strathspey Archive: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

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The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58560 · Andrea Re · 4 May 2010 15:35:16 · Top

Hi folks,

sorry for replying so late, but, unbelievable though it may sound, I had
to work... Anyway, I am devoting my short lunch break to answering this
question as I thought it is high time I came out (pun intended).

Just the other day I got the following e-mail describing the picture in
the front page of the magazine:
> I see a bunch of guys in desert camo pants and desert boots, four
> wearing red t-shirts and four blue t-shirts, dancing. What else am I
> supposed to see? Do explain.
I think it is close enough, but what I saw was as follows (the postman
delivered it with some other stuff, so I couldn't see the title of the
magazine): here is a bunch of guys with tight buttocks in camouflage
trousers and a T-shirts to emphasize their muscles (I wouldn't look like
that if I wore the same clothes:( ). They seemed to be doing some sort
of wrestling... Well, what I thought was: "What the heck is that? Who is
sending me images of a gay romp???" Then I saw the title of the magazine
and I rolled my eyes... "I should have known".
Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have
to stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else
reacted in a similar vein (within SCD circles). I bet you what you like
that if you showed this picture to someone in the street, their first
reaction would be similar to mine (and they will be wondering whether
"Scottish Country Dancer" is some sort of new euphemism...) and once
they are told that the picture is actually about SCD, probably they
would agree it wasn't THAT surprising (I don't think they would be
referring to the "great tradition of the 'reel of the 51st'" as someone
put it).
Anyway, to make a long story short, I found this picture interesting to
start with because it had been deemed to be suitable to go on the cover
of the magazine and shows a way the editors of the magazine see SCD. I
am sure it was done with the best of intentions, but still, they could
have chosen better (like when Gordon Brown had his picture taken next to
a Swastika) to convey a certain image of ourselves.
Even more interesting is the reaction from this list... apart from few
exceptions, nobody seemed to notice there was anything queer about the
picture which I think says a lot about part of the readership of this
list. It shows that, in my view, there is a difference between the
"normal" world and some parts of the "SCD" world (at least in Scotland).
Probably some is due to age and some to an acceptance that SCD is
pervaded by a certain aura of campness (view generally held outwith SCD
circles, even amongst some of my acquaintances, despite my best
attempts). Obviously I am not pretending that what has come out (so to
speak) from this list is in any way representative of the SCD world at
large (even in Scotland), but perhaps it gives a clue of the way we are
being perceived and why. The society has still a lot of work to do to
improve its image if we want to increase the membership (I am talking
mainly about England and Scotland) and to do so we need to shed the
perception that SCD is camp and for old biddies (if we want to get
younger people, possibly of the male variety).
I have to say that I was talking to some high up members of the society
and they found the picture perfectly fine... that IS worrying...
Some might say that I am in the wrong and I am being unduly malicious.
and bigoted, but I don't think so... I daresay SCD people have become
too used to a certain image of themselves and they find it difficult
even to laugh about it.

As an aside, I think what I have said ties up quite well with the
discussion about Strathspey as a mailing list... Given that, indeed, as
a mailing list it works perfectly well and that some people might even
like the format, it is undoubtedly a vastly outmoded way of
communicating, but funnily enough it seems fitting if we have to discuss
SCD stuff, but that is perhaps the subject for another post.

Andrea (fae Falkirk and Dundee)

PS

I would like to stress again (before I get hate mail) that the point of
the discussion, as far as I am concerned, is NOT what the picture was
supposed to portray or who is in it, but what one sees in it; remember,
not everybody would know by default what it is about. Besides, I am
still not clear where the article that explains it is...

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58561 · Agnes MacMichael · 4 May 2010 15:52:16 · Top

Hi Andrea
Read the Editorial and then ( I grant you in small lettering) the foot of
the contents, which sends you to page 23 for the full story!
Agnes
West Lothian

On 4 May 2010 14:35, Andrea Re <andrea@andrea-re.eu> wrote:

>
>
> Hi folks,
>
> sorry for replying so late, but, unbelievable though it may sound, I had to
> work... Anyway, I am devoting my short lunch break to answering this
> question as I thought it is high time I came out (pun intended).
>
> Just the other day I got the following e-mail describing the picture in the
> front page of the magazine:
>
>> I see a bunch of guys in desert camo pants and desert boots, four wearing
>> red t-shirts and four blue t-shirts, dancing. What else am I supposed to
>> see? Do explain.
>>
> I think it is close enough, but what I saw was as follows (the postman
> delivered it with some other stuff, so I couldn't see the title of the
> magazine): here is a bunch of guys with tight buttocks in camouflage
> trousers and a T-shirts to emphasize their muscles (I wouldn't look like
> that if I wore the same clothes:( ). They seemed to be doing some sort of
> wrestling... Well, what I thought was: "What the heck is that? Who is
> sending me images of a gay romp???" Then I saw the title of the magazine and
> I rolled my eyes... "I should have known".
> Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
> what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
> see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have to
> stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else reacted in
> a similar vein (within SCD circles). I bet you what you like that if you
> showed this picture to someone in the street, their first reaction would be
> similar to mine (and they will be wondering whether "Scottish Country
> Dancer" is some sort of new euphemism...) and once they are told that the
> picture is actually about SCD, probably they would agree it wasn't THAT
> surprising (I don't think they would be referring to the "great tradition of
> the 'reel of the 51st'" as someone put it).
> Anyway, to make a long story short, I found this picture interesting to
> start with because it had been deemed to be suitable to go on the cover of
> the magazine and shows a way the editors of the magazine see SCD. I am sure
> it was done with the best of intentions, but still, they could have chosen
> better (like when Gordon Brown had his picture taken next to a Swastika) to
> convey a certain image of ourselves.
> Even more interesting is the reaction from this list... apart from few
> exceptions, nobody seemed to notice there was anything queer about the
> picture which I think says a lot about part of the readership of this list.
> It shows that, in my view, there is a difference between the "normal" world
> and some parts of the "SCD" world (at least in Scotland). Probably some is
> due to age and some to an acceptance that SCD is pervaded by a certain aura
> of campness (view generally held outwith SCD circles, even amongst some of
> my acquaintances, despite my best attempts). Obviously I am not pretending
> that what has come out (so to speak) from this list is in any way
> representative of the SCD world at large (even in Scotland), but perhaps it
> gives a clue of the way we are being perceived and why. The society has
> still a lot of work to do to improve its image if we want to increase the
> membership (I am talking mainly about England and Scotland) and to do so we
> need to shed the perception that SCD is camp and for old biddies (if we want
> to get younger people, possibly of the male variety).
> I have to say that I was talking to some high up members of the society and
> they found the picture perfectly fine... that IS worrying...
> Some might say that I am in the wrong and I am being unduly malicious. and
> bigoted, but I don't think so... I daresay SCD people have become too used
> to a certain image of themselves and they find it difficult even to laugh
> about it.
>
> As an aside, I think what I have said ties up quite well with the
> discussion about Strathspey as a mailing list... Given that, indeed, as a
> mailing list it works perfectly well and that some people might even like
> the format, it is undoubtedly a vastly outmoded way of communicating, but
> funnily enough it seems fitting if we have to discuss SCD stuff, but that is
> perhaps the subject for another post.
>
> Andrea (fae Falkirk and Dundee)
>
> PS
>
> I would like to stress again (before I get hate mail) that the point of the
> discussion, as far as I am concerned, is NOT what the picture was supposed
> to portray or who is in it, but what one sees in it; remember, not everybody
> would know by default what it is about. Besides, I am still not clear where
> the article that explains it is...
>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58562 · Anselm Lingnau · 4 May 2010 15:55:56 · Top

Andrea Re wrote:

> Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
> what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
> see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have
> to stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else
> reacted in a similar vein (within SCD circles).

Funny. When I saw the title for the first time my immediate association was
»Reel of the 51st Division«. If you think you're leading a cloistered life
then that must place me at the top of a very tall column, like one of those
medieval saints.

Anyway, I think the cover is fine. Nobody seems to mind girls dancing together
so why not guys? And the article to go with it is somewhere towards the back
of the magazine (I'm not at home right now so can't go check), at the top of a
right-hand page. Look for the »Kandahar Reel« or something like that.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and
something to hope for. -- Allan K. Chalmers

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58563 · suepetyt · 4 May 2010 16:01:14 · Top

I immediately thought of the Reel of the 51st division too. And I agree with Alselm, what's wrong with men dancing together?

