Welcome Back to the Jungle, Your Grace

So, how was *your* Monday yesterday?

Mine was pretty interesting! :-) I was offline most of Saturday and Sunday due this thing called Real Life. I was completely unaware that a firestorm of drama had erupted and that I was being crucified on several Blogs, in Plurk, in IMs and anywhere else people could get a foothold to scream about how horrible I am. Should I be glad, or worried that I am used this, and just find it a slight annoyance now?

It seems that several people have turned a simple oversight into the Crime Of The Century Against The Independent State of Caledon. I marvel at the thousands of words that this has generated, all based on a small amount of information and gossip. And that not one single person has contacted me directly to say "Hey Gabi, what's up with all of this?" I received a few indirect, passive requests for information, to which I responded by giving out my email address.

It's my understanding, for I have not read these Blog posts, nor will I, that at least three people are upset over the fact that I "banned Hotspur Otoole and Alastair Whybrow from the 'Official State Events'" that I hosted last Friday at my home in Caledon Rothesay, and they have posted vociferous entries on their personal Blogs about how I am the Essence of Evil.

I took it upon myself to speak to a few people yesterday about what happened. And I've decided to post it here. I initially was not going to say anything publicly, and just deal with it privately and on an individual basis with anyone who had questions, but I changed my mind today.  No one has come to me with any concerns or questions, so I am just going to put it all out there.

Note: Sadly, I am going to have to break a promise that I made here in my Blog last Fall, in which I said I would never speak about Hotspur Otoole in public.  Unfortunately I have to mention him here to provide the facts.

Oh well, here goes:

Once upon a time, a few months ago, I repurchased the SW corner of Caledon Rothesay. While I was setting up my land, I put two people on the Ban List: Hotspur Otoole and Alastair Whybrow.  I also have both men muted in SL.  Otoole and Whybrow are also both banned from the entire New Toulouse Estate.

As far as I know, any resident can ban anyone from their land for any reason in Caledon.  I'm not the Estate Owner.  I'm not an Estate Manager.  I am a plain old resident.

"But why did you ban them Gabi?"

Well, I actually don't have to answer that question, but I will.

I think most of you know that Mr. Otoole has expressed a variety of extraordinarily ugly feelings, opinions and psychiatric diagnoses about me in public and in private, and from what I understand, I am banned from *his* land.  Um...it's kind of a no-brainer that I would ban Hotspur Otoole from my personal property!  I simply do not want him in my home(s).

There was a conversation in ISC many weeks ago in which I felt Mr. Whybrow publicly intimated I was a snob who puts on airs.  This is how I interpreted what he said.  I know I was not the only one who took his statements as a slight against me, as I received several outraged IMs following the interaction (others angry at what it appeared he said to me).  I acknowledge that I could have taken his statements the wrong way, but I have yet to confirm that with Mr. Whybrow directly.

This public exchange came as a surprise to me, as we had had no problems that I knew of.  Nor was it something that warranted me banning him from my property.  The issue that solidified my decision to ban Mr. Whybrow actually does not have anything to do with me personally, and I need to keep this reason private.  Please respect that.

So I set up my land...and promptly forgot about the Ban List. 

Friday, February 26 arrives - I start working at 6:00am my time.  And I never stop until 2:30am on Saturday my time.

How many of you have done this? (I know some of you have!)  How many of you have planned an executed something that was basically a 24 hour event?  A donated event to a community?  How many of you have done this and DJd live at the same time?  With 60 people in your Ballroom?  While setting up and launching fireworks?  24 hours after launching a new sim, and fielding land and tenant requests during the whole thing?  How does that feel?  What does your IM window in SL look like during something like this?  How many IMs do you have....?

Do you get my point here?

During events like the Third Ball on Friday night, you do what you have to do that is essential. You go into tunnel vision. You do not respond to, and close, non essential IMs.  It's insane.  It was at the END of the Third Ball that I finally saw the IMs from Des and one other person asking: "Alastair is banned"?  I have Mr. Whybrow muted.  I don't pay attention to ISC nor main chat much when I am in the middle of an event like I was on Friday night!

At first I was confused by the IMs and then...oh shit.  The Ban List.  I forgot.  The Ban List had never entered my mind, and I missed the IM and ISC drama until after well after Mr. Whybrow attempted to attend the Ball.

That's what happened.  Plain and simple.  I banned two people from my land months ago and forgot about it.  I was buried under a pile of IMs, playlists and fireworks on Friday evening.  That's it.  No big conspiracy, or whatever the Hell people are accusing me of.

One of the issues that fascinates me the most about all of this, is that people seem fixated on "this was a STATE EVENT!"

Um... it was?  That is news to me.

Desmond Shang did not ask me to hold those Balls on Friday.  No one asked me to hold those Balls on Friday.  I've been doing events in Caledon for over three years, and I don't think I have *ever* asked Des' permission to do one, nor have I ever asked for his "blessing" or "seal of Gubernatorial approval" to make them "official state events".  Those Balls were MY gift to the Independent State of Caledon and its residents in honor of Caledon's Fourth Anniversary.

"But Gabi, it does not matter what you intended, it's how people saw it!  You called them the 'Caledon' Balls!"

Ok then.  The next time I hold a Ball in my home?  It will be a "Carntaigh Ball".  The Halloween Carntaigh Ball.  The Carntaigh Christmas Ball.  The Carntaigh Ball honoring Caledon's Fifth Anniversary.  My husband and my son both have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  I know how to play this game.

If I had remembered the Ban List in advance, I would have removed Mr. Whybrow from it so he could have attended the Ball.  I do regret that oversight.  It was not my intent to humiliate, nor pick on, Mr. Whybrow in public, and I apologize if my mistake caused him to feel that way, or any other distress.  I would have then re-added him after the events.  That is my right as a resident in Caledon.

I would have left Hotspur Otoole on the ban list.  If you can not understand why I would do that?  Go read his Blog posts about me.  This latest one and the ones from last Fall.  If you were me, would YOU want someone like that in your virtual space?  Yes, I have him muted, but sorry!  I don't care if I were throwing the second Inauguration for US President Obama.  I've been advised by multiple legal professionals that I have a solid case against him for defamation.  And the kicker...he did not even attend, nor try to attend the Balls.

Actually, none of the people who have been having arrogant fits of self righteousness attended any of the events on Friday!  Do any of them actually live in Caledon?  It's fascinating that they are so invested in this situation.  Such passion and defense of Sacred Caledon and Sacred Des.  Ok, so other than these words in their blogs...what have they done for the Independent State of Caledon, lately or ever?  Daily spreading of gossip and attempting to manipulate people does not count.  :-)

I have been spoiled being away from Caledon for almost a year and a half.  I had forgotten the fishbowl life of The Duchess of Carntaigh.  I should not have been so naive.  I should have known better, I just got so used to being free of Caledon.  That was a mistake on my part.

I've been living a happy SL, focusing on Radio Riel, New Toulouse and New Babbage.  I forgot how truly nasty Caledon could be - how some people construct scenarios and motives and place them on you.  And I have to say, it's been so nice this last year and a half, not having to worry about all of that stuff.

Welcome back to Caledon Gabi.

I have one last thing to say to all of the people who have been so happy to rip me to pieces based on half a story:

You do not know what it is like to live my Second Life.  You have not walked in my shoes.  And no one has the right to judge me without that knowledge.

Much love to all of my friends and supporters.  Azul, you can now call off the Dragon Army, and Edward, you can take the Caledon Cuirassiers off stand by.  I simply love you guys!  :-)

~The Nightingale