Wednesday, August 31, 2016

That Article

Lots of stuff happened in the past few days – yes, I’m aware of the new releases and I’ll have something about the “Gold Chestnut” Valegro next post – but this apparently showed up today and it’s worth a dissection here:

Yes, an article about BreyerFest on Gizmodo, of all places. Although I have been interviewed and filmed for media pieces before, I wasn’t for this one. My social media profile is a little outside of Gizmodo’s comfort zone, I guess: I don’t have an Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube account, and not really interested either.

Which apparently makes me some sort of dinosaur? I was busy trying to have a good time. (Mostly a success.)

As you may know, I do not “hide” my participation in this hobby; if anyone asks me about it, I tell them about it in the same tone and terms any one would use to describe any other avocation, like knitting, sharpshooting or baseball card collecting.

If you act ashamed about something, people are going to assume – rightly or wrongly – that there might be something there to be ashamed about. But there isn’t and I’m not.

Sure, there’s lots of weirdness, and arcane language, and some people do have a hard time wrapping their heads around the concepts like live showing and breeding (pedigree assignment for you noobs). But you get that with any activity.

I’ve been to my fair share of Comicons and conventions for other things. I’ve seen stuff.

That being said, the article was … interesting. It was better than most “an outsider looks in” articles I’ve seen (I have a collection of those in my archive, too!) though there was strange thread of tech-shaming in it – which is a bit odd, considering the hobby’s early and enthusiastic adoption of the Internet.

Just because a chunk of us don’t participate in whatever social media form is the “it” medium of the moment doesn’t mean we’re irrelevant or Luddites.

Some of the details were wrong – that isn’t that big a deal really – but some of the interpretations and observations were a little out there, and that was. (I’m not sure if they spoke to any actual Breyer/Reeves people? I couldn’t tell.)

And the tone – well, I’m one of the few that apparently saw it as a little off; trying a touch too hard to be clever in sort of a slightly detached anthropological way. 

Articles of that type have a tendency to objectify people or groups into odd little curios to be studied, which is generally not a good thing. Especially since this hobby, in some ways, is about exactly the opposite: investing personalities and life into our “curios”.

The comments are the usual minefield, too. (More “Breyers were better back in the day” nonsense? I can’t even… I was there dudes, no they weren’t!)

But it was mostly okay. A good jumping point, if you will: if anyone has come here from there, feel free to peruse mine, as well. It’s a little weird and obsessive at points, but it gives me joy, sometimes at the most unexpected moments.


Corky said...

I'm conflicted. I'm probably one thousand percent wrong about this, but it seems to me that the author resented being assigned to write about something he knows or cares nothing about, and that resentment and lack of knowledge seems to come through a lot (to me, anyway). But in other ways, it's better than other such articles I've read.

Anonymous said...

He seemed completely dismissive to me.