Happy Dancing
Sue Petyt
Lochmaben
www.suepetyt.me.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Anselm Lingnau [mailto:anselm@strathspey.org]
Sent: 04 May 2010 14:56
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Andrea Re wrote:

> Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
> what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
> see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have
> to stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else
> reacted in a similar vein (within SCD circles).

Funny. When I saw the title for the first time my immediate association was
�Reel of the 51st Division�.

Anyway, I think the cover is fine. Nobody seems to mind girls dancing together
so why not guys?

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58564 · Agnes MacMichael · 4 May 2010 16:02:49 · Top

This was my reaction and thoughts at the beginning of this thread.
Agnes
West Lothian

On 4 May 2010 15:01, Sue Petyt <sue@suepetyt.me.uk> wrote:

> I immediately thought of the Reel of the 51st division too. And I agree
> with Alselm, what's wrong with men dancing together?
>
> Happy Dancing
> Sue Petyt
> Lochmaben
> www.suepetyt.me.uk
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anselm Lingnau [mailto:anselm@strathspey.org]
> Sent: 04 May 2010 14:56
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
>
> Andrea Re wrote:
>
> > Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
> > what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
> > see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have
> > to stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else
> > reacted in a similar vein (within SCD circles).
>
> Funny. When I saw the title for the first time my immediate association was
> �Reel of the 51st Division�.
>
> Anyway, I think the cover is fine. Nobody seems to mind girls dancing
> together
> so why not guys?
>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58565 · Andrea Re · 4 May 2010 16:17:55 · Top

Sue Petyt ha scritto:
> I immediately thought of the Reel of the 51st division too. And I agree with Alselm, what's wrong with men dancing together?
>
>
Nothing at all... Nor is there anything wrong with seeing the
zimmer-frame brigade dancing merrily together on the front page... That
is not the point. What I am trying to say is that a certain perception
of SCD gets reinforced (try and show the picture to your not SCD
children or friends). It just depends what kind of image you want to
project. There is a difference between being open to, say, older people,
to being a pursuit that gets identified with grannies (a bit like
bowling, even if I am sure a lot of youngsters do it)
Anselm thought of the Reel of the 51st; kudos to him, but what do you
think a casual onlooker is going to think?

Agnes, you are quite right, I had missed the small print under the
"Contents" column. Didn't have my magnifying glass close at hand:)

Andrea (fae Dundee and Falkirk)

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58567 · Chris Ronald · 4 May 2010 17:03:34 · Top

Andrea wrote:
"It just depends what kind of image you want to project."

I don't know what image the editors wanted to project, but my guess would be
that the cover of the magazine is trying to say that country dancing is for
everyone, including vigorous young men and women, and that you can enjoy it
whether you are soldiers in a camp in Afghanistan or young people in jeans
and bare feet on the sand in California (see the previous issue of the
magazine.)

Andrea added
"Anselm thought of the Reel of the 51st; kudos to him, but what do you think
a casual onlooker is going to think?"

I agree the picture might puzzle a "casual onlooker". But I suspect that a
picture of soldiers doing country dancing would bring The Reel of the 51st
to mind for many RSCDS members. At least over here in the US and Canada,
we quite often see all-male sets for The Reel of the 51st at social
dances. And I've seen a ceilidh act where men dress as soldiers and dance
The Reel of the 51st. So if a "casual onloooker" sees the magazine on a
member's coffee table, they may well hear the intriguing story of the men in
the POW camp in Germany. No harm done!

By the way, what dance do you think the soldiers are doing? Strip the
Willow?

Chris, New York.

PS. I've just read Mark's message. I think we're on the same wavelength.

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58576 · Jerome Reinstein · 4 May 2010 20:01:59 · Top

I also thought it was Strip the Willow and wondered how the photo on p 23 was supposed to be the same dance. But maybe it is just the different point in the dance that make it look like a different dance.

Jerry
Paris & London

On 04/05/2010 17:03, "Chris Ronald" <cjr878@gmail.com> wrote:

By the way, what dance do you think the soldiers are doing? Strip the
Willow?

Chris, New York.

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58584 · Anselm Lingnau · 5 May 2010 01:08:04 · Top

Andrea Re wrote:

> What I am trying to say is that a certain perception
> of SCD gets reinforced (try and show the picture to your not SCD
> children or friends). It just depends what kind of image you want to
> project. There is a difference between being open to, say, older people,
> to being a pursuit that gets identified with grannies (a bit like
> bowling, even if I am sure a lot of youngsters do it)

Hm. This of course raises the question of which image *do* we want to project?
Looking at the covers of the magazines so far, the young people and kids are
in a definite majority. (There are a few covers displaying mixed-age groups
but there are just as many covers showing Scottish castles in various stages
of disrepair. I wonder what that is supposed to tell us.)

Of course it is a well-known technique in advertising to show young, good-
looking, visibly healthy and well-to-do people together with one's product
even if one is mostly trying to sell to older, etc. customers. This doesn't
work for everything (think »denture cleaner«) but at least SCD is
theoretically supposed to keep one young -- at heart, if not bodily --, so it
makes a certain amount of sense to go with the textbooks here. On the other
hand, it must be allowed to take a little risk every so often, so why not have
a picture of soldiers dancing? We could of course have had yet another
appropriately gender-balanced and ethnicity-balanced youth group on the cover
but in my opinion that would have been a *lot* worse.

> Anselm thought of the Reel of the 51st; kudos to him, but what do you
> think a casual onlooker is going to think?

In my case it's probably the Frankfurt SCD Club's fault, where men dancing
with other men are a phenomenon that is not exactly uncommon -- our XX/XY
chromosome ratio is almost 1:1, so sometimes the lasses are in the majority
and sometimes the lads. If a man dances with another man in Frankfurt it has a
lot more to do with otherwise not being able to dance at all than with their
sexual predilections in general, and I would presume that in an army camp in
Kandahar, like in Oflag VII-C, the situation is much the same.

With all possible respect, given this and also considering the fact that (as
others have commented already) being openly gay is not exactly a career
booster in the military -- it will get you kicked out in the US, although I
don't know about Britain --, Andrea's »casual onlooker« would have to be more
than somewhat homophobic to be offended by the cover in question. I'm fairly
sure that such people exist, but they are probably offended by so many things
that they wouldn't last very long in a dance class, anyway :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
[Sarah Palin's values] more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they
do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism
in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will
and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than
supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between
Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick. -- Juan Cole, *Salon*

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58570 · Peter McClure · 4 May 2010 17:19:53 · Top

>I immediately thought of the Reel of the 51st division too. And I
>agree with Alselm, what's wrong with men dancing together?

I haven't had the magazine yet, so will never know what I would have
thought without a lot of discussion in advance.

I certainly agree that there is nothing wrong with men dancing
together - in fact, a great opportunity to see formations from the
other side. However, ask yourselves, what happens in your classes
when the pairs are all made up except for two or more men. If your
experience is anything like mine, I think you will have to agree that
there is some (even, a lot?) of sense in what Andrea had to say.

A side point. a couple of recent messages have had the "notify
sender" request. Was that deliberate? I have clicked the
appropriate button, and if others have too, a couple of you may be
getting quite a lot of emails! I thought I'd ask about this, as I
don't recall it happening with Strathspey messages before.

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58566 · Mark Priest · 4 May 2010 16:57:39 · Top

Andrea,

I considered what you said in here but I don't entirely agree with you
on what the average person's perception of the picture would be. I am
from the US so maybe things are different here.

I think if I had not seen the title of the magazine I would have
assumed this was some sort of military training exercise. Clearly,
the dancers and most of the spectators are in military uniform. I
don't think most people in the US would see a picture of wrestling
uniformed miltary men and think they were gay. Even now, men who are
found to be gay are discharged from service so it wouldn't make sense
to me that this was some sort of openly gay activity.

I have noticed that recent cover photos have featured young people and
this is no exception. I don't see how this cover would appeal to old
biddies.

