Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I often find it absolutely ironic that some of the same highly vocal, "Super Patriot" types who are now clamoring to get the US Government "nanny state" off our backs and out of our daily lives are some of the same people in our ranks in the USA who now staunchly defend all of that very same "nanny state" nonsense when it comes to the way we are licensed and regulated in our Service.

Dare I use the word "hypocrisy"?

Such dogged persistence in the face of decades of deregulation of government licensing in other parts of the US Federal Government certainly suggests that those who STILL desperately cling to such beliefs are far less interested in “protecting” the educational and training aspects of the hobby than they are in searching for ANY excuse to keep newcomers (particularly, the dreaded CB "Riff Raff") from joining their government-enabled, "Good Old Boy's Radio Club".

In that sense, their "hidden agenda" is painfully obvious. And it would all be comic if it wasn't also so quixotically sad.

As I've said in another post, in many ways ham radio in the USA has now morphed into something more akin to a religion rather than "just a hobby" for some of us. 

And just like the Catholics who don't get along with the Protestants (both of whom absolutely want nothing to do with the "Bible Thumping" fundamentalists, who in turn, consider Mormonism to be blasphemy) so, too, do the "Contesters" hate the "Rag-Chewers".  Likewise, the "DX crowd" hates the "Net crowd" and our 1950s-era, 20 WPM, FCC examined "Old Farts" absolutely loathe our "No-Code newcomers"...particularly those who might dare confess they hail from that "radio underworld"...The CB Radio Service.

Unfortunately, because what we do is "without pecuniary interest", it's largely inner passion that drives each of us to pursue our hobby. And, as our own interest in a particular part of the hobby is what may drive our own passion for it, far too many of us have also now whipped that passion into an almost religious-like fervor.

Being passionate about one's hobby is fine. However, unfortunately, some of us have now become such passionate, "true believers" in a "One True Gospel" for our Service that unless EVERYONE shares that same particular passion for whatever part of the hobby is turning us "on" at the moment, then those persons who don't are somehow not going to be "saved" and/or will never be able to enter into the "Blessed Inner Kingdom" of Amateur Radio and be deemed "real hams".

I also strongly believe that the same religious-like fervor that's now being expressed by their respective "true believers" in various Internet forums (not to mention on the air and at club meetings) has now become a massive "turn off" to potential (primarily youthful) newcomers to our Service.

That's because such folks often take one look at (or read) some of the arcane nonsense our "regulatory fundamentalists" and "operational purists" are blathering on and on about in these various venues and then (rightly) decide they want  absolutely nothing to do with a hobby whose 1950s-era government regulations  still underwrite such seemingly endless internecine battles, arrogant intolerance for the interests of others, and the outright bigotry that all too often pervades the "people aspects" of our wonderful hobby.

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