Insideman’s WTF?!?™ SyFy Debuts Collection Intervention Reality Show [VIDEO]

This new “reality” show premiered on the ridiculously named SyFy Cable Network last night. Host Elyse Luray goes to great lengths to differentiate this colossal geek train wreck from Hoarders, stating, “Their collections have just gotten very big and out of control, and they just haven’t had the time, or maybe the space, or maybe the economics to get it back under control. But, they’re not collecting everything under the sun… They have boundaries and they have a focus.”

I don’t care how neatly you dress it up, this show is Hoarders with people who have a Mint on Card fetish. Sure, most of these folks aren’t collecting trash out of a dumpster and dragging it home… But most are just as out of control as the dumpster divers who have long forgotten what it is like to exercise any measure of self-discipline.

We all know people like this. Hell, I used to be like this… Until I realized that no amount of inanimate, plastic, porcelain or metal shit was ever going to cure or fill whatever hole in my life I felt needed curing or filling. Sure, I still treat everything I own/collect with reverence and care– but my best day ever was when I finally learned how important it is to expend the bulk of my energy on caring for the living people (and animals) in my life… And not all the crap I have sitting lifelessly on a shelf. You can be an avid collector/reader and still have a life.

And I’ve collected some weird stuff. In addition to comics, collectibles, books, etc, for a short time I purchased small, strange-looking green ceramic animals (they had to be green) manufactured between the 1950s and the 70s. I am also the proud owner of a signed baseball collection… But I only own baseballs signed by players who have been convicted of a felony crime. I find this kind of niche collecting to be the most fun… The kind of stuff an auctioneer will look at in an Estate Sale after I die… And mumble curiously, “What the hell is this?!”

I could care less about all the Trades and Hardcovers I buy– except for their entertainment value. Despite owning many shelves chock-full of books, if I got rid of everything but the ones I really cared about– I bet I couldn’t fill two full shelves. So now, if I don’t get a first print of IDW’s Wally Wood’s Artist Edition (which I didn’t get several months ago), then I just simply miss out. I’m enough of a persnickety collector to only desire the first edition but I am also sane enough not to shell out $500 to buy one on eBay in the aftermarket.

Here’s what I’ve discovered: There is NO LIMIT to the amount of pure shit manufacturers will make for us to consume. If they see dollar signs in an idea, some tchotchke will soon be sitting on a shelf somewhere– tempting us.

Bottom Line: If you’re an avid reader, collect what you enjoy reading or, more importantly, think you’ll enjoy re-reading. If you like toys, splurge a little and take them out of the plastic once in a while. Above all, enjoy what you are doing. But if your hobby really and truly starts to take over your life… Stop. Go out and interact with people. Even interacting on the net is preferable to sitting home alone.

Hell, anything’s better than being featured on claptrap like Collection Intervention.

[Pic & Quote via Blastr]
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9 Responses to Insideman’s WTF?!?™ SyFy Debuts Collection Intervention Reality Show [VIDEO]

  1. Morlock50 says:

    I have a slightly personal problem regarding this subject, but because I consider this’s website a safe space, I’ m going to share.

    Let me just ask some of you who are in relationships; how do you balance your comic collecting (or other hobby) with financial concerns, or your significant other who might not share your interests?

    • Insideman says:

      Morlock, I’ll jump in first.

      I’ve had a lot of girlfriends over the years and very few of them were remotely as kind or forgiving to my strange obsessions as my current partner. Balancing my monetary concerns with my collecting wants/needs have not always been easy either– by a long shot.

      I have dated women who shared my interests but that’s because I met them at conventions, etc. I have also never gotten one single woman to actively read comics– when they had never thought of them as reading material before they met me.

      (The following is not directed at you, Morlock… Since I don’t your situation at all. I am just going to write what I know works for me. My use of “you” is just a general “you”– and, again, not directly aimed at you.)

