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[SCA Newcomers] Authenticity as an OPTION for newcomers

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  • bronwynmgn@aol.com
    In a message dated 7/1/2004 3:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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      In a message dated 7/1/2004 3:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

      <<That is the reason why our
      corpora states that the only requirement is that you make an 'attempt"
      at pre-seveteenth century clothing. We do not want to restrict them. We
      want them to come and to learn and to play. Maybe someday they will
      convert as you did, maybe they will not. >>

      Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling information
      about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.
      I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*, not is,
      or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical to go
      with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
      unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or throwing it away to
      the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every newcomer who
      encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of course,
      pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way I do or
      they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices" thread, you
      will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I compared the
      two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of period
      fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
      ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am somehow preventing
      them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
      minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be "restricting
      people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another option of how
      to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
      broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not restricting them.

      How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
      minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience, who want
      to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
      everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and they never get
      to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else steers them
      away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them
      we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to play
      in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who can't tell
      history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
      "educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene entirely. That
      benefits nobody.

      I don't care if people choose to use cheap fabrics because they are just
      getting started, or for any other reason that seems good to them, as long as they
      are making an informed decision. I'll even help them make their standard SCA
      T-tunic or wench garb out of their old bedsheet if that's what they decide
      they really want to do after learning about all the options. Heck, I just taught
      a newcomer to my shire the old chemise cheat I was taught when I joined, and
      gave her and her daughters some of my old clothes that I don't wear anymore
      because they aren't accurate enough for my tastes. We'd talked about period
      options and they decided they aren't really interested until one of them learns
      to sew better.

      What I mind is that newcomers are never given the chance to make an informed
      choice, because no one even offers them the period option. They are told how
      to do things based on SCA cheats and tradition. People assume that because
      these are newcomers they a) aren't interested in anything else, b) can't handle
      the information ("it will scare them away"), c) will be content to do the
      SCAdian shortcuts until they've been around some undetermined number of years,
      and d) at all costs must be kept away from those authenticity people who will
      force them at swordpoint to go to the fabric store and spend all their money on
      wool and linen - or buy and raise a flock of sheep and make their own wool,
      not to mention growing their own linen, building their own loom with a
      pocketknife, and so on.

      I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
      period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years, because
      nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had taught me
      about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that mattered to
      me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and finding out
      I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to find out
      that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who are deeply
      interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it - not forcing
      them to, just making the information available for those who want it. That's
      not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
      the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's all I'm
      trying to do - present another option.


      Brangwayna Morgan
      Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
      Lancaster, PA


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Iustinos Tekton called Justin
      ... From my perspective as one of the list moderators... This is an essential point. Brangwayna attempted to do this in her first post. Her wording perhaps
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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        On Thursday 01 July 2004 17:32, bronwynmgn@... wrote:
        > All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
        > the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game.

        From my perspective as one of the list moderators...

        This is an essential point. Brangwayna attempted to do this in her first post.
        Her wording perhaps left her intent less clear than she had intended, and
        some list members were offended. They reacted, Brangwayna clarified her
        intent, and someone else thanked her for doing so. Brangwayna wasn't wrong
        for trying to encourage authenticity, nor were others wrong for trying to
        remind people that not everyone will want to be fully authentic.

        I think we all agree that authenticity is good but that it has to be
        tempered with good sense, given each individual's limitations in time, money,
        and interest. I'm willing to bet that everyone agrees on the fundamentals,
        and that the contention is more about *how* each person's thoughts were
        expressed on the list than about *what* the person was thinking. Email is a
        very imprecise medium sometimes, because it lacks the nuances of facial
        expression and body language that lend kindness to a face-to-face discussion.

        Please, everyone, take a deep breath and try to remember that we are all
        honorable lords and ladies of these Current Middle Ages. The authenticity
        versus fun debate is as old as the SCA itself, and we will not solve it
        here by shouting at one another. A flame war will drive away both newcomers
        and veterans alike from this list.

        I'm not asking for the thread to end, only for its continuance to be built
        on courtesy. Whatever side you are on, please respect the fact that those
        who disagree are also well-intentioned just as you are. There are no
        villains here, only heroes who speak a slightly different dialect.

