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Re: Crying in your beer/mead/drink.... (fwd)

Poster: Eldred@concentric.net

<Eldred glances at these strange articles William is toying with and
thinks,  'What a strange little metal barrel', and also wonders why
William is playing with a model of a winch for the portcullis....>

What's in the that thing you brought from France?  8^)

William asks:
> A while ago I beleive it was the BoD that asked for input as to where the
> SCA was going......something about how we perceive ourselves....are we still
> a historical group?  Are we more akin to the LARPS but just with tighter
> criteria?  Are we a party organization?

We tend to be all three.  Legally, we are the first.  We get a lot of
overlap with the second, and by-and-large, we obviously support the third
within the context of the SCA.  In a lot of ways we come across as an
on-going costume party with a loosely medieval theme.  That doesn't mean
that there isn't good research and recreation going on, tho'--just that we
are not as focused as other recreation/re-enactment groups, and we know
how to have a good time.  

I do find it somewhat humorous that the SCA has reached the stage where it
is having an identity crisis, but that is a healthy thing since it may
help provide a better focus for our activities.

William also asks:
> I know that the SCA is different things to different people, and I'm curious
> to hear some of those opinions.......  so please, sit with me and share your
> thoughts.  Specifically, How would you classify the SCA?  How would you
> acurately describe what we do?  and What do you get/hope to get out of the
> SCA?

Be careful what you ask for--you just may get it!  To me, the SCA is the
'Calvinball' of historical recreation/re-enactment groups.  Level of
interest varies widely from the super-authentic (e.g., Duke Cariadoc of
the Bow) to the folks who barely manage to throw on a T-tunic (specific
examples discreetly left anonymous).  Most of us fall somewhere in the
middle (I think).  As a gross generalization, we tend to get interested in
somewhat specific areas and ignore/tolerate/miss the rest of the picture.
This is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect to happen.  Personally, I
get very focused on my interests, and the historical plausibility (MUCH
better term than 'authenticity') of my persona and garb suffers (no, I am 
not quite at the level of barely managing to throw on a T-tunic). By our
very governing documents, we provide such a loose standard for
participation, that we naturally get such a wide range of folks.  There is
nothing wrong with that.  Probability almost guarantees that there be such
an organization, and we happen to be it....8^)

I could probably tell you a great deal about calligraphy, illumination,
heraldry, and a few other topics, but until recently, I would not have
been able to tell you much about the historical events and personalities
that surrounded them.  I get the impression that many in the SCA are more
interested in the arts and crafts of the periods we study rather than the
periods themselves.  We sort of pick up the history as we study those
arts, as a nice side benefit.  Again, I am dealing in gross generalities
here, not pointing at specific people (well, except me 8^))

In school, I admit that I found history to be a somewhat boring topic.
However, I think that had more to do with history being taught as
concentrated doses of dates, names, and specific facts.  Strange
concept for someone who was intially trained to be an engineer, then a 
scientist--perhaps it was that and the lack of a practical application of 
that knowlege, since I certainly like literature. What was missing was the
story around all of those. Only recently have I started learning just how
'Melrose Place'/'Dallas' the Royal Family of William the Conqueror's time
was.  If I had been taught history in the context of the intrigue and
'juicy stuff', I'm certain it would have held more interest for me.
However, when you only devote an hour a day for only a few months to the
topic of 'World History' it is understandable why so many corners are cut
to get the information out. 

Now, as to what I want/expect to get out of the SCA?  Tough question,
actually.  The companionship of people who have similar interests and
those who might lead me to new interests.  A place to actually participate
in and share crafts and information.  There are other things that I don't
feel like articulating at the moment, but suffice it to say that I usually
enjoy the company of other people who make up the SCA.  As Pedro has said,
the SCA is extended family.  As my boss once jealously pointed out, it is
rare to have friends who pitch in so readily to help one another.

<Eldred finds that his bottle of mead has been emptied during his holding 
forth, and calls for another...>

In service,
Eldred AElfwald

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