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Changing People Opinion's??

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Louise's editorial piece is...

  • Informative

    Votes: 4 20.0%
  • Just some harmless humour

    Votes: 8 40.0%
  • Accurate

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Disgusting

    Votes: 7 35.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
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Hi everyone,

It has come to my attention that one of the largest UK Dive Magazines has been publishing opinions on Freediving that don't seem to be very kind.

Louise Trewavas is a regular columnist for Diver Magazine and editor of Dive Girl which is now part of Diver. She has just published a piece about Yasemin Dalkilic's record attempt here...

Do you think this sort of opinion is widespread in editorial pieces from Scuba publications, and do you think we should speak out against it?

My intial reaction to the piece was mindless drivel, but as I re-read it in a different light I thought it did raise some interesting issues, even if it portrayed Yas in a poor light.

Let's hear some of your thoughts...
 
Last edited:

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
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Not surprised

Stephan,

My 'recreational freediver' status probably taints my view - I might feel much more personally offended if I were a competitor - but I am not surprised by the 'Dive Girl's' article, and I'm not terribly offended.

A record attempt is probably indeed a media circus; it is probably indeed attended by many people who have purely self-serving interests; the circus atmosphere probably does detract somewhat from the athlete's enjoyment of the challenge (although the diver is likely to be so focused as to miss much of what distracted the Dive Girl); and record freediving is probably not much of a spectator sport.

This is not terribly surprising. Many sports are not great spectator sports to the uninitiated. For example, the Tour-de-France is much better on television if you only wish to see the race as competition for the finish line. But the French know the soul of the sport, and so they turn out in droves for an entire month to catch glimpses of the riders as they fly by and enjoy the 'event' that it is. The Dive Girl doesn't know the soul of this sport, so we have to keep in mind that we are reading an article by someone who does not really know her subject. That's fine . . . viewing freediving live might not be of interest to the uninitiated and uninformed.

What bothered me about the Dive Girl's piece were her little digs at the sport and perhaps at the athletes themselves - the insinuation that freedivers were imposters who are in truth dependent upon the technical superiority of safety divers; that freediving involves a lot of show and ritual without much athletic performance; that freedivers may be motivated by the circus atmosphere - although she does suggest that Yasemin might not have aspired to this.

The top level of athletic performance is often far removed from the sport at its basic level, and much moreso when it becomes of media interest. I wonder if the Dive Girl has ever taken off her tanks and spent an afternoon diving a reef in 60 feet of water, a wreck, or scrambling down into a freshwater cavern system as we have here in Florida. Although the Dive Girl gives us her blunt perspective, she carefully avoids telling us how well-informed her perspective really is.

One thought for us . . . some of the Dive Girl's bias may be defensive. We probably do ourselves no favors when we disparage the lack of athleticism of "bubble blowers," etc. We should make sure we do not throw stones at others if we care about their opinions and what they write about us.

And I've heard the "oh, you mean you just snorkel" comments also, but, really, who cares. I've found that most scuba divers are very intrigued and amazed by freedivers, but they can be put off quickly by an arrogant attitude.
 

bam bam

New Member
Sep 22, 2001
99
13
0
For me, being new in this sport, I haven't really had time to look at the competitive side of the sport.

The articale portrays the event in a comically bemused way, in the seriousness of the people conducting it (I understand that it is necessary to concentrate) with all the hype around.

This is all seen through the eyes of a scuba diver (not sure if the writer has freedived!!!) so may miss the importance of all the preparation to adhere to the rules of the govening body acreaditing the record. Though you have to laugh at some of her observations aboard the boat, in regards to the other media people.

As for reling on techies, well I see that only in the case for those who are only after great depth, as for the rest of us, who do it just for the love of it, don't need this kind of surport. Just a couple of good friends :)

Bam Bam
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
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DIVEGIRL is aobut as informative as MAD magazine in terms of real information. Their sole purpose is to make fun of everything diving related. They did a big spoof on the DiR concept a few years ago that was all done in fun. They have also done a previous piece on freediving that basicaly stated we were all closeted homosexuals because we freedive.
You can really take anything they say as true. It's just harmless fun- unless they start talking aobut me personally. :D

Jon
just my $.02
 

Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
118
*Crispin puts flame suit on.....


