While this thread should go back to discussuing Myers - someone please start a new thread based on the John Smith email - I have to jump off topic once more...
jashley - With all due respect, Alain started off post #107 saying "It is also possible that JS is a racist predator." Key word is possible. Then he discusses what racist predators do, and made a pretty good case that yes, it is possible, that JS is a racist predator. Considering the fact that Alain has had to deal with racial issues directed at him in the past, I think he may be just a little bit qualified to identify, or find suspicious, possible incidents now. No further explanation or proof is needed from Alain or Natalie. Being the victim of a racial attack is hopefully something none of us have to deal with. They have had to before. If Alain and Natalie think it is possible that this is yet again another racial attack then perhaps a little bit more support of them may be in order. It's amazing how easy and common it is to always attack the victim.
When Alain first used the phrase "racist predators", I thought, boy, that seems like a stretch, but I guess he knows something more about JS so I'll stay with him at this point and hope to see further "proof".
But when talked turned to "John Smith or racist predators" who are trying to "silence" Alain, this seemed so unlikely to me that I really had to start wondering about the Briot's credibility. Not sure where you reside, but in the U.S. even implying that someone is racist is a serious matter and damn well better have some real proof or support behind it (more on that below).
As to whether someone who has been the victim of a slight (racist or not) is more "qualified" to identify future slights, the obvious counterargument is that it probably makes them more prone to see injustice where none exists, and so they are actually LESS qualified.
In fact, I witnessed just such an incident at a place where I used to work. A black woman (my boss, actually) accused a white man of making a racial comment, HR got involved, and things got nasty. It was eventually shown to her satisfaction that his comment had no racial overtones whatsoever. He suffered because of the accusation, and was clearly the "victim" in this incident, not her. I was close enough to her to know that she had been the victim of real, 1950's era racism in the South, and there's no doubt in my mind that played a major role in her perceiving his comment as racist, when in fact it was not.
Finally, to whomever made the comment (sorry can't find it now) that asking about equipment shows someone isn't serious, that's just not correct. Why does almost every photographer's website have an equipment page, usually which has some text to the effect that "people are always asking what equipment I use, so here it is." So all the people that ask have never bought a photograph? In my own case, I've been thinking seriously about buying a large print from one of my favorite photgraphers, Joseph Holmes, and if I do then of course I'd love to talk to him about every aspect of how he made the image! And knowing that Alain is a fan of JH, too, I'll bet there was a time when he would have liked to do the same thing.