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SCA-The-Dream-msg - 2/9/99


What the SCA means for different people.


NOTE: See also these files: SCA-reasons-msg, SCA-as-family-msg, magic-moments-msg, non-SCA-part-msg, A-Peer-Within-art, Fndng-T-Dream-art, The-Blow-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sclark at epas.utoronto.CA (Susan Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: congrats...

Date: 21 Mar 1993 11:02:58 -0500

Organization: The Internet


Greetings all--

        Yesterday I think I found out what "the Dream" could really mean.

        At this year's Ice Dragon, a terminally-ill little girl was invested

        as "Her Radiant Highness, Princess Jaqueline" and thence presided

        over the day's festivities.  The winner of the fencing tourney became

        her champion and she was presented with many gifts by many of the

        royalty of the Known World.


               This was in fact the second "make a wish tourney"--the first

        was in Caid, and the banner representing the program which had

        flown there was displayed at this tourney.  Princess Jaqueline

        recieved a crown, a scepter, a book of poems dedicated to her

        and the assembled royalty by Hector of the Black Height, and the

        good wishes of all.  She was "adopted" by a SCAdian girl of about

        the same age, who not only befriended her, but gave her the respect

        due to a princess.


               Her investiture was one of the most touching things

        I've seen in ages.  I saw many damp eyes among the populace.

        For once we could put away our politics and mundane cares and share

        in the fulfillent of a dream for a little girl.


               So, to the planners of this event in the Barony of the

        Rhydderich Hael, "Vivant and Wassail"!  May we see more of this

        in the future!



        Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester

        sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: jprod at sagepub.COM (Journals Production Department)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: SCA as Game

Date: 30 May 1993 23:19:36 -0400

Organization: Sage Publications, Inc., Newbury Park, CA


  Lately I've been seeing a _lot_ of references to the SCA as a game. I

  have serious problems with this concept. It might help if people defined

  what they mean by "game" -- Webster's Ninth New Collegiate, which is our

  standard here at work, gives as its first definition "activity engaged in

  for diversion or amusement : PLAY. It then procedes to a number of other

  definitions which don't fill the bill at all.


  It seems to me that if you take part fully in the SCA, it's no game --

  at least not by the above definition. Certainly it still provides

  diversion and amusement, but that ceases to be _why_ one engages in it.

  The SCA provides more than just diversion: it offers experiences,

  relationships, and fulfillment difficult or impossible for those

  participating in it to find in the outside world. In ThinkWell there's

  a thread going on about the SCA as a religion, and I think there's

  more of a basis for this than for the SCA as a game (although it may

  be argued that religion itself is a game for some!).


  A week or so ago, someone said "We, being a culture ourselves...." and

  Arval said, "...this is an opinion, not a fact" and went on to make

  some very good points (as usual). _Culture_ may have been wrong, but

  (once again, according to Webster's), _subculture_ is entirely accurate.

  The definition that applies is "an ethnic, regional, economic or social

  group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to

  distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society." (Some

  might think definition 1, "a culture [as of bacteria] derived from

  another culture" even more apt!)


  Now, very possibly, people who play a lot of D&D (or other role-playing

  games) might also fall under the subculture definition. That makes them

  a D&D (or RPG) subculture, but it does _not_ make the SCA a role-playing

  game. I think Bettina and HG Cariadoc are both wrong. The SCA may have

  started out as a game, but it is far more than that now. Possibly you

  would help find a roomate or a job for a stranger someone had told you

  played D&D, Bettina, but I wouldn't, and I play. I would try my best,

  however, for someone in the SCA -- sight unseen -- and I'll bet most of

  the people on this board would, too.


  I know at least one knight who insists that the SCA's a game to him, but

  he didn't get where he is by treating it like a game, and the members of

  his household (who think he hung the moon) are as serious as they can be

  about chivalry, honor, and a certain amount of authenticity, even.


  I agree entirely with HG Cariadoc in that the SCA is "in the real world."

  I think it is more a part of the real world than we (most of us) are

  willing or, possibly, able to admit. In that it affects how we think and

  what we do, whether we are in garb or out, actively taking part or

  functioning in the outside world, it has helped to change and form us,

  and it's the rare game that does that. I would venture to say, too, that

  if a game -- chess, D&D, what have you -- _does_ do that, then it has

  become more than a game.


