Whine, whine, whine

Mike Baker mbaker at rapp.com
Thu Oct 24 17:00:00 PDT 1996

William the Warthog! *listen* carefully to what the current Bard of the 
Steppes, Sir Kief, has said, and know that you will not be alone in heeding 
his words -- or in responding to them.

To all: to better distinguish what I have said from what either Kief or 
William wrote, I have not only used the angle-quote below, but also placed 
my interspersed commentary in parentheses.  Ya just want the summary, fell 
free to page down to the last couple of non-quoted, non-parenthetical, 

> In a lot of cases the flames, insults, rumors and other such are the 
result of
> "personality conflicts". I am as guilty as many other on here...*sigh*
> Also, my new friend, the computer allows all of us a "first strike/hair
> trigger" mentality on any issue. It's so damned easy to whip off a letter,
> post it...and then regret it for the rest of our lives...
> Snail mail has a good bit of saving grace in this respect...
> One has to write the letter...then get ready to mail it...then, if they 
are smart,
> re-read it and edit... Saves a lot of pain and friendship loss...

(I've taken this to heart in many ways, particularly after having been 
burned by haste in the past, and am just now ready to mail my first 
installment of collected personal comments upon the Principality Issue to 
the appropriate people.)

>>   I figure I'm going to get pounded for this and that's fine. I am really
>> frustrated by two problems I see at the events I go to... While all you
>> older, more experienced, nobility types are pounding, help me understand 
>   Well...you're not going to get pounded by me...

(William, I have no fancy hat or titles beyond a simple AoA. But you won't 
be finding me on the pounding side either. Maybe pounded upon from time to 
time, but I've been known to pound back ... and it isn't by chance that 
people are warned to never anger a bard.)

>>   1. Vicious rumor mongering is such a widespread, almost uncontrollable
>  Rumors are a part of human society... However, we do strive to live up to
> certain ideals in the SCA. The problem is we're also human... Rumors are
> controlable...a suitable application of wisdom, knowledge, facts, and a 
> mouth are the usual solutions...

(There is another solution to aid our fight in quelling rumors:  open, 
timely, and truthful communications.  Yep, a specific application of 
"wisdom, knowledge, facts".  If anything is continually amazing to me about 
SCA politics it is the amount of perfectly harmless information that is for 
some obtuse or obscure reason deemed needful of being kept secret. Nearly 
invariably, it seems that a great hue and cry ensues which does nothing more 
than rob of us of our energies even if the hidden scrap of truth is finally 

The solution? There are several, but the most important component reduces 
back to refusal to "play the game" when it involves baseless rumor & a 
commitment to broadcast the truth whenever possible, so long as it does not 
cause greater hurt to do so.)

>>   2. Society members are so ready to crush others reputations with little 
>> no thought to what they are doing.
> Some Society members do bad things... But by no means do all engage in 
> behavior pattern... Normal human emotion is involved... None of us are
> perfect.

(Amen, brother bard, amen!)

> But, we do need to try harder at keeping our tongues, pens, and keyboards
> under a tad bit better control...

(This is also of critical import.  The greatest weapon generally afforded a 
bard is the right of satire.  With that right comes a great responsibility 
as well - one that ideally will already have been trained into the person of 
the bard at a level that makes it instinctive. This responsibility is 
simple, straightforward, and something that ideally applies to every human 
on the planet:  a "true" bard is answerable for the results of every action 
or inaction that he or she makes. From this wellspring, the traditional 
Celtic-style bard also drew the tradition of neutrality in the judgement of 
questions presented for their resolution.)

>>   3. I go to events and see people with all kinds of awards and 
>>walking about between courts and lists and things talking about the 
>>game, or what they watched on TV last Thursday, or (this gets my "Best
>>Cringe" award) what we did when my unit went to the field last week.
> Yep...happens all the time. I guess it's for the same reason that a lot of 
> will not move their car to the parking areas for _any_ reason... Again, we
> should all strive to better our actions, speech, and dress at events... I
> guess that it's just that after a time old friends like to catch up on 
"real world"
> items and forget what we're trying to achieve.

(William, your point is well represented by your chosen examples, but 
understand that Kief observes well when he speaks of old friends catching 
up.  If there is a particularly egregious case in your presence, it is your 
right - even as the newest of newcomers - to ask that the conversation be 
lowered in volume or conducted elsewhere.  Of course, not every 
old-used-[blank] in their cups is going to adjust what they are doing. 
 Sometimes, it becomes necessary that we simply ignore the most boorish 

>>   And also, what can *I* do to help solve this problem. I see enough of 
>> that it seems we are nothing but people walking around in funny clothing 
>> weekend to fight with sticks/car antennas and then go get drunk at some 
>> around the fire. I'm at a loss. What should I do?  Sir Lyonel? Anybody?
> Good point William... So folks, how about it. Are we just people walking
> around in funny clothes, whipping wires and pulverizing rattan logs on our 

> friends heads? Are we just common drunks and lechers out to party at any
> cost? I certainly hope not...

(I hope not as well. There are some few people "out there" who unfortunately 
ARE only attending events for the party. The rest of us sometimes have to 
invest all the more effort to overcome their misdeeds. It is not easy. Never 
is, dealing with utter idiots and fatuous fools.
Fabulous fools, such as Mouse or Puck One-shoe, are an entirely different 

> What you can do, William, is be the best SCA'er that you can be. Set an
> example for some of us "old and older" folk... Gather people around you
> of like mind and build your own "Dream" Don't be discouraged by foolish
> men and women that sometimes lose sight of what we got into this
> wonderful hobby for... Make it real for yourself and your friends... 
> we'll recapture what some of us seem to have forgotten...

(May we all fervently hope so!)

>> William the Warthog
>> Cringing from the beating he is sure will soon be upon him...
>  In silence I sit and ponder the loss of dreams and idealism...
>        Sir Kief av Kiersted, Baron Raven's Fort, Lion...
> "Better the Hammer than the nail..." (I feel like I've just been hammered
> myself...*sigh*)

Every one of us who love life in the SCA should remember these points, of 
course.  Every one of us should also use the knowledge reflected by these 
memories in making our selves and our "game" better...

No, Kief, you've not been hammered. At least not by anyone other than 

I'm still working my way up to the good, solid thumping that I need to 
administer to myself....

Speaking as bard, Bard, and SCA participant,
Kihe Blackeagle (the Dreamsinger Bard)  s.k.a. Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri 
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at rapp.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

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