Forums…I give up!

Had this fabulous idea of reposting yesterday’s comments (How Much Would You Pay?) on three or four major forums. Boy, what a mistake. Once again,  I find that posting anything like this on a forum is a complete waste of time, which also leads me to believe that trying to organize this pastime is also a waste of  time.

I had hoped to get a dialogue going on the subject, and asked that, when possible, for people to reply via my blog. Well one forum, once again found that a link to my site would  piss off their advertiser (they have one). I did have a discussion on the subject with a co-administrator and that was it (8 replies, 6 were mine). No one else bothered  to respond, even though there were 57 views.

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Next forum, 130 views, and two responses. One response, un-edited:

“On this issue , I think when you start putting money into a organization, it starts off with a great  idea,but then it turns corrupt. Most organizations, corporations, and government are like this. They get to big , and then funds start being used for other things  that they were not attended for. Sorry for my negative view , its hard to trust any big organization , after these last few years. Once you open this can of worms,  whats next? Next they will have you buying metal detecting license’s. There is not many things you can do any more, with out paying money to someone.”…..  (A great example of why emails and letter writing will never get the job done….)

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Forum number three….138 views, 6 replies. One went like this:

“I don’t believe that we need anymore “self regulating authorities” that claim they are
representing the rights of the masses of people. Personally, I don’t need anyone to represent me or say that they are representing me without my permission.  I can represent myself in all that I do. I see too many of these organizations that end up acting as a barrier to entry to those wanting to participate for their  own benefit. e.g. non-profits that pay huge salaries to their managers from members dues, corrupt unions, home owners associations and professional organizations  such as the American Society of Home Inspectors that claims to self regulate the home inspection industry without any legal authority. These organizations are all  about power and greed and the desire to control others. No thank you. I’m not interested in another controlling  organization.” (2nd example  of why letter writing is not helping the cause.)

Another followup response to the above:

“I’m with you on this Then again, I thought I could make a quick buck through intimidation. BTW, not all non-profit groups are like that, just the  larger ones Red Cross, UNICEF, and United Way lead the way to ripping off contributions. Salvation Army sends 96% of its contributions to helping people.  I want something done, I’ll tackle it myself. I wonder what the OP take will be for helping to organize a ripoff”. (I had to add periods  to this individual’s response)

The other three responses were simply agreeing with the first responder….

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Forum 4….37 views, one sane, and reasonable reply:

“I agree, we are a terribly under-represented group of hobbyists. I wish we lived in a world where live and let live was more the rule, but it just seems to be  a fact that certain other groups will cast MD’ers in a negative light, and some MD’ers will help them by acting like fools and trespassing or destroying property.

I think part of the problem we have is we’re in a hobby that is economical, or the hobby attracts those of us who are frugal. Yes, we spend hundreds or more on our  detectors, but what we spend is peanuts compared to those who would be equally dedicated to many other hobbies – (credit Dan Hughes here) – like golfers who cough up  anywhere between 20 to 100 dollars in greens fees every week, or the bass fisherman who drags around a boat worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Would one national organization be the answer? I’m not sure. Maybe. Granted, the NRA certainly helps gun enthusiasts, but it’s also the center of a lot of controversy,  and a polarizing entity. Would our detractors simply paint us all as greedy trespassers as members of such an organization? As it is, we’re left to our own charm and wit  to negotiate our way through low level public officials that would chase us off a public site, or attempt to implement a detecting ban. (How did Bar Harbor make out?).
In this area, a well known local resident may just have more credibility and clout than a paid representative from “away”. Even though $25 a year may be money well  spent to protect us, I think a representative organization would have to gain credibility with hobbyists somehow before we’d all be sending in our membership fees.  It’s an interesting topic, for sure.”

Cbuzz, thank you so much for taking the time to express your opinion. You are a breath of fresh air!

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I have to also add that those few who frequent my website and blog did not bother to respond to the question either. And so it goes with the metal detecting masses.  Perhaps that’s why the “national” groups have gone into hibernation. Perhaps they know the score. Apparently it’s every man for himself! What the hell has happened to us?  I don’t have an answer or even a clue, but I do know that I give up….!

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THANKS FOR THE PEP TALK

Just wanted to thank two friends who follow my site and blog for sending me uplifting and encouraging thoughts and for understanding my situation.  You are very much appreciated. It’s easy to get down on yourself, and you need to be reminded about how lucky you really are. Thank you both very much.

And so you know, no one sent me $20, damn it!!

