[Ansteorra] Cut-off Dates (was RE: Why aren't we doing this?)

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace sirlyonel at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 5 07:33:29 PDT 2010

Salut mes fras,
Personally, I'd love to see the SCA go back to the beginning and pick a single century and stick with it. 
It would be so much easier to create the magic moments of which Master Robin speaks so fondly. The dream. Sorry, but I've never experienced it. Never. The closest I came was at my knighting, and even there a few disruptions prevented falling into that dream of actually being transported into the Middle Ages. It wasn't the flash photography that got in my way. I didn't even notice the flash photography. Nor did I notice the occasional sound of rushing traffic from the nearby freeway. It was the anachronisms all around me that ruined the moment. My king, my knight, my spouse, and I were all garbed in 15th century finery. I was dressed in a white outfit (but without the flames on the skirt) of the squire, Ardent Desire in King Rene's Book of Love. There I was kneeling before my king, holding my new gold chain and the hilt of the Sword of State, saying my vows, and I was almost gone--almost transported. The queen stepped forward and took the ewer (I was looking down), and poured a small amount of water upon my head--I was so close. I could ignore the modern English (15th Century is post vowel-shift, right?). I wasn't noticing the flashes that must have been going off (friends later returned so many pictures). Sunlight coming in through the window of the stone walls of the Old Mill (it's a Loch Salann thing--if you'd ever been, you'd know what I mean) sparkled in the corner of my eye. Almost there. I looked up, and--
Lost it. 
There before me, beside her king, stood the queen of Atenveldt in all her finery. Her 16th Century Elizabethan finery. Beautiful, but a hundred years too late. Beside her, my friend, Viscount Sikman the Stout, all dressed to go a-viking, Futharkan Runes bedecking his tunic. Tenth Century. Beside him, another knight, rectangular dags on his long cotehardie screaming 14th Century. Und so weiter. Beautiful work, all, but so improbable. I couldn't be in the 15th Century,the 16th Century, the 10th, and the 14th all at once. 
I've seen a few events that have tried to overcome this overwhelming anachronism, but the SCA is never exclusive beyond the pre-17th Century mandate, so we always allow everyone in, no matter what they're wearing. 
I understand the good Ritter's dilemma. I'd like to travel around a bit, too. We had an event in Artemisia, once, back in the early 90s. Most of us tried to show up in 17th Century garb. The entire Tarragon household showed up in 1640s sky-blue and white cavalier garb. I have a picture somewhere. We looked sharp. The viking Jarl on the far right is almost out of frame, so you could probably crop him out. Still. No dream.
Sorry, kids. It's been fun, but the dream never quite happened for this old knight.
Anyway, since it never works, anyway, who cares if the fencers want to show up in lace collars and lace atop their boots, with sidearms, and big, feathery cavalier hats? Not I. I'm a 14th Century knight of Provencal, with a 16th Century name, and who temporarily was a young herald in the court of Baldwin IV, the Leper King of Hierosalem, Outremer. 
So, screw the limits. If we can have all these Roman Equites running around in our Middle Ages and Viking raiders and 16th Century samurais in our Italian Renaissance, I'm not going to be bothered by a little gunsmoke and greasy lace.

En Lyonel 
Impedimentum via est (The obstacle is the path)

> Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 21:50:26 -0500
> From: seoseaweed at gmail.com
> To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org
> Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Why aren't we doing this?
> Tivar and Liam and others were talking cutoff dates...
> 1600 is such an arbitrary date. As much as it might fly in the face of what
> we do, I strongly believe the early and mid 1600s should be fair game; how
> many of us joined the SCA chasing visions of our favorite films and how many
> of those visions included Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay,
> and Oliver Reed? Our *entire* duelling culture in Ansteorra, contrary to
> those who like to look smart these days by quoting early fencing masters, is
> NOT anchored to George Silver but rather to Alexandre Dumas by way of George
> MacDonald Frasier. I ask you which is more fun to think about: Morozzo's
> Progression of Defense or defending the honor of a chilly Raquel Welch in a
> sheer shift? Nuff said.
> Okay, so you're a stick in the mud and you need an HISTORICAL reason for a
> later date?
> 1603 Elizabeth dies... no more fun queeny; no more fun SCA.
> 1616 William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes die on the same day.
> (how's that for a crap day for western literature?). No more fun plays and
> books; no more fun SCA.
> 1621 The ship Mayflower, carrying about 100 Pilgrims is headed for Virginia
> but is blown off course and lands instead at Plymouth. The beginning of the
> end of fun for native americans...
> 1642 King Charles I, King of England, has some unpleasantness with the
> Puritans. No more bear baiting, plays, and cockfighting...
> 1648 the Thirty Years' War- arguably World War .5- ends at the Peace of
> Westphalia. No more fun old slaughter and siege...
> I often have exciting and even bawdy dreams where I am trapped in the body
> of a greasy Dutch cavalier pirate and tailor living- in his mind, at least-
> in 1620. I cannot- and will not- stop dreaming these wonderful visions of
> swashbuckling, lies, and high adventure. I'll go to confession, but I just
> can't feel guilty about it. If you can be a gaul from 200 B.C.... I can
> have a tailor from out of a Rembrandt painting.
> Ritter Dieterich
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