I was having a conversation about three weeks ago with Rusch Raymaker concerning random attacks made on us both via an anonymous website. I asked Rusch what we were doing that prompted so much hatred from a few anonymous people. It’s funny how some people make us look like two raging warriors against each other. The fact is we have a very cordial relationship. Rusch simply said, “Frolic, make yourself happy. Love and light will lead the way.”
A beautiful thought from Rusch, but it offered no answer to my question. You see, I am happy and I have loved deeply, and am very in love with my Second Life, so check mark on her advice. I have noticed that these attacks (at least to me), occur when we are busiest at BOSL. They always occur during MISS VIRTUAL WORLD; they occur during BOSL Fashion Week and now again as we released our new website. A friend of mine offered: “Frolic, the enemy screams louder when the competition wins.”
Another fine thought. I do know that there are historical examples of this: have you ever seen a football game with two rival teams playing? It can literally kill people when one team wins over the other. But this still doesn’t offer me any comfort, because I am not in a competition with anyone nor am I trying to win anything. Business competition has a healthy existence, but should not inspire third-party hatred towards anyone. If this is the case, I am totally willing to make this public statement for what it is worth: All publications and fashion agencies in Second Life are valuable. They produce great shows and great publications. Most importantly, they provide lots of people with a purpose and a fun time. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Like I said, I am not in competition with anyone, and I enjoy attending other people’s shows and reading other magazines. In fact, I read every publication that gets into my hands. I have enjoyed reading and reviewing many articles and pictorials over four years. BOSL was born to provide awareness of great content creations across the grid. It was NOT created to be the “best.” BOSL does not mean I am the best (God knows I am not, not even close), nor that my shows are the best, nor that my pageants are the best. However, the people we feature are indeed some of the most amazing virtual designers in this grid, and that’s what makes BOSL valuable. It is not Frolic Mills or the name of the magazine, and I do not have a problem with that.
This leads me to what I believe is the actual problem-and the reason for this writing. Listen guys, I know I am tough in my choices. I know the name of my business immediately makes a lot of people think of me as arrogant. I know I am tough on my students. I know I am insufferable when defending people whom I love. I have made a million mistakes and I take full responsibility and apologize for them. If only I knew what I was getting into when I started THE BEST OF SL, I think I would have reconsidered my Second Life altogether. I had no idea. People like Maddox DuPont, Kirk Claymore, Giancarlo Takacs, Giela Delpaso and especially Carter Giacobini remember how I started BOSL. I vividly remember Carter because he was the first one to ask me if I would sell him an ad in my diary (yes it was supposed to be my diary), and I asked him, “Is that legal? Can I do that?” BOSL was not even supposed to be a business. It was just my intention to bring beautiful things to the forefront so everyone could enjoy them.
MISS VIRTUAL WORLD, the biggest headache I go through every year, was originally intended to be a fun competition among friends, but it grew and it expanded beyond my wildest dreams. 80% of the drama and anguish SL produces for me comes from MISS VIRTUAL WORLD, and yet I know it makes a tremendous difference in the lives of many fashion designers, hair designers, posemakers, shoe designers, skin designers, photographers, writers, models and fashion enthusiasts. It would be easy for me to close this pageant and let it evaporate into virtual space; but do I act to please the few anonymous people who write hate letters to me, or do I grow stronger and support the multitude of people who benefit from it? This is where it gets tricky. I believe the right thing to do is to continue whatever produces the most benefit to the greatest amount of people.
How did it get like this? What happened? I see so many people in SL who have magazines, they host pageants and model competitions and yet no one says much of anything whether they win or lose. How did my little diary, a just-for-fun pageant, and now a website, turn into this raging source of virtual love and hate? People started to call BOSL an empire, people started to call me all kinds of over-the-top flattering names. And although most of the models competing for MISS VIRTUAL WORLD get along and have formed lasting friendships, others were cutting each other’s and my own throat for the title. Some people have placed me on a pedestal and some have thrown me under the bus.
I have admired the virtual works of so many and even if I have been disappointed by some, I have never had the impulse to write anything negative about them anywhere. So what is it that motivates some people to destroy, defame, lie about others anonymously, and show their most evil side? I know this writing won’t stop anonymous hate letters anywhere, but if you have a need to write hate anonymously, it must be because you are not proud of what you wrote. Accumulate many of these and you will end up with a rotten heart, and your rotten heart will kill you before it kills anyone else.
I’ve had a healthy and beautiful real life. I have started two very successful franchises in my city. I’ve had splendid jobs, travelled the world over and I lead a very comfortable real life. But none of these experiences could have prepared me for what was to happen in my Second Life. I never intended to be anyone other than a gamer who likes to have fun and is passionate about this virtual world. A friend of mine once said to me: “I think people take your work too seriously and this is perhaps why they react with such passion.”
I really hope this is not the case, because while I assume my Second Life responsibilities the best I can, I take my Second Life as serious as Jerry takes Tom.
I wanted to dedicate this writing to all the people who have been harassed with anonymous hate mail. Lately this has been done to many through falsified note cards, anonymous websites, anonymous comments and through alts. I feel for you, but please don’t let it get to you. Those people are in far worse shape than they will ever make you feel.
Question: Do you feel that hate letters posted or sent anonymously are a justifiable way of expressing your anger or getting revenge? Leave you thoughts below in our comments section.