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Frenchie
01-26-2007, 02:30 AM
I just answered an e-mail where I was asked my opinion on the dreaded "authenticity" question. It so happened that my muse had just stumbled in, a bit déshabillé and tipsy as usual, but she was here on my shoulder and I let her guide my clumsy thoughts and fingers. Now she's gently snoring against my ear and I'm trying not to wake her. Herewith the result, in part:

If I'm reading you right, my take on it isn't likely to make you happy. I'm "progressive". I believe in accurately-made uniforms, accoutrements, weapons, drill, tactics, etc. I believe in constantly researching and improving everything about the hobby. I disapprove of civilians on the company street, women in the ranks and generally anything that can't be at least plausibly explained or is absolutely necessary for health reasons. That's why I'm not actively in the field any more, I no longer can do what a Regular Army private did. I'm putting together a civilian outfit and these [items my correspondent had just sent to me] have made a big improvement in it.

If you keep pushing the envelope, you get rid of the unmotivated and get the people who stay up and moving. You get closer to the way things really were. No, of course you can't really get close, but you can try, and that's what "progressive" is about. I can't keep trying as a soldier, but civilian is vastly larger in scope and I have immense room to improve.

Well, now I'm on your "hobby-destroying hardcore" list. I don't belong there and neither does 99% of everyone else on it.

Stop fearing change. Life is change. Change is painful. Life is painful. You either let the pain come in whatever form it takes, or you choose the form it takes. Choose life.

And take care of yourself, my friend. I do hope we meet some day, I'd be delighted to take your hand and pass a few pleasant moments together.

flattop32355
01-26-2007, 03:42 PM
I guess we can send you PM's now. :)

Frenchie
01-26-2007, 09:12 PM
Bernie, nope, PMs are too much trouble, I prefer e-mails.

Frenchie
01-26-2007, 09:34 PM
A word of explanation might be in order here. The fellow I replied to is (in my humble opinion) a "militant mainstreamer", and without intending any offense, he is a vigorous defender of what I consider to be farby behavior and attitude.

Hand-sewn buttonholes make him angry and mark the individual as a "hobby-destroying hardcore". He approves of families in military camps and females in the ranks. My values and attitudes tell me he's got it wrong. It's his hobby that is threatened by progression, while mine is inspired by it. It's these value judgments and attitudes, his and mine, that I was speaking to in my post.

Be that as it may, I hope I brought it across that while I disagree with him, I still value him as a reenactor and a person deserving of courtesy and respect. He has the right to enjoy his hobby as he sees fit. And, of course, so do I.

toptimlrd
01-26-2007, 10:32 PM
Well said Frenchie. You were able to discuss this point of contention with respect, clarity, and conciseness. I applaud you as a fellow progressor. For the record I started with the mainstream gear (machined buttonholes and all) but immediately set out to improve. The day I stop trying to improve is the day I need to leave the hobby. To me it doesn't matter if I'm at Rich Mtn., or the Battle of Y'all Come; I owe myself, the fellow reencators, the public, and especially those whom I represent at least that much. Now before everyone gets their handsewn or machine sewn drawers in a bunch I want to point out that when I discuss "improving" it is more than the gear, it is also the attitude and knowledge. I for one have gotten beyond the gear as the gear is the easy part.