Friday, March 30, 2012

She'll probably look happier in Monaco

Well, this is familiar.

Scott said they may revisit.

After the short program, some fans noted that Jessica was landing her salchow. But there's no renewal here -  Jessica is the same Jessica, she's just switched out the short and long. She and Bryce would not infrequently have a lamentable short, then bootstrap themselves back into a respectable showing in the long. Sebastien and Jessica have a reliably okay short, and unravel in the long. Jessica, it must be said, was asking for it by inexplicably reverting to what now looks like a hand-me-down, cut-off version of Tessa's Funny Face costume (it's actually a costume she wore guesting at CSOI with Bryce, spring 2010, and in summer comps prior to this season). I'm not sure that a strapless, fake jewel, red dress says anything about a Philip Glass program, but splatting on your ass three times doesn't either.

There were three generations of Moirs at this competition - at least one sibling and a fleet of cousins and SOs. And Kate Virtue, and, it's claimed, Jordan Virtue (the Virtues, like Tessa, can become invisible at will). So there will be lots and lots of people to rotate in and out of photos with Jessica on the Riveria.

Look at Sebastien's skate blade vis a vis Jessica's skull.
Mother of God.

 Jessica. Training is important.

I never understand what this bullshit is about. At her level, talent
and maintenance training doesn't cut it. You get out what you put in.
She knows what she put in. She's not owed miracles

ETA - here's the credit/link for above. Reposted from wildthings .

*Annie's head stroking act is wearing thin too. Train your pairs Annie, instead of coddling them emotionally while endangering them physically. Bryce is gone.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chasing gold on the silver screen: will Nice be in the documentary? ("Ice, Sweat and Tears")

As noted in a prior post, Virtue Moir are participating in a documentary. This, as with everything they do, is with a team/couple so protective of their privacy they have perpetuated a hoax on the public for more than half a decade.

CBC has a relationship with Skate Canada and P.J. Kwong reports for them, so this documentary isn't going to dig Tessa and Scott deeper into the hole or anything. We can expect nothing but finesse, showing characteristic Skate Canada grasp of the big picture and canny foresight.

I look forward to how, when the day arrives, Tessa and Scott unpack the reasons for such a longstanding deception. The explanation will boil down to they had no choice. Nobody can really understand how unique and special their lives are. And, they'll turn it around. It was the only way Tessa and Scott could function having a competitive career and a private life with the same person. They'll incorporate the movie and book: "We felt guilty about not sharing with the public so we created product to share." (Throwing chum to the sharks who otherwise would have devoured them.) I hope they consult William Thompson for the perfect way to get this across as we'll be sure to hear we should consider it a positive they shared anything with us at all. The lies stuffed down our throat - what would we have preferred? No Tessa and Scott at all?

Tessa and Scott will have a dvd of this documentary. I can picture them sharing it some day with their child.

"Was I alive then "Yep!"

 "Am I in the movie?"


"Am I in the movie?" 

" No."

"How come I'm not in it?"

"We were pretending you didn't exist."

"Do you pretend I don't exist now?"

"                       "

"Look sweetheart - Tante Jessica, Oncle Jonathan and Daddy in France in 2012! In the film business that's an intersticial. See, the movie doesn't identify Tantie J but the audience is left to infer.Oncle Johnny is there as what's called a "visual buffer. In years to come, because the scene is so brief and context is ambivalent, it will just look like daddy with a couple of platonic friends, but for the immediate term, people will believe it's daddy's girlfriend."

"Mommy is daddy's girlfriend!"

"Of course mommy is daddy's girlfriend!"

"Does daddy have two girlfriends?"

"No honey, we had a family meeting about this, remember? Tante Jessica was just pretend!"

"Did you wave hello to me in the kiss'n cry?"

"No baby, you were there! We waved to you right there! We say hello to people at home in the Kiss'n Cry. You were there, right there with us."

"Can I see me on television?"


