American Digger – The Hole Truth

22nd May 2016 — 18 Comments

image001The American Digger magazine was formed in 2004 by ‘those who love the hobby’ and is a bi-monthly production; the publisher is Butch Holcombe. At the end of every issue Butch publishes a column punningly called ‘The Hole Truth’ in which he discusses different issues. His latest, although written for the American market, is universal in its appeal and can be appreciated by treasure hunters, … cough errr … detectorists everywhere. Butch has kindly allowed me reproduce the article, unabridged and not Anglicised in any way.

Guest Post – Butch Holcombe

“I miss the good old days, when a properly executed insult had honor, and gossip was tactfully spread via one individual at a time. In those dark ages, before the Internet, such verbal affronts showed passion and sincerity. It showed that the attacker or gossiper really cared. It also showed chutzpah and other large but important words.

This was in the days when the only contact diggers had with each other was through clubs that met in dimly lit church basements or chance meetings at retail metal detector outlets located in the back of the local hardware store. It was a one-on-one encounter that allowed rebuttal, discussion, and posturing, not necessarily in that order. Once it was done, for good or bad, only a handful of people were aware of what had occurred and little lasting damage was done outside of a select few in the know.

The Hole Truth copy

Now, through the miracle of the Internet, it is possible to both insult and anger large groups of people within seconds while never leaving your chair. Never has meanness and cruelty been so efficient and convenient. It is like the fast food of verbal brutality: quick, easy, cheap, tasteless, and often nauseating.

It is also rather cowardly. Anyone can call out someone online, confident that the only retribution will be more words in return. Oh sure, there may be the occasional “I know where you live” response but like peacocks grandly showing their colorful plumage in hopes of love, these individuals show their butts in the hopes of getting attention. No matter how nasty the verbal confrontation becomes, overall it is a safe environment. To physically act upon a threat would mean leaving the keyboard, and possibly leaving an important insult unanswered.

Compare this modern virtual mud-flinging to the days before social media. For example, how many of these keyboard commandos would confront a dirty 6’2” relic hunter with a long handle spade and brutally assaulted underbrush stuck to his clothes? Of course, then, like now, emotions sometimes got the best of better judgment. Angry mouths did sometimes write checks that the body couldn’t cash. Chances are there are still bodies unfound.

An oft-told legend persists about a large relic hunter with a bad temper. It is said that he once attempted to relieve another digger of a just-found belt buckle at gunpoint because it was found at the gun toter’s digging site. Did it really happen? I have no idea, but such tales did make diggers a little nicer to each other. If I ran into someone in the woods with that reputation, I would not taunt and harass him. Nor would I show him my finds.

Butch

Butch Holcombe

But on the Internet, otherwise sane people throw caution to the wind, targeting someone simply because of who they like, where they live, or what kind of detector they use. The feeling of invincibility is enhanced by being able to instantly taunt others from the supposed safety of wires and long distances. It’s easy to poke a gorilla in the eye when the stick is a thousand miles long.

I know many of our readers are not active on the Internet. It may be hard for them to grasp the venom that is spewed on a daily basis via Al Gore’s invention. For the first few years of the WWW (World Wide Web, not to be confused with World Wide Wrestling — although there are certainly similarities) the only outlet for verbal jousting was detecting forums, but the modern detectorist with an axe to grind has outgrown that venue. The new weapon of choice is Facebook. There, metal detecting enthusiasts can join together on numerous sites dedicated to the love of the hobby and insult each other at any time, day or night. Not only that, but we all get to watch. It’s kind of like a virtual free pass to Professional Mud Wrestling.

But sometimes it is hard to find enough fault with others who love metal detecting, leaving the taunter empty and unsatisfied and the tauntee smug and victorious. That is why Facebook allows others to see who your friends are: so they can share in the misery, too. By instant messaging (the 2016 version of what we once called “talking”) a victim’s friends can learn why so-and-so is a such-and-such, and banish them from their lives accordingly. As blood relatives are also on many friends’ lists, don’t be surprised if you are not invited to your next family reunion.

