[Ansteorra] Re: Question 4/24

Marc Carlson marccarlson20 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 26 07:51:44 PDT 2004

>How do you think the rise in gasoline prices will affect your event going?

Just a couple of thoughts.

First, to answer the lady's question, not much.  I don't actually attend 
that many events a year under the best of circumstances, and that's mostly 
events really close by, or really far out of kingdom (don't ask me why, 
that's just how it works out).  In either case, the change in prices is not 
going to have that great an effect on ME.

In an organization where someone's attending an event can depend on site fee 
being a few bucks more (as was so constantly pointed out the last time the 
surcharge thing came up), I suspect that a few dollars more for gas will 
also make things more difficult.

We can (as has happened in this thread so far) criticize "the American love 
affair with the automobile" (to quote the History channel :) ), try to keep 
things in perspective by comparing other expenditures, (to reach back to the 
surcharge arguments) claim that if a couple of bucks matters that mcuh, 
maybe you shouldn't belong to the SCA, or come up with any other fallacious 
argument to try to negate the problem.

There are a few realities that we should keep in mind when we are looking at 

First, most people in the SCA aren't made of money. That's just a fact.  
Now, maybe people who are poor shouldn't be wasting their few funds on a 
luxury like the SCA, or perhaps those of us who are flush don't quite grasp 
(or have forgotten) how important those few luxuries are to getting by daily 
when the wolf's at the door.

Second, Europeans pay more for gasoline, yes.  They also live in areas where 
they can walk more easily, and have trains.  Lots of trains.  Personally, 
I'd love to walk to work, but somehow just can't see the 9 miles each way as 
realistic - and the public transport system in Tulsa is pretty much of a 
joke (although better than it once was).  So, like most folks in the US, am 
trapped in an urban culture that over the last 60 years has grown up with 
the assumption of the automobile as a given.  Personally, I find it less of 
a love affair these days than a huge metal parasite that I can't get rid of 
and still live my daily life, all the while sucking away what little money I 
-do- have.

Third, while it's easy to draw comparisons, it might be better to draw more 
meaningful comparisons.  In 2000, my wife and I spent about $10 a week on 
gasoline, now we're spending about $12-13.  Not a huge increase.  My diet 
coke costs are about $3.75 per week, while my coffee costs (MY major luxury) 
has dropped from $10 to $6.  OTOH, my rent has gone up about 20%, food costs 
are going up (in part thanks to the increase in gas prices) - and my salary 
has gone up pretty much $0.

Honestly, the amount doesn't matter that much, a few cents here, a few cents 
there, as much as I truly and deeply resent being further ripped off (since 
that's how it feels) by some faceless entity giving me no recourse.  At 
least if I were robbed at gunpoint, I could fill out a police report and 
feel like I'm doing something.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm sincerely happy that there are those who are 
not being effected by the latest round of price hikes - but please do not 
try to diminish and denegrate those who ARE so effected by meaningless 
attempts to express that it's not that bad, or how we did this to ourselves. 
  if nothing else, it's less polite than you might think.

The situation is that it is.  We either accept it, deal with it, or continue 
to try and ignore it.

I'm done.  Thank you for your time.


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