[Ravensfort] Fwd: Re: [Ansteorra] Authenticity in the SCA

L T ldeerslayer at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 22 08:40:44 PDT 2002

I saw this letter and it was so awesome I thought I'd share it...


> From: "Susan Bowen" <philippa at ev1.net>
> To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>
> Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 2:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Authenticity in the SCA
> > I just caught up on reading all of the posts about authenticity, and such
> > and I have a few comments to add to the mix. These thoughts are in a
> rather
> > random order, because I thought of different things as I read different
> > posts.
> >
> > I wrote down a persona story many years ago as a way to explain to myself
> > the relationships I had with the people I am closest to in the SCA. It
> > helped in determining how my persona would act around these people. My
> story
> > has changed somewhat over the years. A baroness must have a slightly
> > different background than a young girl with no title. I needed to explain
> to
> > my own satisfaction my facination with herbs, my interest in travel, my
> > level of learning, etc. These are my personal reasons for doing this
> > exercise, but they might be helpful to others as well.
> >
> > In addition, on the way to an event, I try to think about the event as a
> > medieval person would. Why am I going there? How am I getting  there?
> > (horse, wagon, etc.)What have I been doing for the last week that could be
> > described medievally? It gets me in the mood for the event and gives me
> > something to talk about.
> >
> > Sometimes, when I try to express the above to someone, I get blank looks.
> > For example, I had been ill. When a person asked me how I was feeling, I
> > replied, "The physician bled me last week, and I am feeling much better."
> I
> > got a strange look. Oh, well.
> >
> > On the other hand, the people in the SCA are our "real" friends. When we
> see
> > them it is natural to want to share our weekday lives with them. The
> > relationships would be playacting if we never drifted into the 20th
> century.
> > These conversations are necessary. I try not to let these conversations
> > intrude on other people's experiences. (I do forget at times, but I try
> not
> > to.) Conversations can be held quietly, or away from the list field or
> other
> > activities where the ambience is otherwise medieval.
> >
> > Many, many people have described moments when they had a truly "medieval
> > moment." For that moment, the time between then and now was erased, and
> the
> > person felt that they existed in a different time and place. For many
> > people, these moments have almost a sacred quality to them, they are
> > discussed in awe, or in poetry. I don't know when someone else may have
> one
> > of these moments. Therefore, I don't want to be the person holding a coke
> > can with an uncovered ice chest, with my minivan parked right behind my
> > pavillion that makes those moments less likely to happen. One reason so
> many
> > of these moments happen at night is that many obvious mundanities are
> > covered by the darkness.
> >
> > Sometimes the very structure of our organization leads to authentic(ish)
> > medieval experiences. I have heard people complaining that the border
> groups
> > don't do things the way that people do in other parts of the kingdom.
> (Seems
> > that I have heard reference to similar complaints about the Marcher Lords
> of
> > the Welsh border.) Sometimes people complain that being good at swinging a
> > stick does not make a person a good monarch. Neither does being born the
> > eldest son of the right family. Our solutions are of necessity the same as
> > those of feudal societies. Grin and bear it and/or work around it until
> the
> > next reign. At least we don't have to wait a lifetime, but then, that
> gives
> > us less reason to seriously consider assassination.
> >
> > We can never hope to be truly authentic as an organization. We cover too
> > long a period and too large a territory. By our nature, my Norman English
> > persona is going to run into my ancestors and my enemies and people I
> never
> > even heard, of at every event. Yet these people may be my king, my baron,
> my
> > teacher, my pupil, my best friend, etc. I also live simultaniously in
> > England and Ansteorra. These two places have different kings, different
> > laws, different lots of things.
> >
> > This does not mean that I personally can't study and do research and play
> as
> > authentically as I want to. It does mean that I will have to ignore
> jarring
> > inconsistencies even if everyone was playing at the same level of
> > authenticity (or lack of it. as the case may be). Since this need to be
> able
> > to overlook differences in period and country is inherent, surely we can
> > overlook inconsistencies in the way we play the game. The game is enriched
> > in some way by most of the people who play, and I have found that I can
> > learn things from most of them as well. Be tolerant my friends, there is
> > room in this world for all of us.
> >
> > In service to Ansteorra,
> > Philippa Rookhaven
> > Baroness of the Court of Ansteorra
> > Lion of Ansteorra
> >

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Games - play chess, backgammon, pool and more

More information about the Ravensfort mailing list