January 5, 2013

Fun and One Bad Apple!

Last night I decided to perform a special show for the Second Life group "Friends of Mankind" which I started as a fan group when I first started performing in SL in November 2006. Since that time, the group has grown into thousands and has become much more than a fan group, it is my family, WE are a family, and the group's premise is no longer as simple as the "fan group" which was my initial intent.

Over the years, many have joined our family, not only to get word of my shows and events, but to be part of a group of people from all over the world who enjoy each others' company no matter what we do. Most of the time we're laughing about something or another and the mood of the family even in group chat is always great!

2012 showed many new people joining and many long time members still sticking around. It also was a great year for my Second Life music career where I performed probably close to a thousand live events.

At the end of 2012 I started thinking and decided I wanted to do something nice for our group who have been so amazing to me in 2012, so I decided to plan an event just for us. It would be an all acoustic Pink Floyd show which I would perform live. The event would be for our family and anyone else who cared to join the always fun and often sarcastic insanity of the group.

Brandy (Kalli Birman) and I went to work to set everything up including setting the group to "Open Enrollment" (so anyone could join easily and free as always) and placing a group joiner outside Club Graffiti, which Brandy parceled off and set to the "Friends of Mankind" group. Again, since I wanted to do something in appreciation for the generous support I had received in 2012 specifically from our family group. Now with the club set to the group, only those in our group could get in, or those who arrived who weren't in the group, could join simply with one click on the group joiner already set outside the club.

Showtime had arrived and I was floored to see how many people attended. Since I love Pink Floyd, it was a really cool and very special night for me, and I thought it would be a nice way to say thanks to our family. After the show,
Brandy and I got on voice, as we do after almost every show, and she told me about something that happened during the show. It apparently began in public chat, luckily out of my chat range, and came from a woman who started swearing in local chat left and right for "having this event for the group only" or something along those lines. Brandy respectfully told her that she and everyone else are welcome to join the group and enjoy the concert. (There were about 30-40 or so new people who did just that, without one negative remark or requests for help on how to join). What gets me REALLY is that even after Brandy explained why I was doing this concert for the family group, she went off and began cursing quite nastily. I mean WTF? Brandy said she could join the group and come in and being the pro that she is, Brandy of course kept her cool and took the conversation into private chat. From what Brandy tells me, this woman continued her abusive tirade until Brandy had no choice but to remove her from the event so as to keep this woman from disrespecting our guests at the club, turning a peaceful and fun event into something else.

So why am I even mentioning this? Well it's a matter of respect. No matter what medium we are conversing on, no matter how a misunderstanding or voiced opinion is communicated, I think it's of great importance that we remember to be respectful to others. On chat conversations, it's very hard to assume what the other person's inflections or tone might be and thus what their true meaning or intent might be, so we need to be even that much more careful and respectful until we can REALLY know.

For this, I want to express my pride in our family group, not for creating it, but for being PART of it. In the years since I first created the group, we have NEVER had such an incident - even though I have done Group Only events in the past - and it makes me that much more appreciative of the support, not only for my shows and music career, but support of each other as PEOPLE, from all over the world, who have come together, whose paths have crossed for whatever reason and who share time, respectfully, to enjoy and have some fun, to create and communicate.

So taking all this into consideration, I want to express my love and thanks to all those in our group. Thank you for a great 2012 and I look forward to the continued friendships and bonds we've created.

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