Smart Arse Corner

A Bad Habit?

Detectorists are openly condemning the man whose identity has had to be protected and who is known only as ‘Paul’ for admitting he was “lucky” in avoiding a prison term following his addiction to archaeology.

Asked if he should have gone to prison, he told this column,“I was lucky in that I didn’t, but I do think it was a profound mistake.”

‘Paul’ has been severely censured for claiming artefact-dependency is a rife among “middle class Left-Wing archaeologists.” However, he said, the lure of easy money often proves irresistible.

Britain’s army of relic collectors are united in their disapproval, chorusing that artefact-dependent archaeologists need to understand the harm they were doing to the collecting market. One said: “Doesn’t matter if you are middle class or not, the damage being done to historical record by selling valuable, unrecorded items at rock-bottom prices is damaging the market,” adding, “It doesn’t help addicts kick the thieving archaeology habit.”

One archaeologist who we spoke to who was coming out of rehab said, “Yeah, man, I was mainlining on three or for artefacts a day. Archaeology cost me my self-respect. I’m clean now.”

Some collectors are demanding that archaeology should be strictly controlled, even licensed, though the more radical element feels it should be outlawed altogether.

Paul Gove is 93.

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New Muppets on the Block?

It was great news recently for Sesame Street’s army of fans with the announcement that the popular television programme has a new character, Karli, a green muppet, who in a reflection of real life lives with her foster parents Dalia and Clem.

Talking of green muppets (ahem) and their connection with real life, perhaps other characters could be in the offing? One idea is for a couple of none-too-bright, charisma-free muppets who in an echo of the real world, are adopted by a childless couple, Sam and David, who are themselves not without rationality issues.

Our two muppets will also have real life probs; Harri for example suffers with a persecution complex, while his (slightly) younger dimmer-witted protégé, Walli, a chronic narcissist, rants and rages for no logical or apparent reason and who should be sectioned. They live in the twilight world of self-delusion and in eternal hope of approbation.

The self-delusion manifests itself in their belief (unlike everyone else) that they are unchallengeable experts on a wide range of issues. As the storyline unfolds – again in a nod towards reality – they are shown to be the skivvies of sharper-minded ‘bullet makers’ loathe to fire the ‘bullets’ themselves.

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Blue-collar Arkies? Shocking! Whatever Next?

The Oscar of Egotism’s usual pride of place on a sideboard in a flat in downtown  Mazowieckie, Warsaw, is now back in the UK amidst near hysteria in certain quarters. oscar

Why? Well it seems it’s all down to the DCMS’s proposed definition of ‘archaeologist’ in its review of the 1996 Treasure Act  : –

“Archaeologist: A professional, student, volunteer or amateur engaged on a planned study of the landscape where the primary goal is to understand past activity through an assessment of all traces of human activity.

Archaeological excavation or investigation: A planned study of the landscape that aims to record all traces of human activity thereon. It can be conducted by professional units, educational institutions or societies.”

Predictably, our old friends over at Bull Plain, RESCUE – The British Archaeological Trust, are evidently horror-struck. Their website reveals the extent of  revulsion to the DCMS’s definition : –

“Seems to further muddy the waters by making anyone an archaeologist if they are engaged in an archaeological project.” 

Archaeology’s ostensible egalitarian mask seems to have slipped a tad if RESCUE’s trauma is typical, but nonetheless  very revealing. Peering out from behind the façade and blinking in the daylight is the hideous mug of heritage self-importance.

Is it any wonder that so many are spurning archaeology in favour of our classless pastime?

However, there is no truth in the rumour, so far as I am aware, that RESCUE is considering changing its name to,  ‘HUMBLE’

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Out of wedlock?

If you’re out strolling in the Mazowieckie district of Warsaw close to ul. Wrzeciono, 59C watch out for flying objects; Barford’s chucking his toys out of the pram again. In his latest kiddie tantrum, it seems the self-appointed archaeological behemoth, has again shown his cesspit credentials.

On the 1st March in a fit of what seems reminiscent of a Terrible Two’s  tantrum, he’s described Detectorists on his pisspoor blog as “grabby bastards” (better “grabby” than ‘traitorous,’ one supposes?).

Presumably, he’ll  rock up at a detecting rally and repeat it face-to-face to the assembled throng? (Don’t hold your breath!)

