Thursday, December 30, 2010

Publishers Beware! Candy has the Dirt, and is Happy to Sling it

[category: metal detectorist lobby nonsense]

Metal-detectorist-not-metal-detectorist Candice Jarman seems to have a fixation on my personalia. Again he returns to the subject of my qualifications and CV (here (as an aim), here, here and now here)
Academics are usually proud of their qualifications and achievements - but Mr Barford can't seem to provide any credentials for himself. Is he an archaeologist or just a wannabee? Several correspondents tell me that he actually supports himself as a translator! My stats show that several visitors come to my blog searching for 'Paul Barford CV'. Let's hope their number include a few potential book publishers - they clearly need better informing!
That would be nice for the detectorists, publishers refusing to handle anything written by "the Barford guy" because of something they read on Candice Jarman's spite-blog. Dream on Candice. I doubt that we will be seeing Candice Jarman's full CV on the Candice Jarman blog or any other proof this person really is who the blog's author claims.

As for who we both are and what we stand for, let the reader judge from the words we write. Let them in particular note the way "Candice" claims to speak now for metal detectorists
Well, Mr Barford's response shows just how little this self-proclaimed 'expert' (but in reality total ignoramus) knows about metal detecting
This is despite him originally claiming to be merely a collector of Bronze Age antiquities (that has now disappeared from his profile) who merely has "many metal detecting friends - all of whom report their finds to the PAS and only search with the landowners['] permission". Candice claims to be a rather attractive blonde secretary (who, the profile originally reported happens to be a lesbian, but that too has now been modified). The tone and style of the posts on the Candice Jarman blog however are identical (except for one characteristic which is interesting) with a series of posts on another blog a while back, called "Barfordisation" (although the blog has been 'deleted' traces of it can be found in Google cache). This was exactly the same mixture of spite, snipe, snideness, gossip, dirt-digging and sly innuendo. The author was clearly aiming to discredit the author who was questioning the practices of UK metal detectorists and the PAS. He also claimed to be "in the legal profession", and depicted himself as a man.

Then there was a "Steve Welton" who about the same time decided to create a Wikipedia page on "Paul Barford" containing the same mixture of spite, snipe, gossip, dirt-digging and sly innuendo masquerading as fact and obviously intended to discredit me. Lawyer Peter Tompa accepted it as fact. Interestingly, although that page appears not to be available in the Internet any more (?), Candice's attempts to reconstruct my "biography" contain the same errors. If Candice is basing his conclusions on an old downloaded copy of the discredited and deleted Wikipedia text, he should say so, for fear that we might connect him with the (fictitious) Steve Welton.

Candice is, I think we may be sure, a man. It seems to me a foregone conclusion that he is one of the ten thousand UK metal detectorists who do not like people writing about them. He aims to discredit me as well (?) as what I write. He is not however being honest with his readers, writing under an assumed identity, and making claims about artefact hunting and collecting ("we all ask four standard questions", "we do not seek productive sites" etc) which he knows are misleading bare-faced lies. Then there are the ACCG-clone arguments that it does not matter anyway. I write under my own name, present things as I see them and indicate why - with all the consequences that this entails. It is a shame that Candice cannot bring himself to do the same and engage in a proper discussion.

Gentle Reader, it does not take a university degree to be able to log on to a UK metal detecting forum and read what these people write behind the bland facade that their closed access forums maintain. Then you can easily make up your own mind how much there exposed on those forums is glib declaration of "responsibility" for show, and how much pure naked self-interest, greed and - yes - ignorance lies just below the surface. Just what is it that people like Candice are trying to defend by their aggression and glib denials? What are the parallels with the attitudes (and indeed methods) of the US coiney lobbyist? It does not take a degree either to look at this evidence and make up your own mind what actually has (and has not) been achieved by millions of pounds worth of "archaeological outreach" to these people. Make up your own mind how much has yet to be achieved, and whether voices like Candice's in denial show how likely it is that it ever will. Neither does it need any degree or qualifications/credentials to raise the question, identify issues, and suggest we should be discussing them openly.

That after all is the declared aim of Candice Jarman's "People's Archaeology Blog". Has she got a degree which provides the "credentials" to provide: "a forum for examining how archaeology is done in the world today"?

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