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RE: [medievalsawdust] Achievable periodness?

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  • Bill McNutt
    ... From: Dragano Abbruciati [mailto:dragano_abbruciati@yahoo.com] Here s my perspective as an SCA Newbee.  Sitting here today, I have one set of garb and one
    Message 1 of 49 , Mar 1, 2004
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Dragano Abbruciati [mailto:dragano_abbruciati@...]

      Here's my perspective as an SCA Newbee.  Sitting here today, I have one
      set of garb and one in the process of being made.  I still don't have
      period footgear or headgear.  I don't have a pavilion.  I haven't quite
      finished researching the basic storyline for my persona, and the
      personas of my lady wife and Scadian daughter.  I have my device done,
      but haven't even strated on thiers.  I want to get us all registered,
      with devices, at the same time, so technically, I'm not even in the
      SCA!  Sould any or all of these shortcomings preclude me from coming to
      an event to observe, learn, and interact with others? 
      NO! Just achieve your best effort at pre-16 century clothing and come
      take a look. If a lack of period footwear precluded participation, over
      90% of our knights could not participate.

      From this perspective, my attendance at any event gives me the
      opportunity to see the level to which I can take this endeavor.  I
      realize that there are those who will cease to strive as soon as they
      have reached the minimum acceptible standard.  But, is that the "norm"
      in the SCA?  What would be the point of being there at all with that

      Statistically speaking, there is no "mean." Our "Average" is all over
      the chart. Each aspect is given a different level of importance
      depending on who is talking, who is looking, and where they are.

      Many people who have strict adherence to 16th century Elizabethan garb
      either only attend one-day events, or camp in nylon coleman cabin tents
      and eat hot dogs.

      Some people whose fighting kit must be pretty, technologically and
      visually consistent are perfectly content to sleep on an army-surplus
      cot and drink coca-cola straight from the can at feast.

      My own fighting kit makes no sense. Gothic knees with leather greaves
      and thigh protection, all suspended from a late 20th century US Army
      A.L.I.C.E web strap set. Add a weight-lifter's belt for kidney
      protection, leather arms/cops and a spun top helm that MIGHT pass as
      something kinda saxon-ish if you took the bar-stock off, then throw a
      blue trigger tabard over it and hope to God no one looks too close.

      And I'm not the least authentic fighter on the battlefield. At least
      I’m not wearing any visible plastic.

      Why? Fighting isn't my focus. I'm a woodworker who likes to shoot
      people when they get too close to his wood-shop.

      For me, participation is more important that authenticity. My mantra is
      "more authentic next time." And the next time I have to replace my
      fighting kit, I will get something that is more consistent internally,
      and more visually acceptable. It does pass the ten-foot rule, or what I
      call the "Conan Test."

      I seek your collective wisdom.  Should I come as I am?  Should I wait
      until I've reached a certain level?  Should I dream of the day when I
      have a week's worth of period garb and a complete campsite totally
      period to my persona?  Or, should I just give it up now before I've
      spent any more time and money because, it really doesn't matter how OOP
      you are as long as you have a good time?

      I have been in the SCA since 1982. I have only just now achieved seven
      authentic 16th century shirts, allowing me the daily change of cloths
      that modern hygiene required from me without needing to do laundry on my
      vacation. Dear God, do not spend that much time and money before you
      find out if you can stand to hang out with us.

      For heaven's sake, show up and play. You'll never be turned away from
      an event for being inauthentic.

      Just always strive to be "more authentic next time," and the game will
      continue to get better for everyone.

    • Dragano Abbruciati
      Wow! The original of that conversation string goes WAY back. *counts on fingers* Eight months or so!!!!! Dragano rmhowe wrote: ...
      Message 49 of 49 , Oct 13, 2004
        Wow!  The original of that conversation string goes WAY back.  *counts on fingers*  Eight months or so!!!!!

        rmhowe <MMagnusM@...> wrote:
        James Winkler wrote:
        > Parameters are funny things... kinda' like dogs.  Most mutts are easy
        > goin' and just wanna' be scratched and petted now and then...  Some like
        > to be rough-housed around with...  some like to sit on the front porch
        > and growl at everything that walks by.  So you'll find the range of
        > opinions and attitudes in the SCA.  Most are pretty tolerant and easy
        > going... there are some who seem to have socialization problems of one
        > sort or another and anybody can have a bad day.

        > If it folks or dogs growl... give em' room.
        > If folks or dogs wanna' play... they'll play.  If not... they won't....
        > If folks or dogs act up... smack em' with a newspaper... or a chunk of
        > rattan if they're in armor...

