[Ansteorra] Some thoughts on 'creativity' -- [was Pirates, privateers, etc ]

John Hirling jhirling at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 09:24:26 PDT 2005

I applaud the Texican Privateers for starting a group that meets their 
interests and passions. That seems a wholly appropriate response when one 
finds they don't really fit in a society "dedicated to researching and 
re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe." Moreover, 
that's one effective way for historical reenactment to spread.

People become disenchanted with the SCA for all sorts of reasons -- some 
valid, some not so valid. Our Society cannot be all things to all people. 
Nor should we try to be lest we become nothing to anyone.

I have found the overwhelming majority of our members and players to be 
highly tolerant of efforts that grossly miss the mark -- though there will 
always be exceptions in a Society of our size and diversity. Officially, we 
ask only that people make an effort. Take this example from the on-line 
newcomers info: "For women, a plain-colored long skirt and a peasant-type 
blouse will serve. A length of cloth, such as a white dishtowel, can make a 
veil to hide modern hair. For men, try plain trousers (not jeans), and a 
peasant-style shirt that is not tucked in. A cloak, even one made of a 
blanket, can hide modern clothes. Plain black slippers or plain boots can 
serve." That doesn't ask a lot.

My guess is that everyone in the SCA would draw a line somewhere. I'm not 
sure how many would welcome a soldier in World War One garb who claimed to 
be a time traveller, in the name of creativity. Hyperbole? Yes. But its all 
a matter of degree.

Master Michael Silverhands, when Baron of Stargate, gave me some of the best 
advice I ever received in the SCA. "Ihon, you are going to meet people in 
this Society that take things far more seriously than you do and you are not 
going to be comfortable around them. And you are going to meet people in 
this Society that take things far less seriously than you do and you are not 
going to be comfortable around them. Find those with whom you are 
comfortable and have a good time." I would add to that, "Insofar as 
possible, treat everyone with respect. The example you set might encourage 
others to greater efforts." 

Those who have been part of the Society for some time have noticed that 
garb, armor, songs, poetry, dance -- probably every area of interest -- has 
become more historically accurate with the discovery of new manuscripts and 
better research. We've built on our own past. In most, if not all, cases, 
the move to greater authenticiy has not been imposed but has occured because 
people have concluded "Wow! That's pretty neat!" 

I take the Society's aims seriously. At the same time, I try to be tolerant 
of those who don't, hoping that time and what they see in others will work a 
change. Where I draw the line is when someone expects the Society to change 
to accomodate their personal agenda (and, no, that is not aimed at anyone 
who has previously posted on this matter).

--ihon, OL
Baron of Stargate 

On 9/13/05, Forrest Hedrick <ambrose_blackwood at yahoo.com> wrote:
> In light of this debate over the accuracey of pirates in Ansteorra, I 
> thought some might like to see the following site
> http://www.texicanprivateers.com/home.htm
> This group was founded by a couple of friends of mine who became 
> disenchanted with our fair dream, so started their own game. They do not 
> have a ship as of yet, but they do throw one heck of a beach bash and BBQ!
> My thanks to Lord Duncan, it's nice to see someone remembers what the "C" 
> stands for. ;)
> In Service to the Dream and Ansteorra,
> Lord Ambrose Blackwood von Mapt, al Kaleed Ibn Tarl 
> Apprentice to Mistress Shanahan the Fey
> (more notoriously known as, Fo)

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