Author Topic: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)  (Read 3559 times)

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Offline analise

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MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« on: August 27, 2008, 02:41:52 PM »
By my subject line, I mean...it's that time for people who write "news" "articles" to come to the faire and then write up something that really skews things and makes them sound like they didn't have any fun at all.

The below is from http://www.expressnightout.com/content/2008/08/deepfried_knights_maryland_renaissance_f.php

Quote
Deep-Fried Knights: Maryland Renaissance Festival

COME HITHER, DISTRICT DWELLERS!

Last weekend Maryland Renaissance Festival opened, meaning royalty, greasy turkey legs and corset-forced cleavage awaits thee just about an hour away from D.C.

The second-largest Renaissance Festival in the country (No. 1 being in Texas, of course) is no small stage for sires and their miladies. Just about every regional nerd stuck in the Middle Ages will dust off his or her carefully constructed costume and barely passable British accent to stroll the festival grounds and partake in the antiquated action.

So, yes, it's all good and merry at the Renaissance Festival — RennFest to its fans — but one must wonder if there is any informative facet to this medieval affair?

Does this Americanized interpretation of the Renaissance stay true to the cultural movement in Europe dating from the early 14th to the early 17th centuries, or did we capitalize the crap out of the celebrated artistic past and turn it into a horrific version of Othello (with fried Oreos)?

While we know Elizabethans didn't actually munch on pork pockets while listening to a sword swallower spew knock-knock jokes, I tested out RennFest for at least a grain of truth amidst glorified medieval madness. For backup, I brought Dave Kelly, a British D.C. professional and history buff, to the festival to help me understand whether it at really represents merry ole England (back in the day).


» Entertainment
What to see at RennFest? Try ventriloquists, drenched wenches, real pied pipers, medieval stand-up, jesters and jousting.

Jousting is one of the most popular events of the festival, and it's actually Maryland's state sport (a fact that will get an eye-roll from any Marylander). Back in 16th century England, the sport was played by armored knights as a means for them to show off their horsemanship prowess. Here, it's a means to scream obscenities at an opponent knight (cover your mouth so the fried ice cream won't spill out) while cheering your own knight onto long-sticked stardom.

But jousting is one thing the RennFest does attempt to get right. The trained knights use lances (long poles) to shove each other off racing horses, while their less-beefy comedic sidekicks encourage the crowd to boo and hiss the opponent because he (apparently) reeks of cow dung. Our British judge Dave, however, quickly shook his head when asked to go into a jeering chant with the crowd: "This seems like it's out of a dumb film," he said.

» Attire
Renaissance nerds take their dress seriously, which was evident by the meticulously planned, historically correct, eight-piece getups they pranced around in. Other dressed-up guests considered the fair a competition for the most boobage one can squeeze out of a corset. In fact, it's impressive that these women are able to walk around and see past the mounds of breasts blocking their views.

In the Renaissance, the wealth of a person was judged by how much material they had in their clothing. That tradition is carried through at RennFest. The king and queen, who march around aimlessly all day greeting — but not touching — common folk, were adorned with the finest jewels and velvet silk-lined robes, while the pouting, high-school-aged trash collectors got measly paper-thin shrouds.

Our Dave, however, was a tad confused by the variety of interpretive outfits: "I'm surprised at how many pirates and sadomasochists were around during the Renaissance."

» Food
The list of eats at RennFest read like a medieval diner menu ... if it was placed in a deep fryer (did they even have those in the Middle Ages?).

Peasant bread, turkey legs, Belgian waffles, friar's fritters and meat pies were some of the old English fare. The rest of the food choices were just souped-up versions of the McDonald's dollar menu. Fried ice cream, jalapeno poppers, cottage fries, gryos, burgers and hot dogs. It's not fare preferred by the calorie-conscious, but then again, women were preferred a bit heftier back then.

