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RE: may acorn, g&pd 6

Greetings from Ellwood!

I waited until I got my _Acorn_ and read it before responding.....

Lord Michael makes some very cogent points.  Well said!  I have
interspersed my own comments along with his.

Scripsit Lord Michael Ryan of York:
%Wouldn't it be a wonderful world were we not to worry about other people's
%perceptions. What an ideal existence. Unfortunately, we *do* live in a 
%where perception is important. I am not saying it is right, only that
%it is. The guidelines printed elsewhere about behavior at demo's are only 
%Guidelines. We can sit back all day long and take the attitude that "We 
%be the way we want and do what we want and Say what we want." However,
%this will neither endear us to the public we depend so heavily upon, nor
%will it bring in the newcomers that are the life blood of this 

There is a somewhat cruel dialog (I forget its origins) that goes something 
like this:
Person 1:  "I'm entitled to my opinion"
Person 2:  "Yes.  But it's that you think we are entitled to it as well that 

%I do not believe the policies on Religion are intended to tell you what to
%believe or how to act. They only tell us what the SCA will support and not

After looking at the GP&D, I concur.  They are guidelines.

%I do not like some of the suggestions any more than Melys does, especially
%the stricture against black cloaks. But I understand how the 
%could hurt the efforts of the Demo and will refrain from wearing it. Is
%it fair that we should be forced to put on a different face for different 
people and
%situations? No. But then what is the old adage about life and fairness?

%It is the right of any person in the USA to refuse to submit to such
%restrictions.  It is also the right of anyone else to be offended by those 
%At a demo where we are trying to put forth our best face and encourage 
%to join us in our fun, there are no places for these types of attitudes. 
%because you have the right to do it, does not mean it *is* right to do it.

Hmmm.  How to respond to this?  At a demo, we are attempting to put our
best face forward.  That is simply good PR management.  Yes, no one likes
restrictions, and I sympathize (normally, I do not participate in demos 
they are during my normal working hours--and I *do* own a black cloak, 
There has been considerable debate about first amendment rights and
GP&D 6 on other forums, and I will not reproduce them here.  My thought
parallels Michael's that if you want to encourage people to join us, you 
want to
let them see the very best of what we have to offer.  There are certain 
we do not ask to be at Falcon Cree sponsored demos because of their
attitude "problem" or lack of social skills.  If they show up, then they 
up, and we practice damage control as best we can.

To give you an example, when you interview for professional employment ,
you dress up, put on a nice suit/dress, and make sure you are well groomed
before you enter that interviewer's office.  When you speak with them, you
try to be courteous and thoughtful in your dialogue with the interviewer.
Regardless of whether you normally keep yourself well groomed  or are a
total slob, whether you are kind-hearted person or a loud-mouthed bigot,
you want to make a good impression so the company will hire you.
Conceptually, this is very similar to what we are attempting to do with a
demo.  We want people to have a good impression of us.  If that means
leaving the black cloaks and the religious icons at home, then SO BE IT.

If you want to wear your black cloak and your Wiccan symbols at a demo
here in the Bible Belt, go ahead.  I'm certain that the public will give you
a warm reception (NOT).  I'm not saying anything about anyone else's
beliefs, but if you are going to deal well with the public, you've got to
play to the majority of your audience.

Again, I sympathize that you feel that Master Thomas's comments are
trampling your individual rights.  Balance that against the need for the
SCA to maintain a good public image.  Personally, I think that Thomas'
request is fair and reasonable when you consider the larger picture.
It is not a violation unless you are physically or otherwise restrained
from participating in a demo because of what you wear/believe/say.
I have only seen a request that we refrain from doing or wearing
certain things.  I seriously doubt Master Thomas would chain you
to your house because you would wear a black cloak to a demo.

Just adding my $.50,
BBC  (it's a long story....)