-Mark

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM, Andrea Re <andrea@andrea-re.eu> wrote:
>
>
> Hi folks,
>
> sorry for replying so late, but, unbelievable though it may sound, I had to
> work... Anyway, I am devoting my short lunch break to answering this
> question as I thought it is high time I came out (pun intended).
>
> Just the other day I got the following e-mail describing the picture in the
> front page of the magazine:
>>
>> I see a bunch of guys in desert camo pants and desert boots, four wearing
>> red t-shirts and four blue t-shirts, dancing.  What else am I supposed to
>> see?  Do explain.
>
> I think it is close enough, but what I saw was as follows (the postman
> delivered it with some other stuff, so I couldn't see the title of the
> magazine): here is a bunch of guys with tight buttocks in camouflage
> trousers and a T-shirts to emphasize their muscles (I wouldn't look like
> that if I wore the same clothes:( ). They seemed to be doing some sort of
> wrestling... Well, what I thought was: "What the heck is that? Who is
> sending me images of a gay romp???" Then I saw the title of the magazine and
> I rolled my eyes... "I should have known".
> Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
> what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
> see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have to
> stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else reacted in
> a similar vein (within SCD circles). I bet you what you like that if you
> showed this picture to someone in the street, their first reaction would be
> similar to mine (and they will be wondering whether "Scottish Country
> Dancer" is some sort of new euphemism...) and once they are told that the
> picture is actually about SCD, probably they would agree it wasn't THAT
> surprising (I don't think they would be referring to the "great tradition of
> the 'reel of the 51st'" as someone put it).
> Anyway, to make a long story short, I found this picture interesting to
> start with because it had been deemed to be suitable to go on the cover of
> the magazine and shows a way the editors of the magazine see SCD. I am sure
> it was done with the best of intentions, but still, they could have chosen
> better (like when Gordon Brown had his picture taken next to a Swastika) to
> convey a certain image of ourselves.
> Even more interesting is the reaction from this list... apart from few
> exceptions, nobody seemed to notice there was anything queer about the
> picture which I think says a lot about part of the readership of this list.
> It shows that, in my view, there is a difference between the "normal" world
> and some parts of the "SCD" world (at least in Scotland). Probably some is
> due to age and some to an acceptance that SCD is pervaded by a certain aura
> of campness (view generally held outwith SCD circles, even amongst some of
> my acquaintances, despite my best attempts). Obviously I am not pretending
> that what has come out (so to speak) from this list is in any way
> representative of the SCD world at large (even in Scotland), but perhaps it
> gives a clue of the way we are being perceived and why. The society has
> still a lot of work to do to improve its image if we want to increase the
> membership (I am talking mainly about England and Scotland) and to do so we
> need to shed the perception that SCD is camp and for old biddies (if we want
> to get younger people, possibly of the male variety).
> I have to say that I was talking to some high up members of the society and
> they found the picture perfectly fine... that IS worrying...
> Some might say that I am in the wrong and I am being unduly malicious. and
> bigoted, but I don't think so... I daresay SCD people have become too used
> to a certain image of themselves and they find it difficult even to laugh
> about it.
>
> As an aside, I think what I have said ties up quite well with the discussion
> about Strathspey as a mailing list... Given that, indeed, as a mailing list
> it works perfectly well and that some people might even like the format, it
> is undoubtedly a vastly outmoded way of communicating, but funnily enough it
> seems fitting if we have to discuss SCD stuff, but that is perhaps the
> subject for another post.
>
> Andrea (fae Falkirk and Dundee)
>
> PS
>
> I would like to stress again (before I get hate mail) that the point of the
> discussion, as far as I am concerned, is NOT what the picture was supposed
> to portray or who is in it, but what one sees in it; remember, not everybody
> would know by default what it is about. Besides, I am still not clear where
> the article that explains it is...
>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58568 · campbell · 4 May 2010 17:10:11 · Top

Mark wrote:
>I don't think most people in the US would see a picture of wrestling
uniformed miltary men and think they were gay. Even now, men who are found
to be gay are
>discharged from service so it wouldn't make sense to me that this was some
sort of openly gay activity.

This is becoming stranger and stranger. Am I not right in thinking that
women are now allowed to be part of the military service in the US. I would
have thought that fact to be far more of a threat to the full-blooded
heterosexual males than gay men. Is the US that intolerant? But back to
Andrea and his cover story - despite having said he is coming out :-) -
having not seen the cover yet myself I am free to imagine what it might be
like, and of course we are told that different people see different things
when looking at the same image. And isnt that what Andrea is highlighting
for us - that there might be a significant number of people out there who
will jump to the conclusion, being predisposed to do so, that the men
involved are gay. Now this may or may not be a good thing and the question
Andrea is raising is - does the RSCDS want to be seen as gay neutral/ gay
friendly/ gay exclusive? I would hope that the RSCDS is wanting people of
all persuasions to be part of the dancing scene - does the cover advance
that image or not? I shall have to wait to see, but in the mean time my
imagination is running riot!! :-)

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58569 · Mike Briggs · 4 May 2010 17:36:43 · Top

Well, I must be even denser than I thought. Gay never occurred to me. A chacun son gout, I guess.

Mike
Still seriously clueless in Wisconsin


Briggs Law Office
1519 Storytown Road
Oregon WI 53711-1925 USA
+1 608 835 0914 (voice)
+1 608 237 2379 (fax)

________________________________
From: Campbell Personal <campbell@tyler.co.za>
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Sent: Tue, May 4, 2010 10:10:11 AM
Subject: RE: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Mark wrote:
>I don't think most people in the US would see a picture of wrestling
uniformed miltary men and think they were gay. Even now, men who are found
to be gay are
>discharged from service so it wouldn't make sense to me that this was some
sort of openly gay activity.

This is becoming stranger and stranger. Am I not right in thinking that
women are now allowed to be part of the military service in the US. I would
have thought that fact to be far more of a threat to the full-blooded
heterosexual males than gay men. Is the US that intolerant? But back to
Andrea and his cover story - despite having said he is coming out :-) -
having not seen the cover yet myself I am free to imagine what it might be
like, and of course we are told that different people see different things
when looking at the same image. And isnt that what Andrea is highlighting
for us - that there might be a significant number of people out there who
will jump to the conclusion, being predisposed to do so, that the men
involved are gay. Now this may or may not be a good thing and the question
Andrea is raising is - does the RSCDS want to be seen as gay neutral/ gay
friendly/ gay exclusive? I would hope that the RSCDS is wanting people of
all persuasions to be part of the dancing scene - does the cover advance
that image or not? I shall have to wait to see, but in the mean time my
imagination is running riot!! :-)

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58571 · Andrea Re · 4 May 2010 18:01:15 · Top

Campbell Personal ha scritto:
>
> But back to
> Andrea and his cover story - despite having said he is coming out :-) -
> having not seen the cover yet myself I am free to imagine what it might be
> like, and of course we are told that different people see different things
> when looking at the same image. And isnt that what Andrea is highlighting
> for us - that there might be a significant number of people out there who
> will jump to the conclusion, being predisposed to do so, that the men
> involved are gay. Now this may or may not be a good thing and the question
> Andrea is raising is - does the RSCDS want to be seen as gay neutral/ gay
> friendly/ gay exclusive? I would hope that the RSCDS is wanting people of
> all persuasions to be part of the dancing scene - does the cover advance
> that image or not? I shall have to wait to see, but in the mean time my
> imagination is running riot!! :-)
>
Thank you Campbell... I started thinking I could not get my message across.

Just a couple of quick points... Don't know anything of US military, but
the imagery of muscular men wearing tight fitting military clothing
doing some wrestling I think has been hijacked a long time ago:)

Regarding the highly esteemed reel of the 51st, when it is danced by an
all men's set it does look quite camp to me... Proof is that when it was
done here (and I was in the set) it had to be de-campified (assuming
such a word exists), meaning that it wasn't RSCDS any more: we did high
cuts, elbow grips, no dancing shoes, etc. Don't know which version is
danced as a dem overseas, but here it was deemed that the RSCDS version
was somewhat (and rightly so, I might add) unsuitable for men dancing.
Besides it would be interesting to know what the PoWs actually did in
the camp (no pun intended), before the dance was parsed (or should I say
"purified") by the society.

For me the editor of the magazine is, unwittingly I am sure, treading a
very fine (and dangerous) line. For those who are cinema buffs I'll
mention La grande illusion <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028950/>, the
French masterpiece about WWI PoWs. In this film there is a very famous
scene where the PoWs put on stage some sort of French cabaret (with some
can can as well) and since they were only males some were in drag (can't
remember who gave them the dresses now). I can only imaging that the
creation of Reel of the 51st would have been something similar (without
the dresses though:). Jean Renoir managed to shoot that scene, over 70
years ago, in a way that anybody in their right mind could possibly
describe as camp (despite the word probably hadn't been invented yet); I
can only say that perhaps the editor(s) of the magazine don't have the
same knack.

Enough of that. I MUST get some work done.

Oh yes, I have my computer set to "ask for receipt" as it is useful for
work, but it does have its drawbacks, one being getting flooded by junk
e-mails from this list.

One last thing: nothing wrong with men dancing with men or on the
woman's side; I have done it a few times and I would have done it many
more had I not been frowned upon and told not to do it quite vigorously
(on several occasions, and when I got my way I was left under uncertain
terms of what some people thought).

