Sunday, March 01, 2009

On Collecting

An article by Tibor Fischer in Britain's Telegraph about French President Nicolas Sarkzy, who took up stamp collecting to relax, also has some thoughts on collecting in general.

Fischer writes, "Collecting is not about relaxing. Gardening is about relaxing. Painting is about relaxing. Listening to a Haydn string quartet is relaxing. Swapping lewd stories with your friends is relaxing."

He goes on to say, "Collecting is about more and more. Collecting is about stamping ruthlessly on the throats of your fellow collectors. Collecting is worrying constantly about the size and quality of your collection. Collecting is about waking up in the middle of the night with a scheme for acquisition. Collecting is about getting ahead. Being Number One. Collecting never ends.

"Collectors, in my experience – at least, serious collectors – are usually people who have a lot of time on their hands and who have little responsibility in their employment, hence the collection to provide a boost, indeed, salvation to their lives."

In defense of stamps, he does point out, "As many money-launderers and smugglers know, stamps are wonderful things. It's embarrassing to be sussed at an airport with an attaché case full of money, but no one's going to spot the 20 stamps in your wallet that are worth just as much."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM