File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 270

Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2006 00:18:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Email misunderstandings on Puptcrit?

I must say, this post is too long for me to want to
analyze in any depth, I just scanned it, but it seems
like this person is talking to the Sister in Law, not
you really. Sad how people's experiences of
individuals go to prejudice some times. I have just
been listening to the book "To Kill a Mockingbird", so
this theme is on my mind.

Mathieu, don't worry about it, but for my part, go for
brevity when you can. Keep up the good work.


--- Mathieu René <> wrote:

> Hi all.
> I have just had a strange and sad small serie of
> email exchanges with a fellow Puptcritter.
> I was called an attribute which I admit to without a
> problem: argumentative personality.
> I like constructive argumenting, wether I be proven
> right or wrong in the end, there is always something
> to be learned. I would gain nothing from "being
> right" at all costs. There is no learning there,
> only stubbornness.
> What I do not understand, is that in 2 short email
> messages that I received about a simple comment on
> my part, concerning the Noreen Young DVD,  it
> escalated into what I interpret as a very heated
> comment on my, and my city's character.
> I will not name the person, so don't ask.
> The person was defending the DVD fervently, which I
> find commendable, since I too reccomend the dvd.
> The difference is that I pointed a few missing
> information which I think would be important to know
> in the event of problems occuring witrh the
> puppetmaking processes. I did this just so people
> interested in the DVD would know more about the
> product.  I certainly appreciate such comments about
> other DVDs and books when I shop for one.
> The first email from the person was just a short
> comment  which could be summarised in that person's
> own sentence: "I really think you are being very
> picky about some of the things"
> To which I replied, politely and with a grain of
> humour, that I hoped were were not having a heated
> argument about it, and that I still supported that
> DVD.  I then received this last communication, which
> was disturbing to me: "This will be the last time I
> ever contact you.  It is obvious that you are an
> argumentative personality just like my French
> Canadian sister-in-law who lives in Montreal and is
> always right even when proven wrong. That attitude
> is why I never visit that city.
> Good luck in the future."
> At least the person finished with a nice wish.
> How can this person judge my character from just two
> short emails?
> Is it wrong to defend your own point of view more
> than 5 minutes?
> If so, then let's close all courts of laws right
> now, and declare all laws void!
> Why categorise a whole city's population into a
> single frame of character?
> This is the same simplistic mechanic that fuels
> racism, I think. This worries me.
> By the way, defending my own city: Montrealers are
> known around the world for their open-ness.
> Just look at the non-violent huge crowds at the Jazz
> Festival each year. Such open-ness can only come
> with open-mindedness. Sure, we have our own blocked
> heads, but I don't like for a whole city to be
> judged on one person's alleged behaviour.
> Anyways, I hope this was just a big misunderstanding
> for some weird reason.
> I do not think I am always right, in fact I am
> usually the first to admit I'm wrong, much to the
> confusion of people I argue with. Which used to make
> me no good at school debates. LoL.
> Should I be guilty of such an attitude as
> "self-righteousness" without knowing it, PLEASE tell
> it to me straight, and explain, so I can see what
> you mean. I'm young and able and willing to learn.
> But please, avoid such hasty categorising of people.
> Email messages don't have facial expressions, no
> voice tone, nothing but words, which can each be
> interpreted in various ways. I still don't
> understand what happened in that person's own
> translation of my words, but I sure find it sad that
> communication was cut short.
> I would not be surprised to receive one extra heated
> message from that same person when finding out I
> posted about this on the list. Please know that I am
> only mentionning it so that others can avoid such
> situations. And also maybe someone on the list can
> explain to me what went wrong!
> I include our full "conversation" below, with the
> person's name removed.
> I don't understand that someone raising so many good
> points about teaching material can jump to
> conclusions like that heated comment.
> Why am I spending so much time on this?
> one: I am concerned about resentments and
> communication problems among collegues.
> two: I need to understand!
> "Conversation"
> person: I just read your response to the posting
> about the Noreen Young DVD. I really think you are
> being very picky about some of the things. She is
> very careful to tell about bubbles in the plaster.
> If you read the booklet that comes with the DVD, she
> tells how to use paper clay to fill in any
> imperfections in the finished mold. anyone who works
> with contact cement should read the warnings on the
> labels. Since the different steps were filmed at
> different times, it may seem that the can was open
> all the time. Plus it is the GEL contact cement that
> works a bit differently than the liquid. I don't
> claim that the DVD answers everything about the
> latex method, but she has been very generous in
> answering any questions that I have emailed her. To
> answer all the troubleshooting would have required
> more than one DVD, but it opens the door to this
> process.
> Personally I have had NO PROBLEMS in following the
> DVD and the booklet.
> ---------------------------------------
> my response: Hi ********** 
> You are right on the fact that I am very picky about
> these things.
> I am myself a teacher of art techniques, and have
> realised, through my own forgettings, what trouble
> students can get into when some kinds of basic info
> are missing. IO am all for letting them learn from
> their mistakes, but why not try to help thema void a
> few. There will always be other mistakes.
> So I prefer to risk repeating myself instead of
> forgetting essential troubleshooting tips.
> Sometimes I push it a bit far, so maybe I sounded a
> bit too harsh about the Noreen Young DVD, but I
> still stand by my comments. It's not like these are
> small overlooks, I cringed quite a few times when I
> watched it the first time (NO!!!!), fearing a
> catastrophe, seeing the problems that might occur.
> Only because I have had experience with these
> materials, and know how bad and expensive it can get
> when the mistakes happen.
> Why not prevent some? I thik any instructionnal
> material can be useful, but why not make it as
> complete as possible? My standards are even higher
> now that I have seen a few DVD from the Gnomon
> Workshop.
> The quality varies a bit from one to the other, but
> the very worse I've seen were VERY well done,
> compared to all the other books and videos I have
> consulted. The latest, which I purchased, was
> Sculpture with John Brown, volume 2. I watched it
> four times (over two weeks) without even trying the
> actual techniques.
> Just watching such clear information improved my
> sculpture skills tremendously.
> Without it, I would not have been able to make the
> clay Christmas card I just posted about on Puptcrit.
> Ok, I admit, I'm a part-time art-technique paranoid!
> I have a puppet character in my head which would be
> perfect to represent this aspect of my personality.
> LoL
> -----------------
> person: All I can say is that I have had no trouble
> following Noreen's video step by step. Everything
> worked wonderfully. It has inspired me to go in a
> new direction. This is coming from a person who has
> been making marionettes and other puppets for over
> 50 years. 
> And DVD, book etc. that can inspire and give
> techniques that WORK to my mind is successful.
> In addition to being a professional puppeteer, I
> also teach art in my school district's adult
> education program so feel that I can be objective in
> evaluating instructional materials. 
> Every teacher, artist and performer has their own
> way of working and I honestly feel it is unfair to
> by hyper critical about methods that have worked for
> 25 or more years.
> ********
> --------------
> My reply:
> HI ****
> I hope this is not a heated argument we are having. 
> Emails can be so darn subjective because we can't
> detect the tone of mental voice that went with the
> words.
> I've realised something, that there are many levels
> of expectations everywhere.  I believe it is
> necessary to have a variety of qualities available
> for everything, so that that is always room for
> learning, for improvement.
=== message truncated ===

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