Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): A few points of order before we start this Salon.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 1) Sit where-ever you might like in the provided seating. If you would prefer a wearable chair, please contact me in IM. The director’s chairs are for Tinies.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 3) Please remove all lag-feeding thingamajigs you might be wearing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 4) A tip jar minion is present for our speaker. Do please show your appreciation!
AetherSalonTipbot waves from the stage edge
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 5) Any tips to help support the establishment will also be welcome – just click on one of the support signs or this handsome clank floating above us.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 6) If you are not a member of the AEther Salon group, there are signs that will let you join up. You’ll be most heartily welcome.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 7) Edited and unedited transcripts of these proceedings will be posted at https://aethersalon.home.blog/.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): 8) Tea and treats are set out – help yourself! Beware of possible Hatchies guarding the sweet biscuits.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Today’s speaker, Fraulein Ceejay Writer, has been a part of the Steamlands, New Babbage, and the Aether Salon for what seems to be most of our collective history, despite her apparent age.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): She is, quite literally, a writer – of fiction, non-fiction, and recipes. We are most fortunate to have her back here today.
Ceejay Writer: Thank you Baron! To return the compliment, I feel like I’ve known you forever! 😀
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach bows
Ceejay Writer: Before I start, I just want to point out I’m wearing a very vintage dress, for a reason. It was designed by the founder of Aether Salon, Viv Trafalgar.
Ceejay Writer: And I am wearing blue stockings for reasons that shall eventually become clear.
Ceejay Writer: And off we go!
Ceejay Writer: I know it’s mid-January, but I want to mention October 12th. It’s a significant historical date. Here’s some notable October 12th events:
1891: Astronomical Society of France is inaugurated.
1933: John Dillinger escapes from the Allen County, Ohio jail.
1960: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe at the United Nations General Assembly session.
2008: The first Aether Salon is held in New Babbage.
Ceejay Writer: I’ll focus on that last date (though the other events could feasibly be interesting Salon topics). I don’t intend to tackle a comprehensive discussion of Salon culture. It’s just too huge a topic! I’ll be focusing on our own virtual version of Salon.
Ceejay Writer: I encourage you to read about the history of salon culture at your leisure. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, and your reading will take you to many countries, where you’ll meet plenty of notable personalities. If you google ‘Salon Society’, you’ll be appalled by the endless list of hairstyling establishments. Try googling ‘Salon Gathering’. Whew! That’s ever so much better.
Ceejay Writer: On Friday, November 14, 2008, a post appeared on the newly-created Aether Salon website titled “An introduction to the Aether Salon (declaration of intent to rouse rabble)”. Three important statements were made in this post:
#1 – Purpose: To bring together people for the free exchange of ideas, information, and what have you. Ideas will be put forward, and in many cases, celebrated. For some, there will be great debate, and then tea.
#2 – Rules of engagement: Topics are always open for discussion, elaboration, praise, and skewering. In general, we ask that proper etiquette is maintained. Wit is of the utmost importance.
#3 – Participants need not participate: listening, lurking, and lollygagging is also welcome. However, should you have an Idea or a Thought, please put it forward.
Ceejay Writer: You might notice that there’s no encouragement to sit quietly while absorbing a lecture. If that’s been your habit, today I want you to speak up, crack wise, display wit, offer wisdom, ask questions (which I may or may not know the answers to but others might!) or at the very least, compliment my outfit. Salon is an interactive social gathering, not a classroom experience. The endless supply of tea and cakes on the back table is a subtle reminder of this. (Enjoy!)
Stereo Nacht: Ms. Writer, your outfit is, erm… Covering? 😉
Ceejay Writer: Why THANK you Stereo, it’s so nice of you to notice!
Ceejay Writer: The Aether Salon was the brainstorm of Babbager Viv Trafalgar, who also built the first salon building. Her co-host was Serafina Puchkina, Babbage’s head librarian at the R.F. Burton Library in the Babbage Canals. Jedburgh Dagger soon joined the staff and the original team was complete.
Ephemeria: nibbles a biscuit
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach) applauds the Commodore
Emilly Shatner-Orr: I’m rather fond of the hair.
Ceejay Writer: Emilly, you are too kind.
Ceejay Writer: IS THERE A FOUNDER IN THE AUDIENCE?
Jedburgh Dagger: Maybe?
Darlingmonster Ember: there is!
Ceejay Writer: Everyone turn and smile at Jed!
Katie: Yay Jed!
