[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]
On "reasonable authenticity"
Poster: Carol_O'Leary@ed.gov (Carol O'Leary)
Greetings to all at Cheapside!
There are two important things I think have been missing from the
debate so far. First is the acknowledgement that authenticity is a
goal, not a location. We cannot reach perfect authenticity -- I can
use a period recipe, but the chickens I'm cooking are modern breeds,
even if they're free-range birds, which I usually can't afford. I
could make an analogous argument in almost any field of endeavor --
even the best armorers working in the SCA are probably using
commercial grades of steel; our calligraphers are probably using
mostly modern inks and papers; our musicians are playing modern
versions of ancient instuments. The joy is in the process of trying
to come as close as we can. The fact that the goal is not achievable
is no excuse for not making the effort.
The second point is that every individual can only go so far, and that
distance is determined by resources as well as desire. What's more,
each person has different areas that he or she thinks are important to
try to approach authenticity in. Several recent commenters have been
very concerned about how people dress, to the point of questioning
someone's decision to wear eyeglasses at events. I'm not a costume
person. I like wearing pretty clothes, but I'm no good at sewing.
How people dress is not so important to me. On the other hand, I've
seen people have pizza delivered to events, or eat tortilla chips and
salsa, or Hershey Kisses. Now, I like pizza and tortilla chips with
salsa and Hershey Kisses, but you wouldn't catch me dead eating them
at events. That is one area I choose to care about. I also care
about how people treat each other and what they talk about. I'm not
perfect, but I try to talk about things people in the Middle Ages
might conceivably have cared about.
The trick is to share what we know and care about with each other,
teaching each other in the process, without offending each other or
being insulting. Can we all try to do that?
Melisande de Belvoir
List Archives, FAQ, FTP: http://sca.wayfarer.org/merryrose/
Admin. requests: firstname.lastname@example.org