[Bards] So let's quit sitting on the sidelines andgetdancingalready

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Mon Nov 6 12:47:44 PST 2006

I would like us to build a co-op -- a group of individuals working to help 
each other.  The very nature of that desire means I don't want it run by the 
kingdom's officers.  I think we should band together to do it ourselves.

What officers would we need?  Probably only one -- to coordinate meeting 
times and places.  We definitely need at least that, unless we decide to 
abandon any attempt to include the bards who aren't able to be active on 
this list.

> First, I let the "not our officer" argument (from a previous thread)
> go without comment, but I won't this time. By "our", I meant "us,
> those who play in the SCA in Ansteorra". They are most assuredly
> "our" officer, as much as the Kingdom Seneschal is "our" officer and
> the Crown is "our" King and Queen.

Let's be precise by what we mean by "our".  Certainly the A&S Ministry works 
for all Ansteorran artists, including the small minority who are bards, and 
the even smaller minority who are bards who will decide to join the college. 
For that very reason, she and her deputy cannot in fairness have any 
especial duties just to serve this college.

Yes, the Crown is my Liege Lord and Lady.  One of the things that that means 
is that I have no authority to assign them duties.

> Second, I believe that we need an advocate on the "business" side.
> Someone to help, for instance, see that Eisteddfod gets on the
> calendar and has a hosting group. If not the Minister of Arts &
> Sciences, or her deputy for Performance Arts, then... who? And if not
> them, then what the Sam Hill *do* they do for us?

That's up to the KMOAS and the Crown, of course.  Assuming that this person 
would do anything specifically for us, the people who decide to be a 
college, is giving us some official rights in the kingdom over and above 
those that bards who choose not to join the college get.  That's not fair.

> Sounds like
> "nothing", in your book. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it
> sounds like you want to pretend that the entire infrastructure of the
> SCA does not exist as far as we're concerned, and that you advocate
> constructing a *completely* separate venue for the pursuit of the
> bardic arts -- oh, other than sharing their event and camping space.

This is simply untrue.  I will leave it at that.

> I'm pretty sure that the KMOaS *has*, de facto, quite a bit of
> interest in the bardic arts in Ansteorra, and therefore in those who
> support and pursue those arts (i.e. the bards of Ansteorra, i.e. this
> bardic college we're discussing). It goes with the job (or ought to,
> in my opinion).

Nobody ever denied this.  My statement that we cannot assign duties to them 
does not in any way imply that they have no interest.  And the performing 
arts deputy may even have duties with regard to the college.  The KMOAS 
could, for instance, tell him that he needs to attend our meetings, offer 
advice and counsel, and report back to the kingdom.  But if so, he would not 
be our representative to the kingdom, he would be the kingdom's 
representative to the college.  We cannot assign him duties, or even have a 
"planning and discussion" stage about what duties our charter will assign 
him, for the same reason that the King of France cannot assign duties to the 
English Ambassador to France.

> So what if the current KMOaS isn't all that
> interested in blackwork, for example? Will the KMOaS go out of her
> way to suppress it? Or might a reasonable person presume that the
> KMOaS would support an Ansteorran Blackwork Guild, if one existed, to
> the extent that they asked for her support?

"[A]sked for her support" is not synonymous with "talked about assigning her 
duties and making her a member of the guild whether she wished to be or 
not."  And nothing I said can be fairly or accurately twisted into a 
suggestion that anyone would "go out of her way to suppress it".

You wrote: "The Deputy KMoAS (Bardic) is the spokesperson for the Kingdom 
and the corporation. Their job is to communicate with other Kingdom 
officers, especially branch seneschals and event planners, to promote bardic 
activities at events, especially the Kingdom Eisteddfod."  But if he is in 
fact the spokesperson for the kingdom and the corporation (which of course 
he is) then the group of individuals choosing to band together have no 
authority either to try to legislate that fact or to determine what his 
duties are.  His duties, even any duties he has towards the college, will be 
enumerated by the KMOAS .

> Third, likewise with regard to the Kingdom Premier Bard. *Someone*
> needs to be our spokesperson and ambassador to the rest of the
> kingdom. And the bardic community needs a focal point, someone to
> rally around. You and Willow convinced me of that, and I agree. The
> Premier Bard "of old" (that you and Willow described) sounded like
> just that person. So why would you object to them being the
> spokesperson and ambassador for the College?

Becasue not all bards will choose to join the College.  The Premeier Bard 
represents a focal point for all bards in the kingdom, not just those in the 

> For that matter... if
> not them, then who? And if we appoint someone else to that duty, then
> what the heck is the Premier Bard -- chopped liver? Just another
> tourney-winner, with no significance beyond the title? Sorry, but I
> just don't understand this point.

The Eisteddfod started out as a College competition, and the Premier Bard 
started out as a College officer, because the assumption was that only a 
member of the college would want to enter and win.  That assumption has been 
gone for a long time.  I don't want any rules that implies that bards who 
don't want to join and work for the college shouldn't enter Eisteddfod.

> When Stargate hosts their baronial championship tournaments, the
> Baron/ess tell the entrants before the contest that the winner will
> be expected to help plan and set the style of the following year's
> tournament. It's a duty that goes with the title -- whether
> chivalric, rapier, equestrian, children's, A&S, archery or bardic.
> Does not the same duty fall to the Kingdom Bard already? What
> additional "duties" did I write down in my rough draft, that do not
> already fall to them?

Representing a subset of the bards that have chosen to become a college, of 

> To be clear, Robin, I wasn't trying to imagine
> new duties; I was trying to accurately enumerate the already existing
> duties, and those that would logically follow the creation of a
> College of Bards.

Enumerating the already existing duties is beyond the authority of the 
college, and therefore beyond the scope of the document.  Those that would 
logically follow the creation of a college cannot be assigned to people who 
may or may not have any active interest in the college.

I roughly agree with you about the existing duties; I simply disagree that 
our charter has any business enumerating them, just as the City of Dallas 
charter does not emunerate the duties of the U.S. Congressmen (and woman) 
who live inside the city limits.

We certainly ought to determine what new duties follow with the creation of 
a college, but we cannot farm them out.  As a wise bard once said, "If the 
college has a problem, it won't be "somebody else's problem";  it will be 
*our* problem to fix (or work around, or learn to live with)..... It will be 
up to *you* (yes, *you*) to see the need and mobilize whatever support there 
is (*other* bards just like you) to try and address the need."

We, the people who have actually agreed to join the college and to work the 
for the college, are the ones who must do it.  Not the kingdom officer, not 
the Premier Bard, but a person or persons who have chosen to volunteer.

> Finally, I *don't* want to construct a big roster of officers. I
> stand firmly with Finnacan on this point: we need someone to take
> care of the business side, and we need someone to be an advocate for
> the role-play side. There are already two people who perfectly fit
> those roles, in my opinion. Why do we need to construct a roster
> separate from that?

These two only "perfectly fit these roles" if we know that
a. Every KMOAS will want to have a performing arts deputy,
b. all people who ever fill these positions will want to be part of the 
college, and
c. making these people automatically part of the college will not discourage 
non-college members from applying or entering.

We don't know these to be true, and cannot legislate that they must be. 
Note that the next performing arts deputy could be a dancer with no interest 
in running a bardic college.  It would still be her job to watch the college 
and to report on its doings to the kingdom, but it would be grossly unfair 
to ask her to be an active officer of the college, just as a Middle Eastern 
Dancers Guild shouldn't ask Ihon to take over their paperwork.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

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