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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: why do we buy this stuff?         Reply with quote

Ok,
I was recently thinking about this and can't come up with a decent answer. I have spent, as many of us have, thousands of dollars on...completly unnecsesary medieval stuff. I really like all sorts of medieval stuff and own a lot of it, but why? What do we actually do with these things, why do we reenact and stuff. I actually feel kinda sick when I think about the fact that I own multi thousand dollar swords and other people can't even buy food. I'm not rich, I'm actually pretty poor, but I still feel the urge to buy clothes 1,000 years out of style. Why is it that we buy this stuff, like swords, we will never actually use; and why do we own so many. Also is this just some sort of modern compulsion, why didn't people renact and buy antiques and reproduction swords 600 years ago? Why do we want to own reproductions of history rather than antiques or history books?
I hope that people can try and explain there own reasoning and thoughts on this subject, I'm stumped.
Z
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J Anstey





Joined: 21 Jul 2007

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

.. .because it's fun.
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Michael A. Mills




Location: Southern Indiana
Joined: 16 Nov 2009

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: why do we buy this stuff?         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
Also is this just some sort of modern compulsion, why didn't people reenact and buy antiques and reproduction swords 600 years ago?


Zach,

With the abundance of wealth (meaning the ability to survive is easily achieved.. not a monetary standard) comes leisure time. With leisure time comes reading, among other things. Neither leisure time nor reading material were readily available in most periods in the past. We not have free time, the ability to survive and have left over leisure time. This allows us to imagine, and for some their imaginings lead to compulsions about what it might have been like when.....
For us, the romanticism of the past bleeds through the reality and overwhelms it. It becomes a thing worth achieving and when we see symbols of that romantic period, we feel the compulsion to surround ourselves with them.

It is a form of escapism. One that doesn't require anything illegal, but can be very addicting nonetheless.

This is why I feel I am compelled, though I stopped purchasing swords when my youngest at five tried to run my eldest through with a bastard sword she had found in my closet... nice half-hand technique, but my wife was a bit aghast.

-X-
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First, I wouldn't feel guilty about spending this money because we are basically art patrons. As far as I am concerned, replication of historical artifacts is an art form, and moreover an educational art form that helps to keep alive certain cultural traditions. Besides, we are helping to pay someone else's bills. Better to give someone a job than a handout.

I like collecting because it is fun, helps me to connect with my cultural roots, brings alive certain periods of history that I find interesting, and the pieces are beautiful. It also inspired me to get into some martial arts that kept me in shape for a while. Sure there's a certain escapist macho fantasy aspect to it, but there's much worse ways to express the boy inside the man.
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, if you really want to know...

It's a misfiring of your instinct to acquire quality tools and horde material possesions, which is a survival characteristic of our species. It is misfiring because you are applying it to objectes which are utterly useless in the society in which you live. This may be due to social disfunction or isolation, or may just be an eccentricity in an otherwise normal individual.

You also have to understand that while you may not be rich compared to other Americans in your area, you are quite wealthy by the standards of most of the world's population. You have a place to live that is ridiculously spacious (much more than you need), you always have enough to eat, and you can spend enough money on a useless hobby to feed a dozen third world families for years. You also have millions of people accross the world toiling in sweat shops for pennies a day to provide you with clothing, electronics and other goods that you buy for a few hours labor or less.

In short, you are an imperialistic aristocrat indulging his whimsical passions for decadent luxuries while most of the world struggles to survive to support your lifestyle.

Hey, you asked. Happy

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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Well, if you really want to know...

It's a misfiring of your instinct to acquire quality tools and horde material possesions, which is a survival characteristic of our species. It is misfiring because you are applying it to objectes which are utterly useless in the society in which you live. This may be due to social disfunction or isolation, or may just be an eccentricity in an otherwise normal individual.

