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Hey, hey, it's RANTY WEEK! And you thought it was only spring break . . .
Deadly Mally
I first wrote this as a comment in the_impassive's journal, but it sorta growed, so I thought I should move it over here.

Bel mentioned noticing the attitude (which I've seen myself on DoA) that somehow "old people" can't possibly understand or enjoy BJDs. And the corollary attitude that, if said "old people" do get interested in BJDs, there must be something wrong with them: either they're "trying too hard" to pretend they're young, or they're weirdo freaks and possibly pedophiles.


Manifesto of a Middle-Aged BJD Owner Who Once Was Young, and Remembers It Well:

I'm dumbfounded by the arrogance and ignorance of the young'uns--and I use the term loosely, since a fair amount of the spouting seems to come from people in their early 20s rather than teenagers--who have decided that "BJDs belong to US, and nobody old could POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND, so old people need to go away and LEAVE US ALONE."

Um, who imagined and created the dolls in the first place? Not 15-year-olds. Or even 22-year-olds.

Mrs. Shigeta was certainly not a young'un when Mr. Shigeta decided to make a doll that would get her and women like her into the customization hobby.

Stepping back from BJDs and considering doll collection in the broader sense, who decided that preserving and recording the history of dolls was a worthwhile thing to do? Back when that happened in Europe, a coupla centuries ago, it certainly wasn't kids. Kids don't have the disposable income or, generally speaking, the drive toward long-term research and preservation.

And, well, let's talk about the Japanese ningyo. Made only for kids, understandable only by kids? Don't make me laugh.

I know that more sympathetic observers (and it wouldn't take much to be more sympathetic than I am on this subject) will explain away the arrogance by saying that it's a natural part of growing up. There's a universal psychological need among young people, at a certain stage of development, to fence off adults from special areas of knowledge in order to feel a sense of mastery and independence. SEKRIT CLUB HOUSE! KEEP OUT! THIS MEANS YOU!

But I don't buy it, and I don't buy it for what I fully realize are nothing more than anecdotal reasons. This is my LJ, dammit, and I can draw conclusions from any anecdotes I want to.

See, the longer I live, the luckier I think I was to grow up as the only child of relatively older parents (Mom and Dad were both past 35 when I was born). Given the choice, as a kid I always hung out with the grownups, because their stories were so much more interesting and they knew a lot of odd stuff that kids didn't know. I never took up a hobby (well, except for the regrettable crush on the Bay City Rollers that lasted about a week and a half and was mostly my friend Ellen's fault) where there weren't plenty of grownups interested too, from music to ceramics to stamp collecting. So, you know, I never saw any reason to think that grownups shouldn't be interested in cool things. Just the opposite, really--I was always a little surprised when I didn't find that mixing of ages in some hobby that caught my attention. Usually, I found that I got bored pretty fast if a hobby truly only appealed to people my age (cf. the Bay City Rollers).

To bring this back to dolls: from the time I was old enough to check out books from the library, I read and reread and rereread every book about dolls that I could find. What fascinated me, besides the dolls themselves, was the obvious fact that grownups could and did travel all over the world to learn so much about them. This seemed perfectly reasonable to me, because, you know, dolls ARE interesting, and why wouldn't grownups think so, too?

Here, again, I owe my parents a lot, because the words "aren't you too old to play with dolls?" never once crossed either Mom's or Dad's lips. In fact, they kept buying me dolls even after I really didn't want to play any more--which I'm grateful for now, because my Sasha baby is one of those late gifts, and how happy am I to have him? Yup.

So, yeah. Executive summary: I have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around the "YOU SHOULD GET OUT OF OUR HOBBY, NASTY WEIRD OLD PEOPLE!" crap.

