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"political correctness" and modelling.

May 10 2012 at 10:30 AM
  (Login atxranchhand)
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from IP address 166.205.8.88

Many of us model the occasional "nazi" tank, we usually don't think twice about swastikas on our vehicles. We can see the historical significance and look past the emotional triggers that a symbol (especially the swastika) contains.
But sometimes crossing paths with the public can put us in interesting situations.
I was leaving work one day carrying a new acquisition (king tiger) and ran into the neighborhood rabbi. He was curious as to what I was carrying and I suddenly froze, hoping that I would not offend (I didn't)

I would guess that most of us in the modeling (and reinactor) realm are used to explaining the difference between the whermacht and nazis, and how we are not honoring the nazis by building and studying ww2 history and equipment.

I bring this up because I had an interesting interaction with my wife. I was looking through a book on us military funnies (zaloga I beleive) when I ran across a rather iconic Sherman with a mineroller. On its side was painted "aunt jemima" and a superbly detailed portrat of aunt jemima herself in full color.
Since I am looking for ideas on building Sherman's this really got me excited; here was an interesting Sherman with a funny name and a color on it besides od!
I showed my wife and age was less than enthused. Being a white Yankee I was a bit disconnected from racism and what was built around it.
The concern she had was in regards to sympathy to people that may be offended.

What really cought me off-guard was that, as a modeller I was not used to thinking of socio-political issues outside of the nazi/swastika issues we are used to.

Looking at other modelling and war related subjects I find a lot of very offensive propaganda towords the Japanese. In modern stuff there is a lot of anti-Muslim and middle eastern slogans painted on American tanks ("pig eater" etc)

I wanted to bring this up to get opinions from others in my hobby as to how subjects that could be sensitive are chosen and presented. Do you ever have second thoughts on a subject? Have you ever had someone offended by your work?

I am not bringing this up to get into any kind of argument on political correctness, politics, or anything like that. I am strictly interested in how touchy subjects effect your modeling.

Thanks everyone.


    
This message has been edited by atxranchhand from IP address 166.205.8.88 on May 10, 2012 10:32 AM


 
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AuthorReply

(Login MikeRoof)
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Second thoughts because of PC issues? Nope...

May 10 2012, 11:28 AM 

I never even give "political correctness" a thought when considering subjects to model.

As far as I'm concerned, I build whatever historical subject I find interesting - with the emphasis on what I find interesting. This is because I only build for myself. I'm not worried in the least that what I build might offend someone else.

On a personal note, I find the whole idea that current PC-thinking should somehow justify historical revisionism or ignorance simplistic and childish as in a "sticking your head in the sand and pretending it didn't happen" sense (maybe "whistling past the graveyard of history?"). Building a model of an Axis subject is no more a glorification of Fascism than the Holocost Museum is a glorification of genocide. They're both informative of the historical record.

Building an German WWII airplane model and not putting a Swastika on it is to pretend that it never happened. The surest way to repeat the evil things in history is to pretend for so long that they never happened that you forget that they actually did. Pretending might make you feel better right now, but it does an injustice to your progeny who grow up in ignorance.

I will concede, though, that I have advocated that our model club consider a "balanced" approach to some public displays that we have presented, so that, for example, Allied aromor and Axis armor models displayed represent a fair historical cross-section to the viewing public. This has been mostly a matter of making an assessment of the venue and reason for the event we're participating in and tailoring our display to best fit that reason.

For example, a dispay at a US veteran's event might emphasize US armor. But at such events, I've actually found the vet's themselves are always facinated by the "enemy" models depicted. For many, it's actually a matter of pride to be able to point out a Sherman and a Tiger II and say, "Look here at this Sherman... That's what we were fighting in against these here Tiger tanks!" (Those guys who've "seen the elephant" get it. Political Correctness is for dummies.)

If some people are offended by "pinup nose art," "Aunt Jemima," "Swastickas," "hammers and sickles," "red stars," "green cresents," "Union Jacks," the "Red, White and Blue," or the "ol' Stars an' Bars" then that says more about their own hang-ups and ignorance than about my historical modeling interests. They're the ones with the problem, not me.

