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

Michael Silverhands silverhands at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 6 13:30:00 PST 2006

On Nov 6, 2006, at 2:47 PM, Jay Rudin wrote:

> 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.

??? What on earth are you talking about?

We happen to be on this list talking this up. This is where the issue  
was raised in the first place. We're discussing some ideas, kicking  
them around, talking about discussing them further at Eisteddfod (in  
person), and seeking clarification and refinement of those ideas in  
the mean time.

How the heck does that lead to "abandon any attempt to include the  
bards who aren't able to be active on this list"?


> ... I have no authority to assign them duties.

I'm pretty sure nobody's assigning anybody duties just yet. We're  
kicking around ideas. We've attempted to get the KMoAS and Premier  
Bard to become involved in the discussion, but they're a little busy  
just now. Continuing to kick around ideas doesn't constitute  
assigning anyone any duties. But it *can* achieve clarifying those  
ideas. Isn't that what we wanted?

(more confused)

>> 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.

??? How does helping Eisteddfod get on the calendar suddenly become  
an exclusive benefit for the college? It doesn't, in my view. It's no  
more and no less than helping Eisteddfod get on the calendar, which  
is a benefit to all bards in the kingdom who would like to compete to  
be Kingdom Bard.


>> 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  
> 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.

Yeah, that was the role that I understood we were all imagining.

>> 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".

Would you prefer the term "provides assistance and input to the  
College as a representative of the Kingdom" to the term "officer of  
the College". Ok. Fine. Then please amend the wording and suggest an  
alternative. :-)

Some friends of mine play a game when it's time to go out to eat.  
Someone suggests a place. Anyone else is free to shoot down that  
suggestion, but they must then make a suggestion of their own in its  

I don't mean to constrain anyone and say "you can't object to  
proposed rough draft statement X unless you propose an alternative  
statement", but it would be nice. Especially coming from you, since  
you and Willow raised this issue in the first place, and the rest of  
us are just trying to catch up. :-)

>> 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
> college.

Yes, I agree completely. How does being spokesperson for the College  
suddenly exclude the Premier Bard from being spokesperson for all  
bards in the kingdom? In my view, it doesn't. Rather, look at it from  
the other way around: they are spokesperson for all bards in the  
kingdom, therefore they are *also* spokesperson for the College of  
bards. N'est pas?

To look at it from yet another view: if the Premier Bard is *not* the  
spokesperson for the College, the voice that speaks for us, then who  
would it be? I frankly don't like the idea of someone elected from  
our midst to "carry our authority". I'd rather it just be another  
bard, a rather good one, who's going to be traveling the kingdom and  
promoting bardic anyway... and who will be stepping down from that  
post in a year's time, at the next Eisteddfod. That, to me, is more  
egalitarian, and less political, than the alternative. But maybe  
that's just me.

>> 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.

Ok. So please propose alternative wording for the relationship (if  
any) held by the Premier Bard vis-a-vis the College.

Or just go with the assumption that "...going forward, if you want to  
be Premier Bard, you will also be taking on the duty of being  
spokesperson for the bards of Ansteorra, which includes this guild  
that some of them have formed...".

My opinion: if the Premier Bard speaks for us and is our "rallying  
point", then we are a great guild, with obvious ties to the bards of  
the whole kingdom. If not, then we are a small guild, which only  
serves a select minority of the bards of Ansteorra.

> I roughly agree with you about the existing duties; I simply  
> disagree that
> our charter has any business enumerating them...

Ok, then what *do* you think our charter has any business  
enumerating? Examples would be handy. :-)

> 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.

Ok, I can see your point. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I  
can see it. :-)

> 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

Very good point. Please see alternative wording previously in this  
message ("oversight", "input", etc.).

Wheeee! Dialog is good. :-)


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