[Ansteorra] A Perspective

Patrick R tex_yankee2004 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 24 20:42:11 PDT 2008

Claryce <claryce at cox.net> wrote:  I’d like to share a bit of perspective about the principality issue.

I’ve played in the SCA for 26 years. A large number of those years were in Ansteorra. I’ve served in many official positions, and been privy to a lot of councils about the principality idea. In that time, I’ve heard a lot of very good conversations, with some very good ideas.

However, in that time I’ve also:

1) Seen the crown of Ansteorra *slammed* onto a table.
2) Seen members of the Royal Family make accusations and heated statements towards others. At least once I’ve heard threatening statements.
3) Seen normally calm peers and nobles yelling and arguing. Some of whom have stormed out of rooms. I’ve seen very hateful conversations between them.
4) Seen a *lot* of tears. A lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of pain.
5) Seen a *lot* of friends turn into enemies, who may or may not every reconcile their differences.
6) Seen our numbers drop, and good people leave the SCA.
7) Seen portions of our kingdom torn, with people too emotionally hurt to be active.

In looking back over the last few decades of conversation about this topic, I can’t think of a single good thing that has come out of this subject. Maybe a little spur of unity in an area for a little while, but it has *always* fallen back to where it was before the topic came up. Occasionally the region dropped further, because after a hard push, nobody had any more energy, and the region suffered.

I don’t know how it happens, but Ansteorra is an entity that produces amazing loyalty in its subjects. Whenever I’ve traveled other kingdoms, most people who relocate say: “I was in the Middle, but now I’m Caidian (or wherever)”. From what I’ve seen and heard people say, in most cases Ansteorrans will say “I’m an Ansteorran, living in this kingdom”. Most of us never lose that deep sense of loyalty to this amazing thing that exists only in our minds and a little paper. 

That loyalty works both ways though. We are loyal to a fault, and there are a *lot* of people who feel extremely strongly about this _whole_ entity of Ansteorra – as a whole, undivided entity. I’ve seen so many people get very emotional about this issue, to the point of wrecking family and close friendships. I know I’m not alone when I say I wince when the word is even mentioned.

Claryce Raphael Orfevre
OP, OL, etc.
Relocated Ansteorran who will be coming home soon.

Ansteorra mailing list
Ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

  Being relatively new to the SCA I do not have the wealth of experience to draw from so I will depend on your guidance (and anyone else that has been around). Reading most of the posts about this topic I see some in favor of change and some liking things as they are. 
  Keep in mind these are only observations for change that I have noted (not saying if I agree or not, due to lack of information).
  1. The vastness of our Kingdom makes it difficult to attend events that are far away from you. Ok, I only go to 4 or 5 events a year and I am lucky to be centrally located so my longest drive is less than six hours to Gothic. Would I give up Gothic and Stepps for an event closet to home? No way they are my favorite events. 
  2. The Crown can not make it to the furthest events. No offense but, does that really make a difference in if you go to an event or not? 
  3. Awards can not be given out if the Crown is not there. Ok do we go to events to have fun, be with our friends, learn something. Or is it so we can add things to our “I love me” wall (Military people know what I mean, at least us older ones should). My Commission says “By the President” but he was not there to pin gold bars on my shoulders (considering it was Carter I was not upset). 
  Maybe someone with more knowledge can answer these questions for me. Have we seen a drop of in attendance for Crown Tournament, Queens Champion, Royal Huntsman, Equestrian Champion, A&S Kingdom competition? I do not know the answers to these questions but I would think if someone wants to compete in them, the distance may not matter all that much. 
  I may be looking at this too simplistically, but sometimes there is something to be said for keeping things simple. A division of the Kingdom would create one additional set of crowns between a Barony and a Kingdom. At any event I have gone to, it is impossible to swing a dead cat without hitting someone with a pointy hat on. Creating another level could also deplete the people willing to work different positions within the Kingdom. While I would not be effected, some people could be upset since they have a degree of loyalty to the Kingdom they may have been in for years and served. They could consider themselves uprooted and abandoned (not too hard to imagine recently). 
  Just my opinion but I do not see any significant advantages to a change. If people in outlying areas have smaller events people will come, slowly at first I would presume but as the reputation builds so will the attendance. One suggestion that I think would help, considering transportation costs. Would people consider waving the event fee of anyone traveling more than an established distance (say 250 miles one way or any other number considered significant). Just a thought, I for one feel there is merit to the kinds of posts I have read and hope people realize they are not slamming anyone or anything or calling for change. They are just a healthy discussion of ideas. 
  Dante Regusa 

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