Sunday, April 3, 2011

Herd Mentality

Can I say it? Wait a minute, of course I can say it, it’s my blog: I’m tired of these customized Weather Girls already.

I get it, y’all just loves her to death, and most of the pieces I’ve seen so far are at least competently done. But too many customs on the same mold in such a short period of time - no matter how pretty or correct it may be - still makes my eyes glaze over. They all start looking the same to me, just like those blandly beautiful supermodels on the cover of Cosmo or Vanity Fair.

If you really want to impress me with your mad customizing skilz, do something special with more run-of-the-mill body box fodder, like what Maggie Bennett’s been doing lately with Family Arabian Stallions(!) and Smokies(!!) That’s the kind of thing I was aiming for, back when I was still brave enough to customize: the audible gasps of "I had no idea you could do that with that mold."

(Alas, my ideas were a little bit beyond my sculpting talents. I still dream of turning a FAM into a rocking Dales Pony, though.)

For as many pixels that are devoted in the hobby to expressions of one’s creative and intellectual independence, there’s actually darn little of it, at least online. It’s especially true in semi-autonomous communities like Blab, Fallen Leaves, and even Haynet, where some ideas Are Not Discussed, some authorities Must Always Be Deferred To, and Some Opinions Have the Weight of Truth.

In other words, the exact opposite of creative and intellectual independence is being fostered: it’s herd mentality. Herd mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it’s harnessed to achieve a greater good, but it’s definitely disconcerting to see it in a hobby full of self-professed "independent spirits."

I never set out to be a contrarian voice, but one of the numerous reasons I started this blog was to give voice to opinions otherwise unspoken, and by my act let other hobbyists out there know that it’s okay to not "follow the herd."

Yeah, it’s a little lonely out here sometimes. (S’alright, I’m used to it.) I’ll confess up front that I’d rather be an insider than an outsider, but sometimes you just gotta say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done.

Do it well, and do it honestly, and the rest will follow. Eventually. I hope.

I’m not the kind of person who enjoys watching other people have a great time (yes, jealous - your point?) but I’ve been following the SCE coverage on Blab because, unfortunately, that’s where the news is. I haven’t gotten my JAH yet, either, and I was jonesing for some new Breyer news.

I am quite pleased to see we are getting more Eberls sculpts in the near future - a pair of Classic-scale ponies, for BreyerFest! Yay, more ponies! I’ve always wanted a Classic-scale Pony Family; let’s hope that "Papa" isn’t too far behind. I’m not too crazy about the color they’re coming in, but it might just be the photos messing with my eyes again.

It’s going to be darn hard for me to narrow down my BreyerFest SR choices this year. I need the Goat, the Ponies, the newly announced dappled bay Weather Girl … fooey! Wish I could afford more than one ticket. At least there are enough good choices - I think - to make my position in line irrelevant.


Anonymous said...

Them Blabbers will kick you off if you don't agree with them, too...No such thing as free speech on Blab.

Anonymous said...

Blab is silly sometimes, but having sour grapes over not feeling like part of the club, for me at least, would be uncomfortably high school-esque. Strive instead to be the cool alterna-kid who's into weird stuff and supplies esoteric but always apropos knowledge at odd moments!

BreyerRose said...

Excellent suggestion - classy!

Helen said...

Thank you for another thoughtful post!

I think the "herd mentality" affects most hobbies. A degree of it helps form and maintain the overall hobby, but I think some people forget that the purpose of a hobby is to enjoy oneself. It's a shame to see people with uncommon tastes treated as if they're wrong about something.

ANDREA said...

Yeah, I've been trying to take a bit of a break from Blab, and just pop in when and if necessary.

My biggest frustration with it right now is that because of my work schedule (and my life, in general) I can't defend my more "controversial" ideas in a more timely or thorough manner.

It's not that I'm not willing to defend them, it's just that I really do have to post and run, sometimes. I can't be omnipresent, like some folks there seem to be.

By the time I get back to the discussion, they've all moved on to the next thing. Kind of a bummer, but not much I can do about it until the life-work balance thing finally rights itself.

Anonymous said...

My concern is, when I customize my WG, that I'm going to get screamed at by the Fine Arteest Clique for "copying". Because I'm going to want a pose that's similar to one that's already "taken". Sigh. Some people just aren't happy unless they're in control of something.

Oh, hey, want to see something that isn't a CM WG? Go see this awesome FAM:

Anonymous said...

Let's create a new forum for people who don't like the currently available ones!

Anonymous said...

Why do I get the feeling the Blab-haters here are the same people that post on Blab all day long? You see it on the other forums all the time - someone constantly bashing Blab, saying how much they hate it, yet I log in and see they've made 20 posts today. Ahhhh, hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

No hypocrisy here--I was kicked off for expressing my opinion. The forum is not very democratically run...they seem to "play favorites".

I feel that it was completely unfair and the whole thing was poorly handled by the chief blabber.

That is also my opinion.

Anonymous said...

People don't have to be popular to contribute to Blab.