You know, I promised that I wouldn’t make any more posts like this, but after a conversation I had the other day, I must once again turn to the endless insanity of the internet in search of an answer. So, I just finished making some changes to my T-10 model, and I’ve released it as the T-10M in my Shapeways shop. Here are some pictures:
Now, whenever I release a new model for purchase, I post it to my public profile, usually with a cute message. “Gentlemen, BEHOLD” is a running gag, even though I am well aware that a good number of my customers are female – and no, not just because I sell jewellry, I’ve had female customers buy tanks as well. Why do I bring this up? You may as well ask why I decided to use lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “The Trial” as the title of this post!
See, I have this bizarre wish – I’d like to own a tank. Money is not the problem, really, though I imagine a T-10 goes for a lot more than a T-55, just because of the weight alone. Rarity is another issue entirely, why else would a T-55, in running condition no less, go for $20K, when an M4 Sherman goes for several million? The issue for me is that I don’t have a place to put one. Furthermore, I have a bridge on either end of my road, each with a weight limit of 27 tonnes. To make things even worse, every time I get comfortable enough with another person to mention this strange pipe dream of mine, they look at me as if I just slapped them in the face with a dead ferret.
Look, I have to know, why do people get upset when you tell them that you own, or would like to own, something that isn’t mainstream, particularly a weapon? I know that it’s not a matter of necessity, since there are lots of things that people love to spend money on things that they don’t need! Look, I live in a country that has been criticised from within and without about its gun laws, which are among the most lenient in the world (though not compared to a lot of Eastern European countries, but that’s a topic I will probably never get into on this blog), so why is it that people don’t bat an eye if I tell them that I own several guns, but the little cogs inside their head get jammed when I tell them that I also own swords?
On the subject of the tank, I usually ask “why do you have a two-seat convertible sports car taking up space in your garage when you have a family of four? You want to talk pointless? Let’s talk pointless. What is the point of a 30-round magazine on a hunting rifle? I was always taught ‘one shot, one kill,’ and until last year, that’s how it was, when I needed a second shot to deliver a mercy killing to a mortally-wounded deer. Look, I understand the appeal of semi-automatic rifles, I really do. I’ve used an AK-47 for target practise many times, and it’s fun. However, I never understood the point of a rifle that is supposedly so accurate that you could shoot out the bottom of an empty shell casing at 500 metres without touching the sides. Maybe the rifle really is that good, but unless you can hold yourself still as a statue long enough to take aim, all of your ballistic calculations are correct, and nothing interferes with all this, what is the bloody point? Seriously, if you tell me “it doesn’t have to have a point,” then I can say the exact same thing about my tank. I don’t need a good reason to own a tank, or any reason at all beyond “tanks are cool, and I want one.”
I’m not actually trying to justify my desire to own a tank (preferably a T-10M, but if someone dropped a KV-2 or IS-2 in my lap, I wouldn’t refuse either), I’m trying to figure out why some impractical things are acceptable to own, and others are not. Money obviously isn’t the issue, since tanks, swords, and single-shot rifles (all things I like) are considerably cheaper than convertible sports cars and off-road vehicles (things that are apparently acceptable to wish for). Seriously, is it just because I don’t understand people? Would I even have to ask this question if I still lived in Russia?