“…If that railroad train was mine…I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line”

I’m happy to report that old school curmudgeon and longtime KeithLUG crony Shannon Young has returned to the fold after an extended absence and he’s got a message for Sean Kenney that will resonate with many of our readers and manages to crystallize my thoughts concerning the current dilapidated state of MOCpages more eloquently than I could ever hope to.  It’s nice to see a fellow traveler with roots in same dirty small town with his own set of baggage like the one I’ve been hauling around since the demise of DA3 and longer.  Of course We’ll both get over it in the fullness of time, but for this particular moment everything about the image you’re about to see feels right.  I’m also happy to report that Shannon has been recently spotted haunting the comment section here on the Manifesto while resolving to make 2019 a more active one.  Welcome back you intolerable bastard.

For our younger readers that might not be familiar with this famous photo, Johnny Cash once played a concert at California’s San Quentin Prison in 1969, and this was how he responded when a photographer suggested they do a “shot for the warden”.  Shannon has chosen the perfect image to serve as his MOCpages tombstone, and send one last message to it’s warden before departing.  We’re long past constructive suggestions, volunteerism and gentle pleas for some small scrap of attention…unfortunately the finger is all we have left.

Screenshot_2019-01-05 The Skunk Works is closed for business MOCpages com.png

Again, for the younger readers or those who are relatively new to the scene this departure from a crumbling site might not hold the same weight or dare I say gravitas that it does for us crusty veterans, but let me assure you that very few builders were more important and influential in the formative, vital years of MOCPages (see the first link in the article for more info).  The reason this image resonates so profoundly for a certain group of builders is that MOCpages used to be a place worth caring about, with a thriving community that launched any number of fresh ideas, contests, games and collaborations that influenced much of what we now perceive as boilerplate.  I wanted to capture this image before it was reported for a TOS violation by a brown-shirted home-schooled zealot or a member of the dreaded FTC (Fire Truck Cabal)…or Nick Pascale.  There are so many possible narcs to choose from, it’s difficult to pick just one.  If Shannon and I seem bitter about the current state of affairs, it shows you how much we once cared about the place and what an important engine of creativity it used to be before Kenney let it diminish without a conversation.  Perhaps the worst thing about Shannon’s departure is all the accompanying text that will disappear along with the models.  He was (is) one of the rare builders who is admired as much for his way with words as his way with bricks and the comment section was can’t-miss reading back in the day because Shannon was not afraid to mix it up with his fellow nerds.  I wish I had an example I could link to, but he’s burned it all down and I can’t say as I blame him.  Since writing is in his blood, I selfishly hope Shannon will deign to grace this ramshackle site with a column or two, the place would be better for it and Flickr really isn’t designed to exploit what he does best.

There is simply no substitute currently available that can provide the same format and features that MOCpages once did.  Sure this posting may appear crude, perhaps offensive or over the top to many of you, but for those of us who were invested in MOCpages it’s the perfect salute to a sinking ship that has all but slipped quietly beneath the wine-dark waves.  As a side-note, although he left without the same fanfare, our own uncle roonTree recently departed the site as well (he is after all a documented master of the Irish Goodbye) and I want to thank him for pointing me towards this image because it deserves to be preserved and I haven’t seen it pop up on Flickr yet.

In the interest of ending this rant on a more positive note, I’ll hopefully tantalize you with a few of Shannon’s greatest hits, which are available on Flickr, having him back in the game is a great way to start the new year.

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And finally, I’ll leave you with a tune from that same concert where the infamous photo was taken.  Welcome back Shannon, it didn’t seem right having to rely on just the Australian Shannon, and at least some modicum of balance has been restored to the universe.  Long Live Shanonia!

16 thoughts on ““…If that railroad train was mine…I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line”

    1. The comedy stylings of Ronl, everybody! You know we need another featured artist for the Sunday Comics series, and you could be just the man for it, constant reader.

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  1. Oh Shannon, my Shannon. I saw the pic and still cannot stop clapping. The saddest part is that it really encapsulates the sentiment so perfectly that I also feel/felt. It truly is a failing of the captain there and shows exactly what neglect can do. Perhaps it is a rather pungent and telling account of what can be seen as a test run apocalypse without Max to help. The ones that can affect change don’t bother and those that realize the restraints are easy to dance around feed on the meek. Society on a plate. And it’s not all that impressive. So those that can, survive by escaping. Our train will go further down the line.

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  2. That’s certainly one way to convey a farewell, and it really is a shame to see how far the Pages have fallen, if builders like Shannon are packing up and leaving like this. I won’t hark on too much about the dilapidated state of the mostly-sunken website, but I did enjoy reading the article, and I also hope that Shannon decides to drop a few articles here. Would love to give them a read!

