[Bards] Dear God! Does he get paid by the word? <was Bardic College>

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Thu Nov 2 05:52:09 PST 2006

Ivo wrote:


1) What will the college change for me as a day-to-day bard in the north? 

At the moment I research material on my own, I practice on my own (though
this is of my choosing, we have several great bards up north who have
offered to help me with that), and I perform what I choose based on my

Will such a college provide me with more resources, opportunity or source
materials? Will it help me stay in contact with other bards in any way
different from the current E-mail list?

To which I reply:  Probably not.  

If you do all these thing then you're already on a path that involves
passion as part of the ingredients list.  You have already determined that
you like to do this thing we do, and that you're willing to spend effort to
get better at.  So.  No cookie for youuuuuu!  

On the other hand, we might be able to use the Ansteorran bardic web site to
better advantage at providing links to more information for everyone; good
web resources for investigation/research vs. bad (bad being based on loose
research or no research at all (copying the info from another web site that
"spoke authoritatively")).  We might see more performance classes offered at
collegiums if there was a portion of the web site that listed bards who were
willing to teach a class and the area they lived in.  Yes, we can do this
now.  Alden has even asked for information concerning this.  But no one has
responded yet.  

We can respond through the email lists.  We can make propositions and such,
but in the end, these things require the active participation of at least
one member who is willing to go from person to person, either physically or
through the ether, and GET the information from them.  An organizational
framework can oft times help keep a good idea alive, and help it grow.  I
think that the college, should it actually come to fruition, will be like
any other resource; you get as much out of it as you're willing to put in.

Then Ivo wrote:

2) What power would the college have? If the kings did indeed argue for
control of it, there must be value to it's assistances, even if only

To which I respond:
I would hope that the college, in and of itself, would have no power at all.

If there's anything I DON'T want from the college, it is for it (the
college) to become another political arm of an organization that tries to
make itself important by declaring this and that.  What I DO want to come
from the college are suggestions (The Reader's Digest version would read
something like; "Your bardic circles, three formats that really rock!", "How
to regain the fun in a competition without losing the value of the winner's
role", or "Dinner Hostage Theater: Fact and Fiction!").  I think, in the
end, we're looking for encouragement of our fellow performers (those who are
already performing to share their "tips" as well as those who are afraid to
enter a competition for the crushing certainty that they will be labled
'pariah!'), not "the power" <raising black-leather-gloved fist in the air in
a most Darth Vaderish posture> to change the nature of our kingdom through
other than performance. Your mileage may vary (Really!  It's 21 whole
keystrokes!  Do we REALLY need to shorten this to something that looks like
a Welsh curse word?).

Then Ivo worried about the offices.  Feh!  And then he wrote:

1) I too am skeptical of the suggestion that the simple existence of the
college was the reason for high attendance major bardic events.

And I had this to see <Yes, it's all about me!>

But if the end result of the college is to increase the performance level
(raise the bar on performers per se, through inspiration), then people will
want to attend those things.  Understand that we will always have couch
potatoes, whether in or out of the SCA.  Others will want to see a
performance because they've heard that these performers do a great job.  The
higher our bar, the more people will want to attend because it's something
more than Jerry reading from a damned book).

Then Ivo wrote:

2) I am hesitant to resurrect a model from a decade or more past. The
kingdom has changed considerably since I arrived, I seriously have to wonder
how well the current crop of bards and potential bards would deal with an
administrative system that existed under different circumstances entirely. 

To which I respond:

Yo!  Ivo!  We're talking about it here.  Now.  Whatever does arise from the
ashes of what the bardic college was will most likely have it's framework
built upon things we talk about now.  You (and yes, I'm pointing my finger
at the screen right now....), all of us, will have the ability to contribute
to the laying of that foundation; the building of that framework.

And then Ivo asked a really complex question; the answer to which is equally
complex, but my sound-bite version goes something like, "Yah.  We have
knowledge left, Willow, Robin, Finnacin and others have some of our past in
each of them, and are happy to share that knowledge and help to bring our
community to a higher standard.

Then Ivo gave us his desires list (He's got a list?):  Most of the things on
the list don't, in and of themselves, require a "college", just the will to
act or learn to use the resources already available (I'm sure HL Alden would
LOVE to have contributing information such as research links, reference
materials, class instructor lists, etc.. To add to the Ansteorran bardic web
site), or talking with the local landed nobility and actively pursue helping
them include bardic/performance in THEIR philosophies/event-activities (And
"Your excellency, you really should pay more attention to the bards," is NOT
going to cut it.  Rather, something along the lines of "Your Excellencies.
I know for a fact that there are a goodly number of bards attending your
feast tonight.  Perhaps you would consider calling on me to rat them out for
you.", or "Your excellency, I, your bardic champion, have noticed that your
Cousin's bardic champion is in attendance.  Perhaps you could, with your
good Cousin, have a fun little performance from each of us, to extole your
champions for the populace."  In other words, present a suggestion within
the framework of our roles in the SCA instead of just laying the problem
(with no solution) on those noble heads <sort of like the dead bird the cat
brings because they love us>.  I've left the list attached. It's a pretty
good list.

There.  It's done.  Take a nap.  You deserve it.

In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am,
HL Gerald of Leesville
A bard of Stargate 

Ivo's Desires {No!  Not those desires!}:

1) I do want to see some structure built as a support system for bardic.

2) I do want to learn skills like better Persona play, which I was told,
rather directly, was NOT the charge of the bards by an individual. 

3) I want to see a system where Bad bards are allowed to practice before
other bards, and given the chance to improve, rather than unleashing
themselves on a competition cold.

4) I would like to see a common online, centrally available, depository of
both bardic pieces and reference materials, a bardic library if you will.

5) I would like to see some system set up where bards, even if only on an
unofficial, unrecognized level, are offered regalia that would denote them
for their strengths(story, song, poetry, history...)

6) I want to see a resurrection of inter group bardic challenges where the
champion bards face each other in a friendly but public settings.

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