Yesterday – 1 April – Thom Yorke tweeted this picture …
To date, there have been 1300 retweets and 36oo likes …
In exactly one week, Furillen’s new Bar Cafe Fabriken will open its doors, with a music event on Saturday evening, European time. I’ll be announcing details of this during the week. Here is some history.
A quick Furillen recap to start with: The island gained importance in the beginning of the 20th century, when a German company established a limestone industry there. In the 1970s the industry closed down and the Swedish military took over the island, turning it into an area off limits to the public. Radar stations were placed on the island back then and decommissioned again in the late 1990s. But the Swedish military is still operating smaller installations on Furillen with a reduced number of troops.
Being away from family and friends the remaining troops stationed on Furillen had a hard time to fight boredom on the rather dull and deserted island. To prevent them from depression and cabin fever, the Swedish Department of Defense decided to convert one of the abandonned buildings which had formerly been used by the encryption department (the troops themselves had called it the “Swedish Bletchley Park bunker”) into some sort of event location.
That is when Bar Cafe Fabriken was born. The plan was to provide entertainment on one hand, thinking along the lines of Marilyn Monroe visiting the troops in South Korea to cheer them up, artists and entertainers were to be invited over to Furillen on a regular basis.
The second approach of Bar Cafe Fabriken was to simply provide a space for the troops, where they could meet and socialize, talk, laugh, dance, chill, and even more, where they could be creative, express themselves, have a stage and think outside the box.
A very unusual approach for a military authority, but soon it turned out that the Ministry’s plan worked out just great and exceeded any expectations. The Furillenite troops were really enthusiastic about the new addition to their otherwise pretty boring routine. They started to engage and become active participants of “Bar Café Fabriken”. It seemed as if the bar was not only affecting their free time but also their working life. All of a sudden there was a feeling of teamwork, togetherness and a sense of responsibility among them like never before.
Meanwhile “Bar Cafe Fabriken” has become a synonym for “Grant space and freedom instead of confining rules”, and the Furillenite troops are a thriving community. Let’s keep this spirit up at Virtual Furillen!
It’s Rock ‘n Roll night at Furillen tonight. I’ll be streaming the soundtrack from Grease, and throwing in a few other tracks for good measure.
I’ve installed a drive-in for the event, in the corner of the sim where the boat used to be. Check it out – it will be gone tomorrow !
Meanwhile, to get you in the mood …
I’m not usually into practical jokes. Many of the ‘practical jokers’ I met in my life turned out to be bullies in disguise; or just not funny in that I-feel-forced-to-find-this-funny kind of way.
My favourite April Fools was a letter I received from a bank – my sister worked for them at the time – asking me to repay money I was alleged to have received from a cash machine over and above the amount I had requested. They were asking for around £300.
I wrote them a fierce letter, and then phoned my sister in a strop, asking for her advice. She strung me along for quite a while before I cottoned on to the fact that the letter had come from her.
I was a student at the time, and had no idea it was 1 April. That was also the year in which it took me 36 hours to realise that summer time had commenced – I was living an hour behind everyone else. Those were the days …
These days, I tend to find the funniest April Fools are news items that look like they ‘ought’ to be pranks, but turn out to be true. Some favourites from today include:
These are all true … unlike my earlier post about the closure of Furillen, which I am delighted to say was a joke.
Thanks to all of you who messaged me – and posted comments here – expressing concern. And to those who caught on without letting on.
To be fair, I did leave some clues – the ‘tag’ on the post that simply read ‘April First’, and the doormat on the sim’s landing point.
But to all of you …
While yesterday’s flash flood at Furillen did seem rather biblical in scale, I don’t usually go in for omens. But when I looked at my emails last night I could be forgiven for believing that the sim had indeed been visited by something of an apocalyptic nature.
There were two messages marked ‘urgent’: one from Linden Labs, and one from a Swedish legal firm.
Both convey the same underlying message: the sim reproduces a location in the real world that is subject to copyright law; I have not sought permission – etc. etc.
The Linden Labs message is quite reasonable and conciliatory … but, typically, takes a hands-off approach and merely states that the company policy on all such matters is to ensure legal compliance. Which in this case, as the somewhat less conciliatory letter from the Swedish law firm states, means closure by end of business today.
So that’s it. By 1700 today, European time, Furillen will cease to exist in Second Life.
So do make a last visit if you can – it was fun.
I will – alas – not be inworld much during the day, but will log on to switch off the lights at the allotted time. I am thinking about what to do next, although after this bombshell, I feel a bit disillusioned about life on the grid.