An astonishingly dramatic statement against war was made at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire last Monday. What I expected to be a day of 16th century English style entertainment to help escape the continueing media bombardment about 9/11, etc. brought an unexpected and very pleasant surprise when I went to watch a fake "battle" between England and Scotland that is staged at noon each day of the Faire. Who will win this time? The outcome always flip-flopped, to maintain a sense of "balance", I presume. Sometimes it's the English, sometimes the Scots.
But in this "confrontation", the outcome was a complete surprise- both sides annilated each other! After the final charge by the Scots, and the last "combattant" fell, the women on each side rushed out wailing in grief to their "dead" lovers. It is then that you see just one figure still standing in the field of battle. This figure is dressed like the Grim Reaper, and he walks among the "bodys" in what can only be a manner that expresses deep satisfaction with the "carnage" that lies all about him. On the side of the field closest to the main spectator stands, a small group of musicians, also dressed like Grim Reapers complete with skull masks, marches slowly along, stepping over the "bodys" as they appear to "serrenade" them with a mournful song of death.
The first thing that hit my mind was-if this were a real war, what did either side gain from this? Obviously the only thing anyone ever gains from war-even when there is a clear "winner"- death and grief. Winners of wars may gain territory or resources from their enemies, but they must continue to fight to retain their ill-gotten gains. It all comes back to this-only two things are ever gaurenteed to be gained from war-death and grief. I just hope I wasn't that only one who got the message delivered there.
I didn't have a video camera to record this play-if anyone was there who has video of this, please post it here if you can. I'd like to see what other people think of the presentation.