I thought it was spot on.......why?

1. The more I get involved with freediving the more I become disillusioned with the people who "run" the sport, their attitudes, and their motives, the old scores they may have with other "key players" in the sport, which undermine competitions and records. And the arrogance of some of the people I have met. The person who has influenced my freediving has been Umberto, why? Because he displays the most humility and patience, (and a great love for his sport) with everyone he meets that I have seen in the freediving community. I do not have time for egos or arrogance, and it seems that a lot of people in the freediving world today are so full of themselves, or are trying to get sponsors / fast cash that they forget to be human...

I used to wonder why some of the "old wise men" of the UK spearfish scene didn't do the freedive comps (some are amazing freedivers) - now I know why...

They say don't meet your heroes - the only time I didn't get shot down in flames, and treated like a fool, when doing this in the Freedive world was when I went to train with Umberto, and he has cause to be more aloof than all of the "new school"

2. There are so many people selling the sport out for whatever they can make from it, they don't care how the sport is portrayed or who they lie to - just as long as they make a buck, this only contributes to the "circus"......

3. I do perceive it (freediving) is a circus at the moment, this post may not be politically correct, or particularly positive, but it contains my own personal opinions, and they should not be associated with those of Freediver Magazine or Deeper Blue.


But I (along with many others) still love Freediving......and thats the most important thing.

I am also glad of all the wonderful people I have met thru this sport (lots of them)......
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
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I just reread my thread.
I meant to say that you CAN'T take anything they (DIVE GIRL)say as the truth.
They are just a parody of dive mags in general.
Sorry for any confusion. Lord knows I am confused enough as it is.
Jon
 

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
interpretation

Stephan:

-Not sure about you, but I don't think there's much need to respond to the Dive Chick, given the posts above!
 

Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
118
cjborgert,

I also don't think that theres much need in this case, but I will say that the other stuff written by dive girl (particularly the homo stuff) enraged me somewhat, and if I met the girl I would have some choice words to say to her!!!!!!!

My point is I can (and I think we all can) see where Stephan is coming from, in my opinion / experience the stance of these people is, given the opportunity, they will downtread and ridicule, rather than educate and inform.

For such a widely circulated publication such as dive magazine to be holding (in my opinion) such a bias through it's correspondent is pretty narrow minded (in my opinion), and I would speculate that the monthly editorial meeting regarding any freedive pieces is taken about as seriously as my constant weight world record attempt!

It's just a shame (and fairly sad) (in my opinion) thats all......
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,803
667
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Dive Girl was always a magazine that was tongue in cheek, which was fine for me when it was an independent operation run by Louise.

The issue, as Crispin has said, is that she is now part of Diver - which has a circulation around 40,000 last time I checked and the problem is that she puts her comments in a column published in the heart of that magazine.

By the same token Freediving rarely gets any publicity in the news section of the same magazine.

I have met both Bernard and Nigel Eaton (Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Diver respectively) and have worked with Louise before (in-fact speak to her at both major UK dive shows and am usually invited to any conferences she organises) but the major thing for me is the fact that these leading magazines take such a dim view of a sport they know nothing about.

The thing that makes my so angry is that I am personally not a Freediver, yes I am doing my initial training but i've owned this site way before I seriously started looking at training. Everyone i've spoken to who dives (either bubble-blowing or non-bubble) finds freediving fascinating and wants to know more - if they only find out more from views printed in Diver like the ones illustrated, it puts a horrible view on Freediving.

There is an underlying problem with the performance/competitive part of the sport at present, but laying out the guts of these things to people who know nothing of the sport does not help.

Besides, being a title like "Dive Girl" I would have thought Louise would have been the first to compliment and congratulate Yas on her attempt, but she said it in her own words at the beginning of the article - she didn't get near the girl apart from once...I wonder whether part of the article she wrote was being spiteful because of that.
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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I had a few choice words that I wanted to relay privately to her, but due to my presence here on deeprblue, Both Stephan and I elected not to.

