Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A lot of people look past the obvious (Consideration from Skate Canada. Expensive travel perks for herself and her family. High-end sp choreography. Extra xmas presents.) and wonder what a self-respecting, independent young woman possibly got out of five years of sham. I don't do much wondering about that myself, but finding out that in addition to its other advantages the sham has helped her check items off a substantial bucket list was a surprise.*

For example, this:

She declares it "done".

Harking back to "Mexico 2010 - our swim with dolphins!" What she actually did was her half of this:
At least it's not a Cartegena situation. Scott paid.
They each showed the same poses, separately, in the "Mexico 2010 - Our Swim with Dolphins!" fb album.

Dolphin swims in Mexico are comme ca:

Dolphin "swim"

You don't precisely swim. A boat chugs you across a stretch of water to a dolphin "attraction" where the exhibit has been constructed by dredging and walling off some ocean - as well as pouring cement - to create a large enclosure, and you hire yourself one of the captive, trained dolphin prostitutes. To wit: "x" amount purchases a dolphin tow (you're hanging onto Flipper who does the actual swimming), "x" bucks for hand-to-flipper contact, there's a price point if you want petting included, and onwards to the kiss on the cheek and, if desired, the lips. IOW, pay up and the dolphin pretends to like you. The more "behaviors', from the behavior menu, the more expensive. These are kidnapped slave type dolphins (Damn Mother Nature for making it seem they're always smiling.).

These swims are called "programs" or "experiences" . You wear a life vest in water you can stand up in.

The photos are not Dominican photo shoot rates. It's $25.00 per. That explains why we didn't get "red-eye with dolphins!" "Scratch my head with dolphins!" "Avoid eye contact with dolphins!" "Soil my shirt front with dolphins!" and "Get drunk with dolphins!"**

This has also been knocked off the bucket list:

Well there you go. Her sham benefits have included knocking some high end items off her bucket list before she's even twenty-five, and all free. She could be retro-fitting her bucket list to add stuff she's already done but I do find a difference between the "pinterest" "Swim with dolphins" visual and the actual "here's your plastic bracelet and life jacket, over there for your dolphin tow, dolphin-clap, dolphin handshake, dolphin make-out photo opportunity" she experienced. I wonder if there's a way to translate the rest of Jess Dube pinterest bucket list per the dolphin example. I bet there is.

Moving along, I have been considering switching out the "Follow Jessica and Scott" slide show that lives below the front page of the blog and rotating it with a new one paying tribute to Bryce's traumatic journey per story and legend on figure skating message boards. The number of times the poor guy was humiliated when his ex-love and former bff mugged down in public right in front of his face, teammates, and interneting fans is almost too much for a sympathizer like myself to bear and that's before Jessica's facebook took to whacking him in the teeth with it by inviting new strangers in to watch as fast as she could click 'accept'. Then we have to factor in how Jessica, per message boards, played with both guys' heads (yes, that's what they said) and bounced between them at whim like a high school girl (that's how the message boards put it. You know, like high school girls do.). Boy, she must be very exciting. And I guess figure skating at an elite level stunts social growth. If only there were more girls in figure skating, Jessica couldn't have toyed with Bryce and Scott for so long. Or if only most of the few female figure skaters weren't nearly all virgins. But alas, it's a male sport, and the girls that participate are pure, so Jessica was able to bounce between both dudes and they couldn't do a damn thing to resist her. I'm going to illustrate Bryce's experience in a slide show, as I feel he's been neglected here.

To do this (it's not even close to being under way) - those Scott/Jessica facebook kisses are going to have to be repurposed to a fare thee well and back, and that layers feature is going to get a workout. When I get down to business, I find other challenges:
This is an isolate of one of two published auxiliary Jessica-Scott dance floor smooches from their night early evening of Dominican debauchery.

It's almost like she's considering cutting a bitch. Is that side-eye, or is she gonna give stiff-necked Scott the full Fusar-Poli if he doesn't tout de suite with some Scope?

*I love pinterest (well, not really, it's an embarrassing and almost too-easily snarked-on place to visit, although it's definitely useful as a virtual organizer/bulletin board for specific projects. Everybody loves pretty food, pretty clothes, pretty hair, dramatic and romantic travel, inspirational self-helpy quotes about the conventional milestones of life, flattering photographic lighting and, on pinterest, crafts. But, research is research.)

**It's a horrible life for dolphins 

For anyone who finds the Scott and Jessica experience like it would be fun to try (the dolphin experience), the above link lays out why, in a non-PETA way, dolphin swim parks are a pretty cruel way to treat dolphins, particularly the attractions that make the dolphins run through a rote behavior menu many times a day for whomever has the money.  And that's not even addressing that many are hunted in the wild and brought to concrete enclosures to live, all because we love them so much and they're so adorable. There's a gazillion articles such as the one above; awareness has been mainstreamed, although not everybody has heard. Still, when dolphin parks are mocked in popular novels by Carl Hiaison and Elmore Leonard, it's as middle-of-the-road, tree-hug category, as one can get.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

They could learn from Tessa and Scott

While participating in the network broadcast for Vancouver 2010, Sale and Pelletier kept up their profile as happily married Canadian sweethearts.

