[Sca-cooks] *Sigh* That tomato thing - again

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Mon Oct 2 10:58:50 PDT 2006

On Oct 2, 2006, at 12:33 PM, otsisto wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> <<That's an opinion some would argue with; one could as easily say  
> the SCA
> is being taken somewhat more seriously for its scholarship now than  
> it used
> to be, and an increased emphasis on documentation is one
> reason for that. Of course, nobody is making anyone prepare or read
> documentation they don't want to.>>
> De: Yet there can be such a strong emphases on documentation that it
> intimidates the new people. The feeling that one may find someone  
> in their
> face being told to "prove it".

Well, again, prove what? I confess I've never seen this, not once in  
nearly 25 years. If you've seen specific instances of new people  
being being thronged by armies of authenticity fascisti and  
intimidated, it hardly seems like their ideology on documentation is  
especially relevant. The stick used to beat someone is less important  
than the fact that someone is willing to use it at all.

> <<< Are these the first things you think of when you think of life  
> in late
> medieval Europe, or the first thing you'd teach someone else in  
> preparing
> them to wake up in the morning to live A Day In The Middle Ages?>>>>
> De: It is because of the above statement that newcomers think that  
> SCA only
> deals with the Middle Ages. I have heard at least 10 people in the  
> past year
> say something to the effect of "I wouldn't be interested in the SCA  
> as they
> only do Medieval and I am interested in the Renaissance."

I could as easily claim that it is because of your statement people  
don't think the SCA time period covers the Dark Ages. We both spoke  
in shorthand. Mine was an informed choice, if everything that needed  
to be qualified was, we'd be talking forever. This time, however,  
luck wasn't on my side.
> <<I think that to a great extent, people looking to play this game,  
> unless
> they're in it for the beer, in which case they can play anywhere, and
> consciously or not, are looking into bringing to life the great  
> forces that
> shaped period life -- the shift from tribalism to nationalism that  
> leads to
> the development of kingdoms and feudalism.
> De: The first line with the beer I think, is a wee bit insulting.

Really? It's a fairly common expression denoting a primary interest  
in having a good time over learning (generally what actually happens  
is both, but there are people who'll say they're just looking to have  
an uncomplicated good time), and far less insulting than accusing  
people of denigrating, bashing or Naziism.

> Most come
> into the SCA for the lets pretend and maybe learn a little history  
> in the
> processes. But when a new person given the impression that SCA is a
> hardcore, must be documented, kit must be accurate kind o'group,  
> there is
> more of a chance of them leaving.

Sure. The Trayned Bandes, or the Plantagenet Society, or any of a  
number of other groups, are over that way... but who's presenting the  
SCA in that way? Not me. What I've done is walk into a room where a  
full-blown argument (well, sort of, an established disagreement,  
anyway) is already taking place, and said, in effect, "Here's one way  
you can make your point."

What I'm not doing is walking up to random newbies and confronting  
them with my research and daring them to refute it at their peril. In  
fact, that is precisely the behavior I'm opposing.

> A rare few join wearing the extreme
> research and documentation genes. :)
> <<You know, the Age Of Chivalry, where it came from and where it  
> went.>>
> De: I have heard the "Age of Chivalry" debated many o' time. Were  
> the Middle
> Ages that chivalric or are we recreating an 1800s notion?

Well, unless you're arguing that we should be serving tomatoes at  
every feast because they were known in the 1800's, does it make a lot  
of difference? I think the question is not so much whether we're  
recreating the Age of Chivalry, as what that means.


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