Andrea (fae Dundee & Falkirk)

Men on the other side (was The Magazine's riddle: the solution)

Message 58575 · campbell · 4 May 2010 19:55:07 · Top

Andrea wrote:
>One last thing: nothing wrong with men dancing with men or on the woman's
side;
>I have done it a few times and I would have done it many more had I not
been frowned
>upon and told not to do it quite vigorously (on several occasions,
>and when I got my way I was left under uncertain terms of what some people
thought).

I hope you appreciate the new subject header Andrea. It is strange isnt it,
how women find men dancing on the other side so disorientating, whereas us
men (from whatever side we might come) have to put up with women dancing as
men all the time. We are never given any credit for having to distinguish
between the two all the time! I feel quite chuffed when I find another man
who is prepared to dance with a man partner and cause a fluttering in the
hen house. It is great fun. In fact I could say we have a gay old time,
but people might misinterpret that and get disorientated.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Men on the other side (was The Magazine's riddle: the solution)

Message 58577 · Peter Hastings · 4 May 2010 20:11:31 · Top

My most disorienting experience was when I was away on business and dropped
in on the local SCD group (as you do..). With the exception of the group
leader, the entire contingent was female. The next dance was announced and I
turned to the lady next to me and asked her to dance. I was met with a
complete refusal - this lady always danced as a man. Since I knew the dance
well I was very tempted to offer to dance it as a lady but thought that
might cause more confusion than was justified in the circumstances. And
after all there were plenty of other ladies to choose from.

ho hum

Peter Hastings

Men on the other side (was The Magazine's riddle: the solution)

Message 58578 · Bruce Herbold · 4 May 2010 20:31:12 · Top

I had a very similar experience but it went further. At an
international teachers' workshop I asked a fellow attendee to dance at
an evening dance and she explained that she only danced as a man (same
person?) so I said okay and danced on the women's side. All the rest
of the set ended up female also, so I was the only male in the set and
dancing on the 'wrong' side. All went well, except afterwards several
of my friends castigated me, thinking I had danced on the womens' side
out of an anarchist impulse (where do they get these ideas?)

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Peter Hastings
<peter@kodiak-web-design.com> wrote:
> My most disorienting experience was when I was away on business and dropped
> in on the local SCD group (as you do..). With the exception of the group
> leader, the entire contingent was female. The next dance was announced and I
> turned to the lady next to me and asked her to dance. I was met with a
> complete refusal - this lady always danced as a man. Since I knew the dance
> well I was very tempted to offer to dance it as a lady but thought that
> might cause more confusion than was justified in the circumstances. And
> after all there were plenty of other ladies to choose from.
>
> ho hum
>
> Peter Hastings
>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58585 · Jacqui Brocker · 5 May 2010 02:27:42 · Top

Hey all.

New to the list by a matter of days, less new to SCD, but my, what an
intriguing discussion I have come upon...

>> I would hope that the RSCDS is wanting people of
>> all persuasions to be part of the dancing scene - does the cover
>> advance
>> that image or not? I shall have to wait to see, but in the mean
>> time my
>> imagination is running riot!! :-)

Well Campbell, there is also the man in Indian headdress*, and the one
dressed as a firefighter*, and the one dressed policeman* there as
well. All in all, a very exciting cover!

(*I could also be just kidding with you...you'll have to wait and see!)

> For me the editor of the magazine is, unwittingly I am sure,
> treading a very fine (and dangerous) line.

This is an interesting definition of 'dangerous,' Andrea. I'd have
thought a cover with a diagram on how to make the perfect pipe bomb,
or, to be a little more relevant, a picture of a set, naked and
drenched in pigs blood, doing a petronella around a decapitated
kitten, just *might* have been better examples of 'dangerous,' but you
know, your mileage may vary...of course, you have already made this
cover's image made analogous with connecting Westminster to Nazi
imagery, so one shouldn't be especially surprised by this, I suppose.

> For those who are cinema buffs I'll mention La grande illusion <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028950/
> >, the French masterpiece about WWI PoWs. In this film there is a
> very famous scene where the PoWs put on stage some sort of French
> cabaret (with some can can as well) and since they were only males
> some were in drag (can't remember who gave them the dresses now). I
> can only imaging that the creation of Reel of the 51st would have
> been something similar (without the dresses though:). Jean Renoir
> managed to shoot that scene, over 70 years ago, in a way that
> anybody in their right mind could possibly describe as camp (despite
> the word probably hadn't been invented yet); I can only say that
> perhaps the editor(s) of the magazine don't have the same knack.

Ah yes, a brilliant film indeed (on that we can certainly agree). I
recall that scene, or rather, the one before it, where one of the men
who ends up in a dress seems rather nervous about how he appears, and
the other soldiers look at him, almost entranced (there is a long,
sustained shot), and it would not be illogical to wonder if some of
soldiers are thinking 'well, it has been so long since I've seen a
*real* woman...I could be persuaded...' (or indeed if some of the
soldiers were thinking they preferred him in proper uniform.)

To be somewhat more serious, Scottish Country Dancer is a magazine I
only started to receive when I became a member of RSCDS. It is not
what I would call 'promotional material' - that it has an article of
the various pronunciations of pas de basque without even bothering to
explain just what a pas de basque *is* should be indicative of that.
Surely it is meant for people who are 'in the know,' not necessarily
to encourage others to join (yes, it *could* be used in that way, but
I doubt that it is primary goal.)

(That I can't buy it along side Radio Times or Ok! should also be
indicative of the influence such a publication has...)

But if we are talking about promoting SCD, is the take away message
from this conversation the following: 'in order to encourage more men
(but especially in-no-ways-whatsover-camp/gay/fey-men), we should
really think about not being so public about anything remotely camp
(or anything that could be interpreted as such by people with vivid
imaginations)?' Is this *really* the argument being put forward?
Because surely we can encourage more people to join *as well as*
acknowledging all facets of the community. Or do I dare to dream?

Anselm's email has some very good points:

> With all possible respect, given this and also considering the fact
> that (as
> others have commented already) being openly gay is not exactly a
> career
> booster in the military -- it will get you kicked out in the US,
> although I
> don't know about Britain --

The British military have accepted openly gay men and women for a
while now: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/world/europe/21britain.html

Indeed, it would seem that Britain allowing this has made army units
*more* cohesive, rather than not.

> Andrea's »casual onlooker« would have to be more
> than somewhat homophobic to be offended by the cover in question.
> I'm fairly
> sure that such people exist, but they are probably offended by so
> many things
> that they wouldn't last very long in a dance class, anyway :^)

Anselm, I think you've nailed it with this paragraph!

Jacqui
(Australian in Cambridge)

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58586 · Andrea Re · 5 May 2010 09:06:48 · Top

Hi there,

I thought I would post the cover of the magazine... I hope it is not
great infringement of copyright.
You can find it here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3229334/Scan.jpg

Here is the swastika Brown (British prime minister)
http://www.littlegreenfootballs2.com/2009/05/06/swastika-appears-behind-gordon-brown-in-picture/

To Jacqui, there is also the recent Clint Eastwood film, Flags of our
fathers, which is about a famous WWII picture which is later revealed to
have been staged. Nevertheless it captured the imagination of the people
and became quite iconic. (there is another example in recent British
politics, but I shan't bore you with it).

Just a couple of quick points (MUST work):
1) I must repeat that the fact that the picture portrays actual soldiers
is neither here nor there, nor is acceptance of gay people in the
military or anything like that. What I am interested in is only what a
casual reader (or perhaps someone who is not much into SCD) would get
form the picture. I don't think the picture is offensive in any way, but
believe it can be open to interpretation... This brings me to my next
point...

2) What is the target audience for the magazine? As it has been rightly
pointed out, it is a specialist magazine with a limited readership which
does not bother explain what a PdB is before launching itself in a
rather long article on pronunciation. Given that, it comes as no
surprise that people (from this list at least) found the (in)famous
picture perfectly normal, as they have the background knowledge
necessary to interpret it (well, with few exceptions...). But then,
given that, why do the editors go out of their way to put on the cover
the young and healthy, as opposed to the old and limping that make up
the majority of the SCD community (in England and Scotland at least)? If
the magazine is to be read only by the converted, why put a "younger"
spin on it? Who are they trying to reach to and why? The same applies to
the website whose banners are full of university students...

Andrea (fae Falkirk and Dundee)

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58589 · campbell · 5 May 2010 11:16:24 · Top

Andrea wrote:
>I thought I would post the cover of the magazine... I hope it is not great
infringement of copyright.