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    1. Well said Wolff, I’ve actually had the opportunity to read some of Shannon’s fiction too and it’s pretty good, I’ve always thought the hobby would make for fertile ground for a short story or perhaps something longer. It’s interesting how much overlap there is between creative writing and lego, there are a lot of aspiring authors among us.

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  3. Has it been mentioned here before how easy it is to hack people’s accounts on MOCPages now? MCLegoboy kept going back and forth with some anonymous troublemaker before making his final post. Oh and rumor has it someone got into Sean’s account, and I’m kind of hoping something entertainingly vengeful will come of that.

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    1. If a tree falls in the forest…

      Only entertainment there would be if the entire site gets deleted. Then the wrath of the homeschooled and the FTC would be an enjoyable sight to behold, sort of like when a nest of black widows hatches and they eat their mother.

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    2. It’s apparently quite easy to hack both accounts and groups. It was very obvious that the private DA3 group had been hacked and we enlisted Pico who tested the security and was able to access the group with no problem. The only thing that keeps the hacking from getting out of hand is that the site is so dead that it’s not even worth the time and effort of trolls. If that’s true that somebody was able to gain access to Sean’s account that’s a beautiful thing and also just one more piece of evidence that he doesn’t care enough to ever fix the place. Too bad they didn’t do something more creative with their crime, but fingers crossed that something good or at least interesting comes of it.

      As an aside, I always thought MCLegoboy was pronounced like he was Scottish, rather than an emcee. At least in that case the hacking was relatively benign and no photos were lost. I’m shocked the guy stayed on board afterwards though. That would have been enough for me.

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  4. Feels like Syria… Everyone running to other places because they can not change their home. And so their culture gets diluted and dies.

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    1. What an unexpected analogy…,MOCpages is the Syria of the Lego hobby, By extension, that would cast Sean Kenney in the role of Bashar al-Assad, but really he’s more of a Calvin Coolidge or maybe Nero. It’s always good to see your name pop up in the comments, Big D.

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  5. Just came out the other side of 72 hours without power due to a freak windstorm here in the Puget Sound area – the best part of which is, since I live in the boondocks and have a well instead of city pipes, when the electricity goes, so does the running water. I guess I’m getting a little practice for the apocalypse in. (The apocalypse smells like B.O. after a few days, in case you were wondering.)

    My main entertainment has been reading Jonathan Franzen’s “The Corrections” by the light of two oil lamps – it’s supposed to be one of the Great Books of this young century, it’s been in my unread pile too long, and there’s not a whole hell of a lot else to do when it’s dark by five o’clock. Too dim to comfortably play Legos. After 50 or 60 pages I was mostly annoyed but stuck with it another 60 or 70 pages and am warming to it. The style is a wordy pretentiousness of the type I probably would have admired and aspired to twenty or even ten years ago, but now nearly halfway through my forties I seem to have lost all patience with. There are moments of humor that I can’t help but feel would resonate more if the writing were not so dense. (He said, embarking upon a pretentious, wordy blog comment…) Anyway, I’m barely a quarter of the way in. Ultimate verdict still out.

    Keith, you can only blather on about Lego for so long. If this blog is to ultimately survive, you need to branch out. A weekly column of my halfbaked literary criticism would be just the thing.

    I actually did have a zany scheme to announce my intended resurrection by dropping an unsolicited article in your inbox – “Put that in your blog and smoke it!” But I came to the realization that I just don’t have anything to say unless it’s about the dissolution of MOCpages, and that poor horse is pretty well putrefied by now, isn’t it? I’d just be playing xylophone on its ribcage. I suppose I could bang something out if you all assured me there’s a demand for such a thing, but… we’re all just saying the same thing in different words: Sean Kenney, for reasons baffling to me, has gone out of his way to poison a well of community goodwill that at one time I would have said was nearly bottomless.

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    1. Congrats on your return to civilized living Shannon, it sounds like you had an interesting 3 day stretch. I always thought the apocalypse smelled like canned cat food, but maybe there are regional differences. As for the Fanzen novel, it lost me at the description on Wikipedia: “It revolves around the troubles of a repressed elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid-20th century to “one last Christmas” together near the turn of the millennium.” That’s guaranteed to put me to sleep, I think I’ll stick with my lurid pulp trash that has no redeeming literary value. I’m a rube in many ways.

      As for a weekly column of “halfbaked literary criticism”….I’ll try anything once. Seriously man, any topic, any time. I can assure you there is no “demand”, the audience is tiny, but the Manifesto supplies it anyway. We are the Orphans of the Lego blogosphere:

      See what you get!

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