Sunday, June 15, 2008

Well, That Sucked

This is the Ren Fair I used to go to in Mass. There was no jousting or anything in NJ, but a f*ck of a lot of this...

Before we walked into the Ren Fair (this year has a Pirate theme, God help us all) we were approached by a woman who was ranting on about how horrible and what a ripoff it all was. She was pretty irate, but we chalked it up to the fact that the weather was ghastly. NJ is the moistest state in the nation by far and unless you're down at the shore, Summers here are intolerable.

It definitely sucked this year, but no more than usual, I suppose. They all seem the same to me- inept, goofy, cut-rate- but any break from the relentless ennui of NJ suburbia doesn't have to try too hard to divert me for an hour or two. But the weather just naturally makes you all the less forgiving of it all. My daughter loves it and the boys used to enjoy it as well, so it became a kind of tradition for Father's Day. Maybe next year we'll save the money and try the big one in upstate NY in September.

I was struck by how ill-advised it is to plan these things in the horrid NJ summer when most of these people are wearing about 35 pounds of clothing. Maybe other Ren Fairs try a little harder, but I'm also struck by how little effort is put into this particular shindig. It's basically a grammar school field day with sweaty, well-nourished underacheievers who don't seem particularly motivated to create a convincing environment. They seem more interested in staging the excruciating type of mock-comedic theater you see a lot at cons, but just as long as it doesn't distract them from their Wii's or their Taco Bell time. There was the usual Madrigal chorus but no one- not a single person- was attempting to sing in harmony and no one knew how to project. I was standing about 20 feet away from a chorus of about 20 people and I could barely hear them.

It's easy to rag on Ren Fair people but I think the concept can be reasonably entertaining if done well. It can be a good family outing that can offer a nice kind of hippie vibe, if run by people who aren't simply out to take your money and force you to listen to their wretched accents, which often seem to be drawn solely from repeated viewings of Monty Python and The Holy Grail. These people need to try a little bit- well, a lot- harder especially when the weather is so assaultive.

What's interesting in the light of this blog is that the original concept of Ren Faires was to recreate the time of Queen Elizabeth I, which of course is when England fell under the sway of occultists like John Dee and Edward Kelley, as well as Rosicrucian/Neo-Templar master schemers like Francis Walsingham and Francis Bacon. So much of the curvature of world history came be traced to that era, when the idea of a worldwide British empire was first conceived. At the same time, Shakespeare was creating the prototype not only for mass media but also the English language as we know it today. Soonafter, we had the King James Bible which would shake all of Christendom to its core, and then Freemasonry and its attendant revolutions. So even in as humble a setting as a Ren-Faire, you have the Mysteries lurking behind the curtain.

As to the NJ Kingdom people, a word of advice- spend less time in the off-season at Wicca meets and more time in the library. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for these people, but just because you make a nice costume doesn't mean you have a competent fair.


  1. Not a good idea during the summer months in NJ! I went to the one in San Rafael, CA a couple of times and it was a blast. But, you are right that there should be a good amount of planning and thought put into these things or they just flat out suck.

  2. Yeah, NJRK is definitely the cut-rate "let's put on a show" Little Rascals gone to seed Ren Fair.I watched that clip from Carver and thought- oh yeah, not all Ren Fairs suck.

  3. Chris,
    (stupid fan boy stuff first) I've been a fan of yours since Halo. Thanks!

    You used to go to KRF? I worked there for 8 years. As faires goeth, it's ok. For a better experience, try the NYRF (in Sterling NY).

  4. There's a decent Ren-Faire outside of Lancaster, PA - Takes place at the end of summer.

  5. Reminds me of a Civil War reenactment.

  6. It strikes me that Ren Faires work hand-in-glove with the whole 'sustainable development' agenda of social engineering, where it is used to get people to accept that having a lower standard of living could actually be fun. Notice also that you never see the Church involved with Ren Faires, only neo/quasi Pagans, which were driven underground long before the original Renaissance.

    It smacks of large scale revisionist history to a certain extent, though I'm not sure if that's conscious or unintentional through mere ignorance of history. Still, as a single guy who works Ren Faires down here in Florida, there are certain perks to that atmosphere which can't be denied.

  7. Magnus, living in the belly of the materialist beast of Republicanica, I can tell you for certain that all of these people with higher standards of living aren't having much fun either. Maybe only those at the very top, but who knows?