Thursday, April 30, 2015

I no longer have the flu, but like almost everybody I know, I've persisted with a kind of half-assed, coldish, allergyesque, malaise-y kind of feeling, despite experiencing some really really really really nice weather, and an overall general delightedness that spring has sprung. I wonder what's causing it:

When I know it’s (way past) time to crawl into the web
and find out what Scott and Tessa are up to.
Every time I trek back into the figure-skating regions of the internet, I wonder if maybe something like this went down while I was away:

While occupied elsewhere I could easily miss it, given how much real news is happening these days (Bruce Jenner!). But it always turns out not to worry, it's still Groundhog Day in Scott and Tessa Territory. Both on track to pass their thirtieth birthdays still lying their asses off with the avid participation (actual help isn’t really required) of the many eager beavers in Canada's media demi-cartel. I bet Virtue Moir didn’t anticipate, back in 2008, that it would become the norm for the mainstream North American media to peddle bullshit it knows flatout is bullshit, and doesn't care. We're not talking see no evil, hear no evil. Not failure to verify. Straight up. Tessa and Scott's mid-00s hoaxing antics matured in time to intersect seamlessly with the current Zeitgeist, which is essentially all bullshit, all the time.

Tessa used to want to be different, Tessa and Scott used to say they wanted to do their own thing, but in this regard they’re just lemmings.

Scott, never change:

“Now that that pressure is gone, we can both
focus on our LOVE … for skating and how much
love to skate ... TOGETHER”
Actually, he could change a little. I wonder if he still gets a kick out of himself still using the same material from 2009.

I of course read this:


More fun clippings for mommy and daddy's scrapbook. Kirk Penton has the byline.

The rest of Team Jones discusses how they’re dealing with the heightened public attention the curling team has done nothing but energetically cultivate since they stepped off the podium. It's how you do. Bust a hernia jockeying for the spotlight, then smile gamely and interview: "Oh my gracious - attention! Let us demonstrate what good sports we are about it!" 

I don’t think you even have to be really having any kind of authentic celebrity experience, because we all know that if your publicist tells a "journalist" you're getting attention, the media will say you are without having the first clue if you are or aren’t. What is the media going to do – verify? They’re too busy using celebrities to create celebrity for themselves.


I was really interested to read in Vanity Fair that NBC's news division was run by a woman who came up the Peggy Olson way (began as a secretary), accumulating an extensive management background but with a complete gap where news experience would belong. She has plentiful soap opera background, and for that matter, why does one actually need a news background, when the way you manage a news division is to commission a bunch of focus groups to find out what they think of the on-air personalities. Then you do what you want, because focus group research only exists to back-up something you’ve already decided upon. The article describes how communication among the different honchos up and down NBC's hierarchy was less than clear cut and aboveboard, and how Brian Williams did what he wanted and reported how he wanted because he was a network celebrity. His supervisors at NBC - once they remembered that's what they were - didn't really care that he'd lied. Turns out Williams' career-stalling blunder was crafting his weirdo apology himself, and delivering it on air without alerting anyone in advance. No no. You're supposed to hole up in your apartment with NBC's crack marketing wizards, shades drawn, for three days until you produce something that makes the lies slide by like butter. Williams went rogue when it mattered most.* Sheesh. Don't ad lib your own explanation for why you lied your face off, fool! Let the pros write it, that's why we pay them.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Apologies for whatever happened with the photo upload last night. My browser at times shows issues when there are none, so I assumed that was it when the images didn't show for me.

Iliushechina/Moscovitch death spiral
I take it back - I don't think IM's placement really merits sarcasm, considering the death spiral was just gone. They frustrate me. To my surprise, Iliushechkina well and truly has her jumps, both of them, but it's like whack-a-mole. They nail one problem and then there's a weird outcrop somewhere else. I think I'm afraid it's a focus issue.