        I find that the simple truth is always the best defense myself.
        Sometimes there are differing ideas of what the truth is but I
        generally have found that simply repeating what comes out of
        some peoples' mouths in front of them is usually what it takes
        to rein them in when it becomes necessary under the right circumstances.

        > Bottom line... all depends on which pack of dogs ya' decide to run with
        > as to what you're SCA experience will be like...  welcome to the new
        > middle ages.

        98% of the SCA are very nice folks.
        The other two percent usually have some serious problems.
        And honestly, those we don't discourage can become really
        obnoxious at times. My personal pet peeve is the honorary
        peerage, which isn't one of the three the SCA officially
        recognizes but some of whom are determined to prove how
        much better they are than anyone else and bask in their
        personal glory. Which rattles my personal chain from time to time.
        This is a much lower % than the general population however.
        And honestly, around here at least, if they aren't sitting
        the throne they tend to be largely ignored.

        As I have grown older I have become much more specific about
        the kinds of folks I want to associate with. This generally
        excludes the social climbers, problem peers with exalted attitudes
        about how much better they and their opinions are than anyone
        else's, those who take unfair or dishonest advantage of
        kindnesses shown to them, etc.

        I suppose it's the egalitarian in me. I don't believe anyone
        is better than anyone else. However, I seriously believe that
        some people can show themselves beneath many other people.
        Depends on the attitude.

        > Woof...
        > Three Finger Charlie

        >     Thank you all for your replies.  I was just trying to get a feel for
        >     the parameters within which I would feel comfortable engaging with
        >     other SCA members.  I will be attending my first event on March 13th
        >     (The Winter's End Collegium and Competition in Huntsville, AL).
        >     Shoes and headgear be damned....let the fun begin!

        The SCA isn't anything worth sweating blood over for your first event.
        I have never heard of famous rudenesses in Meridies as I have several
        other kingdoms I won't name. But three of seventeen or so really isn't
        that bad as a whole for the SCA. I shouldn't wait six months to attend
        your first event. The SCA is however probably the most inclusive
        group you may ever join. Some may very well become your friends
        for most of your remaining life if you aren't careful.

        Ask who the Chatelaine is who controls the Golden
        Key (Garb hoard) in your area. It's their job to help you integrate
        and feel comfortable among us. It does help to tell people you are
        new and introduce yourself. The reason is there are so MANY people
        in the SCA and they are so busy with their own projects, activities
        and old friends they may very well think you have your own already
        and simply don't know you because they think you're from another area.
        This is where many newcomers think the SCA is ignoring them - but in the
        vast majority of times they are not being ignored at all - they won't
        know you are new and need help if you don't tell them. Walk up
        and introduce yourself. If your local officers have any sense they
        ask at events and meetings who's new.  Then they welcome them, or
        should. My very big barony has grown from circa 30 people 23 years
        ago in three cantons to around 500 in about to be six cantons and
        unaffiliated outlying areas. Heck, we don't know all of US.

        No one expects you to show up looking 100% for the first few years,
        or decades, in this particular reenactment group. The SCA began as
        a party and has continued in that tradition. The fact that certain
        members have improved things and research since then is laudable
        but by no means obligatory for new people. When you see folks
        depicting the pre-christian era at an event with people doing
        Elizabethan from maybe 2000 years later it gets a bit jarring.
        This leads to themed events and sometimes to alternate groups entirely.

        Regia Anglorum [ http://www.regia.org/ ]
        are probably the greatest sticklers for early medieval authenticity
        and refer to other groups as superficially similar societies or SSS.

        However - What was particularly hilarious to me, and I saw/read it
        happen at the time, was when Regia first began interaction with a number
        of SCA Laurels on the North American list and found out many of our SCA
        researchers were pretty much up to snuff, or possibly a bit ahead
        of theirs. So it goes. Right now it's pretty much mutual respect.
        Since the paid membership of the SCA is nearly 50 times larger than
        Regia's it also figures we have a larger number of serious researchers.
        They just happened to attract some of the ones interested in their
        time period right at first. Funny was what it was. Really. Then again
        the SCA has been around nearly twice as long as Regia has too.

        I'm a paid member of both groups myself.

        It's not who you are, or who you think you are, but what you learn
        and share and do with others. Everyone shares, everyone wins - with the
        simple disclaimer that there are always 'edicated idiots' out there
        who must be sifted out in their diverse opinions.  You don't want
        to be taking advice about using chemicals from someone who is not a
        chemist for example. They could advise you to harm yourself.

        Magnus, OL, SCA / Regia / Manx / Great Dark Horde

        >     Dragano

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