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Re: Blather and putdowns, Contests and lists

Gary Lange wrote:
"Heyyyy didn't we try this years ago with the newsgroups?  Let's split them
out so we can have an Amano_san group and a HateAmano_san group.  Pretty
soon we'll have nothing left."

I think that we see this a lot in any group - newcomers, unaware of the
history and dynamics of something don't immediately see THEIR
needs/wants/desires being met,  so they go on the attack and try to "start
fresh". If they would just learn to relax and check things out, they would
probably find that there are very rarely many "new" ideas - you can be
pretty sure that someone else, somewhere else, has already had the same
thought that you are having. On a list as diverse as this one, the cross
pollination of ideas and inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources
and that's one of the things which makes this list sooooo valuable.

As to the perceived differences between the AGA Contest and the ADA Contest,
excuse me for a second while I shake Arthur.....<shake> <shake>. (whew, that
feels better..... ;-)

We didn't START the AGA Showcase Contest with ART in mind. The genesis of
the idea came from this list and that idea was to SHARE our aquascaping
ideas and results with one another. The SHOWCASE was the prime motivator for
it. As originally conceived, the "prizes" were merely going to be ribbons.
When I contacted all of the companies who eventually became Prize Sponsors,
nobody was as surprised as I was at the generosity my queries were met with.
At the end of the event, I was almost embarrassed by how much we had to give
away. But it was NEVER about the prizes.

I didn't and don't personally _care_ if all of the entries approach the ART
level - they are individual hobbyist's personal creations and they are
sharing them with me and with other hobbyists. I have been in this hobby now
for a loooooong time and I'm still able to learn new things, get new ideas,
fresh perspectives. I don't need a "Prize" or a 1,000,000 Yen bribe held out
as a carrot to get me to do my dance - I do it for the love of the hobby and
because of the nice people I come into contact with along the way. Thru this
hobby and this list, I have gotten to know (at least electronically) a wide
and varied group of really great people from around the world and I have
seen people from all over the world go out of their way to help, encourage
and share their love of the hobby (and of people) with others of all
experience, age and education levels.

That being said, there is NOTHING wrong with anyone aspiring to greatness
where aquascaping is concerned. I and the other volunteers who worked on the
planning of the first AGA event were hoping that over time the general
artistic level of the aquascapes submitted would improve as people saw
things in the various entries that worked (as well as things which didn't
work). For anyone who might remember, there was/is a Resource section on the
Showcase/Contest website. I had hoped that the links I put there would help
to give people ideas and inspiration when they were designing their next
aquascape. Not all of the links were to "nuts and bolts" aquarium sites.
Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere.

But to the people intent on pulling things down, rather than helping
building things up, I say again - put up or shut up! The people who post
here regularly do so out of a love of the hobby and their own personal
satisfaction they receive from helping others. The people who VOLUNTEERED to
help plan and implement the AGA event did so for the same reasons. It wasn't
about what they could GET, it was about what they could GIVE and SHARE with

Try, for once, to not be so selfish. It isn't all about YOU 'ya know......

James Purchase