  Would you call the Masons a game? They have rules, like us. They have a

  hierarchy, like us. And, like us, when they're at work in the world outside

  of their Order, they carry with them the tenets of Masonry, which make

  a difference in their lives. I'm not just talking about ideals, here --

  people who have been hurt by the SCA carry the bitterness with them;

  people who feel they have been passed over for recognition, intimidated

  by forceful people, ignored by cliques, etc., etc. have all had their

  lives changed by the SCA.


  It seems to me that those who actually treat the SCA with the superficial

  attention one gives to checkers don't stay in very long, and most of

  them are unwilling even to lend a hand in setting up the pieces or putting

  the board away afterwards. That's fine with me -- I prefer people around

  me who are intent on and intense in their enjoyment of the immense variety

  the SCA has to offer, and who are willing to do a little hard work for

  the reward of being a valued part of a fascinating international family.


  The SCA is not a game. It is not a religion. It is a subculture, and I

  wouldn't be surprised if it were here to stay for a _very_ long time.


  Like chess. :-)


                         Sister Kate


         Journals Production Department, Sage Publications, Inc.

                2455 Teller Road, Newbury Park, CA 91320

              voice: (805) 499-0721    fax: (805) 499-0871

                    via Internet: jprod at sagepub.com



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mchance at nyx.cs.du.edu (Michael Chance)

Subject: Re: SCA as Game

Organization: University of Denver, Dept. of Math & Comp. Sci.

Date: Tue, 1 Jun 93 19:16:56 GMT


Kvedjur fra Mikjal!


Master Huginn Hrothgeirsson has presented a lecture at a couple of

Calontir university sessions on the "Anthropology of the SCA".  After

looking at the "culture" of the SCA from the point of view of an

anthropologist, he concluded that the SCA was not a subculture (like

the hippies of the '60s), but a "guest culture", being more like

groups who are "guests" in a foreign culture and unable to return to

their "homeland" (whether returning is attainable (like Jews and

Israel) or not (like refugees from a on-going civil war)). In the case

of the SCA, our "homeland" is not a place, per se, but a time.


It's a thoroughly fascinating lecture.  Unfortunately, he only has the

rough notes from which he has given the lecture, although he does

plan to eventually write a formal paper on the subject.


Mikjal Annarbjorn


Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA   "At play in the fields

Work: mc307a%viking at swgate2.sbc.com                        of St. Vidicon"

Play: ab899 at freenet.hsc.colorado.edu

      mchance at nyx.cs.du.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ctallan at epas.utoronto.ca (Cheryl Tallan)

Subject: Re: "Register what you use, and use what you register."

Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS

Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1993 23:19:02 GMT


Let me begin by admitting from the start that Quendor does not sound

like a modern name to me (if by modern you mean names that parents are

giving their children these days). However, it does not strike me as a

medieval name either.


It is possible for a name to be niether modern nor medieval (Gilgamesh

is a pretty good example). It is possible for a name to be medieval

AND modern (Mary is an example, as is, dare I say it, Thomas). You

seem to be saying :"If it's not modern it must be medieval" and/or "If

it is modern it must not be medieval". There is no necessary connection.


You also seem to be saying "The purpose of our game is to take us out

of the modern, mundane world. My chosen name does that. What's the

problem?" Correct me if I've misinterpreted the thrust of your

argument (either to the Rialto or to tallan at flis.utoronto.ca, not to

the account I'm posting on).


The problem is that for many of us, escaping the modern world is not

enough. We have a specific destination in mind. For just about all of

us, that destination is the Middle Ages. Seeing (or hearing) things

that are not medieval do not help us reach that destination.


This is not to say that everything you do or say or wear or whatever

must be medieval. Nobody is capable of that! Never mind the money, the

time, the knowledge (more than anyone is likely to be able to amass in

the course of just one lifetime), etc., nobody has the energy!

However, if you are going to devote the time or effort to do

something, whatever it is (choosing a name or heraldic device,

learning a song, making a costume, preparing a feast, the

possibilities are endless) may I encourage you to make that something,

that you are devoting your efforts to, medieval.


It is my humble opinion that everyone gains that way. The Society

gains both in terms of the medieval atmosphere created and by

fulfilling its expressed purpose: education (while creating something

medieval constitutes education, I doubt that creating something

"medievalish" qualifies). Those around you benefit both through the

bit of medieval culture created by you and through education (should

you share the knowledge that you acquired). And you gain by learning

something about the Middle Ages, through the satisfaction of doing

something that you know is medieval,and through the time saved in

documentation (it takes 1/10 the time to document something when you

hit the books first, or less - I found this out the hard way and have

learned from my mistakes).