Needless to say, having come from a journalistic background, I was quite bothered and disgusted at the dribble that is printed as an example of good journalistic writing.

I need to go practice deep breathing exercises to cool off - I'm getting quite annoyed again by this issue...
 

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
QUOTE] by Crispin:
"cjborgert,
I also don't think that theres much need in this case, but . . .
My point is I can (and I think we all can) see where Stephan is coming from, . ."

I do appreciate the problem Stephan has brought to our attention, and I apologize for responding before I had a grasp of the full situation.

My original thought was that the Dive Chick (seems like an appropriate name) is NOT WORTH responding to because she seems to be an uninformed outsider to the sport. I'm not easily offended by idiots because I simply don't have time - there are too many to bother with them all.

However, I had not seen the Dive Chick's previous articles. She is apparently more interested in drawing attention to herself than actually entertaining or informing her readers. Perhaps some sort of response is in order.

But, if so, I wonder whether any specific mention of her articles is merited. Perhaps we can communicate most effectively by refusing to dignify cheap journalism with a direct response?
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
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Humour, in it's best form, is a form of communication with a higher motivation: a desire to make someone feel good, if for a minute, and can be done with tolerance and respect.
Sarcasm on the other hand is none of those things. From my experience, it usually emanates from someone who has been oppressed and humiliated enough times in their life that they turn it against others in a futile attempt to improve their own self-esteem.
No matter to the writer that Yasemin devotes large portions of her life to the pursuit of superhuman achievement. There is no considerations for Yasemin's deep love for what she does. Only the poo-pooing of the result.
Critics have a talent; the ability to ignore all aspects of their target's humanity except any flaws that they can see, in the name of some self-serving need. Is it difficult to see flaws in people? Certainly not, thank God. Is it difficult to find qualities? Nope. It's what you choose to focus on that makes the difference.
I try to look at the environmental context of the person and their actions. Yasemin appears to be focused on a deeper understanding of who she is, she wants to experience life at a stronger level, and she has written educational articles about safety and her love for the sea.
The writer on the other hand, has belittled the huge effort of Yasemin and a large group of her friends and supporters.
Who is doing something that makes the lives of themselves and others better, improving their experience of life and pursuing amazing goals?
Who would you like to sit down with, talk to, and introduce to your friends?
In the spirit of tolerance and understanding of the place that this writer comes from, all I feel is pity: pity that she will most likely never experience anything resembling what Yasemin felt when she surfaced to the cheers and tears of those that supported and love her.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
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Interesting

Originally posted by cjborgert
However, I had not seen the Dive Chick's previous articles. She is apparently more interested in drawing attention to herself than actually entertaining or informing her readers. Perhaps some sort of response is in order.

It is interesting that you said this...someone who i've know for years and who owns one of the largest UK diving retailers made a comment to me about a year ago about Louise:

"Despite pretending to be a journalist, she has the amazing ability to promote herself above what she is reporting"

However, when she first started Dive Girl it was genuinely funny, now it is just a means of insulting everyone else.

The problem raised with ignoring her (as you've suggested) is the fact that she is employed by one of the largest UK scuba mags, hence would be seen to represent the editorial view of Freediving by that magazine - which in this case is on the verge of being insulting and mis-representative of the sport of Freediving as a whole (i'm not including the competitive fighting that goes on amongst big names here).
 

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
When is enough, enough

Stephan is exactly right that ignoring the ignorant can be counter-productive if the ignorance goes unrecognized, or worse yet, is taken as the voice of experience and authority. I would defer to your judgement as the rest of you know the politics better than I.

However, I would make sure that the response does not raise her level of importance in the eyes of others or do anything to enhance the visibility of her publication.

Sometimes, $$ speak more loudly than words. Anyone up for cancelling subscriptions?
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
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I agree...

My regard grows with each post of yours, cjb. I read the article and then your initial post and am left thinking, "There!, THAT'S exactly right!!" You absolutely nailed it.

Kudos to you also on your first reply Crispin. You have described my opinions on "diving for numbers" very well, that being that it'll implode as we, the masses, grow jaded at the pomp...