It's perhaps tasteless/tacky whatever to poke fun at this stuff except that Tessa and Scott have opened the door and put their private life on the table even when they share it "under" the table (such as Ryan Semple's bedroom tweet i.d.'d as being from Canton). I'm supposed to believe Scott's shared his romantic life with his friends and family egging us on to notice the photos, Tessa and Scott have shared what we're to understand is information about their lives at home and the dynamics of their relationship. They're behind all of it from the Temple tweets to Fedor to the various fb venues in which Jessica and Scott have appeared. THEY (Tessa/Scott) are behind all of it. One wonders if either will have the balls to come clean on their own or if they'll leave it to Thompson and the rest of SC to tell fans we should kiss their ass they ever made any effort, and be grateful.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I like you, Horace Ball

Some responses to the Light Show farce* in the ifpress comments section.

Horace Ball: March 12th 2012, 2:05pm
Mayor Fontana can ignore Skate Canada's comments. London has the games and the city will deliver just fine. When the feds get finished with their budget cuts, Skate Canada and the rest of Sport Canada will have bigger things to worry about than a light show in London. And thats a good thing - Ottawa needs serious budget cuts including the overindulged folks at Sport Canada.

Andrew Castenada March 12th 2012, 10:32am
Anyone else noticed that Fontana is less a mayor than a pimp now? He keeps throwing this city out on the corner, trying to 'attract investment', yet when it works, it doesn't seem to do anything to improve the city. I'm in favour of downtown revitalization, but Market Lane and this 'light show' do little to improve the declining quality of life in this city; now we're facing being FORCED to pay for this asinine light show, lest we 'pay the price' reputationally. Read the national headlines on this city, Joe; that damage is already done. Cut your losses and tell Skate Canada you bid beyond our means. If they want to pout over a light show, that's on them.**
Gary J Kenny March 12th 2012, 9:26am
You have to be in Downtown London to view this show. How does that help Tourism unless you put it on YouTube? Better and cheaper to do that first and then project that of the wall of a building. The idea should be to promote London to the world, not to the people who are already here.

London, Ontario, St. Patrick's Day 2012
If London doesn't give William Thompson his light show,
its reputation will suffer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'd pay $600,000 to get a light show between Bill Thompson's ears

I can't even.

I wish I had a better heading and maybe I'll switch it out later but for now, nothing like a guy who sucks at his job, whose organization is a model of financial miscalculation, getting pompous about what an entire city better put out to stay in his good graces. What fucking bubble does he occupy and don't answer that.*

I would post excerpts but it's hard to do while puking. (Okay, got over that and posted one.)

And of course he puts his faith in something asinine. A light show. That is CRITICAL.

Some time back a poster in the comments section told us that London knows what it's doing putting on skating events, and Worlds should be well-managed and very well-attended, unlike most Skate Canada-managed competitions.

Well there goes that because Skate Canada CEO Bill Thompson has elbowed his way into the spotlight. Naturally, Thompson feels like he's qualified to tell London how to do its job. While every potential ticket purchaser now sees the chances of experiencing a well-run competition dimming exponentially.

Why? Because, of all the elements of this event, upon what is Thompson fixating?

The light show. The city-budget busting $600,000 light show that some London officials would like to nix, seeing as how the economy is kind of in a jam at the moment.

Please tell me the light show is going to be configured to show the Skate Canada logo in lights because I figure that's got to be it.

Per Thompson, they better not even think of canceling the light show, the component around which every successful figure skating worlds orbits. The light show was the deciding factor in Skate Canada awarding London the event (not competence? I'm surprised.).**

Screw programs, timely mailing of tickets, an organized competition, a public treated with respect. The fucking LIGHT SHOW is key. Fail to deliver on that, and London's entire reputation as a city will suffer with Skate Canada, says Thompson. Not just with Skate Canada, but with other sports.***

Hear that London?

