[Bards] Robert's thoughts on the Bardic College

Robert Fitzmorgan fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Tue Nov 7 18:54:28 PST 2006

Hi Folks

     Here are a few of my thoughts on the discussion so far.   I will be
summarizing my take on what has been said on this list.  If I misrepresent
any one's  position I apologize.

     Robin and Willow maintain that things were better when we had a college
of bards.  I was an active bard then and I agree.  I'm not sure that things
were better BECAUSE we had a CoB but I wouldn't say they weren't either.
Robin has said that he believes it was because of the CoB that things were
better, and that he believes that having one now would be a good thing.  He
can't specify exactly how it will make things better but he believes that it
will.  I have a lot of respect for Robin's opinion.  Barring evidence to the
contrary I'm willing to accept that having a CoB could be a good thing.

     I was around for the demise of the Queens College of Bards.  I was not
involved in the leadership of the QCoB but I was an active bard who was
interested in what was going on.  From my point of view the ending of the
QCoB was an unpleasant thing with some people getting pretty upset.  I have
no particular desire to go through that again.  So I am concerned that we
not repeat the mistakes that caused the QCoB to fail.  The problem is that I
don't really understand what went wrong the last time.  The people who do
know don't want to discuss it on an open list and feel that it is best
discussed in person.  I completely agree with  that.

    So I accept because Robin and Willow say so that having a CoB could be a
good thing.  I know from experience that having a CoB can lead to badness.
The question is whether or not the potential benefits out weigh the
potential badness.  I can't answer that for myself without having a much
better idea of what it will be and what it will do.  I'm still on the fence

    Some on the list want to define what the CoB will be, what it will do
and how it will do it.  Robin doesn't like the idea of having the CoB
defined by just the bards who are reading this list.  He wants to take the
discussion on the road and get a lot more input from bards throughout the
kingdom before trying to tie down the details.   I like specifics,  I want
more details, but I think I agree with Robin on this one.  I think we need
face to face discussion to determine if we want this thing at all, and if so
what we want it to do.  Once we know what we want it to do THEN we can
design the best structure to accomplish that.

   If a CoB is formed should the Bardic Deputy of A & S  and the Kingdom
Bard be officers?  I say no.  The CoB has no authority over either of these
positions and if they are not serving our needs there is really nothing we
can do about it.  Having the  Kingdom Bard be the spokesperson for the CoB
doesn't really work if the person who wins Eisteddfod happens to be a person
who wants nothing to do with the CoB.

   We did have an attempt several years back to start a new CoB.  There were
meetings and we even wrote up a charter.  A few good things came out of that
attempt.  This mailing list and a Bardic web page.  Other than that it was
pretty much a waste of time.  This is not meant a a slight on the people who
were behind the attempt, I was one of them, but it just never amounted to
anything.  We were so successful at making sure the CoB had no authority to
do anything that we created a CoB that didn't do anything.
   One of the problems was getting a charter that people would agree to.
Any attempt to put in anything specific in was objected to by someone.  In
the end we had something so vague, all inclusive, and watered down as to be
useless.  I'm not convinced we will do any better this time but I'm willing
to make the attempt if it seems worthwhile.

    I can see a lot of drawbacks to having a CoB:  I can't see it having any
authority to do anything.  As soon as we set any standards someone is going
to think it's a good idea to try and get people to follow those standards,
and then we will have problems.  Some people will get their nose out of
joint about having a structure that is not answerable to either the Crown or
the Corporate structure.  It could become a political football with
different people trying to pull it in different directions and others trying
to do away with it entirely.  Or we could put a lot of effort into it and
have it turn out to be a useless waste of time.  All of this has happened in
the past, and might well happen again.
   The benefits to having a CoB are pretty vague and undefined at this
time.  Almost everything that the CoB could do we can do anyway without a
CoB.  It's been argued that while we could do these things without a CoB we
don't, and with a CoB we would be more likely to.  I  think that's probably
    I'm not convinced that the benefits are worth the trouble, but I'm
willing to take part in the discussion and be convinced.

Robert Fitzmorgan

"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much
of a day."     John A. Wheeler

Fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Yahoo IM: robert_fitzmorgan
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