And yes, dear honeyedbiscuit, you too are part of my anecdotal evidence. ;-)

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For how many weaboos in this hobby, a lot of them sure don't understand the history of ningyo. ;)

I'm a dolly shut-in. xD I'm thinking of all the people in this hobby who I'd like to meet... And short of a handful, those people are older than I am -- the older collector, if you will. (I thought the stereotype was that if you were a man and a doll collector, you were a pedophile; didn't know that somehow it expanded to include those who were older women. @__@)

There's just something about my demographic, and something about teenager doll people that I absolutely dislike; I'm thinking it's the arrogance and the self-inflated importance. I went to a doll meet in Texas, and well, never doing that again, for sure. Nearly all the people who went were my age, if not younger.

In a way, I do wish that there weren't so many "cheap" dolls. Perhaps I'm an elitist (lol, that woooord) to say that I wish less people could afford them -- and while it may exclude people, I think it acts mostly as a stupidity filter. History has shown that the average doll collector is an adult, and I like it that way. With people who have a relatively sound income affording it, it cuts out the BS/idiocy of the usual "general discussion" talk. It all boils down to cutting down the stupidity. xD

(Apparently, I can't type very well this early in the morning. o_O)

This has been driving me insane: what IS a weaboo/weeaboo?

I have a general idea from context, but I think I'm missing some of the connotations. It's not a word that I hear my students use (it takes a while for language changes to reach us out here in the sticks), so I don't have any local sources to ask.

My mother has BJD... and so does *gasp* my GRANDMOTHER.
There's a nearly 90 year old woman out there with three BJD of her own! Run for the hills! Everybody panic! Cats and dogs living together! Mayhem! Mischief!

/rolls her eyes.

And in reference to HB's comment about the teenagers... we're about to have one at a local meet on the 29th. I'll let you know how it goes. (When I encountered her at the con, I verbally recognized her from DoA and really ought to have kept my mouth shut and let her go on her way.)

Edited at 2008-03-18 01:11 pm (UTC)

cats and . . . oh, no . . . not mammalian miscegenation . . .


(Also, I want to meet your grandmother. She sounds like my kind of gal.)

(Deleted comment)
I'm just stuck on Cyn + bay city rollers = I 'SPLODED..............cannot process... cannot computer...tilt...tilt...

See, it's been interesting to me that the teenagers I've met in person in this hobby, for the MOST PART, at meetups or at the volks teas, have been absolutely delightful. DEE-LIGHT-FUL. In fact, lolly and I ended up hanging out with peeps who were young enough to be our kids, as the people OUR age were tired and old and farty and no fun. Oh, yeah, for sure there were the turdly ones who didn't seem able to communicate in any sort of language I am familiar with, but there were also turdly adults, too, making me run off to try to find bianca (nakitama) and just cuddle her in gratitude until she fainted.

But online - oh, yeahhh I see that. I do see it online and it puzzles me greatly too. I guess they just want to feel club-house-y, like you said. hm.

Well, you know, the Bay City Rollers had big hair and cute accents, and my best friend was totally into them (to the point of buying Tiger Beat with her allowance, omgggggg), so . . . yeah. About a week and a half. After that, I just smiled and nodded while Ellen carried on about them, until she got tired of the whole thing, too.

And you're so right: in person, almost all the young BJD owners I've met have *absolutely* been delightful! Is it something about the Internet that makes them nuts?

geeze ... I feel so picked on ... Oh, wait ... I am no longer in my 20's ... ooops.
I have never really thought about age, ever ... except when I was 34, I had a delayed OMG I am OLD year.
I feel young so I am young, young and interested in all kinds of things. Always ready to change or try new things.
It really is a frame of mind

With THAT attitude the rantees will make boring adults when/if they grown up

yeah lolly's no fun to be around AT ALL. she's really an old fart.


(Deleted comment)
I find this attitude really interesting, especially dealing with it face-to-face which I've had to at meet ups. Usually it is VERY young kids though, like 17 and younger. And with the older ones, it's the "I can't afford to buy myself a $10 lunch" at meet ups. ::rolls eyes:: THEN WHY DID YOU BUY A $500+ doll you STUPID BINT!

