attack_laurel (attack_laurel) wrote,

Mistress Manners answers the questions you didn't ask

...and some you did.

First, let me clarify:  When I say "respect the Crown", I don't mean "ass-kiss the Crown", "Say yes to everything the Crown wants to do", or "Suck it up and smile", I mean treat the position as something more than the transitory person wearing it.  No matter how bad you think any current King or Queen are, they will step down, and the next Crowns might be wonderful - if anyone bothers to pay any attention to them.  This is what I mean by saying that if you act disrespectfully towards one Crown, your behaviour will serve as an example to newcomers, who will not appreciate the new Crowns because they've been taught that the Royalty don't matter.

(By the way, I am not referencing any particular Crowns, present or past, when I talk about this.  I haven't seen one yet who didn't have some redeeming qualities.)

(No, really.)

But on to the questions.  

Imaginary reader sca_woombawoomba asks:  If there's a king on the throne whom I hate, am I obligated to attend court during his reign?

No, you are not.  However, don't make a big deal about not attending court.  Though it may feel super self-righteous to tell all and sundry that you're skipping court because the king is an ass, and you disapprove of everything he has done, and you can't believe that people let him get away with stuff, it reflects badly on you, and makes people assume you like teh drama a little too much.  Bitching to friends is okay; bitching to total stangers about how you can't believe that anyone would attend that asshole's courts is impolite.  It is better to say that you need to get on the road, or you feel unwell and need to lie down - or even just to quietly fade away.  You don't have to be there, but try not to make your personal boycott into a great crusade to make other people boycott, too.

Reader from another dimension acs_drol asks:  I like the idea of royalty, but the current crowns drive me up the wall.  Is there a good way to stay active while avoiding the royal presence as much as possible?

Why, yes there is.  You can follow protocol when it is required, like standing at the beginning of court, refraining from making snide comments and talking during court, making a polite bow when the crowns walk by - basically, the things you would do for any monarch, but unless you are a peer (which has slightly elevated expectations regarding interaction with the crowns), you don't have to push yourself to volunteer directly to them.  Instead, put your energy into helping the local group, or assisting at events in areas where the royalty will not be as active (cleaning up, kitchen work, etc.)  Like in the question above, try not to broadcast your dislike of the current crowns far and wide - if pressed, you can always say "I'm not a huge fan of the current royalty, but I feel it's important to maintain a certain level of respect for the position".  Refrain from saying things like "The royalty sucks!", "I don't see why we should have to repect that", or any other phrases that would give newer members the idea that it's okay to trash the crowns.

Long-time voice in my head evilxevilx666youwillall_die asks:  How do I explain to people the difference between liking the Crown as a part of our game and liking the crowns, especially when I dislike the crowns so much that I wouldn't pour a pitcher of sekanjabin on them if they were on fire?

Many people get confused when I am polite in the presence of crowns I do not care for, and say "But I thought you hated them!  How can you sell out your principles like that?!"  And I reply "If I don't treat the position with respect, then other people won't.  And if no-one treats the position with respect, the next time friends of mine are on the throne, they will not get the support they need, because everyone assumes the crowns aren't important".  What this means is that everyone, no matter how scummy they are, deserves the mimimum respect you would accord anyone in that position, not because they deserve it, but because it's the right thing to do.  This doesn't mean condoning the dumb things they do - heck, it doesn't even mean you have to smile at them when you bow, but it does mean you behave like an adult in a business setting, not a child in a playground.  Your behaviour under that kind of pressure reflects primarily on you, and while it may feel peachy-keen to sneer openly at a crown you don't like, and make you feel all-powerful when you persuade your friends to do the same, it causes more damage than you may realize at the time.

The grand gesture is rarely grand, and doing things like openly dismissing the crowns you disapprove of , while giving you and your fellow haters a thrill, simply makes you look petty.  Teaching people how to gracefully handle a bad set of royalty, how to minimize the damage they cause, and keep everyone solid and ready for the next (good) reign instead does everyone a huge service.  It's also super-good for your karma.

Yes, it sometimes feels like people get away with murder, but the damage is lessened when the people peripheral to the action refuse to become drama-llamas, and work to get everything on an even keel again.  I've watched people drag their friends (and newbies who made the mistake of joining their circle) into a swirling vortex of negativity over people they dislike, and I've seen the long-lasting effects of that negativity in the lack of volunteerism and general apathy that accompanies such behaviour.  If you set everything out as not worth caring about, then people will not care.  And when that bad king or queen has left the throne, and the great king and queen are left begging for support so they can make things as good as possible for the greatest number of people, who has that negativity really hurt?

Hint:  Not the bad ones.  They don't care.

So, for the sake of the rest of us, at least stick to the basic courtesies.  Keep your loathing of any particular royalty under wraps except with close friends.  Resist the temptation to create drama.  It's not selling out, it's preserving a dream in the face of what can seem like impossible odds.  Play the game, and play to win - by taking the long view and the high road.
Tags: kingdom, sca, volunteers
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