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The Intimidators



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          CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
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A BA member, Robin, wrote of her hesitation in getting involved in =
discussions because she had been "smacked down" by someone for getting =
off the subject, and therefore had retreated into silence.

I've experience the same thing, but have this advice for Robin:  The =
smackers, in my view, seem to consider themselves "experts" in their =
field, and some are.  But they also suffer from exalted egos which =
render them useless to anyone daring to ask an intelligent question or =
pose a view that these gifts to mankind consider beneath them.  A few of =
them are notorious and well known to the general membership.

My advice is "Say your piece," and don't worry about the feedback.  =
There's been enough nonsense show up on this site to warrant all but the =
most outrageous threads being seen as normal, and some of those have =
gone on for longer than was warranted, and had less to do with book arts =
than they did with personal soap-boxes.

I'm in here because as a binder and bibliophile I am interested in how =
others do things, what techniques they have to share, products or =
processes that I might learn about, and similar information that =
sometimes surfaces among the flotsam of controversy that seems to infect =
it more often than necessary.

The field of book-related information runs the gamut from the simple, =
craft-minded person who would like to learn how to repair a favorite =
book, to the arch-conservator-type with decades of highly technical =
experience and training beyond any but the rarest few.  There is no one =
anywhere within that spectrum of skills whose question or comment on the =
field is unworthy of posting here, and anyone who would bop a =
contributor for doing so should be ashamed.

I have learned that the best in the field, and most of the lesser ones =
whose work is honest, are more than willing to help, listen, consult and =
encourage.  The others, whose patience is less than a millisecond in =
duration, should be tolerated but ignored if the feedback is =
contentious, discourteous or ungraceful.

Take heart - take part, and be free to ask or contribute.

Charles Schermerhorn
The New Leaf Book Bindery
Lompoc, Calif.

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