Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Difference Between White van Drivers, Rapists and Metal Detectorists

People who drive white vans down narrow country lanes with no thought for other road users and singing along at the top of their voice as their in-car sound system sends vibrations across the surrounding fields. That's what really gets my goat. I hate it. These people really should think of the consequences of their selfish behaviour. Many of us have our pet hates, some of us write about them. Some of us do so in the vague hope that by raising awareness and getting the subject discussed, things may even one day change.

I wonder how many people writing about white van drivers and blaring car sound systems would expect a flood of hate-mail, personal attacks and threats? Even in lager-lout England, I would not have thought it would be something expected. Yet a friend there just received an insulting Christmastime reply to his request to remove crude  ad personam material from a collector's website which he considered uncalled-for and threatening:
do me a favor and next time you get upset write someone else because I frankly am sick of you and your whiny ass “poor me” complaints. Any problems you face or “think” you face are all brought on by yourself and your constant derogatory comments about hobbyists and collectors.
From the forums, one gets a clear picture of what the vast majority of artefact hunters think of people that ask awkward questions about what they are doing to the archaeological heritage, and that they approve of the sort of intimidatory harrassment the latter get at the hands of the tekkie thugwit brigade. Yet white van drivers would not react like that, why do artefact collectors? Why does the quoted artefact collector think he is entitled to behave in an aggressively personal and threatening manner? Note how the collector (as they all do) dodges responsibility, putting the blame on his victim: "your own fault mate for criticising us detectorists" (that's like a rapist blaming his actions on the way his victim was dressed and behaved). What makes detectorist think they are different from any other group that they feel entitled to react in this instinctively predatory thugwit manner? What makes detectorist think they are so different from any other group that the 'ambassadors of the hobby' can presume they have licence to behave in such a manner with impunity?

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".  

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