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What is the single most turn off in Forums?
You know, it's a little like culture shock returning from the annual REBS Show today to go back to reading the forums. I just spent a long wonderful day drooling, analyzing, and smoozing with my bonsai buddies. A day where, for once, all bonsai politics were put aside, and where we could simply enjoy each other's trees and company. Sure, the undercurrent of bonsai politics was still present, but from what I could tell, everyone just put away their animosities and came together to appreciate the trees. I think that's the power of bonsai, and probably most fine art. There was no carping, no snide remarks, but there certainly was a lot of simply well deserved pride and friendly adulation, if not outright heartfelt praise.

I rubbed elbows and stood toe to toe with some of the biggest blowholes in the universe, and I loved every minute of it. Despite any personality disorders or ego mania, the trees themselves overwhelmed any possibility of letting a grudge ruin the day. I truly believe this. The comaraderie was palpable. THIS is the power of bonsai at its best. How can one stand in a room and take in literally tens of thousands of hours of love and inspiration manifested and not be moved? I was humbled by the best of these trees and still fully appreciative of the least of them. A good club like this one will overcome all obstacles to make the trees the show, and that they really were.

I set aside this day every year, and have now for almost twenty of them, for reflection as well as education, and as a reaffirmation of what I have spent the second half of my life doing. I am not displeased. None of my trees were there, maybe next year, but doesn' t really matter, This isn't about OWNING trees, this is about appreciating beauty. I look for trends and changes, usually, but not always for the better. What's fresh? What's new? What grabs you? In a show this sophisicated, you are on the cutting edge of the art. As I have written before, our study group is great, it allows us to get together and critique our trees and enjoy each other's company, and to grow together. But here, there are at least 150 trees, many of them world class, a handful on the edge of perfection, forty to fifty years of dedicated work in some cases. This is shock and awe that really means something. When we can do this in forums, then we will get somewhere.

So now, it's night and almost bedtime and the glow is waning like the orange coals of the dying fire, but the warmth is still there, the mind still reels, the path is reaffirmed, the work can go on. I can even read the inane blabber of the forums and it passes right over me, like the vaporous mist in the night. I will sleep and dream of the stories that the trees told, stories that were wrought by the companionship and love of the two species that made it possible.

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Like when someone gives you a suggestion or they give you information on how to do something and you do it and it turns out good, but that person isn't around for me to thank and share the excitement with. So what do you do, hug the tree and break the branches?

I love the trees I've received from Brent, don't get me wrong. But his knowledge, love, and ability to share his passion for bonsai is priceless. The previous post by him was downright beautiful. Beauty is not a word I use lightly.

As to what turns me off on forums. Seeing more attention drawn to subjects that deal with intangibles and personalities rather than trees. I absolutely love arguing no matter how trivial the subject but I personally dislike it here.
I won't participate in this thread other than to say it really holds the door ajar for some very contentious stuff.
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