This was not meant as an attack on you. It is meant as an effort to

share some of what I learned in over ten years in the SCA so that you

might avoid some of the errors that I made.


David Tallan (known to some as Thomas Grozier, Lord Mayour of the Cite

of Eoforwicke, who was first known in these Current Middle Ages as

Trantrist O' Mercenrike)



From: priestdor at vaxsar.vassar.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: You see what ya wanna see

Date: 3 Sep 93 03:23:08 +1000

Organization: Vassar College


I don't spend much time here, I was up late and decided to listen in. 200

messages later and well, I'm confused.  If you were all so offended at the

blatent oop stuff you saw at pensic, why are you still carring it around?

(talking about it so much?)


Were we at the same war?  This year I met people making rope beds who never

tried using a chisel before,  saw people making bone needles to sew their

leather lamalar together with,  gentles making shoes, finishing garments of

fine cloth THAT THEY WOVE.  I witnessed the shooting of a war point with self

wood bows with strong linen strings,  folks fighting in stout steel or sturdy

leather, people gathering dye stuffs and soaking samples, MAKING A FORGE ON

SITE AND TURNING ROCKS INTO METAL.  I smelled bread cooked in ovens built on

site,  tested theft proof locks for caskets,  heard tales of Beowolf and Njal.

I enjoyed  a perforance of comedia, got to play a portative organ.  I saw

people eating on trenchers, drinking from horns, glass or leather,  waking up

under canvas...


And all this and more I saw with my own eyes, heard with my own ears...


Yes, we need to reduce the mundanities at the war, but I've heard nothing

here of those gentles from all kingdoms who came to the war and made the past

live.  My pensic was enriched by their effort, was yours?


I'd enjoy hearing about that.


Dof (who should probably know better than to try to write at 3:15am)



From: ds4p+ at andrew.cmu.edu (David Schroeder)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: OUR Society

Date: 9 Jan 94 14:51:31 GMT

Organization: Doctoral student, Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


Hi folks!


People who've met me know me to be a mostly merry soul who delights

in making people smile with poems, songs, puns, and eadible treats.

I'm also a politician in what I hope is the best sense of the word,

someone who tries to move organizations to do what's best for the

people that compose them.


Recent comments from a number of directions have made me less merry.


The comments I'm talking about are the ones that say, in general terms:


     If you don't like the direction the Society's heading

     in, with more restrictive waivers, required memberships

     for combat related activities, and so on, then you

     should just pack up your bags and go elsewhere.


Such comments are the SCA equivalent of "AMERICA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!"


Those of us who've been in the Society for a long time know the real

principles the SCA was founded on.  Fleig was there at the first

tourney.  I've been around for nineteen years.  Others who learned

about the Society from folks like us understand that the values

that were part of the early Society are worthwhile ones that need

to be preserved.  It's OUR Society, too.  We built it.


It would be easy to blame all the problems we're having now on us

"old-timers" not taking the time to properly explain to the new-

comers what the Society is all about, but I don't think it's that

simple.  I think it's mostly a matter of the road to hell being

paved with good intentions.  People who don't understand about

civil liberties needing constant defense are all too willing to

give them up, even in the context of a social club like the SCA.


What are the "real" principles the SCA was founded on?

Here's my list.  Remember, we began in Berkeley in 1966.


o Inclusivity

   Everyone willing to put on some attempt at garb is welcome.


o Anti-establishmentarianism

   While we may need a few internal structures we don't want'em

   to be all that powerful and reserve the right to complain

   about them at frequent intervals.  The BoD was one guy's

   power trip and has been power tripping ever since.

   Ignore it when it gets out of line.


o Rampant Individualism

   The rights of members to do-their-own-thing within the context

   of the club shall not be infringed so long as it's at least in

   some way connected to period history.  Oh, yeah, it's 1650.


o Chivalry

   People try to be their highest and best "selves," in the Society.

   We're one big family.  We look out for and support each other.

   We trust (until given sufficient counter-evidence) each other.


o Valuing People

   We judge people by their actions and their contributions to the

   Society in terms of work, arts, and so on -- not by their words,

   the dollars they send to California, the money they spend on their

   'kit' of armor, garb, etc. or their mundane social status.


