A Few of My Favorite Things
- In recent posts, some people set forth some statements in which they seemed to say that this list wasn't sufficiently authenticity supportive, or authenticity hard-core. (Please don't quibble, ya know the discussions I mean, I'm trying to sum up.) I got sore and wrote a self-justification, which hasn't shown up yet, I think I may have sent it direct to someone by accident. If so, I didn't mean to. Delete, or forward, or whatever you choose.
And Diarmaid discussed some options, including leaving, renaming the list Quasi-Authentic, or trying to make Authentic look like more fun. I'm jumping off on the last part.
Discussions on this list about the Theory of Authenticity are NOT fun for me. When we discuss Theory of Authenticity, people get self-righteous and crabby, yrs. truly included, and old wounds are opened, and sooner or later people go off mad.
But I began to think about what has actually inspired me to try to do things more authentically, to try to do things, or to imagine a future in which I might: things that have had the effect on me we're always wishing in this list we could have on the SCA. This is not particulary chronological, or in order of significance. It's just a list:
Cariadoc's in-persona presence. He never hams it up. It's so subtle you could miss it. He doesn't talk forsoothly, he doesn't stick in random discussions of contemporary-for-him politics. And yet, he _feels_ medieval to me. The small phrases, the gestures, the way he moves and dresses and talks, all work. It's a work of art. I could do that, if I researched my butt off, and really TRIED.
Sylvie la Chardonniere hit my shire like lightning, and we may never be the same. Sylvie got me to actually sew TWO fitted gowns, and then rip one apart because I needed to do it again right. She didn't bug me or nothing, she was just so involved in getting authentic garb, and she had the books, and she went to the Netherton workshop, and, and, and...because all this was happening, I researched, and read, and looked at pictures, and made something that was more complex and authentic than I had previously made. I even went to a button workshop to find out how to make buttons for the damn sleeves. Sylvie's presence, her influence.
Did I mention she also cooked a whole suckling pig and made armor for the chicken riding him? I thought to myself that I could have read about something like that, but it wouldn't have occured to me to try to cook it. But Sylvie did. Now I know you can. Not in theory, really.
Urtatim's knitting. Same deal. There's one in a book, and there can be one in real life. You too can have tenth century socks. Did she preach? Did she criticize my socks? No, she knitted. I watched. I still don't knit, but I understand something about the practical side of research now.
Parlan McGilliveray arriving at an event my shire put on, getting out of his car in a pair of the silliest, most correct, pattens I've ever seen in my life.
A woman whose name I've forgotten who made the outfit Queen Emma's wearing in some picture or other, and posted it on AmIPeriodOrNot (and got trashed by some yahoos there, IIRC). It was perfect.
A few of the pictures on AmIPeriodOrNot. Not the flashy stuff, the stuff that looked perfect.
Everything Moshe has ever done or said in my presence. THe part about the toothbrushing in particular.
All of this was by example. If we want others to be inspired, we need to let them see what we're doing. That's my theory.
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