Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Utterly, 100% Unofficial Curia Report

jdulac asked what came out of curia, and that's a fair question. So here are my impressions from the peanut gallery. Insert all the standard disclaimers that I Am Not an Officer of State (I was there as Deputy Seneschal of Carolingia, so I am a *very* junior member of Curia), none of this is official, blah blah blah.

Item 1: Clerical corrections. Passed largely without comment.

Item 2: E-Signature for Performance Review Comments. Some slight discussion, but by and large everyone present seemed to think it was a good idea.

Item 3: Polling Deadlines. His Majesty felt (correctly) that he needed to explain his reasoning on this one. But in general, after the confusion over pollings the past couple of months, everyone thought that this was a pretty good response. (Basically, past a certain reasonable date, TRM can't issue additional pollings without getting TRH's permission first.) In passing, there was some discussion of tweaking the wording about pollings to imply that electronic distribution is the norm, and physical mail is a supported option; previously, the wording had implied the other way around. Since this matches reality, everyone felt it was an appropriate change.

Item 4: Tygers on Baronial Coronets. This was the first big controversy -- basically, adding the option for former landed Barons to put a gold tyger on their coronets, as a special cookie that Court Barons don't get. Pretty much all the arguments against the idea that you would expect got raised. (Mostly *not* by me, which made me happy: I was afraid that I'd spend the entire meeting raising vast numbers of objections, and didn't want to be That Guy.) Some interesting counter-proposals were raised -- I'm particularly intrigued by the notion of allowing former landed Barons to add their group's arms as an augmentation, which I think is a rather more appropriate cookie for the purpose. But TRM agreed to remand the question to TRH's curia for further discussion and study.

Item 5: Performing and Entertainment Arts. Basically, TRM want to be able to recognize a broader array of performance arts, similar to the Troubadour and Terpsichore. They provided two possibilities: a new catch-all Order of the Muses, or expand the definition of the Troubadour. There was a lot of discussion about this one on both sides of the argument, but I'd say that most people (including TRM) preferred not to create a new award if they could avoid it. The point came up that the Troubadour may actually have narrowed in its usage over the years, and that what they want may actually be closer to the original intent than the current interpretation, so TRM are going to consult with herooftheage before moving forward on this.

Item 6: New Honor from the King. Basically, His Majesty has been a little irked that *Her* Majesty can give out little, non-precedential-but-official goodies, but he can't. So the new award is precisely the King's version of the Queen's Honor of Distinction. Most discussion felt that the concept itself was okay -- at worst, that particular horse was long since out of the barn, and there wasn't much wrong with making the concept more even. There *was* some discussion about the name: I and several others felt that it would be better to call it the KHD, just to reduce confusion among the populace. But there wasn't much passionate objection, so it passed more or less as written, as the King's Esteem of Merit.

Item 7: Limit on the Number of Court Baron/Baroness Titles Per Reign. This was the really big controversy, and the one I'd been most worked up over -- putting a hard limit in law that the Royalty can give no more than 5 Court Baronies. His Majesty felt *very* strongly about this one: he is quite passionate that giving a dozen or more Baronies per reign cheapens the award, and doesn't want the East to become known as the Kingdom that gives out Court Baronies like candy. (Which, he pointed out, is very different from most of the Society, where they are relatively rare and high-prestige.) Again, lots of objections raised, by myself and others. My main point (which other folks echoed and refined) was that the problem is cultural, not legal, and that this solution simply isn't going to *work*. (The history of things like the Cyphers makes this painfully clear.) Most folks agreed that things are sometimes getting out of hand, but most of the audience felt that this wasn't the right way to address it. In the end, TRM rather reluctantly agreed to not act this time around (His Majesty was very explicit that he would rather give it time instead of risking making things worse), but I suspect this topic will recur, so folks should be thinking about the best way for the Kingdom to come to grips with it.
Tags: diary, sca
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