After posting yesterday, I continued to think about the Fife & Drum Corps, and also about wanting to get more involved in CW and re-enacting in particular. It started getting late, and the Sunday night cannons started going off, which got me thinking about the "militia" that goes on manoevres in the afternoons. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought about joining. Today I was working at the counter--actually checking out clothes to some of the interpreters--and I got in a coversation with one of the militiamen, who told me they were in fact "recruiting." I'd be marching, carrying a flag, shooting a gun and (eventually) learning how to fire the cannons. It sounded quite exciting.
But I don't particularly believe in war--modern standing armies make me nervous--and now I'm thinking about joining a pretend militia. What is it that is so attractive about marching in formation and shooting a gun? I've never shot a gun in my life, except for my brother's BB gun, and even that was only at targets. (in case you're wondering--I was better at it) Guns make me nervous. I was in the toystore on Saturday, and it surprised me at how the kids would swarm over the display of the toy muskets and pistols, pointing them at each other without a second thought. If I saw a kid of mine doing that, I would have to drag them outside for a very loud lecture about what guns can do to people. The militia, of course, does not drill with real bullets, nor do they point their guns at people. It's a re-enactment equivalent of theatre pyro-effects. But you're aiming (no pun intended) for realism, and the smoke and noise is just enough to conjure up a whiff of a battlefield.
So I don't know how I feel about the fighting part of it. Let's not forget that training also includes how to fix bayonets and stab people to death with them. What's appealing is being involved in a interpretative role that is not necessarily proscriptive for women. The "uniforms" are baggy enough that sometimes you can't tell. All the militiapersons are treated equally. So that would solve the problem of how to be an independent female in the eighteenth century. Hello, my name is Nick.
But there's the other part about being a part of a military-group, albeit one that does not fight, and one that does not even interpret battles or killing other people. The focus is primarily on manoevres and shooting in formation. But can I say I'm anti-war and still willingly participate in a pseudo-military group? Even if all of America agrees that the Revolution was a great idea and that the soldiers who fought in it are heroes? In my mind, I've divided the War for Independence into the "justified and good" pile of conflicts, but does that encompass interpreting? In a nutshell, would I have fought in the Revolutionary War? Do I believe strongly enough in this republican experiement to take up arms for it?