Like food on sticks? The options are endless: sausage, chicken, mac 'n' cheese, potatoes, cheesecake and steak can all be enjoyed impaled. Holding a stick garnished with fried mac 'n' cheese wedges, Dave was a little confused: "I actually think they did have cutlery during the Renaissance period. This is tasty, though."

His favorite food of the fest? A deep-fried Snickers.

The most enjoyable way to forgive the RennFest's excesses, though, is through libation — and there are five bars and countless beer stands to allow even the stickiest sticklers of historical accuracy to enjoy the proceedings through slightly blurred vision.

Or, to put it in modern-day Brit-speak, courtesy Dave: "It's a great way to get thoroughly pissed."

» Maryland Renaissance Festival runs weekends through Oct. 19; click here for a full schedule.

Written by Express contributor Robyn Mincher

Offline LadySeasan

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2008, 03:38:22 PM »
blah i strongly dislike people that poke fun at things they do not understand :(

i mean before 2005 i had no idea what a renaissance festival was, but i did not poke fun at it.
and thanks to the ren fair, ive met many fun people just like me, and have learned to sew! huzzah

and besides, i dont think many people want to actually live in the renaissance,
bad smells, no dentists lol, and where can you see so many hot pirates, wenches, and nobles associating at the White Hart Tavern?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 03:40:27 PM by LadySeasan »
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Offline Master James

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 05:21:11 PM »
The thing I always find amusing about these kind of articles is the fact that the writer doesn't even know what period they are talking about.  They refer to it as the renaissance one minute and medival the next, which anyone who understands even a small part of history knows are NOT the same thing!  I have seen more "these people are as bad as those moronic sci-fi convention freaks" articles than I care to.  Its obvious that these morons don't like anything and just take the opportunity to bash it whenever they can.  Guess that makes them feel good about their obviously dull and uninteresting life.  So be it.
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Offline Feline Groovy

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 10:55:57 PM »
Just means more mead for the rest of us!  (Don't even get me started about articles on fencing.....)
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Offline LadySeasan

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 11:16:23 PM »
Our own King Henry VII (Fred Nelson) has posted! I love his response to this article:


My name is Fred Nelson, and I play said King every year.

I can easily join everyone else criticizing your tone, but I respect your opinion along with all others.

However, there are a few FACTUAL errors that I take extremely strong exception to. It was irresponsible of you to write them, and I will officially be asking for a retraction from your paper's editor and ombudsman.

Specifically - the sentence "The king and queen, who march around aimlessly all day greeting — but not touching — common folk ..."

Wrong. On two counts.

1) "march around aimlessly all day" - As your own photos above show ... in addition to greeting people, we perform in various stage shows detailing the court life of Henry VIII, written by professional writers with a deep knowledge of the subject. Also, we preside over jousts, perform children's knighting ceremonies, lead village dances, make appearances at parties and ceremonies and weddings throughout the site, from 10 in the morning until 7 at night. We are constantly rushing off to a completely different event every half-hour.

It is a scheduling nightmare, but we stay on top of it. And for you to boil all of that down to "marching aimlessly all day" truly demeans a group of people who must meticulously maintain and support that schedule every day (not just the two of us). It also highlights your - apparently strong - need to have your editorial opinion overwhelm the facts.

2) "greeting - but not touching - the common people":

The only possible response to that statement is - prove it, please.

Where exactly did you get your facts to support this? If you are a true journalist, produce your notes and/or witnesses. I'll be glad to wait.

Actually, don't bother to make a show of looking. This statement is blatantly false.

As performers, we undergo several weeks of training prior to opening every year, not just in our lines, language, and history - but also with dealing of patrons of all sorts. Touching is by no means forbidden, but is handled on a case-by-case basis. I shake literally hundreds of hands every weekend, and we have even been known to TEACH patrons how handshakes were performed in that era. This involves us actually leaning forward and slightly EMBRACING the patron. In addition, we also regularly greet patrons in wheelchairs or special needs, often knneling down in front of them to bring ourselves to eye level. To them, a touch can often be very reassuring.

