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6thkentucky
12-05-2007, 11:23 AM
I picked up a free magizine at the Civil War show in Nashville last weekend. In it there is an article in which the author wants us to be known as enactors. He gives his reasons for this. I can't help but disagree. In a time where the hobby is growing smaller and recruiting is getting harder, I just can't see it. I might be old fashioned, but it seems a name that has worked for years is just fine. I also try to live by, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." The last thing we need is another rift in the hobby, between two groups calling themselves different names. I know this might be dumb example, but didn't that happen with "Trekkies" and "Trekkers"? :-) Can't wait to hear everyone's reply.

tompritchett
12-05-2007, 12:02 PM
Did he give any specific reasons why "enactor" would be a more suitable term than "reenactor"? Although my initial reaction is no, as is yours, I would reserve final judgement until I learned more of the reasoning behind the suggestion.

Che
12-05-2007, 12:08 PM
Man, I'd just like to know how to spell the "r" word properly.

Is it "re-enactor" or "reenactor?"

Personnaly, I can't stand "reenactor" without the hyphen. It looks like it should be pronounced "reen-actor." And that just begs the question, what the heck is a "reen" anyway?

6thkentucky
12-05-2007, 12:12 PM
I don't have the magizine with me at the moment. Funny how when you set something down it disappears. I believe it was the October issue of Camp Chase though.

I never use the hyphen myself. Seems like you see it more without it. That is interesting too.

MBond057
12-05-2007, 01:39 PM
To me it’s simple we are in fact “Living Historians”.

We bring history to life by dressing, speaking, and demonstrating our country’s history in perhaps what could be called a non-traditional learning environment. We celebrate the sacrifices and struggles that our forefathers endured to bring about the great nation and freedom’s we now enjoy.

In my opinion, labels that others place or give to groups only cause division. I only have to point to our hobby as an example of the division that labeling causes, such as “Main Streamer” or “Campaigners”. The infighting and name calling has distracted from the hobby when in fact the main goal should be to inspire, educate, celebrate, recognize, and honor the sacrifices of a generation that help forge our nation.

One more label is only an attempt for someone confused to try and understand what we do and why we love our hobby. It’s simple, we love our country and we are proud to celebrate our history. We strive to get a greater understanding of who we are and how we got here.

flattop32355
12-05-2007, 05:09 PM
If all else fails, "history buff" will serve nicely.

sbl
12-05-2007, 11:18 PM
"history buff"

Right. If you make money as a "history buff" you then become a "historian."

hanktrent
12-06-2007, 01:07 AM
Right. If you make money as a "history buff" you then become a "historian."

And if you actually make a living at it, you become a "living historian." Um, wait... :D

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

7thMDYankee
12-06-2007, 01:19 AM
I agree with you 100%, except... what do we call those who show up at events practicing the concept that anything made out of wood, canvas or leather "must" be authentic? Are they living historians?

Rob Murray
12-06-2007, 02:20 AM
Dictionary.com gives the definition of re-enactor as: "a person who re-creates a character in a historical event, as a battle; a person who portrays an historical character as a past time;"
The definition of enact; "2. To act (something) out, as on a stage: enacted the part of the parent".

I think "enactor" is the more appropriate definition.

Rob Murray

MBond057
12-06-2007, 06:22 AM
David,

Everyone could use some help with their kit. When you’re done improving, then perhaps you have missed the point of reenacting.

I believe most people are open to suggestions if they are approached in a non-threatening way and not made to feel foolish. To have the knowledge, talent, and skill and not share with someone needing a helping hand, is a waste of talent.

Instead of making fun at people who show up "farbing" it, why not take them under your wing and inspire them. Of course you will always have your knot heads, but the majority of mature people would appreciate the help and perhaps you make a new friend. Now that's, authentic leadership.

There is enough name calling and self serving egos in the hobby that are preventing the healthy growth of the movement.

This is just my 2 cents on all the labeling and problems that result from this activity.