My, politically incorrect .02,

Mike

 
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(Login mudeng)
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Those who mind dont matter those who matter dont mind

May 11 2012, 7:34 AM 

N/T

 
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(Login AMPSChuck)
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Political Correctness...

May 10 2012, 1:30 PM 

Personally, I take the position that I'm building a historical replica. In order to be honest to history, it needs to look like the real thing did.

At AMPS this year, the winning diorama (which was also shown on this site a few months back) was of a Jew pushing a cart full of clothes from a box car that clearly took others to the gas chamber. It was very moving for me and my wife, both of us Jewish. My mother-in-law escaped Germany with her family in 1939, after her father had been incarcerated in a concentration camp for 9 months (in early 1939, Hitler wanted to get rid of the Jews by sending them out of the country, and offered amnesty to anyone in concentration camps that would leave immediately).

I showed pictures of this diorama at my local IPMS club. One person told me there is (or was until recently) a standing order that dioramas like this, depicting concentration camps, were not allowed at the IPMS nats. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, it is clearly PC taken to the extreme. Who are you going to offend with this? A Jew. No. A White Supremist/Nazi sympathizer? I doubt it (and could care less if it did offend). To anyone else, it tells a historical story. It clearly invokes string feeling, but it's not offensive.

About 15 years ago, a local playhouse was planning to put on a production of the play ShowBoat. Some local black people in the community started protesting, and became very vocal, because the play used the word '******' and depicted black people as slaves! The playhouse ended up changing some of the dialog and removing a few of the scenes from the original script. This, in my opinion, was insane! Black people in the south were slaves! It's not offensive to bring that up. In fact, I think its important to show people just what went on so they (a) know their history and (b) understand how bad it was and that things have improved. Certainly things can still improve (anti-Muslim slogans on the side of tanks in Iraq shows we still have a way to go), but, as George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

------
Chuck Rothman
Former AMPS Webmaster
Former AMPS Boresight Editor
Now just a regular AMPS member

 
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bobCollignon
(Login sherman56)
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Bravo Mike and Chuck! nt

May 10 2012, 3:16 PM 

nt

 
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(Login Warfrost)
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IPMS standing orders!

May 10 2012, 4:37 PM 

Just so you know, IPMS Nationals has no such standing order. This is cut and pasted from the National Judging Committee handbook....

ii.Models or dioramas of historic events (e.g., general dioramas or specific depictions of the result of the activities of the communist Cambodian Pol Pot regime, a Soviet Gulag, or a Nazi death camp) where the suffering of human beings, or the result of a pogrom, is depicted. Where the theme, content or subject matter of presentations is graphic or would violate any provisions cited above, then the presentation is prohibited in any setting.


I saw the Diorama you were referring to and IF I were head judge, would see no problem with it.

 
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(Login AMPSChuck)
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That rule smacks of PC

May 11 2012, 8:04 AM 

In my opinion, the fact that the rule is there at all shows that PC has crept into the IPMS nats. If you go to the Holocaust center in Washington D.C. you will see lots of very graphic depictions of concentration camps and how the Germans and others in WWII treated the Jews and other minorities. Without those graphic depictions, the whole history is lost. Why can't someone show that in a diorama at the IPMS nats?

Technically, Burden of Sorrow (the winning diorama at this year's AMPS) could be banned at the IPMS nats - it depicts a Nazi death camp and is pretty graphic. It needs to be graphic to invoke the emotions it does so well.

BTW, I just noticed that a word I typed (a common slang for negro that rhymes with tigger) was automatically replaced by stars in my previous posting - even this site employs PC! It was a real word, and was used for centuries. I did not use it in a denigrating manner, I just indicated that it was a word used in the play Showboat (written in the 1930's when it was still in common use) and that some people protested its use in the play now.

If I mention that in the movie 'Porkys", a kid whose father was very racist used the term kite instead of k-y-k-e to describe a jewish person, will k-y-k-e be replaced with stars? It's clearly not offensive (in fact, the way the movie treated it showed how ignorant the father was, and the son ended up realizing this, all in a comedy about teenage boys who wanted to go to a whore house).

------
Chuck Rothman
Former AMPS Webmaster
Former AMPS Boresight Editor
Now just a regular AMPS member

 
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(Login Warfrost)
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HMMM???