To their credit, some of those in the ‘anti’ camp still have a few scruples left and play a straight bat, and are rightly appalled by Barford’s hysterical and juvenile outburst and keen to put clear water between themselves and his kindergarten name calling.

Remember too, he’s a prime specimen of that branch of archaeo-politics that’s angling to be in charge of YOUR heritage. 

They’ll keep the Red Flag flying high!

Jobs for the Comrades, eh? Ha! Vodkas all round.
(My thanks to Paul Cooke)
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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…

“Why is it immoral to be paid for an act that is perfectly legal if done for free?” was Gloria Allred’s take on prostitution. Yep indeed! Why? Nevertheless, under the banner headline:

“Artefact Hunting not About ‘History’, Portable Antiquity Prostitution is a Growing Business. Artefacts Going Abroad (II)”

…Metal detecting’s old pal, the mediocre ‘heritologist’ Paul Barford writes predictably (again) about foreign Tekkies (again),especially Americans (again),coming to Britain on metal detecting holidays (again). Yaaawn! Yaaawn! Yaaawn!

That he’s riled (again) matters little, but which nevertheless, I find immensely agreeable.  But likening artefact hunting to prostitution? Phew! Now that’s another ball game. On the one hand it’s typically Barfy being Barfy, but on the other, unsurprisingly, he’s setting a double-standard.

What the old duffer seems unable or unwilling to grasp is the fact there’s absolutely nowt wrong – either morally, or legally – with  organised metal detecting holidays. These are as wholesome as say, owning and running a Warsaw language school.

Neither is there anything improper in making a profit from one’s endeavours; owners of Warsaw language schools included. In any case why shouldn’t detectorists, or anyone else for that matter, make a profit from the archaeological record? Professional archaeologists do it all the time and are handsomely rewarded in the form of salaries. Many archaeology units are set-up on profit making lines….and why not?

Barfy’s hand-in-blouse love-in  back in the ‘80s with the then Marxist-Leninist Polish Peoples Republic whom he big-heartedly described as being “generous” with its fiscal patronage,  secured his employment in a regime the Free West might have had to go to war against during the Cold War. Doubtless of course, he was unaware of the heightened tensions between East and West in the heightened political stand-off that went into history as the Cold War?

All the same, if visitors to the UK returning  home with artefacts they’ve legally found and recorded in the UK amounts to what Barfy terms, “antiquity prostitution,” then, so what? Is our intellectual behemoth really claiming that detecting holidays are more noxious than say, for instance, getting a leg-up from a brutal, murderous regime, that had numerous tank divisions massed on its borders ready to roll into Free Europe? You decide.

I leave the last words with Marilyn Monroe who once said: “If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty”.

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 K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Stupid. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80’s my detecting pal ‘Pete the Hat’ owned an Arado 120b arguably the best inland metal detector of its day and in the right hands was certainly capable of outperforming of many of today’s machines. He was an expert. By modern standards it was uncomplicated; certainly deep-seeking, featuring as I recall, just a couple of knobs and a large easy-to-read meter. Neither did it come cheap.

Above all, especially if you’ve only recently discovered the pastime, please realise that expensive machinery sporting twiddly knobs, SatNavs, or even a micro-wave oven, is no guarantee of success. Nor is a ball-breaking price tag.

Remember; the watchword…KISS!
………
Q. What’s the difference between ‘erotic’ and ‘kinky’?
A. Erotic is when you use a feather; ‘Kinky’ is when you use the whole chicken.
………
Q. What’s the difference between a large pizza and a MA degree from a Communist Uni?
A. A large pizza can feed a family of four.
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‘Tell a lie a thousand times and it soon becomes the truth’…
… was Communism’s Cold War propagandist mainstay. The sharper knives in archaeology’s Hard-Left drawer dropped it like a hot brick once they realised they’d been rumbled and crawled back under the stones from which they’d emerged. The slower, but equally zealous dim-wits, stuck to the maxim like sh*t to a blanket. In some Polish quarters some still do. Ho, ho!

Currently, this scatology comes courtesy of a mish-mash of ardent, vocal, dim-witted claquers populating archaeology’s anti-collecting, anti-detecting, anti-US, anti-capitalist, (and some say anti-Semitic) periphery. Though some do hold genuine beliefs, many are seen as complete ‘basket cases.’

