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Authentic Smoke, et al

Poster: Matthew Allen Newsome <mnewsome@warren-wilson.edu>

Hello all.  I haven't contributed to this discussion since it started, 
but I have been following it (at a safe distance), and now see the 
oportunity to give (I hope) some helpful advice.
First off, to all you considerate smokers out there; there are a lot of 
you.  THANK YOU for being considerate!  You are in the majority.  My lady 
(who is allergic to ciggaret smoke) very often is to shy to say anything 
when someone lights up near her, but usually the smoker will notice she 
looks uncomfortable and move on his/her own accord.  So please, realise 
that most complaints about smokers are not directed at you, and take no 
offense.  We simply wish other smokers to follow your example.
Secondly, this thread has taken a sharp turn toward the authenticity 
debate.  If we discuss this, PLEASE do not compare smoking to modern 
medicine, modern hygene practices, or modern transportation to/from 
events.  that is just silly.  It is a faulty logic that compares 
niccotine to insuline or perscription glasses.
Also, as a general note, no one is seriously suggesting that handicapped 
people not be allowed at events.  that was a joke dripping with sarcasm 
in responce to another post.  Please take it as such.
Someone also asked what is a "reasonable attempt" at authenticity.
Here are a few examples.
YES I may drink Diet Coke at events.
NO, I do not drink it out of the can unless I am in my private cabin.  I 
would pour it into a period drinking vessel and dispose of the can.
YES, I may wear modern shoes, as period ones can be either expensive or 
hard to make (I've done it), but I WILL try to avoid glaringly modern 
shoes (Air Jordans, etc.)
YES, I can bring my food to events in a cooler, but if my cooler is going 
to be outside my encampment, I will make every effort to cover it with a 
cloth, or something similar, to hide it.
YES, I will drive to events in a car (do I really need to say this) but I 
will also park it in teh parking lot rather than leave it out by the list 
ANYONE WHO IS AT THEIR FIRST EVENT is doing a reasonable job if they are 
in a simple tabard, or cloak, or some other easily put together or 
borrowed attempt at garb.  Of course, after three years or so, this is no 
longer a reasonable attempt.
The main guideline is that the person is trying.  Time plays a factor.  
For instance, I would exspect a higher level of authenticity in a 
costuming laurel than myself, and I would exspect a higher level of 
authenticity in myself than in a newbie.
Always assume the person has good intentions and is trying.
If you see a modern thermos at your table during feast, don't freak out-- 
just gently remind the person to conceal it.  That may be all they need.  
If there is something glaringly modern in a person's costume, don't yell 
at them-- offer to help them learn.
I have encountered less Authenticity Police in my time than Authenticity 
Examples.  These are people who require a high degree of authenticity in 
themselves, but rather than get offended by those who are not authentic, 
they try to teach them.  Teach! Teach! Teach!  This is how information 
spreads in this society.  This doesn't mean teach a class at university, 
or write a CA.  Just teaching each otehr on a one-to-one basis is a 
wonderful thing.  
You can whine and gripe all day about someone wearing blue jens witht  
their tunic, but you can't do a single thing about it unless you offer to 
teach them to sew pants (something I myslef have never been succesful 
at-- but then again, I don't really need them ;)
Yes, the SCA is a Game!  Yes, it's also Educational!  I can be 
enthusiastic about medieval Scotland, study and recreate it's clothes and 
music, and play and have a good time with Vikings and Normans and Tudors 
and your plain SCA Joe-Schmoe, and have a good ol' time watching people 
in plastic armour beat themselves with woden sticks and later on feast on 
a wonderful meal prepared by a Frenchman on modern equipment, and later 
have a swingin' bardic circle where I can hear a song written by a 
troubadour, a Scottish ballad, a self-composed poem, a scene from 
Shakespear, and a filk to the tune of "California Girls."
Well, my juice has just about run out on this one.  
You kids play nice, and don't run with scissors.


"The Terror of the Cheapside"

	-- Clan Og motto
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