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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 9:27 am    Post subject: Opinion Poll: Are we weird?         Reply with quote

A few times in the past, I have been made to feel a bit strange by people who view collecting swords, knives, axes, etc. as weird or even morbid. " Why on earth do you want to collect weapons that kill people"....." Do you feel threatened or intimidated and feel that you need all these weapons?" ...." That's just plain silly.....a man of your age playing with swords." Yes, friends, I have heard all of that, and a lot more. Mostly from people who know little or nothing about antique edged weapons. To me, it is no different than any other hobby. Some folks collect stamps, some collect old records, some collect model trains.....I collect swords. This hobby is a never-ending source of fascination to me. Just when I think I am really up on my info, something new comes along that I just must find out more about. So , I ask: Are we weird? Have you ever felt alienated? Do you ever feel like others may think you a geek? I think that we, the sword collecting community, are among the most normal and well adjusted people there are. Sure, there are those of us who lend a bit of nuttiness to it, but that's what makes it FUN. Hold your broadswords high and scream to the world..."I am not a weirdo!!!" Well, maybe don't do it where the neighbors can see you....but do it!!!.........cheers. mcm.
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hell yeah, I'm weird, but I'd hate to be normal.

I don't like Nascar. I don't care what game is on (or even what season it is). Bambi can graze in my backyard without fear of me shooting him for supper. I have no clue when CSI is on TV (it's not on the History Channel or National Geographic channel, you know...) See... normal people do these things, and that simply ain't me.

My house looks like a museum. I have armour ,weapons, and period clothes everywhere. My idea of going camping involves a pavillion tent and a few bottles of home-brewed ale or mead. Rather than head off to the bar and get stupid drunk, I'd rather slip out to the shop and make something out of leather, wood, or metal.

Funny thing about the neighbors, though... they don't say a friggin' thing with I slip out with a couple of swords to work form or cut.

Speaking toward a large proportion of the folks I have met whithin our community (collectors, reenactors, historians, smiths, and other period artisans), these folks tend to be quite genuine, quite decent, generally intelligent, and passionate about things beyond a pointy object. A few have been amongst my very closest of friends.

So yeah, I'm weird. I'm glad I'm not alone.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 10:32 am    Post subject: I prefer "ecentric"         Reply with quote

Most of us collecting high quality weapons have some resources. When one goes too far (seriously impacting family and financial well being) other will consider that person to have a problem. Most of us can afford to collect more knowledge than we can collect actual artifacts. I suspect that is why this forum attracts participation.

Many individuals I know collect something. One man in my town, a retired track coach and school teacher, collects license plates (has a whole barn covered wall to wall with all but 2 or 3 plates made during the history of Tennessee.. including special military base issues, motor cycle plates, etc.) Some kids collect those pennies that are flattened and impressed by machines. From the kid to the older adult, they are generally pretty knowledgeable and seek out more knowledge, regardless of the size of their collection. Most people around them don't really consider them wierd, just a little ecentric in regard to that particular interest.

Jared Smith
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geeks always think they are the normal people! Eek! Big Grin

Really though, does it matter? I consider it all a bit eccentric, but that is part of the reason I like the stuff. Like Aaron, I'm not into Nascar, TV, and hanging at the local bars. Although I must admit that I do pay quite a bit of atention to College Football. School stakes up most of my time, then my sons budding passion for wrestling, the swords are just something I do for me.

FWIW, I don't think anybody has ever made that big a deal about it to me.

"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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Jeff Johnson





Joined: 05 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're only "weird" until you hit 40. After that, you get to be "Eccentric". Happy
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff Johnson wrote:
You're only "weird" until you hit 40. After that, you get to be "Eccentric". Happy


... so in my quest to be 400 - 1000 years ago, I actually want to be 5 years in the future? Worried

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And, by golly,-THAT is exactly what I wanted to hear! Here's to weirdness, my friends (goblet of mead held high)....May we all live to be old enough that our grandchildren know what a 'quillon' is. God bless and keep all you weirdos safe!...mcm.
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Michael F.




Location: Vermont
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To most people we're very weird. Personally I think we are the coolest people there are Big Grin . Of course, I've been a weirdo all my life. Many of my family say it is not smart, unless your rich, to buy/ collect swords that can cost more than $1,000. I don't necessarily think we're weird, people just don't seem to understand the hobby that well.