I'm sure there are a few more, folks, and would love to hear others

suggestions, but these are some of the key principles I think we

were based on and it saddens me to see us becoming another group

that's ossified into a bureaucratic stasis.  I won't give up these

founding principles without a fight and urge those who feel likewise

to join me and keep pressing for a return to what we were founded on.


Thanks for listening, friends.  Remember that it's OUR Society, too.

My best -- Bertram


Bertram of Bearington . Debatable Lands . AEthelmearc . East Kingdom . SCA

Dave Schroeder . Carnegie Mellon University . Pittsburgh . PA 412.731.3230



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: motto at cbnewsf.cb.att.com (mary.rita.otto)

Subject: Re: Why the SCA?  To dream or to learn?

Organization: AT&T

Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 21:00:43 GMT


In article <1994Jan3.231011.18149 at novell.com> chipc at novell.com (Chip Clark) writes:


Greetings, Good Gentles of the Rialto from Rosaline.


It is a cold and snowy day today in Rokkehealdan.  I send you all wishes

for warmth and comfort.


I am responding to this post in a most unusual way.  I beg your indulgence.


Answer the First

A discussion of the difference between Ren Fairs and the SCA.


The gentle who posted had commented that in experiences with a Ren Fair,

that fantasy was all that was important (or words to that effect).


I was struck by the difference between the SCA and Ren Faires at my

first event.  This difference was not apparent at demos I'd attended

which were presented by the SCA, and only became clear once I'd become

a participant.  SCA events are for the benefit of the participants.

The Ren Fair and Demos are for the benefit of the Audience.  There is

a major difference.  There is something ever so much more enjoyable

about recreating a small piece of the past along with others who are

doing the same than to do so with the pressures, desires, and needs

of an audience to satisfy.  There is also a difference when the

person who comes up to ask about your garb is also wearing garb and

not mundane clothing, and things like that.


But the most important thing is that there is an undertone of, for

lack of a better word, one would call "chivalry".  It is an environment

of mutual respect for the efforts of others.  It is an environment

where information is shared.  It is special.


This is not to say that Ren Faires aren't special or enjoyable.  I

appreciate them very much, and attend them frequently. But there,

even in your best garb you feel very much an outsider if you don't

work there.  I was not allowed to sing at the local Ren Fair as I

would have at an event, because the organizers did not want people

to come in and "cut in on" the earnings of the hired performers.

(And I never accept money!  I just like to sing.)


In any case, Ren Faires should not be taken as an example of what the

SCA is like and vice versa.


Answer the Second

A discussion of personal motivations for participation in the SCA


How can you describe love?  How can you make someone understand something

so full of emotion?  It is so easy to sound crazed when you try to

explain what it is that you desire or enjoy or love when the person

listening does not share the same feelings.


Ever since I was a young girl, I have been fascinated by things connected

with the "Middle Ages".  Beyond "fairy tales", beyond the "princess --

prince charming" thing;  a deep fascination.  A fascination that lead me

to read countless books about knights and armour and horses and castles

and more.  That lead to the extensive study of history and the writing

of sonnets.  That lead to the making of model weapons and costumes and

more.  That lead to frequent visits to the Ren Fair and the making of

many friends in the SCA, and finally to joining the SCA.


But how can I explain "why"?  That is the hard part.  Why do I find the

swords to be so beautiful?  Why do I go to the effort to make garment

upon garment?  Why have I collected so many books and videos and

artifacts?  Why do I find it all compelling enough to devote my time

to it and my effort to it and my time to it?  These are very difficult

questions.  You might as well ask me why I love my children so much.

I am equally at a loss for a logical answer.


But I will answer your questions in a more unexpected way, which may

shed light to lead you to answers of your own.


>I ask - Is there anyone interested in recreating History for it's own sake

>or are we all lost in our own fantasy worlds?


Nothing is done for its' own sake in this life.  It is done for personal

pleasure or gain or to avoid unpleasant (even if self-inflicted) consequences

such as the loss of self-esteem or guilt or punishment.


I am not lost.  I have a map (my research) and a compass (my judgement) and

a path to follow (my heart's desire).  We all live in the world of our own

perception.  To recreate the past we must suspend disbelief (to ignore

wheelchairs, glasses, etc) and thus enter into an agree-upon fantasy.

>After one season, though, it is clear that the fantasy is really what's

>important and not the performance or the recreation. I want to perform.  