That June came this announcement:
"We've had an incredible partnership for the past 12 years and we look forward to that mutual respect and commitment continuing both on the ice and as we parent our son," Sale said in a statement.
"While [divorce] is always a difficult decision, we still share two of the most important parts of our lives in common, and for that reason we wanted it to be amicable and by mutual agreement."
This release cued the in-the-know on figure skating message boards to re-affirm that Tessa Virtue and David Pelletier were doing it. Virtue/Pelletier had been spotted in the same confirming circumstances fans always "spot" rumored skating duos: to wit: in the vicinity of a major competition holding hands, gazing at each other, and kissing.*
(I must circle back and see if a poster who, with amazing quickness, managed to acquire the inside scoop on Igor's dismissal from Canton** was among the fortunate who "spotted" David/Tessa and/or other rumored skating couples. The same posters always get lucky in the same way on repeated occasions- or they always have a friend or friends who are both fortunately placed and blessed with wonderful timing.)

As promised, Sale & Pelletier carried on with their skating partnership; David tweeting his appreciation when Sale chipped in on Battle of the Blades (and David and his partner won).

And today Jamie makes this announcement:

Never mind that for a second I thought she and David
 had both married Craig.That WOULD be magical.

That's how you do it. Omit the part about your dating life. Skip explaining why you waited almost two years before mentioning you were separated. With the Olympic obligation out of the way, report a divorce is decided upon, carry on as usual with no further comment, until you announce wedding bells to someone else on the actual day you actually married him.

Throughout David and Jamie continued to be accessible in the media and on twitter; they referenced each other in the warmest tones, undaunted by the fact that they had not shared why they had divorced, nor let us know who they were currently dating.

In keeping with fan convention, no fan got lucky and reported seeing Sale/Simpson schmoopying their way across Paris or Vancouver, and that's because that duo, unlike Virtue/Pelletier, actually exists (although I expect some posters to now say they saw them and just neglected to mention it at the time).

(It's just amazing. Tessa Virtue, that attention whore, parades right out there so everybody knows the rumors are true, while that shy and retiring Jamie Sale manages to keep her actual wedding secret until she blindsides everyone on twitter. Thank heavens Jamie had already met her own new best friend, BOTB co-star Craig, prior to Tessa shamelessly stealing Jamie's man. I'm sure he was a comfort.)

So there you have it. Sale and Pelletier presented as your basic married skating sweethearts during Vancouver, then afterwards transitioning into the solid tradition of divorced skating partners who remain the warmest friends.While it was clear in hindsight that they'd actually been separated while broadcasting from Vancouver, their popularity as a team remained more or less what it had been. Go figure.

Consider if they had followed the Tessa and Scott blueprint:
  •  David Pelletier and Jamie Sale marry. What a love story.
  • They get divorced, but don't say anything publicly, so the media has to make like they're still married and as far as fans go, fans think they're still married. Sometimes fans hint one or the other is cheating, but other fans claim recent sightings of them holding hands, gazing at each other and kissing*. Things are just fine.
  • Jamie up and marries Craig Simpson but in interviews and for fan interaction purposes makes like she's still married to David Pelletier, so even though she is now Mrs. Craig Simpson, she and David, the media, and other figure skaters have to pretend she's still married to David. Maybe they'll come clean when they're totally, completely retired, but the longer they can put it off and avoid dealing with it, the better. The kid is little- it doesn't affect their child. And fans get pissed at anyone who insinuates there is ever trouble in paradise between David and Jamie. If Jamie has kids with Craig, she doesn't acknowledge it and the media plays along.
Wouldn't that have been smarter? Beats me why they didn't go in that direction. It's got to be better than having the public actually know who you're actually married to.

(Scott's going to be 25 years old in September. I wonder if he'd ever dreamed he'd be lying about Tessa at age 25 and still pretending to have been in a five-year relationship with Jessica Dube.)

It's so confusing what a whole lot of nothing Sale and Pelletier have said to the public while remaining accessible, outspoken public personalities and performers and while the public knows the gist of everything one might say the public should know. How do they do it? They remain familiar faces and media personalities, like virtual family members, yet I don't know the details of how Jamie's childbirth went so it's difficult to feel like I know her***, and I don't know either when she and David fell out of love and she and Craig in, so how can I relate? .

