Well Met!

Rockall Herald/Auntie Jen elp003 at bangor.ac.uk
Wed Sep 6 03:22:54 PDT 1995

On Tue, 5 Sep 1995, Heather Rose Jones wrote:

> On Tue, 5 Sep 1995, Tim Jennings wrote:
> > 	I had thought at one point that a series of criteria (like those
> > for other awarded positions) might be created, with an award of the title
> > of bard available to those who had met the requirements. Perhaps this is
> > a possible area of discussion. If the term is to be used within the society,
> > (and it will be) should we create a guideline around the term to distinguish
> > it from minstrels, jongleurs and the like? It seems that the title deserves
> > to be more than just a common usage for good/bad singers.
> Please, my lord, do not take the following pesonally.
> AAAARRRRRGHHHH! No, no, please, no. (whimper)
> I, for one, am a bit tired of SCA activities and interests being turned 
> into a merit-badge checklist. All too often, the governing documents of 
> new SCA guilds and similar organizations seem to be slanted more towards 
> garnering internal danglies and alphabet soup for their members than 
> towards fostering and encouraging the activity in question..&c. 

Lords and ladies, (and noble Harpy)
	The East Kingdom, some few years ago, set up a College of Bards, 
complete with ranking system, based on service and repertoire.  As I am 
no longer resident in the East, I do not know how it has progressed, but 
I *can* say that in its first year it was *not* a merit-badge checklist.  
The charter was two, possibly two and a half pages long, and hardly 
picune in the slightest.  The bards in question did not stamp on others 
who presumed to use the "title"; rather, they specified themselves as a 
"Bard of the College."  So a ranking system without politics, etc., can 
be achieved, provided everyone maintains senses of humour and perspective...

I recall a rather ill-fated campaign a number 
> of years ago in the filk community to set up some sort of rankings 
> loosely parallel to what the costumers do. The idea was that someone's 
> ranking would tell you how good a performer they were. Hey -- I can tell 
> how good a performer someone is by listening. And maybe they're really 
> great, but just not my style -- rankings won't tell me that.
Zounds.  Any attempt to regulate filkers is *bound* to end up in 
disaster.  Witness the shy and completely abortive attempt in England to 
ban smoking from cons...

I'm neither for nor against ranking, though I'm intrigued to see 
debates.  At the moment, I'm hiding in the late 15th century, avoiding 
any and all forms of politics, etc.  But then, I'm in Drachenwald--and in 
Wales, where you even now have to be very careful about calling yourself 
a bard.  


"Gwell egawr na chynnwys"   *   "It is better to disclose than to withhold."
Arianrhod ferch Branwen o Glynnog Fawr, Herald of the Isles.
elp003 at bangor.ac.uk
mka J.A. McGowan
farspeaker (UK) (01248) 354723

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