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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Military personas (was other lists)

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  • Steven Proctor
    Rod and I (who, for the record live about a 5 minute car ride away from each other, and occasionally car-pool to events...) have had this discussion before,
    Message 1 of 7 , May 31, 2001
      Rod and I (who, for the record live about a 5 minute car ride away from
      each other, and occasionally car-pool to events...) have had this
      discussion before, and extensively... :-D

      Stephan Barratt wrote:

      > My going to an event involves carrying the things a soldier would
      > carry, and no more. It involves camping as a soldier would. For me
      > that frequently involves using no more than an 8x10 square of canvas
      > rather than a tent and just one or
      > two blankets. In other words, I must be able to go to an event for
      > the
      > weekend and be able to carry my entire kit from the car to the
      > campsite in
      > one trip, on my back.

      I still think you take a rather puritanical line on this, Rod. I think
      it's not unreasonable for a 'soldier' of your station, a constable of
      the castle and captain of the garrison, to justify a pack horse for even
      smaller campaigns, and the King's Captain of Artillery could justify a
      small baggage train. You just don't like packing the truck... :-)

      I don't have any problem with the concept of a baggage train. The only
      time I would be without even a minor one (say only one cart or two pack
      horses) is in an extreme emergency. But then I'm not attempting to
      recreate the same station that you are...

      > I guess what it involves is not just creating a persona, but actually
      > living it. One of the other groups I am involved with has had an
      > ongoing
      > thread on their list called 'Dare to be Common'. They are not talking
      > about class or manners, but about the fact that in any given period,
      > most
      > people live in a similar way, given similarity of
      > occupation/condition. We
      > refer to ourselves (as a Society) as minor nobility, but many of our
      > artifacts, garb, actions, etc., are far more suited to Dukes and
      > above. These things would not be common in period, even to the great
      > majority of nobility. And the later period you are, the more likely
      > you
      > are to be middle class.

      I can agree with you on that. Many, many people show up to their first
      even in clothes, and with accouterments that would be more likely found
      at the King's table than at even that of 'minor' nobility. It's one of
      the problems of the SCA, the fact that it's inclusiveness, while being a
      major factor of it's being fun, is also a major factor in it's being
      wildly inauthentic. We have no vetting process, no 'this is what you
      should have, this is what it should be made of' pamphlet like you have
      for Blackwells. It's an issue that only aggressive (though not
      obnoxious) education on the part of those who know better is going to

      > Morgan and I have often discussed the idea of
      > 'Station', having goods and acting as your persona actually would
      > according
      > to rank. this has resulted in hours of discussion about prices of
      > goods,
      > income from rents and in kind, and how much land you would actually
      > have to
      > own to live the way many do in the Society.

      Yep. That's why I have an extensive knowledge of what estates I hold,
      and how I hold them. I know what taxes and fees I should collect, and
      when I should collect them. While there are moments where I know that in
      order to do the things I do in the society (sewing and calligraphy
      primarily) I should have a middle class station, I don't particularly
      *want* to have that sort of station. But, conversely, I *have* done the
      research to support the station I am in... which I believe is the point
      of the argument, really. :-)

      By gift of the Crown I am a baron twice over, and a peer of the realm.
      Given that, in a historical context, I actually keep far less 'state'
      than I really should. A great deal of that is due to the fact that
      I-as-mundane cannot afford to go around having a household of thousands,
      gold plate and service, or a stable of horses. I'm not a Count or a
      Duke, I'm a baron. A fairly wealthy baron, mind you, but even so. Given
      the civil war in Brittany, the general war in France, and, God preserve
      us from it, the Pest, none of my lands are worth what they were in my
      Fathers time, and the estates I was granted in Poitou with my peerage
      are, it's becoming more apparent each day, a fixer upper opportunity, if
      I may use a euphemism... :-)

      > Should the Society (and we as Authenticists in particular) be more
      > careful
      > about how we build our personae? As well as justifying that an object
      > actually existed in a certain form, should we have a least some
      > justification that we could actually expect to posess such an object?

      Yes, definitely. While my station is high, there *are* things that I
      would not in all likelihood posses. While I could get 'gold' plates and
      service, I'm not going to, as I wouldn't. I also am trying to instill
      this idea in the minds of my vassals and retainers.

      I have been making the move recently from a 'Ivory Tower' authenticist
      to a 'In the Field' authenticist, by which I mean that I am trying more
      to, as you put it, 'live the persona'. This, in it's own way, is going
      to take care of a lot of that artifactage. No more easy super-fancy
      court garb, and that mostly because of the price of materials. Do you
      have *any* idea how much silk (or even wool) satin costs? Let me tell
      you it's waaaay more than $3 a yard at JoAnns, or even $5 a yard at
      Horowitz for the good stuff... :-). I've done the research enough to
      know that, even in my station, the money is *not* endless, and that if I
      want to portray the station accurately, I can't really be fabulously
      wealthy. As far as nobility goes, I'm middle class, how's that? :-)

      > I'll shut up now, having probably insulted too many people. Sorry for
      > the
      > rambling, but I think this is a valid question.

      Of course it is, silly man. I don't think you've insulted people,
      especially on this list... :-)


      The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first
      female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick,
      rubbery lips unmistakably -- the first of many such advances during what
      would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my
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