Respectfully,

Dan Munson
12-06-2007, 07:50 AM
Mr. Bond makes a good point: "catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar," etc.

I am one of those who has been steadily trying to improve his kit to eliminate the remaining unauthentic aspects of it (still are some, the pesky devils!). Takes a fair amount of study, a bit of effort and, yes, often more than a bit of money (unless you have some skills as a smith, tailor or leatherworker). Also takes sufficient humility to acknowledge one's prior ignorance, and how he too often let himself get fleeced by those smiling, helpful folks at your typical event's Sutler Row (oh yes, brothers, I have sipped from that bitter cup). At present, I believe I am close enough in both equipment and overall impression to be regarded as "hard core." (Ewwwwww...)

Although I occasionally jest at "farbs" (in private, amongst other "hard cores"), at events I believe -- as Mr. Bond suggests -- in leading by example and offering advice and encouragement whereever appropriate. Acting all haughty and superior just repels people who might otherwise be interested enough to approach us.

Here's a piece of news for you: we also joke about other "hard cores"...specifically those fellows who spend tons of cash on the most exquisitely perfect, museum-quality kit, and spend hours at events bragging about this or that latest oh-so-fabulously-perfect acquisition of theirs....but who can scarcely be bothered with anything resembling real "soldiering" (you know, the sort of things that - horrors! - might get them a little sweaty and dirty). We call these walking mannequins "hard cools". You can call them whatever you like.

"Re-enactor" or "enactor"?? The "re" is the key. When you are dressed out in your kit, in camp or in the field, are you really making an honest and informed effort to re-create a soldier of the CW period? Or are you cutting corners for pocket-book's sake, using (on the sly) modern equipment for comfort's/convenience's sake, and mostly relying only on what "some other" (re)enactor told you was "right" for this or that situation? In short, are you dedicating yourselves to learning about, and then recreating, a slice of 19th century America...or just going with the flow, content with wearing some quaint clothing and burning copious amounts of black powder? If you are earnestly trying to accurately re-create some actual history, you may be a re-enactor. Otherwise....

Craig L Barry
12-06-2007, 07:51 AM
That is probably my fault, going by The Watchdog "rules" out of habit. The term "enactor" has been in use by that publication for a while now. The reason as it was explained to me is that a historical event occurred the first time around and it is currently being acted out, or "enacted now". Since the Civil War was not an act the first time, it is not being reenacted today. To answer your question, "yes" reenactors are those now enacting the Civil War.

Consider the terms interchangeable for purposes of the articles in The Watchdog and Camp Chase Gazette.

Poor Private
12-06-2007, 09:21 AM
In my experience with the common every day spectator. They understand what the word reenacting is.. Now change the word to enacting and we have to spend or waste time depending on your point of view what the word means. We have enough trouble teaching some of them the proper history, let alone ourselves:confused: .

flattop32355
12-06-2007, 03:57 PM
Either word is easier than what we really are:

Weird-people-who-put-on-funny-clothes-eat-strange-food-shoot-old-guns-sleep-on-the-ground-in-bad-weather-and-bellyache-about-each-other-except-when-it-really-matters.

They are much shorter terms, too.

I don't give a rat's arse what I'm called, as long as I'm allowed to do this crazy hobby.

BlacknBlue1864
12-06-2007, 04:01 PM
I know a guy who despises both terms; reenactor and enactor. He also dislikes the term "living historian" as it diminished the contributions of now "dead historians." (His logic, not mine).

"So then, what do you call yourself," I asked him.

"I'm an Historical Impressionist," he said.

"Sorta like the impressionistic painters?"

"Yes. We can never, no matter how hard we try, completely and acurately re-create the Civil War, we can only do a vauge impression of it. It will never be in clear focus because of the distance in time, so we can only give an impressionistic depection of the events of the mid-19th century. Van Gogh's stars in Starry Night don't look like real starts, they are only swirls of light. Yet, the viewer understands the image he is trying to convey. They know we are looking at a painting and that the painting is not of real stars, but only gives the artist's personal impression of starts. With historical impressionists however, we must create our impression of a soldier within certain strict boundaries of authenticity and accuracy. The less accurate you are, the more impressionistic you might be, but the less authentic you are. So the goal of the Historic Impressionist is not to expand the envelope of impressionism, but to decrease it as much as possible until personal expression is forced to take a backseat to historic accuracy."