Ooh, thank you Andrea, at last I KNOW! But Andrea, you havent mentioned the
lascivious looks on the faces of the women on the left side, looking on.
Now, that is REALLY dangerous . You then go on to ask why RSCDS shows young
people when most of us are old. But surely it is precisely because of that?
We need to attract young people into SCD otherwise it only has 20 years to
run. That is the future. Plus it is such great fun dancing with young
people. And now I must work too.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58595 · Martin Campoveja · 5 May 2010 15:20:29 · Top

2010/5/5 Campbell Personal <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:

We need to attract young people into SCD
>

Yes, indeed.
One of my gripes about nearly every photo up until recently wa the number of
old dears trying to hide their zimmer frames and show the camera a
half-hearted smile.

Not surprising that few under-35s were inclined to join.

I'm glaf to say that recent publications have very wisely been showing a
younger profile.

To tell the truth, I don't think the photos in the magazines make a
differene one way or the other. Is any non SCDer likely to be looking?

Martin

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58596 · smiskoe · 5 May 2010 16:00:01 · Top

Thanks to Andrea I can finally see the cover. What is the fuss about? The
men are in birling grip, not close, body grinding closed dance position, (so
what if they were), they look as though they are enjoying themselves.
Sylvia Miskoe, concord, NH USA

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Martin Sheffield" <francoscot@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 9:20 AM
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the cover

> 2010/5/5 Campbell Personal <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:
>
> We need to attract young people into SCD
>>
>
> Yes, indeed.
> One of my gripes about nearly every photo up until recently wa the number
> of
> old dears trying to hide their zimmer frames and show the camera a
> half-hearted smile.
>
> Not surprising that few under-35s were inclined to join.
>
> I'm glaf to say that recent publications have very wisely been showing a
> younger profile.
>
> To tell the truth, I don't think the photos in the magazines make a
> differene one way or the other. Is any non SCDer likely to be looking?
>
> Martin
>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58598 · Jacqui Brocker · 5 May 2010 16:37:32 · Top

>I thought I would post the cover of the magazine... I hope it is not great infringement of >copyright.
>You can find it here:
>http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3229334/Scan.jpg

>Here is the swastika Brown (British prime
minister)
>http://www.littlegreenfootballs2.com/2009/05/06/swastika-appears-behind-gordon-brown-in-picture/

Perhaps
I wasn't clear in my
last message, so I'll
speak more plainly
now.

What's being put forwad
is this: SCD being
associated with camp is like
Gordon Brown being
associated with Nazis.
The problem with this
comparison is that Nazis are
evil, and as far as
I'm concerned, camp is
not. Therefore, making the
analogy is a bit like saying 'camp=evil.' I suspect this was
not your intention (as you say yourself you don't find camp offensive), but bare in mind there are large swathes of society who *do* think
camp=evil, so I think you can appreciate the comparison was somewhat poorly chosen.

>To Jacqui, there is also the recent Clint Eastwood film, Flags of our fathers, which is >about a famous WWII picture which is later revealed to have been staged. Nevertheless it

>captured the
imagination of the people and
became quite iconic. (there is another
>example in recent British politics, but I shan't bore you with
it).

Well, if we're going to make random film recommendations...I'm rather fond of the German film 'The Lives of Others' (Das Leben der Anderen), about the Stasi in East Germany, and also the animated film 'Persepolis', about a young woman growing up in Iran before, during, and after the revolution.

>1) I must repeat that the fact that the picture portrays actual soldiers is neither here nor >there, nor is acceptance of gay people in the military or anything like that.

Well, true. That thread of conversation is worthwhile, but yes, tangential to your point.

>What I am interested in is only what a casual reader (or perhaps someone who is not >much into SCD) would get form the picture. I don't think the picture is offensive in any >way, but believe it can be open to interpretation... This brings me to my next point...

Sure, anything is open to interpretation, which was kind of my point about Le Grande
Illusion in the last message - you see robust soldiers putting on dress purely for
performance (at least I think that's what you were arguing?), while I
see undertones of possible homoeroticism; both legitimate reactions, I think.

So yes, it is not entirely unreasonable that someone
(within or without the SCD community - you think more so out than
in, but for argument's sake) could look at this picture and see 'camp'; indeed, the image of muscle bound soldier grappling with other muscle bound soldiers has have cultural precendence of camp (more on film: '300', anyone, speaking of accidental camp?), so it's not an interpretation that is coming completely out of the blue.

But why is it a problem if people interpret it as such? And also, if it's not offensive in anyway, why use phrases like 'dangerous' and 'worrying' when discussing people who *don't*
see that interpretation?

>But then, given that, why do the editors go out of their way to put on the cover the young >and healthy, as opposed to the old and limping that make up the majority of the SCD >community (in England and Scotland at least)? If the magazine is to be read only by the >converted, why put a "younger" spin on it? Who are they trying to reach to and why? The >same applies to the website whose banners are full of university students...

Wait, I thought we were talking about the 'campness' of the dancers, not their youthfulness.

Perhaps the older set like *looking* at younger people dancing? Or maybe the 'cult of youth' that permeates most of society has taken hold of RSCDS as much as any other organisation? Younger people maybe, to the editors' eyes, look better in photographs (which is not to
say that the older set are not photogenic)? Perhaps the editors aren't entirely clear in the magazine's raison
d'être, and are confusing the promotional
(for outsiders and casual onlookers)
with the celebrational (for us in the community)?

A host of possible reasons, all much better explained in Anselm's most recent message, and with his point that such concerns (if geniune, as opposed to pulling our leg for the fun of it, which may be what's going on here...) are probably best directed to the editors for discussion.

Jacqui
(Aussie in Cambridge)


Flags of Our Fathers

Message 58618 · hways · 6 May 2010 04:03:22 · Top

From Andrea
>To Jacqui, there is also the recent Clint Eastwood film, Flags of our
>fathers, which is >about a famous WWII picture which is later revealed to
>have been staged. Nevertheless it >captured the imagination of the people
>and became quite iconic.

Corrections in order.
First to say that the film "Flags of Our Fathers" is about a famouw WWII
picture is absurd. It is about the men in the picture who lived and died in
that battle. I highly recommend reading the book.
And to state that it was "staged" is incorrect, and insulting to them and
the other 6800 marines who died fighting on Iwo Jima. When members of the
2nd battalion, 28th Marines first reached th top of Mt. Surabachi on D+4,
they hoisted a small flag on an iron pipe they found on the site. A few
hours later a regulation flag was sent to the top, one that could be seen by
every marine on the island. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal came on the
scene and snapped his celebrated photo while the original flag was being
replaced by the larger one. It was never staged. For the marines on Iwo,
"Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue ".
Semper Fidelis

Harry Ways

The Magazine's riddle: the cover

Message 58612 · 0AM7L@SIA · 6 May 2010 00:30:44 · Top

Campbell said it best. We too loved the picture because it _does_ show
young folk, gents in particular. And SCD needs more of both!

Ironically, the photo on page 17 would also make an excellent cover: The
picture of Sophie Rickebush shows it all: youth, a darling outfit, and
smashing footwork. Even a young fella in a kilt! Can't think of a better
RSCDS magazine cover than that photo.

Don & Margaret Sarna
Michigan USA

On 5/5/10 5:16 AM, "Campbell Personal" <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:

> Andrea wrote:
>> I thought I would post the cover of the magazine... I hope it is not great
> infringement of copyright.
>
> Ooh, thank you Andrea, at last I KNOW! But Andrea, you havent mentioned the
> lascivious looks on the faces of the women on the left side, looking on.
> Now, that is REALLY dangerous . You then go on to ask why RSCDS shows young
> people when most of us are old. But surely it is precisely because of that?
> We need to attract young people into SCD otherwise it only has 20 years to
> run. That is the future. Plus it is such great fun dancing with young
> people. And now I must work too.
>
> Campbell Tyler
> Cape Town
>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58588 · campbell · 5 May 2010 11:05:26 · Top

Welcome Jacqui, I look forward to more contributions from you. Well
written! I would agree with you that you have timed your entrance well. I
find this one of the more interesting discussions of recent times.

Campbell
Cape Town

PS Ooh, a man in an Indian headdress, I cant wait!! I get all shivery!
Does the dress extend all the way from his head to his toes?

-----Original Message-----
From: Jacqui Brocker [mailto:jacqui_brocker@yahoo.com.au]
Sent: 05 May 2010 02:28 AM
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Hey all.

New to the list by a matter of days, less new to SCD, but my, what an
intriguing discussion I have come upon...