I wouldn't fuck with these people. They don't want to tell us the inside story of their marriage and divorce, complete with scrapbook photos in book form or albums dedicated to facebook spam - I'm okay with that. They don't want to explain who they're currently dating and how it impacts their continued professional partnership nor do they give us the scoop on future private sector plans? Hey it's their business - they seem to be managing okay! Jamie didn't waste energy - she just announced her new status as soon as the ceremony concluded -  I can do the math. She was probably dating the guy after they were paired on BOTB and, unbeknownst to us, she and David were already separated. I don't need it spoon fed. And despite not spamming us with photos and stories and other details, they still feel entitled to be in the public eye. Why, those .... oh right. That's okay.
*on the lips

**The scoop per this poster: the "kids" (skaters) had no idea. They were shocked! There's a lot of stuff this poster has managed to learn and could share, particularly about Marina, but for now consider one eyebrow raised. There are agendas at work. Stay tuned.*

**I don't want to know her! I don't like her, but that's beside the point!

*I always ALWAYS wonder how this shit is taken with a straight face. Especially as the second another poster has a question, the response is hostile and testy.

Monday, June 18, 2012


A few figure skating message board posters have suggested that, through no fault of its own, Skate Canada is having difficulty financing Worlds 2013, presently scheduled to go off in London, Ontario. Worse, these rumor-mongers have hinted that Skate Canada may actually "give back" Worlds due to the fact that the ISU isn't delivering the professionalism to which a savvy operation  like Skate Canada is accustomed.

I'm here to say I believe these rumors are nonsense. I agree with the poster who had the sense to articulate the obvious:
If the Russians can put together Worlds on one month's notice, I am sure a well-run organization like Skate Canada will be able to adjust for this change with nine months to go. They just had four rounds of qualifying and at least a couple of days of skating and practice time shaved off the event, which should make things easier.
Let's not forget either that the London Worlds will be a showcase for Skate Canada in the eyes of countless potential corporate sponsors. It's Thompson, Wilkes' et al's chance to put Skate Canada's best foot forward. Skate Canada isn't going to punt this Worlds and expose Skate Canada to ridicule, intensifying Kozy Shack's burden as Skate Canada's status sponsor while Skate Canada faces going major title sponsor-less into the Olympic season. Self interest alone argues against it - directors could lose their jobs over that.*

William Thompson  recently gave a heads-up to fans eager to purchase single-event tickets. There will be a delay before these tickets go on sale, and he showed un-Thompson-like restraint delivering the news - only mildly implying that those tools at the ISU are to blame. If London Worlds does get given back, which it will not, better believe it won't be Skate Canada's fault. Any skating federation would be tempted to give back if deprived of ticket sales for the preliminaries. Those preliminaries are a huge earner - the projected revenue stream keys off preliminaries and light shows. Even  the former Soviet Union would have difficulty mounting Worlds if preliminaries were cut short, and it'll be very tough on  them, the States, France, Korea, Japan, China, Italy or Finland if any of these countries find themselves putting on  Worlds 2013 instead of Canada, which they won't.

Besides, Skate Canada has brainstormed some auxiliary revenue generating schemes. For example, its Weaver/Poje - Platonic Pride! product line is in development aiming for a Xmas 2012! launch. Platonic Pride was inspired by Kaitlyn Weaver's hugely successful pay-to-read "inside access" blog for SOI's Love'n Life tour. You should see what the SOI crafts service table looked like after the money from that baby started pouring in. Regular coffee and hazelnut.

Unique items featured only in this exclusive product line:

Limited edition "Certified" "World's Best Breakfast Tacos" prints autographed by Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, inspired by reclaimed eBay item. Only in the new Platonic Pride line from Skate Canada.

They have nothing to hide.
These are no fan-crafted tsoskes. These are authentic, anatomically correct Kaitlyn  Weaver and Andrew Poje dolls.**

The Platonic (mini) Pine Tree, certified cultivated from pine cones from the tree Kaitlyn and Andrew planted platonically to commemorate Xmas 2011.***

Planned brand extensions include Auntie's Annual - an American-sourced commemorative tree ornament. Also in the works is the Platonic Pride Easter line of travel accessories. 
You will be able to travel a la Weaver and Poje'.
Beyond that, Thompson, Barb MacDonald, Debbi Wilkes and Mike Slipchuk are contemplating collaborating on an  e-book with the working title: Platonic Pride - Not Just for Figure Skaters. Thompson has determined that there is aunder-served market out there. There isn't a film, theatre, dance or television production or company in the present day, nor in all-time history that has managed to achieve Skate Canada's pristine, thoroughly documented record of platonicness between all of its heterosexual, partnered elite competitors under a single administration. Elsewhere, and worldwide, when single, physically fit, good-looking, emotionally intimate people with shared passions are together working towards mutual goals over a protracted period of time, it happens like clockwork, whether as brief as a hook-up or culminating in marriage. But at Skate Canada, even its most recent on-the-record non-platonic team connection (D&D) evaporated into a mutually satisfactory, cozy bff platonic partnership as soon as Skate Canada's current slate of directors were in their positions.

