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Old 09-05-2010, 07:46 PM   #43
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Some of this is good discussion (Dave, Hamp', Winestream among them) and I'll take it as that. And there is some overreaction I think, and that some reasonable people are overreacting indicates how deep the wounds from the perpetual WBCCI debacle are.

It would be a good thing if the mentions of the WBCCI are kept to a minimum because it triggers so much un-useful emotion (my paragraph 6 below violates this hope, I apologize).

As Dave is, I am concerned about liability and would avoid sponsoring a rally. There are, maybe, ways around that. I could post that I will be at place X on day Y and I hope some others will be in the neighborhood (if I were representing an injured party who had shown up, I'd argue differently, of course). We are always responsible for our actions, so some insurance coverage doesn't help anyway.

But, I see TAC as an experiment in nonorganization, and am watching with interest to see how it goes. One person keeps the list, which has numbers assigned by state—this is not a big deal, the numbers I mean—I suppose that could be called organization. Someone now produces a newsletter. And Frank made it clear we are serious about fun (an apparent oxymoron, buy I think everyone should realize it's an idiom and not literal).

And I think Frank did a pretty good job of composing a mission statement that says nonorganization.

Although TAC is a reaction to the WBCCI, it is not like the WBCCI. That is quite an accomplishment. Maybe, as Dave predicts, another, more formal organization will show up. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some people, seeking a traditional organization run by good people with good rules, tries to start the actual anti-WBCCI. I think that would be a good idea for those people and could result in it taking over the WBCCI in several years. The more organizations the better—this is no longer a country with everyone supposed to be the same (though it never was) and diversity is the way of the present.

There hasn't been much talk lately about the six non-WBCCI clubs that are not TAC (2air did allude to them). They were formed or acknowledged early in that experiment but since TAC was created, the experiment has stalled. I would like to see a southwest group but I'm not about to start it; I have too much to do as it is and having been involved in many organizations over the years, am glad to take a break.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post

There hasn't been much talk lately about the six non-WBCCI clubs that are not TAC (2air did allude to them). They were formed or acknowledged early in that experiment but since TAC was created, the experiment has stalled. I would like to see a southwest group but I'm not about to start it; I have too much to do as it is and having been involved in many organizations over the years, am glad to take a break.

Gene
Gene,

AIR-Midwest is hosting a rally the first weekend in October in Branson. I couldn't tell if you were saying that none of the other clubs were doing anything, but AIR-Midwest does host 4-6 rally events a year.

Steve
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #45
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Gene,

AIR-Midwest is hosting a rally the first weekend in October in Branson. I couldn't tell if you were saying that none of the other clubs were doing anything, but AIR-Midwest does host 4-6 rally events a year.

Steve
I wasn't saying other clubs aren't doing anything. But the oxygen is taken up by the WBCCI debates and the TAC discussions. I wanted to make the point that there are many approaches to clubs, traditional and otherwise. The Forum provides an opportunity to publicize and organize (or nonorganize) different types of clubs and groups.

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Old 09-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #46
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So next we'll be seeing "elections", "bylaws", ect. This is starting to look like the SOS with a different set of chief's in charge and the same attitude toward anyone who calls them on it. I guess being important is pretty important to some folks.... I just want to go camping...

Looks like tha forum gatherings are the only way to avoid political types in you airstream.

Mission Statement Suggestion.

1) There will be no mission statement.
2) There will be no officiers other than those who appoint themselve and everyone shall ignore them as they attempt to structure others in their own image.
3) There will be no official anything. All things past, present and future having to do with Airstreams, camping, gathering ,ect are here by "official".
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:11 PM   #47
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My vote

I vote for Over59's statements... this is just plain ole discussion folks.. here in the wide open... nothing beind any curtains or up our sleeves.... far from the SOS though.... just got back from 4 days of streamin with no reservations of any sort... and over labor day weekend too.. the PA Grand Canyon is quite the site for here on the east coast. Many farm markets, and the NY Finger Lakes cheese trail was a it with the kids!

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #48
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So... you just want to go camping. That means you'll drive along public roadways which are built and maintained by hierarchical organizations. You'll be driving a vehicle made by a corporation, towing an Airstream made by a corporation. You'll fill up your gas/diesel tank compliments of a corporation.

In point of fact, all of the "freedom" you have to "just go camping" is made possible by human organizations... and none is the result of anarcho-syndicated communes.

As noted--and like it not--TAC will develop a structure, a culture, etc. Dave Park is doing the newsletter. If only by acquiesence, you have decided there will be a newsletter, it will contain a particular type of information and that Dave (by virtue of volunteering) is doing it. There's already a numbering system, already a rough hierachy of organization.