Perhaps this is the problem.  You want to perform.  You look upon it

as your stage.  The SCA is not a stage.  The concept is not performance

but *experience*.  I do not "perform" at an event -- I experience the

event as Rosaline, a 13th century Englishwoman.  If it is truly your

desire to perform, than you should find your way to a suitable stage.


>Perhaps I need to return to the stage and Shakespeare. I love history.  

>Perhaps I need to return to school and study it in earnest.  


A love of history can be pursued in many ways.  School is just one place

where it can be done.  Earnestness is independent of location.



>So - I ask again - Doesn't anybody like recreating history for it's own sake,

>or are we all lost in our own worlds of fantasy?  


And I answer, No and No.  Nobody recreates history for its' own sake -  they

always do it for other gratification.  And No, we are not all lost.  I would

hope that we can all find our own paths in life to experience many interesting

and pleasurable things.  If part of the experience is to enjoy the creativity

and innovation within to enjoy a wider variety of entertainment than is

available without such effort, then a person is likely enriched by being

able to enjoy fantasy as well as reality.


I have waxed philosophical today, haven't I?  But such is my nature.

I have been in a thoughtful and philosophical mood of late, reflecting

on the absence of my mother and father who would have celebrated their

birthdays this week were they still alive.  And my 36th birthday is

swiftly approaching, and at each birthday I find myself examining my

life and weighing the choices that lie along the path ahead of me.

On the 18th of this month I will be another year older, and I will

have accomplished a great deal in the preceeding year.  It is up to

me to determine what I will try to accomplish in the year ahead.


I will leave you with this thought.  If every day I can say that I

am open to learning something new or old, trying something new or

old, and sharing the knowledge I gained in my life, then I am

satisfied that I am living positively.


Long-winded and philosophical,




From: vader at meryl.csd.uu.se (]ke Eldberg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Why the SCA?  To dream or to learn?

Date: 6 Jan 94 02:05:40

Organization: Indiana Jones University


Greetings from William de Corbie!


John Wemyss asked:


> Is there anyone interested in recreating History for it's own sake or are

> we all lost in our own fantasy worlds?


The middle ages that I love are those of pageantry, chivalry, feudalism,

cathedrals, scholasticism and a life enveloped in ancient traditions.

A world where people live among mysteries and wonders. A time when a

man's word means something even if he has no plastic card. A place

where people are close and depend on each other. A small world, where

anything on the other side of the mountains is strange and wondrous.


This is a romantic image. I leave out the dirt and drudgery, the evils

and oppressions, the cold and darkness, the rotten food and the death.

Still, I can love the middle ages without adding to them -- or can I?


A realization dawns. As a re-creation involving modern people, the

middle ages are unavoidably flawed. We are unable to truly depict

that distant era, because most of us do not share the beliefs and

attitudes of medieval man. The relationships and dependencies between

us are not the same. There is so much of medieval culture that has been

lost. What remains is not always interesting -- lots is just boring.

At least, it does not serve to re-create the world I am looking for.


Authenticity is a creed that many of us profess, but we do not mean

full authenticity. We still use power drills when making armor, and

modern facilities like showers, sleeping bags, coleman stoves, tape,

matches, and so on. The authenticity we are talking about consists in

things that look like real medieval items. Pavillions instead of modern

tents. Longbows instead of compounds. Handwritten scrolls instead of

printed diplomas. But we use synthetic fabric in pavillions, fiberglass

and dacron for the bows, and most scrolls are written on paper with

steel pens, and the gold is usually paint, not leaf.


All of this demontrates that our chief interest is not archaeology

or historic research, but an experience of wonder. We often call it

"the Dream". If this is truly what we want, and we are ready to abandon

history in order to simplify things, then how do we define the

authenticity that we claim to desire? Isn't it just another buzzword

by which we can mean whatever suits us when we say it?


I think I know why we talk so much of authenticity, while we are

not really authentic, and often do not even try to be:


The Dream can never be our principle, because we all have different

dreams. In a Society where everyone follows his medieval dream, we will

get elves with pointy ears, maidens in silver polyester gowns, Robin

Hoods with compound bows, dozens of wizards named Merlin and Gandalf,

and perhaps even courts conducted to rock music. All these things may

be part of somebody's Dream, but they will conflict violently with

other people's Dreams. We need something more objective and reliable

than that, to found our work on.


My own Dream contains many things that are not authentic. I would love

to have the royal procession enter court to booming wagnerian music.

