BVC - From the Society... (2nd try)

chuck_graves@mmacmail.jccbi.gov chuck_graves at mmacmail.jccbi.gov
Mon Jun 14 10:44:30 PDT 1999


My apologies, everyone.

I inadvertently sent my first draft.  TRASH and SEND are too close to each other
on my toolbar.

The following is what I meant to send.

Please consider it instead.

Sincerely,
Tadhg

********************************************************************************

Greetings to Mistress Tetchubah.
     
Your letter to the Exchequers and Brewers of the Known World was posted 
to our e-mail list last week.
     
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 policy.
     
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 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. 
The intent of our work is accurate and SAFE reconstruction.  I am more 
concerned about NOT disseminating information in these areas.  

I am very worried with where the latest policy statement 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.  Personally, I cannot see how you could hope to 
enforce it without violating the constitutional freedom of SCA members.

I presume that the basis for this policy is the broadened interpretation 
of "manufacture".  I am concerned that the next step would be to broaden 
the interpretation of "serve" or "distribute".  Please consider the 
following questions:

  When is the SCA serving or distributing?  
     A mead with the feast? 
     Mead in the feast hall? 
     Mead in an individual's encampment?
  What offices carry official SCA sanction (and imply SCA liability)?
     The King? 
     A Peer of the Realm?
     A landed Baron?
     A local officer?
     An official member?
  When can we differentiate the individual from the office?  And how?
     King Omar in His Court?
     King Omar at His Table to feast?
     Omar in his camp?
     Omar after he steps down?
     
I do not mean to be difficult.  I am simply searching for answers.  The 
concerns raised by the latest announcement are quite grave.

     >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.  
     
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 may NOT manufacture, distribute, sell, serve, or furnish 
     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 incidental to 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 carries grievous 
implications:
     
     Restricting reconstruction or re-creation of medieval works; 
     Restricting dissemination of information regarding those works; 
     Restricting intellectual endeavors 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 have said.  If I am in error, correct me.  If I 
have overlooked something, enlighten me.  
     
One last question.  How does this policy effect brewing classes taught to 
the general populace at SCA events?  What about Colleges, Universities, 
Collegia, etc.?
     
I look forward to you reply.
     
Sincerely,
Ld. Tadhg macAedain uiChonchobhair
Barony of Namron, Kingdom of Ansteorra
     M

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