If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Disinfo)   Everything you've ever wanted to know about the Society for Creative Anachronism   (disinfo.com) divider line 199
    More: Amusing  
•       •       •

12141 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Feb 2004 at 9:14 PM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



199 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
2004-02-03 10:09:38 PM  
Another early member of the SCA was Paul Edwin Zimmer (Marion Zimmer Bradley's brother). He was a talented "sword and sorcery" fantasy writer in his own right. I only bring him up because I think more people should read his books. They're great.
 
2004-02-03 10:09:41 PM  
Despite the fact that members dabble in many different fields of endeavor, the particular sport of SCA-style armored stick fighting has always been central to the group's activities and self-image. This activity is a highly stylized means of determining a social pecking order..


Sounds these people never got being teased in High School, so they needed to create a system that favours them.
 
2004-02-03 10:10:09 PM  
Actually, when I lived in Washington DC as a new employee, I saw a notice for an upcoming SCA "event" at the local park/fairgrounds/whatever.

I snickered about the losers to my friends at work, including my new boss. He then took the opportunity to tell me he was in the local royalty or something.

I still laughed.
 
2004-02-03 10:10:48 PM  
I've been thinking of joining for a while...any tips?

Beat yourself in the head with a bat until you forget the SCA even exists.
 
2004-02-03 10:10:58 PM  
FYI geek/SCA/LARPer haters...........

Not all of us are fat (like me) or ugly, OK?

Let's be fair now

:)
 
2004-02-03 10:12:03 PM  
I do not find it to be something I would want to do but I would happily hang around and drink heavily with them. I'm rather like an alcoholic inclusionist. If you drink, of course.

Don't knowck my alcoholism and I wont mock whatever it is you're doing with the wooden pole thingy.
 
2004-02-03 10:12:05 PM  
mrming: it's funny you mention useful skills and trades, because many members of the SCA are real blacksmiths, welders and metalsmiths in real life. They make their own designs, costumes and armour. Where else are they going to get them, the hobby store? Some of them are accomplished fencers, swordmasters, and martial artists as well. They are often artisans, actors, theatre/stage performers, poets, playwrights and musicians. They don't just play the lifestyle with their friends, they live it all the time. They enjoy the simple life, live in farms, townships and communes in the countryside. It is very much a retro way of life for them, and they prefer it that way. Not that they're complete luddites, but they are extreme enthusiasts, no difference than the import car scene or any other.
 
2004-02-03 10:12:34 PM  
LOL autopsybeverage

Thanks for the idea ;) Unfortunately, I am hopelessly dorky beyond saving ;)

PS--you need to hang out with Farker meconiummilkshake
 
2004-02-03 10:12:54 PM  
Oh yeah, almost forgot.


/duncanIdaho
 
2004-02-03 10:12:54 PM  
I have a bunch of SCA friends, though I never see them as all their weekends are spent sleeping in tents in some field somewhere.
They always want me to join, cause I can juggle and make mead.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, mead...
 
2004-02-03 10:14:21 PM  
Don't knowck my alcoholism and I wont mock whatever it is you're doing with the wooden pole thingy.

Tee hee, it IS kind of a Freudian nightmare :-P
 
2004-02-03 10:16:23 PM  
I went to an event once. Spent the entire weekend either sneezing and miserable from allergies, or passed out from the non-non-drowsy antihistamines.

There actually isn't all that much to do if you don't like arts & crafts or dancing. I'm too small and weak to go up against the heavy fighters, I don't care to flounce around like a pansy to do rapier, and I don't own a bow. If I did own a bow, though...

Don't go looking for hot chicks, though. From what I saw, they're either fat, ugly or both. The girl whose tent I was sharing was probably the cutest one there.
 
2004-02-03 10:17:51 PM  
the SCA was much more fun when I was younger, but I still Stick Fight in the West Kingdom. Ken's right... it's not "really" Sword fighting, but it's a blast.
 
2004-02-03 10:18:16 PM  
Bondith

Let me be the first to congratulate you on perpetuating a negative (and mostly undeserved) stereotype.

Bravo

Flame On! :)
 
2004-02-03 10:19:02 PM  
All I need to know is that they dress funny and like to whack each other with pieces of rattan. At least that's pretty much what they did when I was in college. And that's reason enough for me not to want to learn anything more about them.

-Imp
 
2004-02-03 10:23:17 PM  
This thread reminds me...I wonder when the Colorado Renaissance Festival opens this year?