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58590 · Jacqui Brocker · 5 May 2010 11:30:17 · Top

Aw, thank you Campbell. :) I'm looking forward to being here - the group seems very interesting and knowledgeable about many things apart from SCD, which is great.

And as you have seen now I was fibbing just a touch about the Indian headdress...

Jacqui
(Aussie in Cambridge)

--- On Wed, 5/5/10, Campbell Personal <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:

From: Campbell Personal <campbell@tyler.co.za>
Subject: RE: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Received: Wednesday, 5 May, 2010, 10:05 AM

Welcome Jacqui, I look forward to more contributions from you.  Well
written!   I would agree with you that you have timed your entrance well.  I
find this one of the more interesting discussions of recent times.

Campbell
Cape Town

PS Ooh, a man in an Indian headdress, I cant wait!!  I get all shivery!
Does the dress extend all the way from his head to his toes?


The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58579 · smiskoe · 4 May 2010 20:49:20 · Top

This is an inte4esting discussion, especially since I have not received my
magazine yet.'
Sylvia Miskoe, concord, NH USA

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Mark Priest" <mark.priest@computer.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 10:57 AM
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

> Andrea,
>
> I considered what you said in here but I don't entirely agree with you
> on what the average person's perception of the picture would be. I am
> from the US so maybe things are different here.
>
> I think if I had not seen the title of the magazine I would have
> assumed this was some sort of military training exercise. Clearly,
> the dancers and most of the spectators are in military uniform. I
> don't think most people in the US would see a picture of wrestling
> uniformed miltary men and think they were gay. Even now, men who are
> found to be gay are discharged from service so it wouldn't make sense
> to me that this was some sort of openly gay activity.
>
> I have noticed that recent cover photos have featured young people and
> this is no exception. I don't see how this cover would appeal to old
> biddies.
>
> -Mark
>
> On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM, Andrea Re <andrea@andrea-re.eu> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Hi folks,
>>
>> sorry for replying so late, but, unbelievable though it may sound, I had
>> to
>> work... Anyway, I am devoting my short lunch break to answering this
>> question as I thought it is high time I came out (pun intended).
>>
>> Just the other day I got the following e-mail describing the picture in
>> the
>> front page of the magazine:
>>>
>>> I see a bunch of guys in desert camo pants and desert boots, four
>>> wearing
>>> red t-shirts and four blue t-shirts, dancing. What else am I supposed
>>> to
>>> see? Do explain.
>>
>> I think it is close enough, but what I saw was as follows (the postman
>> delivered it with some other stuff, so I couldn't see the title of the
>> magazine): here is a bunch of guys with tight buttocks in camouflage
>> trousers and a T-shirts to emphasize their muscles (I wouldn't look like
>> that if I wore the same clothes:( ). They seemed to be doing some sort of
>> wrestling... Well, what I thought was: "What the heck is that? Who is
>> sending me images of a gay romp???" Then I saw the title of the magazine
>> and
>> I rolled my eyes... "I should have known".
>> Never mind what the picture was supposed to depict, what interests me is
>> what it looked to me... My wife when she saw it said something like "I
>> see... the gay parade is coming to town" or words to that effect (I have
>> to
>> stress that we both live a rather cloistered life). Someone else reacted
>> in
>> a similar vein (within SCD circles). I bet you what you like that if you
>> showed this picture to someone in the street, their first reaction would
>> be
>> similar to mine (and they will be wondering whether "Scottish Country
>> Dancer" is some sort of new euphemism...) and once they are told that the
>> picture is actually about SCD, probably they would agree it wasn't THAT
>> surprising (I don't think they would be referring to the "great tradition
>> of
>> the 'reel of the 51st'" as someone put it).
>> Anyway, to make a long story short, I found this picture interesting to
>> start with because it had been deemed to be suitable to go on the cover
>> of
>> the magazine and shows a way the editors of the magazine see SCD. I am
>> sure
>> it was done with the best of intentions, but still, they could have
>> chosen
>> better (like when Gordon Brown had his picture taken next to a Swastika)
>> to
>> convey a certain image of ourselves.
>> Even more interesting is the reaction from this list... apart from few
>> exceptions, nobody seemed to notice there was anything queer about the
>> picture which I think says a lot about part of the readership of this
>> list.
>> It shows that, in my view, there is a difference between the "normal"
>> world
>> and some parts of the "SCD" world (at least in Scotland). Probably some
>> is
>> due to age and some to an acceptance that SCD is pervaded by a certain
>> aura
>> of campness (view generally held outwith SCD circles, even amongst some
>> of
>> my acquaintances, despite my best attempts). Obviously I am not
>> pretending
>> that what has come out (so to speak) from this list is in any way
>> representative of the SCD world at large (even in Scotland), but perhaps
>> it
>> gives a clue of the way we are being perceived and why. The society has
>> still a lot of work to do to improve its image if we want to increase the
>> membership (I am talking mainly about England and Scotland) and to do so
>> we
>> need to shed the perception that SCD is camp and for old biddies (if we
>> want
>> to get younger people, possibly of the male variety).
>> I have to say that I was talking to some high up members of the society
>> and
>> they found the picture perfectly fine... that IS worrying...
>> Some might say that I am in the wrong and I am being unduly malicious.
>> and
>> bigoted, but I don't think so... I daresay SCD people have become too
>> used
>> to a certain image of themselves and they find it difficult even to laugh
>> about it.
>>
>> As an aside, I think what I have said ties up quite well with the
>> discussion
>> about Strathspey as a mailing list... Given that, indeed, as a mailing
>> list
>> it works perfectly well and that some people might even like the format,
>> it
>> is undoubtedly a vastly outmoded way of communicating, but funnily enough
>> it
>> seems fitting if we have to discuss SCD stuff, but that is perhaps the
>> subject for another post.
>>
>> Andrea (fae Falkirk and Dundee)
>>
>> PS
>>
>> I would like to stress again (before I get hate mail) that the point of
>> the
>> discussion, as far as I am concerned, is NOT what the picture was
>> supposed
>> to portray or who is in it, but what one sees in it; remember, not
>> everybody
>> would know by default what it is about. Besides, I am still not clear
>> where
>> the article that explains it is...
>>
>>
>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58572 · Patricia Ruggiero · 4 May 2010 18:44:50 · Top

Andrea Re wrote:

> Anyway, to make a long story short,

How I wish.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
USA

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58573 · Bruce Herbold · 4 May 2010 19:14:53 · Top

So I live in the most gay friendly city in the USA, so I doubtless
reflect that fact (although gay Scottish dancers here only
occasionally dance in same sex couples -- generally men dance on the
mens side and women dance on the women's side unless there is a gender
imbalance, it does make my job as teacher easier since I can usually
see if someone has ended up on the wrong side during a dance)

but....

It's a picture of people having fun doing SCD on the cover of SCDancer
magazine! Period. Period. Period...

They happen to be attired and located in a style and place that most
of the rest of the Society never sees -- so that adds interest and
justifies having it on the cover.

Past that point, specualtion about their sexual orientation only
reveals more about the observer than I need to know.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:44 AM, Patricia Ruggiero
<ruggierop@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Andrea Re wrote:
>
>> Anyway, to make a long story short,
>
> How I wish.
>
> Pat
> Charlottesville, Virginia
> USA
>
>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58574 · Robert Lambie · 4 May 2010 19:19:19 · Top

Someone asked what was wrong with Men dancing together. I am not sure that the Army would be as keen on Tango dancing as they are on Scottish Country/Highland dancing, if the situation is of entirely male dancing. Perhaps we can have a photo of mixed Army Scottish dancing in a future edition.

R Lambie

> From: ruggierop@earthlink.net
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: RE: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
> Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 12:44:50 -0400
>
> Andrea Re wrote:
>
> > Anyway, to make a long story short,
>
> How I wish.
>
> Pat
> Charlottesville, Virginia
> USA
>
>

_________________________________________________________________
http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/197222280/direct/01/
Do you have a story that started on Hotmail? Tell us now

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58592 · Angela Bulteel · 5 May 2010 12:57:56 · Top

----- Original Message -----

" Perhaps we can have a photo of mixed Army Scottish dancing in a future
edition.

R Lambie

Oh please...... No No No...... I'm losing the will to live!!!! Anyone read
any good books lately?

Angela

_________________________________________________________________


The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58581 · Rod Downey · 4 May 2010 21:44:32 · Top

My family and I just thoyht it was funny (and
did not look much like danciong). It reminded my wife and I
of our two boys (who are now 9 and 21) who would take
any opportunity to wrestle with the other and show who is stronger etc
as boys have done since time began. Mind, watch any dance
when guys can birl with one another and they will always do this kind of
thing, maybe its like crushing the other guys hand when shaking hands.