That is Skate Canada today. Everybody from sponsors to a location that can WHIP ITS ASS in organizational competence to the ticket-buying public is supposed to run around worrying what Skate Canada - the David Brent of organized sports -  thinks of it and an entire city can just choke on higher taxes because Bill Thompson don't give a shit. He's not obligated to bring stuff downtown!

Moe, Larry or Curly?
Except, you know, not funny.
Classic Skate Canadian logic. Some city officials are balking because they want to maintain the tax freeze for its citizens and splashing out $600,000 for a light show could put that in jeopardy. Fuck that, says Thompson, showing a seasoned CEO feel for the marketplace. Increase the tax burden on Londoners if you must, but deliver that fucking light show because Skate Canada will be bringing some stuff downtown and you don't want to know how Skate Canada will feel if it doesn't get $600,000 worth of light show in return. It's the most important part of the entire Worlds! All the message board fans are banking on it!
"I do think the light show would make a very big difference. We are doing some things around the event we are not obligated to do -- bringing things downtown to increase traffic for your businesses -- and this (the light show) would help,"****Thompson said at a brief ceremony on the weekend.
Who could turn down a proposition like Bill's? Pay higher taxes because things will be coming downtown. Skate Canada things. SC - with its Midas touch.

I don't know, feels like a wash. Gimme the tax freeze and I'll suffer without the stuff Skate Canada is gonna bring downtown. Even though I bet tumbleweeds will be just a rolling through downtown London without that light show. London businesses have been telling their creditors to just hold on until Worlds because the light show is gonna set the books to rights. Of course then they'll have to pay higher taxes the following year. You think Bill could send some stuff downtown then, too?

Bill's confidence in his own judgment remains unshakeable despite years of stupendous and costly idiocy. That's a man.

Listen to Bill, London. Take his threats seriously. You don't want to lose face with Skate Canada. Bill knows from civic and corporate economics. Ask BMO, Homesense, Artistry, Nabisco and ask Kozy Shack pudding.

If I were a corporate sponsor, I couldn't wait to get into bed with this guy. He's public relations magic.

I'm out of stuff. There's so much stuff here, it's like I've got keyboard paralysis. Everything's jammed up.
We're getting an ever clearer picture of what the figure skating veterans running Skate Canada believe attracts audiences to figure skating.

1. TMI
5. Debbi Wilkes
11. Logos
12. Reminding Canadians that Skate Canada is Canadian
15. "Masculinity"
19. Light shows
79. Figure skating

**Except, despite what Thompson says in the link, apparently not.

***Bill. "Other sports" think you're a clown.

****Why doesn't he put London officials in touch with the Moscow officials who pulled off a smashing Worlds on minimal notice last year thanks to ITS light show?I'm sure Moscow will point out that without the light show businesses would have taken a hit and the venue would have been half empty.

He don't care.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What did Meryl mean?

“But I think people respect and appreciate Charlie and my relationship, and we would never want to pretend it was something else.”
Meryl Davis.

I was going to belatedly join the comments in two posts below about this quote, but as I originally was going to do a post, I've gone back to that idea even though this quote has already been discussed quite a lot.

Meryl can't be taken at face value. I read that pretty much everywhere.

Some fans see Meryl's comment as a dig at Scott and Tessa, although there's debate at the type of dig.

One side believes the pretense to which Meryl is implicitly alluding is Scott and Tessa encouraging people to think they're a couple. That take on it beats me. I don't think they can be said to be "pretending" they're a couple. They are a couple. Off-ice. Couple. Meryl knows that.

Then there's fans who believe it's a dig at the sham. A subversive dig, to be sure. Meryl asserting that she and Charlie would never want to pretend it's something else (romantic) can be taken as a sly dig at Tessa and Scott who are pretending their relationship is something it's not (platonic). Fair enough, but even without knowing her personally I don't think Meryl would purposefully take public digs at her friends about something like this. While I know skaters are only human - to say the least - and while I can't imagine that Scott and Tessa aren't privately a punch line in many quarters of the skating world however well liked they may be personally and however respected as skaters (they'd have to be saints not to mock the sham at times)  - and as dry as Meryl can be, I don't know about this.

