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Improving the practice of Aquascaping in America

Arthur had some rather stong words to say about what he feels is the general
sad state of aquascaping in America (I assume he included Canada and Mexico
in that general term, since we all share the same continent).

In defense of his statment, he wrote:

"...But I think I can defend my statement.  Show me a good
book featuring American aquatic gardeners/artists.
Show me a nice magazine (the one American magazine,
Gomberg's, was largely technical).  Show me a good
American contest (AGA contest still in its infancy).
Show me that Americans did well in the ADA contest..."

O.K. - hold on just one minute! Lets talk about the AGA Showcase/Contest.
You say "show me a good American contest". Are you criticizing the way the
AGA event was setup, organized, judged, presented, publicised, subscribed to
by hobbyists? One or several aspects, or all? Are you saying that the ADA
contest was better because it had larger dollar value prizes or was better
subscribed to by Asian/European hobbyists?

Don't go around making general negative comments without at least being
willing to be part of the solution rather than merely another one of the

I was the one who initiated the AGA Showcase/Contest and with the dedicated
and patient help of a VERY small group of people, spent 18 months in
pre-planning the first event. I was on the APD and Usenet at the time almost
BEGGING people to get involved and help make the event a reality. If it
wasn't for lots of hard work and time very generously donated by people like
Erik Olson, Karen Randall and the other members of the organizing committee,
and the very generous and ongoing support of the AGA and the many commercial
prize sponsors (many of whom have representation on this list), there
wouldn't have even BEEN a Showcase/Contest. The event was and is about
people SHARING their ideas and results with others.

Where were YOU??? I don't remember receiving ANY input from you regarding
how you thought the event ought to be organized, held, judged, awarded,
presented. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

Now you come out of the woodwork and start slinging mud??? Please, put your
effort where your mouth is, or go start your own private list and leave the
rest of us alone.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Amano, ADA, or the Eastern
influence over aquascaping. I DO have a bit of distain for people who
slavisly follow ANY guru without bothering to learn to think for themselves
and try to discover their own voice in any creative endeavour. And those
that sit on their hands and fail to take advantage of the opportunity to
help improve a situation they obviously feel stongly about are not worth
taking seriously at all.

James Purchase