December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63532
Back a few years ago, OTL was Editorless, so the bosses tapped the dumb Racing Editor for the job when nobody else was willing; maybe that should read “when everybody else was too smart.” In his position, what was a clueless, bereft of direction (there were no blueprints left for OTL, nor did any of the former “staff” stick around), barely literate rider to do but to make a magazine where there was only a black & white, tarnished, and neglected newsletter? He knew naught of the former Editor’s glories, nor the club’s history and politics. So, forth he cluelessly forged, creating his own idea of a BMW moto mag that was entertaining, thought provoking, informative and colorfully illustrated. As the faux wordsmith forged ahead, printing larger images so he could enjoy the various bike details despite his myopia. Perhaps even the rare glimpse of a customized BMW, way more hip in Europe than here in the USA.
There was no power struggle at all; every mother’s son and daughter had flown the coop, got out of Dodge and ran for the safety of blessed anonymity. Not even a blueprint was left behind, although Mr. Boltz did his best to direct the new guy before he, too, disappeared.
And now this mystery Sammy appears out of nowhere with the Holy Grail of clarity after the fact! What a great and wondrous bunch of hooligans and hangmen lurk in the souls of men! As far as I can see, the Editor is doing a pretty damned decent job where before there was, for example, a large photo of a dorm room bunk bed representing the new rally site, and a feature article on a cable lock. Sammy, I don’t know what universe you spin your wheels across, but it’s certain you either have your head in the sand or you’re just another anonymous critic. Your bike was in the Jan/Feb issue! You must live among the cacti… Where do these latter day Merlins come from, 3 years and 8 months worth of OTLs later, with their pontificating and ramblings on about things of which they are clueless?!
Thanks, Sammy Joe, for yet another interesting read from one of the old school OTL intelligentsia. I know the editor too, and he thrives on the hate mail he gets regularly, but mostly from RA members not afraid to give their names. I certainly can see all he’s done for this club via its magazine. OTL is nothing at all like the thing left in the wake of Hellman’s rocket ship to the other side of the Milky Way. And I, for one, approve.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63533
Well it may be a dogfight, but at least some folks have come out of the woodwork to say something. Yeh, I know, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Hope that saying nothing isn’t saying something. :biggrinDecember 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63534
I have been intimately involved with BMW since the early 70’s and have known Will for many years as well. I have been completely blown away with what Editor Will has done to On The Level, the improvement as well as the tech incites, the pictures, the [B]ACCURATE[/B] scuttlebutt and the stunning quality have not gone unnoticed in the industry. Accolades have poured in from all over the Globe. The BMW powers at be have taken notice as well, both in a positive direction as the Industry’s premier Mag of its type and sometime in a negative aspect as well because of Will’s ability to gore and poke holes into BMW’s corporate think.
Will, Job well done, my hats off to you.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63547
Well, to those of you who have taken offense at my comments about OLT. My point of view is my point of view. Nothing more. I would remind each of you that nothing or no one is perfect. Not Robert Hellman nor Bob Higdon or Will Guyan. If my thoughts about the Club have been error, they were/are based on educated guesses, because no one in positions of leadership within the Club ever wrote any editorials, “Open Letters” to the members, or “Guest Articles” explaining any of the goings on behind the scenes or the stitches on the curve ball. Perception is reality.
I don’t live in the past. I ride a ’81 R100RS because it is a bike that I love. I have owned Oilhead and Hex Heads and K-Bikes. My next bike will probablly be a GS. I am just a regular guy who rides when he can and tries to take a long bike trip at least once a year. I don’t live under a rock. I don’t begrudge anyone who rides the lastest thing out from BMW – be it a “R” bike or “K” or “RR”. I don’t have the $$ to buy a new bike every 2-3 years, but I don’t hold any resentment against those that do. I have read OLT religiously since I first joined the RA and still do. I read it from page 1 to the end. I waited a long time to write anything on the Forum or “To the Editor”, because I knew what the reaction by the “Faithful” would be – Instant attack.
I find it interesting that some in our Club seem to have developed an attitude that says critizism will not be allowed and that it is hoped that my post will be published in OLT so I can really get blasted by the good members who will show what a jerk I am. I think my critizism was very mild. The Mag is better. It has “Risen from the Dead”. The art work/photos are 1st rate. And I understand that that did not just happen at the “Push of a Button”. And, I think Will is improving. But, I don’t think we are as good as we can be. I have been challanged to do something besides complain. If I had anything to contribute in an article, I would submit. Unfortunately my skills do not lie in that area. I sweat blood just to type this response. The words do not flow easily. I erase, rewrite, and edit to be sure that what I say, is what I want to say. To those who have go into the “Full on -Attack Mode” – I say, just cool it. We are a broad community. There’s room for everyone and their points of view, even it they don’t match the new norm.
So. Keep on riding, keep the rubber side down, and keep an eye peeled for John Law with his “Special” good driver/rider awards.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63556
[QUOTE=Adam Arcane »] As far as I can see, the Editor is doing a pretty damned decent job where before there was, for example, a large photo of a dorm room bunk bed representing the new rally site, and a feature article on a cable lock. Sammy, I don’t know what universe you spin your wheels across, but it’s certain you either have your head in the sand or you’re just another anonymous critic.
