Hello my dearest dears! Thank you for joining me today, not for another adventure on OpenSim, but to talk about a woman who played an enormous part in making these adventures possible. Linda Kellie, who´s mind blowing free distribution of her staggering inventory into every corner of OpenSim, rendering her one of it´s most recognizable, controversial, and admired figures , is gone for good.
I wanted to make it absolutely clear to everyone is that a real life person has not died. Linda Kellie was an AVATAR created by a real life woman who has chosen to delete the avatar, as well as the entire blog she had under Linda Kellie name, called Basic Babble. Her incredible website, LINDA KELLIE.COM is STILL ONLINE. So you can keep downloading freaking tons of free treasures, which includes everything from earrings to entire themed regions.
Whether you are an OpenSim novice, or an experienced traveller, a visit to Linda´s website is an essential experience. Only when you have had a good look at the fantasy gardens, skyscrapers, tree houses, funfairs, beach resorts, welcome areas, the furniture, the clothes, and just STUFF, do you realize the extent to which grid owners are using Linda Kellie´s creations to rock their worlds. The ability to download fully stocked freebie malls and ski resorts at no cost whatsoever, made starting their own grid a reality for thousands of individuals and organizations. OpenSim would probably not be giving Second Life a run for it´s money without this woman´s breath taking generosity of spirit.
Linda Kellie was not our heroine’s first AVATAR . She had several avatar names in SL for various projects, including some freebies, but was best known as AYLA HOLT, a successful clothing retailer. Ayla was born in May 2006, and left in October 2010 for an OpenSim commercial grid called INWORLDZ. Although she occasionally commented on SL´s decline in support and general atmosphere, she seemed to harbor no real rancour towards Linden Lab, usually referring to her years in SL with genuine fondness. Inworldz reminded her of SL back in the day, with a smaller, more supportive community where a retailer´s products could actually stand out. But the whole nostalgia thing didn’t hold our heroine´s attention for long! In October 2011 Inworldz and Ayla amicably parted ways. Ayla and her blog were deleted, leaving our heroine in a quandary-she wanted to try something different for a while. Something other than retail- but then she had all this stuff… OpenSim mover and shaker VANISH SERAITH had started something called OPENSIM CREATIONS.COM, a website that allowed anyone to put their creations online for anyone to download for free. This was it! Our heroine created a new avatar, made her a blog called Basic Babble, uploaded all her old inventory onto a website she wasn´t using, et voila! Linda Kellie strode on stage and changed the world. In the coming year she became an icon-, and everything she said or did was immediately dissected and put under a microscope on blogs, websites and forums, and in every grid she ever went to.
I think , that initially, our heroine enjoyed the accolades. Who wouldn´t? I giggle for days when someone says” Aren´t you that blog lady?”. In Basic Babble , she wrote amazingly personal posts about just being a mom typing away in her pajamas. She wrote about her daughter, a mentally handicapped adult, with severe physical problems, who still lives at home; about her husband, her hero, the best dad she could ever have wanted for her children. She wrote very openly about her long battle with mental health issues, the various medications she was using, her fear and anger and depression. After lashing out for whatever reason, she would often apologize through her blog, calling herself toxic, sometimes castigating herself for paragraph after paragraph. Then, the next post would be brimming with an intense passion for new friends and their ideas, or old friends rediscovered. And for someone who was so clearly struggling, there were those who just would not give her any quarter.
I have never seen evidence that our heroine had any agenda, other than a love of sharing. People invented agendas for her, they assumed that her actions were politically motivated . After all, OpenSim is an actual Open Source Project; it´s extremely multicultural, well educated , often fiercely political residents have deep roots in the OPEN SOURCE MOVEMENT, OPEN ACCESS MOVEMENT ,FREE CULTURE MOVEMENT ,HACKER SUBCULTURE … not to mention hundreds of ex Linden Lab employees and SL residents, who, not having a specific ideology, simply go apeshit when they hear the word “commerce”. Quite the minefield for a mom in her pajamas. And that is very clearly who she was. She described the atmosphere of the 2011 OS Grid as bringing out the “hippy” in her. She thought having and spending money was fun, it just wasn´t her thing at the moment. She thought the OpenSim platform should call itself “Free Life” and that, in a world where three countries are in a multi million dollar free for all over the editor of Wiki Leaks, everyone should just do what they want and not fight about what was the better way.
So what does this make our heroine? Well, not only did John Lennon think Yoko Ono could sing, he arrived at the amazing conclusion, after spending his entire adult life as one of the most recognizable people on the planet, that he didn´t need a bodyguard in New York City. I was more left wing and ideologically correct, okay , intolerant, back then, but when this damn fool rich white man with the simplistic world view got himself killed , I wound up downtown with hundreds of other people from all walks of life, singing peace songs and bawling my eyes out for hours. The surgeon who was unable to save him later said ” I never had the chance to see John Lennon´s heart while it was beating. I would have liked to. It was a good heart.”
I think I speak for a lot of people, when I wish our heroine and her family, tranquility, peace, fulfillment, health, and love. And should I ever recognize one particular good heart, I promise I won’t breathe a word to anyone. Ever.
Oh, and I have better idea for an OpenSim name than FreeLife. How about Imagine?
“Good bye, good bye, good bye, my love,
Its time to say good bye.
Remember me for the fun we had,
Remember me for our love.
Be proud that we loved and loved so well
Don’t listen to people who speak from hell.
Tears, yes, but lets not be too sad,
Lets hope it won’t be all that bad.
Good bye, good bye, good bye, my love.