Despite their ‘fake news’ attempts to destabilise the status quo they are no threat to either the PAS or the metal detecting pastime.

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It’s that time again…

Yes, it’s the panto season again and one of the nation’s perennial favourites is coming to the capital. This year it’s Treasure Island; an adaptation of that much loved tale of derring-do where a band of jolly swashbucklers legally search for buried gold. It’s a story of Virtue triumphing over Malevolence.

They are opposed by a gang of myopic vagabonds known as the ‘The Blind Few’; a band of creepy cretins. Their leader, ‘Tall Story’ Wally, is a narcissist and teller of untruths who once abetted wicked slavers. Nowadays he secretes himself where the jolly buccaneers’ meet and buy their grog to eavesdrop on their conversations. Always perched on his shoulder is ‘Cap’n ‘Arry,’ his aged pet parrot who repeats everything his master says.

Our jolly swashbuckling privateers set forth on a voyage aboard their vessel, the good ship Pas,to recover buried treasure. Their fast, much-envied, armoured sloop, carries all manner of valuables back to London where the spoils are recorded and studied.

But ‘The Blind Few’ are trying to overtake them aboard their iron-sick, lop-sided ship the Hardy’s Clanger. Following a short, sharp battle, Hardy’s Clanger is sent to the bottom following a six gun volley from the frigate Helsinki. There are few survivors; ‘Tall Story’ Wally and ‘Cap’n ‘Arry’ flounder and thrash about in the water refusing to believe the Hardy’s Clanger has gone down.  Finally, the slaver Rescue, hoves to, and they climb aboard and sail off into oblivion never to be heard of again.

Meanwhile, the swashbuckling heroes find their treasure and bring it home and they all live happily ever after.

The above story is a work of fiction and is not intended to be representative of, or  refer to, any living person. Any other similarity is just hard luck.

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Slag Maestro?

My thanks to the reader in the C.I. who sent me this hilarious piece. When I read it I couldn’t stop laughing: – “One of the things I used to write about when I was a finds specialist back in England was slag.”

Why so amusing? It was penned by the unremarkable Warsaw heritologist, Paul Barford, whose writing style on his pisspoor blog suggests he still does. So no change there then.

He, he, he, guffaw, guffaw.

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‘Red’ sails in the sunset?

With the dust settling on the ‘Hardy debacle’ and a lonesome figure walking off into  the archaeological sunset there’s still time to pluck one iron of goodwill to all men from the fire; by taking along a pair of solid, ivory-from-the-neck-up blowhards.

Hardy’s sickening, grovelling excuses, and toe-curlingly embarrassing  self-pity cuts no  ice,  but is – it has to be said –  hugely entertaining. The old military maxim; “If you can’t take a joke, then  you shouldn’t have joined,” seems appropriate. Hard luck chum! It might be worth  carefully considering  next time who you  next choose to cuddle up to ‘neath the archaeological  duvet. JMO.

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ICE CREAM copy

Great ice cream!

For some inexplicable reason I couldn’t bring myself to ask for permission to hunt!

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Narcissism; the dark side of archaeological buffoonery

Last Saturday’s Daily Telegraph (14 July)  carried an interesting piece about trainee priests facing tests to weed out narcissists. It quoted former Church of England (CoE) priest, Mark Vernon – now working as a psycho-therapist – that narcissists are drawn to positions of power to “lord it over others.” Church bosses are aware of spiritual abuse, the Daily Telegraph reports, especially where a cleric uses religious authority to coerce or exploit. “A portion of people in leadership positions, with narcissistic traits,” Vernon says, ”will very malignly take it out on others.”

Much of this will doubtless be familiar to many detectorists. Sadly, they’ve been subjected to vile narcissistic abuse and name calling from ‘pseudo-intellectuals’ posing as bona fide archaeologists; these fruitcakes refer to detectorists as in-breds and slack-jaws (the results of incestuous relationships). Like death and taxes, these narcissists are inescapable and are the Cross detectorists have to bear.

But it’s not just detectorists who come in for this organised abuse. The UK’s world-leading Portable Antiquities Scheme and its dedicated staff are also targeted – almost daily – by these loutish, serial abusers, while tellingly, archaeology ‘does a Nelson’ to the malevolence.

So what is narcissism? Psychology Today describes the condition: –

“The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.”

People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat, and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.”

‘Spotting the Narcy’ is the new game in town.  Happy hunting.