I know the editor too, and he thrives on the hate mail he gets regularly, but mostly from RA members not afraid to give their names. QUOTE]
Aren’t you the editor, “Adam”? Fess up!
As to the issue of censorship, read your own words from the Dec 2009 editorial:
“We will continue to air hard questions, but we will reserve the right to edit rough language and obvious hurtful epithets like were recently hurled in the official BMWRA magazine at BMW NA’s Laurence Kuykendall. If you want to address issues important to us all in a gentlemanly or lady-like fashion, then OTL is your magazine. If you want to engage in name calling, impress us all with your skill in the Roman language that makes former altar boys wince, or castigate our NA friends, or if you now hate BMW’s because you don’t have a dealer close to you or your final drive has failed and you want blood, you may be edited. ”
I think SammyJoe speaks the truth. But what do I know?December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63557
It seems as if forums are as digital as the medium they sit on. They tend to be either a one or a zero. The term “constructive” criticism seems to be totally incomprehensible. Having been in leadership/manager roles most of my life, I have found that it is best to actually listen to people who are not exactly “friendly.” Even among some of the things you are most opposed to there may be something that is useful. Just a thought.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63559
If you want feedback in the mag about the RA, then address the Board of Directors or the Trustees, all of whom have nil to do with the creation of the magazine. I took issue with the concept of a power struggle, Sammy. There was nothing but a black hole where OTL had been. I treated the rag like I do a house remodel – improve it. It would have been nice if there’d been a group or committee behind OTL that could have explained things to the new guy, who happened to be the Racing Editor for what that was worth. The magazine itself was a closely kept cabal of a few old school folks. The new dumb-arse stepped right in, and stepped in a steaming pile. All the editor can do is that which he does, and he likes OTL, now larger and in full color, but yes it can be improved. But not without help.
Write your pleas for explanations and clarification to the “elected” RA people, and we’ll see if they can/will explain the reality of the situation to your satisfaction. For what it’s worth, you write pretty darned well, and get your point across clearly. Now, extrapolate your situation to the “OLT” editor and you’ll see his plight: hundreds of hours per issue, still imperfect, but not genuflecting to BMW and the bottom line is the editor is a pure lifelong motorcyclist, not a politician.
Thanks for your letter.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63849
OTL is the face of the club and folks sign up just so they can get the rag, I think we’re on to soemthing here..
Yesterday I met Ed Perregaux (Phoenix, AZ) who used to be a member years ago. The current issue of OTL convinced ED to join for another three years – he’s wondering how much for a liftime subscription ?December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63376
Totally agree. The change in OTL over the past couple of years is nothing short of incredible! We are extremely fortunate that the magazine’s reins were taken over by someone with a vision, who also has the courage and strength to see that vision thru, not matter the complaints. Hopefully, the magazine’s team will realize that complaints come more often than compliment’s. Not because there are more of them, but simply because no one seems to state how good things are.
This post is an attempt to let you guys and gals know that you are doing one helluva job!December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63640
I am a ten year member of both the MOA and the RA (couldn’t afford a BMW before then!) and I have to compliment Mr. Guyan on his remodeling job of OTL. In fact, the May/June issue is the best OTL I have ever read! Change is hard for many people as they associate change with a loss (of the old comfortable way). Certainly, change only for the sake of change is of no value, but, as Will has pointed out, the only road forward was through change. So, accept it, or move along and find something else you like better than the RA. I for one, am looking forward to the future!
Well done Will!December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #59046
Just got the November OTL theese days (Germany is far away). Reading the Editorial and also the evidence about the rarely feedback. Whoever was resposable for a continuous publication knows, how much work it is, and how much time it needs to do that frequently. All the more to do it in a way, OTL is made.
I´m frequently read several Motorcycle Magazines in Germany and Europe, and I have to say, I´m always be glad, to find the OTL in our postbox. OTL is a Club Magazine, but could easily compare with profassional Magazines as well. Reports are made accurate and with enthusiasm, pictures great, and new quality of paper and colours, simpply perfect. So I´m a bit sad, to get the OTL in 2013 “only” two-monthly but understand that it needs time to do things with love, perfect and with a great commitment to the project OTL. Hope my english is not too bad -want to say – Will – Bill – Katherine – amazing, continue. Thank you, wish other readers agree.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63423
Thanks for the feedback. No doubt Will appreciates it . And Heidelberg is a fabulous place to ride.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63687
Just wanted to comment on the last two issues which were MY first two issues. The pics are FANTASTIC. I gave up reading after college, but love to look at pics. Did I say they are FANTASTIC? Well, they are.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63688
Thanks for the feedback. Will does a great job on the magazine assisted by Katherine who does the layout and whoever else he can get good input from.December 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm #63471
I saw the magazine in my dealer’s showroom. I joined BMWRA about a month ago just to get the magazine. Two questions, online it said 12 issues and then later I saw 6 issues. How many are there and when do the come?
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