There are plenty of organizations, and businesses of all kinds, which have been unable to completely prevent romantic connections between heterosexual employees tasked on a mutual project. How does Skate Canada do it? How does it redirect its heterosexual figure skaters' romantic and passionate energies away from the person with whom they share emotional intimacy, their partner, the human being they trust beyond all others and consider a best friend, and instead get them to focus on somebody working a different schedule in a different department on a different floor whom they might even dislike? There might be a readership for this.
*Lol! Jk.

**May be purchased only as a pair.

***Limited addition.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Right up there in a better way

Here is an article in which Scott and Tessa share with Beverly Smith their reaction to Igor Shpilband's departure from Arctic Edge.


Shpilband's dismissal has fired up figure-skating message boards and provided material for fan fiction writing fans who have yet to out themselves as fan fiction writers. Davis and White were the first to comment on the split, and were beyond reproach, but Tessa and Scott, with an astute assist from Beverly Smith, have outdone them, perhaps for the first time in their career history, in the appearance of candor meshing seamlessly with expressions of gratitude and respect. It has to be one of the most adroitly composed and deftly narrated "address the issues" pieces ever. This shows how it's possible to be both factual and discreet, to be generous, respectful and honest, without airing dirty (or any) laundry. It's professional.

I could parse this article for days.

There's this intro:
Olympic ice dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir had been away from their rink in Canton, Ohio [Ohio?!!] for six weeks, when they heard that their two coaches, Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband were feuding.
Some of their friends in the rink, Arctic Edge Arena, had been keeping them in the loop in the six weeks away when they had performed across Canada on the Stars On Ice tour and during a vacation that included time in Jamaica for the wedding of Olympic pair skaters Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay. Virtue and Moir had also been in touch with Zoueva.
This is art. Beverly Smith smoothly embeds neat, intelligent distinctions and communicates significant information while protecting the subjects of the article and displaying wonderful tact and judgment. Has she considered a career in pr?

First paragraph: Tessa and Scott had already been gone six weeks when they heard Igor and Marina were feuding. It doesn't say Scott and Tessa didn't know there was conflict, nor suggest Tessa and Scott were clueless about where it could lead; it doesn't say they hadn't taken a position on the issues involved. It indicates they'd heard things had become adversarial. But if anyone wants to conclude that Tessa and Scott didn't find out there were problems til they wrapped up six weeks away from Canton, hey, Smith can't insist on an exact reading of her intro, and that's fine. But she knows what she's doing.

So we understand no fast ones are being attempted, in the second paragraph, Smith tells that during those six weeks, Tessa and Scott were in the loop. Without specifying about what, the reality that the skaters had to be aware there were issues that could potentially lead to the dissolution of the Zoueva/Shpilband team is acknowledged with that advisory. It includes the tip off that Virtue and Moir were in touch with Zoueva. Tact and discretion, but also key information. Smith artfully navigates between those lines.

Also in that "not a word wasted  'make every word tell*' second paragraph, Smith tells us by implication that part of both Tessa and Scott's vacation included attending the Anabel and Cody Jamaica wedding. It doesn't  matter if Tessa went to Jamaica, what does is Smith didn't shoehorn in an "ex-girlfriend" reference, or squeeze in a clumsy allusion to Scott being one place during vacation and Tessa another. There's maturity displayed, and a respectful understanding that her readers aren't morons.
When they returned to train in early June, they found out that Shpilband had been fired. It came as a shock to Shpilband, a Russian-born coach who has put North American figure skating on the map.
Doesn't say it came as a shock to Tessa and Scott.
Shpilband, 47, was told to leave the club by management who said a conflict between the two had created tensions in the club. "Marina and Igor just weren't seeing eye to eye on some really important things," Moir said. "And they had to split ways. It was really unfortunate."
This is my favorite quote from Scott Moir, particularly in contrast to the quotes from Igor immediately following his dismissal. "Weren't seeing eye to eye on some really important things." He considers the issues  valid and significant; he's aware of the problems and has an opinion. He's not saying the decision to split was mutual. He says "they HAD TO split ways." This clarifies Scott's position as different than Igor's while exhibiting diplomacy and tact.

Then they go on to give Igor his deserved appreciation, personally and professionally, in a tone that couldn't be more genuine.

There's intention in every syllable of this piece, but nothing cynical/calculated or disingenuous. Beverly Smith is stellar, but Scott matches her in his perfectly calibrated remarks. This is the guy some claim needs a muzzle, needs discipline, needs to play the part. But his comments here show faultless judgment - they register as authentic and intelligent, they observe boundaries and assume the reader understands and respects what is said and not said. By this article, maybe this is the guy they should have let off the leash.
*Strunk & White: Elements of Style