michaelsbagley

Re-enactors are disrespectful

28 posts in this topic

No, I don't feel that way... But apparently the NPS does (National Park Service). Saw this posted on Frontier folk and though it might be worth sharing here for discussion as well.

This policy has always been in place (well at least for longer than I have been re-enacting), but this is the first time that policy has gone from just being there (and inconvenient) to a publicized item of negative propaganda.

I've long been wary of the NPS and have generally avoided having anything to do with them, but this video has made the line in the sand a down right battle line for me.

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Great example of the nanny state in action.

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Here I go....I'm not a re-enactor but come on.. if u really have a serious group of ppl that is trying to portrait the event historicly there is no disrespect , yes I agree that is never going to be realistic enought to the same degree of those who sacrifice in those situations but to say " you are not allowed to do it " is just silly ...what about those cheese movies ? talk about disrespect!

Gun powder is dangerous that's why not everybody uses it, that's why there is ppl in the re-enacting group that oversees that kinda thing am I wrong? checks everybody's guns etc... and you can protect ppl from being stupid , and children will find anything everywhere....and damaging the grounds? how about all those ppl walking around there? those are my 2 shilings !

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It seems that the NPS continues to squeeze the life out of its parks. Park goers at Cape Cod , Fire Island, Hatteras National Seashores and Gateway National Recreation Area have also felt their purpose is to restrict access and turn these parks into wildlife refuges by successive and punitive restriction on We the People. It is another example of a government department gone amuck turning these areas into bird sanctuarys and dandified amusement parks.

TR must be doing back-flips in his grave seeing what the NPS has now become.

Jas. Hook :angry:

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Perhaps it is time that we teach these communist dictators that these arte our parks and not theirs. And perhaps the best way is to dry up their source of qualified people to put on their stupoid demonstrations and protest them in any way possible. We relieve them of the resources for their programs and thus reduce thier visitors by not giving them anything to see. I have expirenced these stupid people for many years in conjunction with the arch ground and now it appears they are out to discredit the very people who help provde their programs

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Used to do Civil War reenacting and have allways thought that the NPS was a pain in the arse........just saying

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Well, here's my two cents. I have no problem with their rules. I would hate to see someone trying to re-enact Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn. The place is extremely solemn and any attempt to recreate the battle could never do justice to the horrific things that happened there. I don't see Gettysburg being any different. The NPS still does living history interpretation, they just don't allow battles.

Since it is impossible to recreate the conditions of actual battle, outside of popping off rounds of cannon and gun fire, I see no problem with their position. A couple hundred or even thousand people marching around is visually impressive, but it doesn't really convey the horror these people witnessed or experienced.

And there are plenty of other places to do re-enactment other than NPS parks and battlegrounds. Come to St. Augustine to Searle's Raid for arguably one of the best re-enactments around and not an NPS official in sight.

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Yeah, saw this on someone's facebook page. Got a MASSIVE ill response. It is sad that they compile their dislike to all. But, what further can we do? That is, until the Fed Gov finally is unable to pay for those places.

Granted, there are a few who are rather... unlikely and unwanted who do ruin the good reputations, but let's not let them ruin the rest of us, aye? Show the NPS that most reenactors are respectable, honorable, and wish to show history and preserve it.
~Lady B

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Well, here's my two cents. I have no problem with their rules. I would hate to see someone trying to re-enact Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn. The place is extremely solemn and any attempt to recreate the battle could never do justice to the horrific things that happened there. I don't see Gettysburg being any different. The NPS still does living history interpretation, they just don't allow battles.

Since it is impossible to recreate the conditions of actual battle, outside of popping off rounds of cannon and gun fire, I see no problem with their position. A couple hundred or even thousand people marching around is visually impressive, but it doesn't really convey the horror these people witnessed or experienced.

And there are plenty of other places to do re-enactment other than NPS parks and battlegrounds. Come to St. Augustine to Searle's Raid for arguably one of the best re-enactments around and not an NPS official in sight.

Agreed on just about all points... Not allowing battle re-enactments is fine if that is how they want to be... Stating the reasons such as preserving potential unfound artifacts, and some of the other reasons would have been fine... But ripping on re-enactors who do battle re-enactments as strongly as they did in that video crosses lines. Stating that injuries from canon fire and other black powder use during battle re-enactments is almost as idiotic as stating that no one should be allowed out of their home during a lightning storm as it is documentable that people have been hit by lightning. :rolleyes:

NPS's stance is justifiable from a standpoint, but their choice to state their stance for neutral reasons (which would be fine if it had stopped there) and then continuing to rip on a large and varied group of people who volunteer great amounts of their personal time and resources is sickening.

