BARONY OF CYNNABAR, MIDDLE KINGDOM – In what many are calling a sign of the times, budget cuts because of falling membership have changed the judging rubric for the Baronial Arts & Sciences Champions event to focus on period science, technology, engineering and math.
Pendifig Ewyn Loyt of the barony commented, “It only makes sense. How many people really use their art education to get their peerages these days? It’s all volcano research all the time now.” Master Waldorf the Elegant, who received his Laurel for manuscript illumination in Anno Societatis 42, sounded bitter when he observed, “Back in my day, having a peerage for art meant something. Now my apprentices get deducted points if they don’t know the specific gravity of the paints they use. It’s appalling.”
Saayid Arif ibn Zafeer, who wrote a paper on the Arabic mathematician Omar Khayyam’s understanding of cubic equations, expressed excitement about the shift, “Hell, yeah! I was so worried about Laurels not taking the time to sit down and read my 27 page paper, since my work is not very visual. Now I have this competition in the bag!”
Still, Duchess Agnes Merrymeet, OL, mourned the move toward STEM research: “Art is such an important part of the SCA experience. I am afraid without a grounding in the arts, the populace will lose their understanding of all that is beautiful and inspiring in the SCA, or worse, their understanding of humor and satire.”