I had an epiphany while watching the pilot of the new WB Superman prequel, “Smallville“, the other night. The epiphany was this:
In the movies, and on TV, rich people always prance around their mansions with fencing outfits on, fencing with each other. They then tear their masks off either angrily (foreshadowing: the character is evil, and will do whatever it takes to get what they want), or with a big shampoo-commercial cascade of hair (foreshadowing: the character is a spoiled bombshell who kicks a huge amount of ass.) In “Smallville”, young Lex Luthor tore his mask off in style #1, naturally.
Here’s my theory about why the fencing scene is so popular: A fencing scene shows the oak-paneled interior that the location scouts worked so hard to find; it shows the rich asshole in question being combative, which always is useful for foreshadowing, and it’s cheaper to film than a horseback riding scene. (Plus, with the full-face masks, directors could use body doubles for the actual fencing. I bet that doubles come cheap, and I bet they have their own equipment. Plus, you don’t have to teach the lead actors to ride horses, or try to find an exterior shot full of rich-person grass and trees.)
So, needless to say, I’m gonna take some fencing classes in the winter, so I can eventually prance around my study, tear off my mask angrily, and throw my foil so hard that it sticks in the wall.
Should I take the “real” swordfighting classes, that teach historical fencing (no namby-pamby electrical vests)? Or the sporting variety of fencing? The sporting type of club probably has fewer members who are also in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Kate has been teasing me mercilessly about all the new SCA friends I’ll make, and about what a good time I can have wearing floppy velvet hats to the Renaissance festival.
Maybe the best way to choose is to look at the faculty. I need your help! Take a look at the faculty at both clubs, and let me know what you think. I’ll go take classes at the school you choose!