D'G


The General
The Revelwood 12 Step Program


By D'G

Being a Citizen of Revelwood (a.k.a.: Revelwooder, Revelwoodie, “That’s him/her officer”) is a dynamic experience. Citizenship can bestow a feeling of camaraderie, inclusion in something bigger than yourself and, of course, an opportunity to tell people that you are a member of an artisan’s colony. Consequently, there are also less positive experiences that have left innumerable souls in varying degrees of despair and distress. To effectively deal with these less than welcome incidents, the Revelwood Twelve-Step Program is made available. The program is the culmination of over twenty-five years of data collected through personal catastrophes, individual disasters, group calamities and the occasional pet accident. Any Citizen who finds themselves so perplexed would benefit by following the program outline to its conclusion.

STEP ONE: Recognize There Is A Problem and You Have No Control
All too often a Citizen will ignore the warning sign that there is a problem. They will dismiss the fish hook stuck in their ear as just another adornment and actually disregard the flopping flounder hanging from the hook. As the Vicar is fond of saying… “That’s Not Right!” You must be willing to admit that you are not in control of your Revelwood experience. Actually, no one is in control of a Revelwood experience. Those who pretend to be in control are ignoring the flounder. Once you admit that you are not in control, a great weight will be lifted off of your psyche. And your psyche will finally be able to fit into that bathing suit again just in time for summer.

STEP TWO: Believe There Is A Greater Power That Can Help
The quest for supernatural protection/guidance/altruism/forgiveness/lottery numbers is not unique to organized religion or professional sports. It is here in Revelwood also. It is evident in the all too familiar prayer… “Let’s ask Q.” This Q-Being has somehow been transformed from an adorable, very clever conversationalist and accomplished musician into a deity that has had live-in acolytes burrow into his caverns, warrior-priests threaten health care professionals, and confectioner-sugar temples built in his name. Unfortunately, like all man-made supernatural beings, he is, as Zaphod Beeblebox’s psychiatrist once said, “Just this guy.” However, when something works, it works. And this Q deity worship works. People seek his wisdom and come away somehow tranquil and fulfilled from the experience. Just don’t ask him for money.

STEP THREE: Decide To Relinquish Any Thoughts of Control
Revelwood was created to defy control. To suggest you have control over anything Revelwood is an inaccurate statement. Control is the anti-matter to the Revelwood matter… they both exist, just not in the same place. The ancient Revelwood phrase “Power Without Responsibility” is more than a catchy bumper sticker. It is a choice. It is your choice. If you choose to ignore it, you have demonstrated your power over something you have no responsibility for. In my book, that is a problem solved.

STEP FOUR: Take an Inventory Of Your Morals
This is not as easy as it sounds. The Revelwood saying “It’s all Q’s fault… blame the IB… kick Stonewall and arrest Kerry” is the standard Revelwood response to the question “who did this?” You get the laminated wallet card with that saying when you get your first pin. Recognizing that our actions/in-actions are ultimately the cause of other actions/in-actions gets really tough when you’ve just finished off a Xu stick and swallowed whole a Justine pastry. The recommendation is that you ask Alexandra to make the list of your inadequacies. You won’t be disappointed and it will make her day.

STEP FIVE: Admit That You Are Ready To Be Helped
This is probably the easiest of all STEPs. Most Citizens are more than willing to let someone else do the work. Whether it is a simple task such as finding the sign-in book or a more complicated process such as picking a new Intellectual Throne, the normal Revelwooder will patiently wait until it accidently gets accomplished.

STEP SIX: Band Break
You’ve gone this far and deserve to rest. You get a union mandated 45 minute respite with which to find Xu, see if there’s anything left in Justine’s cake pan or ask Conner for some Fleishmans.

STEP SEVEN: Ask For Help
Once you have your list of shortcomings, it is time to start eliminating them. But which one do you address first? The annoying mock medieval Irish/British accent? The insistence to wear SCA garb to every Revelwood party? The regular donations of Coors Light to every party (with the exception of Sir Lionoe who actually drinks it)? Whichever of your personal demons you decide to face-down first, remember that half of the people in Revelwood will miss that endearing personality trait and the other half will think you’re running for a Guild Leader position. So ask every Citizen you know to help you be a better person. Chances are good you’ll be destitute, demoralized and deflowered before the afternoon is through, but you’ll temporarily feel better about yourself. And isn’t this whole thing about you feeling better? I thought so too.

STEP EIGHT: Make A List Of Everyone You’ve Harmed
You should try to limit this list to those victims in Revelwood. Otherwise we’ll run out of paper. If you’ve harmed someone who is no longer in Revelwood, technically, they don’t exist anymore. Problem solved. Deciding if your behavior has actually harmed someone in Revelwood can be a difficult task. There is so much self-abuse in Revelwood, where your problem ends and someone else’s begins is a real coin-toss.

STEP NINE: Make The Effort To Make Amends
Once you’ve reduced your list to a manageable number, and identified just what the harm was, you can try and make it better. Just saying you’re sorry may not be the best way. Often, Revelwood Citizens have only a faint recollection of some unpleasantness, a distant memory of some discomfort, a persistent rash treatable with topical antiseptics. If you go into detail about what you think you did, you will only bring clarity and specificity to their memory and they will hate you for it. The Twelve-Step Program suggests you merely buy them some Guinness and call it even. If they don’t drink Guinness, well, then they have some apologizing to do themselves.

