Friday, August 10, 2018

On Public Enemies and the Wars Between Us

This picture of a kitten is just here to be soothing.

Well, it has been a couple of weeks. A lot of things have happened, words said and actions taken. As we can never go back to the time before this, this is now our reality. A big damn line was drawn in the sand (or dirt, Pennsylvania actually has that) and sides have been taken. Here we are. And yes, it sucks.

The issues of bigotry, racism, intolerance, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia (and dozens more distasteful isms and phobias) have now been addressed in public, as they relate to persons in the SCA. It's been rough, it's been ugly at times. It's been eruidite. It's been inspiring. It's been a galvanizing time. It has also sorted most of the SCA out into a few distinctly defined groups.

  • Group One: It's 2018 and this is not ok. We don't want this in our club and won't tolerate it. We will fight, and we will take a stand. Yes, we are generally quiet nerds but right now we are mongooses (mongeese?) and want to eat some cobra faces. Cobra faces are delicious.
    • My message: Go, Fight, win- but do it with honor and keep a civil tongue in your head. Stay on the high road or you become that which you protest. Go, you crazy mongeese and #IStandWithDavius beautiful people.
  • Group Two: This makes us reasonably uncomfortable but we dislike conflict and wish you
    The day Trimaris got MoDs.
    It was really nice.
    would all stop shouting. Sure, it would be nice if those things went away- but that's hard and we'd like to get back to medievaling please. Perhaps we'll write a letter later. We can deal with this quietly.
    • My message: Look around at what is happening. Do you want more people to medieval with? Then make this a better place for them to be, a place where they are comfortable and welcome. It's time to do the thing. Start writing that letter and actually finish it. Mail it. Then go paint some awesome silk or something.
  • Group Three: Oh dear, not in front of the children and new people! We don't want them to see all this strife. This should happen quietly and behind closed doors. Just take this back behind the tents and don't let anyone see!
    • My message:  They already see it is happening. They are very smart. How about we wrap this up and show them a resolution so they can know what kind of club we'd like them to join. Show them what you are willing to do to make this club a place they can be proud of. Sometimes airing the dirty laundry means people get to see you ditching it into the dumpster. That's not exactly a bad thing, because now your laundry is clean or it is gone. 
  • Group Four: This does not effect us and we don't care. Shut up. We have a tourney to fight and you are in the way on our field. Scram.
    • My message:  Ah, thanks for being most of the problem and not caring about the society around you. Society. Once again, Society. If you want to come and fight and drink and feast you need to pitch in now and again and support the society that makes those events happen. Now would be a grand time.
  • Group Five: F^%$ you, snowflakes. Suck my ::content redacted::
  • My message:  Allow me to show you the door to 1938. It's right this way. I think you will be very happy there and no, of course I'll not be coming along. You don't like me, after all.
Davius receives words from
Queen Cecilia during his
elevation ceremony.

I think that covers the major reactions I have seen, and the words I have desperately wanted to say to them.

Unfortunately, these issues have blown up in the most public venue of the SCA: Pennsic War. Or, perhaps, PennsiCon because so little of it is really like an actual SCA event. Over 10,000 people are there while these events unfold. Unfortunately, this particular issue that surrounds a King and his adherents, a reportedly racist Candidate being elevated to a peerage, and a Dissident: a guy who thinks he's a normal fellow, but is actually a cult of personality.

So here we are, the SCA is buzzing with actual discussion that was sparked by these events. Everyone in a single place. Events unfolding and then passing by word of mouth and by social media. People reacting, sometimes very far away and those reactions being heard back at the point of origin of this particular ground zero.

We have a King, a Candidate, and Dissident and with just these three people, and those close to them, this entire issue has been encapsulated, but in an incredibly public way. Everyone has an opinion, is galvanized, and we are all waiting on the edge of a precipice as letters are penned and screen shots are taken. We are caught between increasingly public enemies at an enormous war and we are all waiting for the shoe to drop. And now they are coming home from the wars, back to the fields of their own Kingdoms and they are carrying this story with them. Then, there will be no way to rake the leaves back into a neat pile.

Can we go ahead and deal with this, now? Please? It's time, SCA. Action. Honor. Society. Let's be the things we claim we are. Be the dream, not the nightmare.


  1. A very succinct summing up of the situation. I belong to the first group. Thank you.

  2. "but do it with honor and keep a civil tongue in your head. Stay on the high road or you become that which you protest"

    No, no, really not. The problem with being a fascist or racist is not being rude. It is believing that being different makes you worth less or have no right to exist. Being rude does not turn me into a racist. This is a stupid fallacy.