An interesting thing happened the other day that an anonymous tipper was kind enough to point out to me.
A weapons forum, dedicated to pretty much every weapon and weapon related topic and filled with people from almost every country with internet who like weapons had a thread of pictures of women with guns. Prominent among those images were many of the fairly excellently pro-gun posters and images from Oleg Volk. The thread was ostensibly devoted to one particular brand of guns, and apart from some ribbing and potshots taken at the brand (including a mention of the price being high because they make so few of them) the majority of the replies were photos of people with guns, with the specified guns or fairly complimentary of Oleg Volk’s work.
And then, lo and behold, he found out too and posted it on his facebook page. A board with people complimenting his work and admitting to being great fans of his pro-gun posters and advertisements. Obviously, what is someone to do? Why, the first thing might be to be complimented by it!
But wait, what if it’s a board of a forum that’s popular to hate and someone has never been there and/or doesn’t understand it, or wants to be seen as regular and hip and not someone who visits that board? Well, fans or not, the only apparent proper thing to do is complain about projection. Because people going “I like that picture, who is the model in it?” is projection.
Naturally, the post on facebook got many positive replies as Oleg Volk had reconfirmed himself in their eyes to be one of them and not one of the people from that forum. Frankly, people had a target it was socially acceptable to dislike and they decided to throw them under the bus, fans of the work or not.
There was one glimmer of intellect among the replies, as someone pointed out that the replies to the images were positive until Oleg Volk turned and called them psychopaths.
People, fans of the works were hurt. Someone they looked up to for their very pro gun messages had decided to simply discard a section of the firearms community.
Socially acceptable targets are bullshit. In every case people find one group who isn’t them and in the minority to hate, and when that group becomes no longer socially acceptable they move onto someone else. First people went and hated people based on skin color. Then sexual orientation when the last became no longer accepted. now it’s based on what sites people visit or what things they own. Now it’s totally okay to make fun of people for watching a tv show, owning a certain hat style, or having some specific interests. This is bullshit from people who want to have someone they can just dump on and blame all of their problems or the problems they read about on but don’t want to choose a target that isn’t acceptable. 50 years ago these people who blame smokers for everything would have been blaming black people for everything. It’s nothing new, you aren’t a better person for hating someone who is now socially acceptable to discriminate against or hate. You’re just as bad as the people you look down upon for their previous actions, but you hide behind social acceptance as they did previously.
In this case, this is a post on PR. Sure, it may be socially acceptable to dump on one group. But don’t dump on your fans or you create a lot of disillusioned people who will spread the message you have no problems throwing people who like your work away as not worth your attention. If you don’t approve of the show they watch or the site they visit but they’re fans and complimenting you, just say “thanks” or some other non committal result. You don’t patronize a group you dislike by accepting their compliment. But discarding them and insulting them? Way to treat your fans.
In this case, I have to change my recommendation of Oleg Volk, same as I did with various stores post Sandy Hook.
If you want good photos of guns or people with guns, I recommend Simon Falvard (NTSPhotography) and Weapon Outfitters.
I find their work more appealing and with no photos that appear overtly pale or monochromatic to the point of being washed out, while still being enjoyable photos.
For those who love the classics however, there is one other that I would love to be able to credit and recommend, but I do not know the photographer.
For those who want to skip to the end, visit Simon Falvard (NTSPhotography) and Weapon Outfitters for your weapons based photography. They haven’t to my knowledge called their fans psychopaths, which is a big plus.