As serious and disgusting a crime as a DUI is, I still respect people who exercise discipline day in and day out. One lapse, or one lapse every 19 years, doesnít greatly lessen my respect. And as I wrote before, I don't think we have any right to expect dancers to be good role models, but I admire people who recognize that, like it or not, they are role models, and who believe that with privilege comes responsibility, and who embrace that role. We have no right to demand anything from them, but they can demand it of themselves. I donít look down on people who donít take on that responsibility, but I do look up to those who do. No you don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model, but that's beside the point.
Then Peter Martins has at least two one-offs of differing sorts, the first of which was spousal abuse in the early 90s. This is public record, not gossip. I suppose you can call that a 'dumb mistake' and that he 'didn't choose to do it', not really anyway. Spent a few hours in the clink for it too. Another thing we disagree on is the 'opportunity to be a role model'. You don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model.
I'm sorry, but this whole discussion has become rather specious. To say that dancers are so weak and impressionable that when they see an etoile or lesser star smoking they will too, doesn't say much about their strength of character, purpose, or intellect.
I donít think it impugns any of those things, it just says theyíre only human. Intellect doesnít have much to do with it, in my opinion, given that knowing whatís smart and doing whatís smart are two different abilities.
You could argue that, sure. Iím just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that heís not the first person to drink too much on New Yearís Eve.
Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.
Again, that is not at all the spirit of what Iíve been saying. And now I should follow your good example in regards to an earlier point of disagreement, and say that I'll leave it there.
Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.