I thought Savchenko Szalkowy stalked their quad. Duhamel Radford frustrate me too. The calibre of Meagan's skating was well below that of Eric's at Worlds; but as their coach pretty much said, once you start getting pcs, you keep getting pcs. Every discipline in figure skating is turning into a nightmare.

And there's this:

There ya go, Angelika Krylova. You garbaged Virtue and Moir for nothing.

The fifth place Shibs weren't asked to skate in the gala, but I'm sort of curious if next season they start getting better scores while Weaver & Poje are thrown under the bus. I won't cry if that happens, and I sort of wonder if it might. They won't be able to touch Chock & Bates of course.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some weeks back, U.S. network news anchor Brian Williams, father of spectacularly charismatic superstar Allison Williams, was put on “suspension” for making up stuff about his adventures in the field. Social media made a whole lot more fun of the vainglorious nature of his fabrications than they did of the fact that he was a news anchor making shit up.

Brian Williams is the latest “news” person to show us that news people are in the business of making brands/celebrities of themselves, nothing else. After his mis-remembrances flared into controversy, other media notables waded into the fray, some to make the points that “He’s a nice guy” and “everybody lies, so what’s the big deal.” We're supposed to suck it up, come on, remember that.

Back in the 1930s, William Randolph Hearst was quoted as observing: “The public is even more fond of entertainment than it is of information.”

Well, duh. I don't know if that's actually true, but it's certainly an evergreen rationale.

I snoozed through the 4CCs.  Not even this:

perked me up. How much fun can it be when even KMT know she's fucked up? Look at her face. She can't even be bothered to be apprehensive.

I enjoyed this:

But I still feel uncomfortable when a good team is awarded appropriately, just as I feel uncomfortable when a sucky, or placeholder, or pedestrian team gets decent scores. It's just difficult. When a decent team gets decent scores,one wonders how Virtue Moir ended up wearing silver medals at the Sochi Olympics, if actual skating merits strong scores. Just as it's difficult when a polished, but bad skating, team, receives top marks in a competition. It's pretty much no win.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Skate Talk

I’ve had the flu, which has caused a delay in following up the previous post. Even now I'm sort of dragging myself across the keyboard, but if I don't force myself to get going, I'll end up malingering straight through the Canadian Championships.

Once my eyes stopped glazing over every time I looked at the computer screen, I tried to start in on the next post, which became this post, a post I’d intended to be about Meryl Davis, or more precisely, to be about how people inside the sport talk about Meryl Davis when they, like Angelika Krylova, are interviewed. I'm stuck now thinking about how people talk about and analyze skating, skaters, competitions, and wondering how fans are supposed to look at and analyze skating and competitions in what is, IMO, a newly flagrantly oppressive system (even for figure skating, it's still newly oppressive in ways it hasn't been before), that has demonstrated itself in fine form so far this season. I think a Rubicon has been crossed.

The only one who is sort of talking about it is Richard Gauthier, Duhamel and Radford's coach, and I don't even know if he knows he's talking about it. I'll elaborate later.

I’d been stuck on that Angelika Krylova interview, the one where she claimed Virtue Moir, specifically, Tessa, got fat and lazy after Worlds 2012, while Meryl Davis, a woman with no discernible ice dance or figure skating ability, Angelika Krylova reminded us, willed herself to the top. This is Krylova’s framework for Meryl, not mine.

As always happens, Tessa immediately became the topic of debate and discussion on skating forums, while, despite Krylova’s praise, nobody really wanted to touch Meryl except when her supporters affirmed once more how they admired the ability of a woman with no talent whatsoever to persevere until she had an Olympic gold medal at home. It’s much easier to talk about fat versus muscle development, weight distribution, Scott’s knees and Virtue and Moir’s arrogance, and, of course and eternally MUSIC SELECTION AND STYLE (which is all that matters in a program) then to really get into the specifics about how a woman like Meryl, with, we must be reminded, no talent or skill, got a gold medal at the Olympics. People say they admire that she did it, and kind of leave it at that.