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Buddhists say…”No matter how much you wash a turd, it will not come clean.”

Bearing this in mind I had to chuckle when I read one of Paul Barford’s recent pronouncements on his pisspoor blog. It seems that an FLO in the north of England mis-identified a Byzantine coin [big deal, eh?].  Of course Barford was on  it straight away like a hyena pouncing on a zebra carcass. He ended his comment  with…”Heritage professionals misleading the public.”

Huh? What you may wonder, qualifies Barford – who likes to be known as an archaeologist – to make such a comment when his continuing support for HERITAGE ACTION’S  thoroughly discredited  Artefact Erosion Counter shows he’s not at all au fait with Buddhist wisdom.

*Update

Why not pop over to Paul Barford’s blog and spare a thought for the old boy. It seems  he’s never heard of the maxim: When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

Gufaw, chuckle, heh, heh.

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“You are going on a long journey…I see a tall dark stranger…”

Heritage Journal – the ludicrous heritage blog on the outer limits of credibility  – recently sported this little gem:-

“Oh well, PAS has dismissed us and detectorists have insulted us for 20 years.[sic] for voicing a simple truth…” (naturally, simple truth, in HJ’s bigoted lexicon, means ‘our truth’ as opposed to actual truth). But just when we all thought the heritage buffoons couldn’t descend any further into the pit of out-and-out idiocy, they’ve not failed to disappoint.

Preposterously, despite HJ’s ongoing fact-free campaign that detectorists are guilty of knowledge theft and worse,  regardless of the colossal detector-related input to the UK Government’s Portable Antiquities Scheme database,  HJ’s own fabrication posing as ‘fact’ manifested  in the Artefact Erosion Counter may well have been based on a little-known, hush-hush archaeological technique. But now, HJ’s semi-covert scribbler, Alan S has let the archaeological cat out of the bag.

It is now believed the  ‘accuracy’ of HJ’s fib-filled, ersatz AEC  was based on the newly unveiled procedure, which involves data centred and distilled from the turn of a Tarot Card; the method HJ currently employs to ‘predict’ the future of the UK’s archaeological sites.  Every Tuesday, the day they scientifically term ‘Tarot Tuesday’, is when a Tarot Card is drawn from the pack and  ‘read’ to determine a chosen heritage site’s future.

For twenty years, HJ whines, detectorists  have ‘insulted’ them. Hardly surprising is it when they set themselves up as skittles with this latest archaeological technique, arguably the  crassest act of heritage stupidity ever witnessed.

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The BM hasn’t lost its Marbles…

Judging from the  scribblings of some in fringe heritology causes me to wonder whether they have any concept of compassion.

In a recent court case it was  alleged that: –

The girlfriend of an ISIS thug planned a revenge attack in Britain because her boyfriend was killed in Syria. The court was told that she allegedly planned to stroll into the British Museum and pull the pin on a hand-grenade amidst many visitors.

Had she carried out her alleged revenge attack, the death toll would have been considerable as would have been the number of seriously wounded.

The safety of its visitors is undoubtedly a paramount consideration and one taken seriously by the BM, but not by everyone it seems. Commenting on an  increasingly shallow, risible, and verbose blog, one undistinguished heritologist’s  overriding fear is apparently elsewhere as his clumsy syntax tellingly infers: –

 “How safe are antiquities (like the Parthenon Marbles) safe  in London.”

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Flat out? Jeez…He’s done it again!

 “Why are not more PhDs written investigating the claims made about PAS actually based in reality?” Barford asks. The obvious answer being that those written PhDs investigating  the claims made about PAS were based in reality, proving there’s no PAS case to answer, unlike some of Barfly’s wild assumptions and exaggerations which will make a glorious subject for any aspiring  investigative writer.

Were Barfly really interested in factual reality, he’d fess-up about the fiction he and others concocted resulting in the now totally discredited Artefact Erosion Counter; the propaganda exercise that  mainstream archaeology (read here, the CBA) fell over itself to support who stupidly though it was a fine, academically-sound  anti-metal detecting propagandist piece.  Hard Cheddar arkies; you got that one wrong! You’ve only yourselves to blame and I’m not about to dig you out of the shit. He, he, he.

Nevertheless, Barfly thankfully, still clings to the AEC’s  inventions, distortions, and bullshit, much the same  as Flat Earthers cling to the notion that satellite photos of a spherical Earth are NASA and government agency conspiracies.

