BANG! POP! BOOM! A Tribute the the Tribute the Tribute…

Welcome to the time when all good Americans go slightly mad and try to blow up the neighborhood. The American affinity for Chinese fireworks only serves to remind us that it wasn’t so long ago that fireworks were one of the few things made in China.

That seems like so long ago.

Right now I’m preparing for another sabbatical by the lake. I’ll be out of internet range for a week, starting Thursday, July 6. My “normal” life will be suspended during that time, so what amounts to a sizable project–the replacement of my images on Photobucket with images hosted on my own paid-for server space–will have to be put on hold.

Which leads me to my semi-annual membership drive. It takes money to keep The Brushpainter going and your generous donations will allow me to continue to spread the gospel of model building without the aerosols.

I’m kidding. You should have seen the look on your face.

I downloaded the images from Photobucket and uploaded them to this site. It was much easier than I expected it to be, in fact, I’d say it was easy. Now I have to laboriously change the text on a number of posts over at The Airfix Tribute Forum,

This will be a gradual process, especially because I’ll be out of town for a week. But it will get done, because The Airfix Tribute Forum is my online “home” even if I have to play the role of the expat over there. I don’t mind that. On this Fourth of July, I should point out that for many years I’ve wanted to leave the United States and join “the expat community” in some place where the prices are low and the diseases are horrible–like England.

But life does not always allow us to go off and do stupid stuff like that. The best I can do is hang out on the thoroughly British forum and dream about how it would be to live in London. Maybe someday it will happen “for real” but then again, I know from experience that fantasy never touches reality, and vice-versa. The real deal–hitting a home run in the championship game or consummating a relationship with one’s secret crush may be life-changing events but they’re not the same as what the imagination provides. The Airfix Tribute Forum gives me the best of both worlds. I can live in the middle of The American Empire and enjoy the fruits of living far, far away from where any munitions made in this country might detonate, and at the same time enjoy the hospitality of people who behave themselves.

The Airfix Tribute Forum was founded by an ordinary fellow with a dream. A dream of being able to moderate a forum with such mind-numbing, tooth-crunching tightness that, eventually, all uncivil discourse would just…fade…away. By Jove, he did it. He created a world where the lion or wolf may lie down with the lamb chop or Big Mac and never does any gnashing and gobbling take place. A world where people get along and are nice to each other.

A world I like.

It’s time, then, to admit that I am a big hypocrite. I talk a good game about the cowboys in Tombstone or the outlaw bikers that I feel an affinity for (he said ungrammatically) but when it comes to a place to live, online anyway, I choose the gated community with the biggest gates. I know that Britmodeller and Hyperscale are well moderated. But they do not provide me with a playground where I can avoid feeling the need to punch a bully. At the ATF, I seldom want to wade into a fight. There’s nothing to fight about. Everything has a calm, submissive state, as the Dog Whisperer would way.

So what does that really mean? I’m not sure. While I seem to like the peace and quiet of a calm blue ocean, I also find myself condemning the means by which the ocean is calmed. I tend to feel a lot of affinity for Libertarians and Anarchists and other people like that. But then I realize that Anarchists and Libertarians don’t get along–usually. So, in order for either of them to graduate to a paradise where nobody tells nobody what to do–they have to organize military machines and wipe each other out in the final battle of the “get off my back” armies.

I like to think the examples of Britmodeller and Hyperscale, compared to the ATF, hold the key to explaining what I’m feeling. On both of those forums, there is an acceptance of a sort of snark that I find offensive. It’s not on the ATF, but it does exist on those other two, very popular, forums.

I ask the question. What is the nature of this snark? I don’t really know. I do know what there is always the feeling that one is mere inches away from trouble, but it’s trouble that usually doesn’t surface, so is it real? Or am I some bizarre sort of paranoid? Or am I a frustrated autocrat who doesn’t object to the structure of the ATF because I am one of the be-knighted “insiders” whereas on Britmodeller or Hyperscale, I have to content myself with being just another face in the crowd? Do I perceive “snark” where none exists, or is what I am describing merely the result of an egotist who finds himself in a place where he isn’t close enough to the center of attention? Is it simply the natural “ambient snark” that is felt by “ordinary” forum residents when in the company of “their betters?” Is it, in fact, the internet equivalent of a “class system”–and does the very English Airfix Tribute Forum deal with it best because of its very “Englishness?”

So many questions.

What do we call a fellow who promotes the concept of human rights, freedom and dignity, and at the same time lives most comfortably in a micro-world where the legacy of the grand old English class system is still alive and All Authority Must Be Obeyed?

I don’t know what that word is but I’ll bet it’s not a very nice word.

I’ll be keeping you posted on my navel gazing, but I’ll also be out of town for a while.


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