Whoa! This latest bout of nostalgia has taken me to some very scary places - people and places - times when reality was suspended in order to get the full benefit of whatever experience seemed important at the time.
Important? I think that that is key to everything which I find difficult to comprehend. I realise that there are souls, out there, who feel that the correct id of a beetle is paramount; birders who need to know the parentage of a wayward heron - so seek help from DNA analysis. Get real - the Russians have shot down a Malaysian passenger plane - proper shit; so how does anyone involved in looking at natural history think that this stuff is important?
I copped the right hump when "my" Booted Eagle was rejected; so much so that I opted out of mainstream birding (why the fuck was a paddy involved in the process? - he wasn't there and it had nothing to do with him - a judge; who chose him?)
I well remember Neville Fickling's reaction to Derrick Amies catching the, same, record pike. It was a pitiful display of jealousy and slander, as Neville sought to question the reliability of Derrick's record. Who the hell was Neville to ask the question?
I see this same situation, whenever I look at our natural history. There are a gang of (wankers) self-important, well educated, elitists - ensuring that their little enclave is bullet proof. Ivory Towers - not here in Dumpton - we're all from this earth and that's exactly where we're headed! So what if a duff id gets through - nobody dies - the negative effect of all this crap is that it deters the casual observer from attempting to get involved - their records are not worthy of inclusion due to inexperience!
I know jack shit about so many life forms, which share my space, yet have spent endless hours enjoying their company. I'm hardly enthused to submit a record when the judges are of more importance than the sighting - all in the name of data accuracy. When I started birding there was no such thing as a Yellow-legged Gull; they are are now split - Caspers, Heuglien's, Western, etc....
Judges - what makes one man better than another?