/BRB
 
2004-02-03 10:25:08 PM  
I've been playing with the SCA for ohh...around 9 years now or so. For one, there a lot (and I mean a LOT) of very overweight people in the SCA. Secondly, after reading "the author's experience in the SCA" at the end, this is a person who came away with a very bad opinion of the SCA.
One thing I've had to say a thousand times over everytime Im at a demo or something where the public is wandering around, we are not a Renaissance faire, we do not do this for the public, we do not put on fancy little shows with drunk yuppies walking around pretending to be interested, we do this for our own amusement and noone elses.
As for the fantasy thing, anyone that shows up at any event Ive ever been to dressed in any sort of "fantasy" gear will be very quickly told that they are way off base and should seriously reconsider their outfit. In fact many large events have rules in place banning things like elf ears, vampire teeth, and various related items.
And there are a large majority of us in to it specifically due to a serious interest in medieval history. There is also a high precentage of computer geeks around as well.

Remember nerds and geeks rule the world.
 
2004-02-03 10:27:32 PM  
bindsocket

See, that's precisely why I like the SCA. I am into history. I can dress up any time, but I'd much rather participate in events.

It takes a high level of intelligence and creativity to be into this sort of thing.
 
2004-02-03 10:27:39 PM  
Admittedly, I've worked renaissance faires on occaision. Once the costume comes off, it's over. Besides, I get PAID to perform at faires.

The SCA on the other hand... I've had a chance to peek at the inner workings, and it frightens me. Apparently, they've divided the world (at least those portions in which the SCA exists, which is sadly a very large chunk) into these fictional kingdoms or baronies or somesuch that they rule. There are many who've been involved for many years, and take it all too seriously. These people frighten even ME.

Then there's the overweight programmers who are just in it for the beer, the women (ew. No seriously, ew. Faire women are better-looking, and they're STILL ugly), and the chance to take out frustration by beating people with padded sticks. That's okay, except the women.
 
2004-02-03 10:28:07 PM  
More criticism of the FA:

and most professional armorers began there, as well. However, many of the most accomplished scholars and craftspeople, recognizing that their skills would never be properly appreciated within a group dedicated to perpetuating a fantasy, have either left the group or directed the main part of their energies elsewhere.

. . . in other words, instead of having to create fully-functional pieces for the meager sums most SCAdians can muster, they're now taking their time (and indonesian apprentices) churning out pretty, but non functional and historically inacurrate catalog "replicas" for gullible hollywood film fans.
Nothing wrong with that - but let's be real here about what kind of "appreciation" we're talking about, and who's living fantasy.

SCA is *not* about fantasy. There are members who focus on the "C" in SCA. But in most circles, what you'd call "fantasy" is frowned upon quite vigorously. No pointy ears. No, trolls, gnomes, or wizards (except for folks claiming to be pagan priests - not at all historically inaccurate).

The brute nature of the game tends to favor the large and powerful over the small and skilled, and because of the rules, the weapons, and the fact that techniques that are effective in this particular game tend to be perpetuated over those that are historically accurate, SCA 'fighting' is not a good representation of medieval swordsmanship.

Full of crap.
The fact is - NOBODY really knows what is actually representative of Medieval sword combat. SCA is about as close an approximation as you're going to see. Fighting stances, training methods, all come from the very limited volume of historical material available from the time. Pragmatism and effectiveness are grafted on top of that.

The best fighters tend to be the very experienced, older guys, almost without exception. Sure there's a favoring towards athleticism, and it's true, being huge is an advantage - I see huge guys get their asses handed to them on a regular basis by small, skinny, old guys with grey beards who've been fighting for 10+ years.

There's a grain to truth about some of the historical accuracy - it's impossible to simulate what a REAL fighter would do with REAL life and death on the line. Typically the worst thing that happens to a SCA fighter is a nasty bruise if you make an overly sacrificial move. (sure, I've heard of worse injuries, broken bones, concussions, etc: MOSTLY the result of armor failure, not normal fighting). But compared to live-steel fighting groups, SCA fighting looks very different, because the fighters are actually trying to land lethal blows. The live steel guys wouldn't be doing it long if they were.
Then in the war-department, OF COURSE we can't do cavalry or large-scale archery. What do you want? PETA coming after us? I think SCA does about as good a job simulating the real-deal as is safely possible in this modern world of Lawyers. Period. If anyone could do it better, SCA'd be doing it.

Also, if you watch SCA fighters in one region, there's a good chance you haven't seen them all, because from region to region, fighting styles DO vary, in non trivial ways. The basic rules are the same. But people learn these skills from different sets of fighters, it's handed down very much like a traditional martial art. None are better or worse (East kingdom sucks).

