This little piece is for all the "pan-Europeanists" out there. It goes out to the intrepid souls that have braved the forums (one in particular, really) run by power cliques aligned and arrayed against us; those discussion boards dominated by dismissive voices that employ disingenuous and fallacious arguments designed to diminish our arguments rather than address them, and thus avoid grappling with their full scope and depth. You and I know that there are indeed many of us out there. We have communicated via email, Facebook, and even over the phone. Our detractors are ignorant of our true numbers. And that's a good thing.
But on to the matter at hand...
Those looking for further arguments to bolster those already in existence may be disappointed. There are none. In truth, there's simply no need. The case has been well and truly and amply made. All the deflections and dodges of those who disagree with us do not and cannot touch them. Any objective observer must agree that we reside upon the winning side. And truthfully, they're not interested in debate (and I have challenged them to formal debate), because they know they can't win at debate. They know we will eviscerate them in that arena. And even if they would debate, debate changes nothing. The ramparts are up. The trenches are dug. It is the nature of human beings to be stubborn, even if we're not honest enough with ourselves to admit it.
But it seems those who deny our arguments know something that we don't: they know that we can be right and still lose. They know that they don't have to be right so long as they are more prolific in their activity than we are. They know that if they control the narrative, little things like facts and cogent argument don't matter. It's craven, but true. And sadly, I have once again come to the conclusion that the Wikitenauer may serve this purpose. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, but rather something of a fait accompli. The Wiktenauer is a HEMAA vehicle. It is operated and maintained by HEMAA members. It is a thing belonging entirely to the HEMAA; and is a powerful resource that, by necessity, furthers HEMAA objectives, HEMAA interpretations, HEMAA narratives. As it becomes more and more prominent, it will inevitably become the instrument of an orthodoxy. Well, I'm a heretic. There are a lot of heretics, lurking in the shadows and residing between the cracks. And we don't tend to go in for orthodoxies.
Thus, by slow degrees, do they seek to slowly choke the life out of us, to shout us down, all the while sniping and sneering in the safety of forums operated by those sympathetic to their views. HEMAA-related memes stating things like "We rule the Internet" can be seen on Facebook, and serve as a good example of this mentality. Though the HEMAA is hardly the only offender in this little cold war. And any who dare venture onto their forums is walking into a baited trap...
...So, what I'm saying is: STOP. Cease to post on their forums. No longer feed their agenda by serving as their foils, as a strawman for them to bowl over. Rather, expend your energies on building parallel structures, creating alternative choices. This is one of the things that I have been quietly working on in the shadows for quite some time. Our circle is much, much broader than they know, and we don't have to match them in numbers or even in output in order to achieve our goals. We simply need to be a strong, viable alternative to the HEMA Alliance, the CFAA, WMAC, HEMAC, the ARMA and all the other acronyms. A real alternative. Not an umbrella organization with a governing body but a round table of equals.
I know we can do it.
We know who we are, and what we stand for. Not for us the gaudy false honor of medals. Not for us the easy route of not engaging those who disagree. We serve the Art. We stand with the masters.
What I speak of will unfold in time.
*And tournaments and Michelin Man padding and still other things, too.