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Awards (was re: Peers recognized)
Unto all who read these words, greetings from Yaakov.
Several folks have commented that, while they agree that the current award
system creates problems, they do not know what else is to be done.
A few philosp[hic]al musings over a glass of mead are presented to my fellows
at the tavern. I can't claim their all mine originally, but I've thought
about them over the years.
1) We rely too much on recognized awards to validate us. In medieval times,
any great lord, order, or guild would have given rewards and prizes to those
who deserve largess. Heck, great lords would try to attract poets,
philosphers, and savants by salarying them, or having a reputation for
How it could work here: Let the orders give *prizes* at events,m independent
of the king's whim. For example, the Pearl is supposed to promote the arts.
Let the Order of the Pearl announce that all members of the order shall
gather at such and such a place to give prizes to the artist who strikes
their fancy, or for some specific activity they wish to encourage (i.e.,
dance, rhetoric, whatever). By the same token, some Duke could commission a
great work and make a big deal about rewarding the artisan with a commission
2) Artisans should actively seek commsions: I have been doing this in the
poetry area. It is catching on *slowly*. Some folks think it improper to
pay for poetry, while others do not know how to value it (in terms of what
makes a fair trade). While we have some SCA artisans who sell their work, I
am thinking more in terms of seeking to have masterworks commissioned.
3) An end to the idea that the crown gets goodies for free. Let the crown
pay, as they would have in period. This need need not be money or awards. A
word of thanks in public would suffice. Better, let their majesties
recognize, for example, those who make scrolls for the signet office through
some gift or feast held in their honor. (Now there's an idea for an event!
Their majesties, to recognize the great contributions of the scribes to
Atlantia, hold a feast in their honor. Anyone who has contributed some
number of scrolls gets in free and sits at high table. This would be the
feast of scribes, held on the appropriate Saint's day (who is patron saint of
4) Most importantly, the idea that the orders and the peerages, from *nobles
oblige* have the duty to support the arts, novices, and noble behavior. This
must translate to an understanding of indivdual duty, not merely keeping an
eye out for candidates for awards. I have no doubt some peers alread feel
that way (Cariodoc and his silver armbands leaps to mind), but they are a
(writer of fine poetry for reasonable prices)