Friday, March 1, 2013

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?

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If you don't know the origin of the blog post title, I recommend you google it.  Perhaps read the lyrics.  Get on the same page so you can catch what I'm throwin'.

I set out to write a blog post about the collaborative effort behind Victoria's Double Edged Love quilt and how and why I chose to quilt it the way I did.  However there are some things that are taking over my brain and I need to get them out.  I can give you all the scoop about the quilting soon.  For now, let's have a bit of a discussion, shall we?

QuiltCon >  Modern quilting >  Quilting >  Quilters >  People >  Humanity.  That's basically the train of thought that keeps repeating in my brain of late.

It all started with the Give A F*ck quilt that was exhibited at QuiltCon.  It is a quilt, it was made for a reason, and it happened to have the "f" word all over it.  Everyone had something to say about this quilt, and most things that have been said are not all that nice.  "eeeewwwwww", basically.  But with more insults.

Why?

The conversations around that quilt got me thinking about conversations that I either took part in, or lingered around before QuiltCon.  The conversations were about how QuiltCon would be such a boring show, pointless in some opinions, and full of elementary large color-block quilts with boring straight line quilting.  Okay.  Cool, dude.

Then the conversations went a step further to discuss the MQG exhibit at Houston, and how it didn't deserve to be there.  Huh. Yeah? Neat.  I sooo get that. 

First and foremost, I want to state that I am all for people having opinions because everyone is entitled to them.  However how can you possibly expect anyone to respect those opinions if you base them on nothing but stereotype (and while I'm on the subject, how about not epitomizing a whole other stereotype eh?), lack of knowledge of that which you're forming an opinion, bias, judgementalist thought and sometimes just downright lack of regard for anything other than the fact that you feel you have a right to say something?  I can't respect those opinions.  I can't respect the opinion of someone that thinks something shouldn't exist just because they don't like it.  I can't respect the opinion of someone that would rather talk down something that they haven't taken a single moment to understand.  I can't respect the opinion of someone that would put a person's character into question because of the type of art they choose to make/like/exhibit/buy/share/whatever.

Why has it become so impossible to stop and think about the things that we say to people?  Why has it become impossible to stop and think about things on a deeper level rather than *what is on the surface*?  Why does everyone feel the right to (attempt to) knock others down just for the sake of doing it?

Now, I've done a good job of keeping silent about a lot of things lately, but when it comes to bullying - and that's exactly what this is - you betchya I'm going to come forward and tell you how I feel about it.

Let's start with the Give A F*ck quilt and go from there, shall we?

First of all, the Give A F*ck quilt is - A QUILT.  It is a hand made item, a group effort even (hellooooooo community!), and it was made for a reason.  There was effort put into it.  The maker(s) was proud of it.  And it was dragged through the mud.  I really just don't understand this.  Maybe someone can help me out here.  Because last I checked, I really don't like Thimbleberries and Kansas Troubles at all.  But ya know what? You're totally allowed to use that stuff in your quilts if you so choose.  Will I tell you it's hideous? Nope.  Will I tell you that it doesn't deserve to exist because I don't like it?  Nope.  Will I tell you that you're a horrible person for making a quilt like that? HOW DARE YOU?!  Nope.  I don't hate quilts made with Kansas Troubles or Thimbleberries and I certainly don't hate the people that make them.  I just hate the fabric.  Cool?  Cool.  There is my completely non-offensive opinion that I expressed like an adult.

Now onto QuiltCon.  QuiltCon happened for a reason.  For any of you that were on the side of the discussion thinking that QuiltCon would suck, I really hope that you're ashamed of yourself (really, I do).  Why would QuiltCon suck but say, I don't know, any traditional quilt show not suck?  You clearly don't understand the modern quilt movement.  And that's okay.  You don't have to understand it.  You don't even have to like it.  But to say that it sucks? Who the hell do you think you are? What gives you the right?  As far as I'm concerned, I think the focus should be on the fact that there is a fabulous new serge of excitement about this industry that we all love so much.  Hand-made is important.  People making things is important.  Which automatically makes modern quilts important.  And quilt shows that showcase modern quilts important.  And the people that make those quilts important.  An opinion based on nothingness, of those people and their quilts and the shows that showcase them?  Hmmmkay, totally not all that important.

Now onto the MQG exhibit in Houston.  I believe one of the things said, and I'm really not even paraphrasing here, was that the MQG exhibit wasted square footage and took away from the quilts that "deserved" to be there.  Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.  Balls.  Big ones.  That took really big balls.  It's sort of amusing that someone (or even several people) can think that their opinion is fact.  I mean, screw what some of the industry leaders think about it.  They know nothing! ----  Why would modern quilts not have a place in Houston?  Again, simply because you don't like(understand) them? Good story.

Simply put, if you don't like it, don't make it.  Is that so friggin hard? Different strokes, people.  And I hope you are finding the underlying point(s) I'm making here without me having to spell it out.

All quilts are made for a reason and tell some sort of story.  And all quilters' voices deserve to be heard regardless of how  they choose to label (or even refuse to label) their style.

Let's try to focus on the fact that we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.  It's getting (or more accurately, has been) ridiculous the way people are willing to treat others.  And really, when you say things to people like I've seen the last week or so, you really look like an ass.  For the record, I'm not actually calling anyone an ass, because I don't know enough to determine something like that.  Are you an ass? Maybe.  Maybe not.  But hey, *on the surface* - you sure do look like one.

Boom.