I agree with Stephan that here is an individual of no small ability through her position and MTV-writing manner, (gain attention through making adrenalin from spit), to cast on our admittedly fringe sport. While her's is a method I would usually cough up and pass, her accuracy in describing the event is laudable- she got it right. All such events I've attended have been little more than pitiful examples of the trainer/crew/media leech drawing credibility by association to the diver. That anyone, male or female can prep for and commence a dive with the attendant circus is what amazes me.

She has done her job too, Cliff, that she has elicited the interest and responses here. That you don't recognize her manner of reporting as "good journalism" is your thing, mine too. Point is she got it into print and it's unfortunately an example of the kind of writing that's popular. She reads like a gal that is covering her penis envy with sarcasm and stereotyping. Nice call Erik. Is diving needing a publication aimed at the fairer sex? No, regardless of it's informative or comic intent.

And nice going Yasemin.
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
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My Two Cents

In general I find it useless to argue with scuba divers who have Louise's attitude. I discovered that when I once spent a half-hour arguing with a female PADI dive instructor who argued that despite being filled with fluid, fluid goggles would not work for scuba diving because the PADI manual specifically states that goggles are not suitable for scuba diving. After about twenty minutes of explaining boyle's law to her, she finally understood that the goggles would not need to be equalized, but she still insisted that fluid goggles would physically not work for scuba diving because 'what works for freediving doesn't necessarily work for scuba diving' as she nicely put it.

Regarding Yasemin's record, I can say that record attempts are something that will remain a mystery until you actually experience it yourself. You are surrounded by 40+ people, and each of those 40 people doesn't care if their hearts are beating 150 times per minute, but each of those 40 people is staring at you, and you are also the only one expected to stay calm.

It doesn't surprise me that Yas wasn't smiling, and it has nothing to do with whether she wanted to be there. After you make a dive where you feel like you nearly died, it's hard to smile for about half an hour, until the survival instinct fades away.

I wouldn't reply to dive girl, just leave her be.


Eric Fattah
 

Tom Lightfoot

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2001
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I think one has to keep in mind when reading Scuba Girl's articles is that she is writing from an outsider perspective to freediving. I don't think she's ever suggested otherwise. Given that, I think she's accurately described things as she's seen them.

I remember when her previous article written on freediving floated through the freediver.co.uk web site last year. I thought it was pretty funny but some people were obviously offended. The pattern I've seen is that Scuba Girl tends to poke fun at people who take themselves too seriously, be they Yasemin's entourage or your typical freediver going through a preparation ritual.

You must admit that what we do as freedivers must look pretty odd to the uninitiated: all that deep breathing, stretching, meditation, funny diets... I think we need to develop a sense of humour about what we do. If we can't laugh at ourselves then what can we laugh at? I think if we flame Dive Girl then we're only demonstrating that we do in fact take ourselves too seriously and lack a sense of humour.

Tom Lightfoot
 

Angus

New Member
Apr 2, 2001
190
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Growing pains

I wonder how many people even heard of freediving 5, 10, 15 years. Even with the watershed effects of the movie the Big Blue all those years ago I wasn't calling myself a freediver 10 years ago, let alone using terms like static or dynamic apnea, apneaist, constant ballast, breathing up, longfins, or any of the other neat words and phrases that we are developing to communicate that we are about doing something different and special and totally cool. I like the identity, the lingo, the techniques, and yes - the mystique of what we do. Part of the excitement is due to being part of creating a new sport and new awareness.

There is a growing buzz about freediving just as there was 35 years ago about climbing. Climbing is an old sport as is freediving if you consider that people have done it as far back as there were people around mountains or water. But the freediving of today, just as the climbing of today, is a very different sport than its historical antecedents. With this buzz comes the inevitable problems; the posers, the wanna be, those that are threatenned, the exploiters, and confidence peddlers. Back in the 60s and 70s when I climbed you could absolutely depend on male nonclimbers to make a disparaging remark; even worse if they had a female audience.

