Friday 27 September 2013

"California style"

It says on the box:
The ACCG was formed to provide a voice for ancient coin collectors on issues that threaten the hobby. [...] [to] provide decision makers in the legislative and administrative branches of government with our own views on the complex issues surrounding preservation of historical sites [...].
I remarked upon how one of the ACCG's officers has been attempting to achieve this aim on behalf of all coin collector members. Today the world wakes to find another one. This one is very revealing of the US mindset. They think we should worship their free-speech ethos, yet are all for suppression of comment when it affects them. So we have here Mr Welsh musing about "Slaying Barford" (Thursday, September 26, 2013), not by the US preferred tactic of remote stealth attacks by political assassination drones, but by "One Detectorist's Revenge".
"Steve Taylor remains the only detectorist to ever have shut Barford up, which he did for about two months in the fall of 2011".
This is quite interesting, I am assuming the ACCG have full awareness of just who it is they are getting (figuratively) into bed with here. I don't expect that, as with our previous discussion of the meaning of the words il/licit, Mr Welsh's memory has retained the full facts about why this blog was hidden (not closed) for several weeks. The Warsaw Prosecutor General still has the files. At the time, readers may remember that Mr Welsh was loud in declaratively offering his support to me and my family as a result of the events following Mr Taylor's actions. Sincerity it seems is not his middle name.

Thus it is we now find ACCG's Mr Welsh lauding UK metal detectorist Steve Taylor for "shutting Barford up" for two months and writing "the Barford Song". Obviously the ability to shout down any critical comment and engage in vulgar insult-throwing is very much to the taste of this Reputable Dealer,  Professional Numismatist (sic) and pillar of the Ancient Coin Collectors of America Guild.  Whether or not that is what will impress the "decision makers in the legislative and administrative branches of government" (in the offices of some of which it would seem are individuals whom are quite frequent visitors to this blog) remains to be seen.

I rather think debating the various views "on the complex issues surrounding preservation of historical sites" involves engagement of the issues involved, not shouting down those who raise them and running away from providing an alternative reasoned argument. All the time in this recent discussion with ACCG spokesmen Wayne Sayles, Peter Tompa and Dave Welsh (and Sock-puppet-Arthur through the medium of CPO) about possible ways forward for the antiquities market we see nothing but sniping, insults and ad hominem attacks.

Vignette: California style - uramaki inside out

UPDATE 27.09.13
The dealer professes innocence (see the comments about personal responsibility - always somebody else, innit?). "What Mr. Barford apparently did not realize is that he is so cordially disliked and hotly resented (perhaps hated might be a more accurate word) by the UK detectorist community..." really that is a bit difficult NOT to notice it when you spend any time at all on their forums.

Mr Welsh defends the reactions of detectorists and coineys to the concerns I raise as "free speech" and accuses me of "double standards", allegedly considering that "harsh criticism may justly amd appropriately be directed toward collectors, the antiquities trade and metal detectorists" while allegedly believing that
"Barford himself and other anticollecting archaeologists are "off limits," and their targets are not allowed to reply in kind".
But they do not, do they? I say WHY (sometimes using concrete documented examples from a forum post or You Tube video) I believe that the majority of metal detected finds are not being recovered in a responsible manner, I say WHY I believe the PAS is not achieving the aims it was set up to reach 9again sometimes using concrete examples), I say WHY there are problems with the current phrasing of the UK Treasure Act (using concrete documented examples) , and WHY we should be concerned about what is and what is not happening in Wales and Scotand (artefact hunting wise, using concrete documented examples), I say WHY there are huge problems surrounding metal detecting rallies. I say WHY these are huge problems with 1980s US laws intended (we are told) to "Implement" the 1970 UNESCO Convention (umm, using, again concrete documented examples). And much much more, I say WHY. And all we get from that sorry load is "the Barford Song" and from ACCG's Welsh "the Amazing Talking A-hole" (instead of setting out what he'd determined to be a feasible recording system for coins on the market). That is certainly not what the rest of the world would consider as "reply in kind". Not by any means.

And from that point of view I would suggest that to answer in kind, there ought to be less ad hominem attention to  "Barford himself and other [critical] archaeologists", but their arguments. If the critics are right, then the responsible collectors will want to address those problems and set the situation right. If they are wrong, then responsible collectors surely can demonstrate that. I think most normal people are able to comprehend that arguing "Paul Barford is a pathetic, useless A-hole" does neither of those two things and has even stopped being an entertaining diversion from discussing the real issues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nae worries Paul, there's a clear pattern developing. Mr Winter and the US lobby allied themselves with Messrs Stout and Howland and pulled out once they realised. Now the latter are making the same mistake with Mr Taylor.(They should know that Mr Taylor is the one that has been "silenced" after being warned by the police about his threats of violence towards me.)

Let them continue to ally themselves with the worst elements of metal detecting - as a poet said "you can judge a man by the company he keeps". And it's quite appropriate because let's face it, they buy from the worst elements of metal detecting already whether they claim they're unaware or not - which is the whole problem and the source of their dislike of you.

They're making the situation clear for all to see. You can't present yourself as Noel Coward if your best mates are - well, different.

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