Monday, June 29, 2009

The Op-Ed: Fair vs Ferocious

Three cheers for Jenny Kirk for standing up for all the skaters out there! Guess what, they are people too!

One of the main reasons I began this blog (in!) was because I hated the divisiveness I found on so many web boards and forums. I wanted a place where I could voice my opinion in a fair, honest, and open way without being bombarded with crude, nasty comments. You'll find no link on my blog to all the web boards that exist out there...that's by design.

Jenny Kirk writes a blog at True/Slant and her current topic discusses the content found on the message boards about the skaters. She puts you in the seat of the skater and asks that you look at it from their point of view. Can you believe on a particular web board, Jenny Kirk was said to look like a "starving Auschwitz survivor." Did someone really write that? Jenny, should you stumble across this, I think you are a lovely skater and are just wonderful!

There is a fine line between being critical of skater and being down right out-of-place. We all watch skaters and like or dislike a performance, or choreography. We may think that a skater makes a poor music choice (just recently I've mentioned my dislike of Mirai Nagasu's music choice for this season) or we might just think they have been of the rails recently. This is okay, but attacking someone personally, or going after their character, or just being downright mean is uncalled for.

I'm proud that the figure skating community I support is not the 'unfriendly' one Kirk writes about. The links on this blog won't take you anywhere that would speak of a skater in such a way. If there are any skaters out there reading this, welcome to Online Figure Skating Fans Version 2.0...some of us are trying to change the mold!


Katrina said...

THANK YOU!! I agree you 100%. I know I can be critical but critical and cruel are two different things. It's the same in the gymnastics world.

Thank you for writing this and its the same reason I started my blog (though I've been slacking ;))

I just adore your blog.

Kate said...

That's such a good point - I have links to forums like that on my site which I look at for news but never post in, as some of the comments are just unnecessarily horrible. Blogging is WAY classier!

Laura said...

I think the anonymity of the Internet allows people to say things they would never say in everyday life! I think criticism is healthy and expected but downright nastiness doesn't really bolster an argument for me. At least the judges (probably) aren't reading them! I do have to say, those boards can be very handy when looking for figure skating news (as Kate mentioned).