Liz Wilner applauds Jed
Wildstar Beaumont claps at Jed
Darlingmonster Ember: ::spins smiling at Jed::
Ephemeria: applauds to Jed!
Ceejay Writer sticks two fingers in her mouth and whistles
Stereo Nacht jumps up and down in excitement
Ceejay Writer: Jasper Kiergarten invented the first wearable Salon chairs and helped with other construction needs, including some of the craft boxes (more about craft boxes later). Many Salon attendees had heaps of fun crabwalking around the salon with a Kiergarten Chair firmly glued to their butts. Bookworm Heinrichs and PJ Trenton both served at various times as Salon photographers.
Katie cheers for wearable chairs
Emilly Shatner-Orr: Craft boxes. This will require further investigation.
Darlingmonster Ember: the chairs…. oh the chairs
Jedburgh Dagger: I was the chair distributor.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Many chairs.
Ceejay Writer: Who still has a butt-chair in their inventory?
Darlingmonster Ember: so many
Rory Torrance: i do!
Darlingmonster Ember: yes
Stereo Nacht still haz one or two in inventory….
Darlingmonster Ember: still
Liz Wilner: I think I do!
Wildstar Beaumont: I do !
OldeSoul Eldemar: Wearing mine
Emilly Shatner-Orr: I have no idea, I’m afraid of my inventory at present
Ceejay Writer: This would be the day to wear it, if you so choose.
OldeSoul Eldemar: I just knew it was the day!
Jedburgh Dagger: I still have all 3 models.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Why, this fine wearable was also a craft!
Ceejay Writer: My goodness, it was!
Rory Torrance: and a crafty craft at that
Ceejay Writer: I find it fitting that New Babbage’s Aether Salon came to life primarily through the efforts of Viv, Sera and Jed—three of the most determined women I’ve met inworld.
Ceejay Writer: After all, in the 18th and 19th centuries, Salon society was predominantly led by women and greatly benefitted them. Women determined who would be invited to their meetings, chose the topics, and moderated the discussions. Those salons were of great help to providing an education for women. During a time when a woman’s intelligence and education was not often encouraged, salons were a place to listen to intellectual women, and even share their own ideas. For many women, salon was their higher education.
Rory Torrance: brava, indeed!
Ceejay Writer: But let’s return to New Babbage. On October 12, 2008, Viv Trafalgar welcomed curious guests to the first ever Aether Salon, “Curses!”, with these words:
“Welcome to the first Aether Salon of Babbage! ::clears throat:: Many ladies such as myself hold salons as a means of both education and entertainment in their community – I hope today’s speakers assist us all in both lights. This salon, as well as those that follow, are intended to please and to educate. As well, because we in Babbage are noted far and wide for our busy hands (ahem. Please put that spoon back, dear.), Our salons will feature a “craft” portion at the end. In this case, as the craft contains eight very sharp objects, we will wait to put the boxes out until the end of the discussion. In hopes that this avoids any … Incidents.”
Ceejay Writer: That first salon featured local Babbage citizens Django Yifu, Beq Janus, and Jed Dagger. Each in turn gave their firsthand account of a recent situation in New Babbage—the arrival of the hand of a giant beast, a hunting trophy from a far-off island, which caused much mayhem in the city. I myself have a hazy memory of being talked down off the roof of Her Dark Materials in Palisade by Miss Bookworm Heinrichs, who claims I was shouting and waving a gun. But I am getting off track… Curses!
Darlingmonster Ember: avoiding incidents since 2008
Rory Torrance: perhaps just an alternate track…
Ceejay Writer: That first salon is also notable for its many witty comebacks from the audience. Most of those were made by DreddPirateBob Streeter, more commonly known around Babbage as just Bob. (It was once proposed that a good topic for a salon would be “What’s Wrong Wiff Bob?”)
Jedburgh Dagger: Salon’s are not long enough to full delve into that
Ceejay Writer: I do miss that smelly little fellow some days… but then I sober up.
Rory Torrance: no longer with us?
Ephemeria: grubby fellow, was he?
Ceejay Writer: Bob’s alternate form is still around in that other reality, he’s quite a character and an artist there. In fact he hand-drew the cover of my first novel.
Katie takes a deep swig from her cup
Darlingmonster Ember: ooo
Ephemeria: nods approvingly
Rory Torrance: oooh!
Ceejay Writer: Jumping forward in time… August 23, 2011, at a salon titled “Forks!”, we bid our farewells to Viv, Sera, and Jed, who were retiring after three marvelous years of Salons.
