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Monday, July 04, 2005

AMERICANA REBORN

I lift my shining prim besides the golden door...

Born in revolution at the beginning of the world, fallen to decline soon afterward, lost in the land rush and the money-making, the Americana project has begun anew. Restored on Fairchang island, led by land owners Pituca Chang and Garth Fairlight, with other members of the original group and new members, Americana is a tribute to distinctly American landmarks, including the Washington Monument, the Chrysler Building, and the St. Louis Arch. (In this, they've taken over from George Busch, the Resident who began Americana back in the Beta period.)

"Liberty Tesla put up her amazing Statue of Liberty to welcome all to Americana," Pituca tells me. Fleabite Beach, the kitty cat who led the 2003 revolt against unfair taxes is back, and in charge of the sewer system. A World War II-era Victory Garden is imminent, along with Midwestern farm houses, a pharmacy, a gas station stocked with period cars, and a 50's era schoolhouse "(icky green paint and all)" join classic buildings from the original Americana.

"Jai Nomad (of the original Americana) built a Prairie Church when the owner of the original didn't want to be involved in Americana anymore," she adds. Jai is actually from Northern England, Pituca notes, "and didn't know what she was building! I sent her pictures and prompted her. What an amazing job she did." Garth Fairlight, who created the Area 51 site and a Drive-in Theater, is also in England. (So the task for recreating Americana, in other words, has been partly outsourced to the British.)

And the rats! The dancing rats are back. I am nostalgic for the dancing rats (and the insurrectionist midget who once led them). May they always wave the flag of protest and free debate, and may the prim-based Lady Liberty always welcome newcomers in search of self-governance and the chance at a new life.

Update, 7/6: Welcome UK Guardian readers! You may be interested in this quasi-followup, on how international users' experiences in SL have influenced their opinion of actual Americans.

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