It's difficult to think of any other figure skater where THE key narrative element to their success arc begins by reminding us  - emphasizing -  their utter lack of talent and apparent lack of anything else to bring to the table (and there’s a world of fan insecurity in that “or anything else” because those inside the sport always imply Meryl started with nothing but sheer will). Meryl’s lack of ability appears essential to the storyline. The subtext ends up reading: “What she did was amazing for a woman who can’t skate or dance and hasn't much charisma either!”*

Well, yeah. And that’s where we are, really. That’s the story. If Meryl had been presented as an extremely talented woman, a brilliant figure skater and wonderful dancer who was number two in the world until the even more brilliant and talented number one (Tessa) got fat and lazy,
 and Meryl was able to take over, it doesn’t seem as if anybody in the sport had confidence it would sell, not to the public, not even to her own fans or the credulous media. So the narrative seems to be – “Let me remind you again – this girl had NOTHING going for her, but she kept at it anyway, and then they won! Meantime the spoiled girl who had EVERYTHING got complacent and sat around stuffing her face! Who deserves to win, huh?"

Meryl always does need a little help even with her own story. There has to be a negative Tessa story to help grease the wheels AND Meryl needs to be graded on a curve. It's always compensation when it comes to her.

And that seems to work okay, logical implications be damned. Meryl Davis – she sucked, but didn’t let that stop her!

(I don't know if it's Tessa extraordinary talent or Meryl's lack of it that makes pushing Tessa down a requirement, that if we're not told Carmen proved how lazy and fat Tessa was, we'd never believe even the ferociously willpowered Meryl Davis could ever surpass her. The narrative arc of Meryl's zealous drive to the top doesn't work unless we're simultaneously told Tessa Virtue pigged out and became a sloth. Just amazing. Selling Meryl as a legit champion - this is what it takes.)

These are the storylines we’ve got in this sport, now, Meryl’s story is at the top, and furthermore, and no matter what wonderful skating may randomly display itself, stories are all we've got. The skating part is gone. Meryl's story will always and forever demonstrate overcompensation (a woman who can't do anything has to be flipped and presented as someone who can do everything), and I think we're in for a lot of that all around. It's deadening.

I believe, and believed last year, that with what happened to Virtue and Moir at the Grand Prix Final and in Sochi, there's no going back. It's impossible for the sport to ever return to an athletic/skating skills narrative even when/if at times that narrative might be attractive to the ISU. I do see some period-of-adjustment awkwardness this season as some seasoned skating observers reverse engineer/adjust to the new order, like: "Oh wait, Papadakis and Cizeron are GOOD? How was I supposed to know – all I had to go by was the skating. Why didn't you tell me before I submitted my competition preview!"

Before, the sport was corrupt but I don’t think the corruption was “officially” institutionalized. With Virtue and Moir, that happened. It was an unprecedented step across the line and there’s no going back without official acknowledgement it was done, and that will never ever happen. We'll continue to get dumb fuck agenda’d analysis like Krylova’s*, and I believe what happened to Virtue and Moir has had, and will continue to have, an incredibly oppressive effect on those who participate in skating and those who are fans of figure skating. Bottom line, I think what happened to Virtue and Moir had the effect of making skaters and those few knowledgeable fans who exist KNOW they’re powerless. The one power skaters did have was the belief that if they listened to feedback and looked at the protocol sheet and adjusted their skating in response, they could alter their results. If they now know this is a charade, that the exercise is futile before it’s even undertaken, where does that leave the skaters, where does that leave the public?

*As I said before, my suspicion is this was a desperation, kiss ass ploy, because she's fearful Weaver & Poje are slated to be Cappellini'd and Lanotte'd next season.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

First of two posts. The second post isn’t fully worked out, but I think is going to focus on last month's Angelika Krylova interview, with a particular emphasis on Meryl Davis’ superior talents in the realm of figure skating and ice dance, which Krylova had no problem whatsoever enumerating. I may also remark on Meryl Davis’s implied hot romance with Fedor Andreev, and how this doesn’t do her fans’ near-unquenchable need for validation any favors.