      The best piece of advice I can share– and I cannot stress this enough– Relationships NEVER work when one partner wants the other to “grow up” or stop collecting/reading/viewing/playing the comics, movies and video games they like. In all relationships– definitely ones where at least one collector is involved– people have to share. Share space, share interests, etc. Both people have to be generous… Genuinely support the other partner in his/her interests… Even if they don’t actively participate.

      People also can’t realistically let their hobbies consume a relationship. If they do, what are they in a relationship for? If all a person wants to do is read, watch movies or play games… They can do that all by themselves. They don’t need someone hanging around to watch them do it.

      I’ve actually had several women tell me, “I’ll do such and such with you (or for you), if you promise you’ll stop or cut back on your hobbies.” I am very supportive in relationships and I would never ask my partner to stop doing something they loved… And I don’t want to be around someone who wants to stop anyone from doing the things that bring them joy.

      The best thing I found to do was talk it ALL out… Strike a happy medium between my collecting and my partner’s interests. That includes examining the amount of time I spend at my hobbies, the money I spend (if one partner thinks it is excessive– and they often do because they don’t “get” how costly this shit is) and discussing whatever physical space “my” things may take up in our living environment.

      It blows my mind when people are attracted to each other– then immediately set out to change their partner the minute their relationship gets “serious”. I will NEVER, EVER allow another person dictate to me how I will collect or what I will collect. As long as I am harming no one and allowing my partner the same freedom to do as she wishes with whatever she wishes… Why should I change? I also know you CANNOT change people… No matter how hard you try… And really, why would you want to? In any case, I have never had one relationship work out where a person tried to materially change me or I tried to materially change them.

      That’s my basic rule: As long as I am not hurting my partner, spending to excess to the detriment of our bills, crowding her out with all my shit AND giving her tons of attention, love and support… What’s wrong if I want to read some funny books?

      The answer is: NOTHING is wrong with it. Nothing at all.

    • Tiger Topher says:

      I used to date a girl who despised my comics and all my comic related stuff. She wanted me to get to get rid of it all and she even said that she’d probably toss it away herself someday if we ever ended up living together. Another thing she mentioned was that it bothered her that I was spending my money on comics rather than on her. Knowing that all she really cared more about was what made her happy, I had no trouble letting her go and moving on.

      The next girl I started dating is actually the same girl I’m dating now. She thinks my collection is really cool and she loves that I’m passionate about all my geeky stuff. She comes to cons with me when she can, reads graphic novels here and there, buys stuff to add to my collection and she’s constantly coming up with new ideas for the “comic basement” that we’re going to create when we get a bigger place.

      Yes, my girlfriend is incredibly supportive, though I don’t doubt for a second that things would change if my collecting ever started to affect our quality of life. I do spend a lot on my hobbies, but I’m also very good with money, so it’s not like we’re ever lacking funds for the important things. I also sometimes use my knowledge of the comic market to bring home even more cash, so that helps. If money ever was an issue, though, I’d make sure to take care of my girlfriend and my kitties long before spending a dime on some funny books. I definitely know where my priorities lie.

      Another thing that keeps my girlfriend so supportive is that I respect the fact that we share a living space. She hates clutter and it would really bother her if I had my stuff all over the house. And while I do have things scattered throughout our home, the bulk of my collection can be found in my comic room and on my side of the bedroom. I keep everything neat and tidy, so even though I have a ton of stuff, we have no trouble moving around and everything can be easily accessed.

      In the end, I think respect is really the key to balancing collecting and maintaining a healthy relationship. The collector needs to have enough respect for his or her partner not to let their passion affect their quality of life, and as long as the collecting isn’t having any detrimental effects, the partner needs to support the collector even if he or she doesn’t have any kind of interest in their significant other’s hobby.

      I don’t know if any of this helps you, Morlock, but at the end of the day, it might not hurt to remind your wife that the money you’re spending comics is money that’s not going towards booze, drugs and hookers. I’ve found that women are pretty understanding when you put the whole collecting thing in those terms.

