Leslie Miller miller at
Mon Jul 24 14:33:10 PDT 1995

> <Gunhilda<Leslie Miller <miller at>>>
> >> I don't want an answer, a tally, or any sort of report back. This is purely
> >> for your benefit. However, I've been in this group for awhile, and am fairly
> >> certain of the outcome. If I'm right, Michael, remember; it's OUR house. 
> >My, aren't we being gracious by excluding Michael from "our" house?  
> >Personally, I'd prefer "our" house to be open to anyone who wants to 
> >visit, even if they drag the mud in.  I don't like the mud, but I 
> >don't find it much more pleasant when people try to rub offenders' 
> >noses in it like bad puppy dogs to make them behave like _we_ think 
> >they should. As Michael has pointed out in the past, we frequently take 
> >a rather hypocritical "moral" high ground in our responses to him. (Or 
> >am I the only person in the world who thinks it's a bit ironic for 
> >somebody who is supposedly in the right to tell somebody in public 
> >that they "invite inflammatory comments by being belligerant, 
> >abusive, insulting, petty, and rude?"  It just seems like a pretty 
> >belligerant, abusive, and insulting comment to me, even 
> >if it may be right.  You know, sometimes Michael is right, too.)
> So he's right sometimes.  So what?

Well, I was just trying to imply a certain level of hypocracy.  Blast 
Michael for his language even though what he says may be of value, 
but excuse ourselves for doing the blasting because what we say about 
him is "true".  

> This whole thing is really not about Litch and his abusiveness, or even
> about me and my being a "Pompous Ass" to paraphrase a listmember.  This
> is about whether a society of individuals has the right to regulate the
> behavior OF its membership.

Sigh.  This brings up all sorts questions, like, do you really define 
this list as a "society" of individuals?  What kind of society is it?  Who 
and how do you define "right", and where does that authority come 
from?  The term "regulate", especially in combination with personal 
freedom, sets off all sorts of warning bells in my mind.  To me, 
Michael is not somebody to be disciplined or regulated.  People have 
tried politely (like Cynric, most recently) to point out his 
misbehavior, and occasionally he has even apologized for it.  I 
assume that he's capable of change if he so desires.  If he doesn't 
desire to do so, well, that's tough for all of us, but I'm willing 
to bear with it.  What's that quote from "First Knight"?  "I can't 
love people in slices."  Good words from the icon of chivalry.

> Yes, Litch comes in and "tracks mud" all over the nice clean illusions
> the Society has built up around itself.  I can respect that, and would like
> to think that I've left a few seeming "faux paw" prints on the floor as well
> since I tend to lean in favor of the honest appraisal rather than the
> self delusion of hypocrisy (and to be honest, I don't always succeed).
> Therefore I have, personally, *never* objected to his doing that.
> There are times, however, when his approach is not what I would consider
> appropriate (and I am aware, I have been known to tread that line myself,
> rather finely at times).

Yes, I agree on all accounts, and I have always felt that I could 
learn something from both of you.

> Should he (or even I) cross that line into crass and boorish behavior,
> slathering us with his vitriol, committing personal attacks, whether on
> the list or off, should we, as a society of people, just sit back and
> *ignore* it?  No *wonder* we have people stealing from each other at
> events these days.

I would question whether or not ignoring (as opposed to attacking) 
boorish behavior, personal attacks, etc contributes to the rising 
number of thefts in the SCA.  I would be more likely to argue that 
the sheer growth of the Society coupled with a moral decline in society 
as a whole are far more likely culprits.  In any case, do we govern our 
ranks by example, or by the whip?
> Once upon a time, you could go to an SCA thing and assume that you would be
> respected enough to not be attacked, or stolen from.  Now we have these
> little "problems" starting to arise because of the attitude that "well, we
> don't want to interfere with their fun"...

How do you construe that?  What sort of problems?  Can you give 

> Where does OUR fun, and OUR rights begin?  One can bend over backwards to
> be kind and courteous to others, and that's a good thing.  However, if you
> bend over far enough, you become a doormat, and in my opinion *that*'s NOT
> a good thing.

Whatever happened to the principle of "turn the other cheek"?  I 
suppose I'd rather be a doormat with "Welcome" written on it than a 
door saying "Keep Out".     

> I'm not intending to pick on you specifically, Gunhilda, it's just that 
> you were the one who sent out the message that triggered it.

Oh, I was prepared to be picked on.  It's OK.  See 
paragraph above. :-)  Really, Dairmut, I'd like to think I've gained 
a thicker skin as I've gotten older.  (Useful, for doormats.)
> >...Really, is it OK to stomp on somebody because they stomp on others?
> >(Not necessarily a rhetorical question, there, either.)
> That's a personal decision.  For me, it depends on if their activities are
> an intermittant bubble of rudeness that can be ignored without harming my
> feelings of self-worth any.  If their behavior is a regular attack on what
> I consider civilized behavior (and to let you know how low my standards are,
> I consider academic debate to be civilized), then, Heck yes, I feel it's OK
> to be stomped on.  *EVEN* when the stompee is ME (the stomper had just better
> be certain that their ducks are in order :) ). 

And I'll defend your right to stomp, while pointing out that you're 
being an ass about it at the same time.

> >I'm willing to put up with Michael's sh*t for the occasional rare 
> >gem he brings in as well....
> Ah, just wait until you receive one of his off list "Love notes".

Well, I haven't yet.  I'll try to blow it off when/if I do. Treasure 
it as a reminder of how ugly the world can get.  Give me a rosy 
feeling of superiority knowing that I'm so much nicer than he is... 
(said with great sarcasm, there)
> >The real trick is to teach the people who he offends to ignore him before 
> >they are driven off.   
> Why?

"Welcome!  Come on in!  Have a good time!" = good, desirable thing.  
I'm certain I read that _somewhere_ in my book of human relations.
> >C'mon, Michael, if you want, you can share my bit of carpet over here in 
> >the corner until they throw us both out into the backyard;  you for 
> >being an ass, and me for being an idiot.
> You're not an idiot, Gunhilda, but you *are* at times a bit to nice for your
> own good...

I can't recall ever regretting being too nice.  I have frequently 
regretted not being nice enough.  I would rather be blinded by the 
light than stumble around in darkness looking for it.

Incidentally, I'm glad you don't think I'm an idiot... I consider 
that a high compliment from you.  

Moriel, you're more than welcome to share my corner.  I'm the mat 
with all the muddy footprints on it over here.  Pleased to meet you!  

HL Gunhilda
Shire of Mooneschadowe
miller at

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