Friday 24 January 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: "Shady, Sinister and Dishonest", Is He Talking About Me?

In what seems to me to be relatively clear English, I wrote:
English Heritage's guidance on "responding to heritagecrime in progress" is not a lot of use when you see some blokes walking up and down with shadowy metal-detector-like tools on an archaeological site in the middle of a field at dusk. They might be nighthawks, or they might be there with a letter of permission. That's in Bonkers Britain, outside it there is often far less ambiguity. 
Admittedly some of the sentences are more than eight words long. Nevertheless, it is with some surprise that over on a detectorist's blog near you (i - Go Detecting, Wednesday, 22 January 2014), we read the astonishing claim:
"The author of the original post tries to paint a shady, sinister and dishonest picture of all detectorists"
Can anyone else see here what he's getting at? Where is this "shady"? Where is it "sinister"? And for goodness sake where is the "deceit"? It seems to me we have a case here of a reader unjustifiably replacing with an alleged hidden intent the real meaning of the actual words used.

Any observer of the heritage debate in Britain will quickly see that a constant stream of kneejerk paranoia from a bunch of mental-age-of-thirteen buffoons quick to take offence is about all one can expect when one tries to discuss anything sensibly with artefact hunters around. These people refuse to admit the existence of serious issues surrounding the whole area of artefact collecting and the antiquities trade, still less offer to help do anything about it. As far as they are concernedl the only problems must be assignable to the ill-will of the "Other", they are ever-keen to play the victim and deny any responsibility of themselves and their fellows, it is always "somebody else".


Unknown said...

Read some of my other posts Paul and hopefully you will see that some of us have tried to enter into sensible dialogue only to be met with the usual word wizardry that has become common place on these blogs. Some of your posts often contain emotive words which are designed to paint a negative picture of detectorists. I disagree with this as some of us do strive to be different and do things as well as i can, (even taking on board some of the comments that you might make). You are more than entitled to your opinions, but so are the detecting community.

Paul Barford said...

Why not do something not just about how the hobby is portrayed, or comes over, but how it IS? You will not do that be pretending that anything the critics say about it is all "distortion" and "dishonest" and merely "word wizardry".

My answer is here

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