Saturday, October 21, 2006

Enough already!

Seems that Civil War Historian magazine is content with steadily beating the dead horse. Last month I posted on the Camp Chase Gazette's huge error of ethics, judgement and common sense by republishing a CWH article under another writer's name.

A Very Stupid® move.

Now the lawyers are on the case, and no doubt CCG will be paying a steep price via a pound of monetary flesh. This should be a given by CCG, who are hopefully undergoing a house-cleaning, or better yet, looking at selling to a group of buyers who really give a damn about the hobby and the publication.

I recently received my latest issue of CHW, and what do I see? A full page spread of condemnation of CCG with Pat Ertel's grim countenance imposed on a third of the page. OK, Mr. Ertel is the publisher/owner, and has a right editorialize so. But as a paying subscriber, I really don't want to be party to a pissing contest in a hobby that sees too much of this garbage in the first place. On this blog, I try to keep things as up beat as possible, which in my mind is an easy task. I love the hobby, as with most reenactors. I would only hope that other blogs and publications would do the same.

When you print any publication that has a widespread readership, people naturally recognize you as a representative or a leader in the hobby. Articles are written by seasoned and well-known reenactors. CWH certainly has earned and deserves kudos for the articles and wonderful research. CWH certainly won't be damaged by this row with CCG, which instead, will bolster its image in the reenacting community.

My problem is when said publication indulges in bringing business out to the public realm. Then I have to wonder "why?".

Good leadership, in my mind, is looking at what is good for the hobby, not what is good for your publication in the short term. A good leader leads with integrity and a bit of humility, which seems to be the same as the words "with class". OK, CHW has a definite one-up on the competition, but to publish a in-your-face one page condemnation is over the top. I have to ask whether this is a true expression of indignation, or simply taking advantage of a very stupid mistake by CCG to drum up more biz? CCG will surely pay, but is this a cheap attempt at delivering a coup d'grace to a publication that has, in the past, served the interests of CW reenactors for many years? Is this leading with class? I don't think so.

What is good for the hobby is not to introduce any more division than is necessary. Full page editorals on the sins of the CCG do not help. I beseech the CHW to treat this situation with class.

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