June 22, 2001THERE'S A BURR UNDER THAT THERE SADDLE...
I was going to address Steve's blurb over on the CLUBHOUSE bulletin board, but what the hell, I can't think of any good subject matter to write about this week so might as well address his piece here.
For those in the hobby that didn't see this, I'm guessing this was put up on his site sometime during the weekend. It was called to my attention on Monday...
My guess is that last weeks Sprue ticked him off, since I received a pretty cordial email from him the week before thanking me for noting his advertising style in the Sprue previously. How the above addresses last weeks Sprue though has me a little confused. I don't know what reflection he saw back at himself when and if he looked in the mirror, but apparently he didn't like it!! :)
But I'll happily address the above. I know Steve takes this hobby of ours more seriously than I do. I learned not to from my good friend Ed 'Diceman' Bowkley...(see this old dog can be taught something!). As I noted last week, it IS only plastic toys we put together with glue and paint after all! So don't know why he thinks I don't find this hobby fun?!
They like to point fingers. If fingers need to be pointed, I'm more than happy to oblige. Guilty as charged.
They like to find villains. Unfortunately, villains don't need to be found. We often learn the hard way about them, after they've ripped us off! Maybe the folks I call villains, he doesn't. He didn't specify here, so can't really comment on this one too deeply.
They like to make trouble. Again, nothing really specific. I don't think I go looking for trouble. In my youth I was guilty of that. I have no problem pointing out troubles. Again, whether he agrees or not, he certainly has that right. But honestly, folks, I don't post this column up on Friday, jump in my car and dash down to Georgia, hold a gun to his dog and tell him to click to it... or else!?!!
They find fault with the companies that make models, over silly things... The only 'company' I've ever faulted has been LAPCO, and I'll scream their name in damnation til the day they put me in the ground. If that's the company he's referring to, then guilty as charged and I stand proudly! All three of those bozo's lied, and swindled good folks out of a lot of money and emotional anquish and I've made it a personal commitment to remind EVERYONE of that every chance I get. If Steve wants to forgive them their lying, money grubbing souls, then that's his choice. But in the past he showed no love for these people.
You need to wonder what their motivations are. This is a statement Steve comes out with whenever he doesn't agree with your point of view. You MUST have some hidden 'motivation'. It's getting to be a favorite 'Iversonism' around the hobby, which has been used towards many folks down through the years. Another favorite word of his is 'rants'. Again, only used when he doesn't agree with you.
The best people in this hobby promote it, support it, build it up. They have done great things for the hobby like when they publish magazines, create model kits, run websites and organize conventions. They are the heros among us.
This, if you didn't notice, is what we call in the business, a 'Self-Congratulatory-Pat-On-The-Back'. This is to make sure you acknowledge that Steve himself has done all of these, therefore Steve is da man.
There's nothing wrong with this. In my humble opinion Steve's website is the BEST modeling site in this country, bar none. He published the J2 book, did video's, and was the man behind getting Clark's FLY kit produced (I believe). Not aware of any conventions he might have organized, but wouldn't be surprised to learn of any. And I can say with no hesitation that Steve does promote the hobby.
If he doesn't think I support, build it up or promote it, that's okay as well. It's a fairly new opinion on his part, since previous (and recent) emails stated the opposite. So again, can't really say what hair he has across his ass that prompted him to write the above?!
Steve's not adverse to a little 'pot stirring' every now and then. The difference between Steve and I is that he uses other people to stir folks up, like David Merriman, which then provides him with the opportunity to come riding in on a white horse with calmness, and self control, bestowing peace and tranquility throughout the land.
Me, I'm a Sailor... and a bitching Sailor is a happy Sailor! I have no problem pulling down a hornet's nest and tossing it into a crowd. Sometimes the crowd needs a little stirring up now and again! Especially when they ignore the hornet's for too long and attention needs to be directed that way.
Buc could learn a lot from them. Happily I learn things every day!! But if we're specifically speaking inside this hobby of ours, let me tell you a few lessons learned.
From Lisa Greco I learned that it's not always appropriate to state your opinion on public forums. Truth be told, it took me eight or nine months after the fact to realize I did learn this lesson!! Subconsciously it was the reason why I started 'Off The Sprue' to begin with, and only realized this later.
You see, by posting this column on my OWN website, I'm not forcing my viewpoint on any one. If you want to click on the page and take time out of your busy schedule to read it, great. I sincerely appreciate that. Whereas posting it on a public forum, you force everyone to see it and it's not always appropriate or fair in every case. Thanks, Lisa! (She might have fainted here, so somebody help her up, will you please!) :)
From Diceman I learned that personal integrity is alive and well and living in New Jersey! That if you ask a question, you don't receive a bullshit or softened answer, and that to call someone a 'friend' means you accept the WHOLE person... the good and the bad, and if you can't then the hell with ya. He's a kindred spirit and I haven't met too many of them in my travels.
It's a side of Steve that's lacking, sorry to say. The realization that two people can have different opinions and yet not make those disagreements turn personal. I've told Steve often that he looks through 'rose colored' glasses. I even jokingly stated that it was my goal in life to ween him off said glasses, which he took pretty seriously and got angry over. It wasn't meant to piss him off, but it did. (He doesn't have much of a sense of humor, or he's just not use to mine, I can't tell which!?!)
We've seen things differently. I've often told him I didn't understand how he could tolerate David Merriman's remarks and let them stand unedited in his digest, but go off on others in his Bulletin Board and on other forums for saying less. Bottom line was that the digest is his, and if he doesn't want to edit it, then that's his call. But I never could justify to myself how David's remarks were okay, and everyone else's were not, in his mind?! (Btw, I've meet David probably three times in the 20+ years I lived in Virginia Beach, and I love the big lug and his comments!! Never could understand why everyone got so spun up!! But that's another story!) We've also had many private discussions over the POLAR LIGHTS' Bulletin Board and how it should (and should not) be run, that we never did see eye-to-eye on, and we've never agreed on SM Clark's unsavory treatment and who was ultimately at fault.
But what I've never done is to publicly demean him in front of this hobby. I personally had more respect for both myself and Steve to ever do that, even when he previously felt the need to do so on his website months earlier. I have spoken 'to him' via earlier Sprues without embarrassing him by name. He knew I was directing my point to him and I knew it, but 99% of everyone else didn't. Simple respect to a friend. A respect that hasn't been shown to me twice now.
Now he doesn't want us to 'associate' together any longer. I asked him recently whose opinion was he so afraid of that our association was an endangerment or threat to him?! Never got an answer to that one. Always pictured some 'United Modeling Federation' interviewing him one day, saying, "Wait a cotton picking minute!!! Don't you associate with that Wheat character!!!??! Get the hell out of our office, you slimeball!!"
Do I still consider Steve a friend? Certainly. Do I always understand his mood swings? Nope! Am I bothered by his remarks above? Not especially.
I am bothered at a possible lost friendship from his prospective. But I am who I am. You gotta take the whole package.
I'd like to know exactly what burr got up his saddle, just out of personal curiosity. It would be helpful if he could elaborate on his statements above and what exactly pissed him off so!
Honest, I can take it! Clear the air, Steve!
BTW, not sure if I can speak for both of us, but we have many friends in this hobby that we share aquaintences with, and I don't think either of us wants this to turn into you having to choose between us. If this is more than it appears to be on the surface, then it really only affects Steve and I ultimately. So let's not get all mushy, okay!?!!
Til next week...