        Justin

        --
        ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
        Maistor Iustinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
        Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two
        keys fesswise reversed sable.

        Marche of Alderford (Canton, Ohio) http://4th.com/sca/justin/
        justin@... PGP Public Key at http://4th.com/keys/justin.pubkey
      • Lisa Briner
        ... minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience, who want to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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          >>How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
          minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience,
          who want
          to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
          everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else,

          Count me as one of those newcomers. I want to be more authentic in my garb
          for MYSELF.


          >>. All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
          the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's all
          I'm
          trying to do - present another option.

          I absolutely agree! In fact, I thougt your original post was so good that I
          saved it.

          Thank you,
          Ysabel
        • Lisa Briner
          Once again, Justin, you are the voice of reason. (Have you considered a career in conflict management?) Thank you, Ysabel
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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            Once again, Justin, you are the voice of reason. (Have you considered a
            career in conflict management?)

            Thank you,
            Ysabel
          • Milica of Varna
            That s what he needs, another career! :-P Milica ... d -- ************************************************************************************** THL
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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              <snort!> That's what he needs, another career! :-P

              Milica

              On Thursday 01 July 2004 18:42, Lisa Briner wrote:
              > Once again, Justin, you are the voice of reason. (Have you considered a
              > career in conflict management?)
              >
              > Thank you,
              > Ysabel
              >
              >
              d

              --
              **************************************************************************************

              THL Milica of Varna
              Middle Kingdom Chronicler
              chronicler@...

              **************************************************************************************
            • Kirianna
              Hello, I apologize that I read it defensively. Perhaps it was my own bias and perhaps it was the way things were worded. We were scared away after our first
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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                Hello,

                I apologize that I read it defensively. Perhaps it was my own bias and
                perhaps it was the way things were worded.

                We were scared away after our first summer of events three years ago by
                a rude officer in our barony who decided to use my husband as an example
                of ... well, I don't really know what. He made a simple mistake with
                wording over an email list (he called a moot "court" not fully
                understanding the difference) and he was pubically humiliated over it.
                We decided not to go back after this as we didn't want to be treated
                poorly over simple mistakes. We didn't fully realize that this wasn't a
                true representation of the SCA. We've been talked into trying it again.
                Which is good, because we did so enjoy that summer and the events we
                attended. (Our son even won a chilvary award!)

                Three years later, we'll be trying it again. We'll be attending a rather
                large event. I'm excited again. But I tell ya... it IS scary. We are
                truly newbies, and will probably make mistakes. I only hope that when
                corrected the next time, it will be done so tactfully and tastefully as
                I do want to be corrected if I do something wrong and I certainly want
                to learn!

                So, what I'm trying to say is I do appreciate being presented with all
                options and opinions, and feel some care could be taken to be sure that
                newcomers are treated with respect when they ask questions or make
                mistakes. Afterall, this is all about having fun too, right? :)

                Thank you for taking the time to explain further.

                ~Kirianna

                bronwynmgn@... wrote:

