[Bards] some {more} Notes!

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Mon Nov 6 09:32:39 PST 2006

Reading the last few responses in this thread, I wanted to throw out a 
couple of positions and see how people responded.

I would suggest that we ARE a community. That's it, you see it right 
here and at bardic events around the Kingdom. We may want to encourage 
more communication and rally our resources to a common ground, but this 
is it. By even reading this message you are a part of the community, 
whether you perform or not.
So when you wonder what the college will be, well, you're looking at 
it. This is it. All of us talking, wondering, worrying and creating. 
Don't think of the "College" as a structure apart from our usual casual 
chats, this is what the college will be.
Every time you wonder what "The College" will do, exchange the words 
"The College" for your name and your fellow performers in your area.

The only real changes being discussed are...
Greater use of the College badge (the harp and star)
Use of the term "College" to describe what we already are, performers 
and those who support performers.
The officers proposed as part of this already exist, we're just waiting 
to see if formal inclusion is viable.

Reasons for this are simple, increased visibility and a collective name 
for all of US. It also fosters a sense of fellowship, which is just an 
emotional response, nothing more, but it does increase enthusiasm and 
the sense that all performers are our kin.
It gives a sense of belonging that pure competition doesn't foster, and 
empathy for our fellows instead of constant one-upmanship.
The newcomer in a border group approaches the locals and asks about 
bards. Instead of them trying to figure out who within 100 miles they 
ought to meet "some day when they get the chance", they are told about 
the college. Most of us would be right here, including those nearest 
the newcomer.

Instead of inviting folks to join this email list, we invite them to 
visit the College's online presence.
Instead of asking people to give copies of class handouts or research 
notes to all of individually, we invite them to post them at the 
Instead of inviting people to meet with their fellow bards to discuss 
certain issues, we invite them to a meeting of the College.
Instead of introducing new bards or would-be bards to other performers, 
we introduce them to the College.
Instead of "a couple of bards" having a circle, the College is having a 
Instead of a newcomer looking for a bardic circle by listening in the 
dark, they can gravitate to the Harp and Star banners and painted 
Instead of a newcomer wondering who is a performer or a supporter by 
reputation, they can look for the badge.

It all boils down to terminology, which as we all know in this 
particular hobby, has power.
Thus far, the only issue I see with the idea is that some people define 
themselves by how much they buck the system, rebel against existing 
structures and pride themselves on their individuality. "Lone wolf 
syndrome" is alive and well in this game, with a lot of people refusing 
to play ball as they perceive that as some form of submission. A number 
of households have started up merely to support this xenophobic way of 

Bards are particularly known for this mindset. We wouldn't be who we 
are if we didn't do our own thing. We'd all be parrots with no real 
distinct variety. I myself despise the notion of "group-think" and find 
that it leads to stagnant isolationism.
I talk with you folks because we all sweat together in front of the 
same audience. We all struggle with the same craft and we all try to 
create those moments of magic by pouring our hearts out in front of a 
bunch of our fellow history enthusiasts.
I'm a part of that community. I'm certainly not of a like mind with 
everyone, and I have little tolerance for those who present themselves 
as the defining example of this art form. Most of you feel the same 
way, and I like visiting and performing with you folks.

That visiting and commonality could be called a College.
That's what I'm seeing in this conversation.

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