I confess that my Dream is more a product of movies and romantic books

than of historical research per se. For me, anything that contributes

to the "experience of wonder", the magic moment when I'm suddenly not

here in the 20th century any more -- any such thing is good.


But the more I learn about medieval reality, the more sensitive I get

to things that are not authentic. And if the Dream was our principle,

we would only get annoyance, through the clash of so many conflicting

Dreams. The only thing we can use as a norm or a goal to work towards,

is authenticity.


But authenticity, for most people in the SCA, will never be a goal

in itself. The goal is the Dream, and authenticity is a vehicle to

make it come true for as many people as possible.





From: meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org (meg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: rewards and freeloaders

Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 11:47:27 EST

Organization: Stonemarche Network Co-op


From Megan come these words.

Having recently read sundry ideas from certain combustable folk who lurk

about in the corners of this otherwise lovely Bridge, I am moved to think

about, to ponder the nature of the Game we Play in regards to rewards and

those accused of "freeloading".


I cannot speak for all the Knowne World, for, Official Statements to the

Contrary, it has been my experience that there are always differences

between Kingdoms.  I speak only from my own experience. Here in my Barony

(I do shudder to say it) we do have some people who attend events

regularly yet seem to contribute little to the ordering or planning or

running of those events.  At first glance, it seems these folk get

themselves up in garb, haul along their gear, and show up at the door,

cash in hand ready to play.  What do these folk contribute, I wonder?

They have not done anything to make the event happen, they just show up.

Ah, but they do play.  They provide amusement and partnership and

competition and backdrop by their very presence.  Their presence adds to

the ambiance of our assemblage. I try to imagine our event without their

presence.  Smaller, less noisesome, less colorful, fewer players make for

a lonelier game.  


What then, if they contribute naught save their own presence?  They

become the props for my fantasy, the extras in the background who add

ambience to the scene.  They pay their site fee, which enriches our

coffers, enabling us to have better events, nicer feasts, more sumptuous

regalia, more interesting  and larger publications, etc.


And, mayhap, they will become ensnared in the Pleasure as I have, and so

seek to learn, to do, to aid, to become a part of the process rather than

a mere on=looker.


Why do people hang on with out actively participating? Perhaps they are

shy, or ill, or disinclined to expend personal finances or time or energy

for something for which they feel no sense of ownership. Perhaps they are

parents or students or workers who have little free time. Perhaps they

feel disenfranchized.  Perhaps they feel they are contributing enough by

their site fee and their presence.  Perhaps no one has personally asked

them to become involved.  Perhaps they feel overwhelmed by titled folk

who "share the burden", and feel uncomfortable intruding in their august

presence.  Perhaps they have lent their aid in the past and have found no

pleasure or reward or satisfaction in it.


Rewards.  We give them to those who act, who do, who make and who work.  

We withhold them from those who merely sit and look on. Service for its

own sake is rare at best.  Many serve for tangible ends...a more

agreeable event is the honorable motive, but some serve to reap rewards

of a dangly nature. Some seek the prestige the act itself bestows (vivat

the cook) others enjoy the social interactions of politics and



In my experience of 18 years, hanger-on eventually become ensnared, or

they leave.


Dues and membership costs and site fees not withstanding, we ALL pay to

play in some manner or other. Who are the free=loaders? Are they the

peasants of our society, against the crafters, the merchants, the

artists, the nobility?


Just a few thoughts.


Pensively yours, Megan.



In 1994: Linda Anfuso

In the Current Middle Ages: Megan ni Laine de Belle Rive  

In the SCA, Inc: sustaining member # 33644


                                YYY     YYY

meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org      |  YYYYY  |




From: gpetrola at prairienet.org (Gregory Petrolati)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Angus

Date: 6 Apr 1994 17:22:29 GMT

Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana


        I see my lady has added her tuppence to the fray regarding

        the much aforementioned Scottish personage.


        The thing I most remember about my times spent "In goodly

        company" was THE DREAM. THE DREAM was when all worked well

        and conditions worked right, you forgot (however momentary)

        the twentieth century and WERE the dream. It happened several

        times for me. Once (and most memorable for me) was at the

        Pensic War III (I think, as time dims the specific year).

        We had arrived late the previous night, somehow, the tent

        was pitched, though at the time I don't remember doing it.

        We retired. I was up a the crack of dawn and walked out in-

        to a fantastic morning. I could smell bacon frying somewhere.

