Every year around this time there is a kind of open season declared on the many passionate people who make the effort to get to fantastic walling events like the Stone Symposium being run here in Ventura California to promote the craft of dry stone walling. The cost for those of us coming and participating in these events is not just paid out in dollars and sweat, but in recognizing that one's reputation and professional integrity is going to be scrutinized by others who have chosen to sacrifice neither.
While past work may be subject to smear campaigns, actual symposium walls that are still being built are critiqued and dismissed. Building projects that look too difficult, different, or unusual in scope and design are rejected as foolish. Even photos of stones that have not yet been properly laid into position are used as evidence of incompetence. A kind of sour grape group frenzy may be evidenced at this time as fellow wallers discuss on private websites how inferior the work is of those they have chosen to exclude from their superior insights. Might not those of us having a slightly different slant on things at least be given the benefit of the doubt, if it has indeed been determined that we are not worthy of being genuinely encouraged?