The author sounds like a guy who couldn't make it as a heavy fighter, and couldn't take the (much deserved) ridicule and scorn heaped upon the light weapons fighters.

All awards and prestige in the organization flow from this 'king' and 'queen', which results in internal group politics that put those of many academic departments to shame. In many ways, such group behaviors are to be expected, since as a fringe group the SCA is a natural repository of those margins of society

I, personally shun SCA politics. Really, they're no worse than ANY other group of human beings.

This guy spent some time as a fringe member of the SCA. He didn't "get it". So what? Anybody with a computer can write a web article. Whoop te farkin doo. More boobies links!
 
2004-02-03 10:28:47 PM  
I've had many a fun time at SCA events. Always find and make friends with a brewer. It's worth making the effort for all the good booze.

Oh, and I *will* make it to Pennsic this year dammit.
 
2004-02-03 10:29:35 PM  
I love the idea of the SCA.
Too bad it really kind of sucks :/

Ditto on Renfaires. God they were cool when I was a kid though, I couldn't get enough.
 
2004-02-03 10:30:38 PM  
*SIGH* so much hate
 
2004-02-03 10:31:43 PM  
Want to make something sound more important an mysterious than it really is? Submit an article to Disinfo.

They are often artisans, actors, theatre/stage performers, poets, playwrights and musicians. They don't just play the lifestyle with their friends, they live it all the time. They enjoy the simple life, live in farms, townships and communes in the countryside.

They are more likely guys in tech and military jobs who play WarHammer and DnD when it is raining outside.

/Friend of SCA members.
 
2004-02-03 10:33:48 PM  
well I learned a new word today...
 
2004-02-03 10:35:14 PM  
[The SCA on the other hand... I've had a chance to peek at the inner workings, and it frightens me.]

Me too...but I generally ignore the royals. well...'cept on the field. Then I try to nail 'em.

[Apparently, they've divided the world (at least those portions in which the SCA exists, which is sadly a very large chunk) into these fictional kingdoms or baronies or somesuch that they rule.]

Duh! How *else* would you handle it? The organizational functions would be a nightmare if we didn't break things down into some sort of regional scheme. Baronies, shires and households and kingdoms only serve to keep things at least somewhat organized. Mind you, you're dealing with a group that's almost instiutionally against organization to begin with, which only complicates things.

[There are many who've been involved for many years, and take it all too seriously. These people frighten even ME.]

I feel the same way about mac users, but it's much ado about nothing.
 
2004-02-03 10:35:38 PM  
Whoops, actually just RTFA. The author seem like he's got a major chip on his shoulder.
 
2004-02-03 10:36:31 PM  
[I love the idea of the SCA. Too bad it really kind of sucks :/]

Stop going to East Kingdom events. Hang with Atlantia - we have better parties.
 
2004-02-03 10:39:21 PM  
jafac
The fact is - NOBODY really knows what is actually representative of Medieval sword combat. SCA is about as close an approximation as you're going to see. Fighting stances, training methods, all come from the very limited volume of historical material available from the time. Pragmatism and effectiveness are grafted on top of that.

Right, because in medieval times, if someone sliced off your leg, you fought on your knees. Duh. It's the Black Knight Effect.

Most SCAers I've seen could pass for sumo wrestlers, at least in the gut. It's like watching a pear with toothpicks for arms and legs swing a stick around menacingly.

/I'll bite your ankles off!
 
2004-02-03 10:42:21 PM  
I've never been to any up here - the times I looked into it were when I was back home in Dallas... some friends of the family were into it.
 
2004-02-03 10:43:42 PM  
Society for the Consumption of Alcohol

Now thats a society I am a member of. To be perfectly honest I barely understand the word anachronism, mostly because I am memeber of the affore mentioned society.

morgan_gunn Thanks for the laugh, and when is the party... err I mean meeting?

My own SCA:

Special Children Attack

WOOOOOOHOOOO!!!

/cracks last beer for the night...
 
2004-02-03 10:44:58 PM  
[Right, because in medieval times, if someone sliced off your leg, you fought on your knees. Duh. It's the Black Knight Effect.]

No, because in medieval times alot of people couldn't write down thier experiences 'cause they were illiterate. Basically, if you did it right you survived the battle and didn't care much beyond that fact.

SCA fighting tho is something to see. Especially the field at Pennisc! 10,000+ troops in formation and full armor marching to war across an open field gives you an idea of what Agincourt might have been like....not to mention the adreniline high as you charge the line with your battle brothers.