May 11 2012, 10:03 AM 

Not sure what diorama you are looking at but there is nothing graphic about "burden of sorrow"! It depicts a tasteful representation of an actually event in history! However, that is why the rule is there! It would be up to the head Judge to decide if it is too graphic.

 
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(Login atxranchhand)
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that was what was so powerful about it...

May 11 2012, 10:32 AM 

the fact that it was NOT graphic. it was very tastefully done, and had MORE emotional impact that if it was just a pile of corpses... the fact that every one of those sets of clothes and luggage was someones mother, father, son, daughter... child... it was thought provoking, and to me was one of the few pieces of "model work" that could earnestly be called art.


 
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(Login DannyEgan)
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Agreed

May 11 2012, 5:20 PM 

Exactly so.

Danny Egan
Join AMPS
http://www.amps-armor.org

 
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(Login Warfrost)
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Agreed X2!!!!!!

May 11 2012, 5:20 PM 


 
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(Login DannyEgan)
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For what its worth

May 11 2012, 8:00 PM 

Being in the US, maybe it is different from Canada, Chuck. But I taught my children that the n-word is the single worst word in the language and it was the only word they were forbidden to use. Absolutely verboten. I'd rather my kids say M___F___ker all day long than use the n-word once. There's waaaay too much hate contained in that word. And I am proud that they never do use it and don't put up with it.

Danny Egan
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(Login FS1)
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Omitted Word...

May 11 2012, 7:40 AM 

Chuck: are you not guilty to the practice of political correctness yourself by editing the word in question in the example you used to illustrate poilitical correctness...?? would the moderators have published your post had it been included...?? PC is a perception that has been drummed into us by the left, taken hold of our true ability to discuss the issues honestly, and had turned everything inside out...

 
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(Login Bruce_Crosby)
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PC?

May 10 2012, 4:13 PM 

More like denial of history. We spend hours getting the model accurate, scale fidelity, fine detail, etc, then paint the model the wrong colour. Stupid. Not putting a Swastika on the model is the same as the wrong colour - it is historically inaccurate. That's how it was then, so why not model it? Don't mess about with history, what happened then was real, don't whitewash it.

The PC brigade don't like "war toys" in general and if they had their way in museums there would be suits of armour but no swords! Stupid. Boys will be boys, so even though the PC brigade have stopped competition in school games and toy guns in shops, the kids go on line and shoot the c**p out of each other. One of Britain's biggest industries is games software, most of it pretty violent. By comparison modelling is quite tame, the only blood letting is if you slip using the scalpel, the violence comes when you find the blood has gone all over your model!

Personally I don't model much German WWII stuff, preferring Soviet and US tanks, mostly T series, Shermans (Shermen?) and LVTs, but my stash has lots of Panzer IVs and halftracks, mainly 251s and sWSs with the boxes opened but never started. I've also got some 1/48th FW 190 and Ta 152 kits that I haven't started, lovely aircraft technically (ex-RAF technician so I appreciate good aircraft design) but not sure about the Swastikas, which brings us back to the beginning. Am I too getting sucked into the PC view of the world?

A confused modeller,

Bruce Crosby

 
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(Login Albowie)
MODERATORS ONLY - General
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PC Kids Toys - Doesn't work

May 10 2012, 5:28 PM 

When I was young my mother was a PC Teacher and decided that war toys were not for me and dissuaded my relatives from purchasing any such toys for me. This extended to only non warlike sets for my Action man etc, no guns, no toy soldiers etc. Some leaked through the prohibition (my father used to get me Airfix Figures and kits) and I got very interested in Military things. To cut a long story short she gave up by the time I was ten and I ended up spending 21 years as a soldier despite her initial attempts.
The whole revisionist business of analysing history with todays social values and mindsets is a cancer on history.

Al

 
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Aaron Smischney
(Login atxranchhand)
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thanks for the information

May 10 2012, 4:32 PM 

I like esoteric discussions liek this wink.gif

I was one of the judges on the "burden of sorrow" concentration camp diorama at amps, it was a spectacular piece. It did not need to be graphic to be moving and thought provoking. Personally I would want it displayed at the Holocaust museum so others can see it.
I think its also important to remember that what we model are tools of war, and they where designed for a very specific task.

I find it very interesting how many countries (outside the us) make it illegal to display or sell swastikas. i consider this extreme, and very short sited. You could be in trouble for showing a diorama with a nazi flag in it in the country of germany...

I also think its "stupid" to ban things based on subject from IPMS. we used to joke that they would cover up figures with a boob showing, but had no problem with nude nose art! wink.gif

I am interested to hear form anyone who has had a piece bared from a show, or if they have been confronted because of a modeling piece.

 
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(Login Warfrost)
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Germany

May 10 2012, 4:43 PM 

While I completely agree, Germany, at least back in 1993, did not. The public display of the Swastika, SS, and totenKopf were not to be displayed publicly. I remember going into my local hobby shop in Bad Kissingen back in 1984 and buying a Tamiya kit only to find the decals painted over as well as the boxart. Over time, the owner would wait for Staurday to allow me to look over his recent arrivals so that I could get unmarked decals. If I didn't want the kit and the decals were offensive, out came the paint pen or Zorro marker.

 
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(Login AndrewTomlinson2)
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Another thought...

May 10 2012, 5:02 PM 

hi
A UK modeller swapped his normal subjects so as not to ruffle too many feathers at Church when on display - he portrayed Medical versions instead - so no more upset... !

I also model more medic vehicles so as to creat a balance.. and more interest.

A long time ago, I said I'd never model a flamethrower - to avoid upset too. But eventually built the Churchill Croc...

Andrew

 
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(Login atxranchhand)
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flamethrower?

May 10 2012, 5:37 PM 

that's really strange to me, people would get upset at a model of a flamethrower?
I understand getting upset showing a burning human, but just the equipment by itself?

 
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(Login Bullbasket)
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No way!

May 11 2012, 5:31 AM 

Why oh why do some people want to change history? I get really tired of reading about some twerp wanting something or other deleted because it's not PC. History ISN'T PC, that's the whole point. Why not show swastikas on the tail of a Luftwaffe aircraft tail? Why should it offend when it's clearly displayed in paintings of banners carried by Roman soldiers. It's an ancient symbol and predates the Nazis by a couple of thousand years.
Yes, I know that some words do cause offence to some people. "Pig Eater" on a tank in the middle east won't endear you to the local population. But that's surely the fault of the CO for allowing it in the first place.
Depicting it on a model is merely replicating a piece of history.
And a classic piece of denial to me seems to be that in the remake of the classic film about 617 Sqn.the Dambusters, they want to change the name of Guy Gibson's dog. They don't want him called "N****r". WHAT? That was his name, not Bonzo or Rex or whatever name they want to make up and change history.
Well that was my Victor Meldrew moment. Rant over.
Regards,
John.

 
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(Login DannyEgan)
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Three different thoughts just to toss out there

May 11 2012, 7:37 AM 

This is a subject most people couldn't care less about, but, I find it fascinating on many levels. A few thoughts if I may:

1. If we care about history, (and it is OK if you don't - see # 2) let's get it right. Very often we get it wrong or at least we get it only superficially. And let's not be too quick to blast "revisionists" - sometimes the initial version of history is very wrong and needs revising. There is a lot of complexity and we could cite an awful lot of examples of "things you may not know". How many of us really know that Jews in Vichy France were many times more likely to end up in a death camp than those in fascist Italy? How many of us are aware of the strong support given the nazis by some (very mainstream) religious groups? How many of us in 'the west' are comfortable with allied cooperation with the Germans in the Italian civil war of 44-45 or Allied actions in Greece in 1945? I could go on and on, not to pick on anyone in particular but simply to point out that there are shades of grey. I say this not because I think all sides were equally evil. Believe me, I am sure of who was on the right side and who wasn't. But its not all black and white is it?

2. To each his own. If you don't give a rat's a** about political or historical correctness, OK, that's cool, it's no one else's business and it's your model. But be equally tolerant of those who DO care about it. I don't much care for models that glorify nazis. Maybe it's just me but I have a problem with them; their ideas are still all around us in other guises and I'm not shy about saying so. If I want to build a scene of a nazi or confederate atrocity, that's OK right? It is correct history. The problem of free speech is usually best solved by more free speech.

