27 April 2008

OT Is As OT Does

Okay, I'll bite this time. OT has fired off another salvo in their classic whining style. No doubt intended as biting humor and eloquent sarcasm. But, it really is just another hypocritical attack on the Fractal Universe calendar and the editor(s). Once more, OT doesn't let facts get in the way of their crusade.

OT laments at great length why they have never received any answers to their "concerns" and "questions". I'd ask anyone, if you have been relentlessly attacked in the manner OT has attacked the calendar and editors, would you take any of their questions seriously? I didn't think so. If I didn't know they were serious, I'd think they were doing this whole crusade as a lark.

OT complains yet again that they have been banned from Keith's blog. But, hasn't OT banned several people from commenting on their blog? Those are the "retired hecklers" they refer to. Yes, you are correct, that is hypocritical. But, remember, this is OT we are talking about. But, we "hecklers" aren't retired. We just aren't bothering to respond as often. But, given how much OT likes to refer to us, it is gratifying to know we hold such a special place in their minds. We do feel honored in a weird sort of way.

It is funny reading OT's feigned ignorance about how the calendar works. They know how it works, and have known for a long time. Editor(s) are guaranteed one image in the calendar. It can be more than one, and often has been. OT shouldn't fake ignorance of that fact.

It is also funny reading the continuing saga of complaints. Judging from the number of posts, you'd think that the calendar was a huge enterprise that was run like some companies that take advantage of their employees in all sorts of unprofessional ways. You would think that OT had lots of support for their "charges". But, when you look and find that there is zero public support for their crusade, you quickly realize that the complaints are just coming from a couple (one really, the other doesn't say anything) of disgruntled people. I've no doubt there are a few people that send private notes of gratitude and encouragement to OT for their "bravery", but given that no one speaks out in defense of OT, there really isn't any support for them. Whenever OT has tried to take their crusade elsewhere, there are always comments in opposition, and from people other than me.

OT lays down the gauntlet and tells the calendar editor to do just two simple things so that OT will cease and desist. Extortion and threats really aren't the best way to achieve your goals, but then OT has never been strong in the application of basic people skills or negotiation. The "my way or the highway" approach rarely is successful when you aren't in control in the first place, but I digress. Why should the calendar publisher and editor take a process that currently allows anyone to submit images for consideration and turn it into a private, invitation only process? Isn't that the sort of "elitism" that OT has been critical of in the past? Sound hypocritical again? Sure, but again this is OT we are talking about.

What OT should do, is simply create and run their own calendar by their own rules and standards and show the world how it "should" be done "professionally". But, OT never has been strong at "putting their money where their mouth is". In fact, their response is essentially, "why should we, we want you to fix a process we don't even participate in".

At a minimum OT, and anyone that might happen to agree with them, should create and self publish their own calendar. If you don't, then I say you have no right to just sit back and whine about a calendar that you don't like. Show the fractal community that you can actually do something positive for the community rather than whine, criticize, complain, and make phony charges against something that you don't like.

I will echo Keith's encouragement for people to contribute to the calendar. You've got nothing to lose.

However, just to appease an OT complaint from a couple of whining posts ago, I did outline a number of ways that people can promote their own, and fractal art in general, here. And, if anyone wants to know more about the calendar, they should read this post. Reasonable questions or concerns with the calendar can always be brought up publicly or privately with the editor. I'm sure she will address them if they are polite and civil. If you are a troll like OT, then you will probably be ignored, as you should be.


WelshWench said...

Well stated, Keith - and significantly more eloquently than I managed!

The delusional spinfest continues: I wonder what will be next? This is nearly as exciting as watching paint dry ;)

kymarto said...

As the third stooge cum retired heckler, I guess I should chime in. First, I was rather surprised that Terry posted my comment. I think he does try to be fair in his own interpretation of the concept.

I must say that in viewing the images for the last FU calendar I was somewhat underwhelmed by the choices, but (as Terry somehow consistently fails to get) the old adage applies fully: "He who pays the piper calls the tune."


Ken said...

Toby - I haven't tried to post a comment for months. But, you didn't contradict anything in the post, so it didn't hurt to post it. :-)

People have been complaining about the calendar images for years. Perhaps the complaints are valid from an artistic point of view. But, since the publishing company has a formula that works for them, the complaints are really irrelevant. What right does anyone have to try to change that formula?

Isn't the claim that the calendar is giving the public a jaded view of fractal art rather silly given all the methods available to people to self publish?

Stephanie said...

"Isn't the claim that the calendar is giving the public a jaded view of fractal art rather silly given all the methods available to people to self publish?"

That's the least of it. The marketing claims for the calendar are just that--marketing. Nothing more, nothing less. Mel Brooks frequently spoofs marketing propaganda in many of his screenplays. Who really takes it as being truthful of anything at all. Ditto for Terry "cruelanimal." There is a fine movie that seems to have escaped the notice of the "greater arts community" even though Samuel L. Jackson gave a sterling performance worth noting. It makes one suspicious that there might be those in that "greater (or was it, larger) arts community," such as gatekeeper and quality-control fine arts expert, Terry, who were a bit uncomfortable seeing themselves in the mirror of ones who feel that art must be ugly to be good. The movie is, "The Caveman's Valentine."

Also, part of the problem with causes is that in order to maintain an emotional intensity for said cause, any data that might interfere with the party line absolutely must be discarded with a vengeance. That's why the majority of activist groups disintegrate and/or implode; most human affairs cannot be narrowed to such fine and narrow points, not without discarding pertinent information anyway. The idea that the calendar represents a jaded view of fractal art is in no way apparent to the general public, perhaps mainly because the public doesn't have a view of fractals whatsoever. The comments I hear the most from people who witness a fractal art work for the first time are, "What is a fractal?" and "I've never seen anything like that before." These items of "jaded" fractal art seem to inspire folks to fire up their favorite search engines and look for more info and more examples. These same folks have children who think fractals are "cool" and who have heard about fractals in math class. So, both adults and children are talking about art and math and wanting to learn how to make these fascinating, colorful forms. It's unfortunate that rebels with causes cannot or will not zoom out and try to get just a tiny glimpse of a larger picture. But, the nature of "causes" is that there is simply too much emotional and ego investment to do so. After a certain point, there is absolutely no way to do so and save face. Such is the human ego.

The idea that fractal spirals are a blight on the fractal art community is just as silly and absurd as those who feel that fractal art has peaked and that everything has already been done that can/will be done. The real blight on the fractal community are those who will discourage developing artists before they really get to the point of getting their feet under them. That is a totally heartless thing to do and elevates no one. A crummy worldview is a very dark and sad meme. A person who is genuinely at the top of his art gives back; such a person extends himself to mentor and encourage others. A vituperous critic is merely a fraud.

No one knows what the future of fractal art will be. It's going to be interesting.


Ken said...

Stephanie - Well said. Their latest post, "focusing" on a selected piece of fractal art, is just another hit piece on the calendar and a former editor. It's so easy to pick apart the arguments that I don't try anymore. I thought they were going to be positive, but that didn't last very long.

I believe there are other issues at work than what is stated. Sometime I may address my opinion of them. It may have even been possible to get to the root of some of their issues, and perhaps they might have some valid ones, if they allowed comments. But, by immediately banning anyone who offers countering arguments or objections to their assertions, they don't have any credibility.

It's nice and easy to stand on your soap box when you create an environment where you don't have to justify, defend, or explain your speeches.