Second Life passed another milestone today (Ouch! That sounds painful!) when Newt Gingrich used Capitol Hill SL today to announce his new plan to take over America.
This photo of Gingrich is courtesy of Liz Link. Used with permission.
The metaverse becomes more like real life every day.... the buying of Capitol Hill is nothing new in RL, but in SL this use was groundbreaking in that a precedent was set for Free Speech Zones in SL. I am gravely concerned about the creation of and tolerance for the zoning of free speech in RL, but in SL, well that is probably a good precedent. Capitol Hill folks, TROI Timtam and Kiwini Oe and their group that runs the Capitol Hill SL sim gave five of a very limited number of slots for avatars who could be in SL attendance at today's Capitol Hill SL event. Newt spoke to his minions and groupies in Atlanta and Second Life about the future of corporate politics and the emerging metaverse.
Most of the initial part of the speech was filled with him describing the metaverse. It didn't really take all that long to get Newt acclimated to presentation procedure in Second Life (which he repeatedly called Second Voice). I've been told by people in the know that Gingrich likes to drive his own avatar, but there was no evidence of that today. The avie appeared, sat, then stood in exactly the same spot for the duration of the talk.
In the second pic, above, you can see the back of him, the guests who were allowed invites into the sim, and at the very back beyond a virtual fence, invisible at a distance, there were the five lonely protesters.
It sort of honks me off that the sim folks presumed we would grief folks. I take my civic DUTY very seriously, as do other very courageous protesters. That is civic as in civil and civilization.
Anyway, you can see more photos of the event on flickr. i like the Venice Vandal's and Liz Link's photos of the event. But in these I took you can see the basic setup.
I may get around to the content portion of his speech eventually, but first I would like comment on the meta messages broadcast via this event today.
(Isn't In beautiful as she flies in protest?)
I'm not sure Newt really understands the whole merging of a personally expansive identity into a new and larger self that encompasses an electronic persona that is every bit as real as a corporate face, or the identity one puts on for family as opposed to the one puts on at church or in the supermarket.
Conservatism and corporatism are starting to "get it" as far as understanding the networking abilities that Second Life affords.
This isn't surprising to me. Newt is intelligent. This is the thing that makes him most dangerous. It always has been. Newt took out his Contract on America with the help of Tom DeLay. Newt was major player in the creation of K Street and the corporate coup d'etat that knocked off the last semblance of the representation of the people of the U.S.A. His contract was such a snow job. He promised the conservative Chrisitian right that the contract would help to clean up Congress and America. It carefully tended the seeds of the demise of America that had been sown by Ronnie Raygun. Bush is harvesting that demise.
The hypocrisy shown by so many of the supposedly moral men who came into power in '94 by lying through their teeth to the American People about what their intentions were has become common knowledge and well documented. The longer serving hypocrits became emboldened. Foley, Craig, Stevens, Vitter, rode in with Newt. Opiate addicted Linbaugh served as a cheerleader. Stevens became the pork barrel king. Just look at this list of Republican scandals -- a major one every week this year. The Culure of Corruption is real and was orchestrated by Newt, Delay, Abramoff.....
So today Newt sang the praises of IBM (Yes the same IBM who allowed certain South American leaders to be tortured to death in their buildings a few decades back...) and the corporatization (is that a word) of SL. And this as the IBM Strike is going on. Oh, the irony... The double speak of Gingrich is scary. I believe he was well aware of the allusion to taking out a Contract on America. His current American Solutions campaign smacks of Dachau and Germany's Solution. He had to be aware of the similarity to Final Solution. This man is a soulless, corrupt maggot. He served divorce papers to his wife as she received chemotherapy for cancer. He told his second wife he wanted to divorce her over the phone at a holiday dinner. What a cowardly little sleeze bag. There is nothing honorable about this man and I am disturbed that so many folks continue to revere him.
Now back to the event itself.
Here (above) you can see the paltry presence the five allowed protesters made ion the Capitol Lawn But this Cap Hill group's dedication to showing there was dissent is good.
It would have been better if I could have had a banner drop off the Washington Monument but they nixed that.
Guess that is it for now.
So we were left to our rather "normal" protest signs. I had some problems in that I couldn't get the shake fist animation to work so I had a wilted protest sign most of the time. Oh well.
Probably the avie schmoozing after the event had as much impact as the avie attendance at the event. Gingrich just wanted to make a pr statement. We felt compelled to dissent. But as always, talking to people is the key to understanding and a better world.
Here you can see Liz Link and I in real discussion after the event.