Tuesday 3 May 2016

Collecting Coins Seems to Rot the Brain

The Llama on this coin could probably write
 more sense than many US coin fondlers. But
 nobody asked the llama. The question is
whether coineys really have anything to say
I'll be doing a Bolivian MOU renewal 'public comment', not because I think there is any real point, but for the principle. Only eight people have written one so far. That's a pretty pathetic showing, eight measly comments. That's even before we start looking at them... Leaving aside the one written by somebody for whom it would seem English is not his native language, we have the collectors. Always the collectors. There's this lost soul, posting on 28th April 2016, bless him, buy him a metal detector someone:
    How will THIS agreement "limit coin collectors"? What coins are present in Bolivia prior to AD 1523? Maybe Mr Callahan can enlighten us? Here's another commenter that also needs to get out in the fresh air more often, this one is too ashamed to put his own name under this gross numismostupidity:
    I have great interest in the rare archaeological artifacts that hail [sic] from the great cultures that have spawned, and bridged, Western culture; that is, Rome, Greece, and Turkey. I mean in particular such artifacts as pottery, statuary, friezes, jewelry, oil lamps, sarcophagi, amphora, tools, and armor. These have several things in common with each other but the primary similarity is that they are rare, truly rare; often 'one of a kind' items. Those items should be protected, I agree!
    Well that's bollocks for a start. Pottery "rare"? Amphoras? Tools? What on earth is this clown writing about an MOU with BOLIVIA. Bolivia not Boeotia but then we get to the crux of the matter which explains it all:
    But some items of human manufacture are not rare at all. They are the coins. The ancient money. They are the relics of those great cultures that those of us who are dispersed across the globe actually have access to. We can hold them in our hands.
    Yeah, might have know, a coin fondler a deranged anonymous coin fondler. There is more, much more numismo-moronism for those that can stomach it here. Personally I have no patience for their superficial and inappropriate claptrap. (but we cannot miss this: "Has anyone heard of the Venetian Empire, the Bulgarian Empire [?]. Does everyone in the US know that the Byzantine Empire was actually the Roman Empire East?" they have schools there I believe. What they teach there I could not say. Coin collecting trolls like Mr Anonymous Anonymous seem not to have absorbed much of it.)

    Douglas Oles (Comment on DOS-2016-0008-0002) is another lost soul: "As someone who highly values fine museum collections, I respectfully recommend against extending the Advisory Committee and its regulatory initiatives". Eh? Does Mr Oles have the foggiest idea what is being discussed here? One very much doubts it.
    Americans should not be restricted in their ability to buy and study common antiquities like ancient Greek coins or ancient oil lamps. European museums have far more of those objects than they have room to display, and Europeans have easy access to buying such small objects for their personal collections. Small artifacts are a wonderful way to inspire young Americans with knowledge of the ancient past, and the U.S. should refrain from imposing unique restrictions on its own people who wish to acquire them through reputable dealers. People who engage in unlawful excavations or thefts from museums should be punished, but honest U.S. collectors should not be restricted in the secondary market for buying and selling common antiquities (including ancient coins and terracotta oil lamps).
    All those Bolivian-Greek coins and ancient oil lamps, from the Bolivia that is in "Europe". There certainly seem to be gaps in the US education system. Mr Oles, who are you writing to and about what?

    I think this shows the utter pointlessness of trying to discuss anything with collectors of portable antiquities, these buffoons see the word "MOU" and have a pavlovian knee-jerk reaction, out come the cut-and-pasted phrases they've been asked on other occasions by the lobbyists to fax-bomb the Department of State with. The trouble is they did not engage any kind of thought to the process, they did not read what they are protesting about, they probably did not even look on a map to see where Bolivia was (as it would seem they do not know anything about the country or its history). Portable antiquity collecting seemingly rots the brain of many who engage it it - dugup portable antiquities might even be considered a public health hazard.

    Let us see some real comments on the Bolivian "docket", drown out this drivel.

    Those "rare" amphoras: Monte Testaccio   by Sarah Hay

     maybe not so "collectable" in such a form,. but no less an important source of information about the past, and certainly not particularly "rare" this side of the Atlantic Divide.

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