minstrel: Something interesting.

Benson, William R. BensoWR at aries.76products.com
Tue Aug 19 10:30:27 PDT 1997

>"I chastise the unnamed bard, and do charge them with base slander.  I
>challenge the accuser to face the accused on equal terms.  Let them stand
>forth and venture as precious a thing as they threaten...a man's honor...or
>stand silent and prove themselves false, unchivalrous and forsworn.  
>>HL Mathurin Kerbusso, Barony of Forgotten Sea, Kingdom of Calontir"

While the words penned by His Excellency mayhaps are motivated by the
belief that one man or woman, standing upon the grounds of truth and
right, can remain inviolate in the eyes of the populace and the monarchs
that are the subject of certain "educational songs", I would submit the
following observations.
In an attempt to bring to light the shortcomings, a certain Bard, who I
shall cloak with anonominity, did perform a certain song.  (Previously,
Her Majesty had known of the song and approved of its lesson, and the
King was informed, by letter, that the song was going to be performed.)
As this Bard was and is, to this day, a true and dear friend, with no
desire but to bring out the best of the Dream, I was in the area when
the word went out that the King wanted this Bard crucified to a tree.
Happily, this event did not transpire, and the result was a personal
meeting between my friend and his majesty.
I did, however, see the mob that was gathered to carry out the King's
command.  It consisted of most of one notorious warband, and a few
others, who were not involving themselves because of aesthetic outrage
at the Bard's song, but because they were drunk and wanted to see
violence done upon the form of one who "wasn't one of the boys".
I saw this mob up close, and could see the look in their eyes, and it
truly frightened me that, on that dark night, I might have to use LIVE
steel to defend my friend.  This is an utterly horrible circumstance, as
I attend SCA event to escape the troubles of the world.  (I was a
Marine, then, and understood violence in its myriad forms.)
I have seen unfortunates duct-taped to trees.  I have seen a mob set off
to do violence.  I have traded harsh words with those encamped next to
me who feel that it is appropriate to yell out foul words and epithets
in the night, as my children try to get to sleep.
My point is this:
In "oppressive" circumstances, the well meaning rebel, or patriot, for
that matter, needs to be allowed his or her anonominity.  It is the
responsibility of the rest of use who here or read the words to
determine whether this is a just and right act, or that of some
disgruntled soul with an ax to grind.  To dismiss, out of hand, the work
of one who wishes to have the freedom to move about without fear of mass
retaliation, perhaps is not the best course of action.  This writer of
songs will receive what he or she deserves, be it the approval of the
people towards a true and righteous cry for change, or the scorn of the
people for someone who obviously is taking advantage of the system,
whose actions are readily identified for what they are.
In the old days, the Bard that was violated, could quite easily ask for
the help of a noble house, or neighboring king should he or she require
protections.  That, and the fact that Kings depended on the Bard for a
number of reasons.  In our Society, these lessons have not been learned
as well as we would like, and there are those who might even overstep
the bound of a "hobby", in response to a stinging, albeit true, barb
towards those leaders who should have known better.
To attempt to raise hue and cry against a leader who does not befit his
position is, in itself, and honorable deed.  Sometimes a little
rebellion is good for a King.  But remember: Before an army can be
raised, before two mighty generals stand across from each other on the
field of battle, each to champion a cause they believe just, the message
of that conflict must be spread, to gain the support of the people.  If
the one who is trying to get the word out is one step ahead of a lynch
mob,(social or physical), then the message will not be spread, and the
>wounds will continue to fester.

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