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16 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

16 responses to “Forums…I give up!

  1. Just goes to show, and proves what I have said for many years now: Society gets the police it deserves, similarly, metal detectorists get the same.

    Pour yourself a large one, on the rocks, and enjoy.

  2. stevessunkentreasures

    This is why I have been relying more and more on blogs and conversations for useful information regarding our hobby. The forum conversations get side tracked, hijacked, and mutilated way to easily!

    • Thanks Steve…I have always been amazed at how very basic questions turn into long and drawn out verbal brawls between the posters, many of whom, based on their number of posts, must have nothing else to do.

  3. Well Dick, some of the forums are populated by people who’d need a good smearing of KY Jelly to get thier heads back out of arkies assholes. What do you make of the dimwits who ban thier members from wearing ‘cammo gear’ in case the public (who, in the main don’t give a toss) confuse them with nighthawks. Better still, these club members are so desperate for land to hunt on, they agree!!
    Small wonder that Barford has these types for breakfast.

    • John, you and I have been around this quirky pastime far too long, and have learned that it attracts people from all walks of life, a few of which understand, contribute and care, and a few that simply do their thing, without contributing, not realizing that their inaction is going to take away their enjoyment down the road. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so….

  4. Sounds like a good idea to me, I would gladly pay to have a voice! Yes I work in a union shop, pay dues, and am a local officer. So I know that it takes more than just people willing to pay for a voice, some will actually have to do the bidding!
    If those willing to represent us wherever needed were only compensated for there lost time and travel, not salaried, you would see less fraud and more involvement strictly for the love of the hobby, in my opinion. But we both know what opinions are worth!
    But as you say inaction will be the norm.

    • Mike thanks for replying. You may have a point there, but I personally don’t think someone working nights and weekends, and getting paid for expenses will ever work. I and others did that in the past, and while we righted a few wrongs, many of them have come back to haunt us. JMO.

  5. Dick, I have to agree whole hearted with you opinion(s) and/or view. Our hobby is horribly misrepresented. Due in part or whole by lack of adequate representation by competent people. This is true of many, many other facetts of today’s lifestyle too. I will say, only as one of “those heathens”, smokers are in that situation and the hole is one that may NEVER be gotten out of. Potentially even just covered and left to die? But back to the point, this type of thing happens every day all over this country. If you get the right ear to listen, have the appropriate voice speak, and adequate financial backing, you can get most ANYTHING passed to some level of the law, from local to national. I for one have been a member of the NRA and many other associations over the years, and wouldn’t hesitate to make a like contribution to such an association with “our” cause as their agenda. Short of being on my soapbox, I would speak out. I may not be “the best of the best”, but I believe in a cause and I can be rather effective and persuasive when it comes to a cause I believe in. I do see that in recent years there is generally ALOT of talk, and little action. Most people now days take the “wait and see” direction, and that’s about as far as it gets. True as it may be, money buys “the means”. That’s the unfortunate fact in todays world of politics and social activity. Okay, guess it’s time for me to step down from my soapbox for now. Just let me know if you want or need me to step back up, and speak out. I’ll be here, there.

    • Thanks Joe for taking the time to post your thoughts. I appreciate it.

      I really haven’t a clue as to where this pastime is going and what will happen ten years down the road. All I have are opinions and ideas. Likewise I am not going to be the one who decides. I have been there, done that, and too old to get involved again. I just think we all need to think “more seriously” about where things are today, and where they might be down the road. If we don’t….?

      • Dick, I have been a part of this “hobby” for about 35 years. I have seen the degrigation of the hobby as whole over those years. As much as the few “good ‘ole boys” try to keep the activity clean, and represent the hobby as sincere as possible, the “bad apples” seem to have a greater effect on the negative side that the good merits of the other side. If I was to offer a somewhat simple suggestion. I would recommend that “members” as such have specific I.D. This I.D. would be represenative of that sect of our hobby. That meaning they have fulfilled certain requirements set down, and continue to fulfill and update their requirements. That would make a small positive action that would potentially legitimize the hobby, the holder of said I.D., and start a stream of positive motion for the hobby. If properly notorized (not specificly advertised), it would likely be a grass roots movement that could and would gain momentum in due time. On the flip side, if a “hobbyist” was to make contact with a land owner, or public individual for permission, the 1st question would (or should be), “do you have your membership I.D.”? If the individual doesn’t have it, then it would be the land owner’s discretion for permission. Otherwise (tho not an iron clad gurantee) the individual WITH said I.D. has already proven his crudentials, and is more likely have permission, or atleast a better chance of positive response.

