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An SCA reality-check

Posted on 2013.08.06 at 12:12


(Anonymous) at 2013-08-07 01:34 (UTC) (Link)

In a Perfect World.

Sorry to post as "anonymous." I came to this forum from a Facebook post, and don't have an account here. I find the anonymity suits me in this case. Why? Because I am going to give it another try, this society of ours, and don't want the future wholly polluted with the past.
I am a multiple peer. I used to believe as you did. To me, Peers were the architects of the society and were responsible for the soundness of its architecture. This is in part why I was awarded two peerages. However, our group had NO respect for Peers. I am the first Peer made in our group, and also hold the 4th peerage awarded.
What made me leave the Society for six years? An ugliness so fraught that hammering at it again and again would destroy a Barony I conceived and built, a kingdom program in its infancy that required an over-the-top (even by SCA standards) investment of money, resources and time by its participants including my young daughter, defying the word of a corrupt and jealous officer whose kingdom superior chose to disregard his behavior and accept his word (even though an Olympic Athlete in a closely related discipline uses the site and judged the site he reported as unsuitable for our use, and found it eminently safe as did a former Olympic athlete in the same very similar discipline) because that kingdom superior was busy dying of cancer. This local officer's own family and the current and upcoming crown begged me to continue fighting against the unfair treatment, but in a cost analysis I found that the human, societal and personal costs were just too high.
In retrospect I believe we ask too much of our Peers, or at least did so in this situation. Crap like I experienced in our pseudo-society has a real time effect on everyone involved, via health, via mental health, via real-world reputation and finances. these are the costs of an award and prestige driven society. There are times and places where this hierarchal society is
rewarding, fun, and satisfying. Like real life both now and in our period of study however, there are those who discover that the quickest way to the top is to take dishonest and/or disreputable short cuts, disregarding the human cost in favor or results. Some times this rocket ride to the top can be averted, and sometimes you have to give them the fuel they've earned with their ill deeds and let them catapult out of orbit.
In my time away I have experienced the many other re-enactment societies on offer and greatly enjoyed those without the awards hierarchy. I am going to try again without any regard for future accomplishment, my aim to simply enjoy myself. Before my peerages and my husband's, I used to do that.
Cynical?  Moi?
joeguppy at 2013-08-07 02:17 (UTC) (Link)

Re: In a Perfect World.

Hi there anonymous,

I'm very sorry that you had to go through that situation. And yes, in many ways it highlights my point - the job of peerage is not always a joy. It isn't always pretty. And sometimes it means having to deal with people who are being boneheads.

I agree that sometimes too much is expected of the peers. And again, who needs to step forward to give the reality check? You guessed it - the peers. The fact is, real world matters do take precedence. The SCA is a game - no question about it. And when it comes down to it, real world matters are far more important than dressing up in long-ago-out-of-fashion clothing and doing an event. But IF one is going to participate in the SCA and IF one is going to accept the accolade of a peerage, that means following through with the good and the bad and not just leaving when the going gets tough. I totally understand if a peer backs away because real-world matters have taken over, or if the peer has just moved on to other matters of life or hobbies. But it makes me nuts to see when someone sticks around for the glitz, but ducks away when there is a crisis.
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