Most people I know and have talked to about my hobby say things like "1000 dollars for a sword?!?! that's crazy" and "what's the point, what would you even do with a sword." But, the question is- Are we really weird? My answer- Of course we are! Razz

"Tis but a scratch.....A scratch? your arm's off!"-- Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I think it all depends. Some of the people who are into this stuff are sort of weird, some are less weird, and some aren't all that weird at all.

It all depends on what exactly a person finds interesting in this hobby. In other words, where they're coming from. Some are interested the morbid aspects of this stuff. Others are into it simply because it's "kick ass" and "cool". Others like it because of a tie-in with movies, books, fantasy, etc. Others are interested in the martial arts aspect of thing. Others are collector mentalities. Some look at the design--art meets function--aspects of this stuff. While others appreciate the historical aspects of it. And others.. well, the reasons are virtually endless.

And that's my point here. Some of these reasons will get a raised eyebrow, a look of confusion, some quiet laughing, or a general feeling of confusion. Other reasons may not.

When I, personally, discuss this hobby with non-interested people, I talk about why the hobby is compelling to me. I speak of it from all the aspects that attract me to it. And I discuss it with a passion that is engaging to others. There are very few people I've discussed this stuff with that weren't drawn in, sometimes fully drawn in, and asking me far more about it than I really wanted to talk about.

To be honest, I don't like talking about this stuff all that much. That's what the forum is for: I get enough chat about this stuff here. I have far too many other interests that I need to balance. I kind of tend to keep the hobby a little private, but not because people have found me to be strange, but more because it ends up being a long conversation with tons of questions that I'm often not really into having...

My mileage varies, obviously.

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Helen Miller




Location: Springfield VA, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can understand where Mark Moore is coming from. I've gotten the looks, the silly comments as to "why on earth do you want to play with swords?" or "don't you realize it's so dangerous" "how protected are you, really?" or the comment "with that helmet on you look like Darth Vader" or "you want to collect swords, WTF!" And the fact that I am a woman you get some more feedback that you wish you could create a barrier. As a student of Western European swordsmanship you get the taunts from those that don't understand. And it's okay to be called "weird." I've been called that all my life. And I am proud to be called "weird" because each of us are different. But .... what I find really cool is that I am called "weird" just like the rest of you lot. Though recently I've been called a "lunatic" by some of my fellow working colleagues (Should I worry about that??? hmm....) Anyway, back to my thought. I've only started fencing this past year but I can seriously say that I am so proud to be a part of the fencing world and myArmoury.com AND I honestly can say that sword collecting/fighting is totally cool! There is no place I'd rather be than here .... CHEERS!


**Gets down off the soap box**

-"A woman's tongue is her sword, and she does not let it rust."
Proverb
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well there is " Disfunctional Strange " OCD or people like " Monk " the T.V. series " : Not as funny in real life, but people do seem to like the character.

And then there is " Stealth Strange " , people who function well in every day life, have multiple interests and friends but have strange passions like stamp collecting Razz . ( Only strange to someone like me who doesn't care about stamps. )

There are the " Dull Normals " who think that any money spent on anything not related to house, car, family, job is wasteful immature spending: These people are incapable of understanding any passion that they don't personally share.
From these you will only get negative comments about why do you want THAT and if the objects you collect are weapons of any kind you can expect FEAR to be part of their disapproval: Since they can't imagine a legitimate reason to like these, they can only imagine " DARK " motivations for the interest.

Bottom line passions are not chosen they chose you: At least to the degree that you are first fascinated by an object of passion and then you can find multiple reasons to try to explain it, the whole thing not unlike trying to explain why you fall in love Eek! Laughing Out Loud I can't fully explain why I have a passion but I can fully enjoy it.

Anyway, passions are what make life worth living once the necessities are taken care of.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are we weird?

As a whole I'd say not really. By and large most of the people I've met in this hobby are some of the best people I've encountered. However, as with any eclectic hobby this one does attract its own share of "eccentric" personalities. These can be found on both sides of the sales-counter, and that becomes very obvious when you're involved in running a place like this. To be fair though, any kind of interest that is outside of the mainstream attracts the same kind of people.

My son-in-law is really into rock climbing and since moving down south he hadn't been able to find any good climbing spots. While we were down in Georgia I helped him track down some contacts within the rock climbing community, in a place called Rock City of all things. In a hobby that's "on the fringe" it's all about knowing the right people, and you have to look for them. During my brief exposure to the climbing world I noted many of the same personalities that you'll find within our community. I've observed the same thing in the worlds of fencing, firearms, archery, karate, and any other pursuit I've ever taken up, be it athletic or academic. Some are into the pursuit because they want to be seen as "tough" and "cool". Others seem to be on a personal crusade. There are those who will engage in the study for the design and evolution factors, the '" what, where, and why " of it.

