Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aether Salon: Whimsy!

As I try to do every month, I traveled to Babbage to attend the Aether Salon. This month was special in several respects. First, the Salon moved to new, more spacious quarters straddling the Babbage Palisades/Academy of Industry sims, so twice as many can attend the monthly discussions. In addition, the Salon celebrated its first-year anniversary - a full year of fascinating and entertaining discussions, always punctuated with an exclamation point.

This month, the Salon had a discussion of Whimsy - what it is, and why it is necessary in our lives. Miss Serafina Puchkina, back from her travels abroad, and Miss Viv Trafalgar, provided a recap of the previous year's Salons and speakers, and introduced the day's speakers: Silent Sparrow designer Miss Hyasynth Tiramisu, and Caledon Mathamatrix Miss Ordinal Malaprop.
Though no Salon ever features a quietly attentive audience, this discussion was more free-wheeling than most, an interactive meeting of the minds.

Miss Malaprop noted that Second Life is particularly useful for developing whimsical ideas, as creation is easy [author's note: easy for *her*, perhaps] and has few, if any, serious consequences. Further, as she put it, "novelty is the primary characteristic that distinguishes the artist from the thief" in a world where copying is easy. She added, "And, really, there are few things that can be done routinely that are worth paying for in SL," and thus whimsical devices can also be a profitable business model.

Miss Tiramisu noted that "Whimsy isn't a technical aspect of design. It just happens....You can't plan whimsy." Referring to some of her own recent creations, she said, "There is no serious reason for Cuttlefish costumes and bird-themed Lolita dresses," yet these items seem to spark the imagination of her loyal customers.

The discussion, as noted above, was quite spirited, delving into such subjects as the need of hedgehogs to protect themselves against abuse (probably) and whether those hedgehogs would make good devices with which to stir tea (probably not). Some limericks were recited. Also among the unexpected events: in an act of desperation, Miss Elleon Bergamasco kissed Master Bob on the mouth, an event doubtless unpleasant to both participants, but entertaining for everyone else.

At the end of the presentations, and the enthusiastic applause for our speakers, each lady presented a gift box, highlighting their own particular whimiscal notions: a tiny tophat, adorned with a cuttlefish, from Miss Tiramisu; and a combat weapon from Miss Malaprop.

As the session came to a close, Miss Trafalgar noted that next month's Salon would be on Furnishings, featuring Miss Canolli Capalini.

Miss Serafina Puchkina addresses the audience

Miss Viv Trafalgar makes her opening remarks

Miss Hyasynth Tiramisu

Dame Ordinal Malaprop

An especially large turnout came to hear our two speakers, and provided a little more color than usual

Left to right, front row: Miss Obedience Mactavish, Cap'n Redgrrl Llewellyn, Miss Breezy Carver. I sit behind Cap'n Red.

From overhead: a shot of the crowd, which included at least 57 souls

I wear my cuttlefish hat and contemplate Dame Ordinal's weapon of destruction

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