Re Ansteopality

Richard Bainter pug at
Fri Oct 18 09:31:31 PDT 1996

> >The BIG problem I see, is what about the politics of "we're better than
> >you" or simply ugly politics? If I have to wade through a bunch of
> >politics to have fun, I'll go play elsewhere. *sigh*
> Aw, c'mon, Pug, since when does anybody need an excuse for boorish behavior?

Never. The question comes down to "will the boorish behavior be
increased due to this change"? Will it be so bad that I don't enjoy it?

> Besides, if we form a principality and our neighbors become jealous, they
> can always form one, too.

It's not our neighbors *I'm* worried about, it's us.

> The trick is to get
> a large enough portion of the populace moving in a single direction; then,
> the folks who are trying to build their own little political fires will find
> insufficient fuel available to feed their little flames.

Hmmm. Not sure if that'd work. I would love if it did.

> Generally, I agree (though I would have said "play BY ourselves" *wink*),

I did intentially choose that wording since I had heard it used. It
still gives a air of snobbery IMHO.

> but I think the "ignore them" part a bit harsh. I'm a poor scholar, so I'm
> already pretty unlikely to attend many events in Bonwicke or Northkeep.  I'm
> not ignoring them; they're just not too accessible to me right now. 

That is great. I can also see attending more local events than remote
events most of the time for most people. My concern is exactly what I've
heard in conversations recently. Paraphrased "Let's start having more local
and regional events in order to get the ball rolling. We'll only send
the fliers to the groups we want to show up."

How many "regional" events happen a year? How many groups take advantage
of the extra events by doing them jointly? From what I've seen looking
at the calendars, very few.

> >The problem as I see it is that to focus inward, you can't focus on the
> >Kingdom and whatnot. (Even the best of intentions have to end after the
> >person passes out from exhaustion.) As well, the mentality of going off
> >and playing internally means that you are excluding the groups outside.
> >Thus you've just accomplished what you set out to not do. Make groups
> >that have split off from the main group and aren't dealing with the
> >others. (There are always individual exceptions of course.)
> As a player experienced in principality life, I find it hard to relate to
> this point of view.

I truly admit that I am not experienced in principality life nor the
transitions thereof. (Heck, I've been in only ~7 years.) I am hoping
that those people more experienced please point out where my concerns
are unfounded.

> I was a poor student back then, too, but I still
> managed to be principality herald and personal court herald to the Crown.  I
> can't recall any difficulties arising from this.

Were you one of the exceptions? Was this during transitionary periods
or an already established principality? Just how ugly is the transition?
How long does it take for the ugliness to go away?

> Personally, I see nothing wrong with this.  I do, however, object to the
> attitude which demands frequent long journeys to "support" other groups.  

So you're of the opinion that you support the local group, and blow the
rest of them off? How do you get past the Barony stage of that attitude?
Once you get past Baronial area, you are into the "big" picture and the
mentality should be the same no matter what the size of the region.
(Barring physical realities like funds and time. My largest limitation
is time.)

> Moreover, as I've already pointed out in a number of correspondences on this
> list, a principality offers a good deal of support to the kingdom.  It
> offers a new purpose, exactly the sort of shot in the arm this kingdom could
> use right now.

I admit that my true concern is if this new purpose in the Society causes
problems. Do people get a new vigor due to competition with the others or
due to it being fun?

> In response to a recent posting from a lady in a nearby
> shire, I suggested that her group's attitude toward sponsoring events would
> lead to stagnation.  When I met the lady shortly thereafter, she admitted
> that, "Yeah, 'stagnation' --that pretty well describes us."

Yes, but the local Barony was stagnate due to the attitude of "we're
better than you". They didn't talk to new commers, they didn't try to
assist people entering new edeavours (after all, they knew it, why should
they teach you), etc. There is still some of this around, and I'm afraid
it will amplify instead of continuing on the current course (or even at a
higher rate if the principality gives them new life).

> The principality has to be named, achievements of arms need
> be designed, awards need be devised, ceremonies written, traditions forged. 

Where does that benefit Joe-SCAer? I can see the heralds, royalty and
peers having fun, but I hope that those groups are a small portion of
the actual populace. (Or we have a serious recruitment problem and we're
already doomed.)

> Plus, as I've explained a number of times, principality
> officers have greater incentives to do their jobs than regional officers.

I certainly see that. (And feel it would be a good thing.)

> >As well, if we can stop at #2 it may be that we can do it without hurt
> >feelings. Unfortunately if we go on to #3, we are gonna have hurt
> >feelings cause if nothing else there is a "we're better than you" air
> >about it. We might as well have stayed at #1.
> ?!?! To paraphrase, we'll be better off than our neighbors (or at least
> they'll think so) and this will make them jealous.

It's not the jealousy of the neighbors that worries me. It's *our* big

> Isn't this rather like saying, "I'd better not
> buy a new car, because it might make the Mertz's jealous"?

"I'd better not get too full of myself or my friends will stop talking
to me."

> >Then again, I'm just Joe SCAer who wants to have fun at his game and
> >not someone who has to deal with these decisions or problems.
> This sounds a bit like an acknowledgement that it's always safer to stay put
> and accept the liabilities we have than to venture forth and face new
> dangers.

No, that's not what I meant. I meant that if it's the same end point,
why intentionally go out of your way to cause the headaches.

> Why did Joe SCAer join the SCA instead of, say, the Elks?

He likes dressing in funny clothes, going out in the middle of the
woods, drinking and seeing people get hit with sticks of different
sizes. *wink* Much more fun than going to a dark building and just

> Besides, we all know that this particular just-Joe-SCAer, our own local
> chronicler, is a sly (*wink*) and highly-skilled communications expert. I
> for one would be proud to be part of a principality made up of a few such
> just-Joes.

I'm glad you think that. *smile* I just see myself as someone who knows
how to use a computer and puts things together pleasingly. The
communications skills have taken me years to improve and aren't used
much as chronicler.

I would enjoy helping start a principality *if* I still have fun and
not have to deal with the political BS of doing it. I have no problems
being in one, just the transition. (I figure people will calm down over


Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something 
Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with 
House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes
pug at           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"

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