You also have to understand that while you may not be rich compared to other Americans in your area, you are quite wealthy by the standards of most of the world's population. You have a place to live that is ridiculously spacious (much more than you need), you always have enough to eat, and you can spend enough money on a useless hobby to feed a dozen third world families for years. You also have millions of people accross the world toiling in sweat shops for pennies a day to provide you with clothing, electronics and other goods that you buy for a few hours labor or less.

In short, you are an imperialistic aristocrat indulging his whimsical passions for decadent luxuries while most of the world struggles to survive to support your lifestyle.

Hey, you asked. Happy


Remarkably well said. I fully agree with Michael. In addition I think humans have an affinity for art and expression. For myself, I also have a desire to connect with those who have passed before. In the end it is self indulgence.

To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
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Adam Bodorics
Industry Professional




Joined: 15 Apr 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually they DID this back then... all'antica anybody?
About their "uselessness"... they aren't.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
why do we buy this stuff?


Because I live in a free society that allows me to spend my discretionary income as I choose, and it's cool. Big Grin

Quote:
I actually feel kinda sick when I think about the fact that I own multi thousand dollar swords and other people can't even buy food.


Get off the cross man, someone needs the wood. Wink
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Christopher E.




Location: PDX
Joined: 06 Dec 2005

Posts: 149

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look up "adiction" in the dictionary... That's the only way I can explain it for me.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Short, simple answer - I have Asperger Syndrome, which causes a certain degree of obsessive tendencies, and swords are my special interest.

Long, not-so-simple answer - I'm actually more about designing my own swords then buying them, but since I lack the materials, equipment and skill to make my own swords the way I want them I can settle for the work of others.

I don't even care about the history part; swords do not represent any historical value for me. Cultural value, perhaps, but not historical. To me it's more a question of identity, mostly. I need to own at least one sword to feel complete, because I actually identify myself as a swordsman by nature. Though, finding the right sword is a different matter.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: why do we buy this stuff?         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
I actually feel kinda sick when I think about the fact that I own multi thousand dollar swords and other people can't even buy food. .


This is one you're going to need to answer for yourself. My answer to it was never intended for this forum.

I spend money on this stuff because I have some to spend on what I love and these things fall into that category. Why? Dunno. Why do I love competition? Dunno. I just know it's "me". Some of us are warriors and others are not, some of us love history and some do not. It's far too complex for each of us to be able to illuminate in a forum about ancient weapons and combat- maybe a socio-anthropology thesis?

Good luck in you search, Zach. It'll be a worthy effort.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I enjoy reading other peoples opinions on the matter and reasons for collecting. I liked
Quote:
In short, you are an imperialistic aristocrat indulging his whimsical passions for decadent luxuries while most of the world struggles to survive to support your lifestyle.
It is an interesting idea, like Marie Antoinette's "toy" farm. Happy I suppose it shows the urge to understand the lifestyle of another people, akin to watching films and television or reading books. If I quote myself
Quote:
I actually feel kinda sick when I think about the fact that I own multi thousand dollar swords and other people can't even buy food
I guess I really need the swords no more than the computer I type this on. And there is no reason to feel bad about my luck, if I really feel horrible I should join the Red Cross or something. It is nice to live in a day and age when we have the number of labor saving devices to give us an unprecedented amount of leisure time.
Thanks, and please continue to post your ideas on the topic!
Z
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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me, this hobby satisfies my creative and artistic urges. To be honest there are a lot of hobbies that could do that. I was into customizing paintball guns for a while there. Swords also happen to tie into my interest in history though. So it's essentially hitting two birds with one stone.
For me this whole thing is nothing new. I've been making things all my life. I had countless toys growing up that I destroyed because I wanted to make them into something else. I don't think I've had a single notebook in my entire education that did not have doodles on it. Usually they were all about my latest idea or project. My old notebooks are like histories of my thoughts. Only about half of my psychology notes are actually notes, the rest are swords and armour.

In a nutshell, If I didn't have the money to buy this kind of stuff, it would just be something else.
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Marko J.