3. Finally, we're talking about little plastic tanks. Is it an art form? It need not be taken seriously (I usually don't despite this post) but it CAN be. The problem is that as an art form its pretty limited and its hard to handle big, serious themes with little plastic tanks and figures. Not impossible, but very, very difficult. This is why most of us cringe when we see, say, a diorama with big splashes of bright red "blood" on it. It's a failed attempt to deal with a serious subject, and so it ends up being trivial and silly.

But I thought Mr. Lawler's holocaust piece (the prisoner and train thing at AMPS) was the best diorama I have ever seen, anywhere, any time, and I told him that. Why? Because the craftsmanship was superb (like so many other models) BUT the way it handled a terribly serious theme just knocked it out of the park for me. It quietly but firmly slammed you with an emotion. I watched other people's reaction to it all weekend, and I can tell you it had that effect on a lot of people. If that's not art I don't know what is. Spendid work, worthy of spending a lot of time building and viewing.

Just some thoughts. Again, different strokes for different folks.

Danny Egan
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(Login zott2)
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Well Said, Danny

May 11 2012, 9:27 AM 

Nicely articulated.

Cheers,

Scott

Scott Taylor
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http://thachweave.tripod.com

 
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(Login ChrisDM)
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Re: Three different thoughts just to toss out there

May 11 2012, 9:48 AM 

Danny, great post

For me, I too think its hard to to cover the complex truths of history with a model. I find the prevalence of SS soldiers relaxing on their tanks and looking like they are on a summer jaunt on competition tables sanitises their role in WWII, but at teh same time I wouldn't want to see every dio with SS soldiers featuring them committing war crimes. Both are extreme ends of a truth and so neither really represent the history

In the end I get a bit confused by the claims that models 'honour history'. I don't see how they can or do in the end. Models are too ephemeral and with the exception of the stunning 'Burden of Sorrow' and another figure vignette I saw about Katyn I have not really seen many others that manage to capture such a huge subject in a small scale model environment


But going back to the original post; I would never leave something out to avoid offending someone. To delete the racism inherent in British and American Armies and the culture that came with it also sanitises history. By getting rid of it you actually tell people that it didn't happen (because once you get rid of it there is no longer any evidence of it happening) and that does a disservice to everyone but especially those on the receiving end of that bigotry 70 years ago


Just my confused 2p anyway

Chris

Inside the Armour
www.insidethearmour.com

 
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(Login atxranchhand)
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Thanks everyone for the discussion!

May 11 2012, 1:04 PM 

Its good to hear your thoughts on this. One more question: have any of you ever "offended" anyone with your work? have you ever had someone approach you with a negative opinion of your pieces because of its subject matter?

Instead of a "a friend of a friend had an angry mom slap him because she doesn't like Russians and he build a KV" story, I would be interested in a first hand account.

 
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(Login march5)
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Unintended consequences...........

May 11 2012, 3:57 PM 

My father-in -law served in WW2. He steadfastly refused to buy my son any war toys and he used to get very agitated if my son ever waved a toy gun near him. He would swiftly dispose of the offending items and proclaim loudly that he had seen what the real thing could do.
Was he a left wing pinko-commie tree-hugging spoilsport or should we pause and reflect that not everything is black and white.

 
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Aaron Smischney
(Login atxranchhand)
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never said it was black and white...

May 11 2012, 6:01 PM 

I don't really believe in absolutes (or at least try not to) I understand where your father-in-law was coming from.
to be honest I don't like people waving guns around me, real or not. I was raised by my father to treat ANY gun as if it was loaded and could kill, even toy guns! treating toys different from the real thing can lead to carelessness with the real thing.

I think its interesting to contemplate others point of view, and do not begrudge them their point of view. I only get concerned when they try to force their point of view onto me (note: FORCE) I try to be open to convincing.

One of the reasons I posted this question was to get input. I also understand that the audience here at missing links would generally be biased towards one opinion (heck, by its definition this site is dedicated to military vehicles and history)

I am still trying to think of a community I can ask this same general question to to get another perspective happy.gif

thanks for the comment.

 
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(Login MikeRoof)
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To answer your question, actually, no, ...

