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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dark Star: living the dead

Bot: Name this Grateful Dead song title: Nonluminous
galactic matter

Starling Glitterbuck: dark star
Bot: Starling Glitterbuck answered correctly and
won $1! The next question will appear in 3 minute(s).
I came, because Vots invited me. And because it was Von Johin, almost mythical owner of the French Quarter and Gibson Island. At the August West Auditorium on sim DarkStar without any thought except that Von's return to SL was unmissable, even though there was bound to be a huge crowd, and it would be hard to cam once the lag set in. But somehow, there was no lag for me, and between one breathtaking song and another, I began to see where we were....
This is DarkStar, the sim celebrating the Grateful Dead. My RL avie used to live in the Bay Area, so HaightAshbury means something to me vaguely, and the first real non-military use of ARPANET, the sort of forerunner of today's internet, was to exchange GD files. But this was so much more. A Park to the art of the Grateful Dead - albums, music, lyrics, guitars... it wrranted a return visit...
Here is the house where the band lived in the mid to late 60's, in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco; go inside and you can TP up to the Grateful Dead museum. It's more of a library, than a museum, a psychedelic concentration of information on the band members, the evolution of albums, the tours and the tantrums, and Jerry Garcia's apparently endless supply of wit and wisdom. The building is a sky surmounted by Jerry's hand, held up in that famous pose, showing the missing middle finger, which he lost in an axe/small brother-related incident when he was four years old. I had to look that up, I am ashamed, but also kind of proud, to say. Second Life makes you learn, if you like to learn, about places, ideas, things RL might never put in your path. And here at Dark Star a beautiful stranger crossed mine, sim owner Starling Glitterbuck. I asked her where the timelines on the wall behind her had come from.
Starling Glitterbuck: This is actually three timelines I edited them together and added the buttons. The pictures show all the band members, and again, if you click on them you get a notecard with their biography.
I did. The information was clear, informative and, for a novice, completely overwhelming. She showed me around the museum, and I learned aabout band members like "Pigpen" McKernan and Mickey Hart.
Starling Glitterbuck: I'll let ya rez for a bit. So this is the history of the band, the facts and the dates. But there's more, much more! We also have a place that talks about deadheads, and the grateful dead experience from the audience point of view. Let me TP you. This is Franklin's Tower... i dunno how much you know about the dead, but in case you dunno, its named after a killer song, and these are all quotes and things from deadheads, letters and stuff, and if you tp on this ball here, you can go up to the bell. Bot: Name this Grateful Dead song title: I require a scientifically unexplainable phenomenon
Starling Glitterbuck: i need a miracle: hmmm… I need a miracle everyday
Bot: Starling Glitterbuck answered correctly and won $1! The next question will appear in 3 minute(s).
Thirza Ember: The trivia is a nice touch, I love the interactive element.
Starling Glitterbuck: yeah. I try to make it as interactive as possible, it’s key for me anyway.
Bot: Name this Grateful Dead song title: Possessors of two pairs of X chromosomes possess a greater degree of intelligence
I suddenly found myself at the top of the tower. I opened my draw distance, and waited.Starling Glitterbuck: Cool you came up here! the bell has a lyric on it from the song, Franklin's Tower
Thirza Ember: lol yeah sorry now i am waiting for the panorama to rez. This then is in a song...? I'm sorry I don't mean to be disrespectful, lol i will look it up after...
Starling Glitterbuck: Everything on Darkstar is from a song, or a replica of something linked to the dead. Like Franklins Tower is a song, Mars Hotel is an album and I built it from the actual album cover, so it looks just like the album itself. Same with Terrapin Station. In the amphitheater, that’s the wall of sound on the stage. It’s a full scale replica of the Grateful Dead's sound system from the early 70s.
Back at the bottom of the tower, Starling showed me a wall full of in-jokes.
Starling Glitterbuck: some of this is pretty funy to deadheads, like I said every deadhead has stickers so i made a sticker wall. When I first made the island... I had a concept, it was this: a long time ago, there were these people living here called "deadheads" and so a lot of the stuff is old and in ruins… but the deadheads have come home and rebuilt and now some of the stuff is new. That was the idea, but it never really came to be a central theme to the island.. its my own little secret really…
Thirza Ember: That is a great idea, like a lost civilization
Starling Glitterbuck: zackly
Thirza Ember: perfect. What's the rail track?
Starling Glitterbuck: Thats a train that goes around the island.... the grateful dead have a lot of train songs: tell me when yer done here and I'll show you the Acid Museum... it's pretty interesting...