For you to claim that we would never touch "commoners" is thoroughly irresponsible on your part. It makes us sound as if we are cold, impassioned, distant figures - when, in fact, quite the opposite is true.

I dare say that's one of the many reasons that the Maryland Renaissance Festival holds a greater than 99% approval rating among departing customers - a fact somehow missed in your desire to be "edgy".

Oh, and --- "Elizabethan"? Refers to the era of Queen Elizabeth.

The daughter of Henry VIII.

Many many years later.

You made much of the fact that you had a historian on hand. Did we forget to fact-check that as well?

It is my sincerest hope that your editor and ombudsman, once contacted, will be able to realize that what you have written is NOT a legitimate feature piece. It should go into the Opinions column instead - after an actual journalist checks your facts for accuracy first.
By Fred , Posted August 27, 2008 2:58 PM
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Offline Scotsman

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2008, 05:49:59 AM »
Everyone is entitled to their opinion ... but only ours counts  ;D
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Offline Master James

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2008, 12:08:19 PM »
GO FRED!  SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!!
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Offline will paisley

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2008, 12:28:49 PM »
Everyone is entitled to their opinion ... but only ours counts  ;D

If I might refine this a bit, with a quote from Harlan Ellison:

"You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing."

You know, I can live with being made fun of, and boy are there a lot of valid reasons to make fun of me.  I'm old, fat, wear a hairstyle that's at least 30 years out of date, and I like to run around in the woods wearing clothes that are at least 400 years out of date.  I don't mind people hating me or things that I like, but for chrissake, hate me (or them) for the right reasons.  This review, opinion piece, what have you, was like a review of Ben and Jerry's ice cream based on its ability to remove rust from cars.  It was like a review of the Taj Mahal, written by a termite who didn't like the way any of the wooden furniture tasted. 

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I just got through responding to another case of rennies getting thrashed for the wrong reasons over at the Penn and Tell B*llsh*t forums.  I'm just sick and tired of being misrepresented in order to be made fun of by people trying to show how clever and cool they are.
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Offline Lupa

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2008, 01:14:38 PM »
HUZZAH your majesty!
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Offline jmkhalfmoon

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2008, 01:54:47 PM »
I think it comes down to envy...inhibited people are envious of those that are willing to live life large or to the fullest and instead of trying to break out of their own fear, they condemn those that have done what they are unable to do.

I love this quote:

"You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing."

Offline LadyDracolich

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008, 10:24:38 AM »
Once again, someone with a hopelessly pathetic life who gets some means of enjoyment by belittling others.

And I am sooo glad that His Majesty called the worthless little scribbler out on it.  Huzzah!!!!

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Offline Dallan

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008, 12:57:37 PM »
Opinions are like @$$holes; everyone has one and most peoples’ stink. I put the author in that category but would defend to the death her freedom to expose hers, opinion that is (ok maybe both). People often make fun of what they don’t understand. It is obvious that the writer’s ignorance is vast.
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Offline Lady Neysa

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Re: MDRF in the News (it's that time again)
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2008, 11:54:44 AM »
Everyone is entitled to their opinion ... but only ours counts  ;D

If I might refine this a bit, with a quote from Harlan Ellison:

"You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing."

You know, I can live with being made fun of, and boy are there a lot of valid reasons to make fun of me.  I'm old, fat, wear a hairstyle that's at least 30 years out of date, and I like to run around in the woods wearing clothes that are at least 400 years out of date.  I don't mind people hating me or things that I like, but for chrissake, hate me (or them) for the right reasons.  This review, opinion piece, what have you, was like a review of Ben and Jerry's ice cream based on its ability to remove rust from cars.  It was like a review of the Taj Mahal, written by a termite who didn't like the way any of the wooden furniture tasted. 

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I just got through responding to another case of rennies getting thrashed for the wrong reasons over at the Penn and Tell B*llsh*t forums.  I'm just sick and tired of being misrepresented in order to be made fun of by people trying to show how clever and cool they are.


Well spoken Will!

 

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