May 13 2012, 11:59 AM 

or at least no one has ever come up to me and said that they were offended by some particular model that I've built. I suppose that it's possible that I have offended someone and not known it, though.

On the other hand, I've never built anything that I thought was particularly provocative, either deliberate or unintentional. My personal interests in model building subjects generally revolve around their historical significance (at least as I perceive it), mechanical and technical aspects that I find interesting, and their esthetic appeal.

Over the years, though, I have observed first-hand several "brew-ha-ha's" over models that were built and publically displayed with the intent to deliberately provoke some negative reaction. I think doing that is usually harmful to the hobby and the model clubs that have condoned it.

(As my ol' granny would have said, "Son, that's just cuttin' your nose off to spite your face.")

The model builders that I have met who have done this have been, to the man, self-centered and unpleasant individuals who have had some personal "ax to grind" and have bullied their fellow club mates into allowing (and sometimes even defending) their displays. (And, BTW, not a one of them was a particularly talented or skilled model builder, either...)

Almost always, the negative public reaction has been secondary and used as a tool in order to throw the rules and organizational norms back into the faces of some personal foe(s). That is, the actual target of the provocation was almost never the people viewing the model and always someone else in the model club (or another club, regional leader, etc.). "Tempest in a teapot" struggles for local notoriety and power were the usual sources of the conflict. Actual issues of "political correctness" had very little to do with the "contravasy" except as points used to justify objection to or display of the model. The people making those points really could have cared less (in my opinion) about the actual or expressed offense and were objecting for the same reasons the other person was displaying - to attempt to exercise power or control over the other in order to force the other to bend to their will.

Interestingly enough, although the general focus of this thread has been on issues that most would consider on the political side of "political correctness," almost every one of the above deliberate kinds of provocations featured a model subject that was overtly sexual with attempts to skirt the borders of the pornographic. I can only recall one or two that featured "in your face" anti-bellum US Civil War subjects, but all the rest were, as I described above, sexual in nature. (Which probably says more about the nature of US society than anything else. Politics... meehh... Sex?! Oh yea, game on!)

In the end, social norms to not gratuitously offend or hurt others are one thing, but mandated rules to dictate "politically correct" behaviors are completely different. The former are what people do in order to get along with others in a world where everyone is different. The latter are, in my opinion, just fascism by another name in an attempt to force everyone to be the same (as defined by those with the power to make and enforce those rules.)

A little self-control and politeness is a good thing, and something we should all exercise.

However, cops with Billy-clubs and lawyers suing people into poverty in order to force everyone to behave the way others dictate is an Orwellian re-definition of fascism into the more friendly sounding "political correctness," the new "right think" of the 21st Century.

My additional .02 of "wrong think,"

Mike

 
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(Login RickLawler)
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It's very humbling....

May 11 2012, 7:45 PM 

Hello Gentlemen,

I cannot tell you how honored I feel and humbling it is for me that my work, Burden of Sorrow, continues to be a part of continuing discussions. I was quite anxious to see what the response might be from my peers. Forum history has demonstrated on more than one occasion that modelers who had posted "controversial" were often the subject of harsh ridicule. This is a "hobby", some would say, "and subjects such as this have no place here". Or, just the succinct"this is no place for politics".

However, much to my pleasure the response that I received was nothing less than remarkable. I am truly at a loss for words and humbled by overwhelming support Burden of Sorrow has received. Some have called it a work of art, others suggest that it's rightful place should be in a museum. Quite extraordinary!!

The purpose of this piece was simply to tell a story. A story about sadness, hopelessness, and loss.

Thank you,
Rick


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(Login DannyEgan)
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Thank YOU for creating and showing it

May 11 2012, 7:57 PM 

Rick, a big thanks is owed to YOU for having the talent to visualize that diorama, the craftsmanship to pull it off so well, and then the guts to bring it out to our show knowing you were taking a big risk.

I could not stop looking at it and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I didn't get a "vote" for Judges' Best of Show but if I had one that would be it.

Danny Egan
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(Login atxranchhand)
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congratulations!

May 11 2012, 8:23 PM 

On creating such a talked about piece!
Do you plan on displaying it somewhere permanently?
just curious, it would be nice if it could be shared with more people!

