Rodney Dangerfield

The comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a shtick worthy of the way many philatelists think of their hobby. He was always complaining that “I get no respect” and about being disdained and he turned the act into a respectable fortune with a large Las Vegas revue and numerous movies and records. Many collectors feel that they and their hobby don’t get enough respect, though I think the reality is a bit different. I think much of the general public doesn’t understand philately and the motivations behind it. Most think of it as a childhood hobby that adult collectors simply haven’t outgrown. This plays into the Dangerfield feeling. Children think that they don’t get enough respect. As they mature they realize that respect is earned by one’s accomplishments and how one comports oneself. The collectors who feel respected in their hobby are the ones who enjoy philately in a mature way-emphasizing the joys of study and completion rather than material acquisition. And just as people tire of stories of shrewd stock purchases and impossibly big fish that were caught, family and friends have far less interest in the “great buys” that we made and the financial aspects of our hobby than many of us do. This part of philately is often best kept to oneself. Increasingly, collectors tell me that their acquaintances are showing far more interest in their hobby. Perhaps this is because entertainment and interpersonal connection has become invasively 24/7, thanks to cell phones and iPads, and people who enjoy their own company and desire quiet and learning are finally being respected in our crazy world

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top