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Re: SCA is different things to different people

Poster: Beiskaldi@aol.com

Greetings patrons from a rather war-weary traveler.  I hope you will humor me
in my ramblings, as I can be a bit verbose at times (just as my ex-lord if in
doubt).  Read down:

In a message dated 98-08-11 15:15:25 EDT, you write:

>  Elen Prydydd writes:
>  Folks, please promise not to barbecue me... he asked for honest opinions,
>  and I'm providing just that.  As you read, please keep in mind that I
>  really do know that not everyone in the SCA is cut out to be a research
>  scholar or museum artisan making replicas.  And it really is okay not to be
>  so.  It really is okay to be in this to have some fun.  If we forget that,
>  we'll lose people.

Amen sister!!

>  At 08:16 AM 8/11/98 -0700, William wrote:
>  >
>  >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?
>  Speaking as someone who's been in a grad history program for the last year
>  and a half, I do not think of the SCA as an historical group anymore.  I
>  don't want to denigrate anyone's efforts, but by academic standards our
>  research is pretty low-level, for the most part. <snip>

>  >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?

  I vaguely remember a thread in the not-so-distant past on authenticity and
historical research, and the point made that over the past 30+ years some
improvements have been made--such as the current non-use of carpet armor &
freon tank helms.  As some persons I know are fond of saying, the SCA does not
stand for Society for Compulsive Authenticity.  This is not to say that we
should in any way stop our attempts to improve our skills or authenticity, or
cease doing research.  However, many of us are not scholars, and would not
have the time to put into such research as say, Elen or Alianora.  In fact,
many of my friends in & out of the sca ask why i dont go out friday or
saturday nites--truth is, they seem to be the only nites i get to stay home.
And then, I am busy, doing the household chores neglected during the rest of
the week.  Research?  Cant remember last time I was able to sit down & read
any book, much less read anything that required serious concentration.  I have
relied on the knowledge of others in my group to help me in my attempt to be
somewhat period, and thank them greatly for what knowledge and help they have
bestowed on me, or even the leads they have given me.

  In addition, not everyone is bestowed with the talents needed to become an
authenticity maven--we all travel & work at our own pace, and cannot and
should not be expected to be able to be completely period at as fast a rate as
some others.  I personally know several individuals who have been victims of
the legendary "master seam-checker" routine, & I feel that the criticism could
have been done constructively instead of how it was done.  (Noone has ever
pulled that on me, thank goodness, because my smart mouth might have gotten
backhanded for my response to such an occurrence.)

>  That's where the problem lies with the SCA, I think -- a lot of people,
>  when it comes to the social and cultural history aspect, don't know what to
>  read, don't know which scholar's work is considered by professional
>  historians to be the best available, who's work has been disproved or
>  discounted, etc.  That is *not* a mean comment, just a simple fact.<snip> 


  Ok, its late, I'm sick (physically this time too) and I have put in my
opinion, for what its worth.

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