There are a number of practical, common sense, reality-based reasons to have at least some nominal level of structure. Gene mentions a few, e.g., liability. And contrary to the assertion, I don't see anyone trying to structure things "in their own image." It's my impression that Rob, Frank and Dave are simply trying to develop a viable alternative to the WBCCI... not recreate it with them as the new Galactic Overlords.

TAC will have a structure. It is inevitable. The question is whether it will develop while people are busy pretending you can have a structureless nonorganization or if it will develop through a mature discussion of how to keep such structure to a bare minimum. For the record, I have no interest in serving as an officer in anything. I also have no interest in pretending TAC can be the Airstream version of Easy Rider. It won't work. Worse, when it doesn't work, some TAC supporters will complain bitterly that it's just another WBCCI. I think it's much better for TAC in the long run to simply admit there may be the need for some structure and to have a frank, mature discussion about how to keep the structure as small as possible. Honestly, if the WBCCI had adopted a rule years ago that prohibited any officer from receiving any form of compensation or reimbursement... that simple rule would have completely changed the IBT and the organization's culture.

Having no rules is wonderfully idealistic, and terribly misguided.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:50 PM   #49
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Hamp', history says you're right, but perhaps there will be a much less structure because of the Forum structure. We'll see.

Gene
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:13 PM   #50
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When the television show "Seinfeld" was pitched to NBC, it really was pitched as a "show about nothing", just like they portrayed in the show. They had episodes about a Junior Mint falling into a surgical incision, a talking belly button, Kramer becoming president of La Boca Vista, who could be "master of their domain" the longest, a girl named Delores, and many many other shows about nothing.

Every episode had a story line, but they stayed very true to their original premise of "a show about nothing".

I see TAC in a similar light. A club about camping and having fun that will evolve into whatever the stakeholders (and all members are stakeholders) want it to be. One member wants to do a magazine. Great! Another wants to direct parking at rallies. Super! Somebody else wants to look into insurance to see if it's something we really need. I'm all for it! This guy wants to see if a mission statement is a good idea, and people are telling him he is taking it too seriously. Does any of this stuff take away from my having fun while camping? No, and as long as it doesn't take away from my camping fun, I don't give a rat's @ss. When I camp, I tend to putter around my campsite. I adjust my awning ropes, do little things on the trailer, straighten up the interior, stuff like that. It's fun and relaxing for me. Is the guy in the next trailer who likes to nap under his awning going to tell me I'm not living the spirit of TAC because I'm not doing it like he does?

I joined TAC and dropped the WBCCI because I like to belong to a club and no longer wished to support the poor management of the WBCCI. Airforums are great, but I just have a hard time wrapping my head around it as a "club". Others have no problem with it, and that's great for them. Someday, when I have more time and I'm able to attend a few forum rallies, my feeling towards the Airforums club may change. For now, when I pick and choose which rallies to attend I will look for TAC rallies first because I know many of these people "in real life", and I like them.

2Air, it's okay to think that TAC is not a strong club. "Seinfeld" was one of the lowest testing shows in history that actually made it on television. Some people just didn't get it, but most did. Just like TAC.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:55 PM   #51
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Oddly enough, it took a tremendous amount of organization to create a well-written, well-acted, successful show about "nothing." Funny, that.

This is a forum where things like "towing" and "tow vehicles" are discussed with an intensity usually reserved for theology. There are detailed discussion about Airstream renovations, trip preparations, improvements, design, etc. This thread is a bit like listening to a couple of astronauts sitting on the International Space Station saying, "We don't need rules; we're just here to camp." Yeah, right, and how exactly did you get to space?

Did I miss something? Did everyone just show up at the Birthday Bash randomly? Did someone pick the time, day and place or was it simply an accidental confluence of Airstreams?

Structure is not a light switch. When it comes to a social club, there is more than a choice between anarchy and totalitarian bureaucracy. Having a few simple rules does not lock a club into a death spiral. That any structure is bad is just the wrong lesson to the learn from the WBCCI mess.

Do you think the IBT would be what it is if the WBCCI had a simple rule of "one member, one vote"? Or how about "no officer shall receive any compensation or reimbursement for any activity related to the club"? How about "each unit shall elect one member to serve as the unit president and the unit presidents shall comprise the board of directors"? Or "all issues involving individual members shall be resolved at the unit level"?

The problem with the WBCCI isn't just too many rules; it's that the rules are flawed AND there's no direct, efficient way for members to change them. Again, you don't solve the problem of the WBCCI by having an organization where everyone decides to pretend there are no rules. You solve the problem by having a few simple rules that establish a framework for people to 1) get things done; 2) change them when they need to be changed; 3) avoid the natural tendency for more rules.

As noted, I don't always agree with the moderators, but I've seen forums without any moderation. You think Airforums would be this civilized without any rules? Or enforcement? Here's one think I'd suggest, borrowing a bit from the Airforums model. Let anyone join TAC, get a number, be a member, no dues. Establish a "voluntary contribution" amount. Let those who want (or can) donate. Like or it not, TAC will have costs and it's simply unfair to expect people like Rob or Frank or Dave to pay the freight. When there is a decision to be made (and there will be), every paying member gets one vote.