    • ed2962 says:

      I’m not sure my advise is on the level of Ian’s or Tiger’s but just to throw in my 2 cents…

      I’m not in a serious relationship now, but at this stage in my life I’m responsible for spending alot of money on certain relatives. So I kinda have watch what I spend on. It was easy for a while, but having my work hours seriously cut makes it tuff. What’s funny is that comics used to be a kinda cheap hobby, but now days that’s not nesessarily the case. But if you can budget, it’ll be ok.

      The woman I did live with wasn’t into comics, but she never gave me a hard time when I slowly started to get back into them. I guess she already thought I was an oddball and just accepted it. To go back to Topher’s booze vs comics analogy, I ACTUALLY WAS spending way more money on booze than comics! On the other hand, my ex was drinking it with me, so it was never like my habits were taking importance over her. Plus, I think she appreciated it that I had Donald Duck reprints to read to her niece and nephew when they came over.

      My thing now is, if things get too cluttered, I just give the extra comics to my other nephews and niece or donate them to the thrift store.

      I’m not sure if any of this was meaningful, but I thought I’d just throw it out there…

      • Morlock50 says:

        Ed and Tiger,

        Thank you both for sharing your experiences with this issue. I needed to see what other fans were doing about this, and you guys were very helpful.

    • Insideman says:

      On another note, Morlock… I finally got to watch the entire episode of Collection Intervention.

      And I HATED it.

      First, the Star Wars lady was obviously somewhat of a goner… Which is fine by me. But when the host starts plying her psychological tricks and platitudes (all, I assume, while not having a license or the education to do so)– I have to draw the line.

      I also detested that the first thing the host did was bring in a DEALER to look at the Star Wars collection. Then goes to ANOTHER DEALER for the Catwoman collector and his Bionic Woman/Mego stuff. When the shop owner agreed to $1,100 for the lot, I turned to my GF and said, “The dealer went for the extra $100 bucks the guy asked for because he’s probably going to sell the rare Mego Hulk 12 inch for $1,100 alone.”

      The Catwoman guy was just sad. This is exactly what I was referring to. The wife had no interest in his stuff. It didn’t enhance her life– so he was forced to stick it in the garage. Of course, the host goes off on this, saying that when she sees someone hoarding or hiding stuff from their partner– there’s a BIG problem.

      I turned to my GF and said, “He’s hiding the stuff in the garage because she’s told him she doesn’t like it and doesn’t approve! If she attempted to engage him just a little in a positive way, he wouldn’t be storing everything in the garage.” When the host was in the garage, I saw her TOSS the Adam Hughes Covergirls of the DC Universe Catwoman Statue to the side like it was garbage. Go on eBay and see what some of the Catwoman/DC Direct stuff sells for.

      When I first saw them carting more of his stuff into Hi De Ho comics (in LA), I was going “Uh oh”. I was so glad they were just letting him sell stuff there. But even in that environment, most of the buyers that came in immediately honed in on his rarer, more exclusive stuff.

      Finally, the show ends with each collector only selling a few items. Then the producers put up “notes” stating the Star Wars collector is getting better at selling more items and that the Catwoman collector has sold most of his collection and the couple are almost out of debt. (Cut to a suddenly very clean garage for the Catwoman guy.)

      Course we didn’t see ANY of that– where the people actively overcame their “addictions”… Or even a BEFORE/AFTER shot of the Star Wars collectors’ house. (Bet there’s still PLENTY of Star Wars stuff in there.)

      I hate, hate, hate armchair psychology spouted by non-professionals. I also hate it when I see people who like to collect lots of stuff shown as somehow not normal or “off”. In the Catwoman collector’s case, he looks to have sold almost everything. BAD for him. GOOD for his controlling wife, I guess.

      Finally, why didn’t the host steer both of these collectors to eBay? I’ll answer my own question: Because watching people sit at a computer waiting for bids to roll in, then packing the merch for shipment DOESN’T MAKE GOOD TELEVISION.

      Happily for SyFy, I am going to watch a few more episodes… Even though I found the first utterly disgusting. Good for me too, because I WILL be writing another column about this show again. I can just feel it.

      I’ll be completely fair too. If the first episode was any indication, all I’ll have to do is describe what happens and that’ll be enough to make any geeks want to puke.

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