[Bards] The Brick

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Thu Jul 24 11:17:51 PDT 2003

I wrote:

RoG> Yes, they are acceptable, just as a well-made button is acceptable.
But a
RoG> well-made button will not out-perform a well-made costume in an A&S
RoG> competition.

RoG> (Sometime ask me about the brick.)

The maiden with the lovely name asked:

> Would you be so
> kind as to explain about that to me?

Well, as I am not in the habit of refusing requests from ladies named
Serena, here is the tale of the brick.

Many years ago, in a land of legend by the name of Trimaris, there was ..

... The Form.

All arts and sciences were judged by The Form.  No arts or sciences could be
judged by anything but The Form.  The Form was how judging was done, and all
was done according to The Form.

And there was much complaining.

The judging form had no decisions for judges to make.  If there was the
right number of documented sources, the documentation score was X.  There
was no judgment call to make.

And nowhere did it discuss scope, difficulty, or aesthetics (all of which
require judgment calls).

And all the Laurels knew of The Form, and defended it, saying that it was
good to have an onjective measure, so that every judge would give an entry
the same score.

And there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing, for that The Form did not
reward many things that the people thought were good.

So it came to pass that good King Baldar called up one of his knights, and
he said, "Sir Ropesle, the Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition is coming.
I ask you to enter this competition.  Tell me not of thy plan, just show
them what is wrong with The Form."

And Sir Ropesle said, "It shall be as thou dost ask, Sire."

And he made a brick.

It was well-documented, with several primary sources.  It was well-executed.
It was made in a wooden frame put together with pegs, and the source of
ingredients was authentic.

Still and all, what lay on the table of the competition, amidst the
Elizabethan gowns and the illuminated documents and the glistening
metalwork, was a squared-off lump of mud.

The Form had no judgment calls.  The judges had to give the documentation
perfect marks.  They had to give the materials perfect marks.  They had to
give the execution perfect marks.

And the brick earned a perfect score, and the ranking of "Non-Pareil" (which
means, in the vulgar tongue, "without peer".)

So King Baldar came in triumph unto the Laurels, and said, "Now you know
what is wrong with The Form.  And they said, "What do you mean?  There is
nothing wrong with The Form."

And the King spake, saying, "Are you kidding?  You just gave Non-Pareil to a

And ...

... they started defending the brick.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin

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