sad. I love being a tiny, a 'free child' just having fun and hanging out. I don't act in a non PG manner as I have no desire to. However, in RL as a grown up I am a gay woman and I feel very very disturbed that anyone could use that as a means to try and exclude me. The most painful thing of all is to be shunned from a group for who you are not how you are acting. I hope that a great magic waffle will somehow appear and silence the hate. Much tears.

  4. I agree One! Raglan is so important to so many of us as a safe haven a place to be the inner child no matter what we deal with in real life or even in other parts of SL in other forms. As it happens Alirat is my best buddy, and has been for years since we met in Nemmers! Her personal life choices are hers and I respect them. In SL we spend most of our time as tinies and very often in Raglan - place that makes us feel most carefree! Please, we must not allow it to become a 'police state'!

  5. Alirat and Butter--thank you for your posts--like I said in my blog...I don't like controversy...but it hurts my soul to see people rejected for who they are. And,it is not just that going on--it's folks deciding to take matters into their own hands, instead of trusting their leadership...and then, going about in secret threatening others...Not with concrete proof that Raglan has had its good reputation or pg status endangered, but with the "if" of it...It's like any fear driven mob who says IF we let these people stay, they will ruin our society, eat our babies, take our money...and so on. It does more damage than anything...and there's the "if-we-do-affirmative-action-it-will-rattle-too-many-cages-and-spoil-the-good-mood" IF.
    I am grateful for anyone who speaks up...if you do, the affected will know who their friends are...and Alirat, you are always welcome at my house.

  6. Hey, I got a notice that someone's comments are not getting posted. I don't have any filtering/editorial capabilities with this blog site. So, I don't know what the problem is. If you are having this experience please IM so we can try to resolve it.

    Thanks :-)

  7. Songbird was having trouble getting her comment published and gave it to me in SL so that I could post it for her here:

    "Tweet-Tweet! Thank you, One, for bringing to light the so-called “self-appointed morality police” in Raglan. I only hope that those who have been affected by it will soon find this is an aberration; that most tinies are fun-loving critters that enjoy the innocent and childlike play that is typical of its residents. Raglan is a place where I've grown in leaps and bounds, where I've been accepted by others who see me and validate me for who I truly am. This is a great gift that has not gone unnoticed, and I only hope that I've extended the same kindness to others there. But even my Raglan experience has not been without its challenges. However, the friendship, love, and acceptance extended by the grand majority of tinies overpowers the rejection and confusion I myself have experienced there. I say, “come back” to those who have been unfairly judged and give the kind critters of Raglan a chance to hug you and draw you into the joy of tininess. Nothing or no one is perfect, but forgiveness is divine, and we can all move on and embrace the magical place that is Raglan Shire. With much Tweetness, Songbird"

  8. Glad to hear it's not just me. Songbird showed me this post

  9. Thanks for posting here Tapple--I am grateful for whatever good can come out of it. As folks post their experiences more can know they aren't alone--and that's a good thing.

  10. I appreciate Raglan because, as you say, it is like a world of innocence and the stay is glad, peaceful, funny... You don't have to worry about the judgement because you are a tiny, you don't have the problems of a human avatar, no drama, just fun, just innocence, just friends.

    Reading this things makes me sad.

    I can't understand why someone will judge another person by his own decisions regarding its privacy, its first life, its own problems. Thats none of their bussiness!!!!!

    Its a crazy thing. Just enter, let out your drama, your problems, your prejudges and that shit that makes the first life a rubbish and just simply enjoy.

    I find very dangerous for the community to have this people that thinks they can kick the ass off the people they don't like because they stupid prejudges and morality. They haven't understood anything. And it is quite simple.


    Migui Karu.

  11. Thank you for your comment Migui :-)

    When I first wrote the blog I was very angry...and I am still certain that this behaviour MUST STOP. But I also hope that we don't lose some of our experience of innocence in the process. It is possible that by being so upset at another person or group, that we too start to behave to them in the way we now judge wrong.

    I have thought a bit about it and realize that such people only gain momentum if they think they have the tacit approval of others...emphasis on the "think they have". Because a hate-mongerer can read large the slightest comment of dissent and run with it. If they do not have the approval, they can take their diatribe somewhere else or they can change their behaviour.

    So, in short all Raglanians can be a part of the answer by simply saying "NO" to gossip and badmouthing of others. (No thank you please hated makes me sneeze...) "Sorry this kind of talk is not how I want to live in Raglan".

    I believe in this one action we have a lot of power. And it doesn't take much. We don't need to get angry--we need just to say "NO". That will do a lot. In my many years of experience in working with distressed and/or oppressed people, I know there is so much that can be done this way.

    And it is also a great help if the affected folks have somewhere or someone to go to, if it should ever happen again. I for one (pun may be intended) commit myself to just saying "NO" and being a tiny friend to those who are not sure they have one in Raglan. Some who have commented here have offered the same of themselves and I bet there are more who haven't commented who feel the same.

  12. Hiya, Weefaery Greenwood has also been trying to post her response here; so I am posting it from a notecard she gave me in SL:


    "Thank you One for your blog post and bringing this to our tiny awarness. In response to your blog ".What is Innocence.." My Raglan home(s) is always open and my tiny arms welcoming. God sees no sin in all of his childrens; tiny and big.

    First they came for the Koalas and I did not
    speak out
    because I was not a Koala,

    Then they came for the beavers and I did not
    speak out
    because i was not a beaver.

    Then they came for the blue Kitties and the bunneh and I did not
    speak out
    because I was not a blue kitty nor a bunneh

    And then when they came for me,
    there was no one left to
    speak out…..

    Remembering the words of Marin Niemoeller speaking out against hatred and bigotry during Nazi Germany~

    So Speak out against hatred and bigotry, which is fear in its extreme form, for it will pull us all down

    Love is the only answer especially here in Raglan where i believe that love and laughther is the right of all Tinys~"