Taking ourselves too seriously

29 Feb

If you are into metal detecting, you would have to be living under a rock not to know about the Diggers show on the National Geographic channel.

I saw the first episode and I thought it was pretty darn good. The show is obviously geared towards the general public the way Swamp People is (if you don’t know about Swamp People, you are missing on a good show!). I believe it is meant to be entertainment, not education.

The guys in the show are a couple of goof-heads who really enjoy the hobby. I most definitely share their enthusiasm at finding anything with my metal detector.

But, as with anything in life, there are people who do not share my assessment of the show. That’s normal. Not everyone has the same taste when it comes to entertainment.
I DO have a problem with a least two points in the criticism given about the show:

1) That the hobby has to somehow be stuffy, academic, and dignified

2) That some of these critics speak for all of us.

That metal detecting should be considered a venerated activity sounds a little silly. Beyond showing common decorum when I am on a hunt, and following the hobby’s code of ethics, I don’t see why I should be floating around on my non-odorous farts. It’s a hobby.  We’re not out there keeping the world safe from Communism. If you really think about it, it’s a little bit of an odd hobby at that. I certainly don’t expect everyone to understand why a grown man would find it amusing and relaxing to be on his knees digging holes and getting all dirty. All I ask is that my right to use public land as any other citizen be respected.

So the guys in the show are goofy. I am goofy. Watch anyone dig up a silver Morgan dollar out of the ground and tell me if they are not goofy. Anyone who tells you that they do this hobby primarily because they want to save history or because of some other highfalutin reason is lying. Most people who tell you that they do this hobby primarily because they want to save history or because of some other highfalutin reason, are probably lying. We do it to satisfy an eternally youthful curiosity. We do  it because we love being outside. We do it for the chance to be alone with our thoughts. We do it to find cool stuff. And yes, there are some hunters out there who do a really good job of presenting their finds in an educational and appealing way. Check out Detecting Saxapahaw as an example. But asking that the hobby be presented in a dignified manner by having the hunters not wear a baseball cap and not getting excited over a find? Come on!

Then there are these guys who are writing letters to the National Geographic folk. Ok, that’s your choice and more power to you but please be very specific about saying in your letter that this is YOUR opinion and not the opinion of the thousands of other hunters out there. Don’t try to present yourself as the elected Metal Detecting president. That’s all I ask. Not liking the show is a matter of personal taste. I like it, you don’t. That’s simple. Lighten up a bit.

Ok, I will get off my soap box now.

***NOTE*** In view of the excellent recent post in the Detecting Saxapahaw blog, I am amending my post slightly.***

Thank you for looking!


2 Responses to “Taking ourselves too seriously”

  1. Ozarks March 1, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Well said! Enjoyed reading it…. definitely more than I enjoy floating around on non odorous farts that’s for sure! lol Great message in there and a great post

  2. Stevessunkentreasures March 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Agreed. I kind of enjoyed the show. I would love to hunt the land they were hunting. I think people are being way to critical about these two guys. I do wish they would have shown a clip of all the other finds aka trash they dug. I think if people would probably think twice about jumping in the hobby if they realized the ratio of good finds out there!

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