"I'll admit it is my only interest that either is not tied to my livelyhood or doesn't have armies of statists trying to take from me. As such, it brings me a large degree of relaxation."...and suddenly my enjoyment of this film camera thing made a lot more sense.
Once I actually started getting paychecks for writing, blogging became a lot more of a busman's holiday. The digital SLRs are something I justified as being worth buying for work use; editors like good pictures.
The armies of statists thing? Those two little .25s I purchased at the gun show as collectible historical curiosities are as abhorrent to the Antis as any modern pistol. In my mind, they're hardly even part of the same hobby that includes AR-15s and plastic pistols, and yet I have to expend mental energy and political effort defending their ownership.
But the film cameras? Those are just for fun and nobody's trying to take them away or will look at me askance for owning them. I can parade through Broad Ripple waving around a Leica or Olympus and it's not any kind of political statement. I can tell the waiter at the brewpub that the reason I look happy is because I just got a new camera and not worry about it turning into a philosophical debate.
It's a little refreshing to have a hobby that's just a hobby and that I don't have to defend to anybody.
(Yes, there are some places in rural America that are a lot more gun-friendly than the national average, but outside of some wide spots in the road in Alaska or the intermountain West, if you're the kind of gun nut I am, then you're probably a lot gun nuttier than even the waitstaff at the Stuffed Moose Saloon.)