“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Moira asks:

My deep question is: How do you deal with asshats within an SCA group? The ones who get pissed when you don’t drink their kool-aid.

Ah, again.  SCA questions.  Universally applicable answers.  And, by the way, I have always had a deep fondness for the term asshat.  Nothing else is quite as succinct.

The nice advantages of being a certified dinosaur in the SCA is that you reach a stage in your involvement where you no longer feel compelled to drink anyone’s brand of kool-aid, no matter how strenuously it is offered.  Conversely, you really no longer feel the need to serve anybody any either.  You reach a point where you feel you have earned the right to say “you do your thing, and I will do mine, and we don’t have to invite each other to our respective birthdays.”  It’s much nicer than simply saying “piss off”.

Aside from adopting the attitude of a person too scarred to give a proverbial poopy, I have decided over many years of SCA administration on several levels, that the “Enough Rope” approach is the most effective.  It does require, however, the most patience. 

The Enough Rope Method of Asshat Management is simple, because it requires very little effort on my part.  Basically, you let your Insistent Annoyance play out enough line to not only hang themselves, but hogtie themselves in the process.  And it is effective because:

1.  Over inflated views of self-importance basically guarantee that they will play that line out to the very extent of their own incompetence.  Every.  Single.  Time.

2.  Most people witnessing the dispensing of said Rope, are not stupid.  I will present, for your consideration, that the great majority of people are not only decent and well-meaning, but are fully capable of discerning between the righteous and the merely self-righteous. 

Eventually, anyway.  That’s the patience part.  For your more devious asshat, this sometime takes a bit longer than others, but good does ultimately prevail.  Permanent damage is rarely done, except, of course, to the asshat.

 And if it doesn’t?  In that case you might have to sit back and reconsider who is really the one being the asshat.

February 26th, 2007 at 3:45 pm
8 Responses to “Kool Aid drinkers, unite!”
  1. 1
    Cinnkitty Says:

    okay, that’s just weird. That’s the second time I’ve heard the mention of “drinking the kool-aid” in reference to the SCA. Here today and this weekend at Candalmas in the Middle. What’s with the kool-aid references people?? 😉

  2. 2
    Ulrich Says:

    I still say the “Piss off” comment has a good and solid base.

    Cinn, (I know you know this…but you know me and I can’t keep myself from answering) 😉
    Kool Aide – refer to the “Peoples Temple” Cult Leader Jim Jones who served poisoned “Kool Aide” to his followers. Basically we use it to refer to following someones lead blindly.

  3. 3
    Tara Says:

    Can someone tell ME what SCA is… just a bit slow here. 🙂 Well and Aussie who has no idea what you’re talking about.

  4. 4
    Russ Says:

    I absolutely love that second paragraph!

  5. 5
    Suz Says:

    I’m not in the SCA, but as a medievalist, I know what it is. However, this is good advice for managing any asshat, anywhere. And, it made me grin.

  6. 6

    Uhhh . . . lessee.

    Ulrich covered the Kool-aid question. For more details, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones#Jonestown_and_mass_murder-suicide.

    I’ve heard it used in two modes: To declare someone else is following blindly. “Vol fans sure drank the Johnny Majors Kool-aide.” And to declare oneself completely on-board with a project or concept. “I drank deeply of the Kool-aide.”

    Needsless to say, Kool-aide would rather us not use the term thusly.

    What is the SCA? Short version: A bunch of medieval renactors with varying degress of scholarship who study and selectively re-create the middle ages. Our hostess is one. I’m another. There are bunches of us in the woodworks.

    Oh, right . . . the on-topic part.

    I’d never named it, but I use the “enough rope” technique myself. I’m not quite a Jurassic Peer in the SCA, but I’ve been around long enough to see a few ice ages come and go, and realize that to win in the long term, all I have to do is refuse to go away. Asshats will almost always select themselves out over time. And you know what? The ones that don’t seem to get over being quite such asshats over time.

    Will

    Will

  7. 7
    Tracey Says:

    I just love you!

  8. 8
    Gerbil Says:

    HAhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! I’m having Ye Olde Flashbacks.