There are hundreds of ways social media can benefit our hobby. We can band together to fight anti-detecting laws. We can arrange trips to hunt with others that we’d otherwise never meet. We can show off our finds, share our information, buy a detector, and identify that thing we found. We can ask detecting questions, get detecting answers, and more.

Through the power of Facebook, we as metal detectorists could gain the respect of society at large, including naysayers like archaeologists and our families. We and our hobby can be contenders in the world of popular pastimes! We are beepers; hear us roar! But then again, if we did that, when could we find any time to poke gorillas?”

Butch

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THE LATEST ISSUE

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John

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18 responses to American Digger – The Hole Truth

  1. I “Like” the story Butch wrote. Thanks John for bringing it to us.

  2. I am a big fan! In the states this is the magazine to have!! I also want to say I like the cover of the current magazine you have posted 😉 One of my finds is shown. A MVC button I found a few months ago here in Virginia!

  3. ” The American Digger magazine was formed in 2004 by ‘those who love the hobby’ and is a bi-monthly production; ” John, the BS can’t get any deeper on this one. American Digger magazine and their forum show one intent and that is to make a dollar.

    They have shown no love for the hobby This rambling you posted that includes–
    ” There are hundreds of ways social media can benefit our hobby. We can band together to fight anti-detecting laws. We can arrange trips to hunt with others that we’d otherwise never meet. We can show off our finds, share our information, buy a detector, and identify that thing we found. We can ask detecting questions, get detecting answers, and more. ” just shows how out of touch they are with detecting here in the U. S.

    Notice the familiar ” band together ” when no one in authority or position such as in a magazine will dare touch who they consider ” we ” to be. They would jut as soon sell a magazine to a group of detectors going door to door seeing how many homes they can hit in a day,as well as to a group loaded for bear detecting a park during the day. ” We ” can’t band together when we have no idea of what ” we ” means.
    ” We ” can arrange trips but I doubt that magazine would discourage trips or planned hunts in a public park where visibility is always a negative although often necessary for real hunts.
    ” We ” can not share our information if it involves things damaging to the hobby but would get into the pocketbook of American Digger magazine or forum.
    No one is more out of touch with detecting here in the U. S. than American Digger and if you look at their magazine cover on their website and notice what stories they are touting it is easy to see why we will continue to lose more of our detecting rights ( although the administrator of their forum says we have none ) and we will be looking back at missed opportunities by those in power to let those that really care about the hobby have a place in their fake magazine and fake forums.

    • Ironically, you prove one of the points Butch is making! I don’t agree with anything you say in this rambling and sometimes incoherent comment Gary, but I will defend your right to say what you think. So, I will let it stay – why?

      Simply because this diatribe says more about you than American Digger or detectorists! I now realise why you are banned from most sites than I’ve had hot dinners. American Digger is a fine product. Finis.

      • My comments are in regards to what you posted as your blog. I don’t think I am off topic and I referenced quotes so it should be easy to see what I am talking about. If you are interested in my posting of what actually works for the betterment of the hobby, things that I have done, I will post them but won’t waste my time if you will not post them on your blog.

        They are directly related to what Mr. Holcombe is talking about ,the difference being they are what has happened opposed to what someone might like to see happen. A person can only do so much in an atmosphere of people taking cheap shots at them about getting banned from sites. Show me someone that hasn’t been banned and what they have accomplished and I’ll take your remark differently.

        • Kemper, you have been a Godsend! As I said earlier, you seem determined to prove the main point of Butch’s article.

          Thank you for the offer about posting on my blog. I understand, from what you say, that the Kemper Metal Detecing Forum (sic) is number 1 in the US market … and in such a short time! Can I suggest that ‘what works for the betterment of the hobby’ is something you propagate on your own site?

