Home > Archive >Should We Cheer or Boo?
Author:jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Thu, May 5th, 2005 06:11:03 PM
Topic: Should We Cheer or Boo?

Recently, hali announced danny schaeffer would no longer be editor and would assume a "position" on the management team. Not to poke fun at Schaeffer’s portly profile we wonder if there really is room for him there.

Who runs hali and what is this management team?

These are good questions and frankly RK hasn't a clue but we do know michael, aka little lord, franses, the surviving founder of this advertisement laden glossy magazine (poor ole robert pinner’s, his former partner, passing some months ago left franses with this somewhat dubious title) still probably pulls more string and weight, no pun intended vis-a-vis schaeffer, there than anyone else.

Truly, RK.com is totally disinterested in who really is the behind the scene power broker(s) at hali and mention this only in passing - were we, rest assured, our investigative talents would quickly crack that nut.

No, the reason for this post is to comment on the lack of proven rug knowledge, experience and expertise schaeffer, the editor of the rug world’s only journal hali magazine, has exhibited since franses, and then alan aka me-first markupsome marcuson, held that position.

Both of these men brought considerable and bona fide credentials to the job, and while RK surely doesn't view them as the "gurus" many in rugdom see them as, they surely were miles beyond hamburger danny and his new replacement ben, aka jimmy olsen, evans.

Actually schaeffer's history in the rug world has never been publicly disclosed and, although RK knows where all the bodies almost every name in the rug world has left behind - and schaeffer is no exception - let us say he was a former collector and long time buddy-buddy of marcuson.

In fact marcuson shoe-horned, and that dear readers was some feat, schaeffer into hali's staff where he rose to deputy editor during marcuson's reign as hali's head honcho.

After alan's fall from favor and dismissal schaeffer slid his bulk, another feat we saw as defying all the physical laws of the universe, rather underhandedly into the editor's chair and remained there until recently.

For all intents and purposes, schaeffer was marcuson's student and charge. And while alan was, and often proved to be, a highly qualified and able teacher schaeffer didn’t exactly shine as a student, his tenure as hali's editor proving this over and again.

RK would rate his performance as mediocre at best, a fact that affected the noticeable decline in all aspects of hali's reportage of research, scholarship and events in the world of historic and antique Oriental Rugs.

Sadly for evans, who has kicked around the hali office for some years, schaeffer has played the role as his praeposter and RK can't possibly see how he will be able to do anything other than continue hali's continued mediocre downward spiral.

And forget any thoughts of evan's returning the content and editorial commentary to the laudable levels often achieved under franses and marcuson.

However, there is one almost never mentioned factor that was in play during both their editorships - the stealth presence of Ian Bennett.

Bennett is veritably the unsung hero of hali, for without his keen mind, prestigious rug knowledge, trained pen and salubrious writing style hali would never have reached the academic high points many of the issues he lent his talents to achieved.

From day one, Ian was there for franses and up until about half-way through marcuson's time Bennett produced the brunt of the insight and brilliance hali's reputation rests on. He was the workhorse and on his shoulders both franses and marcuson kept hali afloat scholastically.

His unfortunate personal problems were responsible for and led to his exodus. Both franses and marcuson, as well as every hali reader owes to him a large debt of gratitude.

So whither will evan's take hali?

RK can only opine nowhere special and if we could give evan's one word of advice we would counsel him to run as fast as his short little legs would allow up to Woolley & Wallis's saleroom in Salisbury and beg Bennett to come to London and work with him.

Even if evans has to share his salary with Ian, we are sure he will not only become richer in real rug knowledge and expertise but his management team will look more than kindly on his prescience for doing so. And maybe, just maybe, share the wealth a brilliant mind and talent like Ian's will bring to and raise not only the level of reportage we will see in a rag like hali but also it's flagging subscriber base.

Author: jc
email:
Thu, May 5th, 2005 06:11:03 PM

Yes, Craig you hit the nail on the head. It will be a tough slog and while we, too, wish young ben well, RK's opinion he is under-equipped to handle the mission, and way over his head, has little to do with that wish.

Sometimes people put in leadership roles grow and surprise their constituencies but the editor's job at hali requires a lot more of whoever assumes that position than “possibly” showing promise: Witness the rather undistinguished issues put out while schaeffer was sitting in that chair.

And though we surely recognize sometimes students outshine their teachers, something in evans and schaeffer's case that won't be exactly difficult, by doing so evans will still have a long way to go to return hali's articles and basic mission to one of scholarship, leadership and, most important, to provide impartial and expert coverage of historic and antique carpets and textiles.

This is the major something RK.com seriously doubts is in the cards, no matter to who they might be dealt.

Author: Craig Bale
email:
Thu, May 5th, 2005 12:52:48 PM

Actually, Ian is now working for Netherhampton salerooms, not Woolly's. We wouldn't want young Ben scuttling off to the wrong place now would we?! On behalf of the myself and the other Bath boys, we congratulate Ben on his new position, and wish him all the best for the future, it will be a tough mission. Craig.

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