                >In a message dated 7/1/2004 3:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                >scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:
                >
                ><<That is the reason why our
                >corpora states that the only requirement is that you make an 'attempt"
                >at pre-seveteenth century clothing. We do not want to restrict them. We
                >want them to come and to learn and to play. Maybe someday they will
                >convert as you did, maybe they will not. >>
                >
                >Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling information
                >about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.
                >I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*, not is,
                >or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical to go
                >with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
                >unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or throwing it away to
                >the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every newcomer who
                >encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of course,
                >pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way I do or
                >they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices" thread, you
                >will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I compared the
                >two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of period
                >fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
                >ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am somehow preventing
                >them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
                >minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be "restricting
                >people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another option of how
                >to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
                >broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not restricting them.
                >
                > How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
                >minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience, who want
                >to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
                >everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and they never get
                >to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else steers them
                >away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them
                >we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to play
                >in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who can't tell
                >history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
                >"educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene entirely. That
                >benefits nobody.
                >
                >I don't care if people choose to use cheap fabrics because they are just
                >getting started, or for any other reason that seems good to them, as long as they
                >are making an informed decision. I'll even help them make their standard SCA
                >T-tunic or wench garb out of their old bedsheet if that's what they decide
                >they really want to do after learning about all the options. Heck, I just taught
                >a newcomer to my shire the old chemise cheat I was taught when I joined, and
                >gave her and her daughters some of my old clothes that I don't wear anymore
                >because they aren't accurate enough for my tastes. We'd talked about period
                >options and they decided they aren't really interested until one of them learns
                >to sew better.
                >
                >What I mind is that newcomers are never given the chance to make an informed
                >choice, because no one even offers them the period option. They are told how
                >to do things based on SCA cheats and tradition. People assume that because
                >these are newcomers they a) aren't interested in anything else, b) can't handle
                >the information ("it will scare them away"), c) will be content to do the
                >SCAdian shortcuts until they've been around some undetermined number of years,
                >and d) at all costs must be kept away from those authenticity people who will
                >force them at swordpoint to go to the fabric store and spend all their money on
                >wool and linen - or buy and raise a flock of sheep and make their own wool,
                >not to mention growing their own linen, building their own loom with a
                >pocketknife, and so on.
                >
                > I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
                >period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years, because
                >nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had taught me
                >about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that mattered to
                >me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and finding out
                >I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to find out
                >that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who are deeply
                >interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it - not forcing
                >them to, just making the information available for those who want it. That's
                >not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
                >the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's all I'm
                >trying to do - present another option.
                >
                >
                >Brangwayna Morgan
                >Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
                >Lancaster, PA
                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >

                --
                www.jackntracie.com
                Live, and learn...


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Milica of Varna
                Boy can I relate! My first event, as well as Justin s, was Pennsic. I can t say that I was really scared, but intimidated, yes. So many people in fancy garb
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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                  Boy can I relate! My first event, as well as Justin's, was Pennsic. I can't
                  say that I was really scared, but intimidated, yes. So many people in fancy
                  garb and brass hats. What I did learn is that most of them were not only
                  friendly and very nice, but also delighted to answer all the crazy questions
                  I put to them.

                  When we decided to attempt to start a shire several years later, we made many
                  mistakes, but again, we were fortunate to find many kind people in the SCA
                  who were patient with our foibles and willing to gently guide us.

                  I guess that's why I'm still playing 14 years later. :-)

                  Milica

                  On Thursday 01 July 2004 20:01, Kirianna wrote:
                  > Three years later, we'll be trying it again. We'll be attending a rather
                  > large event. I'm excited again. But I tell ya... it IS scary. We are
                  > truly newbies, and will probably make mistakes. I only hope that when
                  > corrected the next time, it will be done so tactfully and tastefully as
                  > I do want to be corrected if I do something wrong and I certainly want
                  > to learn!

                  --
                  **************************************************************************************

                  THL Milica of Varna
                  Middle Kingdom Chronicler
                  chronicler@...

                  **************************************************************************************
                • tori T
                  Brangwayna, I was not trying to attack you or say anything bad about you, I m sorry if it seemed that way. Things in your first post were a bit rash and harsh,
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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                    Brangwayna,
                    I was not trying to attack you or say anything bad about you, I'm sorry if it seemed that way. Things in your first post were a bit rash and harsh, and it seemed to me (and I may not be the only one) that the bed sheet and dollar-a-yard comments that I made you were saying "no it should not be done this way at all". I was only offering beginners advice that I was given. Not always is it assumed that newbies are incapable of doing anything turely period. This past winter at the winter moot in the canton of wolfhome, principality of northshield, we had classes on true period fabrics. we even went to walmart and browsed the fabric showing examples of what was and was not true period. we were also taught what would be acceptable for those of us who didn't at the time WANT to put a lot of money into it. all of the newbies were especially encouraged to go with for this class. maybe we have different opinions because we have had different experences, and I'm willing to accept that since no
                    one is the same, and no place is the same. maybe next time it might be a little bit better to express that it is an opinion, and I do thank you for offering the advice that you did, because frankly I didn't know about some of the things you had said. again I do appologize if it seemed like I was trying to attack you. I wasn't.
                    Antonia

                    bronwynmgn@... wrote:
                    In a message dated 7/1/2004 3:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

                    <<That is the reason why our
                    corpora states that the only requirement is that you make an 'attempt"
                    at pre-seveteenth century clothing. We do not want to restrict them. We
                    want them to come and to learn and to play. Maybe someday they will
                    convert as you did, maybe they will not. >>

                    Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling information
                    about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.
                    I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*, not is,
                    or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical to go
                    with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
                    unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or throwing it away to
                    the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every newcomer who
                    encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of course,
                    pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way I do or
                    they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices" thread, you
                    will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I compared the
                    two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of period
                    fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
                    ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am somehow preventing
                    them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
                    minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be "restricting
                    people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another option of how
                    to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
                    broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not restricting them.

