I have been going over some of the words from Harlot's speech last night (to paraphrase): "...in less than 100 years we have changed from a society that would not consider purchasing something that we could make, to a society that would not consider making something that we could buy...". She continued: "....not only is this new practice of commerce the norm, but people who have interest in making things are considered odd and out of place...".
(once again paraphrasing, I was not taking notes)
As I sat there and watched the nodding heads around me I couldn't help but feel out of place myself, and I really resisted the urge to leap to my feet and yell "then they need to join the SCA cause we make stuff all the time and no one thinks twice about it!"
As a participant in the SCA for 16 years, my norm is being surrounded by people who encourage others to make things, teach them if they have troubles and are interested in hearing what you are up to. The announcement of "I'm hosting a gathering of metal workers at my house and we are going to learn how to cast bronze" is never met with the question "Why?" The usual response is "COOL!" followed by "can I come and what time?" To me this is normal. It is normal to make shoes, to cast pewter, to sew a gown, to knit replica Egyptian stockings, to start a fire with flint and steel, to construct a pavilion. Yes, I do buy things that I do not have the skill, knowledge, or equipment to make; but I, like others, enjoy the process of creating things. I really believe that people who don't like such activities or who can't understand that some people like such activities are dead and souless inside.
What is so different between sitting in an arena and watching cars/ dogs/ horses go round and round and sitting around a list field watching armored fighters go round and round? Are both sets of people passionate? Yes. Do we both think each other are odd? Probably. Is that fair? No. My passions are just as interesting/ quirky/ wierd/ fun/ and expensive as the average scrap booker/ NASCAR fan/ hunter/ doll collector/ etc. (no offense to people who enjoy these pursuits, but they are examples of activities that I would never get into.) That being said I understand them. I understand their mentalities, cause they are the same as mine, just focused in a different direction. I think there are more people in this world who are passionate about activities then we give them credit for. My wish is that we could recognize the passion that is in each of us, even when it is expressed in different ways and respect that passion even if we can't get behind it.