Summer 2018: Everybody's Punk but Us. has graciously provided this space for the Middle Earth Reenactment Society for purposes of archiving/presenting their newsletter, and to keep our community informed on Society-specific happenings.

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Summer 2018: Everybody's Punk but Us.

Post by caedmon »


As class of 2007 Steampunk, I find this interesting. Not sure what to make of it. But interesting.
-Jack Horner

Impression: Boater Wesman ( Balku'npâ Adúnerama ) bronze founder living in Archet, Breelander of mixed dúnedain descent. c. 3017
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Re: Summer 2018: Everybody's Punk but Us.

Post by Iodo »

Yep, interesting. Still can't decide if it is or isn't :lol:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Summer 2018: Everybody's Punk but Us.

Post by Udwin »

As a collaborative process, I was responsible for the first half of the article, and Odigan synthesized the second half.
My focus was on different tech levels making it an 'x-punk' setting; this passage wound up on the cutting room floor (ooh, MERF behind-the-scenes exclusive!)
As a result, I propose a third option to determine if a text can be considered ‘punk’, and in this case What Makes Tolkien ‘Punk’ is specifically his juxtaposition of different cultures possessing different levels of technology beyond what would be expected.
For example, any of these groups (or something very, very close), separated from their Middle-earth setting and viewed from afar, can be found in a period of Earth’s history. However, by bringing them together, Tolkien enters into the realm of the historically-fantastic, which fuels the audience’s imagination:
-Rohirrim being led to Gondor by the Woses of Anorien (Northmen and Neanderthals—a pseudoscientific scenario explored more fully to great effect by Michael Crichton in Eaters of the Dead).
-Beorn meeting the dwarves of Thorin’s company (actually, dwarves and elves are equally impossible to pin down on a historical timeline, but they certainly wouldn’t have had dealings with ancient Nordic Bear-people like Beorn’s folk!)
-the Faithful Númenoreans landing in western Gondor and meeting indigenous Men (see Tal-Elmar—great seagoing ships with many masts and canvas sails crewed by tall, pale, steel-armed Men encountering swarthy, Neolithic dirt farmers!)
-Hobbits and … anybody, actually!"
My personal take on the final article is that on all counts, yes, 'reenacting' the Free Peoples of Middle-earth is, by all metrics (political and popcultural), punk.
-When they encounter each other, a Stone-, Sandal-, Candle-, Steampunk setting is created.
-The Free Peoples fight against an Enemy who embodies all the most destructive aspects of life (authoritarianism, the surveillance state, slavery, a god complex, ecocide, quantity over quality-->ugly aesthetics, etc)
-As we're primarily using texts, interpretations are based on our mental images and so consequently are highly individualized and vary greatly from person to person (my idea of 'Ranger' is different from your idea of 'Ranger' is different from his idea of 'Ranger'). This is accomplished by an emphasis on 'Maker culture' and DIYing with correct authentic materials and methods.
-Also because we are based on the written texts, we set ourselves apart from the 'mainstream' who use the Jackson films (which as discussed in the moving pictures thread, can co-opt our imaginings). Similarly, with an upcoming series made by Amazon--a massive corporate entity seeking to get their tentacles into every part of modern life (an entity that if this were a cyberpunk novel would definitely be the antagonist)--our book-based interpretations will be even more in the minority.
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Re: Summer 2018: Everybody's Punk but Us.

Post by Peter Remling »

" A Rose by any other name ..."
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