Josh asked me to write about collecting in general I was overcome with
the idea of writing, I collect toys because I like them, 100 or so times
and sending it to him. What else could I write, collecting is a very
personal thing. How else could you explain Pez collectors? Like most
realities, the collection reality exists for the collectors alone. It
only makes sense to them.
To question it would be would be like questioning
our own existence. People collect, because people like to collect. Given
this, I felt completely lost when I put pen to paper to write this (that's
a metaphor, cause I am really on a PC, with a spelling checker, 'course
I'll probably still misspell a few things).
Rather then talk about what collecting is, I want
to talk about what it isn't. My logic professor said, "If you discredit
all of the fallacies in an argument then you are left with the truth".
Strong words considering I took his course in ethics and he discounted
the belief in absolute truth in favor of subjective truths based on
the mores of a society? He was a hell of a teacher even if he was full
Fallacy #1: Collectors are materialistic.
This would seem to be a given. A collector collects
"things", which is by natural materialistic (note: how much
shelf space would a collector of ideas need?). However we commonly refer
to people as materialistic only in a shallow and selfish way. Materialism
has come to mean collecting things to impress others. If we use this
connotation then collectors collect to impress others. Just doesn't
hold water when you look at it that way does it? I can't really see
a toy/comicbook/pez/troll collector out at a singles bar telling everyone
he/she meets that they have a big collection. In fact many collectors
forgo luxuries like expensive cars and swimming pools in favor of adding
new items to their collections.
Fallacy #2: Collectors need to get a life.
For some reason it is assumed that if you like to
collect something that you ignore other parts of your life or that you
have nothing else in your life to begin with. This couldn't be farther
from the truth. I have met countless collectors that are married, have
children that they adore, are involved in religious and or charitable
organizations, and have successful and rewarding careers. These people
are not collecting to fill a void in their lives. They don't need to
get a life, they already have very good ones. Collectors are not trolls
living in their parent's basement, they are happy productive members
Fallacy #3: Collectors are anal-retentive.
I am not really sure what anal-retentive means, I
think it is just a buzzword thrown around to pigeonhole anyone who is
organized and methodical into a "disorder". Seems everything
has to be a disorder these days. When I was a kid you could lay back
and look at the clouds and let your mind wander, imagine that you were
flying, imagine that you were a pirate or a soldier. We used to call
it having an active imagination, now we call it an Attention Deficit
Disorder. That's not to say that there aren't real disorders, but I
think we have gone way too far in trying to get everyone into therapy.
Having said all that I'll refrain from making any
butt jokes about what I think anal-retentive means (just think, picking
up a billiard ball without using your hands. Jim Rose would be so proud).
I have met many collectors that were organized and methodical as well
as many that were disorganized and chaotic (I'm the latter. That came
as a surprise, didn't it.)
Fallacy #4: Collectors are inactive, passive people.
You will hear this most often from people who play
tennis, golf or run. I am not sure why they believe this other then
that they want to feel superior. Again it just isn't true. I have met
collectors that do everything from fight fires to practice kung fu.
Making an assumption about a person's health and lifestyle based on
their hobby is not terribly accurate. You have no idea how many overweight,
out of shape golfers there are. Collectors come in all shapes, sizes
and activity levels.
After taking a look at what collectors are not it's
pretty safe to say that a collector cannot be defined as one type of
person. The truth is that collectors come in every age group, every
economic group and every race. We are just as healthy, as well adjusted
as everybody else.
So while you may hear us say that we're geeks, or
that we are obsessed, or that we need to get out more, understand that
those are all inside jokes. We are just like you. Now come on in and
see what all these geeks have been obsessing over while their lives
passed them by!
Brad Walker collects American and Japanese action
figures, customizes them, and "hangs out" by sitting on the
hood of a car drinking Colt.45 at his local Dairy Queen parking lot.
"Gai-Jin" is what he calls himself, but most folks call him
"white trash". You can reach him at email@example.com
if he can get his PC to work, and if he's in a good mood he will reply.You
can also visit his custom action figure site here: http://members.tripod.com/~bwalk06/.
For "big ass robot shampoo bottles (Shogun Warriors)" go here: