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

Sigen3 at aol.com Sigen3 at aol.com
Fri May 8 19:04:46 PDT 2009

In a message dated 5/8/2009 6:33:46 PM Central Daylight Time, 
peterschorn at pdq.net writes:

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.

I have duly considered what you have written, and after some consideration, 
I will agree with Mistress Talana.  There have been many such auctions in
the past (and hopefully many in the future), with no problems, and much
If we do things only with the concern that someone, somewhere, someday
might possibly be uncomfortable, offended, or otherwise discombobulated,
we probably should stay in bed.  Anyone may choose to be offended by 
anything.  That is their privilege, but should we cease any activity that
might possibly be their target?  I believe that political correctness has
indeed gotten out of hand.  Everyone is afraid of doing something to
offend someone.  In my own humble opinion, if someone is offended
by a "slave auction", perhaps they should stay in bed, because they
will find *something* to offend their delicate sensibilities no matter how
hard we all try to avoid doing just that.  If we stop doing all the things
that potentially inflame someone, we might as well do nothing at all.
Have I missed somewhere that there was BOD involvement/concern over any
such thing?  I can't even imagine it. I know from personal experience that 
BoD is much too busy to worry about a fund raising project.  I think that 
someone actually rats the auction out to the media, chances of it being 
and exploited are very unlikely.  And so what if someone does complain?  
likely the BoD would feel compelled to make another silly rule that bans 
the use
of the term "slave auction".  So what?  The SCA has survived *much* worse 
in the press, I promise.
If it were up to me, I would give it my approval, without any hesitation or 
other than making sure I got my chance to bid.  I would say go for it, have 
and bid generously...it's a good cause, regardless of what you call it.  Of 
it is not up to me.
Sigen Northkeep
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