joy magnetism: Chivalry. Rivalry. Revelry. Jersey?




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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chivalry. Rivalry. Revelry. Jersey?

Magnet #109 - Medieval Times

Leave it to America to commercialize the hell out of history...we love doing it to our own (National Treasures 1 and 2, HBO's John Adams). But, we also love doing it to other countries' history and cultures, too (Epcot, Busch Gardens). And, really, who hasn't been to a Renaissance Fair in the last ten years.

However, one of the best examples of commercializing the past, is Medieval Times. For those of you who haven't been - it's where you pay a lot of real money to go to a fake castle, sit in a real grandstand, to watch fake knights on real horses participate in a somewhat real jousting tournament hosted by fake royalty, while eating a real (and pretty darn good) chicken dinner with your real hands.

I. LOVE. IT. It's so darn cheesy that you can't help but have loads of fun. And, I'll admit to falling a little bit for the romantic ideals of knights of the realm.

You get color-assigned to a knight's team, and he's your knight for the night, as he goes through the knights' competition - throwing the javelin, hand-to-hand combat, and then the jousting. There's even a whole overarching storyline of royal intrigue and betrayal. And, if you're really lucky, you have a supercute knight. The funny thing is, that the actors are so genuinely into their roles, you sort of forget that they're actors. Which makes them very, very good...or me, very, very gullible.

Here's what I want to know. One has to wonder if Medieval Times exists in Europe. The closest I've seen for myself was a big military tournament at Earl's Court in London many years ago. And, I know they have Highlander festivals throughout Scotland. Oh! And then there's that game that's not quite football that's played over miles and miles of hill and dale for days and days - again in Scotland (or at least according to the last book I read).

But, I gotta wonder if there's anything that's as commercially cheesy as Medieval Times in the land of medieval times, or is it yet another thing that we've co-opted for our own amusement.

I chose MT for today's magnet, because last year, we went to the fake castle in Jersey (!) to celebrate a friend's birthday last year. So much fun to be had, right down to the official roll call of birthday announcements.

Speaking of: Happy birthday, Ro!


eta: Huh. I just looked at the history of MT. It's the 25th anniversary. And started in Majorca. Who knew?


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7 comments:

Erika said...

Happy Birthday, Ro! (not that you ever come here, but just in case.)

joy said...

Yeah. You'd think that since she's part of the gang that she'd come here (AND POST) more often.

But I guess that's what happens when you move to North Carolina...you just forget the Internets and CELL PHONES exist.

HMPH.

Have a great birthday anyway, Ro.

Ro said...

hey, the internet does exist here! Thanks for the shout out! So far 33 has been AMAZING! Got lot of fun stuff including the wii fit and the xbox american idol game. Yep, 33 going on 13 :0)!!!

Kevinpars said...

Happy belated birthday!

We have a Medieval Times about a mile from our house in Duluth (at Discover Mills).

I keep trying to talk Vicki into going - but she always balks at the idea. She never wants to go to Renaissance festivals either.

I always say to her: "Prithee, faire lady, me thinks it is time for a visit to Medieval Times. Doesth thou agree?"

joy said...

OMG, Vicki, how can you *not* go with Kevin??!! It's so much fun! And silly!

And how can you not go to a Ren Fair - they're only the most fun you can have. I swear, it's not as bad as on Gilmore Girls.

Julie said...

seriously. majorca? oh, really. wonder if brits point and laugh at us with our castles in Jersey(shire). i've never been to medieval times... and i've always wanted to go! but i do like a good renn faire.

Vicki said...

Everytime someone invites me to Ren Fair, I flash on TJ and Liz and it's all over. I cannot do it. Happy late B-Day Ro! You got a Wii fit? I am so jealous!