Darlingmonster Ember: and we had tea
Rory Torrance: thank god for tea or nothing would ever get finished.
Ceejay Writer: Two months after the departure of the original salon staff, it was announced in a post titled “Memories! And A New Salon Building” that the Aether Salon would return, under the leadership of Baron Klaus Wulfenbach. A “spacious mechanical building with some similarities to an astronomical observatory” was constructed by Blackberry Harvey, as the original salon structure had been lost in a “tragic, entirely unexpected and thoroughly not suspicious explosion”.
Darlingmonster Ember: and we would have gotten away with it if not for those nosey kids and their dog
Ceejay Writer: Let’s give the Baron a hand. applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach) bows from his seat
Rory Torrance applaueds
Jedburgh Dagger: I lived in the upper floor of the original Salon buildings until then
Rory Torrance: applauds as well
Emilly Shatner-Orr claps
Liz Wilner applauds
Wildstar Beaumont applauds
Ceejay Writer: Blackberry Harvey has since passed away, and is dearly missed. What a wonderful bunny he was.
Ceejay Writer: Blackberry Harvey’s building was retired not long ago, and replaced by the building we are now standing in, created by Sophie Cloud.
Ceejay Writer: In A Word: Salon Titles
Ceejay Writer: It’s true that in recent times, we’ve strayed from the original challenge of summing up one’s Salon presentation in a word. I’ll admit I’ve become a pest about this recently, and have elbowed the Baron in the ribs a few times about reviving Viv Trafalgar’s original tradition of one-word-plus-exclamation-point titles. And that’s why this Salon is titled “Salon!”
Liz Wilner: I have been scolded a time or two on titling…lol
Ceejay Writer: We scold because we love. ❤
Darlingmonster Ember: who would have thought Ceej for tradition?
Jedburgh Dagger: It was possibly the most fun coming up with a one word title for many of the topics
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): I have tried, in truth.
Wildstar Beaumont: Jimmy is afraid to be yelled at if he let slip a multi word title
Rory Torrance: is hyphenation allowed?
Liz Wilner: oh no
Ceejay Writer: Yes, I have instilled fear in Jimmy, I fear.
Rory Torrance: good good
Ceejay Writer: Rory! You would…. CHEAT?
Rory Torrance: nay madame nevaire!
Darlingmonster Ember: would-he-ever
Rory Torrance: just checking
Liz Wilner: *apostrophes are even chided
Ceejay Writer: Salon Wit
Ceejay Writer: At the heart of Salon culture, there is wit. Making use of a clever turn of a phrase, adding a droll comment, failing to resist making a terrible pun, and other verbal volleys have always been Salon tradition, and encouraged. Wit can be a marvelous tool, and sometimes provides a way of speaking about controversial matters without actually being controversial. Feel free to take that as a challenge.
Ceejay Writer: How many times have you thought to yourself after walking away from a verbal encounter, “Ah! I should have retorted with [a terribly witty phrase]. But there is hope for those who tend to be quick in mind but slow to speak. Our virtual world provides tools to help level the playing field. Being witty is far easier in text than it is in voice. Text buys you a bit of time, and gives you a chance to review your words before you hit that Enter key.
Liz Wilner: most times…lol
Rory Torrance: thank glob
Ephemeria: timing is of the essence, though
Rory Torrance: chat lag, your nemesis!
Katie: that and mosquitos
Ceejay Writer: Happily, those who post chat logs at websites have been known to judiciously move a comment up or down to help it have that right zing!
Darlingmonster Ember: I have so many nemesis still living
Rory Torrance: the mosquitoes have much to account for
Ceejay Writer: If you don’t think you are the witty sort, osmosis can be your friend. By regularly enjoying the company of clever folk, you can gain inspiration for fine-tuning your own comments and comebacks. At the very least, you will be entertained, and that in itself is worthwhile.
Darlingmonster Ember: nods sagely
Ephemeria: as it does for non-native englisch speakers
Ceejay Writer: Overheard at the ‘Peelers!’ salon:
Jedburgh Dagger: In 1862 W.V. Adams patented the first modern style ratcheting handcuffs.
Tepic Harlequin: Dang busybody…
Katie: Turn back, o turn back, time in your flight – I just thought of the comeback I needed last night
Ceejay Writer: Katie, I am stealing that.
Rory Torrance chuckles
Darlingmonster Ember: good one
Katie: Yay! thankee!
Ceejay Writer: If you overhear a wonderfully witty remark and wish to submit it for the “Overheard At The Salon” page at the website, just copy and paste it to a notecard and send it to Ceejay Writer. If it’s really good, I’ll pop it on the front page of the site for a while, too!