        Just a thought. Thanks again for starting something that invokes thought (from me anyhow) and potentially some action as well.

      • Joe, think I understand your point, and it’s something to think about. My big question would be who determines what the criteria is for getting this I.D., and who gives it out? Think also there might too much room for error and that people
        might make up their own I.D., etc.

  6. Thanks for your kind words Dick. I’ve visited here before, and through your favorites links visited the Task Force for Metal Detectings Rights site. This conversation prodded me, and I just joined/signed up for their e-mail alerts. Baby steps…
    Cbuzz

  7. Any new representative body must have full-time officers drawn from industry and the media. However, before stepping out on this path we first have to identify what metal detecting is about. It is a pursuit having its own methodology, terminology and ideaology, where the artefact or the ‘find’ is paramount. Metal detecting is NOT archaeology.

    Having thus identified the hobby’s parameters, then hobbyist’s rights on a wider canvas can be identified, persued and protected. All of this will take money and lots of it.

    But a well-run, professional organisation, is the only way to go. The recent press release debacle overseen by the the NCMD here in the UK is proof enough we need to move up a gear.

  8. Dwight S

    Mr. Stout, thank you for your support of the detecting hobby through the years. I’ve read many or your articles and books through the years, and I appreciate all you’ve done.

    If it could be done with true influential intentions for the hobbyist, then I’d freely pay the $25 or even $50 a year for membership. For that, I’d expect true representation for our hobby against impending legislation by archeologists and the like that look for ways to limit our hobby every chance they get. I think that most here that have jokingly commented would probably do likewise. I know some of them have commented in the past when posts have been made regarding blogs and news articles that have been written where archeologists paint detectorists in a bad light or because of such fiascos as the American Digger & Digger TV shows that came out this past spring.

    We have archeologists all over the country who believe that if it’s in the ground, it belongs to them and we as hobbyists have no right whatsoever to dig anything. They sit in their offices, write letters to the editors, push for protective legislation and beg for donations rather than go out and attempt to persevere America’s pre-history sites that truly need protection and study. They had rather see a developer come in and scrape the ground and develop a piece of property, losing all historical items in the process, than see any of us dig a bullet and share its significance with a group of interested kids. Whether we like it or not, our hobby is under attack and without some help, we will lose out in the end.

    In my opinion, this organization would initially need to be run by the hobby’s movers and shakers, the equipment manufacturers and the hobby magazine publisher/editors. They, as hobby related businesses employ both directly and indirectly scores of people and would already yield influence if they banded together in a collective voice. Together with the hobbyists, they could possibly make a difference and open up new areas and ideas for the growth of the hobby.

  9. Dennis

    Mr. Stout, I enjoy reading your writings and agree with much of what you state however, in this arena, I would have to disagree. I am not too smart so please bare with me.

    I do not trust politicians nor do I trust special interest groups. No matter who you pay off, you will win some and lose some, this is life. The special interest groups will take care of you to some degree. Ever see Mr. LaPierre eating at McDonald’s or a store bought sandwich or staying in a Motel 8? Most of these folks look at the bank roll and live like it is their own. Money starts to run low because the leadership is speaking at a hearing in Washington and they stay in the best of the best and eat the best of the best and they need suits…

    Then the cry for more money goes out so we can continue the fight. In my opinion, there will never be enough money. Once we start an organization or start feeding one which already exists, it will never stop, it will become a monetary giant and eventually become a necessity, something I am not seeing a need for.

    At this point in my hobby, I ask permission and if I am told no, I respect the landowner’s decision and move on. As for public lands, we need to continue to write our Representatives and help produce legislature which can be a win/win for everyone. In addition, I think local groups would have a better effect on local decisions. We speak the same language, dress alike and understand each other better than bringing someone in from “away” to fight for me.

    Mr. Stout, I have only been detecting for about three years and have read some of the issues going on around our country. One thing I do know is that I do not know it all. Not everyone who swings a coil belongs to a group or club. There are folks who do not take responsibility for their actions and there are those who just do not know any better. We, as a community need to look at what we can do to fix ourselves and fight the good fight when needed, at the local level. Hoping you do not give up, keep provoking thoughts and ideas going, eventually we will come up with a solution that might satisfy 50% of us. Thanks for sharing your ideas, I do appreciate them.

    HH! Dennis

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