Re: academics - and museum professionals - as snobs
- From: probably Lynda and maybe Derek Leopold <leopold@...>
I must agree with your opinion that academics usually look down their
noses at re-enactors<snip> We get the "treatment" from the curator of a little local museum here that
we used to be very involved with, but now just can't really bother, because
all our ideas about bringing history to life are nixed due to the giant rut
the woman has carved out for herself <snip>
Jim adds: some museum professionals are quite supportive of our efforts, realizing that we are supportive of their sites... and some of those professionals, like Dave Webb, who has been involved in many units & founded the 41st Unit here in Windsor lo these many years ago, have been involved to the extent that "supportive" seems an inadequate description!
But... then there's the "others...". I guess we've all had run-ins with territorial museum types who treat us like we're crossing their picket line (taken as either a "union" or "military" analogy here; "union" as in labour relations, not ACW... [gawd... sorry!]) ; or "know-it-all" types who can't possibly concede that we might know more about our impression than they do.
I remember attending a local institution for some minor special occasion a few years back. This site has a uniformed interpreter do a musket demo once per hour, and two of us were invited to join in. As a special treat, they decided we could fire a whole two shots: once "by the book" and then a fast battle reload. The "pros" of the staff were all confidently predicting us amateurs would be shown up bad.
Well, you can all guess what happened. On the fast battle reload (rammed), we beat the staff guy so bad that I almost felt embarrassed for him... but not quite!
To do justice to the site, one other (more senior) staff person came over and loudly congratulated us.
I find it is often the junior, perhaps more insecure, staffers who can be condescending etc., but of course pricks come in all sizes & ranks. These people can do a lot of damage to their site's reputation with the re-enacting crowd, which is a shame.
I don't recall having a lot of contact with "academics" per se, but museum professionals... I like playing at the big forts, so what they think & do is important!