Ceejay Writer: Why Not Voice?
Ceejay Writer: The intent of Salon includes placing the audience at a level equal to the speaker. Making use of local chat is an equalizing tool in Second Life. It helps us be inclusive of those with virtual voices that may not be in harmony with the appearance of their avatar. There is also the matter of those with speech and hearing issues. While we would love for Salon to be enjoyed by all, we know that even text isn’t perfect for everyone. There is always room for improvement, and suggestions are always welcome.
Darlingmonster Ember: but not THOSE suggestions
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach) nods firmly at the voice comment
Rory Torrance concurs
Ceejay Writer: Some suggestions I entertain privately. WAIT was that my out-loud voice?
Darlingmonster Ember makes a note in Ceejay’s file
Katie: There are files? Wow, you guys are organized!
Ceejay Writer: Oh, you have no idea how organized we aren’t, Katie.
Stereo Nacht: Ms. Ember haz files on everybuddy! 😉
Liz Wilner wonders about my file…especially that time I….nvm
Emilly Shatner-Orr: Though we have had presenters insist on voice.
Jedburgh Dagger: which also makes transcripts more difficult
Emilly Shatner-Orr: It does.
Ceejay Writer: Those presenters are welcome to have tea with me and talk about it. looks perfectly harmless
Emilly Shatner-Orr snerks. “Yeah, YOU try talking to a Deep One about not using voice. I might sell tickets.”
Liz Wilner: it’s too bad SL doesn’t have a transcriber
Rory Torrance: yes a transcriber is what we need for those few who cant type and prefer voice, there are some
Ceejay Writer: Point taken, Emilly!
Liz Wilner: exactly, Rory
Jedburgh Dagger: The mechanical sorts often produce amusing results
Zanya: I’d like the opposite, something that reads the text in different voices for me so I’m not focused on one corner of the viewer.
Rory Torrance: then we can have an annual ‘best bloopers’ party
Rory Torrance: for transcriber bloopers
Ceejay Writer: This is starting to sound like a new event! Transcriber Bloopers. Someone organize that and I’ll be there!
Rory Torrance: a reader would also be great… cover both ends of the problem. get them lindens on it toute de suite!
Ceejay Writer: Bonus History! Blue Stocking Society
Darlingmonster Ember: aha, the good part arrives
Ceejay Writer waggles a leg
Ceejay Writer: The one that’s most likely to be true (and my favorite) is the story of Benjamin Stillingfleet, an 18th century gentleman who had given up society life and the fancy clothing (including black stockings) that it called for. When invited to a salon, he was encouraged to come ‘in your blue stockings’, which he did. Stillingfleet and his casual-wear blue stockings soon became chic in Salon society.
Liz Wilner: what a rebel
Ceejay Writer: I know, right? Shocking.
Liz Wilner: scandalous!
Ephemeria: Blue stockings indeed
Emilly Shatner-Orr: “That man can’t be trusted. He wears COLORS!”
Rory Torrance: so those were originally homewear, like with your pajamas?
Ceejay Writer: Possibly related to my ultra fuzzy snowflake socks, Rory.
Zanya: Black-sock affair.
Liz Wilner: although I did wear mine today…lol
Katie: Were they related the the Rational Dress people?
Ceejay Writer: Katie – that’s actually a great question. If anyone recalls Rowan Derryth, she would know that answer and I may ask her.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Frau Emilly, blame Beau Brummel.
Emilly Shatner-Orr: That man did have a graceful turn of leg.
Liz Wilner: he is featured in my exhibit
Wildstar Beaumont: Rowan was seen yesterday in Rosehaven at a werewolf event
Ceejay Writer: Oh, nice, Wildstar!
Ceejay Writer: Craft Services!
Ceejay Writer: One moment while I rummage for something…
Jedburgh Dagger: Crafts!
Stereo Nacht: Paper?
Ceejay Writer: I’m so happy you’re here at my salon today! As a memento and token of my appreciation, I offer you a beautifully framed portrait of Benjamin Stillingfleet, he of Blue Stockings fame, to enhance your décor. Just click it and buy a copy for zero lindens.
Ceejay Writer: I daresay the frame may be worth more than the picture, or so they told me on the Antiques Roadshow. And just like in all the best mystery books, there are secrets hidden behind the canvas. Once you’ve received your portrait and taken it home, be sure to get out a penknife and dig around the edges to see what’s inside.
