BVC - From the Society...

chuck_graves@mmacmail.jccbi.gov chuck_graves at mmacmail.jccbi.gov
Mon Jun 14 10:39:05 PDT 1999


Greetings to Mistress Tetchubah.
     
Your letter to the Exchequers and Brewers of the Known World was posted 
to our e-mail list today.
     
To say the very least, I am disappointed in its content.  Not so much 
for the notification regarding materials for the manufacture of 
alcohol.  Rather, I am concerned with the apparent move by the BoD to 
restrict the free flow of information within the Society.
     
Frankly, when the BoD notified us last year that we could no longer 
purchase alcohol for immediate consumption at SCA events, I was 
relieved.  The move to include basic materials for the same is no 
surprise.  It simply closes a loophole in the previous ruling.
     
My chief concern is with the following:
     
     >Further discussion with Andrew also revealed that local brewer's 
     >newsletters are putting us in insurance peril if they focus on 
     >redacting recipes or publishing new recipes developed by members of 
     >the guild.
     
This is nothing short of censorship.  Personally, I cannot comprehend 
how content in ANY such newsletter could imperil our insurance status.  
If we were to wander too far afield, I can see it impinging on our 
nonprofit status.  Printing our favorite modern recipes without regard 
for our medieval focus could be damning.  However, the few brewing 
newsletters I have seen are produced with an eye to medieval research.
     
While it may seem trite, we are attempting to re-create medieval works. 
Redaction is an implicit element in brewing as much as cooking.  If you 
truly intend to do this, make sure you take away the cookbooks from the 
cooks, and the portraits, effigies, and rubbings, from the costumers.  
If the brewers are not allowed to perform our research AND disseminate 
our findings, neither should anyone else.
     
Forgive me.  I did not intend a tirade.  I am simply frustrated with 
where this is taking us.
     
You noted that:
     
     >they [funds raised for brewing guilds] may be used for other 
     >purposes such as subsidizing a local event or feast, or a brewer's 
     >newsletter as long as the focus of that newsletter is educational 
     >and/or scholarly research of alcohol in period use.  Recipes are 
     >acceptable as long as they are period recipes. In other words, "This 
     >is what they actually did ..." as opposed to "Here's a great recipe 
     >you should try."
     
Again, this amounts to censorship.  SCA-sponsored censorship.  The very 
concept sickens me.  Frankly, I cannot see how you could enforce it.  And 
if it were done, I would expect the same attention to be paid to other 
guild newsletters such as those for weaving, costuming, or dancing.  Not 
appropriate, not printed!
     
     >The raising of future funds by the brewer's guilds should not be 
     >encouraged.  Any fund raising must be done as individuals for 
     >individuals by individuals.  The SCA will not be involved in any 
     >fundraising for the brewer's guild, either directly or indirectly.  
     >Money raised should NOT be deposited into an SCA account, and 
     >donations by check or money order should be made to the person 
     >organizing the fundraising or any other person in charge of the 
     >effort - NOT to the SCA, Inc.  Money raised is not tax deductible by 
     >the donor as it is not being donated to the SCA.
     
This is simply going TOO FAR.  From what I gather, a policy has been 
established by the BoD regarding alcohol to the effect of:
     
     The SCA will NOT purchase or distribute alcoholic beverages for 
     immediate consumption at ANY SCA-sponsored event.  This includes 
     any commercial and homemade beverages, and supplies and materials 
     for the production of homemade beverages.  
     
     The sole exception being those materials used specifically for 
     cooking.
     
I should think that policy would be sufficient to satisfy any insurance 
issues.  
     
To my way of thinking, your notice to the general public has heinous 
repercussions:
     
     Restricting reconstruction or re-creation of a medieval work; 
     Restricting the dissemination of information regarding that work; 
     Restricting the intellectual efforts of a small segment of the SCA.
     
Our works are not criminal and I cannot see how they imperil the Society.
     
Please consider what I say.  If I am in error, correct me.  If I have 
overlooked something, enlighten me.  
     
One last question.  What about brewing classes taught to the general 
populace at SCA events?  What about Colleges, Universities, Collegia, etc.?
     
I look forward to you reply.
     
Sincerely,
Tadhg macAedain uiChonchobhair

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