• You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could. Terry Pratchett
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Everything Reflects on Everything

So earlier I happened to follow a link to a person commenting about the SCA and social dynamics therein. Specifically, they commented on the tension between the people who are seeking authenticity, and the people who are looking to have fun.

They touched on a number of places each of these people cause trouble for the community as a whole – the authenticity sorts who wax pedantic about the failures of others to conform, or who may be wholly committed to doing one thing Correctly but whose ignorance of other things and disinterest in presentation means that it all falls down in the social context, or who will assume that because their clothes are correct that’s what matters and they can throw down about techjob nonsense without interfering with other people; not that the funsters aren’t likely to throw down about techjob nonsense if that’s what’s most entertaining, or show up in fairy wings, or whatever else might happen.

They pointed out that these poles produce a vast excluded … not even middle, but way of approaching the thing, that of the experiential. The pseudomedievalist fantasy might be easiest to construct with people actually doing medievalist stuff, but when the Stuff overcomes the mimesis it breaks the immersion. The idea of the thing is to bring the enjoyment in through the created illusion, after all.

So I read this, and for the life of me I can’t think of anything other than, “Oh. It’s the recon problem.”

Because there’s that slavish adherence to the accuracy of minutiae without consideration of the spirit of the thing, which is only made the more pedantic by opposition to Those Fluffy People Over There Who Are Having A Good Time…

And the structural, well, what is the actual experience of a live religion supposed to look like, then? That’s… the vast excluded and often ignored space.

So, huh. But maybe this thing is a useful mirror and gives me an angle from which I can poke the subcultural problem.

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