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  • Conflict between two members

    Originally posted by Gill
    Hi Toby

    2. Sawdust: I realise you're not competing with other magazines. I wonder if visitors to your website appreciate that too. If I have a criticism of American publications, it's that they can be rather parochial (I hasten to add that SSW does not fall down on this point!) so I would urge you to emphasise the international aspects of your articles. I'm on rather unsafe ground here because I've never read your magazine, so I don't know what it contains. Obviously, you would try to avoid blatantly patriotic articles (not many French or Iranian readers would be impressed with a project depicting the marines raising the US flag on Iwo Jima ) but it's important to eliminate more subtle inferences. I think SAW needs to emphasise to international scrollers that the articles in Sawdust will be relevant to them in their locality.

    I'm always biting my tongue at the anti-Americanism you blatantly show, but I just had to respond this time.
    Thank heavens for american publications such as SSW, Wood, Popular Woodworking, Woodsmith, Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, National Geographic, Time, Life (get the idea?). Please refresh my memory, what scrollsaw or woodworking magazines are read worldwide that are published in outside of the US? Unfortunately, people have short memories, and to insult the soldiers who raised the flag on Iwo Jima is too much! How many of our bravest are buried in far away lands?
    Thank goodness most folks don't share your hatred of all things American. My first appearance in a magazine was in Astronomy Now (Great Britain's largest astro mag) and my first book was published by Springer Verlag (a British publisher).

    Now to go figure out how to use the ignore feature (I hope there is one on here) as I'm tired of your American bashing at every opportunity.

    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

  • #2
    Since this didn't really have anything to do with the origional thread--and is between Jedi and Gill, I thought the best thing to do is separate it from the other thread.

    Gill, feel free to respond, I'll delete any post by anyone else. When Gill responds, I'll close the thread.

    Kevin, you have a right to your opinion, which is why I'm keeping this thread (with the quote to show the context).

    Gill, you have a right to respond if you choose to. Please PM me if you do not plan on responding so I can close the thread.

    Bob Duncan
    Scroll Saw Workshop


    • #3
      Thank you for separating Kevin's post from the rest of the thread, Bob. I'm grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to respond.

      Firstly, let me say that I do not regard myself as being anti-American. There are aspects of American culture that I find praiseworthy and there are aspects that I find less so. The same is true of my attitude towards British culture, as some members might recall when the subject of our monarchy was raised.

      I addressed the "Questions About SAW" thread from the perspective of someone who lives overseas and who had been offered an opportunity to comment on why it had more appeal to Americans than the international community. Members who read that thread diligently should see that I tried very hard not to condemn America; it was a difficult balance to strike and judging from Kevin's outburst it would appear that I have not been altogether successful. That is unfortunate. Nevertheless, I've reviewed my contributions to the thread and suspect that a reader would have to deliberately misinterpret me in order to draw the same conclusion as Kevin.

      My comments were made in the hope that SAW, an organisation which has laudable aspirations, might be able to understand why it has achieved a greater popularity in the Mid-West states than it has internationally. I want SAW to succeed because I believe it has so much to offer the international scrolling community. However, I also believe that SAW has to be careful to ensure that it is perceived by the international community to be promoting scrolling, not America. There are many fine aspects of American life that have already enriched the international community and I'm confident there are many more that we have yet to experience. However, if the world sees the promotion of scrolling as necessarily incorporating the promotion of America, it will resist. Other nations are just as proud of their own cultures as America is of its.

      Kevin seems to see the advancement of such a caution as anti-American. It's not; it's pro-scrolling.

      Some of you may understand Kevins position better than I when he lists those publications which he admires. I don't read them and they seem to be of limited appeal to most people outside the USA, except for those readers who have special interests. To my mind, Kevin's list goes a long way towards confirming my belief that a publication will enjoy the greatest success in an international market when its publisher takes great care to ensure that it focusses on elements that bring its readers together, not those which risk separating them.

      As a former military officer myself, I hope you can believe me when I say that I meant no insult to fellow soldiers who fought bravely against a determined enemy and won glory for themselves and their country. I trust that people who have read my post carefully will realise that. For the sake of clarification, let me offer some more examples. If SAW was dominated by Brits, I would caution them against publishing projects which featured the assault on Goose Green because it would antagonise the Spanish community (especially the Argentinians). Similarly, if SAW was published by Germans I would caution them against publishing projects which featured blitzkrieg or stormtroopers. From the perspective of one nation, such projects could be seen to honor great heroes; yet from the perspective of others, they illustrate a nation glorying in subjugation. An international publisher must beware of such pitfalls and ensure that no preference is shown to any particular community, or risk alienating a large proportion of the market. That was the sole message I was trying to communicate.

      Kevin is an excellent scroller and pattern designer. In that respect, I hold him in the highest esteem and I'm sure he has much to contribute to this forum. I shall continue to read his posts as usual. His decision to add me to his list of ignored users is not one that I consider to be reasonably founded, which disappoints me. I have added a couple of people to my own list of ignored users, but only after they have proven themselves to be wilfully disruptive or cantankerous. I would never ignore someone simply for expressing views I disagreed with, especially when they had taken the trouble to construct a reasoned argument. It's all very well having the right to free expression, but it serves little purpose if we don't realise that this right imposes a duty on us to attend to all the debate, not just those aspects we wish to hear.

      And to those who have had the patience to bear with me to the end... I thank you.

      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


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