[Ansteorra] Why aren't we doing this?

Haraldr Bassi ansteorra at haraldr.drakkar.org
Tue Nov 2 10:49:42 PDT 2010

I respectfully disagree. We have done a remarkable job with clothing ourselves in a medieval 
fashion over the thirty or so years I've been in the SCA. It was very different back in 1980/81. 
Is there room for improvement? Of course. Should clothing be our current priority? No. Other 
areas are blatantly more glaring.

It is trivially easy to drape a cooler with a cloth to mute the bright plastic colors. I 
recently found a line of cloth "bag" coolers from Sam's that look reasonable from a distance 
compared to the bright blue or red plastic that would be an alternative. Even that cooler I will 
place under a table with a cloth cover or out of site behind my wooden box so that it doesn't 
glare at me.

We have some people who bring a very nice set of wooden chairs to our events while the vast 
majority are bringing in the sack chairs. Unfortunately these tend to often be of colors not 
found in nature or worse have large corporate logos on them. Their very shape is unlike anything 
that would have been seen in a historical context. Even a directors chair has a closer 
connection with the period X style chairs than these ultra-lightweight nylon monstrosities.

My preferred seating is actually perched upon my wooden six board chests, with a cushion pad. I 
have to bring the box as it has my stuff in it anyway and it ends up being easy to then use it 
as my seating. My wooden directors chairs only come out when my back is acting up and I need to 
support it (as has been happening more frequently lately).

I have in the back of my mind finding a way to make folding slat chairs into a class I can teach 
in the field like the loom or embroidery frame class. So far, I don't have a concrete plan but 
will keep working on it.

I don't want to chase newcomers away, but frankly it isn't our newcomers that bother me most 
with the blatantly modern conveniences. I've often seen newcomers attending their first event 
angsting about their appearances and go away confused because they aren't recognized as 
newcomers because their "kit" is better appearing than some of the long time members (and peers) 
around so they weren't recognized as being new.

Another comment on this thread implied a concern about winning being the goal. That can be 
addressed by the way that winning is settled. As an example, here in Bjornsborg, our fall 
chivalric champions are selected based upon their presentation and decorum and how they embody 
the goals we wish to emphasize. We've even had champions selected who hadn't won a single fight 
on the field that day but who embodied clearly that which we as a barony chose to reward.

Oh, and while we are at it, can we also address flash photography and smoking in the primary 
areas of our events? I was somewhat disappointed at War of Ages to be sitting in a wonderful 
open barn structure only to be regularly blinded by flashes, when the area had been reasonably 
well lit with an indirect spotlight on the upper balcony.

As an alternative, could we look into what it would take to setup a couple very very discrete 
video cameras and make the results available to anyone who wishes to have a "record" of their 
friend's moment in court? Using WoA as an example, nobody would have noticed or cared had their 
been a camera running on a tripod on that balcony recording everything in court, yet the 
resultant video would have been wonderful to have as a memory aid.


On 2010/Nov/02 10:46, Bill Toscano wrote:
> AEla: I think we need to start with garb first and move onto other things.
> I think it's easier to have "selective blindness" about mundane chairs,
> coolers and cars outside the fence than the clothing people are weating.
> Just my opinion.
> Liam
> On Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 9:55 AM, Susan Tillery<sutillery at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
>> If we are going to ask the fighters to improve the look of their gear we
>> need to speak to the spectators as well.  Do we want to give up our modern
>> pop up chairs? Or at least cover them with a cloth so they are less
>> glaringly modern?  Do we require our artisans and scribes to use only period
>> tools? That is the ideal and there is always room for improvement.
>> I agree that leading by example, improving my own kit piece by piece and
>> listening and sharing with others is the way to go. I play infrequently
>> myself these days and have let much of my kit fall by the wayside.  If I
>> don't continue to strive for a more medieval look and feel it is easy to
>> lapse into a gray pseudo-medieval mush, so I welcome the discussion and will
>> look with interest to see where it leads.
>> AEla
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