You and I had very similiar families... my mom was 40 and my dad was 41 when they had me. Verah interesting. :)

Bay City Rollers! I LOVED THEM! ::swoon:: I also loved Andy Gibb. I was so sad when he died. ;___;

And with the older ones, it's the "I can't afford to buy myself a $10 lunch" at meet ups. ::rolls eyes:: THEN WHY DID YOU BUY A $500+ doll you STUPID BINT!

This wins.
This is me at my local meets with a few people.

And while I routinely attempt to act half my age, I am one of the older attendees at local meets. (In fact, my faceup artist has been mistaken for my daughter by people not in the know when we go out.)

*S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y Night! S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y Night!*

Sorry about that. I had a friend who pretended to faint at one of their concerts in an effort to get back stage.

Oh wait, what was your post about? Us old farts who should be more concerned with making money so teenagers can go spend it on stuff? Huh? I know I should be nice to the younger generation because they will be supporting me in my elder years...so the goberment says.

*pulls out white and grey haired doll wigs and bifocals...all my kids are gonna dress old just because of your post, muahahahaha!*

I just ignore them youngins' because theys gots nothing but fool notions in their heads. Instead I rub my hands gleefully in thought of the day when they are my age and have to suffer the slings and arrows of indignation.

the end.

just to note, the above was written with just a touch of sarcasm.

I do think it would help the world if everyone (including me in this) always worked harder to have more understanding of everyone else and not waste time putting others down.

I get tired of going to doll cons and having younger people look at me say/think . . . I didn't know you were 'that old'. You sounded younger on your LJ. Is that an insult or a compliment? I take it as an insult. Heh.


Makes note of 'weaboo' term and the urban dictionary so I stay socially acceptable. LOL! *kidding*

Ah, Kat! You should take that as a compliment. They meant it as such even though it is the old, "open mouth insert foot" thing. I think it's hard sometimes, especially when I was younger, dealing with older people. There is this disconnect, or was for me. I don't know if you feel it now, since we're both older.

I can look back at myself as a 20 year old and think, "Jesus, I thought I knew EVERYTHING then. What a fucking stupid, naive shit I was."

And I bet in 10 years from now (if I'm around) I will do the same thing.

Hopefully I won't look back and think, "Jesus Christ, was I arrogant."

Anywho... we can always take what people tell us many ways: positive, negative... whatever. I think embracing having a young attitude is awesome actually. Having young people think they can talk to you and interact with you, also cool. It's a bond and a closeness. I think it's when people really feel that they can't connect... I think that's when you have to feel a loss.

Does this make sense? Maybe I'm off base, but anyhow... that's how I've always taken these sorts of comments.

LOL Thank you!

And I'm with whoever gave the smackdown on not buying food but getting a 500US doll. HELLO!

That and their dolls always look unkempt or don't have clothes and they just whinge about it instead of putting the effort in to make something.

You'll have me foaming off topic in a moment ;)

I prefer the Who ;)

Naaaaah, it's all on topic!

And that weird inverse pride in having a doll that's dirty and dressed in unevenly cut-up, fraying socks really mystifies me. I tend to think it's a peculiarly American thing, since that Harrison Bergeron mentality is so ingrained in American society . . . just ask Tocqueville, not to mention Dickens and Frances Trollope.

I don't consider myself to be young, given that most of the collectors here seem to be in their teens (and even some of the older collectors act like their teens never ended.) I often find myself chatting with the older collectors at any meetups I do go to, just because they're often calmer, take a minute to actually see what doll you have, and can converse about things other than the history of their 3000 year old dragon/elf/vampire/original immortal race. ^^; (Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't necessarily need to know their 3000 years worth of backstory, ya know?)

I'm sure people already think I'm some kind of reclusive spoiled elitist brat, since I show up so infrequently, and you know what? I'm totally fine with that. Because I sort of am. It's not that I'm elitist so much about the dolls themselves, but about the attitude of some of the younger-uns in general. A lot of them are very sweet in person, but you get the odd one (sadly, usually the hardcore weeaboos) who thrust their minifees at you and squeal a lot, or my personal favourite, the ones who make a face when they see you've got a Volks doll and shuffle along.

