Tuesday, November 26, 2013
STATE OF THE HOBBY: LIARS AND BULLIES AND EGOS, OH MY!
In short: I hate stupidity. That's what it all comes down to, after all. So many of those that try to deceive think they are the smartest people in the room, when it's painfully obvious to the rest of the world that they aren't. Nothing is more pathetic than someone too dumb to know how dumb they are.
But the one positive aspect of being so clueless is that they can't hide it, which is great for the rest of us. After all, how are you going to know who the crappy people are unless they speak up and show us just how crappy they are? Thanks, clueless people, we appreciate it.
The Star Trek collecting community is much like any other group – everybody talks to everybody else. So when someone does something underhanded – be it a company or an individual – the word gets around, especially when they do it over and over. Liars are always caught because it's hard for them to remember all the lies (honest people never have that problem, obviously). And egotistic boasters, well – the louder they beat their own drum, the more distasteful they become. People that give only so they can be recognized for it are sadly too self-absorbed to know that charity should go unstated. The more you talk about it, the less charitable the act becomes. You bought a house for your girlfriend? Please, tell us about it yet again. We can't get enough.
The collecting world is a microcosm of the real world, filled with every type of person imaginable – most good, others not so much. The tough thing is that – whether on-line or in the real world – it can take time to discover the true nature of people. You don't really know who your friends are until something is at stake. There will be those that have your back, and those that will turn their backs on you. The former are invaluable, the later aren't worth knowing.
This is a hobby, and as such it's supposed to be FUN. But that doesn't mean when people act badly it should be ignored – that only emboldens them to keep doing what they're doing. Bad behavior should be pointed out and slapped down whenever possible. And if you don't think lying, rampant egotism and bullying represent bad behavior, then you might want to look at your own character.
I've created a forum for screen-used collectors – The Star Trek Prop Room – that's free of those qualities, as any decent place should be. The members are passionate about collecting, while being honest, decent people. These are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Amazingly, there's been some people who recently approached me about membership who have been very vocal supporters of those that lie and bully. They helped create the monster for their own personal gain, and now want to escape it by coming to me, the man for whom they expressed nothing but disdain while hiding behind the walls of a private forum/fiefdom. But out in the light of day, they are too small, too petty – they are not welcome. They need to stay with the dictator they helped create. If you've sold your soul to the devil for toys or access or to prop up your own frail ego, you need not come knocking.
I don't put myself up as some paragon of virtue. I have the same (or more) personal foibles to which all of us are susceptible. But there's a difference between being imperfectly human, and being conniving, deceitful and self-centered. And I'm not talking about honest differences of opinions, by the way.
So am I hater?You bet.
And I'm good with that.