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Friday, June 15, 2012


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shockwave yareach

Hey Robin!! Just have your own SL9B event on your own land, with your own events, and have a different build at the other sims. Give out LMs to your private bday event, and that's that.

I have to ask by what authority KT can decide what is and isn't in the show? Unless he's footing the bill for the land, I don't accept that any resident is in charge of the birthday bash. The only people with the authority to decide what is and isn't permissible in building is LL; and they wussed out on their responsibilities. So again, by what authority does KT or anyone get to say who may build what without owning said land the builds are to be made upon?

Nebulosus Severine

It wouldn't be a major SL event without someone whining about being offended by something.

Nica Pennell

I suspect the cross is probably the main problem. I'm not American so I don't have much of an emotional investment in 9/11, but even so I feel uncomfortable about the central focus of Christianity in this memorial (and especially mounting the symbol of Christianity on the American military headquarters - the implications are quite unfortunate, whether intended or not).

Xander Ruttan

If one were creating a memorial to an auto accident victim, would one depict a car crash? If commemorating a drowning victim, would one show a hand grasping upward out of water? Then why show airplanes hitting buildings? What is offensive here is the unrestrained badness of this simple-minded, too-literal gesture. However, I'm not sure that unquestionable badness rises to the level of deserving official censure. Equally questionable judgment appears in depicting a cross on a public, non-religious building where people of many faiths (or no particular faith) were killed. However, if this memorial is a matter of private expression versus official sanction or merit, the "artist" should be entitled to display this well-intended but truly awful steaming pile of a build. But in the event that the sponsors have legitimate say-so and made their criteria known in advance, they may have done the difficult but merciful and right thing in relieving the SL public of this hideous and regrettable if sincere memorial.

Adeon Writer

9/11 will be a touchy subject for decades to come. Memorials that include planes tend to be the ones that raise eyebrows.

Marianne McCann

So... this is what we're calling "controversy" nowadays? What happened to nipplegate, the kid avvie kerfuffle of SL5B, or even the "Barbies" stuff from a couple years ago?

Back in my day "SL Birthday controversy" meant something.

Eleri Ethaniel

I gotta go with Nica and Xander on this one- it would be very easy to make a memorial that conveyed all the honor and respect, without using actual pictures of the disaster, or mentioning a specific religion.

moo Money

I was one of the people that created a stink about it. It's a plane slicing through the twin towers, THROUGH the pentagon, aimed at a blinging cross, and flanked by motorcycles. It used actual pictures of the disaster too. Not only was it offensive, it was tacky. SL9B is not the place for that. You did this country a great dishonour, Robin.

shockwave yareach

Freedom of speech means protecting speech that IS unpopular. By very definition, popular speech needs no protection.

Pussycat Catnap

"(and especially mounting the symbol of Christianity on the American military headquarters - the implications are quite unfortunate, whether intended or not)."

- Yeah... I'd call that offensive.

Here's another SL9B build one could wonder on:

- while memorials have their place, is the SL birthday that place?

Emerald Wynn

WTF is the point of encouraging people to submit installations if you're not going to allow any that spark discussion and debate? Particularly in SL, of all places. Isn't it supposed to be all about artistic expression?

The cross is part of the artist's vision — she's not forcing a religion on anyone or denying that other religions were affected. As with all art, obviously it's not going to please or resonate with everyone. It's her way of paying tribute. It may not be your way, but that's the joy of having the freedom to express different viewpoints.

As for the plane and the pictures, unfortunately those planes are part of our history now. We can't tiptoe around them or pretend they were never there.

But whatever. To me, it all comes down to freedom of speech and expression. If you're offended by it, treat it like you'd treat any other unpleasant art exhibition and say, "I don't like it" and walk away.

Hell, if someone built an installation with giant inflatable penises waving around with birthday hats on them, surrounded by dead cats on sticks, you wouldn't find me dancing around in the middle of it, but I wouldn't go screaming for its removal either.

As to whether it belongs in a birthday celebration, every year we pay tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11 in SL. I think the way milestones — good and bad — get interpreted here is a huge part of SL. It reflects our sense of community.

God, this comment is long as hell. Sorry.