I think it is a particular crowd who is into excluding the older people. This hobby by nature seems to be very cliquey, and that would be a natural extension of that. I try to talk to anyone who happens to be friendly, but you can tell that sometimes people have their "crew" and they are sticking with them.

(And hey, when money is tight, sometimes that new leeke wig is more worth it to a person than a nice meal. ;) )

>>>I just don't necessarily need to know their 3000 years worth of backstory



-- A ;)

:::gotta smile here:::

I'm seriously old and don't have any desire to be young again. Haven't for a very long time. I worked hard to get to this age. Had I known I'd live this long I'd'a probably taken better care of myself when I was young.

I'm neither trying to hard, well yanno I don't really *try* at all. Nor am I a pedophile - I don't even really like human kids. I accept being a weirdo, but there ya go.

You know I don't want to be with people who don't want to be with me, and several times I've missed meets cause I thought I just don't want to be around folks who are creeped out by my white hair. *g* of course a bunch of them have put white and silver hair on their resin kids. But several younger folks in our Campbell crowd are always encouraging me to attend.

I'm there with the I can't afford lunch, but this thousand dollar doll can have a tux...

I'm thinking dolls are kindof like addiction, if that's all you have in common, life's going to be really a surprise and not a good one later. So build your clubhouses and be exclusive, you know what I don't care.

Back on your heads.

Edited at 2008-03-18 10:27 pm (UTC)

Oh, tell me about it! I'm SO much happier now than I was in my 20s, or even in my 30s. It's wonderful to let go of a lot of the expectations and even hopes that seemed so consuming, earlier in life, and just enjoy what I have now.

sorry for my crazy comment earlier, it was an attempt at humor.

I'm really feeling majorly disappointed with many aspects in this hobby and it all comes back to not the dolls or the companies, but the behavior from different people in the hobby.

It's having known people who friend one because of the dolls one owns. And the second they find out you are more of a person, perhaps not the same age or have the same hobbies or interests but different ones, they drop you like a hot potato. I've been really disappointed also in the neverending trash talk that goes on, how flippant people can be, and how thoughtless at times.

The Sarah Day LJ really reflected what I'm thinking. So many lovely doll photos and thoughts, yet, even people who say they post publically in their LJs have that big ol' FRIENDS ONLY sitting there. So it's so hard to get to know people any more, and be able to enjoy the hobby. With the controls on LJ, it's easy to do friends only posts and still have viewable posts and control comments. It's this exclusionary type of behavior that is just one example of what you are writing about.

That in mind, I know everyone is different. I don't know, maybe I'm just not cut-out for what is acceptable behavior in collecting and on-line any more. I'm just afraid to comment or post anymore, I don't know what people are going to take the wrong way even if it's the simplest thing.

Sorry to go on, I guess your post hit on something for me. I do think the internet makes it too easy for people to say whatever they think they want.

I'm with you all the way!

If it hadn't been for public LJs like Karin Bussman's and the people on her friendslist, I would never have decided to start my own; I read public LJs for years before I put mine up. That's why mine stays public, and why I don't friendslock very often (usually only when I'm venting and really don't want to offend someone who might pass by casually. Oh, and when I posted the Saiki-boy striptease photoshoot, heh).

I'm far enough below the radar line--wherever it might be--that I don't have the problem of people friending me just because I own something that impresses them. That works for me. ;-)

.....tries to run away from all the bad things and people that spoils our sanctuary of fun...

"There's a universal psychological need among young people, at a certain stage of development, to fence off adults from special areas of knowledge in order to feel a sense of mastery and independence. SEKRIT CLUB HOUSE! KEEP OUT! THIS MEANS YOU!"

I think you nailed that perfectly...!

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