[Most SCAers I've seen could pass for sumo wrestlers, at least in the gut. It's like watching a pear with toothpicks for arms and legs swing a stick around menacingly.]

Head down to your local shire and see if anyone will put you in armor at thier next fighter practice. Give a whirl, you might find out you like it.
 
2004-02-03 10:46:20 PM  
-PaganPoetry-
Hmmm... SCA. Potential fun times. For contact in Northern Colorado with the SCA, I know there are groups in the Ft. Collins/Loveland/Greeley areas. Check www.outlands.org for contact info. Yeah, used to participate myself. I went to beat on people with sticks, flirt with intelligent women and occasionally drink. I stopped playing by and large to avoid potential conflict with an ex who was big into the politics side of things. Good luck, have fun and should you join - don't take it too seriously.
 
2004-02-03 10:46:33 PM  
One of my main problems with SCAdians is the high occurrence of The Otherkyn/Furry Syndrome - there's a whole hell of a lot of people who can't tell reality from fantasy, and that really squicks me.
 
2004-02-03 10:47:02 PM  
EatTheWorld
...actually I've had some of the best homebrew ever in the SCA, not to mention MEAD! mmmmmmmmm yum.. sugar AND alchohol
 
2004-02-03 10:50:35 PM  
silentscream

Thanks :) I will look into that (Closer to Boulder right now, but may be moving closer to Denver)

And you should know I don't take anything seriously :) See my profile :) Ha ha ha

And I hate Otherkyn/Furries/Vampyres/etc as well :-P Dorks! Mmmm! That's good hipocrisy(sp?)!
 
2004-02-03 10:51:18 PM  
GAAHH!! Forgot to close my bold tags again!

Must be b/c I'm a fat ugly geek who like to drink and hit people with sticks


;)
 
2004-02-03 10:52:10 PM  
[...there's a whole hell of a lot of people who can't tell reality from fantasy, and that really squicks me.]

Yeah, but you get that in just about any hobby. Hell, You get that from just about any situation too - Some people I work with can't tell reality from fantasy. And they're not SCAdians or RPG types at all!

As with anything, you get back what you put into it. Find the right group of people to hang with and you'll have a blast no matter WHAT the 'period nazis' might be saying about your garb. Just go and have fun.
 
2004-02-03 10:52:34 PM  
I hear ya on the 'fat ugly geek who likes to drink' part, but I've never appreciated boffing, whether in LARP, SCAdian, or ...just plain boffing form.
 
2004-02-03 10:52:49 PM  
silentscream

Hey, make sure you come to the next Denver area Fark party! One is being organized for June...
 
2004-02-03 10:54:41 PM  
Weaver95: Yes, you find them everywhere, but my point was you find even _more_ of them in places where their, uh, issues aren't as problematic as in the real world. Such as a place where it's perfectly kosher to pretend to be something/someone else.
 
2004-02-03 10:56:03 PM  
OK, now I'm really showing my dork-ness, but the only definition I know for the word "boffin" is farking.

What does it mean?
 
2004-02-03 10:56:33 PM  
[Yes, you find them everywhere, but my point was you find even _more_ of them in places where their, uh, issues aren't as problematic as in the real world.]

Don't know about that. All I can say is that I run into more neurosis, fetishes and psychotic behavior in the corporate world than I do at SCA events.

Draw what conclusions you will from that observation....
 
2004-02-03 10:56:58 PM  
Xellchiri and Weaver95
No matter what you're doing... someone will take it too seriously and ruin it for others.
 
2004-02-03 10:57:09 PM  
Weaver95

Help! Help! We're being repressed!
 
2004-02-03 10:57:40 PM  
boff (v). To hit someone/fence with a stick/pvc pipe wrapped in foam and duct tape.
 
2004-02-03 10:58:40 PM  
PaganPoetry
Boffing is fighting with padded weapons or "boffers".
 
2004-02-03 10:58:44 PM  
[someone will take it too seriously and ruin it for others.]

Yeah, but I figure eventually the mac users will die off and the company will eventually go under.

farkin' mac's. I don't know which I hate more, the machines or thier users....
 
2004-02-03 10:58:46 PM  
Weaver95:
Oh, I don't mind your everyday nutcases and freakjobs, it's just the furries, etc that bother me.
 
2004-02-03 10:58:59 PM  
Thanks Xell :P

Sounds like good fun to me...."I'm not saying I'm one for violence, but it keeps me hanging on"
 
Displayed 50 of 199 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report