The Death of Politesse

*looks up at the title of her Blog post*

I have been wanting to write this post for at least 6 months. I've had the title that long too. And yet...I never did. What do I mean by this title, "The Death of Politesse"? It refers to the complete cessation of decent behavior in Caledon. Miss Emilly Orr had the wherewithal to start the conversation that I have been *so* loathe to instigate. My dear, distant cousin, Lord Edward Pearse the Duke of Argylle has followed up with an excellent summary of the discussion thus far, with convenient links to many of the residents who have weighed in, quite eloquently, on the topic.

So...why did I not post this 6 months ago when it began to seriously bother me? Well, I have felt for two years that I could not express my true feelings or opinions in Caledon for fear of causing grand, grand drama. Why do you think I have so many weird, cryptic Blog posts? There are things that I have needed to get out of my head without giving any of the "real" situation away.

But now...I can speak a bit more honestly as I am leaving Caledon. I will no longer be a resident, nor a "Caledon Duchess". I have also resigned as a Caledon Estate Manager.

I am leaving due to a variety of reasons, some of which are logistical and practical, and some of which are deeply personal. Most of my personal reasons will remain private, but Emilly has nailed one of the reasons right on the head.

I can not live in a community that is populated with a majority of people that have no respect for themselves or others.

A quote from Miss Eladrienne Laval in a comment to Miss Orr's latest post:

"The thing is, as "older" citizens of Caledon, it is our responsibility--as in any other society--to help pass along the culture. If we all leave, who will do that? But I think a lot of us were thinking "Does anyone even care anymore?" "

I hope someone cares. I actually care...I just do not have the time nor the energy any more. I recently thought about how much time I put into Caledon Estate Manager duties, the Caledon Calendar and Caledon Event Management on a weekly basis. My best estimate was around 10 hours a week...every week...for the last two years.

That is a thousand hours.

I can't do that any more. Radio Riel is constantly growing and now I have my own community to take care of.

And I have learned in my 2 year tenure, that there a lot of great ideas that residents have...but only about 2% actually follow through and execute a project. I am not slighting anyone for that. Effective projects are tons and tons of work...and most people spend time in SL as leisure. It's only crazy people like me that turn it into our jobs. :-)

I have had this "oh my goodness what has happened to Caledon?" conversation privately with many people. Sadly, we all just close ISC chat. That is one of the reasons I resigned as an EM - I keep chat closed 99% of the time. How can I respond to a call for help if I can't see it? And believe me, I have tried to keep it open...I just can not stand it.

The question I have been asking myself is: when did Caledon become a giant chat room?? One of the reasons I have played hundreds of hours of events over the last two years was to encourage residents to socialize. To chat. To catch up. We actually used to gather!

There is a core of constant offenders that I will detail here. Some of these traits have been mentioned in other posts, but these are the things that have driven me positively batty:
  • The Self Obsessed Chatter - takes the me generation to a whole new level
  • The Know It All Chatter - heaven forbid someone else might actually know something on a topic
  • Drama Llama Chatter Type 1 - oh please tell me more about all of you RL personal problems!
  • Drama Llama Chatter Type 2 - oh please tell me more about all of your SL personal problems!
  • The Blathering Chatter - it's what some of you are referring to as "inane drivel"
  • The Argumentative Chatter - it's always WWIII, all the time!
  • The Sexually Explicit Chatter - I can not even address this one
  • The ChatHog Chatter - Elle mentioned this one in her post
There are people in Caledon that I have muted simply because I can not stand to see the things that appear in the chat window. I will say that the muting actually helps. It makes the chat somewhat more meaningful.

It's more than the chat however. Miss Violet Schnabel says something else that I have been hearing from a lot of people in her response to Miss Orr:

"Coming to Caledon, because of the sense of community, the civility, the intelligent and creative people here..it was disheartening to feel "what's the point?..it's turning into a dress up version of the mainland now.." Not a good feeling."

I have taken to calling the environment "Victorian Disneyland". The heart is gone. The foundation of 19th Century attire, literature and music is eroding so quickly.

