"Watchers are fascists" ???

Chris J. Durden drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Sun Jan 27 20:39:04 EST 2002

    What a fantastic straw man you build! I hope you have a better day 
...........Chris Durden

At 01:48 PM 1/27/2002 -0600, you wrote:

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Chris J. Durden
>Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 10:27 PM
>To: leps-l at lists.yale.edu
>Subject: Re: animal torture for pleasure
>I vote for #2. Of the 3 choices it comes closest, but it is not an exact
>............Chris Durden.
>At 03:24 PM 1/25/2002 -0800, you wrote:
> >Ron, Richard and all,
> >
> >So which is it?
> >
> >1) Watchers are animal torturers because they sometimes bungle a netted
> >specimen.
> >
> >2) Watchers are fascists because they will do anything to keep Bambi and
> >brethren out of the hands of collectors.
> >
> >3) Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep.
> >
> >Patrick Foley
> >patfoley at csus.edu
>Mike Quinn replies:
>Interesting supposition, "watchers are fascists".
>But don't the vast majority of lepidopterists only collect a small (if not
>tiny) fraction of the butterflies they see on any outing, particularly if
>near their home and/or in their favorite collecting ground (if it's north of
>Mexico)? In other words, don't lepidopterists themselves watch far more than
>they collect and thus spend most of their time "being fascists"...
>If watchers are fascists, then I assume that the only true non-fascist good
>guys and gals are the few vacuum cleaners out there who collect everything,
>no matter how rare or how common. (Their motto being "if it flies, it
>dies".) Many of us passed through this phase, particularly if we took
>freshman entomology but then quickly ran out of space and time to process
>the tremendous volume of material that is easily acquired if one is not
>So if collecting everything is not practical (nor even possible), is there
>any middle ground between good-guy vacuum cleaners and fascist watchers?
>Chris, as a leader of Victor Emanuel Nature Tour (VENT) field trips, do you
>issue nets to all your customers and admonish them to put down their binos
>when butterflying, least they be lumped with the fascists?
>Perhaps the line between good collectors and fascist watchers is defined by
>membership. Lep Soc members: good; NABA members: Bad. There that was easy.
>But wait a minute, what about folks (and scientists) that are members of
>both? (Can't they make up their minds so that we can properly pigeon-hole
>them?!?) Membership categorization's no good, besides guilt by association
>went out with McCarthyism.
>Perhaps it's just a matter of those who collect are good and those who don't
>are bad. But that just brings us back to where we started. How much does one
>need to collect to be a collector? Will the collection of one insect per
>year bring one into the good-guy ranks of collectordom? Perhaps a higher
>standard is needed, at least one insect per month, per week or per outing
>should be required.
>In ornithology, voice is extremely important in defining species limits.
>Perhaps dialect can be definitively used to delineate collector from
>watcher. Watchers, of course, tend to use a particular English dialect while
>collectors tend towards Latin and/or Greek. But what about Paul Opler whose
>widely disseminated field guides are bilingual? Is he a collector or a
>Perhaps optics holds the key. Watchers tend to use 5 to 10 power binoculars
>and/or 1 to 6 power photographic lenses. Collectors often use a variety of
>hand lenses, dissecting and compound microscopes. What about those who
>photograph specimens, are they just closet watchers? Shucks, drawing the
>line between collector and non-collector is proving to be as difficult as
>drawing the line between one subspecies and another...
>Perhaps #3 comes closest, though it's not an exact match...
>Happy Birthday Leps-L, we've apparently come 180 degrees from Leps-L's
>inception during the Kral wars...
>Mike Quinn
>New Braunfels, TX
>ento at satx.rr.com
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