Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Designated Pinata

(This is essentially a repurposing of my response to the discussion about me on Blab, for the benefit of those not wishing to venture there for whatever sundry reasons. It has been tweaked in the interim, though the substance has not. And for those of you who are thinking about "reporting" this to Blab to score some brownie points, too late: I’ve already discussed it with one of the moderators there.)

First of all, let’s squash this bug right in the beginning: I delete nothing on my blog, except the occasional spam. Regardless of what you may or may not believe, I spend a great deal of time fretting over the words I write, and I don’t - and won’t - delete anything I post. I stand by every word.

Second, the job I have comes with an extremely irregular schedule. I don’t always respond in a timely manner, because I am frequently away from home, sometimes during the most peculiar hours. About the only time in my schedule that is normal is that I have Sunday mornings off, and I spent most of this one asleep because I didn’t get home until about 2 a.m. of it. And then I had to work that night, which left me with a couple of hours in between to take care of all the other business I had to do that day.

I didn’t respond in a timely manner because I didn’t have time to craft a proper response. And also, I doubt it would have made much of a difference anyway. Nothing the hobby likes better than whacking a pinata around. And I am today’s designated pinata.

Third, I had hoped I had made it very clear from the tone and wording of the post in question that I had been sick the past several days, and one of the consequences of me being sick is that the "politeness" filter slips off. I even inferred that in the title of the post itself (the "salty" part.)

The more hostile commentary seems to be focusing on what people think I am saying, rather than what I am actually saying. I made no comment on the practice of customizing, any customizers in particular, the inherent quality of the customizing involved, etc.

The actual gist of my post: I express an opinion that as an OF Breyer person I prefer my models to stay that way, and that as an OF Breyer person it will always discomfort me when someone takes a brand spanking new model out of the box and start customizing it right away, without first enjoying it as it is.

Good grief, what a horrible, immature monster I am. The next thing you know, I’ll be randomly kicking puppies.

(Well, I did actually step on Vita’s toes accidentally the other day, come to think of it. My feet are huge, and she’s a hyperactive, wiggly thing. All was forgiven once I gave her a piece of banana, though.)

And nothing about the customizer personally. I don’t know her or her work, other than that she’s in Australia. It’s nothing personal: I don’t know her work because I’m not in the market for customs. (Except maybe Pamela Hutton’s work, and that ain’t happening on my budget!)

It may come as a surprise to some of you, in fact, that I actually own a small number of customs. A few of my own, and a few vintage pieces (Judy Renee Pope and Linda Leach-Hardy). I am not immune to the charms of a well-done custom. I have a body box of nightmares that I regularly dip into when the need arises. (Experimentation and stress-relief, mostly.)

I haven’t read through all the comments [there], which I am going to assume are going to be various iterations of what a nasty, mean, no good, jealous, callous, petty, stupid, ignorant, talentless, clueless piece of [insert bad word here] I am.

To be fair, I have been all these things in my life, at one point or another. I am no saint, and make no claims to be. I am also balding, overweight, and partially toothless. If that makes you feel any better and/or justifies your opinion of me, feel free to craft fresh new invectives from it. I am not beyond caring, but I am almost completely out of tears.

I was watching the Totilas thread - in the section designated for discussion of OF models, mind you! - because I was anticipating seeing the mold, too. What I wasn’t expecting was the timing. I came into the thread as an OF person wanting to get a first look at a new mold, only to get reminded - in a virtual eyeblink - that there’s a significant portion of the hobby that only sees OF Breyers as raw material.

That you see them as raw material for your art is fine. Really, I am completely fine with it. I am an artist, too, I understand sacrifices need to be made to achieve your vision. Go toss an Alborozo in a woodchipper, or take a blowtorch to a Woodgrain. It’s your property, do whatever the heck you want to do with it.

Show me the woodchipper/blowtorch pictures on the Internet, though - especially if it’s something nice, new and pretty - I will still wince at the thought.

The value, rarity, or lack thereof of the model in question is irrelevant. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Traditional Totilas or a Chris Hess Secretariat. Doesn’t matter who the artist is, either.

I am an OF person. Whenever I see a new model being customized, in any context, I am always going to think "but he was just fine the way he was!" 

