Like many of you, I just recently got back from Knoxville, and the drive home gave me plenty of time to mull over things. I know that we are campaigners - the hardcores - and thus hold ourselves to an admittedly higher standard than the average mainstreamer or farb. This doesn't make us better, it just makes us different.
With that in mind I have to wonder why the moment packs were dropped this weekend, period was dropped as well. No, I'm not saying I'd like to spend 36 hours talking about nothing but 1860s Michigan, but I think we can all agree that a little less raucous talk about past events and real world jobs would do our side of the hobby a little good.
It doesn't end there, though. Saturday morning, while out on skirmish duty, we were unable to hear Kiev's commands to his troops across the field due to the boisterous laughter coming from our own works (from men supposedly bracing for the incoming Confederate assault). As I mentioned in a previous thread, we definately caught sight of a Rebel using his cell phone in broad daylight behind their camp (or at least doing the typical cell phone gesticulating one can discern from 250 years away). And after repelling Col. Hicks' assault on Fort Sanders, the moment of observing the very realistic looking casualties (well done, boys) was shattered by a corporal I'd never seen before moving next to me, taking out his digicam, and starting to shoot away.
There are things we can't help sometimes, like that truck that came up Saturday night with its headlights blazing into our firefight (though I wouldn't be surprised if somehow the Johnnies ordered that up instead of a phosphorus flare ) but there are some things we can.
I didn't stay in period all weekend - I had many a modern talk around the evening campfire, I added a story or two to the highly enjoyable "stupid things people say to you at reenactments" conversation, I quietly asked my pards where they were from in the real world - but these actions are (I like to think) a sign of moderation, rather than of outright disregard for the standards we hold for these kinds of events.
To be perfectly honest, there were many, many times this weekend where the excitement, the thrill, the moment was shattered for the very same reason we avoid farbish events: we may have eaten scant rations, and we may have slept in the open on naught but our groundcloths, but we didn't feel like campaigners to me, not this weekend. In many instances, we simply seemed like cowboys out for a Sunday shooting.
There were exceptions to this rule, for which I am incredibly grateful. The officers and NCOs of Company A that I observed stayed professional and respectful to the scenario as best they could, and I think that's awesome. The discipline in the ranks, though...that is another thing.
So I have to ask publicly...why do we bother applying restrictions regarding modern discussion and first person personnas, if we're just going to flaunt our disregard for those rules after a scant few moments of observing them?
I'm sorry to grouse, but it's a soldier's right to grouse. Or if nothing else, this soldier simply wants to.