Now here is the big question: whats next? happy.gif

 
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(Login RickLawler)
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Next?

May 12 2012, 9:06 AM 

Hey Aaron,

It was great to have the chance to see and speak with you during AMPS. As for what's next who knows? I do know that I am not going to try and create "Burden 2" or some other grand statement - at least not intentionally. I will do what I always do - build models for the enjoyment of the hobby. It's a great hobby and that's really all that I ask from it....just to enjoy it.

Thank you all very much,
Rick


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(Login Warfrost)
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You....

May 11 2012, 11:20 PM 

Definately accomplished EVERYTHING you set out to do with this piece!!!!!

 
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(Login Bruce_Crosby)
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Never seen it...

May 12 2012, 6:51 AM 

...But one day I hope to, because it is a real jaw dropper. It is the sort of thing we should be showing our politicians to remind them what happens when they procrastinate, delay or avoid making the tough decisions. Unfortunately modern politicians have little or no military experience so they cut budgets, then commit troops late and lacking the tools needed.

When I first saw the diorama on M-L I was reminded that five decades after WWII, a smaller tragedy occurred right on our doorstep in what was Jugoslavia because the politicos dithered for too long. A real tragedy in my lifetime and it was OUR generation, love and peace, flowers in your hair, that got it wrong.

So your work is a salutary reminder of what did happen, what has happened recently and what will happen again if we are not vigilant.

I hope to see it for real one day.

Regards,

Bruce Crosby

 
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(Login Thermalsights)
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Good Exchanges

May 11 2012, 9:07 PM 

Many great points offered. I probably would say that my views most closely follow Danny's. I personally get a little weirded out when I see guys wearing parts of German WWII uniforms, but it's not my place to suggest they're wrong for wearing it.

Models are just models. What we think and feel about them or what they represent is up to us. Histories are recounted and written by men and are inherently flawed. While not deliberately celebrating Nazi Germany there is certainly a fascination with the institution that mercilessly waged war and carried out the Holocaust. Modelers reflect that fascination (not necessarily glorification) in what they build. I personally will never build any Axis model other than in an abandoned, destroyed or derelict state. I hold that standard for me alone.

I must say that I do find it troubling when I hear or read the assertion that the Waffen SS or the Heere were just hard fighting soldiers and not part of the Nazi criminal enterprise. I will not paint them all with the broad "Nazi" brush. Nor will I gloss over the numerous examples of their complicity or participation in atrocities. A thorough, critical, reading of as many historical sources as possible will allow each of us to reach our own conclusions determine our own actions.

Now back to the Brave's game. One must have ones priorities!

 
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(Login JoeBev)
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Great work

May 12 2012, 12:07 AM 

Rick- You did a great piece work. I am proud that you brought it the show. It puts our hobby and history into perspective. Sometimes I think people lose track of what happened during WW II. I am careful when I discuss some of my armor builds. I am careful not to give the impression that I am some kind tank monger. But I am far from PC. I hope people not in our hobby respect what we do and understand our love for the vehicles. I know when I was comming back thru O'Hare several other travelers were fascinated by my models as I was waiting for the TSA pat down. Yes they selected me. I must have that Col. Klink look or maybe he called ahead. We are helping to preserve history. So I am all for remebering the past and hopefully we won't repeat it.
So let us all keep building and enjoying our hobby. So to all my AMPS friends, fellow armor modelers and especially Rick Lawler Keep Up the Great Work.
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal
AMPS Chicagoland honary member.

 
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(Login gannon52)
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On the original topic...

May 15 2012, 6:27 PM 

For what it's worth, as an example, I've been to Israel several times, and I have a lot of Israeli friends. Going through a local hobby shop there, it was no big deal to see German WWII aircraft kits for sale, complete with swastikas. One sees German vehicles in shows and so on. It's history and a hobby, not a glorification.

I do, however, believe that certain words and phrases may be particularly offensive, and I will not use them, regardless of history. The "N" word is an example, whether Eddie Murphy or some other black comedian uses it or not. I will not. The same would go for the "K" word to refer to Jews.

BTW, Rick's diorama was extremely moving, and I told him so at the Show.

Just my tuppence worth.

Tom

 
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