A comment to the "Flight Sequence" post (I've removed it, to avoid embarrassment to the writer, who is a regular contributor to the Comments section) reminded me that I don't like bashing. Meaning, reflexive, unreflective comments against groups of people—whether it's women, or people who dress a certain way, or people with non-majority sexual preferences, or racial or ethnic groups, or professions (lawyer jokes, anyone?), whatever...the list goes on. I should add a proscription against that to the Comment Guidelines, I suppose.
Bashing is sometimes a habit, done without thinking. America-bashing is a leitmotif that crops up sometimes on TOP. I'm the first to admit that there's a lot wrong with America, but that's no excuse for implying that all the ignorance, evil, cupidity, and cant in the world starts and ends here.
The only things you're allowed to bash here at TOP are Whitney Houston's song "I Will Always Love You," and maybe Anne Geddes, because I can't get over my kneejerk bigotry against either one. I could take my Whitney aversion into therapy and still not be able to get over how her shout-singing sets my teeth on edge. About ten times worse than the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard, which means at least twice as bad as Billy Joel (although you shouldn't push that button either). (I'm only twisting yer tails, Joel fans.) (Are there really such things as Joel fans?)
(Everyone's a bigot about something.)
One thing you'll almost never see here (because I don't allow it) is the standard Leica bashing, which is so reflexive in some quarters it should be made into one word. Leicabashing. There's at least one forum-which-shall-not-be-named where apparently learning Leicabashing clichés is one of the entry requirements.
If you think about it, saying that only rich dentists buy Leicas is offensive to three different groups: photographers who use Leicas (by implying that their tool of choice is just a pretentious bauble); the people at Leica (for implying that they're just marketing Veblen goods to pump money out of the carriage trade and don't care about photography); and rich dentists (for implying that they can't be as serious about their photography as anyone else).
If you're in the habit of bashing something, take a moment the next time you're feeling thoughtful and consider moderating your habit. And that's the nicest way I can think of to say that. Because of course I wouldn't want to be seen bashing...bashers. (Ahem.)
P.S. And no, I didn't do this post because of the big Leica sale that's going on now...but since it came up....
P.P.S. You might now be tempted to bash bloggers trying to sell you s#!t all the time, but take a deep breath, and relax, and let it pass.... :-)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
David Saxe: "Loved it. As an owner of one of those little cameras, I too have found Leicabashing all too irritating,but also the opposite is true—Leicastroking which can also be a bit too much. After all it's just a camera. I like mine because it is small, unnoticeable, and works well. I don't like EVFs so its the perfect camera for me. That's it."
Steve P.: "Is it mere coincidence that this article appears on the very day the HasselSony Stellar Mk.2 is foisted on an unsuspecting world? I think we should be told!"
Mike replies: No, I wasn't aware.
Juan: "There is a simple cure for Leica bashing: take a look at the book Eyes Wide Open. 100 Years of Leica, edited by Hans-Michael Koetzle, published by Kehrer. I'm waiting for the English translation, but had the opportunity to look through the German edition and it is really mind-blowing."
GH: "I love using a rangefinder, and I bought an M9, but I still have a hard time saying that Leicas aren't Veblen goods. Like Rolex, which I also own, Leica has kept itself relevant by moving further and further up the luxury ladder. I can't believe that another company hasn't stepped up to the plate to make are more reasonably priced, digital FF rangefinder.
"For what it's worth, my uncle is a dentist and camera guy who makes more money than I make, and he shoots Micro 4/3."
Richard: "Best posting in a while Mike! I hate all the other bloggers who don't post like this. Oh, wait...."
John Camp (partial comment): "I'm happy to bash Leica, not because you can't take good pictures with a Leica, or because of the handling or the rangefinder or any of the other parts of the actual machine, or anything to do with the 'rich dentists' trope, but because I believe that Leica treats its customers like chumps. I hate being treated like a chump. I'm a former Leica owner, both of film and digital cameras, and seeing ordinary accessories that have nothing to do with glass or rangefinders being pumped up in price by 600% because of the brand name is more than annoying. Especially when they know—because you're buying an accessory—that it's their own customers that they're ripping off. Don't even get me started on the rebranding of Panasonic cameras as 'Leicas.' Is there anything that could be more justifiably be labeled a 'Veblen Good?'"