[Northern] Apathy Rant

Reihla@aol.com Reihla at aol.com
Sun May 13 22:50:29 PDT 2001

Well, I wasn't going to start a thread on this subject, but ...

I don't know about the kind of response required in an official polling to
convince corporate to create a permanent principality.  I suspect no one
person can guarantee corporate would or would not elevate a group based on
simple numbers and percentages.

I, for one, appreciated the results of this unofficial polling.  A volunteer
poll gives us a really good idea who would actually work to support a cause,
rather than an "every paid member must cast a vote" poll where people who
don't really care feel honor bound to cast their vote one way or another.

Don't forget that the stated purpose of this poll was *to determine if there
was sufficient support for the idea to merit an official poll.*  That means
if people didn't strongly support the idea then they may not have felt honor
bound to vote.  I know many who refused to give their opinion for anything
less than an "official" poll.

About the Crown Tournament example, I don't think apathy has anything to do
with the number of fighters in that tournament.  The fact is you have to
possess phenomenal skill to win.  Most fighters won't travel long distances
just to be taken out in one or two shots of the first round.  Plus, to
compete you have to promise that you can actually serve as Crown should you
win. Most fighters take that huge financial, emotional and physical
committment very seriously and won't make a promise they can't keep.  That's
why I waited over 5 years before entering my first Crown list.

This same thing applies to almost any other kind of competition in the SCA
for that matter.  Entering a championship contest for any group means you
must be willing to serve as that group's champion/archer/bard/artisan should
you win.  Many people will prefer not to compete if they can't fulfill the
obligations required of the winner.

The same is true when considering elevation in status of an SCA group.  I
remember when I lived in a shire that could have easily petitioned for
baronial status.  It would have meant gaining pomp, ceremony, their own
nobility, etc. but they decided to forego those things because they didn't
want the level of work and the politics that this decision would bring.  It
wasn't apathy.  It was counting the cost.

> The people who won't get involved or won't express their opinion don't

I respectfully disagree.  Only 153 paid members voted in the polling and it
is impossible to tell from the posted results what percentage of the "yesses"
and "no's" were paid or non-paid.  The other 190 paid members who did not
vote *do* matter because if they were not paid members we wouldn't be having
this discussion.

The truth is that the *only* way to decide this matter one way or another is
an official polling where paid members decide the outcome.  I, for one, am
completely in favor of pursuing this through official channels.  The issue
has polarized our region for quite some time now and it needs to be resolved
before we become the Hatfields and the McCoys (or some more medieval
representation thereof).

Kat  >^.,.^<

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