                    How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
                    minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic experience, who want
                    to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
                    everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and they never get
                    to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else steers them
                    away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them
                    we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to play
                    in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who can't tell
                    history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
                    "educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene entirely. That
                    benefits nobody.

                    I don't care if people choose to use cheap fabrics because they are just
                    getting started, or for any other reason that seems good to them, as long as they
                    are making an informed decision. I'll even help them make their standard SCA
                    T-tunic or wench garb out of their old bedsheet if that's what they decide
                    they really want to do after learning about all the options. Heck, I just taught
                    a newcomer to my shire the old chemise cheat I was taught when I joined, and
                    gave her and her daughters some of my old clothes that I don't wear anymore
                    because they aren't accurate enough for my tastes. We'd talked about period
                    options and they decided they aren't really interested until one of them learns
                    to sew better.

                    What I mind is that newcomers are never given the chance to make an informed
                    choice, because no one even offers them the period option. They are told how
                    to do things based on SCA cheats and tradition. People assume that because
                    these are newcomers they a) aren't interested in anything else, b) can't handle
                    the information ("it will scare them away"), c) will be content to do the
                    SCAdian shortcuts until they've been around some undetermined number of years,
                    and d) at all costs must be kept away from those authenticity people who will
                    force them at swordpoint to go to the fabric store and spend all their money on
                    wool and linen - or buy and raise a flock of sheep and make their own wool,
                    not to mention growing their own linen, building their own loom with a
                    pocketknife, and so on.

                    I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
                    period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years, because
                    nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had taught me
                    about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that mattered to
                    me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and finding out
                    I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to find out
                    that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who are deeply
                    interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it - not forcing
                    them to, just making the information available for those who want it. That's
                    not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued equally, and
                    the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's all I'm
                    trying to do - present another option.


                    Brangwayna Morgan
                    Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
                    Lancaster, PA


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                  • Mackenzie
                    ... experience, ... my garb ... Ditto. I spent 4 or 5 months researching everything I could find about fabrics, construction, names, anything I could think of.
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 1, 2004
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                      > >>How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizeable
                      > minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic
                      experience,
                      > who want
                      > to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
                      > everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else,
                      >
                      > Count me as one of those newcomers. I want to be more authentic in
                      my garb
                      > for MYSELF.

                      Ditto.

                      I spent 4 or 5 months researching everything I could find about
                      fabrics, construction, names, anything I could think of. That started
                      a year and a half ago. Five months ago I used 12th Century Fashion
                      for English Women as the topic of my research paper in school, and did
                      it all from memory (luckily I documented a lot of what was in my
                      notebook, the rest I just fudged around to find sources for). The
                      teacher said she could tell I was interested in it, and that it was
                      well-researched. Simple being interested in something is enough to
                      start that spark that'll grow into the need to study everything you
                      can. I'm currently restraining myself from reading Le Morte D'Arthur
                      since I want to save it for reading in school. If anyone's interested
                      in that time period I can type the report into my computer (it has
                      crashed since then, but I have a paper copy) and you guys can see
                      what's really authentic, even if you choose to use just the
                      construction techniques (a wise choice, it will save much more fabric
                      than will darts, flares, or princess seams) and use random cheap fabric.

                      Maybe the prices are slightly easier for me since I'm in high school
                      and don't really have any financial commitments except what I choose
                      to commit to: buying the clothes I want so I'm not taken to K-Mart for
                      my clothes (Kohls, WalMart, I don't have a problem, but K-Mart is for
                      little kids or adults, they don't even have t-shirts that I know of)
                      or buying CDs or a new guitar. But then, in my area the average
                      annual family income is $40,000, which I am of course no where near at
                      $5 an hour every other week for 3 months a year (uh, try dividing it
                      by 100).

