minstrel: Apology

hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu
Wed Mar 8 18:27:34 PST 2000

On Wed, 8 Mar 2000, [iso-8859-1] Creighton Widdis wrote:

> culture was interesting to read.  But if I could ask
> maybe one off topic question.  Since many of you are
> more experienced in the sca than I perhaps you can
> help.  Respond privatly if you wish.  Are we
> attempting to be true to period, or the ideal and
> spirit of what is seen as period?  Thank you very much
> and I am sorry for the off-topic quwstion although it
> can relate to music as well.

Hardly off-topic -- it's the sort of philosophical question that gets
bandied about in most SCA lists and newsgroups on a regular basis.  And
it's a question that, for the most part, each person works out for

My own personal take on the question is that, since we can't _know_ what
"the ideal and spirit" of period life is without knowing the _reality_ of
period life, they both come down to much the same thing.  Without studying
what people actually did in history, we can only know that we are creating
the "ideal and spirit" of the late 20th century.  We may, by accident, be
creating something else as well, but we can't _know_ that we are.  On the
other hand, many people come to the SCA specifically _to_ create a 20th
century ideal of a historic period (or at least a Victorian one).  This
may be what you mean by "seen as period" (I don't know -- I'm not trying
to put words into your mouth).

And beyond differing notions of what the goal may be, there are a lot of
different philosophies about what the best path is, and where the line
falls between compromise and evisceration.  For the thoughtful person, the
whole question is one that is continually being re-asked and re-assessed
for as long as you continue to play the game.


Heather Rose Jones         hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

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