I’m just a slightly nauseous whinypants sitting in a basement in Michigan wishing she had a pretty OF Totilas sitting on the shelf right now. I have no power to compel you - or anyone, really - to do my bidding. I have no flying monkeys at my beck and call. Heck, I can't even get the dog to listen to me most of the time.

(Yes, we knew that about Fox Terriers when we got her. That's one of the reasons why we got her in the first place.)

I choose my words very carefully here. Annoyed and offended are two different words with different meanings. I was annoyed by the situation, not offended. About the situation I find myself in, and the commentary surrounding it, I will leave you to surmise which one applies.

My schedule will continue to be irregular throughout the rest of the week, and I have a pressing project that absolutely must be attended to over the next few days. So feel free to continue whacking me with the baton.

Just don’t expect any candy to fall out. That’s long gone. (It was mostly Blackjack Taffy and Smarties, anyway.)

This will be the last I speak of this issue in public; the topic on Blab has also been essentially shut down ("hamsterdamed"). If anyone wishes to speak with me in private about this, I will do so as my time allows.


RowanMorgaine said...

The whole debacle just summed up what's wrong with the Internet (and possibly society in general). You stated a politely worded opinion about how you felt about something. No attacks on anyone else, no name calling, just your opinion on something and how it made you feel. Obviously, a lot of people on Blab disagreed with your opinion. That's ok. But many of them immediately started personal attacks on you because, oh horrors, you don't agree with them.

Lately, I've been see this a lot of places on the Net and in real life. People seem to think that any time a differing opinion is stated, it's time to immediately attack that person, probably in the hopes that they'll shut up and not sully their ears with something they don't agree with. Basically, some people seem to want to just hear their own opinions reflected back at them, all the time. And unfortunately, the sensible people who can accept differing opinions without lashing out and are willing to debate issues in a rational manner often keep quiet to avoid any stray shrapnel.

Anonymous said...

How was this about you personally? It was your opinion being critcizised and, goodness, not your weight and hair etc. This kind of pity-party response is beneath you, Andrea.

Anonymous said...

(regarding the anonymous post above mine) Personal attacks are not "disagreement" or "criticism".

You rock, Diva. You have contributed way more to this hobby than any of your detractors, and I appreciate you for that. And I'm "man" enough to take it in stride when you say something I don't agree with.

Cheers to you! (and I hope Vita's foot is OK)

Anonymous said...

what a victim complex. This wasn't about YOU as a person, your dog, or anything else. This was about you expressing your opinion and others disagreeing with it. And the hate mail sent to Karen -and I am not suggesting, nor do I think, that you sent any - seems to have been sparked by your blog post.

Anonymous said...

So the folks posting "hate mail" to blog author is perfectly OK? There is a HUGE double standard at work here. It's been noted repeatedly that Andrea wasn't the one posting on Facebook, so why bring the drama back here? You can disagree without the vitriol that showed up in the comments section of this blog. That wasn't a respectable debate or an adult discussion. You don't like what is posted on Facebook? Then, take it up with the trolls posting on Facebook.

Little Black Car said...

I'm a committed OF person, too. I can handle seeing brand-new regular molds customized right away, but I will probably forever resent customs done of Alborozo. Sorry. I can't afford one but somebody else can just chop him up?

Julie said...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I enjoy hearing the diva's insight on the hobby. I may not agree with everything, but it's nice to hear a different view.

Amber said...

I guess people have a different view on what is and isn't an "attack". Did the Diva post a controversial opinion? Definitely! And obviously not everyone agreed with it. But was it an "attack"? I personally didn't read it that way. But, that's the risk with posting anything on the web. Anything and everything is open to interpretation. I hope all sides continue sharing with us the aspects of the hobby they enjoy. There's room for everyone~

Anonymous said...

Diva, You are a valuable contributor to this hobby. Don't let them bring you down, you don't need them to bring you up. Poster #1 wrote a beautiful post. Sadly this hobby has an excess of people who love to gang up to shout others down. It is why I don't participate in the "hobby". Ihonestly do not want to know those people.

Anonymous said...