                      Even after all that research, I still haven't sewn anything, just in
                      case there's something I'm missing (I think I got it all now, my dress
                      pattern was approved by an long-time-member), so now I just need a
                      ride to the fabric store since I got everything in my head, on paper,
                      and online that I could need to know to make garb.
                    • Tirloch O'Riordain
                      ... There was no insult implied or meant. I was merely stating what the corpora states, as information for any new people who may have been confused by this
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 2, 2004
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                        bronwynmgn@... wrote:

                        > Why is it always assumed that newcomers are incapable of handling
                        > information
                        > about how to make accurate clothes? That's an insult to our newcomers.


                        There was no insult implied or meant. I was merely stating what the
                        corpora states, as information for any new people who may have been
                        confused by this thread. There is nothing wrong with trying to instruct
                        new people about period fabrics and period methods. I encourage it. At
                        the same time, they should know that these methods will not be required
                        of them. The SCA has written minimum standards, which is the only thing
                        I was trying to point out.

                        >
                        > I presented a well-reasoned argument about why it may (note: *may*,
                        > not is,
                        > or is the only right way, or anything else coercive) be more practical
                        > to go
                        > with period options from the beginning, and I got told that I'm being
                        > unreasonable, that I'm elitist, that I must be rolling in money or
                        > throwing it away to
                        > the exclusion of other things - and that I am going to drive every
                        > newcomer who
                        > encounters me away. In short, because I'm an authenticist, I am, of
                        > course,
                        > pushy, overbearing, and think everyone must play the game the same way
                        > I do or
                        > they are WRONG. If you re-read my post in the "Fabric Choices"
                        > thread, you
                        > will see that I never ONCE said using cheap fabric was wrong; I
                        > compared the
                        > two options and stated that *in my opinion and experience* the use of
                        > period
                        > fabric was better - not RIGHT, just better. But I then get told that I'm
                        > ragging on people, that I am "restricting people", and that I am
                        > somehow preventing
                        > them from coming and learning and playing, simply because I presented a
                        > minority opinion of how to come and learn and play. How can I be
                        > "restricting
                        > people" or "preventing them from learning" when I'm offering another
                        > option of how
                        > to play this game, which has not been presented to them before? I'm
                        > broadening their options and their chances to learn something, not
                        > restricting them.


                        I apologize if you feel that any personal attack was made. My comment
                        about not wanting to "restrict" them was not made at you. I was pointing
                        out that the SCA has a very low minimum standard, and that there is a
                        reason for this. While many recreation groups are very stringent about
                        "period", the SCA, inc. made the conscious decision not to be. This
                        decision was made so that we (the SCA) would not be restrictive. It was
                        made to encourage people to participate and to have fun. There are very
                        period medieval recreation groups out there. One of them is the Regia
                        Anglorum, which is extremely authenticity based. None of them have the
                        membership numbers that we enjoy. One of the reasons for this is that we
                        as a Society, are much less stringent. While I agree that teaching new
                        people about period methods is a good thing, I disagree on how it should
                        be presented. I think that it should be presented as an option, but not
                        as a superior option. We are not an authenticity based group, in many
                        respects we are not even an actual recreationist group. We are an
                        historical interest group. While this may bother many people drawn to
                        the actual recreation aspect of the Society, it is the trade off that we
                        have that allows so many people to play. If authenticity is your major
                        concern, the Regia Anglorum is branching out from the U.K. to the U.S.
                        and I can get you their contact information if you wish.

                        > How about the newcomers who come in (and I've encountered a sizable
                        > minority of them over the last 14 years) who WANT an authentic
                        > experience, who want
                        > to learn about how things were really done, and get disillusioned when
                        > everybody tells them they can just fudge it like everybody else, and
                        > they never get
                        > to find the people who they want to talk to because everybody else
                        > steers them
                        > away from us and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to
                        > tell them
                        > we exist at all? Those people go away and either find other groups to
                        > play
                        > in, and tell stories about how everyone in the SCA are all boobs who
                        > can't tell
                        > history from sword and sorcery novels, and us calling ourselves an
                        > "educational organization" is a joke, or drop out of the history scene
                        > entirely. That
                        > benefits nobody.