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Well, they say they really value living historians, so... how are we defining reenactor vs. living historian? Also, I don't think Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave if a nesting area for a protected species becomes a protected area. The NPS was started "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." I would dare say the vast number of visitors to these sites are not reenactors, or are not visiting as part of a reenactment.

And for all of those complaining about communism and socialism and other -isms... really? If the federally-funded playground payed for by many more non-reenacting taxpayers than reenacting taxpayers doesn't let your social little group play, they're communist? How about you play on state land, or local land, or even, heck, PRIVATE land? NPS rules for NPS managed properties isn't a nanny state. Feds telling you how to play on your OWN land - well, you might have a case there.

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I have found that by and large most NPS employees have that arrogance in common with other government bueaucracy employees. With very few notable exceptions. What else do you expect in an era of "progressive" politics anyhow? The government always knows what's best for you and your family doncha know?

"History does not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme." Mark Twain/Sam Clemmons.

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I do at least one NPS event a year, and they have always continued to protect the battlefield and earthworks WHILE encouraging their small reenactment. Funny thing is, this was posted I think the week of the Manassas reenactment OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER. My father took part in that reenactment. I didn't hear anybody complaining. And yet, CW reenactors were the ONLY reenactors in that...I am insulted and feel cheated on their behalf right now, as well as on behalf of all reenactors. I also feel used, and would feel only more so if I had been able to take part in that particular event and refuse to do it in the future if that's the angle that particular park chooses to take, and will do so at any park that treats the matter that way.

Having applied relentlessly to these jobs and seen the paperwork that goes into them AND the paperwork junk that goes into them on the inside, I agree with you, Jas. Hook, the NPS continues to squeeze the life out. They refuse to accept the simple principle that PEOPLE IN FUNNY CLOTHES THAT MAKE THINGS GO BOOM MAKE MONEY and thus, support their parks. Not only that, I can see how thousands of current and potential NPS employees will no longer bother with much of the history that intrigues so many.

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"The National Parks Service's position on battle reenactments is based on an ethical position that it is fundamentally disrespectful to those who actually fought and died on a particular piece of ground to pretend to accurately portray their deaths, sacrifices and suffering."

'fundamentally disrespectful'. Ouch. Backhanded slap from the park service about ethics and an implication that we don't take the deaths, sacrifices and suffering of our forebears seriously.

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Manny Bottles I should like to address your comment when a very few decide for the many what is good for someone or something belonging to the many that is very much a communist state, and that is what they are doing. As to their ethical protection I say they are lying hippocrates. I am from St. louis Mo. and the Arch grounds are a national park area. Every year the fourth of July they have a festival on the arch grounds and these people who clame to protect these parks allow thousands and even sometimes millions of dollars worth of damage to be done, compared to very small amount of damage that is done by reenactors. As far as our group using other land while we do what gives them the right to tell us that we cannot use our land because they don't like how we play. Also claiming that we disrespect the memory of those who fought and died is also a load of crap. Many of these very same people that they condemn, including my self have served this country as members of the armed forces and have lost our friends and family to the horrors of war. I do history as much to educate as to have fum and have seen the interest sparked by the things we do

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You got to remember here that the guy is just a talking head. A copywriter in the NPS department probably back in Washington wrote it. He does what all copywriters do with a minor project - throws the kitchen sink at it hoping something will stick in the editing by a higher up.

I write these things all the time for clients. The goal isn't to stick it to anyone. It's to make a point and justify a policy. There are no sinister meetings about these things. It's "here, write a PSA about our re-enactment policy. Now I don't have any facts for you, just go out on the Internet and grab something. We need this in an hour, we're shooting it tomorrow."

That's the business, folks. They aren't crafted over days - they are wham, bam, thank you ma'ams, and onto the next project. It's the nature of the beast. I don't think anyone thought twice about feelings getting hurt. Some supposed facts were pulled and dropped in to make it sound more important to have this policy than it really is.

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Manny Bottles I should like to address your comment when a very few decide for the many what is good for someone or something belonging to the many that is very much a communist state, and that is what they are doing.

