Case in point: Christina Aguilera singing the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. This woman has one set of pipes. Unlike many of her contemporaries, her singing doesn't have to go through a dozen mixers before sounding good. What comes out of her mouth alone is extraordinary talent. She sang the Anthem a Capella (without musical accompaniment) and her tone was faultless. So WHAT if she sang a few other words? It wasn't that noticeable. The headlines screamed that she "struggled" with the words - I didn't see any "struggling" in the video. It was also obvious that everyone else listening got caught up in her powerful voice and heartfelt emotion.
So WHY are headlines screaming that she "totally messed up" the National Anthem? Aren't there better, more important things to make headlines?
Stereotypes play a part as well, I believe. Christina is blonde - when is the last time you read about a brunette celebrity embroiled in some scandal? I can't recall the last time I saw a brunette or redhead having her latest flaws exposed in the news for all to see.
Sexism plays a part, too. When is the last time you read about some male celebrity having their faults blazoned across some news page, blonde or not?
I've seen both more often in foreign publications than I've seen in those in the USA.
Huffington Post. Yeah, their acquisition by media giant AOL is news, but why is the news about Egypt so far down the page, below all the Super Bowl foul-ups? Where's the news about the nation's growing homeless and the continued loss of jobs, while Wall Street and bankers get fatter and fatter? When is the last time you read anything in the headlines about the Iraqi or Afghan wars? The appalling state of education along with the astounding lack of quality affordable healthcare for poor children as well as adults? THOSE are all newsworthy to me - and if you want to read about them, you have to climb past mountains of shallow SHIT.
It's no different in virtual worlds. I wrote a post here about sex, love, and relationships in virtual worlds, and how grids are increasingly populated by those who seek that which they cannot afford in concrete life - versus seeking that which has yet to be created, is entirely fanciful, or otherwise impossible in concrete life (or meatspace, as some call it). Anyone can be a porn star in virtual worlds, or impersonate a celebrity, or be stunningly beautiful...and there again, it's all on the surface. They're the same people underneath the pretty pixel skin and latest pixel clothing. They drag along their depression, their prejudices, everything that characterizes them in the concrete world. You're in a space where you can explore - and create - your fondest dreams, so WHY in the WORLD would you talk about TV shows, or the latest celebrity gossip, or form groups around a favorite series? A lot of people let the Korporate Kulture sink under their skins so far, it's effectively told them what to watch, what to consider important. It's erased their native imaginations and replaced it with something fraudulent. They find themselves constantly seeking fulfillment from temporary sources - as all good little consumers do. Then, when they can't sleep at night, because they don't have enough money to pay their bills, or some other very real catastrophe is rocking their concrete worlds, they'll log into a virtual one and try to find their pre-packaged happiness, there. I don't know how many times I've been up late at night in a virtual world only to come across someone who is sitting there ho-humming that they're bored and there's nothing to do, because they happen to be logged in when most of the rest of the world, as they know it, is sleeping. They're out of money so they can't go shopping, and they haven't a clue how to earn any to help themselves...they bitch and moan about the grid service, even if their account is free...and why do those PEOPLE have to wear FURSUITS (or dragon suits or whatever)...that is so GROSS! What, ME build? Are you kidding? I can't even wield a hammer "in real life" without hurting myself! WHY is there never ANYONE ON to PLAY with? (Note the word "play" - this attitude is something applied to how they treat others as well as their constant seeking of entertainment.)
If you're one of these people, you'll never find what you think you're lacking in a virtual world, simply because you're searching for something external to fill the gaping void inside of yourself - the one Korporate Amerika does its best to tell you must be filled by the latest CD, or gadget, or clothing item. You have been led to believe that money can resolve all woes, and if you just had enough of it you'd be happy and fulfilled. Let me ask you something: Do you like yourself? Do you even know who you are, stripped bare of the trappings of Korporate Kulture? If you're one of these sad souls I'm speaking of, the answers are likely "no" and "I don't know" - and yet, it is yourself you go to bed with at night regardless of whether you're bodily alone or not. It is yourself you wake up with, who is responsible for running your life. It is you, and ONLY you, you will die with, just like you came into this world with just yourself.
So, you have no idea where to start. Before even logging into that virtual world, go to the nearest grocery store and buy some crayons and blank paper. Just start doodling and drawing whatever comes to mind. It doesn't have to be a van Gogh, just do it - just draw, sketch, doodle. The very act of doing so will begin to stimulate your latent imagination, and perhaps awaken something inside of yourself that can exist without being fed the garbage of TV, celebrity gossip, and "things". THEN you might be motivated to build something, and seek out one of the many talented virtual world individuals who could help you learn how to. Before you know it, you'll be making things in 3D that existed only in your mind previous - and more importantly, you'll start to connect with that neglected person inside of yourself.
Great discoveries can be made about ourselves when we begin to connect with our "inner children" through art in its many forms. Don't worry whether it's "good enough". It IS good enough, because you created it, even if there is no one else around to appreciate it. You've wrested something out of your own mind, and given it substance. It may not be perfect, but if you keep tweaking it here and there, it'll get better. You can even trash it and start over.
Let the ideas flow, and YOU will flow with it.