Saturday, April 5, 2008

On the nature of protests

Crisis endures * what's in a title? * IYan's first protest * high school sucks * lessons learned * a call to action and fun

The Second Life blogosphere is still in turmoil after the TM/R fiasco (we really need a cool name for this), only slightly dampened by the quality of service of Second Life of late. The promised clarification on the part of Linden Lab arrived - two days late and none-too-clarifying. Besides the nearing SL bloggers' strike, we now have a petition to Linden Lab, urging them to adopt a more lenient trademark policy. The petition is titled "Petition to Linden Lab on the Policy of Trademark Enforcement" - quite a mouthful. Unfortunately, my suggestion of "Please stop being foolish" did not pass muster.

About that policy? (source)

Given past community performance by LL, it's a safe bet that nothing will change and some kind of in-world protests will ensue - and that makes me very happy. Not because I think that the massed avatars will force Linden Lab to see the light, but because I love protests.

Save our blogs!

I was part of the "experimental generation" when growing up. Every year, they would change the school system a bit. First, there was the "Hey, let's abolish the general purpose high schools!" idea which forced me to enroll in something called the "high school for nature sciences". Then they canceled high school graduation exam, fiddled with the number of semesters, decided that general purpose high schools were not such a bad idea after all, and, in the end, decided to bring back the graduation exam.

"OK, now everybody do a flip!"

Needless to say, everybody was kinda fed up with constant irritation, even given the cheerful and cooperating demeanor of high school kids. The graduation exam was the straw that broke the camel's back - when forced with a distinct possibility of having to study extra hard for a month, two generations of high schoolers rebelled. We left the schools and marched in the streets, wowing not to return until the exam was canceled.

The strike lasted for two weeks. On the first couple of days, we closed the traffic in the city center, drunk more than high schoolers should, and had a great time. After that, the novelty wore off and the police were more vigilant, so we did without public displays and just skipped school - the more cautious of us returning to school for an hour every day for supplemental classes in math, as the yearly math test was approaching. In two weeks' time, some kind of compromise was reached, the exam lightened a bit, and we came back to school. In the end, a year and a half later, I still had to pass the graduation exam - just under a different name.

Although I did not realize it then, the lessons of the strike stayed with me. Can you bring considerable change to the environment? No. But you can have great fun trying to bring change about. There is nothing more powerful than joining a band of Davids, waving their puny fists at Goliath. And, as you know - every so often, David actually wins.

"Oh, Goliath?"

See you at the protest!

Bonus: IYan in protesting gear


Rheta Shan said...

Yay, IYan, so will you be joining us for our Les Misérables re-enactment atop the barricades? You're welcome to :)

IYan Writer said...

Of course!

But - who will be playing the role of Liberty?

Kanomi™ said...

Let's call it the Branding Brouhaha!

IYan Writer said...

Hehe :)

Branding Brouhaha™ it is!