Renaissance Faire

I attended my first Renaissance Faire in 1983. Back then I found it exhilarating. I haven't visited too often in the intervening years--twice, I think-- so I'm no expert in the Faire phenomenon. But one thing is certain: the Renaissance Pleasure Faire has grown much tamer, less bawdy and interesting. During a recent visit with my family, I found the experience a little soporific. It could partly be my age talking, but it's mostly the Faire's homogenization and obvious effort not to offend anyone which has made it a little bland and dull. The addition of uncounted sporadic references to a TV show (Game of Thrones) didn't really help either. That show might be wonderful, but to my mind, the Faire is supposed to transport us to a place other than our televisions.

Nevertheless, I took the best photographs I could in the brutal midday light of industrial Irwindale, California. Here are a few from the Jousting event... a recreation of a historic medieval contest held by agrarian nobility set in a recreation of a renaissance bourgeois town. Because, why not? What's a few hundred years here and there if you're having fun? The Joust was the best part of the day by far.

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