Archive for July, 2011

Comments Off on Why things are so Effed up!

Why things are so Effed up!


A discussion  on a reenactor list I am on came to this bitlet (my comments and thoughts follow): there has become a mode of dress in reenactment “culture” that is considered acceptable that has absolutely zero congruity with average reality.

It’s the same culture where everyone is “entitled” — where you have all these “heroes” wearing high medals and always having to portray an OFFICER. Neeto, huh!? Well, not really. Go on with your bad self Mr. Mitty! Really, it’s the Xbox mentality. Yep. I am not into Xbox. Hell, I was never into Nintendo or whatever — I stopped caring about video games int he 90’s (except for flight and evyil war sims (U-Boats, Panzers, etc. not Call of Duty). They say the year I was born is considered the last year of the baby boomers. Wow! Then, we had Gen X… Oh joy. Now they call the know-it-all, super wonders  Gen “Y”… I call them Gen “L” for LOSER as that is exactly what most of them are — an like most their age, they are all too good to work: “What, I don’t wanna do that, it will suck. That will take all frigging day.” Or “What, you mean I ain’t starting at $80 grand a year?” Our nation is doomed because so many people wanted their children to have it better, that they ruined them for ever having a work ethic, for ever getting ahead through hard work and effort. Now they all believe that they are entitled to it. Eff this. Again, our nation (and most of the modern world) is doomed!

Xbox — Ruining Children Everywhere

Kill your children’s Xboxes — I mean it! You are doing them NO favor in getting them one of these brain-melters AND for that matter even allowing them to have one. Be a parent, not their “friend.” Make them, GASP, read a book. “Oh my, books, books are icky, there’s be’s no pitchers in ’em. How boring, nothing moves.” In truck driver-ese, I’d say “Shut up stupid!” Don’t agree with me? Fine, go bury your head in the sand you idiot.

Reenacting and Other Hobbies Going in the Shitter

Anyway, that’s why reenacting of ALL time periods is going in the shitter. “What, wear hot, itchy wool? Exert myself? Run?? CRAWL WHERE? Why I am an uhleet hero in my video world…” and Hell, the reenacting world is aging too. Young people don’t want to do this and anyway, it’s too damned expensive for them — like hot rods. Building and running and playing with Hot Rods used to a young man’s sport, now it’s all rich old geezers. When the junky-ass shit that we drove back in high school is now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, something is WRONG. Wrong as two dogs screwing on the White House lawn — on Sunday, in front of the Pope, the First Lady and 16,000 pre-schoolers.

Back to the geezery

Hey Skippy, news flash here: There were no 65-70 year old Waffen-SS privates or Uhleet Army Paratrooopers… in fact, us in our 40’s are WAY too old. >:-o (Marsh is an über a-hole for saying that!!). Sorry guys, there needs to be an end date. It’s sad ad depressing sometimes: Rev War’s average age is like in their 60’s. Silly War, is what, 50’s? WWI and WWII late 40’s…. 🙁 We need new blood. And we need it so new guys can afford this stuff, as we’ve made all the stuff they could afford (like WE used when we started: Swedish and DDR wool, etc.) go away. So now, some decry the Chinese stuff. So what. Want young guys? Make it so they can afford this. You try buying a K98k on McDonald’s wages.

It ain’t gonna happen. Young guys cannot afford $2000. to get into a hobby.  Like Hot Rods, ours will age and the guys who are big in it will be the ones who started young at the beginning and stayed in. Think about that old geezer who has to use a walker in his new Corvette. Why “He’s cool.” is he? Or is it just sad. I have went to car shows and stuff with my brother Jim, he’s into that stuff and even HE is in his mid-40’s (sorry Jim!). Wait, maybe that new stuff they claim will make us all young again will work. Or will we all be young looking old curmudgeons? I dunno. Food for thought and, as always, I welcome your comments.


Comments Off on Janitor Generals

Janitor Generals


In the reenacting hobby, we have a number of people who are, in a term coined by Ed Franzosa, “Janitor Generals.” What this means is that in their normal life, they’re something like a janitor, worker bee, etc. but in reenacting, well they are some high ranking person of “importance.” And the thing is, they believe this is all real. Now, there are many in the hobby who are NOT like that, but you always have a few who think they’re Julius Caesar or Robert E. Lee reborn. They’re the ones who ALWAYS have to portray an officer — who ALWAYS have to have rank. Off the top of my head, I can think of 4-5 gross offenders of this practice: “I’m a Roman LEGATE (elite SS Panzer OFFICER, etc.) , you will respect me. You MUST swear allegiance to MY unit and go with NO OTHER to events where I deign to take MY UNIT.” LOL, kinda funny. That one is also unemployed now — did I mention many of these guys are among the professionally unemployed!?

It CAN be Great!