Stereo Nacht: But, but but! We don’t see his socks!
Ceejay Writer: Stereo! Use your imagination!
Katie: the artist didn’t have blue paint
Darlingmonster Ember: I have a pair of his socks… cough… that I found, yes, somewheres
Darlingmonster Ember: so… come to my house if you want
Ceejay Writer: Darling…. we should talk. 😀
Stereo Nacht imagines some nice Tiny legs below his waist, with ‘Ti Clover’s frilly panties and of course, blue stockings.
Ceejay Writer: Thank you all! And though it has nothing to do with Salon, I quickly want to mention that tomorrow would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Betty advocated for animal rights her entire life. In honor of that, many folks around the world will be taking the “Betty White Challenge”. Donate $5 in her name to your favorite animal charity, to honor this amazing woman.
Rory Torrance: that’s a fine idea, cj
Ceejay Writer: I will be helping my cat, Chives, to donate as well.
Jedburgh Dagger: yay Chives!
Stereo Nacht wonders what Chive will be donating…
Ceejay Writer: Chives will donate $5 and possibly a hairball.
Rory Torrance: not to love betty was not to love life. eh?
Ceejay Writer: So true.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): I will see what I can pass on to one of my minions for donation.
Jedburgh Dagger: When Viv came up with the idea for the Salon, she had hoped it would be a cultural and educational event to offset the usual fare that tended to be the norm in SL at the time. The craft boxes were a part of not only having a take-home from the event but gave the audience something they could fiddle with
Ceejay Writer: Thank you for that, Jed!
Ceejay Writer: Transcripts of this Salon (both edited and chock-full-of-commentary) will be posted very soon at the Aether Salon archives website.
Ceejay Writer: I’ll share a list of resources you may be interested in. Don’t worry about scribbling them all down, I’ll make sure to include them in the website transcript for easy reference.
Ceejay Writer: BRACE FOR INCOMING WALL OF RESOURCES
Official Aether Salon Archives:
November 14, 2008: “An Introduction to the Aether Salon (declaration of intent to rouse rabble)” https://aethersalon.home.blog/2008/11/14/introduction/
November 18, 2008: Transcript of the First Aether Salon “Curses!”
August 23, 2011: “Forks! Farewell to the Original Salon Staff”
October 16, 2011: “Memories! And A New Salon Building”
Viv Trafalgar’s First Salon Building, October 10, 2009
Aether Salon Flickr
Aether Chrononauts Events Calendar
“Overheard At The Salon” submissions may be sent to Ceejay Writer in-world on a notecard or emailed to email@example.com
And finally, just a few of the many websites devoted to Salon history:
Ceejay Writer: And that concludes my Salon on Salon! Thank you all for indulging me.
Ceejay Writer: Any questions, witticisms, knock knock jokes?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Any questions for Fraulein Writer on Salon history?
Stereo Nacht: Is it still a knock-knock joke if there is no door?
Emilly Shatner-Orr: Sure, you just have to hide in the bushes
Ceejay Writer: I should have transcripts up tomorrow at https://aethersalon.home.blog/
Rory Torrance: if i did a presentation on 4-dimensional geometry or something, would everyone run away screaming? or just the sensible ones?
Ceejay Writer: Rory, I would not only run, I would run screaming.
Darlingmonster Ember: we could do 4D knitting in quantum space while Rory chats
Katie: 4 dimensions? would we have time for it?
Rory Torrance: might knot, katie
Ceejay Writer: holds up wad of yarn I made a tesseract!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): Herr Torrance, if you can relate it to our current time, we could give it a try.
Emilly Shatner-Orr: It might have application to multiverse interests. We are coming up on the “Let’s Pick the Salons!” day.
Liz Wilner: we already had that
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach): We, erm… missed it, actually, but are happy to take submissions.
Emilly Shatner-Orr: So next year: “Come to the Aether Salon! You may learn something!”
Jedburgh Dagger: Its worthwhile to get on the list, because ‘Things Happen’
Stereo Nacht: One word might be… “Brains!”
Ceejay Writer: Oh no, Stereo’s gone zombie.
Rory Torrance: darn, you couldnt even say “Glial cells!” – two words, no hyphenation. this salon titling is tough!
Ceejay Writer: Rory – it’s supposed to be a challenge.
Ceejay Writer: Glial! there you go.
Ephemeria: Glial cells, that’s a thought
(and from there the discussion went into detail about the colors of chicken eggs until we all left.)
If you wish to read this transcript with all the chatter left in, here is the unedited version.