[Ansteorra] newcomer thanks

iainmacc at juno.com iainmacc at juno.com
Tue Nov 20 15:28:00 PST 2001

On Tue, 20 Nov 2001 08:24:16 -0800 (PST) hans kemper
<heidel12001 at yahoo.com> writes:
> a. almost exclusively, a knight in the time period
> which the SCA recreates, had to own a horse and had to
> be able to field that horse - it was one of the
> primary distinguishing characteristics of being a
> knight -

        Please keep in mind that the SCA plays in "The Middle Ages, not
as they were, but as they should have been". There are many, many ways in
which we depart from historical accuracy, including trying to ACTUALLY
have good manners rather than merely claim them, having indoor plumbing,
having all our children live to adulthood, and several other things I am
sure will be obvious given a moment's reflection.
        In the case of Knighthood, I would venture the opinion (opinion
only, not being a Knight myself) that people decided that it was better
awarded for prowess on the field and personal honor, not wealth and
nepotism as would be more historically accurate.
        Personally, I count this as a very good thing.

> b. Also, Many have witnessed some enter the crown
> tournaments who do not have the financial means or
> time , etc. to fulfill the obligations required and
> yet they are allowed to participate by giving their
> word that they do. Some of these participants AND

        I honestly wouldn't know. However, I suspect that until you have
actually BEEN Crown, it is difficult to accurately assess just how much
money and time it will cost you. Since I believe that the true basis of
the SCA is personal honor rather than historical accuracy, I believe that
most participants if they won would find a way to MAKE the money and the
time, rather than break their word.

> OTHERS have even used their influence to get
> themselves and their friends recognition (awards)
> which have not been earned. Where is the HONOR AND
> NOBILITY in this? And why is there not a means to both
> stop and rectify these situations when they arise?

        There is no such animal as an organization of humans that works
as well as it should. Anything that one person can think up, another
person can find a way to circumvent. However, as I see it, you only have
two choices:
        1) If you base your framework of rules on the assumption that
people are honorable, that framework is subject to abuse by those who are
both less than honorable and subtle of mind.
        2) If you base your framework of rules on the assumption that it
must be made as "airtight" as possible to prevent abuse, you are required
to treat those subject to those rules as if their honor is either a)
nonexistent, or b) unimportant.

        If you have a suggestion that avoids the pitfalls of the two
above, I would love to hear it. But given the choice of those two, I much
prefer the first.

        Also, on a final note: Being a "newcomer" by your own definition,
I wonder how much of what you question is derived from what you have
SEEN, rather than what you have HEARD. Given that no two people tell the
same story the same way (ask any policeman about eyewitness testimony),
the only thing you can count on about the "rumor mill" is that what you
heard is at least partly wrong. Please don't make the mistake of trusting

              Yours in Service,

                      Iain MacCrimmon

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