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Re: SCA is different things to different people

Poster: "S. M. Thorson" <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

If you really want my opinion on this debate, then the subject header
really does sum it up

However, I too have my hot buttons, and as I am now a free woman ...

I think I am seeing a line drawn again between "fun" and even "functional" 
on one side and "authentic" on the other, as though those things were
necessarily mutually exclusive.  This may not have been the intent of some
of the contributors to this thread, at least consciously, but it bothers
me a little.

Why is authenticity not fun?  Is it because people have had boring history
teachers or encountered an example of a rude person?  Authenticity is
LOADS of fun, especially if you like puzzles.  Solving the puzzles may
take some time in the library, but that too is fun.  I get to have more
fun that most because I can read a slew of useful, if dead, languages, and
that expands the amount of Authentically Fun Stuff I can research, and
later show off to my friends.

One of the great, really fun things about authenticity is the same fun
thing there is about attempting anything you might not usually try - when
you get it done, you have accomplished something special.  You have done
something that lots of other people wouldn't even have thought about.
Your friends, not to mention random passers-by, will be impressed.

I have taught in the past, and will possibly resurrect, an Atlantian
University class on basic library navigation techniques, in an effort to
spread the gospel of Fun Research.  Research is a skill, but it is a
transferable one; once you have the general principles down you can chase
any topic you like, for as long as you like, and feel like you've
accomplished something at the end.  Not everyone will want to learn Latin,
of course, but there are plenty of resources available in English print
which are available from your nearest state university if not the local

I've encountered several flavours of silliness in the SCA arts world, but
I have certainly never been dinged for not being authentic enough.  In
fact I think I lost one competition for being *too* authentic, but that's
another hot button.  :-)  It's also been rare that I've encountered people
who think authenticity is monolithic - the There Is Only One True Way
crowd is pretty small, if you could even call them a crowd.  What I have
encountered is quite a number of people who want to see what I'm doing and
ooh and aah over it, and even possibly learn how to do it themselves.


Stephanie M. Thorson			|  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
Dept. of Scottish History		|  Clan White Wing
University of St Andrews		|  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

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