Not directed at anyone I know – just some stuff I’ve seen online (friends of friends stuff) lately.
tl;dr version (pt 1): I can get information out of a book and instruction out of a Youtube video, even if I don’t know any knowledgeable people who are also nice folks (I do), so why should I spend my finite time on this planet with you if you’re a jerk?
tl;dr version (pt 2): Telling the unvarnished truth is NOT a virtue. Are you saying something that supports and encourages the artisan? Are you providing resources that will put the artisan on the right path in the future? If not, your “truth” is worthless, at best. This is true for competitions and everything else. (note: people in Atlantia have worked *really* hard to prevent problems in A&S competitions. I respect all of the work they’ve done in this area, and I think they’ve largely been successful in decreasing the incidence of nastiness in judging in our kingdom)
tl;dr version (pt 3): The awesome people vastly out-number the jerks in the SCA. If you encounter jerks, ignore them and find the people who are not a-holes. No, really. Come find me at an event, and I’ll introduce you to a zillion fabulous people.
Regardless of your rank in the SCA, if others helped you get where you are today in your art, you have an obligation to try to help the next “generation.” I say regardless of your rank because an intermediate level costumer likely can answer that newcomer question as well as a clothing laurel can. Someone who learned to make a t-tunic last year can teach this year’s newcomer how to make one. This work can’t be piled on a handful of people, and we all have times when we can’t be available, but in those cases we can refer people to resources or to other people who know the topic in question.
I wrote a bunch more, then deleted it, so this whole thing is really the tl; dr version. 🙂