This is the first I've heard of this issue. I guess running around helping hundreds of exhibitors I missed the initial build. A memorial is something, though, that I thought long and hard about before building mine. "Birthday and death?" Lesbos@SL9B is a re-creation of the large memorial at the Isle of Lesbos where group members can have a candle placed to remember our lost sisters. While I think a 9/11 remembrance would be more than appropriate for the event — SL was a popular place to gather in the aftermath — dead bodies probably went over the line for a lot of people. I'll adjust my build to have a candle for our sisters lost in 9/11 and everyone is welcome to come see it if they wish to remember.


Hamlet Au

Quick general reminder: This is an especially hot topic for many reasons, so whatever your opinions, please try to keep them civil. Remember the cocktail party rule!

Emerald Wynn

*looks sheepish and apologizes*

Hamlet Au

Comment wasn't directed at you or solely anyone in particular, Ms. Wynn!


Hoping this comment will survive deletion.

"Freedom of speech" means you have the right to express yourself. It does not mean that everyone else in the world has the obligation to give you a platform.

And I, personally, find this build inane and childish.


I can see why people wouldn't want to see that at a birthday celebration. I mean, they could have made this memorial a bit more tasteful and it would have been fine. It probably would have been okay without the plane, but showing the plane slicing through the towers, is like making a memorial for a car crash victim that depicts a car slamming into another car. Some people who attempt 9/11 memorials really need to learn the meaning of decent taste first.

It doesn't offend me much personally, but I can see why others would complain about it. It can be triggering too, I imagine, for some people.

Freedom of speech only restricts the government from silencing you. Private land owners on SL, or LL themselves who pay for land/servers and don't want tasteless things on their land have every right to restrict what does and does not go on it.

David Cartier

A birthday celebration is maybe not the best place for something like this. Not unless it's something both tasteful, and also somehow germane to SL. This is not. The cross and the plane are perhaps best not included. I knew three people who died and only one of them was a Christian; and she mostly non-practicing.

yoshiko Fazuku

I wana see an installation with giant inflatable penises waving around with birthday hats on them, surrounded by dead cats on stick just so i can LOL myself to death!

Emerald Wynn

Yoshiko - LOL :D

OK, I'm wearing appropriate cocktail attire and, like Kim, I'll try to avoid getting deleted this time. :)

To address Kim's opinion about some people believing the world has an obligation to give them a platform, I don't see this issue as being in that category. There was a call for installations to illustrate the many facets of SL for this ninth birthday. Robin (and I don't know her personally) didn't feel a sense of entitlement here — she simply answered the call and created something to express a vision. She never demanded this platform or felt like SL owed it to her.

And I think some people are missing the important point that there was no malicious intent behind Robin's installation. She didn't rub her hands together gleefully and say, "I'm going to make something that's going to hurt and horrify and offend people." She said herself that she wanted to make something that would remind us never to forget because the memory of these victims is sacred. Her intent was to create something meaningful. While some people describe it as offensive and distasteful, others might call it arresting and powerful.

So what we have here is a case of some people disagreeing with an artist's voice and demanding that it be silenced. That's what irks me. For me, this whole discussion is more a matter of principle than the actual installation.

And I take issue with people who say that a cross should not be allowed in an SL installation. We each have our own stories to share about this place. Let's say that, thanks to some people I've met here, SL has played a major role in my return to my Catholic faith. And I want to express that experience in a "What SL Means to Me" installation. So . . . what, people are going to freak and get out their torches if I use the Virgin Mary and a cross in my own personal exhibit? We're not allowed to express our religious views as they pertain to SL because not everyone believes in them??

Maybe in Robin's case, her faith played a strong role in her experience of 9/11. So she symbolized that with a cross. She's not saying that cross defines everyone's experience. Just hers.

As to whether it belongs in a birthday celebration, I'll just point to the end of my above comment. SL is a community. We hold fundraisers for people who need aid, we help each other through tough times, we hold each other's virtual hands when a major tragedy occurs. So yeah, if we're celebrating SL, I think that's worth a nod.