                        I have had similar experiences. Many people I have known from collegiate
                        history departments that find the SCA, often find it much too open and
                        loose to actually interest them. The SCA often embraces Arthurian Legend
                        history over actual historical practices. This is even evident in our
                        highest orders of the Knighthood, Pelican, and Laurel. They are our
                        system, but they are not compatible with actual historical systems. The
                        thing is, that some of us learn to accept this breaks, because of the
                        other things that this Society offers us. Others cannot accept this, and
                        they leave. While this is a loss to our Society, I personally can see no
                        easy fix for this. My recommendation for people who really want a
                        historical authentic experience is to a) find the others in the SCA who
                        play this way (such as Caraidoc of the Bow and his enchanted ground at
                        Pennsic) and play as they do by setting an example. b) find a group that
                        actually creates an historical authentic experience.

                        As for the comment: "...because everybody else steers them away from us
                        and tells them how terrible we are or just neglects to tell them we
                        exist at all?" I assume that you are speaking of authenticity
                        supporters? While I agree with you that they sometimes get the wrong end
                        of the stick (that's a Roman reference by the way for you historical
                        people), they also can be rather adamant about trying to impose their
                        beliefs on people who do not follow this methodology. Just as you have
                        seen people discouraged because they wish authenticity, others have been
                        discouraged because of rude authenticity supporters. This list should
                        present both arguments, but it should do so without any judgments, or
                        recriminations. Merely as "these are your options".

                        > I never even heard about either period construction methods or even what
                        > period fabrics were until I'd been in the SCA for about 5 or 6 years,
                        > because
                        > nobody ever mentioned it to me. I never knew that what scadians had
                        > taught me
                        > about how to make period clothes was entirely incorrect, and that
                        > mattered to
                        > me, even as a newcomer. I found out by doing my own research and
                        > finding out
                        > I'd been wrong all along, and it took me another three or 4 years to
                        > find out
                        > that there is a thriving group of Scadians, some new, some not, who
                        > are deeply
                        > interested in authenticity and helping people get started with it -
                        > not forcing
                        > them to, just making the information available for those who want it.
                        > That's
                        > not right. All the options should be presented equally, valued
                        > equally, and
                        > the newcomer allowed to choose how they want to play the game. That's
                        > all I'm
                        > trying to do - present another option.


                        That may simply be due to the area, or group with which you started. I
                        do not find this attitude prevalent within our Barony or for that matter
                        our Kingdom as a whole. I believe that most people are exposed to the
                        many options that are open to them. I think that the main difference is
                        that while they are taught the different options, that no one option is
                        presented as being "better" than any other. I am sorry that you feel
                        that you were somehow cheated by your early experiences, and happy that
                        you did find that place that is good and comfortable for you. My opinion
                        of this list, and of being a Chatelain, is merely to help new people
                        find that same place for themselves.

                        Your Servant,

                        Tirloch
                      • bronwynmgn@aol.com
                        In a message dated 7/2/2004 4:11:54 PM Eastern Standard Time, scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 5, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 7/2/2004 4:11:54 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                          scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

                          <<If authenticity is your major
                          concern, the Regia Anglorum is branching out from the U.K. to the U.S.
                          and I can get you their contact information if you wish.>>

                          Regia Anglorum, a primarily Anglo-Saxon era group, does neither 12th century
                          English, which is my particular area of interest, nor 14th century English,
                          which is my husband's area. La Belle Compagnie, a group here in the US, does
                          14th century, which might work for my husband, but leaves no outlet for my
                          interest in the 12th century. There is no "authentic" reenactment group in which
                          both my husband and I can indulge our primary areas of interest at the same
                          time. Neither of us is interested in switching to the other's time period, nor
                          do we consider involvement in two separate groups to be feasible in terms of
                          both time and money outlay, not to mention the fact that it would mean we either
                          can't pursue our hobbies together or we would both have to go in-depth in
                          areas we simply aren't interested in.
                          The SCA is literally the only group out there that allows us both to
                          participate in our specific areas of interest at the same time. Counseling people who
                          want more authenticity to find another group that would meet their needs
                          better ignores the facts that a) authenticity can be done in the SCA in a
                          satisfying manner, and b) that there may simply be no other such group available.


                          Brangwayna Morgan
                          Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
                          Lancaster, PA


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