Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stamp Purism And Other Silly Obstacles

Yes, folks there is a such thing as stamp purism. It's enough of a task to raise stamp collecting out of near nerdhood before you have to then tackle some fanatic to wants to make stamps into antiseptic relics needing to be forever enshrined in a book. This person actually criticizes anyone who does anything different with stamps.

Too bad, bub, stamps are history and can be presented on a matted board in a museum, stamps are art, and can be used to make art projects. Stamps can be religious and have religious symbols on them and be used in religious ritual ceremonies. (I know of a guy who puts stamps of saints on a cross he made and hangs it in his living room.)

Any fair position for a stamp lover should involve making sure the stamp isn't being destroyed but being used to uplift a theme, cause, person, history, art, etc. Otherwise you just need to calm down and be happy people are still valuing stamps as objects of interest-----regardless of the interest.

Face it, for every kid picking up a stamp versus a video game, there are 10 whom never even come into contact with stamps on a daily basis. The advent of email and electronic billing hasn't killed stamps but it has reduced the average person's dependency of buying and using stamps.

Now and again I hear from people who are venturing to creating their own stamps clubs or pushing for their schools to start a stamp club. Most of these inquires or complaints do not stem from a lack of a stamp club in their community but from opposing the present club because of a myriad of silly obstacles that now infect even stamp clubs.

Let's talk about those, well because, I'm not afraid to speak openly about anything of substance. I object to political correctness in all it's forms. You can always spot political correctness because it defies common sense. That's the only rule you need to define it. Stamp clubs are formed to introduce stamps to children with the hopes that they will learn and eventually appreciate of stamps and maybe stamp collecting. The adult clubs often have a precise agenda like airmail stamps or Great Britain, etc.

This year alone I have heard of a club that refused to display stamps from Israel until stamps from the State of Palestine are created. (The Authority of Palestine issues stamps regularly) The instructor claims this is to present "balance" to the class. This is a silly obstacle that robs children of a stamp experience because their instructor suddenly forgot she was in a stamp club and not jumping on a soap box. Plus her notions and actions are plain stupid. There are Palestine stamps out there; not hard to get by any stretch of imagination or budget. "Balance" is in her dreams, stamps are stamps. Teach what they are made of, what they are about, where they come from and let the history teacher sort out the rest if you can too timid to go further. I question this woman's balance.

Stamps can historically and culturally inform a child about the world he/she is getting a slight peek into, but they are not objects to be used to divide or hurt people. I have heard at least 5 instances where stamps clubs unofficially discouraged girls from attending the class. One of the reasons why there are so few elderly women stamp collectors is because this was a common open practice for the past 100 years. Stamps were supposed to be for boys and dolls are for girls. There are a few exceptions naturally but if you went to an adult stamp club these days I promise you nearly everyone in there is a guy.

I grew up in the 70's, half my community was girls, and I do not remember a single girl collecting stamps. Never one in the club I went to while growing up. With deep respect I have to say, not everything our grandfather's taught us was right. On this point, keeping out girls from stamp collecting was shortsighted and dumb. Women live at least 20 years longer than we do. Not a bad idea to get them involved if you want to keep stamp collecting alive for the 22nd century.

Apparently, similar to sports outings, parents can mess things up when they are attempting to live through their children's current experience. It should never be that way with stamps, heck, if anything this should be an exciting time, there are stamps like Soviet Union, East Germany, etc, but these countries thankfully don't exist and those people are free to figure out their lives for themselves. We should apply that lesson to kids and stamps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Like everything else in this complicated world, some folks just want to ruin a decent hobby. Good for you. Keep up the good fight.