Those of you who have gone into the archive threads of Deeper Blue know that I have problems with process of the single person record setting dive and the various self appointed governing bodies who put their stamp of validation on such efforts. I think we need to be open to recognizing that people who are not invested in what we do may have valuable information and valid criticisms for us that we may not like. We to separate those from cheap shot artists, the ignorant, and those who have little of value. We to respond in an open dialogue with those who are attempting to communicate in a genuine and meaningful way.

I am not saying that the article or author whose writing initiated this thread had any of this. I have not even read the article. It is important to me that we don't react to or help foster a schism between freediving and scuba. Instead we need to be proactive in how we support freediving. I think we have enough work in our own membership that we need to work on.

Last night, on television, I noticed that there was a one hour show called Deep Dive. Long ago I learned not get my hopes up when I saw a title like this as it usually referred to submersibles, scuba, or aquatic life. So I was excited when the information said that this was show about freedivers. Unfortunately, Mehgan Heany - (I apologize but for the life of me I cannot remember the rest of her name), purportedly the first American recorder holder of an international freediving record (here is another opportunity for the history buffs to go at it) and two friends produced a horribly pretentious, sanctimonious, and narcissitic contrivance of a putative documentary. Their stated purpose was to swim with tiger sharks - MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE GREAT WHITE SHARK (pointed out again and again again) - to prove that these are just misunderstood animals. They want everyone to respect these animals. There rational is that by swimming with them without cages or scuba gear we would see them in a new and respectful way. This would then lead to us a species to quit hunting them out of fear and hatred.

Nice idea it were not so painfully obvious that this was show devoted to the message that these people were wonderful and we were not. We were then treated to such treats as watching Manny Puig (famous for appearing on the television show Amazing People back in the 1980s because he could swim up to wild alligators and pinch the skin under their chins and push them to the surface) swimming after a black bear in a lake, who was trying its damnedest to get away from him as he patted it on the rump, lots of alligator lifting, and shark riding in which he would grab hold and make the shark frantic in an attempt to get away. Meghan explained that Manny has an affinity for pretators and understands them more than anybody else. To further demonstrate this Manny showed us how a grouper could be tormented enough by him to eventually bite his arm. Who woudl have thought that a cornered predator would bite its tormentor?

My personal favorites were Manny explaining to the marine biologist, whose life work is studying shark attacks on humans in the Hawaiian islands, that, "Tiger sharks are smart." Or when visiting with an old surfer who had been attack by a tiger shark while on a paddle board crossing between two islands that, "The ocean is dangerous." Or when Meghan, in heartfelt tones, stated that she lives in balance with nature as she sat on a luxury sailboat that has more square footage than my house and changed from expensive bathing suit to another in just about every scene. I was moved to tears.

All the while Meghan and her cronies waxed rhapsodic about freediving and its vital role in this endeavor.

This not the image of freediving that I have nor the one that I want the sport to have. I shudder to think of all the sensation seekers who will be motivated by this demonstration to go out and torment these animals. But this is an inevitable part of growth. For me I would like us take a proactive approach with a perspective towards the long view. I have faith in the intelligence of people and trust that most people can tell the difference between what is valid and valuable from what is not. We will have some opportunists and exploiters but they will not last. And we have the ulitimate message, Freediving. The beauty and the majesty of freediving will be the voice that is heard best and longest.
 
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Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
118
I heard about that programme coming out, so I went and saw the web site, just out of curiosity, and guessed what sort of show it was going to be, because we don't get to see it in the UK.....

Thanks Angus for confirming my thoughts (fears)........

:(
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
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sad

It is sad to see/hear that someone writes about freediving in that manner, but anything looks bit funny if it is the first time you see it.. I would like to see a article about a scubadiver who saw a human-like fish go smoothly past him in to the deep blue, seemed to have gills and be part of the true underwater world..
as The Divegirl was not in water..she could not experience the feeling you get from it, although she did mention being in water ad so seeing the performance better...
should something be done to make freediving more expectator friendly? it might make it harder to compete, but perhaps could do more good than harm.. so that even person seeing record attempt first time could understand the sport.. I don't know how it would be done..since -100m is out of reach for almost anyone..if not in a submarine..
The article was a point of wiew not information, and should not be considered as information, sadly it propably will drive some potential freedivers away. Dive girl should do some research before writeing....:head
 
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