So your opinion is okay, but heaven forbid anyone post that they disagree with you. My god, you have gone off the deep end here. I've noticed lately you seem to think you're better than the hobby at large - from your comments about going to live shows and OH NO dealing with people who don't have the extreme knowledge you do and HOW TERRIBLE it is to see someone who doesn't devote their life to being the "Diva" of all knowledge on plastic ponies to this whole ordeal. You said your opinion, others had an opinion on what you said. Somehow you seem to think you are too godly for criticism or hell, discussion.

Geez, I used to really like you, but you need to get off your high OF there and come back to the real world. Humility would look great on your, this crap doesn't.

Ann Smith said...

Sour grapes a bit anonymous poster above?

RowanMorgaine said...

Communication 101:

Calling someone "immature" and "inconsiderate" (see the comments from the previous post) is a personal attack. Also, see anonymous poster above.

Alternatively: "I don't agree with your post about customizers posting pictures of cut up horses right away because it's their property and they have the right to do anything they want with it. Besides, which, they often make the horse even prettier in the end, and many of them make a living at this."

There. Do you see the difference?

RowanMorgaine said...

Something just struck me. Is it "hamsterdamed" or "hamsterdamned"? Because the notion of some kind of hamster damning just strikes me as incredibly funny. :)

Courtney said...

I have to agree with post #1; that was well-written.

As to those asking the Diva how it had to do with her personally--that became personal when people went to HER blog and started posting attacks on HER. And still are, apparently.

Andrea, keep doing what you're doing. There are still enough decent people in this hobby to appreciate the knowledge you have to share with us.

(I found it amusing Vita eats bananas. Our Beagle sniffs out anything he can find, but won't touch fruit or veggies!)

BreyerRose said...

I don't read Blab but I do read your blog, so this disussion was a total surprise to me. RowanMorgaine summed it up perfectly in the first comment so I have nothing to add to that. This whole discussion does make me think that Breyer might do well to sell some naked "Paint Your Own" bodies every time a new mold comes out. Or sell some factory second bodies if they ever have such a thing. I like OF models and I like customs too. I did my first Breyer custom when I was about 11 years old (1955), removing the mane and tail from a Western Horse and making her chestnut with a flaxen thread mane and tail. I still have her. She needs a new mane and tail again, my granddaughter replaced the thread with doll hair about 12 years ago.... Anyhow, keep up the blog and sorry about the controversy. Some folks take themselves much too seriously in my opinion. We all need Cash Cow T-shirts for BreyerFest.

Courtney said...

LOL at BreyerRose

I think the T-shirt is a great idea. Maybe they can make the ones with the pointing finger that say "I'm with Stupid" read "I'm with a Cash Cow" instead.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog since the start, and am another person who feels it has progressively become more and more "Diva" and less "Breyer History."

In my opinion, the general tone of posts over the past six months or more tend to be a bit dramatic with a condescending slant --judges at BF not liking your entries, how much behind the scenes stuff you know but just can't tell, being picked as a volunteer or not, live shows, etc--and this is the latest episode.

If that's the direction the blog is going to continue in, that's fine, it's obviously your blog and your soap box. I personally have been and will continue to visit less, and think it's a shame that the neat and in-depth history-oriented posts have largely gone by the wayside. This blog has the potential to be a really interesting and useful resource, but it can take a lot of digging to get to the kernals of information right now.

Regardless, I wish you and Karen the best. Neither of you deserve whatever personal attacks have been directed your way.

Anonymous said...

^ agreed.

Anonymous said...

^ me three. Well said.

jay said...

Andrea, I have no idea what in the world has happened with all of this, since I'm not on Blab. I'm not active in the hobby, just collecting OF models and a portrait resin of my mare, but I keep up with it online. I just wanted to say sorry for all the anon hate you're getting over something so inconsequential and remind you that there are many of us who love your blog.

Nanaki said...

Well Andrea, at least your time in the spotlight has gone, and now it seems that people are starting a fight with me, because how dare I suggest that just because someone doesn't like a Premiere Club release doesn't mean it's invalid as a release. Not everything needs to be a reverse-dapple sooty dunskin in sabino with hand-etched mapping, photo-realistic eyes, AND sculpted by Eberl. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but sheesh.

Anonymous said...

You keep writing , I'll keep chopping. Haters make you famous.