About Angry Asian French Maid Avatar Strike

Abundance

We lucky few in the developed, 21st century world have a problem few before us have ever had, Abundance. Compared to Scarcity, the problem most human beings and other living things on earth have faced, abundance is a good problem to have. But make no mistake, abundance is still a big problem. When you see a friend post,

I just deleted my entire iTunes library, and I feel so free!

Or see the legions of peeps on sites like Instagram begging for followers, or watch TV shows like “Hoarders,” these are all examples of the problem of abundance. When my friend Trilby has to create an alt avatar “TrilbyMinotaur2” because her main avatar’s 200,000 inventory items make it almost impossible for her to move, this is a problem of abundance. Scarcity sucks. But with the fewer choices in scarcity it’s easy for something to be special. It’s easier to focus. It’s easy for something to be precious.

In times of abundance we almost never give anybody or anything our “full attention,” it’s just an endless stream of overlapping events of continuous partial attention.

Attention

What if we really focused on people? Really gave them our attention? Or in my case, what if you took that to the absurd and took the fragment of an idea on Twitter and realized it. Layering in the issues of the day.

Then Moni ‘n Skye chimed in…

And then the horses were off…

The French Maid

We already know everybody seems inspired by the trope of the French Maid:

MMORPGfulness

You can call The French Maid a trope, and that’s true, but I think it goes deeper. It’s a fantasy. A dream. A desire. Whether RL or VR, The French Maid is RP in the consciousness stream of MMORPGfulness that is life.

Asian French Maids

But let’s go deeper. You might know that a Beret is only properly called a Beret if it’s made at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. Made anywhere else on earth, it’s really only a Beanie. And what of The French Maid? Can she exist outside France? In the video above we learned that she actually started life in Britain. What about Japan? The rise of anime culture gave rise to the Asian French Maid who has now become corporeal in the Maid Cafe.

The Maid Cafe

So the Asian French Maid is a dream within a dream, two levels.

YUSUF: A dream within a dream? Two levels?

COBB: Three.

YUSUF: Not possible. That many dreams within dreams would be too unstable.

COBB: I’ve done it before. You just have to add a sedative.

YUSUF: A powerful sedative.

Your Life; Our Way

As we all know, the most powerful sedative known to humankind is no longer television… now it’s Facebook.

And while we’ve been busy thinking about Asian French Maids, Facebook has been up to it’s old Your Life; Our Way program where they get to impose an Identity on you, rather than allow you to express the identity you choose for yourself.

Only this time instead of exterminating a bunch of Avatars, who mostly just complain to each other, Facebook exterminated a bunch of Drag Queens, who complained to the City of San Francisco.

After the 1st Drag Queens meet Facebook meeting FB said, We’re really sorry about all this, we’ll give you an extra 2 weeks to change your name to the one Facebook prefers.

photo of press conference
Drag queens Sister Roma (left) and Heklina (2nd from left) listen as San Francisco Supervisor David Campos (R) speaks during a press conference at City Hall, 17 Sept 2014. SanFrancisco.CBSlocal.com

After the 2nd Drag Queens meet Facebook meeting, FB apologized for real and said they’d allow the Drag Queens to use the name they prefer. YES! Facebook said you could choose your own identity and still use their platform!

But it was a narrow accommodation. It lets Drag Queens choose their identity, but FB policy still exterminates avatars and others who don’t happen to use the “Government Name” by which you can be RL arrested, or Data Mined by Facebook. Who might want to use a pseudonym online? Here’s a list from My Name Is Me.org

Abuse survivors
Academics
Activists
Actors
Adoptees
Artists
Authors
Bloggers
Caregivers
Celebrities
Digital natives
Fans
Free speech advocates
Gamers
Genderqueer people
Global cultures
Government employees
Health professionals
Immigrants
Internet veterans
Journalists
LGBT people
Military people
Models
Nicknamed people
Parents
People from small communities
People of color
People with disabilities
Politically active people
Professionals
Refugees
Religious people
SCAdians
Second Life users
Sex workers
Sexual minorities
Stalking victims
Teachers
Technologists
Website operators
Whistleblowers
Women
Young people

For a great talk on NymRights, check out Aestetix’ talk at The Berkman Center a week-and-a-half ago.

Joseph Merrick

As The Elephant Man so eloquently put it,

I am a human being. — Joseph Merrick

The Ability to Participate in Culture

Whether you love or loathe the dream within the dream of the Asian French Maid, she is a human being. No matter how silly this reality may seem to anyone, it isn’t Facebook or anyone else’s place to determine whether or not her life, or your life, or my life, is valid.

And don’t even start with if you don’t like our terms, you don’t have to use our service. When you’re the world’s largest telephone book, denying people access simply because you don’t like the name they choose, is denying them access to participate in culture. The United Nations has declared the ability to participate in culture as a basic human right.

And that’s how our Angry Asian French Maid Avatar Strike was born.

Poster for Activity No.10 featuring two Asian French Maids superimposed with the typography "Virtual Public Art.com, Activity No.10, Angry Facebook Banned Asian French Maid Avatar Worker Strike"

March on Paris

And so on 25 October we’ll march on Paris. We’ll do it to be silly. We’ll do it to have fun. But we’ll also do it because it really matters. No matter how silly you choose to be, no matter how much fun you might have, you’re still a human being worthy of human rights. No matter how many apartments we clean or how many tiny sandwiches we serve or how many bad jokes we’re the butt of, we are still human beings worthy of human rights.

Full march details at:

photo of an Asian French Maid in a Virtual Maid Cafe holding a tray with tea and cake on it

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4 Responses to “About Angry Asian French Maid Avatar Strike”

  1. Trilby Minotaur 14 Oct '14 at 04:47 #

    200,000 things? That’s got to be an urban legend!

    • Vanessa Blaylock 14 Oct '14 at 04:57 #

      no, no, I have it on “good authority” that it’s all true!

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