HOW I WISH
All the above of course is wishful thinking, or bullshit if you will. No way will we ever see an organization that effective or that large. Then again, who cares, right? Got to go detecting, knock out a few videos, and travel down yonder for the next big meetup. No time for that kind of crap, and come on, there’s no way am I sending my hard-earned cash to someone to represent me. I will take care of my own problems.
DID I JUST DESCRIBE YOU?
What do you think? Was that an accurate assessment? Was I being too critical, or did I hit a nerve? Well when the proverbial “shit hits the fan”, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Won’t matter how quickly it happens, or how obvious it is either, because we are too busy to notice. We are just a bunch of self-centered, ragtag tekkies who can always find the time to do things that make US happy, but can’t find a minute more to help someone else or further a cause.
The FMDAC went months without saying one single word, but in a matter of a week they turn up on a podcast and promote yet another yearly get-together. Same goes for the WWATS group. Nothing new for a year or more, yet there’s a two-day get-together in May. Then go to Facebook, and watch how fast a semi-organized hunt can be thrown together, with everyone and their brother begging to attend. Ask for a few tekkies to protest a city hall somewhere and I am willing to be you’ll be lucky if three people show up. It all comes down to priorities.
Then there’s the Task Force (another group that can vanish for months at a time) who recently had a “call to action” requesting all of us to write to the New York City Parks Department, and help them open up a few more parks. Be honest, how many of you wrote that letter ? How many of you said, “tomorrow” or “later”?
And can you say Cook County, or *Louisville? Both pretty big problem areas couple years ago but now they are forgotten. Why? Because nobody cares. Be honest….how many of you would actually attend a protest rally Louisville if it were proposed? Would you take off work, jump in your car and be just as excited as you were when you attended that big week-long event in Virginia? Do you really give a rat’s ass one way or another?
I understand the excitement and the pleasure you get from going to events, detecting in England and playing Cecile B. DeMille with your GoPro. I get it. Fun times, money is no object and fame and fortune await. What you don’t get, is that you may not have too many places to use that $2,000 detector and GoPro camera if you don’t get serious about what’s happening outside your little, “me, me, me” bubble.
You see we are slowly but surely losing ground when it comes to burdensome legislation and restrictions. It’s happening at the local, state and national level, and often under the radar, much to the chagrin of the detectorists it affects. It happens here and it happens there, without us even noticing, and when it does happen we say “oh well, let’s see if we can get them to issue permits”. Sorry my friends, that’s your way of saying “my bad”. To me it’s “surrender”. What will it take? A statewide ban or two to get your attention? Well, don’t think it can’t or won’t happen.
From what I can see, a lot of detectorists think maybe they can make a living digging holes. You know, post up a lot of photos with old coins, gold and glitter, knock out a few videos, get noticed on social media, and then sit back and wait for the TV producer to call. Well good luck with that, but let me suggest you don’t quit your day job.
As our numbers have increased so has the potential for major problems. The more tekkies digging holes, the more we get noticed, and while getting noticed is great for the manufacturers, it means we are under more scrutiny, and just one careless newbie can ruin it for many.
Whatever happens to the metal detecting pastime will be the direct result of if and how we represent ourselves, and how strong we are in numbers. To the three national organizations out there…. either get it done or stop with the pretense. To the manufacturers….step up to the plate and bring back the manufacturers association. If we lose you lose even more. Lastly to all who enjoy this pastime, slow down, smell the roses and while you are at it, water them too. Don’t let them die.
WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?
Thanks to Gary Kilmer for sending along this tidbit….