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Re: Pennsic Letter

Poster: Kevin Maxson <kevin@maxson.com>

Dominica Harlan wrote:
> Likewise, does it cause all those who have commented so far
> physical or mental anguish when those wearing "inappropriate" clothing are
> in view?

In the case of children wearing S&M, it appears it did cause mental
anguish to the lady who mentioned this.

> The *point* of Pennsic when last I checked was to have a really good time
> with a really big group of people.

Let's clarify that:  "The point of Pennsic is to have a really good time
with a really big group of people in the Society for Creative

Would you agree that is still correct?

> Some concentrate more on the period
> thing, which I did once. Others concentrate on the social/fun/party
> basically in period thing, which I did once. And some remember that it's a
> fighting event and either fight or support fighters, which I tried to learn
> to do this year.

And you can do all three, like I do.  (Though I don't do the party thing
as much as others.)

> making a court to force all 10,000 people
> to follow the dress codes set by a few seems very unfair and unenforceable.

Unenforceable, yes.  But unfair?  The dress code is set by the
organizers of the event.

If I go to a concert and I want to socilize with friends instead of
watch the band, is it unfair that the concert organizers faced the seats
all in one direction, and don't allow me to rearrange them into more
convenient social circles?

If I want to socialize like that, I should go to a restaurant or a bar.

> Are you really going to tell someone who paid $80 plus whatever they
> invested into camping supplies that they have to leave the game because you
> don't like how they look/act/etc.?

Unfortunately, yes.  $80 doesn't buy them any rights.  

Will the police really tell someone who's paid for a driver's license
plus whatever they've invested into an 1989 Pontiac Trans Am GTA with a
Thrustmaster 3" mandrel bent exhaust that they have to leave the highway
because they don't like how they act?  <sigh>  Yes.  And they'll make
you pay extra and try to throw you in jail and you've got to get a
lawyer, and ... I digress.

If I want to drive my car at stupid-fast speeds, I should sign up on the
drag list at Old Dominion Speedway.

> Somehow that seems to go against the
> spirit of acceptance and fun upon which the Society is based

Concerts are about fun, and policemen are about protecting rights - but
when you go outside established rules, concerts throw you out and
policemen take your liberty.

> People
> treated thusly will leave, not change their minds and play by your rules,
> and some very cool folk may go.

This is of course the tragedy.  We need to focus on the fact that we
want the bikinis to come off, not that we want to people to go.  If
handled properly, we should be able to tell the people, "I want you to
stay and have fun with us, but I want you to wear something different to
play with us."

> A greater effort to help one's peers
> establish periodicity is a much better way to handle what you see as
> problem garb than to bring someone you find offensive before a jury of
> strangers.

Perio.. per.. periodi... how do you pronounce that?  ;)

Remember the Miracle on 34th Street?  "The kids wouldn't let me play
because they were playing zoo."  "Why didn't you say you were a
monkey?"  "Because I'm not a monkey, I'm a little girl."

So basically we should all be Kris Kringle, and teach the little girl to
be a monkey in the mirror.

<Kevin notices the blank stares across the tavern at him>

Uh, you know what I mean.

> > As far as trouble groups go.  It doesn't necessarily mean the Tuchux.
> > It means those who don't play by the established rules of our game.
> > I would include the group who camped next to NATO who operated the power
> > tools in the middle of the night and who set up a table with umbrella and
> > then sat watching the passers by while wearing hawaiian clothes.
> Did you even register a complaint w/ these neighbors or work out a
> compromise?

Easy now.  I'm given to understand these neighbors were in fact
approached regarding the situation.

> Frankly, I think we're back to the whole dead horse of Fun vs. Period and
> I'm disappointed to see that the argument has been allowed to reach the
> stage where one side gets to hold court on the other.

It's not about us vs. them, it's about purpose.  "Fun" and "period"
don't have to be at odds.  The "side" that's holding court (now a
review) are the authority.  They're the event organizers.  Pennsic is
not a public venue, it's a private party.

> Crimes against
> persons and laws are one thing. Crimes of fashion or taste are too trivial
> to be treated with so much respect as to be subject to a "Court".

Well, they've obviously modified the terminology on this one.  A
"seneschals' review" sounds more appropriate, and better communicates
what I think their purpose is to be.

So much for me being Devil's Advocate.  I should mention my personal
feelings on this are fairly simple, and similar to Logan's.  (What did I
just say?)

The consequences don't apply to me.  If I play the game they're
sponsoring, if I follow the rules (whch are there for me to see seven
months prior to the event) I won't be bothered.  If I will see fewer
people in jeans and T-shirts, smoking, in line for the porta-castles
because of it, great.  If I can sleep easier because people are quiet
after hours, and be well-rested for my next morning's beating on the
field, great.  If my friends can go to someone to complain about
neighbors taking their land without having to confront the members of
Satan's Bloody Teeth personally, great.

If all this can be done with minimal offense to the offenders, increase
peace, love and happy chocolate - and maintain attendance, fantastic.

We'll just have to see.
|+^+|  Kevin of Thornbury
|/+\|  (Kevin Maxson)
 \_/   kevin@maxson.com   http://www.atlantia.sca.org
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