        Someone was working on armor down the hill. I could hear his

        quiet tapping. There was a low fog that hid the National

        Guard water wagons and portapotties at the base of the hill.

        It was just the that The afore mention Scott (who was crown-

        prince at the time, if memory serves)  and two compatriots

        who had been up all night reveling came swaggering down the

        the hill singing an outrageous (period) song. CLICK! I was

        not in Pennsylvania I was ELSEWHERE!


        I tell you this because it is a treasured time for me. Now

        it is sullied. I will not be able to remember that morn with

        out thinking how things have fallen out. Sad.


        As the tale has been related to me Angus has drawn the SCA in-

        to his mudane crime as defense. To this old Baron, he is

        harming the image of the SCA that we (and I say we because we

        all worked on it) labor long and hard at raising. We have, over

        the years,

        This seems to me a treasonable offense. Treason among the

        peerage has its own punishment.


                                      GREGORY VON LUCIDA

                                             (once Baron of Bahkaill)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Asking for advice

Organization: University of Chicago

Date: Sun, 12 Jun 1994 04:14:45 GMT


Voluspa asks "how can young or shy or new people find the heart of

the SCA and really enjoy themselves? " An interesting and important



I think the first step is to realize that the SCA is many different

things to different people. At a large event, or in a large group,

that means that there are many subsets of the population for which

"the SCA is X" is true--with different X's. There are the people for

whom it is a chance to have wild parties and promiscuous sex. There

are the people for whom it is an opportunity to "freak the mundanes"

(my least favorite category). There are the people for whom it is a

chance to make friends with a variety of interesting people. There

are the people for whom it is a romantic dream made real. There are

the people for whom it is a chance to pretend, for a little while,

that they are really in the Middle Ages (not the same as the previous

category, although there is a lot of overlap). There are the people

for whom it is an opportunity to do research for fun. There are the

people for whom it is an opportunity to practice interesting skills,

such as writing and reciting poetry, or doing heraldry, for which

there is little space in the ordinary world.


The next step is to find the people for whom the Society means what

you want it to mean. At Pennsic, you can do it, with sufficient

searching, for almost any plausible X. In a small group, they may not

exist--and your only hope is to get other new people, and perhaps a

few old people discontented with the game they are playing, to play

your version of the Society. In a large group your odds are

better--but it depends how homogeneous the group is.


Most people like to talk--about themselves, and about others. One

possible tactic might be to encourage people in the group you join to

tell you about the group. You can accept their information without

agreeing with their judgement. If they tell you that person Y is an

authenticity freak, you can take that as a reason to avoid Y or to

seek him out, depending on what you are looking for. Similarly for

other categories.





From: MICHAEL ALLEN CRAMER <valgard at mercury>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: children of SCA

Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 16:32:06 -0800

Organization: California State University Sacramento


On 24 Jan 1995, SouthArt wrote:

> I grew up at many tournaments.  I have long been inactive in the SCA, so

> please excuse my ignorance.  But my family was active in the late 70's in

> Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville.  There are many approaches and

> attitudes in the Society, but just a glance at the topics and the number

> devoted to recreational drug use (for example), I feel reflects a certain

> 60's ethos at work;  the pre-Raphaelite Romanticism at play in the

> Sixties.  I have been deeply influenced by my involvement as a child and

> teenager in the SCA.  I remain (for the best I believe) a dreamer and a

> romantic, refusing to except the grey, plastic nature of the modern world.

>  I lived recently in the Czech Republic, which also hearkened me back to

> my days in SCA.  The epic of Charlegmagne is a far cry from Rescue 911.

> So a toast to you all.


Amazing, that someone long removed from the group should cut right to the

heart of what (at least from my perspective) we are all about. I joined

the SCA when I was newly fifteen, but had lived near the counter culture

for many years and, in fact, my parents had been to SCA events as early as

year 3 in Berkeley. Many people forget that this group was born in

Berkeley in the 60's, a time when you could walk down Telegraph Avenue

and one in four people you met would be wearing a t-tunic and harem

pants. The counter culture was one of the most powerful forces in the

growth of my kingdom (the West), and even though we've evolved and

changed, moved more from the fantasy to the historical, gotten more

conservative with age (well, some of us), and formed strong, deeply held

opinions about chivalry and knighthood and kingship (and I am one of the

most opinionated I know), there are still days when I look around a

tourney field at all these people dreaming an impossible dream, running

around in funny clothes on a bright spring day, listening to music being

played right there in front of them, drinking and laughing and trying to

live in a better world just for a couple of days, and I think this is no

different then a Whole Earth festival or a Graeful Dead concert or a

weekend up at Sweet's Mill, and I fall in love all over again.


