[TY] Diplomacy and Politics & fencing (fwd)

Matthew R. Popalisky mrp at engr.uark.edu
Wed Jan 22 09:58:57 PST 1997

This was so beautiful I thought I'd pass it on.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 11:04:30 -0600 (CST)
From: dbackli at comp.uark.edu
To: mrp at engr.uark.edu
Subject: Re: [TY] Diplomacy and Politics & fencing (fwd)

>From the Tavern Yard (just think: you'll be so bored missing all this!)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 16:23:13 -0600 (CST)
From: Craig Bertuglia <mrcraig at netdoor.com>
Reply-To: meridies at web.ce.utk.edu
To: meridies at web.ce.utk.edu
Subject: Re: [TY] Diplomacy and Politics & fencing

   Let me start this missive by saying that I am in no ways a fighter, let
alone a fencer.  I prefer to sit by the sidelines and drum, drink, dance,
and keep the company of pretty ladies while the he-men are out on the field
bashing each other's brains in.  But I do enjoy the spectacle, which is why
I spend so much time and energy with regards to the society.  Part of that
enjoyment derives from the good nature and decency of the camaraderie and
fellowship I have found in the SCA.  Which is why it pains me to see the
debate over fencing becoming ad-hominum in nature.  Sure we live to attack
each other on the field, but that is done with a fair amount of chivalry and
in the spirit of competition.  Those who have stooped to personal attacks
rather than using established channels have shown themselves to be petty and
undeserving of the rich rewards the society has to offer.

   That being said, let me put in my two cents about the fencing issue.  We
play a rough game.  I have seen the pain in the faces of grown men and women
whose tear streaked countenances are living tributes to the dangers inherent
in the sport we play.  We have a whole order, those knowledgeable and
compassionate enough to call themselves Chiurgeons, who are dedicated to the
idea that we do what we do with full knowledge that it can be harmful and
life threatening at times, but we choose to do it nonetheless.  It is that
very knowledge that makes the sport worth playing, that finely honed
warriors (having taken precautions long since agreed upon) can take up arms
(be they rattan or steel) and share the rush and proud legacy of historical
stylized combat.

   Hundreds of warriors come clashing together on the fields of Gulf Wars
each year knowing deep within their minds that broken bones, and yes their
very lives, are at stake.  They count on the fact that everyone on the field
knows and obeys the rules that the marshals lay down, rules designed and
tested in order to keep a deadly game safe.  To say, then, that we are going
to abolish fencing because: 

>Lastly, The Crown Has the Right to stop an experiment when they perceive
>that lives are at stake.

is hypocritical inasmuch as we allow our heavy weapons fighters to gamble
those very stakes each time they don armor.

   The Earl Marshall, in his letter in the January Pop-Chiv, raises a number
of valid concerns concerning fencing.  The incident about the Trimarian
injury seems to raise two major focal points in his mind: first that fencing
is life threatening, and second that sloppy marshaling can lead to disaster.
I have addressed the threat issue above so I will now take up the concerns
about fencing marshals.  If heavy weapons marshals acted as irresponsibly as
the fencing marshals are alleged to have done, I contend that rather than
discontinuing heavy weapons fighting, we would move to remove or re-educate
those marshals.  It is not the sport at fault, but the judges.

  The Earl Marshall also seems to feel that since only fifty or so peopled
became fencers during the trial period, that fencing doesn't carry wide
spread appeal.  It would seem to me that if only two people were to take up
foils in Meridies, that fencing should be allowed.  Owing to its popularity
in most of the other kingdoms, I want to know why if even just one fencer in
Meridies wanted to make a go of it we should stand in their way, as long as
they proceed as safely and orderly as possible.

   This society was founded and is maintained by quirky individualists with
the vision and drive to want to make mundane life more bearable by stepping
outside the boundaries and creating something majestic.  If the fencers in
this kingdom seek to add a certain savior faire to our glorious dream, I say
more power to them.

Stepping down off his soapbox and returning to his beloved wine, 
        women, and drums,

Lord Cormac O'Bron

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