minstrel: Something interesting.

Melvin, Stephen R. MelviSR at aries.76products.com
Wed Aug 20 11:55:08 PDT 1997

>From: 	Rex Deaver[SMTP:rdeaver at cgro.com]
>Sent: 	Wednesday, August 20, 1997 6:30AM
>To: 	Martin Hungerford; minstrel at pbm.com
>Subject: 	Re: minstrel: Something interesting.
>At 10:09 AM 8/20/97 +1000, Martin Hungerford wrote:
>>Sometime ago on this list there was a good discusion about the "our right 
>>to sing out without fear of retaliation." The result of which was that it 
>>was more commonly our right to be hanged for being common vagabonds.
>I was going to comment on that "bardic privilege" thing, but skipped it.  It
>is a great myth within the SCA that bards/minstrels had some form of

It is also a great myth that knights had honor and chivalry.  That their
might protected the weak rather than took advantage of it.  That ladies
were models of chastity and purity.  That castles weren't drafty.  That
wars were fought for noble reasons.  And a whole slew of others.  Are we
emphasizing the re- of recreation or the -creation?  Last I heard, the
SCA was (at least in theory) supposed to attempt to create the Middle
Ages "the way they should have been".  If we hold knights to a standard
of honor, should we not also honor those who have the courage to speak
out publicly by ensuring that they don't get pounded into the dirt by a
"sportsman" who can swing a stick and wants to set up his own regime?  
	If they have the right to honor, then they have the responsibility to
honor us.  The truth is that it is a great myth within the society that
bards and minstrels HAVE some form of immunity.  I've sung teaching
songs publicly and had no problems.  I've tried to warn a king that I
was going to do it and let him know so that he could minimize the damage
and was mobbed for it.  The real question is, "Is there someone who can
swing a stick who's willing to stand up for the bard's inviolability if
not his words?"  If not, then he/she's got every justification to remain
anonymous.  If so, then he/she is a base coward unwilling to put his/her
name to a piece of (possible) slander.  Knowing the SCA, I hate to admit
it, but I'm willing to bet on the former.  It's sad, it's deplorable and
it's wrong, but the truth in the SCA is "might makes right" and not
"might for right".  If it were not so, there would be no need for

Rathflaed DuNoir
The Black Bard of Meridies, MSoB
>(who's been on the receiving end of a lynch mob :) )

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