From the Newsroom · Knowne World · History · Community Standards

The First Knowne World SCAllion Symposium had Layers

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.

From the Newsroom · Knowne World · History

A peek behind the scenes at The SCAllion

RIDING OF HOLLEKE TOR, KINGDOM OF AETHER – In response to some actual questions from putative readers of The SCAllion via our contact form, the Editor-in-Chief has authorized a short behind the scenes release into how some of the sausage is made.  Not all of the sausage, of course, some mystery must be retained.  Let us invite you now into the notional room where it happens.

The SCAllion, like any modern workplace, is divided into departments even if those departments are mostly vague conceptions in the minds of the staff, and any SCAllion org chart would resemble some sort of fractal bowl of particularly stringy pasta. However, today, after a short break for lunch, since we’ve suddenly become peckish, we’ll talk about one of the most critical departments: the Department for Whimsy And Related Fun.

DWARF is the department that lives in all of our heads and reminds us that, while venting vituperation on the vituperable and heaping scorn on the scorn-worthy is a healthy release and provides a positive social service, part of the point is to be funny. Not all articles have to be Pulitzer-contending exposés, some can just be whimsical explorations of some of the odd corners of the hobby which matters a great deal to us, or flights of fancy about how the SCA interacts with the larger world and culture. In short, while we are happy, nay, delighted to arouse righteous indignation, and skewer those topics, stereotypes, and sometimes even people which need a bit of deflation, we want it to be fun for us to write, and for you to read.
We here at The SCAllion hope you have enjoyed this backstage tour of our DWARF.  If there is a next time, we might talk about the Shenaniganery, another important string to our quiver.

An Tir · Arts and Sciences · History

Geographically Isolated Branch Succumbs to DNA Analysis Trend; Chaos ensues!

BARONY OF SEAGIRT, AN TIR — It was a grim Tuesday evening when the Barony of Seagirt’s council met for the first time since learning the results of what was supposed to be an exercise in barony-bonding. 

Reports say that Mistress Bruna Farfallini began the trend of DNA analysis when she shared her results from the Society for Creative Anachronism entrepreneurial startup, 1553 and Thee. Other populace members, intrigued by the idea of discovering their racial identity, getting a better idea of their ancestors’ migrations, and increasing their knowledge of family history, soon followed suit.

Although the results might say otherwise, members of the barony insist that there was no way of knowing that these seemingly harmless DNA tests would result in a maelstrom of betrayal and recrimination. As it is, the futures of more than a few long term marriages and relationships hang in the balance, as the 1553 and Thee tests have forced spouses to discuss details of their pasts that have, until recently, been shrouded in secrecy.

Not all of Seagirt’s populace is heartbroken, however. There are multiple reports of tidy profits made by winners of longstanding bets. It would appear that one gentle’s strife truly is another’s gain.

Still, all formal council business has been put aside as officers rush to create an accurate kinship chart of familial bonds within the barony. “Nobody likes the idea of having to make a kinship chart,” commented Seagirt’s seneschal, “But with increasingly unaffordable ferry fares, it’s more important than ever to have all the facts.”

For one member, the DNA test has resulted in a different sort of disappointment. Helgi Bjarnarson, noted fighter and proponent of Viking superiority was crushed to discover that his DNA does not indicate any ancestors from Scandinavia; rather, the test led him to discover that he is descended from a well-researched family line whose primary claim to fame is the successful business they ran in England, making exquisite lace ruffs for the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Sources say that Bjarnarson is not coping well, having isolated himself in his house clad only in a snuggie, consuming massive amounts of mead and watching The Thirteenth Warrior on repeat while hysterically ugly-crying.

Most affected are the younger members of the barony, as the DNA tests have revealed that second and third generation SCA members within the barony who were previously thought unrelated are, in fact, cousins and/or siblings.

“I wish my dad hadn’t done the test,” said 24 year old Lord Lambert de Notingeham, “Turns out that my real father is actually his long-time squire, a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who I’ve always called ‘The link that should have stayed missing.’”

“I’m lucky,” added 16 year old Alamandina of Tripoli, “I’ve been flirting with Sune Manngisson, for the past couple of weeks and it was looking like we were going to hook up. We found out we were brother and sister just in the nick of time. It’s disappointing, of course, because we still really like each other, but we’ve decided to cut off all contact and avoid each other altogether.”

Lord Lambert told The SCAllion that he has reached out to the creators of the Islendiga-App, a social app designed to help Icelandic youth avoid accidental incest. Having recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in computer science, Lord Lambert hopes to adapt the app for the members of the barony of Seagirt, the shire of Hartwood, and the Shire of False Isle (all locations on Vancouver Island and isolated portions of the adjacent mainland coastline). In the meantime, Seagirt Council has instructed younger members of the barony to “just be friends” until such time as the flow-chart has been verified and to avoid the works of V.C. Andrews altogether.

Arts and Sciences · Ealdormere · History

Staunch defender of the Roman Empire: “Clearly, they were all Spartacus.”

