Friday, 26 April 2013

Collector's New Blog: John Hooker's "Past Times and Present Tensions"

    Celtic knob   

I first came across John Hooker about a decade and a half ago when I was debating metal detecting on the CBA's British Archaeology discussion list (Britarch). He had some interesting points well-made and certainly made a better job of being an effective advocate of the artefact hunter than the insulting, disruptive and aggressive behaviour of the metal detectorists on that list. It was Hooker who induced me to give thought to another side of collecting. It was Hooker whose writing drew me to realise the parallels between the tekkie arguments of the UK and what was at that time beginning to happen in the world of collecting ancient dugup coins in the US [some of the arguments were the same]. This then led to my interest in the ACCG and the discussions then brewing about the CCPIA. This would probably have gone a different way if the only people I had to discuss the issues with were the likes of Baz Thugwit and Gnasher Klout the tekkies and their Fiona Fluffy-bunny and Johnny Jobsworth  supporters among the archaeologists on Britarch.

Certainly then, I would have to say that the early stages of the development of my current thinking on artefact hunting owe a lot to sparring with John Hooker. In those days he was generous with his time and in the information he offered and never descended to the levels of uncouthness which the archives of Britarch will time and time evidence was the common model adopted by the metal detectorists. There was a time when I opened posts from Mr Hooker with anticipation of some good points being made and also that we were discussing on familiar ground - things which the average tekkie had not the slightest idea.

In later years, I have been a bit harsh on this blog about some of Mr Hooker's writings. I feel he began to get repetitive, rehashing the same old stuff, and also going off onto a tangent not always of benefit to the discussion. His recent and apparently growing fascination with post-modernism also leads him to areas that do not seem to me very helpful when it occurs to the exclusion of all else. Above all, getting more deeply involved with the lunatics of the ACCG over the last couple of years has certainly dragged him down to their level I feel, but it seems that there is not a comparable milieu in Canada (where John lives) - John is very much one of a kind over there. That is why I am very interested to see that he has started a new blog of his own, "Past Times and Present Tensions" with its first post "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness". Of it he writes:
Rather than waste my time with further academic publications, which are useful to produce only for those within that system, but of no use at all to independent scholars, and the public at large, I thought it might be a nice idea to go directly to the public, so this blog will have current research that is ongoing, and will be about a number of topics. There will also be links to an e-book or two that I will publish at a price that anyone can afford; perhaps a few guest spots from the cream of academia, and elsewhere; good friends, anecdotes and issues far removed from Celtic coins and Celtic art-- artistic, environmental, social, and just mundane but interesting stuff. Something for everyone. You never know what, or who, you might encounter here. Perhaps this is the way of the future!
The author seems to be contemplating making regular posts. Certainly one to watch with interest.

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