Thursday 22 August 2019

UK's RESCUE seems to need Rescuing From its Own Haters

This from 1st August:

Terri Edwards, teacher and community archaeologist, reckons that in addition to their prison sentence, somebody in Kent should be punished in some cruel scatological manner for a burglary: 'String him up by the cherry-tomato size balls he clearly has. Then make him eat copralites'. A teacher should know how to spell that last word.  A while back, RESCUE had a problem with their Facebook page with trolling started by the Durham FLO Benjamin Woodward and assorted other PAS-supporters and a Durham academic. The cause was the moderator had been posting a few links (links only) to texts on this blog that seemed to him to be relevant to discussing the fundamental topic that RESCUE was set up to address - the better preservation and documentation of the British archaeological record before it is destroyed. FLOBenjamin and his supporters decided the 'professional' way to discuss these issues was to not discuss these issues and instead to conduct a hate-campaign against the author of this blog. This mobbing and trolling went on for two lengthy threads over there in the members-only Facebook group in which I was called all manner of things (nota bene, for writing something on my own personal blog to which a third party gave a link in an external web-resource for discussion). A RESCUE Council Member [Spencer Carter, Durham University] 'apologised [to members] for Paul Barford' (though when invited to detail precisely what he was apologising for on my behalf, so we all know, declined to say). 

It was all very pathetic, the moderator resigned in protest at members' behaviour and the negativity from Mr Woodward and others. Not surprisingly, but only much later, RESCUE deleted these three threads, and possibly other posts. Once he'd ensured the resignation of the moderator who posted archaeology-related links to PAS-questioning texts, the Durham FLO wandered off elsewhere and the two Durham academics fell silent, but it seems that RESCUE still have problems policing material posted on the Facebook page that represents it... Or finding archaeology-related issues to discuss at all; recent posts there talk about cutesy things like old pubs, 'charming old castles of Sussex' and growing lettuces in abandoned air raid shelters, and the listing of a South London bandstand on which David Bowie performed.

While one may not be surprised by this kind of deflective behaviour from UK metal detectorists when they run out of defensible arguments against criticism of current policies on Collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record, it is quite telling when we see it also from 'heritage professionals' (I use the term loosely) in defence of the current status quo. 


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