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Oscar #3…

… goes to ‘Alan S.’ a worthy winner who’s the semi-covert contributor to the pisspoor Heritage Journal blog. A committed objector to the proposed and urgently needed Stonehenge Tunnel Project, our Al now takes issue with the eminently sensible exploratory survey trenches dug nearby to the monument by claiming: –

“Depressingly, the methods used in these cases have not been to the same standards to which academic research is carried out.” Blimey, he’s obviously an expert.

Nevertheless, he’s seemingly oblivious that Heritage Journal not best known for the ‘same standards to which academic research is carried out’ is itself, somewhat less than the paragon of archaeological virtue it would have the world believe. While he’s enthusiastic, fanatical even in his criticism of archaeologists on the Stonehenge Project, the Heritage Journal’s widely-derided, propagandist bunkum, masquerading as some kind of ‘academic research’, the so-called Artefact Erosion Counter, has ‘em rolling in the aisles. It’s archaeology’s vaudeville act.

Hahahahahahahahahah!

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The aroma of snobbery?

The Heritage Journal’s ‘Alan S.’ who unsurprisingly prefers anonymity rather than using his full name and for good reason I suspect, enthuses about the upcoming course, ‘How to do Archaeology’ ending his laudation with this patronising blarney : –

“The course costs £49, is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists(CIfA) and starts on Tuesday May 1st, so get in quick and register now.

Dare we say, for the cost of a couple of decent hammies, many metal detectorists would do well to follow this course, and learn how to do things correctly, for the good of all!”

When it comes to learning and doing things properly, ‘Alan S.’ would be well advised to look inwards at the Heritage Journal and its widely discredited, fact-free bunkum known as the Artefact Erosion Counter. Whoever dreamed up this AEC claptrap and tried to palm it off as being somehow academic ought to be the first in the queue clutching 49-quid in his sweaty little mitt.

Dare I say, for the cost of a couple of decent roman pots, the AEC’s authors would do well to follow this course, and learn how to do things correctly, for the good of all!

If that fails, maybe ‘Alan S.’ could ask the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) to show the Heritage Journal how to do things? Currently, the PAS has over 1.3m detector-found artefacts on its database, and 638 academic research projects undertaken based on those finds… now, that is for the good of all.

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Ho, ho!

So much for archaeological accuracy.

https://inews.co.uk/news/long-reads/bronze-age-archaeologist-james-mellart-fakes/

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Barford gets Oscar #2!

Determined to hog the Smart Arse limelight, our old friend Paul Barford, the Warsaw-based heritologist is up to his old tricks again with this entry of bovine scatology on his pisspoor blog: –

“Some British detectorist super brains have been debating how many rallies or club digs you can have on a field before it becomes not worth detecting. What they mean is how long before the archaeological record has been destroyed. The answer seems to vary between a few times and many but they all understand it will happen sooner or later and not one of them ever, ever expresses remorse. That’s why we think they and their hobby are a disgrace.

No surprises for what he thinks about Tekkies then.

At least, and to the best of my knowledge, no Tekkie has ever betrayed a People, or, worked for, or taken money from, an authoritarian political system that  oppressed freedom and democracy.

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Przychodzą tutaj, zabierając naszą pracę i kobiety* 

The Smart-Arse Oscar this time goes to our old friend, Paul Barford, humbly describing himself as a “British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw, Poland Since the early 1990s (or even longer),” [well, he does have a lot to be humble about] recently demonstrated another sample of his dazzling wit. Writing on his (pisspoor) blog on the 24 February, under the headline, Immigrants Pocketing European Archaeological Record, our jolly joker drolly observed that: –

“Brexiters do not like the idea of ‘furriners coming to our country and taking advantage of the social benefits and all that’. Immigrants like expatriate ‘Robert’ need to think about this when deciding to go out and pilfer the French archaeologcal [sic] record for collectables to pocket: […].”

Witty, eh? But you might ponder what the indigenous Poles made of things back in 1986 when a ‘furriner’ arrived from the Free West to take advantage of “the social benefits and all that” of the kind lavished by the Ruling Comrades on Party members, defectors, sympathizers, and toadies, whilst ordinary Poles went short.

Tut, tut. Must try harder tovarishch.

*They come here, taking our jobs and women

 

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