"Growth" vs. Awards Policy

Baker, Mike mbaker at rapp.com
Wed Jan 15 16:04:00 PST 1997

Your Excellency,

My apologies, you extended the example further than I had mentally at the 
time I made the comment about

>> I, for one, do not consider it appropriate for any individual to
>> actively oppose the development of the SCA as an organization at any
>> level _and_ still receive major awards.

My intent was that the growth was being judged in terms of numbers and 
possibly ability, the areas that seemed to be a source of pain for the 
original poster in the thread.

(I am now about to knowingly commit a transgression in the etiquette of 
e-mail: re-ordering your words in my quoting. I do this only after 
consideration, and in the belief that it makes my additional responses more 

> Sorry to launch this whole series of potentially "other" threads but
>  this statement, while on the surface noble, bears some serious
> thought.  I'd like to know more of your thoughts on this matter, what
> precisely you had in mind.

Your attention to detail deserves additional consideration, however (The 
semi-mythical heraldic 'Rule of Toyota': you asked for it, now I'm gonna 
give it to you -- my opinions, that is).  I will respond to each of the 
situations in turn:

> How are you defining "oppose the development of the SCA as an
> organizatin at any level"?  That phrase just strikes me as a loaded
> gun, useful for shooting your brother or shooting dinner.  Okay, I'm
> getting a trifle metaphoric; but this is one of those statements that
> sounds like something I'd say and which can get abused.
> Are you speaking only of "opposing the growth of an SCA branch"?

Revised basis given above.

> are you speaking of the inclusion of Oriental and New World personae
> in a group which has in its charter "Western Europe and lands affecting
> it [MAJOR paraphrase}?

I am in disagreement with the premise of the paraphrase, holding in 
particular that the older, "gentler", concept of "cultural contact" is both 
more conducive to inclusion and simpler to apply.  Even using the sense of 
"lands affecting it" I would deem must of necessity include the New World 
and the Orient so long as we continue to define our "period" as 600ce 
through at least 1600ce. *Particularly* as concerns Spain and the New World, 
Italy and the other areas impacted by "the Silk Road", the Byzantines and 
their use of Oriental silk, and the spice trade in general.

> are you speaking of a shire where everyone decides to be vampires?

Eeek, no.  When your original population base for a given locality is drawn 
primarily from gaming groups, I am well aware of the problems that can 
occur.  It is the responsibility of those assisting the formation or 
ensuring the continuance of a local group to make the clear distinction 
between the SCA and live-action roleplay gaming opportunities.

> are you speaking of a group where a cult of personality
> has gone seriously out of control and the locals may love 'em but
> what they're promoting is not compatible with the SCA or the kingdom
> so the Royals or a kingdom officer has to step on them?  (had that
> happen to me--as clouter, not cloutee)

This one, yes: I would speak of in terms of the cult of personality working 
against the goals and ideals of the Society.

>> However, Mr. Bosko (acrubray at wtrt.net ?) may have misunderstood the
>> award process.  The Crown can only act based upon the information
>> actually in Their possession. If all they have seen are
>> recommendations based upon the artistic achievements of an
>> individual, or the service achievements, or the combat prowess, it
>> is not Their fault that a local issue of which they have no
>> knowledge may cloud any award given.
> This is totally 100% true.  The Royalty cannot be omniscient and it
> is amazing how many people expect them to be so.  Also, I've known
> people, had some as friends, who behave one way in their local group
> and another outside of it.

Thank you for reinforcing this "from the other side of the process", i.e. 
having been seated as Crown. (Not something I expect to experience myself 
anytime soon...)

Bless you, Your Excellency, for gracing us with your presence, your thoughts 
on this matter, and especially your forbearance in drawing out additional 
detail when you had questions as to my motive / stance. If I have continued 
to be unnecessarily obscure now, or am so in the future, slap me down as 
appropriate. (You do it so nicely that it is indeed a gentle reprimand, 
which I will take to heart. And commend to memory.)

Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
     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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