The just-concluded holiday season has been, for the blogger, about two weeks’ worth of holiday celebrations/busyness, and one week procrastination. I didn’t really want to know or think about if Virtue and Moir, a couple of mid/late twentysomethings, apparently retired ice-dancers, continued to feel the need to make a display of self-importance via shamming on social media during Christmas and New Year’s, so I avoided finding out. I also didn’t want to pollute the holidays with second-hand embarrassment, even though anybody following Virtue and Moir should be real comfortable with second-hand embarrassment by now.

Every day she's shoveling all right.
I don’t know what’s going to be sadder – when the latest crop of Virtue Moir fans, in, say, 2029, wonder if these two fortysomethings regret never having gotten it together, sharing fan fic about Tessa and Scott’s wistful conversations about what might have been, or Virtue and Moir still pretending to themselves, enabled by the sycophants who appear to surround every figure skater, that shamming is necessary.

Caveat, for what follows: this isn’t focused on skating women in social media to the exclusion of men. It’s just that in some respects, what I’m talking about next is kind of what a gossip columnist once said about the cast of Friends: as the show went on, the actresses on it got skinner and tanner, their hair got longer and straighter, and the dudes just got fatter and more slovenly. The particulars of Tessa’s social media image manipulations got me thinking along these lines.

When I look around at guys who were competing ten years ago, some of whom are now coaching, a number of them have gotten pretty comfortable wearing relaxed-fit pants and jackets. I look at women who were competing more recently, or are still competing, but have been at it a long time, and some of them, no matter how free-spirited they pretend to be, have become even more image-conscious.

So, speaking of second-hand embarrassment, Jessica Dube is now posing like this:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New canadablue videos from the Grand Prix series below, and here.

I'm throwing in this prediction right at the top: in 2015-2016 Weaver and Poje will be dropped faster than Cappellini and Lanotte. This season's scores and titles were/are checkmarks on ice dance's To Do list, and done.

As ice dance judging continues to be unfair, disgusting, and depressing (the Shibs! That was heartbreaking.), and thus upsetting, I thought this "feet only" video post might benefit from comic relief:

Sinitsina / Katsalapov, Rostelcom Cup (full length)

If you watch the feet-only version, the actual skating doesn't become truly dire until after the lift collapses, whereupon you start worrying he's going to slice her shins to ribbons. Full body also shows Nikita skating with an ass jut that makes Dmitri Soloviev's look clenched.

Now Sinitsina & Katsalapov feet only, where you can watch the skates instead of his ass (in a bad way), his facial expressions, and his wildly swinging arms.

And here is Chock and Bates's brilliant winning skate at Rostelcom, feet only:

The lifts in particular. I don't know what these Chock and Bates lifts got at the GPF but the GOE must have been spectacular. Shpilband, he's like a lift magician.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My puking sounds were real

Per her twitter, Tessa's "Finally watching our W network show."*
Wait til you see the part with your husband's fake girlfriend.
A later post is going to use canadablue's videos, but for the moment:

Left hand stapled to her chest seeing as the left
side of Tessa's torso has been amputed
I think her photoshopping friend is just trolling at this point.

Speaking of puking sounds, guess what got a couple of 10s today in the Grand Prix Final short dance?

10! Let's have another one. 10!
On the video I watched, the fall happened at 3:11 and they just hung around and walked into their final pose at 3:18. Seven seconds of program in the toilet, why even mention the out of synch twizzles, lackluster lift, and lack of ice coverage, and they were immediately placed ahead of this:

It's that fantastic element GOE Chock and Bates deliver.

More later.
*First it was a documentary. Then a reality show. Now just a show. Next it'll be: "Our acting debut!"