I'm starting a new thread simply because I'm pissed at the myopic comments of some of the yahoos who claim to be taxidermists. I continue to say that taxidermists have to be the dumbest people on earth. We fight among ourselves, we charge less than our peers simply to steal business from them, and we find reasons to trash his work so that ours looks better. By and large we don't know the history of the industry or the movers and shakers who provided us with a source of income and enjoyment. We're simply dumber than a box of rocks. In September 5, 1975, the CBS network aired one of the most searing "documentaries" ever known to the outdoor recreation industry called "The Guns of Autumn". Hosted by Dan Rather, the "documentary" was a scathing indictment of all facets of hunting and outdoor recreation. It single-handedly led to the creation of Friends Of Animals, PeTA, and the power mongering of HSUS. Not a single event was painted in a positive light and hunters were portrayed as country yahoos who had a latent blood lust without caring about destroying the environment. It was said to have made the late, great Fred Bear physically ill. He contacted all the outdoor associations he could muster to refute this odious "documentary". In 1975, when gas was 39 cents a gallon, he was told he'd need $300,000 to get a different take produced. The NRA contributed $100,000 and was soon joined by Fred's colleagues at the Archery Manufacturers Organizations (AMO) who chipped in another $100,000. Fred's company was in the midst of reorganizing and moving from Grayling, Michigan to Gainsville, Florida. He was in a fight for survival with union leaders and obviously strapped for cash, yet he felt so much disgust in the way hunters had been depicted, he ponied up the last $100,000 required for the film out of his personal funds. "The Echos of The Guns of Autumn" was produced but obviously never got the shock value the first blasphemous episode had. Still, he felt he couldn't allow the media to slander the sport he loved. Fast forward to today. CBS Sunday Morning (the SAME CBS) had approached and requested the NTA, whose 2200 meager members try to positively represent the 80,000 practicing taxidermists in America, if they could come and film our convention. The NTA was told that CBS would want to be everywhere and not excluded from any venue. In our trusting souls, the NTA agreed to it with no hope of having any say in editing content or depiction. Without exaggerating, I'm assuming that probably no more than a couple hundred practicing taxidermists watched a show that was probably seen by conservatively 30 to 40 MILLION people. And what are the results here??? We get a gutless "guest" chirping about our "lack of professionalism" or "dress code". Another hasn't a clue as to who Al Holmes is and his contributions to the industry. Do you suppose that the 39,999,800 others who watched the show felt about us how some of us do? The NTA, the ONLY professional organization we have to represent us, was selected to represent even those of you who'd bitch about having to spend $50 for a membership that "does nothing for me". Mind you now, CBS didn't go to the plumbers and septic maintence workers convention, the national pork growers association, or even the American undertakers union convention. THEY CHOSE THE NATIONAL TAXIDERMISTS ASSOCIATION CONVENTION. And some of you have the GALL to complain they didn't do "enough" in portraying us in a positive light. GET REAL. WE don't portray OURSELVES in a positive light most times. CBS did one helluva job keeping the show objective and non-judgemental. Thanks to Al Holmes, 39,999,800 people now know that we take exception to calling our work "STUFF" and that's a helluva lot more than some of you can say honestly. If you are a Christian practitioner and you had a neighbor who was Buddhist who invited you to go to his temple for a service, would you go? If you went, what do you think the chances of you converting to Buddhism are? HOWEVER, you'd leave that service with a new insight into what being a Buddhist actually meant and probably a new respect for those who believe in it. This show did just that, obviously over the heads of some of you. It showed us as discriminating "artists" who want to present our work in a better light than some specimen "may have looked in real life". The atmosphere was light hearted, yet informative. It wasn't a taxidermy seminar and it wasn't intended to be one. You, by the proxy of the NTA and CBS just became suddenly no longer a dark industry and you were introduced to the hoity toity who may now want to keep up with the Rockefellers and have a crappy looking sheep shoulder mount in their foyer. Some of you would be wiser to lighten up and shut up. Until you've lived the dark ages that some of us have endured, you haven't a clue what a breath of fresh air this short segment might have done for this industry. If you want to be a part of that, join the NTA and put that paltry $50 money where your mouth is. Certainly you should be a member of your state association first. If it's not like you want it to be, you can't change it by boycotting it. You don't get a vote if you aren't a member and members make changes to organizations. So put up or shut up.