I do find the original post on this a bit strange. Its like suggesting
that showing a scrum (with straining buttocks) is like telling people
that all rugby players are gay.

On another topic, I did find the magazine itself kind of sad this time,
almost totally dominated about things in scotland, and think I found maybe
one article interesting, one towards the end.

rod

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58582 · Hamish Dewar · 4 May 2010 22:45:32 · Top

Andrea,
Some people see:
>> a bunch of guys in desert camo pants and desert boots, four
>> wearing red t-shirts and four blue t-shirts, dancing.
You see:
>> a bunch of guys with tight buttocks in camouflage
>> trousers and a T-shirts to emphasize their muscles.

I still haven't received my copy of the magazine, but if it carries a good
photo on the front cover of handsome people dancing, I look forward to
seeing it. Young/old male/female.

It is probably true that there is a higher proportion of gays in SCD. That
applies to all of the arts. It certainly applies to all of dancing, from
ballroom to ballet. So what.
I take pleasure in watching a well-executed pas-de-Basque. Especially when
danced by a male, perhaps for the rarity value.
And when it comes to Highland dancing, it has to be a man.

Many Scottish Country dances are not gender-specific, and I don't have a
problem dancing as a lady if numbers are imbalanced. Rather that, than sit
out a dance. (I usually get it wrong, but that's another matter).

One thing about SCD I do find camp is the concept of 'covering'.
This means simpering at other dancers because you are where you should be if
you had listened to the music.

Happy dancing all, Hamish.

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58583 · Mike Mudrey · 4 May 2010 23:14:04 · Top

I'll toss in my two bits..

I thought it was a a strip the willow figure with blue shirt and red shirts.

In the American west the dances with all males, the men who danced as
women wore a bandana or kerchief tied to the left wrist
I have danced this way in the intermountain west (read wyoming) with an apron.

>In frontier days men danced with each other when women were not
>available. Accordng to an early settler in Texas, "The gentle sex
>were few in number at the dance... Two men had to dance together to
>make a set." Another account states that "due to the scarcity of
>young women, a number of young bachelors who were either smooth
>shaven or wore polished shoes were designated as ladies." There were
>also "stag" dances with no women. "Heifer branded" men, those
>dancing the woman's role, wore handkerchiefs tied around one
>arm.[14] At other times men dancing the role of the woman wore
>aprons.[15] Miners in the
><http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/California_Gold_Rush>California
>Gold Rush danced with one another if ladies were not available.[16]

from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country-western_dance

mm

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58587 · Andrew Smith · 5 May 2010 09:24:47 · Top

Hamish Dewar wrote:
>
> One thing about SCD I do find camp is the concept of 'covering'.
> This means simpering at other dancers because you are where you should be
> if you had listened to the music.
>
> Happy dancing all, Hamish.
>
Hmmmm. I think this comment reveals another aspect which, as other
contributors have considered [with respect to interpretations of the picture
which started this thread], reflects more on the commentator than the object
of the comment.My dictionary definition of 'simpering' is smiling "in an
affectedly coquettish, coy or bashful manner". I associate that more with
the looks given by misses seeking a man in a dance in a Jane Austen
dramatisation, than those of genuine pleasure when one finds that one has
indeed arrived at the right place at the right time as another dancer in the
set, which I do not regard as at all 'camp'.

On more than one occasion I have gone home after a class feeling quite
dejected that although I have been dancing all evening, no-one has actually
danced *with* me, there having been virtually no interaction between other
dancers, various partners and myself despite looking for it.

I am trying to assess Hamish's comment objectively, but in no way can I
equate 'covering' with the interpretation which he seems to put on it,
unless his experience has been mainly with 'performers' rather than
'dancers', to borrow from the expression which Miss Milligan is reputed to
have made. I would agree that there is indeed an element of 'performance' in
SCD which probably stems from its fairly formal structure of well-defined
figures and steps, but there are, I believe, multiple other levels of real
enjoyment to be derived from SCD. This probably is a reason for its
popularity, and if you are indeed enjoying it then why not smile to show it?
It is a sociable activity after all, but does that make it 'camp'?

[Incidentally, can one still get Camp coffee, or is that something else
which has suffered from an abuse of the language? Also, talking about
multiple levels, as a boy I was fascinated by the image on the label as I
could see it being replicated in decreasing sizes to a vanishing point at
infinity. For those who do not know the product, as for those who have not
yet seen the magazine, my apologies, but there is also a military
connection. The Camp coffee label showed a Highland regimental officer,
obviously in camp, represented by a tent in the background, being waited on
by an orderly bearing a tray on which stood a bottle of Camp coffee, with a
label showing a Highland regimental officer ..... .]

Genuinely, happy dancing, (which I am pleased to say is still available even
if the coffee is not),

Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58591 · Rod Downey · 5 May 2010 12:47:55 · Top

Hi all,

I must admit that now I have got to the stage that this is
becoming very surreal. At the time I saw the original post,
I though that Andrea must be trying to wind us up, as
nobody could read that much into such an innocent and rather funny
cover. But it is so serious. Covering becoming simpering etc.

Its just for fun. Blokes wrestle without bonking.
And who cares if they do anyway?
Its only dancing and its only a hobby.
It's just all for fun.
People should do this with us and be happier than before they discovered
SCD.

If we really want to get serious about this thread, then...

I mean its interesting to see the army on the cover of the SCD magazine,
why not. Certainly more interesting than yet another
ruined castle. But what about a cover with dancing in Japan?
What about dancing in Boston on the cover. Germany etc This is worldwide
SCD after all.

I would like a magazine I could show to my club here that would convince
them that they should all be members and this was really interesting to
them as a target audience. I am not convinced that I could do that with
the last one. Not the cover, but the contents. Do the people who make the
magazine ask the target audiences in e.g. Japan, New Zealand, Australia,
USA, Canada? I wonder.

rod

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58593 · Anselm Lingnau · 5 May 2010 13:31:48 · Top

Rod Downey wrote:

> I mean its interesting to see the army on the cover of the SCD magazine,
> why not. Certainly more interesting than yet another
> ruined castle. But what about a cover with dancing in Japan?
> What about dancing in Boston on the cover. Germany etc This is worldwide
> SCD after all.

The problem with this is that -- from my experience, anyway -- dancing in
Boston or Germany looks pretty much like dancing in Scotland (as far as the
magazine is concerned -- remember that the magazine shows mostly young people
dancing even in Scotland), so (a) people won't be able to tell the difference
unless it is explicitly pointed out, and (b) there isn't much of a difference
in the first place.

(Of course the main difference between the two is that any picture of dancing
in Germany is very likely to have Martina in it, when she's probably only in
every third picture of dancing in Scotland.)

> Do the people who make the
> magazine ask the target audiences in e.g. Japan, New Zealand, Australia,
> USA, Canada? I wonder.

I was a little taken aback that, for SCD purposes this half-year, Europe seems
to be identical to Northern Italy. Until I realised that, like most similar
publications (I worked on a few in my time, been in charge of others, got the
T-shirt etc.), the RSCDS magazine isn't exactly drowning in stuff to print,
and so at times they, like everyone, need to scrape the bottom of the barrel
to find (and publish) what is left there. As far as the cover is concerned,
the magazine designers seem to have laid in a reasonable supply of dancing
pictures so there haven't been images of Scottish castles there for a while,
but the box of backed-up actual content doesn't seem to hold a lot of material
that one might describe as »thrilling« (or else they'd probably given us some
of it just by way of seasoning the mix).

On the other hand, one person's boring waste of space is almost certain to be
another person's long-awaited page-turner -- and it may well be the case that
what Rod in New Zealand or Anselm in Germany find uninteresting exactly hits
the spot with somebody elsewhere. (I'm sure that *somebody* will have waited
for a long treatise on the pronunciation of »pas de basque«.) Added to this is
a probable implicit pressure on the magazine not to be too controversial; I
don't exactly see things like Hugh Foss's articles from »The Reel« in the
1950s/60s printed in today's »Scottish Country Dancer« because anything within
its pages is bound to be mistaken for Official Gospel From The Society even if
there is a 24-point bold disclaimer to the contrary in bright neon orange at
the very top of the page. Finally, of course the image the magazine is
supposed to transport in the first place is how the world is sunny, the young
people are out dancing, we are all one big happy family, et cetera, pp., not
how the SCD scene is in terminal decline and nobody knows how to fix it. (If
you want to read about *that* you need to look at Finlay Forbes' stuff in
»Dance On!«.)