This is breaking *my* heart. I have been in a deep state of mourning for months - for many reasons. So I am going to focus my energies where I know they will do some good.

The bottom line: Caledon is simply too big. My recommendation to those of you that want to stay and fight for standards: You can not win a Caledon wide battle on this, so it's time to create a sub community within the community. Plan and hold events...live by the old Caledon standards. Invite everyone to take the ride with you. Those that want to, will.

Come see me in Winterfell and Edison.

I love you all,
Gabi

Comments

I admit I am sad to see you go. I can appreciate why and to a large extent I even understand it.

Doesn't change it making me sad.

For the moment I shall continue the fight, such as it is, though it's possible I may well change my name to Canute in the near future.
Dear Lady Gabi

It saddens me to learn that you have left Caledon. I wish you all the best for your new and your on-going projects!

*hug*

Instead of leaving comments on the issue on all the different blogs, I decided to write about my feelings on on my own blog. If anyone is interested in a simple citizen's opinion, please visit my blog at http://abigailraymaker.blogspot.com/
Emilly Orr said…
I do think that what we are forging, with your leadership, in Radio Riel, recaptures in a very small sense what we loved best about Caledon--the love of vintage music, archaic instrumentation, moving between periods yet never forgetting the core of things is always, introducing people to music they haven't heard, perhaps never thought to hear, and setting them on the course to learn more.

I am sad to see everyone who helped Caledon thrive and grow, leaving; but I don't dispute anyone's right to move on.
Anonymous said…
I will be sorry to see you go, but if that is your considered decision, then we must respect it.

Denver Hax
Roberto said…
Caledon will be diminished by your departure, but your reasons are valid. Best wishes for the growth of Edison, and Radio Riel. Hoping success and happiness for you. Hope to be able to stay in touch.
I too am filled with sorrow at news of your departure. I was commenting to Edward the other night that the departure of both you and Eva means we are losing two of the most formidible social pillars Caledon has had.

For now, I will remain and conduct myself in a manner that is becoming to Caledon. I do hope you will visit us often though and I wish you nothing but success with your growing business of Radio Riel and your own sim to Prim Minister.
Elrik Merlin said…
I am very much of a mind with the Duke of Argyll. I understand your reasoning, but I am saddened by your departure.

I've seen the processes to which you refer, and I suppose I hope that if there are enough who are trying to maintain the status quo pro ante, then we can turn back the tide. Well, now there is one person less to help do that.

Of course I wish you great and continuing success in your many ventures - I am a part of some of them - but I'm very definitely saddened by this outcome while understanding completely the thought processes behind it.

- Laird Brideswell
Lynne said…
While I understand your reasoning and your reasons for departing, I cannot help but feel a sense of indescribable loss.

It is only the knowledge that I have but to order the staff to fire up my aethertrola and tune up to Radio Riel that keeps me from public displays of sorrow.

To be bluntly personal, in a very non-Victorian way, the departure of half of the original duchies is making me feel...old, I believe, in a way I've never experienced before, IRL or otherwise.

The Duchies of Primverness and Lovelace salute your achievements and stand ready to host events whensoever that might be desirable.

Good speed and clear air, Your Grace.
Lynne said…
Ah, and I should have said, before having become caught up in the emotion of the moment, that your post was very, very well done. I will certainly encourage others to read it in the spirit of no-drama.
You and I have had many hours of private conversation on these matters. Your post is very reflective of what I have heard you say numerous times, and is very well done.

You know of my difficulty coming to the decision to leave my home in Caledon...for many reasons.

But I stand happy in the knowledge that those we love and love us, will continue to be our community regardless of where we hang our gowns.

Thank you for all you have done for Caledon over the last years, my dear cousin.

Eva
Valentine Janus said…
Reading this post breaks my heart. In many ways it mirrors my own thoughts and feelings about the decline of certain aspects of Caledon life.

We will all be made a little bit poorer by your departure from Caledon. You will always be Your Grace to me. :) But we may all hope to be enriched by the power of your Radio Riel vision and your focus on expanding it. Godspeed.