Contrary to what some might believe, Seren Haven is a sweet, caring and peace-loving individual. The fact that it’s a fairly regular occurrence for me to be called ‘scary’, ‘dangerous’ or frequently, far worse is, i think, more a product of other peoples’ overactive imaginations than any reflection of the truth… and if i hear anyone arguing to the contrary, then they’d better watch out!
Seriously though, i’m really not an advocate of violence – quite apart from the fact it frightens me, and i’ll make every effort to avoid conflict of any sort like the plague, i’m firmly of the opinion that it achieves nothing at all, whether it’s a punch up in the pub or all out thermonuclear war.
Weapons – to my mind – are a fundamentally warped creation. Why anyone should ever think that it’s a good thing to possess, let alone use, a tool intended to injure, main or kill another human being is completely beyond my comprehension, and frankly if you disagree, you can go right ahead, because nothing is going to convince me otherwise – i’m with Rodney King and his oft misquoted question, “Can we all get along?” – but i fear the answer is ‘No… it’s easier just to shoot each other”.
Those statements might strike those who know me inworld or the more observant readers of this blog as somewhat odd, even hypocritical, since – as you will quite correctly point out – it’s not wholly unusual to come across me in my virtual form armed to the teeth – the very personification of ‘shock and awe’!
Yes, it is a bit odd, bizarre even, that someone who in real life thinks tanks should be beaten into plowshares and gun nuts should simply be beaten, (albeit with marshmallows and feather pillows, until they see the errors of their ways – told you i’m not violent), should have little problem toting an arsenal that would make your average world dictator drool with envy, but that indeed is the case.
This strange dichotomy is hard to explain – i’ve written before about demonstrating ethical integrity in our virtual lives, so why is it that on this one particularly thorny issue i’m so ambivalent? Truth is, i don’t really know, myself. What i do know is that i see things very differently in sl: Most of the ‘weapons’ you’ll find in my inventory are of the strictly ridiculous variety: taxi throwers, melon bombs, sausage cannons and toast missiles are very much the order of the day – hardly the stuff of modern warfare and all very much about turning the arena of war into the arena of the absurd – and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We human beings are adept at utilising irony and clowning as a method of cutting down the most terrible things into manageable and more palatable alternatives. Humour, sarcasm and irreverence are our way of giving the middle finger to the horror and atrocities of life and help us to deal with the pain and anger that would otherwise grind us down. That’s one possible explanation – i’m no psychologist, so whether that’s really what goes on inside this weird head of mine is debatable, but it makes sense to me. [How poignant that the posting of these words, written back in mid-December, should coincide so nearly with the recent events in Paris. Je suis…]
That’s not the whole story – dig around in my inventory and you find more than banana flingers and and spaghetti guns: there’s a shedload of more recognisable combat paraphernalia too… knives, swords, handguns, rifles, everything up to, and including, tanks – what’s going on here?
In this case, it’s not so much what these objects represent, but more a case of how i put them to use. You won’t find me on any combat roleplay sims – i don’t even know what a combat meter is – neither will you find me engaging in any pitched battles against adversaries. Instead, what you’ll see is accessorising. Yep, all those uzis, kalashnikovs and .44 Magnums have been reduced to some sort of weird – and quite possibly, sicko – fashion statement. i’ll wear them, rather than use them, drive them down to the shops instead of through no-man’s land and, to me, they’re no more killing machines than a pair of earrings or a sparkly clutch bag.
Right or wrong, good or bad – i really don’t know – not even sure why i felt compelled to write this post, but sometimes i just do weird things and this whole scenario is just one of them… which may anger some of you, and may strike a resonant chord with others of you. There are, i know, people who read this blog who will have very strong feelings and opinions on the subject – everyone from those who’ve seen active service in rl theatres of war, to those for whom even the word ‘gun’ is abhorrent, for very good reasons. Some will disagree point blank with me, others will want to hug me, whilst others will have their own markedly different views. That’s ok – the honest truth is that although i have extremely well-formed and clear views on the subject in rl, they don’t translate to the virtual environment nearly as clearly.
Can pixels hurt you? i don’t know. So i’ll leave it at that.
Boys baptised in wars
Morphine, chill scream, bad dream
Serving as numbers on dogtags, flak rags, sandbags
Marillion – Forgotten Sons