In any case, at the end of the day, what shows up in the magazine -- apart
from the regular stream of routine stuff and semi-official pronouncements on
the first few pages -- is presumably whatever we (the membership) submit to be
published there. Even if one isn't in a position to write something oneself,
then maybe one could try to entice somebody nearby to contribute, or at the
very least communicate to the magazine staff what one would really like to see
(or conversely, much rather not see) in the magazine so they can try to rope
in appropriate contributors. Of course I may be wrong now and there really is
a big conspiracy to keep interesting content out of the magazine's pages, but,
to quote from the Monk theme song, »I don't think so«.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
We must beware of needless innovations, especially when guided by logic.
-- Winston Churchill

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58605 · Rod Downey · 5 May 2010 22:37:18 · Top

Sorry, I know this thread should die of unnatural causes,
but Anselm you are quite right. I had not even thought that one could
contribute to the magazine, so went back and read a recent copy,
and there it is. Contributions should be sent by....

I don't quite agree that having the same all scd'ers look identical
all over the world. This is beacuse if someone from here is on the liklely
I know them and this makes a bit of a difference. (For example I had a
bunch of people say ``saw you in the magazine'' when I was part of a
photo from TAC summer school. (Likely because I was in the same set
as Graham Donald, but..)).

As a teacher the most interesting thing I have seen recently was the
video about the new approach for mistakes. Made me think again, and
I recently showed it to one of the beginners (who is in the office next to
me and has now got the bug). He was fascinated. I hope that that will
one day be in the mag. I plan to tell most of this years crop of
beginners about this telling them of the link. Mostly they are
young and that's the way that they do things anyway... no paper
and preferably by I-phone if
at all possible.

I promise not to write any more on this topic

best

rod

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58594 · Hamish Dewar · 5 May 2010 15:08:41 · Top

Andrew,

Just what do you think my comment revealed about me? I'm intrigued.
>> Hmmmm. I think this comment reveals another aspect which, as other
>> contributors have considered [with respect to interpretations of the
>> picture which started this thread], reflects more on the commentator than
>> the object of the comment.

I choose not to broadcast my religious beliefs (or lack of them) or my
sexual orientation (or lack thereof). I choose to be open about my
political beliefs, but it would be inappropriate to express those on this
forum.

This forum is about dancing, and my comments have been mainly on-topic, even
if jokey and provocative. I suggested that covering = simpering = camp.
Your take is different on that.
We can surely agree on this:
One of the things that was drummed into us in the RSCDS classes that I
attended is that you look other dancers in the eye as they approach, and you
smile.
Best lesson I ever learned. No matter how much I was burdened by my
work-week, that smile made a lot of difference.

I am going to un-subscribe to this list, but I will still drop in and
browse.
Happy dancing, Hamish.

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58597 · Anselm Lingnau · 5 May 2010 16:14:53 · Top

Hamish Dewar wrote:

> One of the things that was drummed into us in the RSCDS classes that I
> attended is that you look other dancers in the eye as they approach, and
> you smile.

And of course you smile whether they're covering or not :^)

I happen to think that smiling vs. simpering and covering vs. not covering are
two separate, unrelated issues. You can smile and cover just as well as you
can simper and not cover, or any other combination of the two. My take is
that, like probably many others here, I would much rather cover than not, and
much rather be smiled at than simpered at. The rest derives from the Golden
Rule.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
It was nearly an hour and a half before Fortenberry was done. He had cast out
the demons of every ailment, crime, domestic problem and intellectual
discipline on the face of the Earth. He cast out horoscopes, false gods,
witches, intellectual pride, nearsightedness, everything, it seemed to me,
except maybe E. coli and John Updike novels.
-- Matt Taibbi attends a »Christian Zionist« encounter weekend

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58599 · Lara Friedman-Shedlov · 5 May 2010 17:13:14 · Top

I'm not sure any thread on Strathspey has ever evoked quite the combination
of reactions in me as this one, ranging from confusion, to being appalled,
to amusement, and also annoyance. I had just about determined to stay out of
it completely, but after having read the last few rounds of messages, I
can't resist adding a few comments.

1) What did I think when I saw the cover? My thoughts were, "Hey cool!
They are still doing SCD in the military" and "It's always nice to see men
dancing." Maybe I spend too much time around Morris dancers, but seeing men
dancing together does not automatically suggest to me that they are gay.

2) Who is the audience for the magazine? I would say unquestionably it is
members of the Society. Who else would see the magazine? It's not like it
is sold in newsstands at train stations or something. If I understand the
Society at all (which I admit is entirely possible I do NOT!) I think the
magazine is supposed to help retain members by keeping them feeling
connected with the organization. In particular, the Society is trying to
attract and retain younger people, so it would make sense for covers to
feature younger people dancing. To me, 41-year-old overseas member of the
society, the cover sent a very positive message. I commend them on this
choice.

3) Regarding the comment that the covers ought to feature more dancers from
other places in the world than Britain: Note that the previous issue's cover
featured a photo of some young Americans dancing in the California surf.

4) For those of you who thought the cover sends a message that SCD has a lot
of gay men: What would the Society be without gay men? Answer: A LOT
smaller! Possibly a lot less fun.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
RSCDS Twin Cities Branch
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

*****************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov
lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com

*****************************

>

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58600 · Lee Fuell · 5 May 2010 17:25:20 · Top

Re:

-----Original Message-----
>From: Lara Friedman-Shedlov <lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com>
>Sent: May 5, 2010 11:13 AM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
>
>I'm not sure any thread on Strathspey has ever evoked quite the combination
>of reactions in me as this one, ranging from confusion, to being appalled,
>to amusement, and also annoyance. I had just about determined to stay out of
>it completely, but after having read the last few rounds of messages, I
>can't resist adding a few comments.

I realize that posts that say little more than "hear hear" to posts by others are generally frowned upon, but I'm going to risk the wrath of Anselm by offering a hearty "HEAR HEAR" to what Lara said!

Lee

Beavercreek, OH, USA

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58601 · Pia Walker · 5 May 2010 18:10:42 · Top

I myself found the delete button quiete handy :>)
Anyone can see they are soldiers, the dance is brilliant and having several 4-hands across 1.5 times around demands that you are fit - which these lads are, having just returned from Afghanistan - I quite like the idea that 2 guys decided to make up a scottish dance in the midst of the most horrible situation someone could imagine. Good for them. No doubt this dance will be 'refined' at infinitum, and in 50 years someone will bring it up on Anselms antique site discussing whether the way it is danced then is the right way or the wrang way. No doubt it will still create a strong discussion - perhaps whether you go right shoulder or left shoulders:>) when going into the the 'helicopter teapots' and a few of us will be able to say "ah, I remember it well" It used to be a men only dance and got sent from the front back to Scotland, where members of the RSCDS wrote an article about it.

I have seen references to 'gay' and can only say that I myself dance with gay abandon, and adore people who do likewise :>)

Pia
who dance with woman all the time.

-----Original Message-----
From: fuell@mindspring.com
Sent: Wed, 5 May 2010 11:25:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Re:

-----Original Message-----
>From: Lara Friedman-Shedlov <lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com>
>Sent: May 5, 2010 11:13 AM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
>
>I'm not sure any thread on Strathspey has ever evoked quite the combination
>of reactions in me as this one, ranging from confusion, to being appalled,
>to amusement, and also annoyance. I had just about determined to stay out of
>it completely, but after having read the last few rounds of messages, I
>can't resist adding a few comments.

I realize that posts that say little more than "hear hear" to posts by others are generally frowned upon, but I'm going to risk the wrath of Anselm by offering a hearty "HEAR HEAR" to what Lara said!

Lee

Beavercreek, OH, USA

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58602 · Lee Fuell · 5 May 2010 19:06:46 · Top

Re:

-----Original Message-----
>From: Pia Walker <pia@intamail.com>
>Sent: May 5, 2010 12:10 PM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: Re: The Magazine's riddle: the solution
>
>I myself found the delete button quiete handy :>)

Me, too, and use it quite extensively!

Lee

The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Message 58603 · Anselm Lingnau · 5 May 2010 21:22:01 · Top

Lee Fuell wrote:

> I realize that posts that say little more than "hear hear" to posts by
> others are generally frowned upon, but I'm going to risk the wrath of
> Anselm by offering a hearty "HEAR HEAR" to what Lara said!

You're getting there -- just remember to get rid of the »--- Original Message
---« line, the »From« etc. header block and the extraneous »Re:« at the top
and we'll have you quoting properly in next to no time :^)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Ron Rivest wears Bruce Schneier pajamas. -- »Bruce Schneier Facts«

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