[Northkeep] "Put out that bloody cigare..." *

Peter Schorn peterschorn at pdq.net
Fri May 8 16:33:31 PDT 2009

Well, why not call them "service auctions" instead?  Because that's what
you're really auctioning, isn't it?

>The auctions I've seen over the years were always called "slave" auctions.
>Everyone understood they were done for fun, and usually the auctioneer
>outlined what the slaves could be used for.  They were raucous, a little
>raunchy, definitely rowdy, and always a riot (in the good sense).

I don't doubt this was the case.  However, just because you haven't had
trouble in the past doesn't mean other people haven't--or that we shouldn't
learn from their example.

Because I can offer counter-examples of civic and campus groups that held
"slave auctions" and got slammed for it in the media.  Yes, I know it's bad
for the media to exercise its power in this way.  But it does, and I don't
see why we should make the SCA in general or Northkeep in particular a
target for it.

I referred to the BoD because they have the power of sanction against both
individuals _and groups_ that they feel are putting the SCA in
danger--including the danger of bad publicity.  So even if we escape
notoriety in the press, the BoD could well be inclined to take pre-emptive
action to preclude future risk.  And if we do attract notoriety--do you
think the BoD will defend our right to hold slave-auctions?

(Bear in mind that we are governed by a corporation seated in Marin County,
California.  Look that up on Google Earth.  Notice where it is.  And ask
yourself how charitably people there might view a bunch of Midwesterners
playing at slave-games).

I don't doubt the goodness of anybody's motives or the innocence of
anybody's intentions.  I know they are all of the best. But I think you've
got a blind spot here and in that blind spot lies some risk--avoidable,
unnecessary and considerable risk-- to the SCA from the media, and to
Northkeep from the BoD.  I am trying to warn you of that risk.

It's like...we're all in a trench during wartime, at night, and you want to
smoke a cigarette.  Now, though I don't smoke myself, I don't have any
objections to you smoking--*but*not*here,*not*now.* Because if you do, you
could attract a sniper or a shell. And that would be very, very bad for all
of us, not just you.

Please consider what I have said.  Please consider at least changing the
name to "service auction"--I've never heard of one of those getting ripped
by the media.

Please don't take a risk that endangers those who didn't consent to take it.


*Last words of Hector Hugo Munro (1870-1916), better known as the author
"Saki."  Killed by a German sniper in the trenches of World War I.
Interestingly, he had written the following poem:

"It's three no trumps" the soldier said.
A sniper's bullet struck him dead.
His cards bedecked the trench's bottom:
A comrade peered--"Yep, he'd a' got 'em." 

More information about the Northkeep mailing list