Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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Straight from the heart

Scott using the tried and true. "It's not you, it's me. You're great!"
? "Thanks everyone" is burdensome to type on your ipad. Or i-phone. I wonder if he ever texts people back and forth, just shooting the shit, or he's unable to do that either?

What happened to family members who were all over the other facebook ventures?  No Moir, Virtue or friend of is willing to be a surrogate and type a line on his facebook every other week or so? Did they all get super busy?

We all know how high profile people maintain their facebooks themselves.

He used to have so much time to pose for photos for facebook and to Jtaime someone he doesn't even like, and all for us. What happened? Was it something we said?

Here, he ripped off and stuck it in the first paragraph. It was the reassurance, fan compliment part. The rest is sort of -  ALRIGHT I SAID THANK YOU!! I SAID IT A LOT! SEE YA! 

Doubt that he means to sound so "There, I said it,  HAPPY?!" but it makes one wonder why they are so determined not to engage even minimally with fans on social media unless there's a lie to sell.

I can't help remembering how they shoved Jessica and Scott in our faces while Tessa and Scott TMI'd their fake intimate stories about themselves, marketing so many elaborate anecdotes about their relationship that they totally made up, but when it was time to declare Jessica a former girlfriend they snuck it in using a third party so they didn't have to deal with it themselves. I think any reveal is going exactly that way. Lies they can do. The truth - they find a place to hide.
Further thoughts:

Fans don't fit into any Virtue Moir present-day or long term business plan.

I am interested to see what comes out after Sochi that's being banked now for a pay off then and how they come out flashing dimples and smiles when it's time to sell it, eager and able to share. I can't wait. This is money.

P.S. "Especially not the fandom" puts "All of Canada on the ice with us" in perspective, it puts the avalanche of Jessica/Scott obnoxiousness in perspective and most of all, the reality that fans aren't worth a breath Scott or Tessa take if there's no  profit for them.

And P.P.S. - another thing that kind of niggles at you when reading Scott's message is the word "unable". That's a really nonspecific word.

As bad as they are with social media, it really would be easy to keep that page going with one post a month and the occasional picture. He's set the bar so low fans would appreciate even that much contact.

So is this good'by to fb of Scott's in the spirit of Carol's profile shot that had Grandpa Mac flipping the bird? IOW, rather than "cave in" to calls for him to be sincere, he pulls the plug? Stand your ground, Scott.

Otherwise, why is it necessary to absolutely limit all interaction when the minimum could be done by a third party with nobody the wiser? What are their post-Sochi intentions?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oh THAT's why she's not ready

I hope no rumors begin that Jessica is pregnant, because we all know the only route to off-season weight gain is lots of chocolate. Double standards in rumors and assumptions are poor form. What applies to Tessa (she just got fat) should go for Jessica.
Just more of her to love.
I'm not saying the girl is hefty by civilian standards, but as a pairs skater, that's too big.

These facebook photos (there are several) feature Jessica bundled up and torqued a slimming (but not enough) 3/4ths, Sebastien matching her. Reminiscent of Tessa's stylings in summer and early-season 2010-2011.

Prior to affecting the pseudo country-boho* style she's currently trying on, Jessica tried to follow Tessa's playbook as best she could. Music, hair, accessories, clothes.

So, what's up? Is she following Tessa to an extreme, as it were?

If she's just let herself go, it would explain why her fit'spiration board on pinterest is so full of toning and weight loss tips and inspirational photos, and "you go girl" stuff like "skinny girls look good in clothes, fit girls look good naked". 

I was a bit confused by her pinterest focus because your body type is your body type. Jessica might not have been a sylph but she's muscular. Whatever she might have wanted to trim off didn't run to the sort of thing that required weeks of Biggest Loser-esque weight obsession. She'd never seemed especially bothered by being a bit bigger than optimum for a pairs skater. She obviously could still compete. So all I thought was - maybe the jokes Bryce supposedly made about weight really got to her even after all this time.