I get a different implication from this quote that I haven't read elsewhere.

It's a statement of respect for their audience and fans. Meryl is asserting confidence in people who are fans of her and Charlie. There's no need to manipulate, Meryl is saying. The respect and appreciation on an appropriate level is already there among fans, for Meryl and Charlie's skating, for their relationship as it is, for Meryl and Charlie as people.*

That's the message I get. If I'm anywhere near close, what a concept. And even though I don't believe Meryl is making a dig, as a contrast to Scott and Tessa's mindset - where the "manipulate" switch is never turned off -  and as an inadvertant comment on Scott and Tessa's manipulations, this quote from Meryl is - again, inadvertantly - scathing.

From Meryl where is the mindset that fans are lesser, stupider - pains in the ass who need to be constantly manipulated, hoaxed, patronized, insulted, set up, scammed, flipped off, lied to, smarmed at, sold a bill of goods and told what to think because if they weren't managed that way Meryl and Charlie's life would be unmanageable. Where's the "tone" about "very dedicated" fans? Where's the cheesey pandering tossed backwards over her shoulder as she runs to hide and lie and set up another scam scenario?

(ETA: and where's the complacent conviction that all of the above is necessary for "business". Shoveling what Tessa and Scott have done under "business" doesn't make one dubious only about Skate Canada, but also Siskinds law firm and Kate Virtue's background in the business world.)

Meryl calmly says that she believes people - fans - respect and appreciate her and Charlie's relationship. Imagine that. All on their own, "people" did that.

Meryl and Charlie are, as public figures and in their public attitudes, one must believe, at least in part a product of their skating federation and their skating fed's attitude towards the public.

The US and Canada are in similar straits, skating wise. The interest isn't there that once was there. The arenas aren't filled for preliminary phases as they may have been in better times. Everything's expensive and the economy in both countries isn't wonderful. And yet the USFSA manages to have a positive relationship with the public, communicating a positive message at events and in their advertising and promotional ventures - a message of appreciation and lack of pretension, a message of accessibility and outreach, and of course, the USFSA has plenty of high end sponsors.

I wonder what makes US fans different from Canadian fans. Canadian fans are the best in the world say Scott and Tessa. Then why must they be lied to constantly, bullshitted, gamed, manipulated and mocked because "that's the nature of our sport" in Canada, but the US fans are spared by their own world champion ice dance team? What do US fans have that Canadian fans don't? Is respect and appreciation not among the necessary qualities for the best fans in the world? You'd think the best fans would possess those attributes.
*A shame that Canadian fans are incapable of showing respect (and all that implies) and appreciation for Scott and Tessa's relationship, and that it was pre-emptively decided Scott and Tessa needed to pretend their relationship was something it's not. When Bill Thompson hired Debbi Wilkes he touted Debbi Wilkes' incredible experience in the skating world - she's a master of all aspects and universally beloved. Debbi has been in Canadian figure skating since Trudeau was prime minister and before. Thompson and Slipchuk also clock decades. That's a lot of exposure to the wonders of Canadian figure skating fans and look at the humility with which these three emerged from their experiences, look at the esteem in which they hold figure skating audiences. It interests me. It interests me too that Barb MacDonald is such a zealous purveyor of the sham, abandoning her (official) position at One Way Ministries for Skate Canada at Sham Central, yet one would think Barb's prior work among the charitable, among the religious, among the ministerial, would have left her with little tolerance for selling lies and hoaxes as a profession. Instead she's eager beaver in all aspects of her duties, especially the association of her name and likeness.

And conversely, I wonder how the US figure skating audience came to be free of yahoos and idiots so that the likes of Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Tanith Belbin and many others could afford the luxury of treating their fans like human beings instead of aiming for the imagined lowest common denominator and then shooting several fathoms lower just for insurance. The US must be free of idiot fans because otherwise we can be sure the USFSA and its star figure skaters would handle things just like Canadians.