Well... it's totalitarian, that's for sure. But so was the feudal system, and that was the few deciding how resources are to be used by the many. I guess my whole point is if our playgrounds are subsidized by the taxes of the non-reenacting majority, isn't that already communist or at least socialist in a way? Some folks think the notion of anything publically owned is already skirting the boundaries of communism, which triggered my private land comment. I guess I'm just saying that just because something isn't fair doesn't immediately make it communist. Like all words, it means something specific and use it too much and it'll lose its bite, and I'm hearing it a lot as the election cycle gears up. That's not your fault, of course, and I shouldn't have insinuated that it was. I do think that the assumption that reenacting is inherently disrespectful can quite legitimately be construed as insulting, even if I suspect that hurricane is right and it wasn't deliberate. But then after the three minute mark they praise living historians, so again we have to ask how they are defining their terms.

What we should probably do is meet in person, and drink too much, and come to some drunken consensus that neither of us remembers the next day.

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Of course reenactors are fundamentally disrespectful. Look at the way we treat each other in political/academic discussions on these types of forums. :(

Bo

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I wonder what the point of making this video was? What is the purpose? Who is the audience?

It sort of seems like it's directed at re-enactors complaining about not being able to stage battles, but if that's the case they would have been better off to say nothing and just deny those asking to do that directly rather than giving us a presentation piece around which to gather our complaints.

It all seems very strange to me, unless it wasn't meant for the general public. In which case...who is the audience? What is the purpose?

What I find really funny is that we think any piece of land is sacred. I don't see it. The memory of what happened is far more important than the real estate. No matter how much they try to preserve such a thing, the landscape changes naturally over time and the only way to preserve it in toto is to keep restoring it back to what it was. (And they've had so much luck with that in the past. :lol: ) Of course, I also don't see why it is so great to re-enact in the same place as something happened, but I'm not even remotely sentimental for such stuff and that's a personal opinion; yours is likely different.

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bb_sheriff_house.jpg

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Hurricane is probably right. This was scripted by some guy totally removed from any info concerning what his assignment was, and got most of it from the internet, rather than talking to an actual reenactment group. However, I don't understand the need to insult any group, who may also be using the parks with family and friends when not reenacting.

I also agree that the majority of folks using the NPs are not reenactors or living history buffs, and that as a tax-funded government agency, the majority should have the most influence over what happens on public land. That does not include insulting groups who play a bit differently than campers, boaters, skiers, hikers, and fishermen.

I do understand the reasoning behind having some places reserved as "sacred ground." They are symbols of what happened there, and a place for people to visit, remember, and pay their respects. They are part of our history. Think of them as outdoor churches or shrines. Otherwise why not just put in Wallmarts, build condos, and make parking Iots over everything. I don't think you need to reenact a battle on the actual site the original battle took place. The reenactment doesn't lose anything by being in a similar, but not the exact, place.

My suggestion would be to contact the NPS, politely inquire why they felt it necessary to insult reenactors over Living History groups. Instead of complaining about a bad situation, find a way to resolve it. Maybe you can't, but ranting about it won't change a thing....it never does. B)

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hey sorry if this thing got a little crazy but I have delt with these people here in St. Louis on probabably 30 differant times and they have not been reasonable or cooperative on any of the occasions. I understand the politics but we should not allow ineptitude to be the excuse for bad conduct. Nor should we allow a lack of time for preparation to be a reason either. My use of the C word stems more from the fact that once again we created a group that makes rules and does not answer to the people. We have no say in their rules or policyies and the people in charge are not held responsible to anyone outside thier organization. After asking a group I belong to to do a program for them the NPS people made us pay 300.00 to have their expert to come in and check to see if our guns were empty. that's disrespectful. Also if as was said this space should be reserved for reflection and thought why are they disposing of our churches at such an alarming rate to people such as foriegn concerns that care nothing for our country this is what got my dander up, not just feelings hurt.

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Hey, it's hard to communicate tone online. I think that I type the way I talk, but generally come across as much less abrasive in person. So, like I said, let's pull back a few brews if we happen to find ourselves together at an event (after the public has gone home and all the powder is burned, of course) and just shoot the breeze.

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A simpletons view, if the parks ar for the people and paid for by the people I think that most people would rather see many reinactors dressed up and doing their best to demonstrate a battle than a single person standing in front of a crowd firing 1 gun. Just my $.02

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...So, like I said, let's pull back a few brews if we happen to find ourselves together...

Matty, you buying??? B):D

Jas. Hook ;)

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Sure...- a FEW brews... ;)

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I love that they are using video of re enactors to make their point. SOmewhere along the line, they paid for that footage. Hypocrisy at it's finest.

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