This doesn't exclude anyone from membership. It doesn't require the people who "just want to camp" to do anything. It does, however, create a way for TAC to have some modest resources and it allows the people willing to contribute to building the club have some voice in how it evolves.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:20 AM   #52
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Well said Rover and Hamp!!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:04 PM   #53
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Now the conversation is starting to come alive, and turning in a more considered direction. People have had time to cool off...

My personal view:

I hold it in my mind that although TAC arose as a response to WBCCI's issues, it isn't trying to answer those issues. TAC is addressing the needs of people who either were unlikely to join WBCCI, or who were unlikely to benefit from membership... Sure, there are members who joined TAC visibly, as a protest, but those people are in the minority.

I think there's a strong resistance to the idea and the WORD "officers". If an "officer had NO power, cannot make any rules or tell anyone what to do, they simply have taken on a specific job that needs continuity (like treasurer, or magazine editor) are they still something to be feared and despised? I'm not an officer - don't want to be, but I have taken on the magazine role, and I can quit tomorrow if I like. I also know I cannot enforce my views on anyone, and it would be wrong to try to do so.

So, the issue of officers has two components in making them "safe" - the protections against the position, and the character of the individuals. The first is something you can be sure of, the second, less so.

I just had a root canal, and I'm a bit drugged up, so I am going to stop posting for a while, as I don't feel especially lucid or helpful right now
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:49 PM   #54
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This isn't just about the WBCCI, Dave. It's an attitude I run into all the time.

While people benefit mightily from rules, structure, organized human activity, etc., there also is a very strong and generalized resentment against "red tape" and "mindless bureaucracy." It's the "We don' need no stinkin' badges" attitude. Having been to the local department of motor vehicles several times this year, I can understand the sentiment... but it's not an philosophy you can build a functioning club around. Unfortunately, even if we dug up Solomon, brought him back to life and asked him to put together a few simple rules for TAC, you'd have the soothsayers of doom wearing sandwich boards that read, "The WBCCI is Near!"

As for keeping bad people out of positions of power... it's easy. Just make sure the positions have no real power.

So, my thoughts in summary:

1. Anyone can join.
2. Dues are voluntary.
3. Any necessary decisions are decided by majority vote.
4. Every dues paying member has one vote.
5. No club member elected or appointed to a position of responsibility within the club may receive any compensation or reimbursement from the club.
6. All club rules and policies must fit on a single 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:22 PM   #55
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What's wrong with seeing if the anti-rules structureless anti-thing thing can survive as it is?

Maybe it can't and then someone can propose another club.

I was in a leaderless men's group several years ago. It was strange for a while, but it worked. There were leaders, but only because they were natural leaders and their influence ebbed and flowed. It went on for about 5 years and only ended because the core group had done what it needed to do. We did have a few rules (confidentiality being number 1). The rules were simple and everyone agreed to them. This example is not the same as a nationwide club, but the point is that leaderlessness is possible.

I know it's hard to give up structure and even the basic ones such as Hamp' suggested in the previous post, seems to me to be the path toward conventionality. For example, who interprets "Any necessary decisions are decided by majority vote"? What is "necessary"? How is a vote taken? Who counts it? And once you have a possibility of making decisions (i.e., creating rules), there will be more rules. Or why shouldn't someone who spends their own money for some "necessary" thing not be reimbursed? Are "position[s] of responsibility" only to go to wealthy members who can bankroll their activities? The most basic rules always require interpretations and thus they grow and grow.

A revolution has always become institutionalized. Will the Forum allow a different direction?

Gene
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:26 PM   #56
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Ah, Gene, ever the idealist.

As you know, Airforums has structure, terms of service, even moderators. You and have both encountered them. While the forum here may offer an alternative communication medium, it comes with strings attached... it's just that only rabble rousers like you or I bump into those strings.

Personally, I don't like unwritten rules. I have enough trouble behaving myself without guessing what the expectations are.

Oh, and conventionality. The tire is conventionally round, Gene, because it is the shape most conducive to tire-like activities... like rolling. There's nothing to say you can't try an oval, a hexagon, or a trapezoid... but these shapes have been less successful, historically.

Leaderlessness may be possible on a very small scale, and very transiently. And as you note, even then leaders will emerge. Structure follows. Call it instinct. Call it genetic imprinting. Call it a pre-witing for social order. Call it culturization. I don't know enough to say exactly why humans recreate the tribe over and over, but I know they do.

I'm not going to push for TAC to be one way or another. I simply know the attempt at having no structure will fail. To invoke the words of Saruman, "But that is not my doing. I merely foretell."
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