Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I don't like in the SCA

I am usually a very positive guy. I have friends who tell me, "Liam, the cool think about you is that you always see the best in everyone.

Well, I try, but like anyone else, I can reach a point where I need to vent, and that happened a few weeks ago.

My LiveJournal readers will recognize parts of this, but I want to get it to a wider audience.

So I will be re-writing some of my past postings.

Understand that I look at this blog as my living room. Please, go in the kitchen and grab a beer or other tasty beverage.

Debate, disagree, or even agree with me.

I just ask folks to be polite.

These are things that make the SCA less fun than  it should be.

1. People who lose perspective and go on personal vendettas without thinking, "Will what I am doing really help the local group/Society."

2. People who are out-and-out rude to other people. Think before you speak! Remember what it was like to be a newbie. Remember the pain you felt when someone said something about your garb or the way you played. Yes, you can correct people, but approach it the right way.

3. People who make it all about awards. This is a two-way street. There are people who actively suck up or doing specific things just to get awards, and there are those who whine about not having awards. Help your friends folks. If people are doing good work, write them in!

In my book, the "right" way to get awards is as a by-product of doing things you want to do and things that you think need to be done. Did I run the Royal Travel Fund to get an award? No. I did it, because it's something I can do well and something that benefits the kingdom. Was it the basis for the royalty choosing to give me an award? Yes.

4. People who bash peers. Listen, there are assholes in the SCA. Really, Trust me on this. Some of them are peers. Some of them are not. There is no direct relationship, though some people would have us believe that peer = asshole.

I thank Master Pavel from Calontir for the image of being hit with "The Peer Stick." I cringe when people whack me because they think I am using my peerage (or my "sphere of influence" as one guy said), to accomplish things. Will I occasionally sign something with my title, etc. Yes, if I think there is a good, solid reason for it. If I don't sign it that way, don't write back to me Dear "Master" Liam or "Your Excellency."

Yeah. peers do stupid stuff. So do a lot of other people, I think it can be really hard to be a peer (or a duke/count/baron-baroness, etc.). There's a learning cirve.

5. I hate peers who don't act like peers. 

Hey, my blog, so I can be semi-nonsensical and bash peers. ;) Actually, I have a point.

What I mean is that you received an award for skill/work and peer-like qualities. No matter what your peerage is, Chivalry is part of it. Act like a fricking peer. Car about people. Be polite. Don't gossip! Help other people. 

Play nice. It's what we all should do. And it's not that hard.

6. Don't gossip! Don't repeat gossip. If you hear virulent gossip, you might want to let the target know. I am absolutely ashamed by some of the things I have heard people say about other people. It's a Society-wide problem. If it's an issue in doing their iob, that's one thing (assuming you know it's true). But if it's "Did you hear Liam really lives on a mountainside in Vermont and is married to six sheep and a goat . . . ." maybe you don't need to pass that on.

Am I guilty of this. Yes. It can be a struggle. I was turned into a newt once, too. In both cases, I am getting bettah.

7. And finally, people who forget it is a game. 

It's a game. It's a game. It's a game.

See that. It's a game.

It's our hobby. It's what we do on weekends. We could be bowling. We could be flying aerobatic stunt planes. We could be racing boats or showing off our classic Corvettes or driving our matched set of Percherons while riding our buggy.

We do what we choose to do

We do the stuff during the week, too. We have meetings. We do workshops. We write long, tortuous posts about what we do.

But it is a hobby. It is not our life. It's important to us.

But we need to keep perspective.

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