Joined: 21 Jul 2009

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personaly think it's a sort of adiction. You find a thing that you like and makes you feel good and then you want to have 10 or 100 more, just for that feeling when you open that hard expected package that comes like a personal present to yourself. I know this from the days I collected military medals. You start buying cheap things and then you go on and on until you throw your whole monthly salary for a single piece, that you "just need to have". You spend hours and hours in the net and even before you get the shipment, you already find something else that you "need" in your collection. You end up with a collection of 200 medals which you cannot eat, you cannot play with them and they won't take your family to vacation... It's the same deal with swords. We are never satisfied with the ones we already own and we take every chance to buy another just to put them in the corner and start looking for another one. It's an adiction and that's all. And it is very hard to say, enough is enough. I personaly managed to stop collecting medals but after 2 years my first sword is on the way to me. But even before I got it I already have two others in my mind, that I just need to have... Big Grin
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me it is both the way of understanding the past and keeping the connection with my ancestors. As for the:
Quote:
I actually feel kinda sick when I think about the fact that I own multi thousand dollar swords and other people can't even buy food. .
matter, I am fairly certain you also own multi-thousand dollar car (same as me and most other forumites) while you probably could technically get where you need to go using comunal transport or bike... I own my swords and armour because I pay for them using my own, hard earned money, that other people spend on other things that they like - I am sure I am not spending nearly as much time in bars and cinema as some other people do, and I prefer my 9 years old car to buying a new one every few years but I have something I, personally, like to have.
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like having a couple of good swords the same way I like my martial arts training. I'm not in a hurry to use either one, but the knowledge, skill, and acquisition is the fun part anyway.

Of course, even having a single sword is enough to make me crazy according to maybe some of the female people in my life.

And then there is the idea that when you buy something, someone got paid for selling it, and someone else got paid to make it, and their employees get paid as well. I don't think a sword maker is going to walk into my lab and offer to directly trade me a sword in exchange for what I do. Probably some people who've been though the system here have had medical coverage due to working for a company that is in some way connected to making a sword that I've bought.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,454

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its one of the indulgent eccentricities I enjoy as a way of passing the time. I think I would enjoy collecting airplanes, exotic cars and fast women far more…but this is more aligned with my current cashflow.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike wrote, "In short, you are an imperialistic aristocrat indulging his whimsical passions for decadent luxuries while most of the world struggles to survive to support your lifestyle." Gee Mike, What a downer! Laughing Out Loud

Well, relatively speaking I'm still fairly innocent inasmuch as i only own one sword, i suppose that's like being almost a virgin or only a little pregnant. I think curiosity has a lot to do with it and romanticism. we're curious about what it would have been like to be a Legionary of Rome or a Viking or a knight and having the things they had and being able to handle them and use them brings us closer to what it would have been like to live in that era. The romanticism comes in because the romance of war was pretty well destroyed by WWI if not by the American Civil war and we, God help us, thirst for that romanticism.
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Well, if you really want to know...

It's a misfiring of your instinct to acquire quality tools and horde material possesions, which is a survival characteristic of our species. It is misfiring because you are applying it to objectes which are utterly useless in the society in which you live. This may be due to social disfunction or isolation, or may just be an eccentricity in an otherwise normal individual.

You also have to understand that while you may not be rich compared to other Americans in your area, you are quite wealthy by the standards of most of the world's population. You have a place to live that is ridiculously spacious (much more than you need), you always have enough to eat, and you can spend enough money on a useless hobby to feed a dozen third world families for years. You also have millions of people accross the world toiling in sweat shops for pennies a day to provide you with clothing, electronics and other goods that you buy for a few hours labor or less.

In short, you are an imperialistic aristocrat indulging his whimsical passions for decadent luxuries while most of the world struggles to survive to support your lifestyle.

Hey, you asked. Happy


Personally, I think this is the best explanation so far. It is the most proximal, mechanistic explanation for the "collecting" phenomenon and is likely to cover the most cases.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like making things. Always have. My desire to write probably stems from the same thing. I'd go through various phases. My "armour phase" has lasted longer than the others Happy
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