Oil, and the world beyond

Dan Shane danshane at bellsouth.net
Thu Jun 14 21:33:10 CEST 2001

Søren Olesen wrote:

> Secondly, I really dislike the way that Don's "Little Helpers" always
> pop up out of nowhere when someone tickles the sacred shell.

And I reply:

I just returned from a short vacation and discovered my mailbox crammed with
a slew of vitriolic DCML messages.  I've read through about 90% of them so
far, but I couldn't get through all of them without acknowledging Søren's
remark, as I have been on that list of "Little Helpers" in the past (and am
firmly planted there again with this post).

It will always be difficult to defend a personal friend without being
accused of conflict of interest.  This thread will doubtless be seen that
way in even greater measure because I contributed to the story that people
have been discussing recently.  Still, I don't think anyone would disagree
that friends are not friends at all if they sit back and say nothing when
companions are attacked.  That silence could even be interpreted as possible
agreement with the criticism.

I'm not about to defend Don's stance on whether Barks' oils have artistic
merit, or argue with John about his personal fervor for that side of Carl's
career.  I've had little formal art training, and am thereby not qualified
to make any public declaration of the quality of the last quarter century of
Barks' work.  But, I've had LOTS of experience in making friends and keeping
them, and I know that I would never be able to stand idly by while others
were trying to hurt their feelings.  Some have jumped at the chance to ally
themselves with John.


That means others felt the slings and arrows nearly as much as John did and
were willing to be counted among those who agree with John's artistic views.
Some motives were called into question when the same individuals who NEVER
let an opportunity to throw stones at Don pass by made the same terse
comments we are used to seeing from said sources.  Be that as it may, I
still find myself close to dumbfounded at the degree of harsh statements
being made on a simple point of opinion.  Don will always be an easy target
because he is well known, at least in Europe.  I consider it unfair for
people to believe that, because Don has achieved notoriety, he does not
deserve to have friends who will stick up for him.  But, it's okay for
Daniel and others to chime in with a "Me, too" if someone expresses
displeasure with something Don has said.  (And then tags on a hypocritical
"Best wishes" at the end of his stone-throwing session as if it meant

In spite of name-calling and poor sportsmanship on the part of some, I've
always been willing to let such matters drop when a request was made for
information or even a scan or two (are you reading this, Daniel?), because
it seemed the "professional" and "neighborly" thing to do.  I just wish the
minority who think that anytime Don (or *anyone*) says something they don't
agree with interpret such remarks as personal attacks would develop thicker
skins.  Maybe Don shouldn't publicly declare that some individuals'
diatribes are evidence of "emotional problems", though in the past I would
say some have practically cornered him into making those assessments.  But
even if that's so, I encourage these folks not to give him reason to say so.

Meanwhile, I'm putting on my flame retardant jammies for the inevitable
backlash.  Go ahead -- make a liar outta me.

Dan Shane
(danshane at bellsouth.net)

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