Authenticity. Some folks have it, and they’re assholes that go out of their way to demean other reenactors about the color of their buttons.

I understand feeling like this. Sometimes the ole stitch Nazis can really get on your nerves. We go out for a weekend to have fun and they stand around criticizing everyone’s boot soles. It sucks, and there’s a time and place for constructive criticism.

More and more though, I wish there were a few more stitch Nazis roaming the grounds of living history events and tacticals alike. They seem to have disappeared, replaced by the most complacent, who gives a damn, hand me that Mountain Dew band of reenactors I’ve ever seen in my life.

It seems as if we’ve forgotten what made us want to do this hobby in the first place. So we could time travel to what we believe is the most interesting, devastating yet strangely beautiful time in our history. We love the 1940s. We love the music, the movies, the guns and the gear; everything about the era gives us a history boner.

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So why then, when we get a chance to put on the uniforms and spend a weekend as close as we’ll ever get to stepping into George Luz’s long johns, do we sit on coolers covered in wool blankets sharing photos on Instagram and waiting till the sun goes down so we can sit around a fire and drink lukewarm bud light?

If I wanted to do that I’d befriend the hillbilly rednecks I went to high school with. I’m sure they’re in the middle of a cornfield right now tossing empty blue cans into a nearly out-of-control fire.

What’s the point? I mean honestly I’d like an answer here. If you’re not at least going to give authenticity the old college try, then why the fuck even be a part of the hobby?

And what happened to people being embarrassed of their authenticity mistakes? Everyone makes them and continues to make them. But 5 years ago at least people would acknowledge their mistakes and move forward. In 2016 it seems totally acceptable to use your smartphone just as you would in everyday life during events. No shame, no guilt, just Facebook.

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I have a smartphone. I love my smartphone; the technology amazes me almost every day. But when I get to an event I shut it off. I understand if you need to have your phone on you incase of a family emergency, but if you can’t go 2 days without checking your Facebook or taking selfies then you need to have your fucking head examined.

So what happens now? Have smart phones become such a replacement for our personality that we can’t possibly be without them and therefore it’s completely OK to use them regularly at an event? I hope not.

Have we become so complacent with our hobby that we honest to goodness stop learning anything about the unit we portray and stop caring about how we portray them?

I’m seeing it happen all over the hobby. And the hobby is suffering because of it. Are your unit’s numbers down lately? I thought they might be……..

The stitch Nazis have died off and their return is nowhere in sight. We should all pray they come back before the hobby vanishes into the grey space somewhere between airsoft and cosplay.

 

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