RIDING OF HOLLEKE TOR, KINGDOM OF AETHER – Over the weekend, Pseudonymous Bosch and No-Spoons-Only-Knives Hutchinson presided over the First Annual Knowne World SCAllion Symposium, a two day virtual event with a two dozen classes and presentations scheduled for ease of access to as many time zones as possible.
The keynote address, Satire from Plutarch to Rabelais, was on Saturday evening in North America. This lecture, given by Pseudonymous Bosch themselves, covered the history of satire in the period covered by the SCA and how it ties into the mission and goals of The SCAllion as an institution. Bosch’s overview covered period European and non-European satirists, including Juvenal’s place as a satirist of Empire, Al-Jhahiz, Chaucer, the hua-chi stories of early China, the first booklet of the Heege Manuscript, and the jesting tradition of 16th century Netherlands. It ended by invoking Eric Idle, of the British comedy troupe Monty Python, who wrote:
“At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. …If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.”
Other classes and roundtables of note included “SCA Law and Policy: effective strategies for finding where they buried the relevant language this time”, “Running an underground newspaper for fun and (no) profit”, and “Community Standards: how the jokes write themselves.”
You-Don’t-Know-Who-I-Am Smythe taught a well attended class called “SCAllion Shenanigans and How Not to Get Caught”. The class examined several case studies of well executed SCAllion calling cards left anonymously for supporters of the online newspaper, as well as several near misses of SCAllion writers who were almost exposed in the act of leaving presents. There were also medical guidelines offered on how to deal with indigestion after eating the evidence.
Jaws, The SCAllion’s Legal Council, lectured on free speech and the modern threat to online satirical works, specifically calling out Gonzalez v. Google and a possible re-interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Jaws concluded their presentation by handing out packages of shark gummies, which tasted suspiciously like conservative tears.
Although only writers, editors and researchers for The SCAllion were invited to the Symposium, the Editor-in-Chief announced that next year’s conference invitation will be extended to select Top Fans of the SCAllion FB page, and then provided a link where readers could learn how to apply to attend.