I could very well attach a certain graphic and leave the matter at that, but it would do nothing so soothe my long-remembered rage about this peculiar and perverted species only tangentially related to homo sapiens–the reenactor.
The reenactor is like a person and it’s usually male. It’s old enough to have enough money to waste on frivolities, and it possesses enough time usually due to a lack of children, but not necessarily. The reenactor lurks on large social media sites and occasionally smaller forums devoted specifically to their subject matter, but they can otherwise be found playing dress-up on community soccer fields in such regalia as would shame any right-minded man.
Honestly, I think I’m too mad to keep up this charade. I once made the mistake of joining a group on a certain massive social media website that was devoted to reproduction of Hellenic customs, including warfare, on the grounds that I myself find the subject fascinating; I spent many years, after all, learning both Greek and Latin, and it wasn’t merely to impress my parents; they were rather set against the idea, actually. I usually didn’t pay them these reenactors any attention, but I made the mistake of off-handedly mentioning something about the difficulties of fighting in tight formations with very large shields. You couldn’t imagine the gravity of my mistake.
People I’d never met before, never talked to, both hurled abuse upon my person and otherwise defended my position, sending back and forth reply to reply to several persons faster than I could conceivably formulate a most concise counterpoint. Shortly, and before I knew it, I was buried in a legion of replies of which I could do nothing.
It drove me insane, made me incensed, to consider that such creatures could waste such time and effort merely speculating on the nature of Hellenic warfare while being neither professionals in the subject matter nor even capable of reading Greek, whether modern or ancient. I couldn’t stand listening to it. Nothing being said had enough authority to be considered with any gravity. But they were men, and the subject matter was warfare, and thus they considered themselves to be eminently knowledgeable, when in reality they had barely scaled the cliffs of mount stupid.
I removed myself from the group and ignored any request to join another group of the same nature. Putting on a crested helmet and a silly shield you bought from ebay does not a specialist make.
In all honesty, I do a lot of research for the stories I write. It’s a necessity. I’ve read about weapons and manufacturing, fencing, even ships of oar. The distinction is that I developed my knowledge from experts in the field, fencing masters and retired naval officers, and I wouldn’t pretend to inform another layman myself without having my books close at hand.