Posted in day-to-day, out of character, personal, rant, roleplay, roleplaying, rp

Ain’t That a Shame

When the 1920 Berlin Project was younger, I went for a visit. Let me preface by saying that I went for a visit as Mistletoe, a 5’11” tall elf. I wore a dress from the early 30s–it was the closest I had–and not only did I get in no problem, I was given a personal tour by Jo Yardley herself.

What impressed me so much about it was not just the build (which made brilliant use of the limited space and prims), not just the atmosphere from the streetlights to the newspapers to the music on the stream… no, what really blew my mind was how pleasant and tolerant the owner was toward me. She explained that those who stuck around to take part in the RP on a regular basis were asked to fit within a certain time period/look, but that visitors were free and welcome to be whomever or whatever they chose to be. I was so impressed that before the tour was over, I voluntarily disappeared my prim ears. And if you know anything about me at all, you know that it would have to be one hell of an impression on me for me to willingly do such a thing.

Fast forward to now.

A friend and I are sitting on a park bench, talking about Stuff, when the matter of historical sims comes up in conversation. Apparently, there’s been a bit of a change in the policy at the 1920 project, and not for the better. I’ve not been to see it, I’ll admit, but apparently now if you’re not a fully human in fully period-accurate dress, you just don’t go in, period.

This was corroborated by a second friend of mine. He is a full-time human. He loves vintage type clothing. But even he and his long hair weren’t permitted inside.

I’m no stranger to the “authenticity nazi”, being a member in RL of the Society for Creative Anachronism off-and-on for twelve years now. I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like people who are skilled at what they do and lead by example; they’re the ones who make you feel like you too can be capable of great achievements. They’re happy to help, answer questions, and have enough vision and imagination to not let the occasional badly-garbed newbie ruin their day. Then, there’s the “authenticity nazi”; those who have nothing better to do than piss and moan about how not up to snuff others are. They’re the ones who snit, “But it’s not period,” over some truly minor detail, and make passive-aggressive snaps just within the “offender”‘s earshot. They’re the ones who honestly suggest that merchants at SCA events refuse service to those who aren’t dressed up to their personal code (and as a merchant, just let me say, good fucking luck with that idea). After 12 years, I can easily tell you: given a choice between someone in polyester garb and rubber elf ears, and one in perfect Elizabethan and an intolerable attitude, there’s no question who I’d rather camp with.

And this reminds me of that. I’m going to reiterate what the first of my aforementioned friends had said, because I strongly agree. If you forbid elves, furries, men with long hair, or whatever else doesn’t suit your personal aesthetic in your playground, and do so claiming it’s for the sake of historical authenticity, you had better be prepared to back it up by really being historical: if you’re going to discriminate against these people, then surely you’re discriminating against blacks and Jews too. If not then you just might be all talk.

Whether you do or you don’t, rest assured that at least this is one elf that won’t pollute your precious suspension of disbelief with her presence. Do what you want with yourself in your own sandbox; just know that perfection can be a very dull and lonely place to be.



6 thoughts on “Ain’t That a Shame

  1. … then there’s the whole thing about accepting payment in Linden Dollars, or in any money coined or printed after 1930…

  2. Excellent, Mistletoe. Well said!
    And daleinnis, very good point. Never thought of that.
    Makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one noticing these things..and being irritated by them.

  3. Can I quote you for the book? I must see this anal retentive sim. I suppose I’ll have to get a period dress.

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