(Long reply regarding chivalric philosophy) Re: Alexis's List

Galen of Bristol pmitchel at flash.net
Mon Feb 17 22:15:53 PST 1997

Bors -

What _are_ you talking about?

Baronman at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 97-02-15 18:39:32 EST, you write:
> >Bors -
> >
> >You guys have _got_ to quit letting cynical Seneschals -- or Barons -- talk
> >to your newcomers.  You'll lose more people that way...!
> >
> >- Galen
>    Boy Galen- get a grip-
>       How can you tell some ones been in the SCA to long? They lose their
> sense of humor.  The whole point of the list was to humorously point out the
> inequities of become a knight within the SCA.  

If you had read my "Sir Knightly" or my "Screwtape's SCA Letters", you 
would not accuse me of having lost any sense of humor.

I chased the belt four almost
> ten years and just realized this last year, that it just wasn't going to
> happen. Not because of anything I did or didn't do, but because I wouldn't
> play the kiss up, or suck up, or political game that it seems to take, to
> become a knight in the kingdom.  This kingdom is divided by two main power
> brokers.  If you are not firmly entrenched with one or the other, you can
> pretty much kiss any chance of becoming a knight within this kingdom goodby.

And I, and Earl Kein, and Sir Conor, and Sir Pendaran, are parts of _which_ 

>  My mistake was thinking I could do it out side of this system.  I was wrong.

The knights today aren't organized enough to have such a monolithic "system".

>  But I think others are seeing the same outcome.  At one time we had 12- 18
> chivalric fighters within the Shire and then the Barony.  Now our fighter
> practices are lucky to have 3-4 show up.  None of the knights have made an
> appearance within the last year.  

Are _you_ there?  Don't chase a belt (to use your phrase).  Just act like 
"Sir Bors of Lothian" ought to act.  Be the leader a knight should be --
that you can be, I know -- and don't sweat the official recognition.  If
there aren't knights there, no one will know the difference at first, and
probably, not after some show up either.

Cynical-yes , pragmatic-very, realist-
> certainly, but don't let my cynicism fool you.  I love the SCA more and more
> every year that I am in it.  These people are my family and my friends.  I
> feel proud when I can see that a fighter  will some day make it, that he has
> the right stuff to go all the way.  At the last crown tournament I fought in,
> after it was all over, I did a pick up match with Sir Mahadi, now His
> Majesty.   I could see the fire in him, but I could no longer see it in me.
>  I told him I would be at his coronation within a year.  I was right, and I
> was there!  

And it was good to see you; I wondered what had happened to you.  But I never
doubted your enthusiasm for the SCA; indeed, I honor that sort of enthusiasm.

> But don't think for one moment that my attitute toward the
> procurement of a white belt, in this kingdom and my attitude toward the SCA
> are entwined.  They are two distinct and entirely different things.  I love
> to encourage newcomers to find their place within our great organization  and
> do everthing that I can to help them.  If you need references- they can be
> supplied.
>                                                              Baron Bors of
> Lothian
>                                                              Baron Loch
> Sollier
>               ---------------------------------------------------------------
>                        Par Deu, bel sire, cist est de ae vostre lin,
>                        Et si mangue un grant braun porcin
>                        Et a dous traitz beit un cester de vin.
>                        Ben dure guete deit il rendre a sun veisin.

I don't need references to verify a person behaving in the way I expect him
to behave.  That is how I always pictured you, Bors.

I'll say this to anyone, any rank:

Forget the belt.  Instead, focus on the ideals of knighthood, which _are_
the ideals of the SCA.  Don't sweat what you've got to do to get knighted.
Instead, just ask yourself how you can be more the knight you'd like to be.
Don't think who to impress next.  Forget the belt.  You're not chivalrous
enough yet; neither am I -- we never will be.  Let's both work harder.

- Galen

Viscount Galen of Bristol, KSCA, CSM, etc.
Paul Mitchell, pmitchel at flash.net / "noblesse oblige"
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