BARONY OF RISING WATERS, EALDORMERE – A cinematic debate about Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film, Spartacus, turned ugly this weekend at Kingdom A&S. Lady Publia Hostilia Asina was the center of the controversy, as she asserted that if Spartacus felt his freedom was important enough to instigate the slave revolt, he should at least sign his name to it.

When it was pointed out that the film made it explicit that Spartacus’ insecurities about his own lack of education prevented him from signing his name to anything, Lady Asina responded with: “There were proper channels to pursue if a slave wanted to be freed. If Spartacus wanted social change, he should have owned his words. Otherwise, he should have kept his trap shut and not upset the other slaves.”

Lady Asina took a very different perspective than most viewers of the film, stating, “If he’s instigating rebellions and gaining traction at the expense of the Roman Empire, he should have grown a pair and at least named himself as leader.”

When it was pointed out that if they had spoken up, non-Roman slaves would almost certainly have been crucified on the spot, Lady Asina scoffed. “Other people suggested methods of affecting change in Imperial Roman society and could not have done it anonymously with any success. Had I been in Spartacus’ place, I would never have tried to instigate a rebellion while concealing my name. That method would never have worked in real life.”

One Spartacus fan asked whether her opinions about political anonymity extended to voting. Lady Asina answered, “Absolutely. If you have any political opinion, you should own it. This idea that identifying yourself will lead to censure and social consequences is ridiculous. There’s a reason that the Roman Empire was so much more successful than the Republic – people always owned their political opinions. Always.”

When another fan brought up the question of whether or not the Roman Empire was really as successful as Lady Asina claimed, she responded: “Without a doubt – and it was in no small part due to heroes like Crassus who stood up to anonymous troublemakers who only wanted to stir up dissention through anonymity, by wisely crucifying the whole lot.”

Armored Combat · Chivalry · Gulf Wars · History

The Deed Disappoints, Confuses Crowd

SHIRE OF DRAGOUN’S WEAL, GLEANN ABHANN, GULF WARS – Dozens of men and couples were seen leaving the battlefield Friday night carrying baskets of tissues and various lotions. “You’re damn right I’m upset,” explained Kazuya Tanaka, who wished to remain anonymous. “I came to see people doing the deed and all I got were a bunch of dudes in the least-revealing armor I’ve ever seen! You couldn’t even see most of their faces!” 

One woman, who identified herself only as Jill, and her partner, Marcus Cobham, seemed more disappointed than upset. “I saw the event listed in the porta-potty and it seemed like maybe a fun way to start a Friday night,” Jill said. “But now he,” she stated, pointing to Marcus, who was busy browsing the Armour Archive on his phone, “won’t shut up about how nice one guy’s legs were.” 

The Deed of Arms, or simply “the Deed,” is an invitation-only combat featuring combatants sporting the finest of historical fourteenth century armors. They engage in combats simulating sport melees of the day and attempt to hold each other for ransom, which all participants are obligated to have on hand. 

“I’m not sure what the fuss is about,” said Sir Gui d’Orleans, captain of the French team. “The turnout was spectacular, more than usual, actually. Though when I got captured, someone yelled something about doing it already? I don’t know,” he finished with a shrug. 

The SCAllion is likewise unsure of what raised the ire of so many onlookers, as the combat appeared to be honorably executed with great displays of chivalry and friendship all around.

Artemisia · Arts and Sciences · History · Second Generation

Second Generation SCAdian sent home from Sunday School after correcting teacher

SHIRE OF STONEGATE, ARTEMISIA – Elisif Jonasdottir, sixth grader and second generation SCAdian, was sent home from Sunday School last week with a note from church leadership asking her parents to have a discussion with their child about arguing with the Sunday School teacher in front of the other young faithful.

The trouble started when Elisif corrected Mildred Miller, the teacher, when she announced that the enshrinement of the Trinity into Christianity was not established at the first Council of Nicea in 325 CE, but later with the Council of Constantinople in 381 CE. Things got heated when Elisif explained that the Council of Nicea was about the establishment of Christ as a deity, and that the full Trinititarian argument could not be taken up until after that fact had been established. At first, Mrs. Miller sent Elisif to stand in the corner, but was moved to send her home with the note after Elisif, from the corner, disputed that gnosticism was excluded from Christianity in 325 CE as well.  “Heretics were forgiven at the Council of Nicea!” She shouted, “I can’t believe I have to get angry about this!”

“I’m not sure where she got that from,” commented her father Lord Jonas Jonasson, “We study Norse history together, not Byzantine history. I mean, I let her read Knowne World Humor, so maybe there was a meme she picked up on?” 

“I’m proud of her,” declared her mother, Íþróttakona Margaretha Osterberg, “Mrs. Miller taught that Akhenaten was the first monotheist, and Elisif’s opinion is that Akhenaten was not practicing monotheism but a syncretistic melding of the traditions of his populace. This is a reasonable position to maintain. I think this is when the trouble started.”

It is not known when Elisif will be able to go back to Sunday School. Her parents said she was looking forward to the inevitable fight about Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the church. “There’s no textural evidence that he did any such thing,” Elisif announced. “I can’t wait to blow a hole in that fairy tale,” she declared.