I don't really discuss my hobbies with most people. At heart I'm a private person. Most of the time I don't want to bother people with things they aren't interested in, as well as things that I view as none of their business. Most of the people I associate with don't know I'm involved in this hobby unless they come to my home, or unless my wife tells them first. This hobby actually involves very little of my time in "the real world". It's something I do for my enjoyment alone.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Douglas G.





Joined: 30 Mar 2004

Posts: 156

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 12:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but if an aquaintance looks askance at my
my swords, or my 1873 Colts, even my new 1955 Royal Enfield 500 Bullet ( A
single cylinder motorcycle, and yes, new ) I don't feel compelled to justify any of it.
I like these things, they please me to own, no-one is harmed by my owning them.
I would ask rather who they are to judge what I will grudgingly concede is me
realizing having things I've liked since childhood. Arrested development? Hoo
Hah! Bring it on, and let my stinkiest neighbor lament all my spare money doesn't
go to PBS like hers!

Yours in the Sword bond,
Doug
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Anton de Vries





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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The fact that I don't have a television is generally considered a lot weirder than my WMA-related hobbies.
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Eric Nower




Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 22 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey all,

My girlfriend has collected hundreds of those little precious moments thingys.....I collect swords and armour..... It's all about what your into and what you enjoy Laughing Out Loud Now I only have to get her to let me have at least 1 wall to hang my stuff on Razz I'm betting I'll loose this one!

May God have mercy on my enemies, for I shall have none.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Opinion Poll: Are we weird?         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Hold your broadswords high and scream to the world..."I am not a weirdo!!!"
Funny, I tried that a couple of weeks ago in the middle of the food court at the local mall. Oddly enough, the responding officers didn't seem to appreciate my enthusiasm and keen sense of spontaneity. I thought that was kinda weird... Eek! WTF?! Razz Laughing Out Loud
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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
Joined: 10 May 2004

Posts: 94

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HELL YEAH, I'M WEIRD!!!

Who wants to be "normal". Normal = Nothing special

As for what other people think about me, that's none of my business.

Have a great day all!

I'll be playing with my swords... Big Grin

Scotto
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The answer is yes. YOU guys are weird. Razz Wink
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My philosophy on the hobby that we all share is on the same wavelength as Patrick's. In other words, I very seldom bring it up unless someone else asks me "so Ted, what's your hobby?" To my surprise, many people respond with interest instead of looking at me like I'm wierd; especially since I live in a town with an extremely conservative population.

I do get some strange looks; one girl saw my collection and asked me if I was part of a cult! WTF?!

Most will ask me "Why not just buy a gun?" Well, I think a sword has the following advantages over a firearm: A sword never has to be reloaded; a sword will never accidentally discharge; you don't need to register your sword with the county or state you live in (at least not in Ohio); I've never heard of a child who was accidentally killed in a drive-by beheading; the thought of the valiant knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel in distress with his trusty .50-caliber Desert Eagle doesn't quite have the same romatic appeal. Razz You get the idea. This goes along with a bumper sticker I once saw that read, You laugh because I'm different. I laugh because you're all the same.

I'm more likely to disclose my other hobby as a musician, probably because that will be met with more interest. And (like Nathan) I don't want to find myself giving a whole lecture to my friends about medieval history if we're all, say, at BW3's watching a football game. Worried
-Ted

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's all a matter of perspective. On this forum we live as a community of like-minded individuals. We are the normals. To those strange outsiders looking in it's the other way around. Collecting swords may make me "different" than the average man on the street. But so does my collection of antique absinthe spoons or my shelves of books on the occult. Weird is in the eye of the beholder.

Like many of you I don't share my hobby unless asked. Most people outside my family know nothing about my interests. My coworkers have no idea. I can intelligently follow their discussions of the latest sporting event even though I have no interest. But I don't consider collecting medieval weapons any less strange that obsessively knocking a little white ball into a hole in the ground.

I don't care about sports, cars, reality television, celebrity news, or any of those things that would normally identify me as an American male. But just because my interests are shared by fewer people doesn't constitute a qualitative judgment.

So am I weird? Perhaps. But if so it's only to others who don't understand the hobby, its motivations and significance. And then I wear it as a badge of honor. Uniqueness is an increasingly rare thing in our society. Lets all embrace it.


---rant over---

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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