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

Katherine of Scarborough katofscarborough at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 6 16:56:51 PST 2006

Michael Silverhands <silverhands at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

>>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.<<

And Catrin chirps:

If I may, I have another question: how does the
Premier Bard, or anyone, go about “being spokesperson
for all the bards in the kingdom”?  I am not trying to
be contrary, or to belabor an argument of semantics,
but perhaps a clarification of what is meant by
“spokesperson” would be helpful.

If it simply means promoting the bardic arts
throughout the kingdom, teaching, sharing, and leading
by example, then perhaps that is all that needs be
said.  Or perhaps it goes without saying.  I would
hope--and I do believe--that this is a role the
Premier Bards of Ansteorra have filled admirably, and
will continue to fill, without a charter having to
tell them to.  Although I *can* understand wanting to
have that role outlined somewhere, for the benefit of
those aspirants who want to make sure they know what
they’re getting into. :)  In any case, no problem.

But if “spokesperson” is to mean something more than
that-—if in fact the Premier Bard is expected to
literally “speak for” or in any way “anticipate the
needs of” a group of individuals as large and diverse
as the bards of Ansteorra-—then I wonder if we might
not have a greater complication on our hands.

The activity on this list over the past few days has
proven that even a small cross-section of Ansteorran
bards have opinions, desires, and motivations as wide
and varied as our individual talents and backgrounds. 
If we expand our focus beyond this little corner of
cyberspace, the variety becomes even more staggering. 
Who, then, is the “spokesperson” to “speak for” when a
question arises to which three different bards offer
five different answers?  I don’t believe it wholly
impossible for such a group to come to a consensus on
some issues, but to look for anything beyond that is,
to use a favorite analogy, a little like herding cats.
 Nor do I think that’s necessarily a goal anyone is
suggesting we pursue, but I thought it important to
pause for a moment and consider just what we’re asking
if one person is designated to speak for so many
(especially so many who, if the bards I know are any
indication, are a pretty garrulous lot already and
probably won’t pipe down long enough for anybody to do
their talking, anyway. *grin*)

By now, though, I’m just preaching to the choir and
annoying the churchmice.  Forgive me.

I do know there are certain things most of us can
agree on.  We love what we do, and we want to do it
well, and we’d like to help make sure that others can
learn and enjoy it, too.  I think that coming together
for this purpose, using whatever names and symbols and
secret handshakes we might care to have, is a splendid
thing.  So many of you good folk are doing the things
I mentioned already, and many hands, after all, just
make for lighter work.  

To me, it doesn’t matter so much how we do it, or what
we call it.  Only that we do something, and that we
don’t get too bogged down in the red tape and the
minutiae and the secret handshakes (all of which have
their place) to enjoy ourselves, and remember why
we’re doing it in the first place.  ...If we can ever
all agree on why we're doing it, that is.


In service and song,
Catrin ferch Maelgwn
Bard of Skorragardr

Do you Yahoo!?
Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail.

More information about the Bards mailing list