[Bards] Kingdom Eisteddfod

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Mon Oct 30 12:16:50 PST 2006

> With no College to rally around, Eisteddfod is the only kingdom-wide 
> symbol of bardcraft in Ansteorra.  When we don't support it, we send a 
> message throughout the kingdom of exactly how valuable we think 
> Ansteorra's bardcraft is.
> Let's start sending the right message.
> (Meanwhile, I'll talk to the Baron and Baroness and the event steward 
> about the room.  Let's see if there's anything we can do.)
> Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
> _______________________________________________
> Bards mailing list
> Bards at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/bards-ansteorra.org

There's a LOT of potential meaning in that particular statement that I 
want to address. It's fairly informative and I believe it deserves some 
specific attention.

Let me start with with the overall message, which to my interpretation 
is that Eisteddfod is only kingdom-wide symbol of bardcraft and thus 
needs support. I would agree that it's the only Kingdom title, much 
like the Kingdom A&S Champion. However, every group in the Kingdom that 
I'm aware of has a titled bard/minstrel/skald/what-have-you, so there 
is Kingdom wide recognition and support of the craft. Eisteddfod does 
need support, but not because it's some symbolic last bastion of 
bardcraft. I would argue that the visibility of the Title would do more 
for the competition than anything else. A human face floating above 
that traffic-slowing cloak really helps when one feels intimidation at 
the idea of such a contest. It also helps people know the title exists 
in the first place. Recent Premier bards have done this admirably.
There is also a Deputy Minister of A&S for Performance. Now that may 
not be as specific as previous offices in the College's numerous 
manifestations, nor as visible as the Premier bard but it is historic 
(Ihon is the first) and it is a Kingdom Office. It is a sign that the 
Kingdom recognizes the value of this particular pastime. That deserves 
mention in this discussion.

I also want to mention this. I found the phrase "With no College to 
rally around,..." very interesting. It indicates, obviously, that the 
College is/was intended as a rallying point, a common ground. That is a 
worthwhile endeavor.
However, that is how I view THIS mailing list and bard.ansteorra.org. I 
am at a complete loss as to what the College could offer that these 
things do not. They're certainly more available to folks in far-flung 
shires that are just starting out, moreso than the College I knew. If 
we need to spread the word more about this list and the site, I 
understand completely. Better yet, if we want to call this list and 
bard.ansteorra.org the College (or at least incorporate them) I can see 
that being viable as well. I see no need to have a College as a 
separate entity. Is there something that I'm not grasping that the 
College could provide aside from formal statements and meetings that 
less than half of us can attend?
Tell me. I want to know what I'm missing. It's almost Halloween, and my 
mind is elsewhere a lot these days.

If the College can offer something aside from what we already have, I 
wanna know about it.

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