Nice to go to Nice

Thanks for the timely share, Dube sibs.

Concurrent with a profile picture switch back to sham in time for Worlds reinforcing that yes indeed, Scott and Jessica are still a couple, Jessica's brother announces he is along for the ride in Nice.* The sham giveth (profile pic) and the sham taketh away - nice as Nice is, the brother is sort of a buzz kill/buffer for a romantic long distance couple. Gosh darn how these things work out. First sibs in the Caribbean, then both sets of parents in romantic Paris, now the brother in Nice.

(It's the south of France - come on. We already know we'll get some hot stuff that will surface from somewhere in the Caribbean this May while Tessa makes it known she's going solo to Capri/Barcelona/Paris but that's getting old hat. Nice is romantic. Let's see Jessica and Scott pose and behave romantically in Nice. Hold hands in public kids. Watch events together. Bring it up in interviews. It's just amazing how never the subject of your SO in the same competition comes up in interviews. Don't hide your love away from the mainstream media anymore.)

Many skaters wait years to bring a relative along to a foreign competition. It's very expensive and figure skating is already a finance-busting sport. Meagan Duhamel spoke of buying a ticket for one of her parents to Russia as a big big first time deal after years of competitions without them. It was clear she viewed the purchase as an accomplishment. Finally - sharing this with a parent. Asher Hill celebrated having a parent at one of HIS competitions overseas - his dad's first time ever in Europe, I think. It's exciting, unusual, for many.

When Jessica went to Paris with her friend Sarah Bisjoil outside the SC/Moir frame, she celebrated very very loudly on her facebook. First class en route (let's guess an upgrade thanks to ff miles). A train from airport to the hotel, not a taxi. The simple pleasures - walking in the park, shopping at Galleries Lafayette, taking photographs, a budget hotel a few grades down from the Novitel (which is not itself what one would call high end). This is how Jessica Dube travels on her own dime.

Not all skaters come from families who are comfortable enough financially to make family attendance at foreign competitions routine. Most skaters don't. Unlike the top three skating teams from Canton, MI, Jessica doesn't come from that type of family either, yet having her family with her occurs more frequently than it does for teammates in similar financial circumstances. The difference for her is Scott and Tessa's resources.

Jessica had both her parents with her in Paris in 2009, both her siblings with her on her romantic training break vacation in the Dominican in 2009 (someone really broke open the wallets Dube-wise in 2009) and now Jonathan and "Jess" conduct a conspicuous public celebration of his going to Nice with her for Worlds.

Jessica, even in a new partnership where she's not raking in the prize money, is taking her brother to the south of France.

Yes, in 2009's Menage a Trois sur La Glace, Jessica broadcast that she and Scott have jobs to do at competitions and so will not be (necessarily) seen in each other's company. Of course in the same video Bryce whinged that it's hard to see her and her "bf" together. As idiocy is the hallmark of this mess, the Menage takeaway wasn't what was intended. Menage's intended agenda was to reinforce that yes, Scott/Jessica were a couple, but nosy fans probably wouldn't see them act lovey dovey at competitions as competitions are all business. But they ARE a couple. You just won't see them act like it. Figure skating is a job, you know.

Because Menage was pure what the fuckery start to finish, fans instead took away the natural impression that Scott and Jessica were a couple of the tackiest bitches ever to lace up figure skates in Canada, a pair of assholes flinging it in Bryce's face for sport (why else would Bryce mention it's hard to see them together? They must be making a spectacle of themselves in front of him constantly.). The subsequent facebook displays only validated that viewpoint, and gave rise to a message board cottage industry of fans claiming to have seen Scott and Jessica kiss (on the lips!!) in front of God, Bryce and fans all over the place from security check-ins at airports to baseball stadiums to figure skating rinks. The more witnesses the better, and better still, the more teammates in front of which to rub Bryce's face in it, the more fun. That's what Menage actually accomplished and it resonates in the fandom today.

