Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

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Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby mountcashel on Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:42 pm

Just a little point that continues to appear every now and again, but I think that people in "high office " should have the knowledge to justify their existence...

Example - At a pre development historic tour of th old Murphy Barracks in Ballincollig while back, I was looking forward to an informative overview and history of the 19th Century complex. What I got? A God-awful "Dumbed down" sketch possibly borrowed from the pages of Blackadder, sending up the whole idea of Incompetent Officers purchasing their commissions and blundering about on one jolly caper after another..and precious little about the actual details of what Regiments etc garrisonned the place. Now, this was delivered by a quite well known and no doubt well paid University authority on History and archaeology, who must have thought that big crowd=simple and gullible.
I could think of quite a few people in this forum who could have run rings around him, but just because someone has letters after their name ....

Another example-
I read an article about the recent Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills event recently, where another "Authority" described how the "Black and Tans" had been seen carrying out an eviction re enactment in the village. Well, it would appear that this eminent Archaeology and history authority couldnt tell the difference between a redcoat and a Black and Tan, (they were redcoats....)and yet this is the voice of an "Authority"..
...sometimes it would make ya want to despair!

Hoping all is not lost
Mountcashel
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Re: Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby brendan on Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:02 pm

The thing is that most people on tours want to hear the leprauchauns and lasses 800 years of oppression version of history.
That is what they are paying for - to be entertained.
If the public can be educated then well and good.

Did you ask any questions to give the guide the opportunity to talk about other stuff??

Brendan
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Re: Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby mountcashel on Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:52 pm

Hi Brendan...yer man was surrounded 10 deep by the laughing masses, and as soon as he finished the throng descended on him to pour their congratulations, closely followe by a delegation of the towns great and good for a handshake and admiration session!
I had previously had the opportunity to conduct a bit of exploration of my own prior to this and had discovered some interesting 19th century cavalry troopers graffiti recording names, units, army serial numbers etc which had been hidden by undergrowth. I tried to get in touch with aforesaid eminent guy and had to content myself with leaving messages...nothing heard back and shortly after the building bit the dust...so there ya go!


'Yer nam, says he, is Jams O' Donnell!'
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Re: Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby brendan on Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:50 am

I guess I see 2 things:
1) The pity that a reputable(?) academic is reduced to mass market stuf
2) The pity that the richness of heritage that the 'expert' knew was missed out on by so many

I know that I have been at a lot of gigs where people want a simple version of history (Irish good Vikings bad etc) and really that is what they are paying for. It is really difficulty to entertain the public and still convey knowledge. I have to admit that I tend to vary between different elements of the 'story' according to my whim
I guess I understand your frustration but appreciate the other side of the story

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Re: Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby Malo on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:39 am

In Germany at Napoleonic events we have the same situation...French bad - German States good!

What the public doesn't want to know because it is not filled with enough action is the fact that without the French occupation of Germany most of them wouldn't be allowed to vote until this very day or would still work on huge farms for landowners for little to none pay.
Vive La Nation!!!
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Re: Paid loads to know little...."professionals"!

Postby lordedward on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:41 pm

One of the things I love about being a re-enactor is exploding myths for people, but its very hard to do in front of a crowd. You can spend fifteen or twenty minutes with an individual and send them away with a completely changed outlook on history.

With a crowd, for example I do walking tours with my local historian hat on, its hard to do anything other than hit the headlines because your speaking to a group with widely differing knowledge of history and in the time available its hard to flesh out the stories and facts.

Of course there is no excuse for giving wrong information and very little excuse for sticking to stereotypes although stereotypes do have their place in telling a story. Where do the stereotypes come from and what was the reality?
There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness -Dave Barry
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