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Re: Modern Personal Conveniences

Poster: Dick Eney <dickeney@access.digex.net>

On Sat, 23 Nov 1996, Edward R. Ewen, Jr. wrote:
> Poster: "Edward R. Ewen, Jr." <tewen@gandalf.cs.wcu.edu>
> > the real issue at the center of the debates is this:  a number of
> > people are unwilling to give up their modern, personal conveniences for the
> > sake of period authenticity and want everyone else to accept that.  I really
> > don't believe those seeking authenticity should have to.  Wasn't the search
> > for the medieval what SCA was founded on?

> <sarcasm>
> Very well.  I move for the repeal of the following "Modern Personal 
> Conveniences"

_Detailed section moved to below the conclusion_

> I have said many times before, and will continue to say: THIS IS A GAME.  
> If you want to immerse yourself in "True Medieval Splendour" take 
> yourself OUT of the SCA and go live off in the country somewhere, free of 
> all those troubling Modern Personal Conveniences.  Once you've dealt with 
> the TRUTH of medieval life, I think you will be a little more tolerant.
> Mind, I am not saying that a coke bottle on the table is acceptable, but 
> we have to draw the line somewhere.  The SCA was _NOT_ founded on the 
> principles of TRUE MEDIEVAL RECREATION.  It was based on trying to embody 
> those ideals (honour, chivalry, courtesy) and ceremonies which are 
> _worth_ recreating.
> Edward

Change of subject, really:
Milord, while I understand that you are being sarcastic, and in fact
I agree with you, I feel you are overstating the case a bit when you
describe the things lacking in medieval life.  Nitpicks with some of
your specific examples follow:

> Personal Hygiene:  To include soaps, shampoo, laundry detergent, 
>                    toothpaste, and most perfumes (Anyone for a lice race?)

Speaking of lice, here's a nitpick :):
The Irish _invented_ soap and used it on hair.  Shampoo and bleaching were
done in period in Italy.
Egypt and Mediterranean, really anywhere in the sphere of Roman
influence: perfume was very widespread among the nobility, and all members
of the SCA are assumed to be noble unless they insist otherwise.
Not to mention the documented late survival of bathing in _many_ places
in period, the period references to cleaning of clothing, the various
period mentions of methods of cleaning teeth, freshening the breath, etc.

>   Kitchen Hygiene:  To include: Refrigeration, gas/electric cooking, 
>                     certified foodstuffs, proper cooking methods and times.

Most medieval cookbooks require cooking "till it be enough" when not
otherwise specifically stated; the regulations against adulterating food
were enforced with punishments that would be considered severe now.

>   Medical        :  To include all chiurgions gear (beyond lancets and 
>                     leeches), asprin/tylenol/advil, bandaids, etc.

But we are allowed:
Willow bark tea (which contains a chemical close enough to aspirin to
produce similar results), opium, bandages, scalpels, the herbal remedies
(e.g., foxglove tea for digitalis) from which virtually all modern
medicines developed, the observed properties of substances that are
recorded in medical texts as far back as Egypt which are only now being
"discovered" to have been safe and effective, the knowledge and experience
of the local healers, midwives, and (in appropriate cultures) shamans who
spent their lives learning, essentially, to be doctors.  

>   Religious      :  The SCA _needs_ it's inquisition, withch trials, and 
>                     persecution.  Are _you_ a faithful member of the One
>                     True Faith? 

We have them, the OTF being authenticity, unless you're a Funmaven... <g>

>   Sport          :  All weapons shall be replaced with their actual 
>                     counterparts.  In case of actual injury, refer to 
>                     Medical above.

The use of "practice" weapons is documented in period.

>   Housing/Lodging:  No indoor plumbing, electricity, insulation, modern 
>                     building techniques.

Been to Pennsic? :) But don't forget the garderobes in castles.
Definitely indoor.  And the ones at the Tower of London were flushed by
the tide.  (The others were "flushed" by licensed dunnikindivers.)

>   Transportation:  No use of automobiles for transport to or from 
>                    events, for any reason, including medical emergency.

Until one is at the event, one does not exist.  Transportation to and from
occurs in another universe.

>   Communication  :  Nothing beyond direct verbal communication or the 
>                     written word.
> </sarcasm>

Tamar the Gypsy (sharing account dickeney@access.digex.net)

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