Public is public - the fact that someone dances for the public makes them critque-able. Remember, people AWANT to be seen... otherwise, they'd never get into the rhinestoned dress...
Dancefever, also, the very fact that someone chooses to post on this public internet forum means that they accept the fact that their opinions and persona will be challenged and discussed - that's why they are here. If they wanted privacy, they simply would have not posted.
Public figures pay publicists thousands of dollars to get their clien'ts names out before the public in good and bad contexts - have you never heard the saying 'there is no such thing as bad publicity'? Hey, this is their 15 minutes of fame...
I think you're right, it is either all or nothing. The US Supreme Court has stated public figures are subject not only to scrutiny but can be made fun of. Larry Flint and Jerry Falwell had our supreme court justices determine that free speech is free speech even if it is considered pornographic or in bad taste. The court cannot legislate taste, so Larry Flint went on his merry way.
I am simply stating that it is only in good taste that we refrain from critiqing individuals and give them the same consideration as pros getting a new partner. Innocent speculation is not allowed so why is this OK? No one seems to see the double standard. In public, it is considerate and in good taste that we praise student's accomplishments and draw attention to good points lest we become no different from the pot-bellied, beer drinking covered in pork rind crumbs watching and screaming at the TV when the favorite football team's coach or quarterback just made a lousy decision that lost the game.
If we are going to invoke standards, let's be fair to everyone. There is nothing wrong with armchair quarterbacking, it even made a great commercial for Peyton Manning going around telling ordinary people how to do things better. Gossip columns are not bad, every paper has them and an actual job title is Gossip Columnist and I even heard the phrase "Leading Gossip Journalists".
Maybe there is a part of me that thinks if we close off any medium of free speech, the growth of Dancesport will suffer, but if we truly discuss issues and events rather than people, maybe we will be forced to think about what we say rather than just give our opinion.
The quote wasn't completed earlier, "Opinions are like (body part, let's say nose), everybody has one and they all smell". (if you use another body part, you can change "smell" to "stink".)
"In the 60's we had freedom, baby, yeah! But now we have freedom and responsiblity, it's a very groovy thing." (Austin Powers)
this is my final post on this matter (famous last words.)
1. your opinion jives with neither DF policy nor popular sentiment, so perhaps it's time to accept that it is unlikely to move beyond your personal opinion. but don't misunderstand me - that doesn't make it less. it just makes it exclusively yours, like a precious jewel you give yourself. like.. a right-hand diamond ring! yes! exactly. (cue music: WOMEN OF THE WORLD, raise your right hand!)
2. how you manage your relationship to discussion that bothers you is of course a personal matter, but you have the choice not to participate in or read threads containing content with which you disagree. since effecting a sea change in attitude amongst your fellow DF'ers here is unlikely, and since beating a dead horse only you can see is kinda annoying, it may be time for you to look inside and strategize rather than proselytize.