"I see. So what do you call someone who is very impressionistic. A farb?"

"No. A farb is a cubist."

I then carefully extracted myself from this conversation, all the while expecting the men in white coats to show up at any moment.

But, after mulling over his profound thoughts for a few days I came up with what I think might be a profound question, so I will throw it out for your consumption:

Is enacting/re-enacting/living-history/historic-impressionism, whatever you want to call it, a new type of art form?

http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/Vincent-Van-Gogh/Starry-Night-c1889-Print-C10047751.jpeg

- Ty Wimple

Che
12-06-2007, 04:14 PM
"No. A farb is a cubist." ROTFLMAO!!!!

I wonder if he calls Hardcore Campaigners "Dutch Masters?"

But perhaps farbs would be better served if they were called "surrealists?"

sbl
12-06-2007, 11:16 PM
Farb

http://humanflowerproject.com/images/uploads/flamingo-picture.jpg

Streamer

http://www.secondcavalry.org/Charge1.jpg

Hard Core

http://www.artquotes.net/masters/picasso/picasso_guernica1937.jpg

7thMDYankee
12-10-2007, 07:10 AM
I understand what you are saying. Re-enacting is a journey not a destination. I haven't stopped learning since I got into this gig. However...

There is a HUGE difference between somoene learning history and making progress at varying steps and timeframes than others. Help them? Gladly, will do it, have done it, am doing it! Even after 20 years in the ranks I've not quite mastered my impression to where it ought to be - IMO. I take advice from others eagerly.

My comment, though, was pointed directly at the fellows out there - and you alluded to them yourself - that try to make arguments that a photo of soldiers in the rest home sat in what appear to be recliners, therefore, it's okay for the field on campaign!

And for clarification, I don't make fun of anyone - I was taught not to do that.

Respectfully,

7thMDYankee
12-10-2007, 07:13 AM
Bernard,

I agree with you... however, if they want to begin calling what we do "exhibitions of history" I'll have to protest being called an "exhibitionist." That really doesn't fit well with my personality...

Pvt Schnapps
12-10-2007, 08:20 AM
At a great many events the term "folk performance art" has for some reason sprung to mind.

Robert A Mosher
12-10-2007, 08:34 AM
At a great many events the term "folk performance art" has for some reason sprung to mind.

Schnapps -
After some of the things I've seen, the term "Live Action Role Player" or LARP-er has come to mind.

Robert A. Mosher

Che
12-26-2007, 01:15 PM
And some will refer to us as Playactors (see hand-written note on historical marker):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2XlSXcwJ3o

Filthy_Confederate_Scum
12-29-2007, 11:11 AM
And some will refer to us as Playactors (see hand-written note on historical marker):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2XlSXcwJ3o Pretty funny.

"Travis, a high school dropout and current high school teacher, looked forward to reflecting upon the impending past memory of the future reenactment with great relish."

LOL!

But, alas, that's probably how most of the world views reenactors.

rebel yell
12-29-2007, 12:45 PM
Either word is easier than what we really are:

Weird-people-who-put-on-funny-clothes-eat-strange-food-shoot-old-guns-sleep-on-the-ground-in-bad-weather-and-bellyache-about-each-other-except-when-it-really-matters.

They are much shorter terms, too.

I don't give a rat's arse what I'm called, as long as I'm allowed to do this crazy hobby.