Reenacting is a neat hobby — you get to kind of step into things and see how it was then. BTW, by the term “reenacting,” I mean going and doing actual events, not standing in front of bored touronz and bloviating crap that they are not listening to. It is a sad fact that the vast majority of younger people today do not give a tinker’s damn about history. If it isn’t on an Xbox, they don’t care. The “loserazation” of the next generations is a whole separate topic.

Anyway, I have seen some high-minded “LIVING HISTORIANS” who insist that the only reason to do what we do is to “TEACH THE CHILDREN,” etc. My answer, as always is “horse puckey!” And this abomination that suddenly we’re not lowly reenactors, but are “LIVING HISTORIANS” with a higher purpose (I don’t know what that is, except to inflate their gigantic egos further, so that while they are cleaning toilets in their real life, they feel better). For that matter, asking them WHY they are a LIVING HISTORIAN vs. a reenactor can be enlightening. Ask them if they have any special training or anything… Rollin Curtis of At the Front has these “rants” wherein he goes on about stuff that he finds wrong, etc. For the most part, they’re pretty funny, but farbs and janitor generals don’t like that kind of thing. Here’s the intro to Rollin’s living history rant:

If you are new to the hobby, or have been out of circulation for a few years, here’s the situation: A growing number of participants prefer to consider themselves “Living Historians”. For some, the term “Living History” sounds more glorious and noble than “Reenacting”… a term which they associate with “cap busting”. It’s like the drunks at the Bel Air gentleman’s club looking down their noses at the drunks at Hike’s Point Bar and Lounge. I believe that this tizzy was an outgrowth of the previous conflict between those who prefer active events (playing war) and those who just like to dress up and pose for nazi shots and admire their collections. . . while wearing them. The LHer’s simply cannot comprehend that no matter how they dress, slice or dice it, what they do is playing war. Reenacting and Living History are the same damned thing.

Needless to say, my opinion has not been well received in certain circles. . .

You may read the whole series of rants on “LIVING HISTORIANS” here. I also think Rollin’s bit on Harley riders is damned funny and telling too… “Oh, were all rugged individualists” LOL, LOL, LOL! Harley riders are (at least the new breed of them, vs. real bikers), for the most part, all like lemmings… Everything has to be “just so.” Black leathers and “ride free” and über-shiny bikes with lots of chrome and doo dads and lights. Hell, most of these types of “bikers” are in their mid-life crisis… I digress, this, like the current generation of Losers (which is why I call them Gen “L”) is a whole separate blog. Back to ma peeps: reenactors.

Reasons to Reenact

There are MANY reasons to reenact… Sure, there IS the aspect of teaching and demonstrating the past to another generation, but for some of us, it’s a chance to “step back” into another time period. Immersion events are great for this. Sometimes it’s hard, but if you persevere, it can be great. No, you won’t actually be there, but you can “feel” the time period. You don’t get this kind of thing at public events. Civil War has some great immersion events. WWI and WWII do too. I do WWI and can tell you that you CAN get that feeling there. No, reenactors, for the most part, do not wish to be wounded, die or be miserable; we’re more there for a “taste of the time” as Tony Dahm says. Yes, we want a taste, a feeling of what they went through, not actual pain or real suffering. We don’t want fleas, we don’t want lice, we don’t want blisters, broken bones, gun shot wounds or to get a disease. But we DO want to camp like they did, to try the food, good and bad (hard tack, turnip jam, garum), we find it fascinating to see how the gear feels, how it hangs, impedes your progress, etc. Sitting in the rain, trying to stay dry under a rain cape, the smell of wet wool and leather are something that stays in your mind. Wood smoke from a camp fire — ask ANY reenactor and they will tell you that it conjur up instant good memories. You can get in the closet for something and bump your uniform and smell the smoke and it will ALWAYS bring a smile. Always. The comradeship of a good unit is something too. Amongst the LIVING HISTORIANS, it’s more like actors. They are, to use a phrase coined by Dan Peterson a “display team.” You can also call them “mannequins” which while pretty much accurate, is as insulting to some as the term “farb.” >:-)

Anyway, I am just rambling along, this all started by thoughts on one self-important ding-dong in the Roman reenacting world (don’t worry, there are plenty in other time periods too, just this one is kind of nutty nowadays). If you get into my hobby, you be sure to find these “heroes” or “LIVING HISTORIANS” as they think themselves. My advice is to mess with them some: don’t salute, call them “sir” or pretend they don’t exist. Point out to them that there “Is NO uniform Code of Reenactor Justice” and they can’t actually court martial you… that always spools them up. Ignore the ones who ORDER you around. In this hobby, for the most part, rank and position is determined by how much work and effort you put into the hobby; in othe rwords, you earn it. You can always tell those guys — they’re the ones who DON’T want any rank, who don’t wish to be “in charge.” The janitor general will ALWAYS insist he be in charge, then complain bitterly that people don’t “do their jobs.” Anyway, you’ll know what I mean. Ende