We attended the Dickens’ Faire yesterday and had a great time! They took a large warehouse and decorated the inside to resemble Christmas time Victorian era London, and a large number of actors and reenactors played characters out of the numerous works of Charles Dickens, and other 19th Century English authors. For instance, we also met Mr. Phileas Fogg.
To answer your first question, yes — there was no sign of tuberculosis or air pollution, and there was only oratorical mention of 16 hour work days for the working class. This was a “feel good” experience, ‘k?
We were given the opportunity to purchase period wares at incredibly inflated prices, but mostly we walked from venue to venue to see the free shows. (Free if you don’t count the tip jar.) We especially enjoyed the dancing.
We don’t own any period garb from the 1850’s, and we felt that we missed out on quite a bit because of this. There was a huge percentage of non-theatricals who were dressed in appropriate garb. It was a clear instance of participatory theatre.
I have often wondered how historical recreationists of the future, say the year 2500 of the Current Era, will portray our own society. How will they dress? How will they act? What events will they celebrate? How will they talk?
I suspect that they will use 20th Century literature as a source. This is, after all, what recreationists do today. Perhaps they’ll use Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, perhaps even Mickey Spillane. And, just as recreationists do today, there will be a mixture of eras and characters who would normally never meet. For instance, I foresee Beatniks hanging out with flappers, rock stars, migrant farmers, old sailors, hippies, gumshoes and astronauts. Also, there’s no reason to expect them to restrict themselves to American literature, but I’m not familiar enough with the literature of other cultures to list them.
I anticipate that there will be endless discussions of the meaning of the words “Dude,” “cool” and “like”. There will be vendors who specialize in creating period garb using denim, zippers and Velcro. Those who are interested in the martial aspects of our culture will spend a lot of research trying to make M-16’s, Uzi’s and AK-47’s safe for reinactment battles. I suspect that they won’t reinact My Lai for the same reason we don’t reinact tuberculosis, but maybe they will be a more honest reinactors, so who knows.
What is it about our current society that you think will fascinate the world of 2500 c.e.? The advent of nuclear power/weapons? The birth of the Space Age? The rise and fall of Communism? American Imperialism? The Century of the Automobile? Aviation? The wars for oil?
I would love to hear your thoughts.