I agree, I don't care what we are called.....As long as I get to go do it!:rolleyes:

Rob Weaver
12-31-2007, 12:05 AM
Jonah Begone used to use an acronymn: TBG. That's "Tubby Bearded Guys." :D
When we're hitting on all cylinders, reenacting is more like LARP, whether you're portraying yourself or a historical character in those circumstances. And different events have different time expectations of how long the RP should continue: a couple hours for the battle, living history scenario, round-the-clock, etc. Occasionally, the techniques of RP come in handy. I was a participant in a tactical a number of yoears back that, while not umpired, had rules that commanders were trying to follow. We were charged by a force of infantry of exactly the same size and strength, on fairly open terrain. What we needed was a dice roll. The two commanders conferred in the 3 or 4 feet between ranks and were admittedly stumped at how to resolve the contest. I chimed in "Rock, scissors, paper and we'll abide by the result." With surprising good nature they gave it a try. We won, and the enemy retired the required distance. We cheered - the sense of randomness and immediacy, let alone relief, was instantly delivered by a very simple mechanism courtesy of White Wolf Games!

flattop32355
01-01-2008, 08:20 AM
Jonah Begone used to use an acronymn: TBG. That's "Tubby Bearded Guys." :D

I am a TUG: Tubby Unbearded Guy.

Somehow, it just seems appropriate.

Filthy_Confederate_Scum
01-01-2008, 08:29 AM
I am a TUG: Tubby Unbearded Guy.Somehow, it just seems appropriate.I'm a TURF. Tubby Ugly Redheaded Fuc.... uh.... Feller. ;)

sbl
01-01-2008, 09:47 AM
I have nice folks compliment my daughter to me as my Granddaughter! A couple more years and I'm telling them she's my girlfriend. :)

RWelker
01-03-2008, 01:23 AM
I have nice folks compliment my daughter to me as my Granddaughter! A couple more years and I'm telling them she's my girlfriend. :)

Some older spectator made that mistake with my dad and I at an event last year. My dad called me 'sweetie' or something and this guy took it the wrong way. It was very embarassing.

SmellyFed
01-03-2008, 02:35 AM
If all else fails, "history buff" will serve nicely.

I loathe that term and I physically recoil when people invoke it - I didn't carry two majors in college to be known as a buff.

Do they call an accountant a spreadsheet buff?

flattop32355
01-03-2008, 09:22 AM
I loathe that term and I physically recoil when people invoke it - I didn't carry two majors in college to be known as a buff.
Do they call an accountant a spreadsheet buff?

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source (bŭf)
n. Informal
One who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject: a Civil War buff.


[From the buff-colored uniform worn by New York volunteer firemen around 1920, originally applied to an enthusiast of fires and firefighting.]

I've always interpreted it as one who has little or no formal training on a subject, but has become quite knowledgeable about it through self-study.

Therefore, I would not think of you as a history buff. I, on the other hand, would be.

My apologies for offending. Hope to be with you again in the field.

2nd sc gov gaurd
01-07-2008, 02:21 PM
[QUOTE=Craig L Barry] The reason as it was explained to me is that a historical event occurred the first time around and it is currently being acted out, or "enacted now". Since the Civil War was not an act the first time, it is not being reenacted today. To answer your question, "yes" reenactors are those now enacting the Civil War.

all due respect to you and your knowledge but the way you explain it the first time we enact a certain battle we're enactors every time after that we're re-enactors just my veiw

lt83
01-31-2008, 02:50 PM
But see the really big problem comes if the hobby splits into reenactors and enactors. because then you would have "mainstream enactors" and "mainstream reenactors". You would have "progressive enactors" and progressive Reenactors" then of course comes the "hardcore enactors" and "hardcore reenactors". Who in the world would poke fun at who then. I vote for living historian.. It's simple (like my mind)

Linda Trent
01-31-2008, 04:03 PM
Since the Civil War was not an act the first time, it is not being reenacted today.

Well, it all depends upon the definition of the word "act."

Don't soldiers (of all wars) create "acts" of courage everytime they take the field. Don't they each have a "role" in the events that happen during a battle? Don't they take "cues" given by men "directing" their every move? Therefore, wouldn't they be playing out a "tragedy" of lives lost and forever changed upon the "stage" of battle? To me, we can get too technical with words, and it's really a waste of time and energy.

Linda.