STEP TEN: Maintain Your Moral Inventory and Admit When You Stray From Goodness
Depending on your detail in compiling the list, this step can be tricky. As each of us travels through life, we ride the waves of experiences and each crest and trough changes us. The change is sometimes imperceptible, sometimes drastic. The safest approach is to crumble up that list and place it in the proper waste-receptacle. Your chances of being the same person tomorrow as you were yesterday are as good as Francisco bringing the same date to a Revelwood party two times in a row. It happens, but not all that often.

STEP ELEVEN: Continue To Seek Help And Rely On A Greater Power to Reveal Appropriate Behavior
When you rely on a greater power to reveal appropriate behavior, you’re off the hook. This type of rationalization has worked for all known religions, sects, cults, D&D groups and the entire human political system. If it’s good enough for Vlad the Impaler, it’s good enough for you.

STEP TWELVE: Spread The Good News
Now that you are healed, and have put your mind and spirit in proper order, it is time to make others suffer. This step instructs you to let everyone know that you have successfully completed the program and you are so very anxious to help them begin their recovery. You are stronger now, and understand their abject rejection and profane dismissal of your help as nothing more than a cry in the wilderness. When they finally roll their eyes and walk away from you, you can feel their pain, and are duty bound to follow them around the room, pointing out their shortcomings. Soon they too will start a journey of rehabilitation of their own. But this one will be under the control of the Department of Corrections because they will have killed you. But no matter… remember. It is all about you.

General.

 


Revelwood's Twentieth Birthday…Yesterday, Today, and the Day Before Yesterday.

By D'G

A few years ago (over ten to be exact), I offered a synopsis of my observations for how we had evolved. As I mentioned in that bit of thought, I was not surprised that we had survived. Well, I'm still not surprised. We made it that far so it stands to reason that barring any global disaster, we would continue to survive. But at what cost? Life? Well, yes. It has cost a life. Limbs? Well, at least an organ or two. Liberty. Most definitely. But survive we have. Mutated a bit too.

Well Citizens, here we are again. Another landmark occasion in the works. Are we better off now? Are we worse off now? Nope. I won't go there. Those are un-reliable terms. However, we are certainly different. There are of course, new faces, new ideas, new problems and new solutions. That in itself is not new. Those types of changes occurred within the very first year and continued throughout Revelwood's curious existence. Names like Hunter, Two-Dogs Fucking, Patttttttt, Canula Canoli and Kriss with a K have come and gone from Revelwood's language without much fanfare. Trips to Ireland, Brooklyn and Vermont were once commonplace and now are late night stories between a diminishing few. No, those things have changed over and over for two decades now. To my squinty eyes, the real change has been in self-perception. We are a new place because we have never stopped changing the way we saw ourselves and how we acted upon those perceptions.

Here are some observations.

CHANGE TAKES ENERGY. For some, the expression of that energy has taken a serious physical toll. We have one vampire, fully licensed by the state and requiring periodic infusions of a hemo-like brew to carry on in a bipedal fashion. Like a good vampire, this condition seems to have been around for an age, or two. For another, the energy must be renewed every-other day. Then every-other-day after that. And then every other day after that. And so on, and so on. In this case, an end to the schedule is possible. But it requires planning, opportunity and a significant donation. In another, the energy toll is mechanical. Pumping again and again. Causing a temporary change that does not last nearly long enough. Tentative immobility accompanied by rapt attention to detail. A continual question of balance. The energy drain moves all of us ever slower, making us consider each action we take with care.

CHANGE TAKES PATTERN. Once, there was a way things were done. Then they changed. Then they changed again. Then they changed again. Now they are different again. Ancient proud standards are replaced by modern proud standards. Philosophies once considered the basis for actions are now unselected choices. One of the most significant pattern changes seems to be a quest for solvency that was not known in the earlier time. "Nothing to want and nothing to waste." went a primeval chant. Now, the chant is somewhat more egocentric with inclinations based on calculations and percentages. The adventure has become something of a job... with sought after titles, promotions, dismissals and performance evaluations. The pattern has changed from what can be done by us to what can be done by me, for a price. The satisfaction is measured in tangibles. Social credits and debts are accumulated, recorded and disbursed. The pattern is easy to fall into… and difficult to break.

CHANGE TAKES OPPORTUNITY. As the weave of Revelwood is spun, once-hidden paths emerge that beckon with brilliant promise, dazzling images and luminescent rewards. Sometimes these paths lead to life-changing moments. Other times, they lead to anguish and despair. As dynamic a being as Revelwood is often pulled in many directions, limited only by the amount of effort available and offered at each step. However, the effort required to move the body politic can be as subtle as a mere whisper behind a tree or as brazen as a roaring charge across a cluttered table. One never knows what it might take to gather the necessary motion, or how long it will continue to move. However, a citizen's level of acceptance for this serendipitous reality demonstrates their understanding of that ancient revelation… "Who Knew?" An unwillingness to body-surf the opportunistic tides of Revelwood can cause one to splash against the waves annoying those around them, or even to drown in the undertow of self-importance, cursing those around them while refusing all help. Throughout the evolution of Revelwood, the one constant has been its inconsistency. That is what made it so charming to those on the outside. Because it was not one thing to any one person, it could be all things to all people.

Well, so much for my observations. Of course, they are mine alone and none of you can see them exactly as I do. That is the beauty of this place. You will see them differently, react to them differently and therefore they will be a different reality to each of us. Imagine the wealth we possess when all those realities are collected and experienced at the same time. Who Knew?

See you in ten years.

General.