And then we were in the parking lot of the Mars Hotel. Through the doors, I could see a long reception counter, and lots of items scattered around the place, an umbrella, a note pad, a newspaper, lots of luggage. There was a couple in the parking lot, talking about hair.
Belle Beorn: this is what my hair is like in rl.
Belle Beorn: i think ill stick with it for a bit
Jindrich Radek: nice
Belle Beorn: aww jed
Jindrich Radek: lol
Starling Glitterbuck: in here, Thirza. I should say, before we go up to the museum, this lobby is my favorite part of the island. Here is my game. The lobby has 50 clues...
Thirza Ember: 50 clues about the dead?
Jindrich Radek: who’s the dead?
Starling Glitterbuck: there are 50 grateful dead characters stayin in the hotel... if you look around.... you will see characters from the songs and what room number they are in.
Jindrich Radek: lol
Starling Glitterbuck: lol jin
I cammed around, trying to get things to rez by zooming in on them. The names and numbers suddenly popped into focus.
Thirza Ember: Felina! room 400! I found one!
Starling Glitterbuck: if you click on the phone, you'll get a message and a list of room numbers you have to get the message to the right room: its a game and my favorite thing I've made here - it took me 3 months of research
Jindrich Radek: whos jin?
Starling Glitterbuck: haha
Jindrich Radek: I’ve fallen and I cant get down
Thirza Ember: I wanna play the game!!! It's very clever, and beautifully made here. I will have to try it out next time I come
Starling Glitterbuck: ok! I warn you tho, it’s hard… ok tp on that top button there... oh, no, wait the bottom button...
Jindrich Radek: im afraid of lows
Starling Glitterbuck: This whole museum is about LSD. Even the floor is blotter!
Thirza Ember: Jin…? who are you in the scheme of things here?
Jindrich Radek: nothing but trouble
Starling Glitterbuck: haha! he's a deadhead who hangs out here, he lives on the residential sim
Jindrich Radek: right here in river city with a capitol T that rhymes with P
Jindrich Radek: which stand for pot
Starling Glitterbuck: well, LSD it’s part of the history. Deadheads trip... I would not be truthful if I didn’t show it.
Jindrich Radek: I dont believe in blotter. Now liquid..hmmmm
Starling Glitterbuck: it would be a huge omission
Belle Beorn: acids cool dooood
Starling Glitterbuck: I'll show you over here. This section is about the acid tests. I still have more to do on this particular exhibition. Back here are important people in acid this is about the scientific part of it if you click on a pic of a person... you will get an explanation about how they affected acid
Thirza Ember: good grief this place is so complete!
Belle Beorn: sweet i can hear the tour from up here!
Thirza Ember: hold still for a photo
Starling Glitterbuck: sure
Jindrich Radek shouts: Star we need an intervention!
Starling Glitterbuck: lol ... my peeps
Starling Glitterbuck: lmao Belle are you okay??? Don’t eat the brown acid!
Jindrich Radek shouts: dont eat the moldy shrooms
Belle Beorn shouts: I AM THE BROWN ACID
Starling Glitterbuck: lol
Jindrich Radek shouts: Starling is our goddess.....we are a secret cult..shhhh dont tell anyone..the rapture is coming on tuesday!
Starling Glitterbuck: haha haha
Jindrich Radek shouts: did i say that out loud?
Starling Glitterbuck: Acid was discovered by Albert Hoffman, if you click on this book here you will get an exerpt from his book which describes the very first acid trip.
Belle Beorn: shouts: whatever u do dont get on the bus!!hahahaha!
Jindrich Radek: but the bus leads to eternal life...and to the twinkee store! ....I’m getting banned aren’t I
Thirza Ember: Jun you do know all this is going in my blog, right? Your name and photo. you be banned on many sims lole
Belle Beorn: LMFAO
Jindrich Radek: uh oh
Starling Glitterbuck: haha
Jindrich Radek: but I‘m in withess protection
Thirza Ember: witless??
Belle Beorn: oooooo.... she’s powerful, man
Back in the museum, there was so much to look at it will blow you away. Starling has managed to combine the science, the politics and the art of LSD all in one place with hundreds of photos of the major figures in the discovery and use of the drug. After we'd had a good look around, she finally said:
Starling Glitterbuck: Wanna see the train?
We tp’d over to Terrapin Station. You click on the little white square on the back of the train, so you sit down, and then click again on the engine to make it run. I was laggy, so at first I didn’t think it worked, but a minute’s patience soon had me running the rails – use Mouselook of course to get the best effect. The train is called the Casey Jones... it takes you all around the island, even under water, and back to the Station.
Starling Glitterbuck: you can see on that wall , the original album cover that I built the train station from its an exact replica of the album cover.
Thirza Ember: I absolutely love it. Thank you so much for showing me around, Star, I only have one more question: do the band members know about this?
Thirza Ember: the rl people know about sl, and what you have created here?
Starling Glitterbuck: no, they dunno about it yet, but my dream is some day to show it to them…
Funny thing about this place, this job, this Life. I knew next to nothing about the Grateful Dead before I started this post, but now, Starling’s dream is kind of my dream, too…

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