rant Archive

  • <p>I’m going to make a prediction about the future of HEMA in Australia. I’m willing to put money on it.</p>
<p>Within three years, we will see a national umbrella organisation founded specifically for the purpose of running a high-level national HEMA competition. It exists solely to run the tournament and dictates the rules, weapons, protection and other entry requirements competitors must meet. The organisation will not train competitors itself but allow entry to any competitor suitably qualified under its strictures. However, it may accredit other schools and groups as providing a training program appropriate for the national competition. The organisation  […]</p>

    The Future of Aussie HEMA

    I’m going to make a prediction about the future of HEMA in Australia. I’m willing to put money on it.

    Within three years, we will see a national umbrella organisation founded specifically for the purpose of running a high-level national HEMA competition. It exists solely to run the tournament and dictates the rules, weapons, protection and other entry requirements competitors must meet. The organisation will not train competitors itself but allow entry to any competitor suitably qualified under its strictures. However, it may accredit other schools and groups as providing a training program appropriate for the national competition. The organisation […]

  • <p>I’ve posted before on the difference between sword fighting and swordplay. One is for the battlefield and the other is for more social situations. I find it amazing that there are historical fencers wthese not understand or fully appreciate the different contexts in which these wonderful weapons were used and how their use changed over time. This post is a quick and very general overview of the different situations in which swords were used.</p>
Battlefield
<p>This is the most obvious use of the sword as a weapon. It is also the one that is least understood by fencers. Contrary to  […]</p>

    Swordplay: Context is Everything

    I’ve posted before on the difference between sword fighting and swordplay. One is for the battlefield and the other is for more social situations. I find it amazing that there are historical fencers wthese not understand or fully appreciate the different contexts in which these wonderful weapons were used and how their use changed over time. This post is a quick and very general overview of the different situations in which swords were used.

    Battlefield

    This is the most obvious use of the sword as a weapon. It is also the one that is least understood by fencers. Contrary to […]

  • <p>When did the job I took because it paid the bills and gave me some cash to blow on books and movies turn into a career with goals and a five (or so) year plan? Is this something that happens to everyone as they age (I prefer the term ‘mature’) or am I the odd one out? Maybe this is just something that happens to you if you hang around the same field of endeavour for a long time. There are several events which could mark this change. One of them may hold the key to the mystery or they  […]</p>

    When Did My Job Become a Career?

    When did the job I took because it paid the bills and gave me some cash to blow on books and movies turn into a career with goals and a five (or so) year plan? Is this something that happens to everyone as they age (I prefer the term ‘mature’) or am I the odd one out? Maybe this is just something that happens to you if you hang around the same field of endeavour for a long time. There are several events which could mark this change. One of them may hold the key to the mystery or they […]

  • <p>Here’s what shits me about post-modernism and post-modernists:</p>
<strong>By de-privileging grand narratives, all narratives are privileged, even the inherently stupid ones.</strong>
<p>I get the notion of the arbitrariness of privilege and the cultural, class, gender, etc specificity of any particular grand narrative. I really do. But just because that may be true, it doesn’t follow that anything you have to say is worth listening to. Only under the notion of all points of view being equally valid can, say, creation science or climate change denial, get a look in. If science is just another narrative no different from any other  […]</p>

    Post-Modernism: I Refute It Thus

    Here’s what shits me about post-modernism and post-modernists:

    By de-privileging grand narratives, all narratives are privileged, even the inherently stupid ones.

    I get the notion of the arbitrariness of privilege and the cultural, class, gender, etc specificity of any particular grand narrative. I really do. But just because that may be true, it doesn’t follow that anything you have to say is worth listening to. Only under the notion of all points of view being equally valid can, say, creation science or climate change denial, get a look in. If science is just another narrative no different from any other […]

  • <p>It’s well known to all Australian that after five years 85% of immigrants to this country are still on welfare and two thirds are still unemployed. And like all well-known statistics, it’s bunk.</p>
<p>Where does this figure come from? The only sources I could find was the Daily Telegraph tabloid newspaper and the StormFront neo-nazi website – both reporting on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship report “Settlement Outcomes of New Arrivals 2010“.</p>
<p>The study selected a random sample of 20,000 immigrants who have been in the country between 12 to 60 months. So, from the get-go, none of the  […]</p>

    Australian Immigration Statistics

    It’s well known to all Australian that after five years 85% of immigrants to this country are still on welfare and two thirds are still unemployed. And like all well-known statistics, it’s bunk.

    Where does this figure come from? The only sources I could find was the Daily Telegraph tabloid newspaper and the StormFront neo-nazi website – both reporting on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship report “Settlement Outcomes of New Arrivals 2010“.

    The study selected a random sample of 20,000 immigrants who have been in the country between 12 to 60 months. So, from the get-go, none of the […]

  • <p>This is a puzzle that occupies more and more of my time. What sort of community should we build? What approach should we use? What does the future look like?</p>
<p>To my mind, an historical fencing community must be able to handle every style of sword use from I.33 (written in 1295) to smallsword (ending roughly 1850). That’s more than 550 years of the evolution of personal armed combat. The basic problem is how can – and indeed should – one community represent this diverse a group of fencing techniques.</p>
<p>There are three basic approaches that existing groups have come  […]</p>

    Building an Historical Fencing Community

    This is a puzzle that occupies more and more of my time. What sort of community should we build? What approach should we use? What does the future look like?

    To my mind, an historical fencing community must be able to handle every style of sword use from I.33 (written in 1295) to smallsword (ending roughly 1850). That’s more than 550 years of the evolution of personal armed combat. The basic problem is how can – and indeed should – one community represent this diverse a group of fencing techniques.

    There are three basic approaches that existing groups have come […]

  • <p>It’s not just Australia. Of the 195 countries recognised by the UN 29 eat their national animals. That’s a little under 15% or one in seven. Here’s the list.</p>
<ul>
<li>Bahamas – Blue Marlin</li>
<li>Bangladesh – Hilsa (a type of fish)</li>
<li>Bolivia – Alpaca</li>
<li>Costa Rica – White-tailed Deer</li>
<li>Denmark – Swan</li>
<li>East Timor – Crocodile</li>
<li>Eritrea – Camel</li>
<li>Finland – Brown Bear, Whooper Swan, European Perch (they eat all three of their national animals)</li>
<li>Japan – Green Pheasant</li>
<li>Kuwait – Camel</li>
<li>Macedonia – Ohrid Trout (My personal favourite fish name “I’d like some ‘orrid trout, please”)</li>
<li>Maldives – Yellow-fin Tuna</li></ul> […]

    Eating National Animals

    It’s not just Australia. Of the 195 countries recognised by the UN 29 eat their national animals. That’s a little under 15% or one in seven. Here’s the list.

    • Bahamas – Blue Marlin
    • Bangladesh – Hilsa (a type of fish)
    • Bolivia – Alpaca
    • Costa Rica – White-tailed Deer
    • Denmark – Swan
    • East Timor – Crocodile
    • Eritrea – Camel
    • Finland – Brown Bear, Whooper Swan, European Perch (they eat all three of their national animals)
    • Japan – Green Pheasant
    • Kuwait – Camel
    • Macedonia – Ohrid Trout (My personal favourite fish name “I’d like some ‘orrid trout, please”)
    • Maldives – Yellow-fin Tuna
    […]