Thank's, SouthArt, for reminding me -- from one Pre-Rafaelite dreamer to

another. A toast to you as well.


By the way, would love to hear about Prague.


--Valgard Jarl

  (valgard at mercury.sfsu.edu)



From: uunet!:uunet!sphinx.sps.mot.co (10/1/94)


RE>Media events


MH>What was it that you saw back at Pennsic IX that got you to stick around

MH>or to inquire further?


Lets see: Mom got her MA by sinking the final nail into the coffin of the

pre-1950s "truth" that Chaucer wrote the Romance of the Rose (he translated

the work of its two French authors) and Dad taught World History (when it

was basically European Civ. through 1912) and I grew up in a house full of

books ranging from JRRT to Will Durant<sp? never liked his prejudices> and

Churchill's history books <liked his less>,  Chaucer himself and in

"translation" tons of F&SF and American Heritage from V1#1 etc.

Couldn't stand the SF Congoers met in high school, I mean they were

basically good, but incomplete people who got their kicks from others'

writing and couldn't move outside their books and their authors.

Couldn't stand Dad's view of international politics and the folks who

thought the U.S. was right in sending people a few years older than I was to

support corrupt Christians over an elected Buddhist in Viet Nam, especially

because he was educated in Moscow (France too, but that's another tale)).

(he started to change as I became a card-carrier (fortunately, never got

beyond 1-H, though I still have my CO and 4F files hanging around here

somewhere) Rebelled a bit and went looking for Woodstock Nation.


   And suddenly, I find it, colliding right with the history I was raised

with, along with the fantasy elements the Fen miss out on - the idea of

becoming a real person, in my case, two real people, one who hangs out

during the 100 Years War and is well-developed and one who was born a few

generations later and fences.


   Yeh, doubters, this feudal society is what Abbie was talking about only

he was off by about 300 miles and 500 years - a place where if you just walk

in, someone will clothe you, and if you're hungry, someone will feed you and

if you've got cash you can leave it in a tent (or as I did my second year,

on the ground) for hours or days and it'll still be there when you get back

unless someone takes the time to track you down to return it.


   And it was a place where those who knew taught, trading skills and

history and poetry; a place where most folks carried weapons but no one

feared getting hurt; where a merchant could leave $20,000 worth of stock in

a TENT without worry - and go walking into the night, also without a care.


   And where there were 15 different parties going every night from stodgy

purists at dance to drunkards drinking until they spewed; places where

skalds recited hours of poetry, good, decent poetry (much more of the bad

stuff, but we ALL know what Sturgeon said).


   Where I could correct someone on herb lore, while another taught me the

skills of the epee. Where I did literally risk my neck by getting into armor

for 15 minutes to discover EVERYTHING I had read about fighting in armor was

absolutely WRONG! Where there were fewer working telephones per thousand

people than there are in all of Egypt; where a regional power failure had

absolutely no effect on us!


   Where everyone but the violent, discourteous and intolerant were welcome,

or at least tolerated by all. Where the only outside "news" anyone ever

listened to was the occasional NOAA weather broadcast.


   Where almost everyone was "family."


   This last War was both the best and worst for me - best because I spent a

week resting up from the world watching (and helping out) as a bunch of

pastures and farm fields became a city of 10,000 - worst because my mundane

expertise is not-for-profit fraud and mismanagement investigations. After

four years in, I realized the Society was not perfect and I spent too much

time learning the oddities of California not-for-profit law while teaching

federal not-for-profit law and tossing around suggestions which basically

broke down to Federalists vs. State's Rights types (OK, world organization

or kingdom - I'm for having a single strong nation with a better bunch of

advisors to the Crown myself).


   And I'm probably gonna have to volunteer some work setting those things

aright so I can get back to learning how to work steel and satin and period

sealing wax, and, damnit, how to properly speak Middle English!


   I hope, m'Lord Stefan that this begins to answer the question. It adds up

to a gut-level thing, I mean I pulled into Cooper's this year and the first

blue-shirt who started giving me directions to Troll was greeted with a loud

shout from me of "I'm HOME."


                            Aleksandr the Traveller

                          [david.razler at compudata.com]


<the end>

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