I'm done writing books over here. Sorry 'bout that.

elizabeth (16)

have personally always been against any memorial that actual depicts the violence that occurred

is hard for anyone to find peace within ourselves in these kinda depictions. they mostly just stir up feelings within ourselves that are not peaceful

Canoro Philipp

i can see why this memorial is highly controversial, it may trigger emotions of hate against the muslims, about anyone who is from the middle east, that is their fault that those people died, it may trigger hate from the people from the middle east from the ones who believe those hijackers did the right thing, also from the ones who think 9/11 was an inside job, that the government of the united states was killing its own people, to have a reason to steal the natural resources of iraq and afghanistan... its highly controversial...

such a level of controversy it may bring down the mood of a celebration, instead of unity there will be separation, is not appropriate to bring this subject to a global community, specially on a birthday celebration, it would be like if a group would have a memorial remembering all the nazis who gave their life for the fuhrer during world war II.


While I can understand both sides of the issue, I think that the moderators made a correct decision. I won't go so far as to say I find the build offensive, as I don't; and if tackiness alone were grounds for shutdown then there'd be some VERY different builds up at the SL9B site now.

There is a difference between offensive and inapporopriate, however. I don't find it offensive but I do think it inappropriate for this particular time and place.

Silverfox Rainbow

The Multi-colored people display is part of an olympic display for the londen games :)

i never saw the 911 display, there is a place for everything,


It's clear the build was aimed at a very specific demographic, so it's not a surprise if people in that demographic don't find it offensive. But the birthday is for everyone and will include people of all races, religions and nationalities.

There's a difference between a cross on top of a church and a burning cross in someone's front garden. One is a declaration of faith and the other is a declaration of violence. In this case, it's a fire-coloured cross on top of an American symbol of power, with a plane posed agressively above it. Whether the artist intended it to be a declaration of violence or not, it doesn't change the symbolism of the piece or the way people will react. And it has to be said, the artist could have changed the build if that wasn't the reaction she wanted. She chose not to.

Innula Zenovka

Without being told the background to this installation, I'd have read it as a crude attempt to expropriate 9/11 in order to make a very tendentious political point. I accept that's not what it's supposed to be, but that means the artist has spectacularly failed to get her point across, which isn't much of a recommendation.

The freedom of speech argument completely misses the point, as far as I'm concerned. No one is saying she can't exhibit it; the organisers are simply saying they don't think it's in keeping with what they want to achieve for this event.

To my mind the organisers did the right thing in asking for it to be removed.

Cindy Bolero

SL9B is a celebration. 9/11 remembrance does not qualify as something to celebrate.

We are virtual firefighting training sims, We ground all aircraft during the week of Remembrance. We take it very seriously when we install our ghosted WTC towers on our sims for the thousands that come to pay tribute. Our guestbooks are filled with appreciation for attention to detail and respect.

We thought it all out before opening to the public. We got input from FDNY firefighters, people who lost family members, and New Yorkers that experienced it. The last thing we wanted to do was offend anyone.

I've hosted 9/11 Remembrance Day builds or gatherings in SL for several years now. One thing that pisses off people for sure, is when you try to blend it with a party. Club owners actually advertise 9/11 parties as the "gimmick of the day" to get you to their venue to tip the house and DJ. And oh yeah, they call for the sexiest firefighter outfit for the contest.

Jo yardley

I wonder why the installation was even invited.
Regardless of ones personal opinion of the topic of the display, everyone that wanted to take part in SL9B had to fill in a form, explaining what they were planning.
When choosing participants someone thought that "I want to remember 9/11" was a great idea for a birthday celebration?

Pussycat Catnap

I guess I see SLxB as a birthday for SL.

Not for everything else under the sun one can come up with.

I don't think -any- off-topic memorial or exhibit is fitting... stick to theme.

Pussycat Catnap

"There's a difference between a cross on top of a church and a burning cross in someone's front garden. One is a declaration of faith and the other is a declaration of violence."

I keep crosses on top of a lot of my buildings in SL. I don't aim airplanes at them. Nor do I put them on top of war buildings.

To me, looking at that - I saw a call for holy war. Its either saying "kill the Christians" or its saying "the Muslims are attacking, kill the Muslims."

- Its casting 9/11 as a Crusade...

And that, I found offensive.


It was not only Christians who died on 9/11, and contrary to popular (in some quarters) opinion the US is not a "Christian nation".

I know people who lost loved ones on 9/11, too, and I don't know if ANY of them would appreciate this installation. Images of the planes crashing into the towers and the Pentagon are seared into their memories forever, as they are into my own and that of much of the world. Who REALLY needs a 3D reenactment of those events to "help us to sit back and remember"? I know I don't.

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