I have noticed a problem. A certain degree
of lack of believability in what we read
these days. There seems to be a very real
trend to believe that something is true or
at least, "there must be something to it"
if it is bad. By 'bad' I mean that someone
got caught stealing, a crime happened, some
product has something wrong with it. Things
However, if something is reported as being
'good' it probably is biased and not true.
That there must be something 'wrong' with
the statement and some collusion or other
factor influencing the statement and it is
false. Therefore, only information that is
'bad' is believed, that which is good is not.
Now, it has long been a fact that in the 'news'
industry, "If it bleeds; it leads." For many
reasons it is true. For one thing, it does 'sell
soap' as the old saw goes. Watch the news or read
about it. News has come to mean something is wrong,
bad, terrible, what a shame etc.
And it is a shame. Here is how it effects me here.
Let's say I invent a new fly rod company for an
example and see if you don't agree with me. And
it's not just me. It is a problem for all writers,
news or otherwise. Ok, here we go; The ABC rod
Today the ABC rod company announced it's newest
rod series. Lighter, faster, smoother and more
responsive to the beginner and the veteran alike.
These rods will surpass any ideas you may have
had about how a fly rod should really feel and
cast. Absolutely damp and recoilless, the amount
of vibration has been virtually eliminated. Casts
will average 20% farther with the same effort as
used in the past. These rods will set the
bench-mark for years to come and be the rod all
others are compared with.
So there you have it. BS? Of course. No way that
could be true. Now this.
It was learned today that the ABC rod company
was in court over a possible patent infringement
on a taper design. It seems they may have copied
it from a well known competitor.
In other court action a law suit was filed over
the wording of a guarantee and the term, 'lifetime.'
"Lifetime to me means my lifetime, not the
expected lifetime of the waders," he said.
The ABC rod company today purchased the XYZ
rod company and the fear is the products will
now be made off shore with an obvious decline
in quality and customer service. No price
increase is expected at this time.
"My 777 fly line won't go thru the guides of
the rod I built. I have built for 3 months now
and know what I am doing. It must be they made
a bad batch of lines and I just got one. I am
never going to buy from them again. Be careful
when you do, they are sloppy in their product
"ABC says their new line of rods are very fast.
That means they are fragile, right?"
Ok, Ok, so these are maybe extreme examples
but that is what I wanted. We have been
conditioned to think there must be some degree
of truth to these or they would not be in print.
It is a well accepted that anything in print
has a much stronger impression than if only
spoken. Like 'No Smoking,' 'Keep off the Grass'
etc. but why do we believe the bad and not
Because we have been lied to, lied at, and
lied about. Remember the jingles on radio?
Little songs telling us that our wash will
be whiter, no ring on the collar again, and
we will get better gas milage? They didn't
all turn out exactly as we expected, did they.
We aren't stupid, we learned to filter out
these great promises. At the same time we
heard reports of a fire and saw pictures;
there was a fire. Of wrecks; and there was
wrecks. The news was bad... but true.
All of this brings me to the problem I have
on here and I think many other writers have
as well. Also, why we tend to believe what
we read on our bulletin board. That stuff
comes from people, not news makers. Real
people who we think we can still trust. It
is one of the reasons I like to have guys
write stories for FAOL who are not well
known professional magazine writers. We
have come to distrust the professionals.
And probably for good reasons, which I will
not go into here. I think we all can agree
on what they are.
Oddly enough, the first paragraph about
the ABC rod company is not only TRUE, but
I watered it down some. The rod does exist.
It is patented in it's country of origin.
Nothing I wrote about is false. Of course
the following statements are baloney and
all are false. BUT, they are believable. If
not in whole, at least in part. There could
be some truth in them somehow. "Where there
is smoke, there must be some fire," sort of
I think this is why most of the product
reviews these days are of the comparison type.
"Of these eight rods, the ABC weights the least.
On distance casting however it came in third
using a six weight line." You may notice we
don't do them like that here though. I simply
take a rod and give you my opinion for what
it's worth. Hopefully you have some degree
of faith in me.
So far I have not lied to you. I have tried
very hard not only not to lie, but to tell
things exactly as I feel they are. I have
not written things about a sponsors product
that I didn't believe myself. I have not
slanted things to make them look good. At
least I sure have tried not to. Sure, I need
sponsors. They pay the bills. But without you
coming here in the numbers that you do, I
would not have any sponsors. I and the LF
are 'reader driven,' that is, we feel you
are more important than the sponsors, any
of them and we will not change that, ever.
If we do, it all goes down hill.
At the start FAOL was our web-site. No longer.
It has grown larger than either of us could
have ever imagined. It is respected and utilized
by many of the major manufacturers today and is
looked to for the latest information. It has
now become an entity of it's own. It lives and
we now work for it. We now have a responsibility
toward it. To keep it going, guide it's progress,
keep it clean and reputable and energized and on
topic and informative and always a place you can
come to with confidence. That sounds 'good' to me;
I hope you can believe it. ~ JC