Sunday, July 27, 2008

Imagine There's No (Wax) Heaven

(I'm typing this after having proofread tonight's post and just prior to publishing it for everyone. I must say that this has been one of the more difficult posts I've ever written. I realize that this post can be taken in so many different ways and I want to stress that I'm writing this apology/explanation/personal growth post from the same part of me that wrote The Card. I love the hobby, I love the Sport, and I love that I have been given the opportunity to show you my personal version of both. This post is not intended to be a "wake up call" to anyone other than myself. I hope that the mentality in which it was written is the mentality in which it is read.)

So without further ado...(sorry SCU...hehe)

"I for one would hate to see this backlash lead to him quitting the blog world."

This statement has played over and over in my head since I read it the other day. It reminded me of the posts by both Ben and Mario in the last few months regarding the possibility that they might leave the card blog circle at some point in the near future. I've wondered how many other people might be saying the same thing soon.

I've thought about all of the back and forth arguments on the subject of donation buttons (obviously, Mario's isn't the only one, just the most recent that I've found) and JCs (if the shoe fits, huh...) and bad writing techniques (I've committed every single offense...) I've thought about my first true post, Why I Left and Why I'm Back and wondered, "where did that guy go?"

I've thought about a collector named AngryChris that made a blip on the radar and then vanished to wherever it was that he came from. Like the statement that begins this post, I've also thought about the words of AngryChris...

I've wondered if maybe I should have slacked up on the guy a little for this one statement.

I've wondered about the reasons that I find myself compelled to offer ultimatums for everything I come across lately. "I won't be reading this guy anymore" or "I won't be collecting this player anymore" are pretty bold statements. I've wondered how I can be so sure that my coffee maker will greet me with caffeinated happiness at 6 am tomorrow. I've wondered about what it is that makes me certain that my 12 year old car will do it's part in taking me all the way to work in the morning. I obviously don't know these things for sure.

That being the case, I also have no idea how I'll feel tomorrow either. So how can I say what I will or will not do, what I will or will not condone, and what I will or will not think at that point? The truth is, I can't.

I've wondered why it's been almost three weeks since my last, "Building Our 1990 Topps Set" post. I've wondered why both my Manny post and my 1993 Studio Set came to me yesterday, one physically, one mentally, yet the
Studio Set sits untouched on my kitchen counter.

I didn't come back to whine incessantly about Ben Henry's decisions, Manny's antics, or Joe Collector's passion.
There are bigger issues at hand. But, even now, I'm struggling to keep this from being a slam post for something, anything. It's become my nature the last few weeks to follow suit with fellow bloggers and take "jabs" at others and I don't like it.

Rather than post some of the things I want to say, I find myself scouring Google Reader looking for the latest blogger faux pas to jump on. The sad part is that it's not really a conscious effort most days. It's just become the norm. I haven't posted ANYTHING this week that I've had in my "to do" folder. Everything has been "off the cuff" fluff pieces.
Honestly, I'm tired.

I haven't looked at any of my blog stats this week but I'm pretty sure that I've lost some readers because of the stance that I've taken on a few topics. The regrettable part is that it wasn't even necessary to say some of the things I did. I wonder how many people won't be coming back to TNB simply because I took the position of saying I wouldn't be going back to The Baseball Card Blog. It wasn't my intention to make either of us lose readers.

I wonder why I keep proofreading and changing things constantly in this post. I've literally been working on it for hours. I think it's mostly because I feel that this may be one of the most important posts that I'll ever write. This is the post that I hope convinces each of my readers that the jv you've been reading isn't the one that I am. Maybe I have some bipolar issues I don't know about yet or something, but I'll do everything in my power to suppress that guy from here on out.

I wonder, most worriedly, not about the bloggers that might hang it up. Not about the hit counters or the blog stats of "us". I wonder how many "silent" readers we're pushing away with our words. I don't think that any of us intend to do so.

And I know that with some, it's not their personal vendetta to help bring people back into the hobby that left the way that I did. But, it has been one of my missions since I began to inspire people to remember what they loved about card collecting. For me to do something to the contrary, is hypocritical, and I should take the advice of Tribe Cards. "
Seriously. Click "Start" then "Shut Down. Please."

I like to think, in the same vein as Ben Henry, that I've inspired people. That they believe in me and what I have to say. I like to think that I'm considered successful by the people most important to me in this endeavor, my readers.

I like to think that it was a matter of pride for Mario when he "discovered" and promoted me through Wax Heaven. I like to think that I've lived up to his expectations. I wonder if the one person that made this blog possible in the early days still thinks of me as the same guy. I can't see how he could.

I like to think that I played a major part convincing the author to start what has become my favorite blog. Fielder's Choice.

Dave has commented at various blogs around the net with his opinions on the Donation Button issue. To this day, he has yet to write his own post about it. I can't speak for him but I have a feeling that he probably won't be posting anything anytime soon about it. It's not in his nature to post about it. Yeah, he leaves his opinion when the rest of us rant and rave about it, but he didn't jump on the bandwagon of the for/against Ben Henry debacle by writing about it.

I for one intend to take Dave's lead on these type issues in the future. I may disagree with fellow bloggers but I don't intend to bash them for their views, their collecting habits, or their site preferences. Not the way that I have lately, anyway. It's fine by me if other's do, and I'll still read their stuff and comment when it happens, but I just can't do it anymore. It's not me. It's not what I came here to do.

Please don't look at this as a call to form a Happy Hippy Convention. SCU does a great job of pointing out the fallacies of the hobby, the collectors, and the bloggers. He doesn't need my help. But the blogosphere needs him and his point of view.

I love reading the Joe Collector stuff because I think it's hilarious. Most days I have to hang my head in shame because it's like they're writing about me. And as far as the recent post at SCU about bad writing techniques, thank you. I thought this was pretty funny as well and will forever be conscious of trying to avoid some of the things mentioned there.

The thing is, our genre needs the diversity that we each bring. It needs the positive outlook and niceness of Dave, the honesty of Mario, the insight of Ben, and the R-rated after hours mentality of Gellman and his gang. It needs each of us and what we bring to the table.

Based on the outpouring of support I received when this blog began, I think there's a place for a soft hearted, sentimental and sappy father striving to introduce his pride and joy to the greatest hobby in the world.

I just want to get back to who I am and away from who I'm not. I wonder if any of the other card bloggers that feel the same will do the same. Either way, I'm ready to get back to being the guy that made AngryChris so mad but made myself so happy...

But then again, in the back of my mind, after all of the heartfelt honesty I've displayed here tonight, I wonder who will me bash for this post first....


Gellman said...

I was going to write a post about this topic, but now I dont have to. For the last week, bloggers have forgotten about writing about cards and just stopped to take shots at others. Myself included. Its about time we stop. Lets take shots at the people that deserve them. Bloggers should not be targets, they really dont need to be. I am sorry.

fielderschoice said...


Yes, you definitely were a major influence in my decision to start a blog. I was a reader of your blog from the first day, so I saw first-hand how to get started. It was exciting to read the perspective of someone whose collecting history is so similar to mine, someone who is the same age as me, and someone who seems to be the type of father that I'd like to be someday. Your posts inspired me to leave so many comments that I eventually figured I might as well just start my own blog to talk about cards.

You made a really good point. I do think that the average reader of sports card blogs would much rather read about our opinions on cards, the card companies, the latest sets, etc than read bickering about other bloggers. It sounds like you're about ready to move forward, re-focus, and make TNB better than ever. I can't wait to read more of what you have to say.


Captain Canuck said...

Yes. Thank you. If anyone feels the need to slam anyone, let's all agree to dis Mets fans... after all... they deserve it and quite frankly are asking for it......

fielderschoice said...

I vote for Red Sox fans to be dissed...

blogbeckett said...

I vote you all decide to start bashing Beckett!

Wait...forget I said that.

jv said...

Nah, I'm tired of the Beckett bashing too.

Anyone wanna take a swing at Tuff Stuff? Hadn't heard many grumblings about those guys and they do a worse job than Beckett.

blogbeckett said...

Well, I would be more inclined to vote with Captain Canuck...I am still not over 1986.