          • Probably better to do as Mr. Holcombe suggest– ” Through the power of Facebook, we as metal detectorists could gain the respect of society at large,..” Nothing can get done in a magazine such as American Digger or their forum or a blog like this.

            Being a forum owner I can go to the annual forum owners convention and get banned so they can all pat each other on the back. Good warm-up practice for kissing each others ass. Maybe they will extend the invitation to blog owners and magazine publishers. :
            _____________________________________________

            Good Lad! – JW

  4. “American Digger magazine and their forum show one intent and that is to make a dollar…” writes Gary Kemper. I certainly hope that they are making more than a dollar.

    There is nothing wrong either – in my opinion – in making a dollar or three from this hobby, whether you class yourself as a Detectorist or a Treasure Hunter. The only proviso is that all artefacts are recorded after which one can do with them as one pleases.

    John Howland
    (Treasure Hunter)

    • I have no problem with them making money either. They have been in business since 2004 and if they have done anything positive for the hobby here,with all the problems we have that continue to grow, then it should be easy to show something they did.

      At least you commented on a part of my comment without attacking me. Maybe John will cool down and have a civil conversation on any part of my comment without using bold type and making broad statements. I live here and follow and participate in venues and can show positive things for the hobby, as a whole ,that I have accomplished. On your point of being able to keep artifacts after they are recorded, I agree.

      • “John, the BS can’t get any deeper on this one. American Digger magazine and their forum show one intent and that is to make a dollar”.

        Doesn’t sound like you have a problem with them, possibly just a problem with everything they do !
        If you put all the time you have spent posting such comments into your detecting I believe you may become much happier, and it will by time well spent

        • And what is your opinion on their magazine and forum and are you a subscriber or member ?

          • This is turning into the Gary Kemper show. 🙂 The magazine is an American Production and Keith is not a subscriber … and neither am I. I won’t allow you to hi-jack my blog site, Kemper. You’ve had a good run. Take that as your last comment on this thread. Yes, I am discarding you … you have served a purpose!

      • Kemper:

        You don’t need to show ‘positive things’ for the hobby, it’s positive by its very nature and here in the UK has added more the common record via the PAS than the woolly-.hatted, amateur archaeology brigade will ever achieve for as long as they’ve got holes in their arses.

        Indeed, it also depends on what you define as ‘the hobby’. Currently, it’s not defined on either side of The Pond. Even the governing bodies don’t know! Those who want desperately to work with archaeologists can rock-up on their doorstep and say, “I/we want to work with you” then take on board what they tell them about how they want them to use their metal detectors. Simple.

        Those who want to do it ‘their way’ can and do as the magnificent results of the PAS show. The hobby, in my view speaks for itself in volumes. If you yourself want to be seen as a pioneer then your best bet is to do something amazing; and you won’t achieve fame or fortune by trying to blow out someone else’s candle so as to make yours shine brighter.

        On balance, Butch Holcombe, has the drop on you.

        Best

        John Howland
        Treasure Hunter

  5. Oh how true this article “The Hole Truth” is and it is equally demonstrated in this blog post today.
    It is not many weeks since another UK “Armchair Fusileer” on an American Metal Detecting forum gave you aggression and him thinking he was not known and this incident is well shown in the passage from “The Whole Truth”.

    “But on the Internet, otherwise sane people throw caution to the wind, targeting someone simply because of who they like, where they live, or what kind of detector they use. The feeling of invincibility is enhanced by being able to instantly taunt others from the supposed safety of wires and long distances. It’s easy to poke a gorilla in the eye when the stick is a thousand miles long”.

    You even offered to buy him a pint of beer in his named town, you are so kind and thick skinned.

  6. Sensible and measured replies from John H and Randy.

  7. a virtual free pass to Professional Mud Wrestling.

    I love that comment, its so true lol a great read John and thanks to Butch for allowing you to use it

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