I believe Bryce saying "it's hard to see them together" was intended to reinforce that Jessica and Scott would be extra discreet seeing as Bryce had to partner Jessica at these competitions.** Sure, why wouldn't we understand that? That's the first thought that springs to mind when contemplating Scott and Jessica and their love story. Discretion. Taste. Consideration. Thoughtfulness. That's what they're about.

And of course, what long distance couple such as Scott and Jessica would enjoy time without their relatives in a place such as the south of France after a long winter? Maybe for slackers like Gordeeva & Grinkov combining romance with competition is okay, but we're talking dedicated, uber-focused Canadian skaters like VM and especially Jessica Dube. We've been hearing a lot about Jessica's dedication and unusually staunch work ethic from competition commentators this season. She's going to be famous for that in Canadian skating. Hard work and focus. Such a turnaround from Jessica themes in days of yore, when commentators loved to talk about the effect pressure can have on figure skaters, her history struggling with motivation, her caution when mistakes would happen on the ice. She's been transformed. Thematically-speaking.

G&G were a romantic couple at Worlds 1989 and in My Sergei Gordeeva spoke of the incredibly romantic time she and Sergei spent in Paris during that competition, always locked up in their room or walking the streets canoodling, when she and Sergei weren't actually at the competition (which they won). So, romance can be done, off ice, even when one has a job to do. Well, for some people.

Katia rejoiced in not having parents around in such a wonderful location. I'm sure though, she and Sergei would have felt their work/romantic getaway only enhanced if her sister were tagging along supportively.

Why is Jonathan going? Why are they letting us know Jonathan's going? It's the south of France. It's very romantic. One would expect a ton of visible hand holding, strolling and kissing and who cares who sees us. Sightings at restaurants! Watching events together side by side. It's Nice! Afterwards they could even break away to Monaco, say hi to Cousin Heather and refresh the Monaco profile pictures. Monaco is such a significant location for Scott and Jessica.

But bro is along. Jessica needs to spend quality time with the fam. It's so exciting for him, it's thrilling; it wouldn't be fair to be selfish and caught up in each other when there's Jonathan. What are they - immature? Scott and Jessica are generous and selfless like that. They'll put their own desire for quality romantic time aside because bro is there. Maybe they'll scrape together the funds to take him to Monaco.

Scott and Jessica being considerate of Jonathan is the only reason we won't see a lot of pda and romance in Nice. Just so you know.***

With the way this crowd is bent on saving face, Jessica will be in the front row when it's time for family funerals. I wouldn't put it past them.
*Jonathan and Veronique did not fb broadcast their trip to Dominican - in fact Veronique bon voyaged her sister on fb for a trip she herself was joining.

**Don't all skaters who date other skaters commonly end up in a tabloid video feature where they address the camera directly and bellow out their romantic status while their skating partner and "ex"  faces the camera to air dirty laundry, and then the happy ex-couple cavort together for some filler footage? Sure. Doesn't raise the flag of wtf at all. Cady and John - let's go.

***But what if - as with Paris and the Dominican - a big splashy photo and public showing IS planned? Who will babysit Jessica when the cameras are off? That was the sib job in Punta Cana.

There should be a cyber betting pool.

Friday, March 9, 2012

No, I am not blaming Scott and Tessa for this. And I do not know who is responsible for this poster.  I just want to mention how much I prefer receiving free gifts to the sorts of gifts I have to pay for. And how I don't understand that the first 200 people receive this free gift OR until quantities last. You have 200 gifts or you don't. Oh the first 200 receive free gifts - oops, we only had 75 though!

Enjoying Scott and Tessa's lie lowing-ness except for their random shout-outs to the importance of being good citizens in grade school and high school. They remain excellent role models, except for one or seven small things.