AMTGARD'S OPINION CODEX ALL OPINIONS, ALL THE TIME MAY 25, 2019
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LACKING FOCUS AND INTEGRITY
Is it Still Possible to Have Fun at Court?
[01/05/2003] [Trelath]

There are many schools of thought on the correct procedure for holding court. I have seen Monarchs who gave over 75 awards at one event, including calling up over a dozen people at the same time for a blanket Rose-giving. I've also seen Monarchs who gave less than fifteen awards total for the entirety of their reign, and each award was proceded by a 30 to 45 second speech on what the award-earner had done to deserve it. There have been awards printed on certificate paper, computer paper, notebook paper, and scrawled on napkins. A lot of debate has been bandied about on which way is right and how it should be done. I personally feel that as long as people who deserve awards are receiving them, the way it happens is a minor issue.

Yes, I still hear the voice of my inner flurb, yelling at the top of his little flurby lungs, "Ceremony! That's what makes Court great! Bowing, kneeling, etiquette, fancy garb - that is why Court is so popular!", but I also realize that any good Monarch has to be able to balance attention to etiquette and formality with the ever-shrinking attention span of the average Amtgarder. Everyone's participated in a 4+ hour court before, and with only a few exceptions everyone was tired and ready to go long before the end. While it feels great to stand before the Monarch and have your work announced as perfection to all within earshot, watching 50 other people receive their moment in the spotlight can become boring. This is why it falls to the Monarch to liven things up during Court, and why the best operational Monarchs aren't always the best court Monarchs.

Calling people up and giving award after award starts a tedious pattern - a good Monarch needs to be able to play to the crowd, and to be willing to throw in a surprise or two. Sir Slyddur, while he was King of the Wetlands, would call up unsuspecting people and have them executed via "Das Boot" (a giant foam boot covered in duct tape), all the while thinking they were about to be awarded for something. Watching a court involving Sir Forest is almost an act in itself. While most of us mere mortals don't have the presence of a Forest, it's not that hard to turn a boring court into something that people remember. If you ever feel the urge to wear the Ugly Brass Hat, don't be afraid to try something new - just because it's never been done before doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried. Almost without exception, when a Monarch is having fun at court, the populace will have fun too - it's contagious. And while people comes for the ceremony, the awards, and the recognition, every single one of them also is there for the fun.

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