It's almost always a mistake to take anything put out on social media by any of these people as being anywhere on the level.

Then I saw the new profile picture and other shots that looked like camoflage and hiding and thought oh, we're talking a brand new category of body change for Jessica.

She didn't skip HPC because of ankle issues. Skipped it because she "wasn't ready" for everyone to see the shape she's in? Sure.

But why would she end up in this shape?

Tessa went to HPC and skated, even though the photo and video we got were limited. She skated shows when the season began, skating powerfully and smoothly, the only caution happening in the lifts. Tessa was in great shape, fine form, skating-wise. She was just developing a different shape.

To walk right up to the line of taste here and step right over it, it would be the ultimate irony if Jessica has imitated Tessa to the nth degree here. Did Team Virtue/Moir get that "former gf" memo out there soon enough if that's what Jessica's up to?

The only reason I play around with her following in Tessa's footsteps, as unlikely as I believe it is, is she likes drama, needs attention, is a copycat, and has always found an excuse when she really needed one. Misdirection has been a social media ploy she learned while shamming, and used big time when Bryce was injured, so it just can't be 100% dismissed til after she's competed in her first assigned GP of the new season.

I doubt it, but. It's weird for her to presumably be training all summer and still be in this not-ready-for competition condition. Unless of course, she busted her ankle early, told nobody, and it's the being off her feet that led to this shape-shifting. That must have been some ankle injury to last all summer and facilitate that type of body change. OTOH, Jessica has never been a bear for hard work and Sebastien isn't Bryce. She runs the show in her partnership with Sebastien because he only has fire fighter school to go to if he doesn't like it. Throughout most of their career, Bryce could have changed partners if it got too awful, not that he ever wanted to, but Jessica was aware of it and there was only so much rebellion she could permit herself.

P.S. Curious to see how blimped out Cynthia Phaneuf is since she's been sidelined herself. Bet she cuts a very different figure than J3ssica.

P.S. - the past two seasons just makes Bryce look even better. I think he gets all the credit for keeping the team with Jessica together through two Olympics. The exhausting job of keeping Jessica motivated, keeping her training at the level she needed to be to at least retain their title, keeping her happy, basically, while she vacillated and brooded then swung the other way. It took a village, for sure, his whole family, all of their friends. I was really startled that she didn't get in better condition during the Olympic season, rather stayed pretty much in the same shape with which she began - but maybe it was a miracle she didn't get more out of shape as the season went on, and maybe that's thanks to Bryce. It's not Annie motivating Jessica and keeping her on track. Last season, Jessica had to show for her summer competitions to get the assignments she wanted for the coming season. This season she has the assignments going in, so cue the ache-y ankle and the lazy.

These photos are amazing. If this is what Bryce struggled with, half of his time was spent cajoling her to do her job, then he'd do his own. There was never a time where they got on the same page, committed, and Jessica followed through all the way without starting passive resistance, moodiness and flagging all over again. What a long, long haul. Imagine his career with a different partner. Imagine the frustration of having a partner with the athletic talent that's in Jessica and the possibilities that created for not just their careers, but their lives, but the girl never lost her chronic unwillingness to apply herself.

I'd have thought vanity - of which Jessica has plenty - would have prevented her getting this out of shape but maybe she thinks she can pull it off and looks great anyway. She looks fine, but as a pairs skater, she doesn't, and in comparison to her competition-ready self, she really doesn't. Bryce was a freaking miracle-worker/saint in that pairing and I don't think anyone will ever know how much.
Jessica must be feeling cold.
While based on these new photos it appears as if Jessica intends to fake her way through the season, it would certainly be interesting if Tessa/Scott ended up using her to take a few extra baby steps towards a reveal. For example, if Jessica claimed to have been with someone for "x" period of time, ignoring the whole Scott thing, people would be - oh, that bleeds right into when she supposedly was with Scott. Maybe she wasn't. And what does that mean for Ryan Semple and Tessa!! And Tessa and David!

P.S. - as ridiculous as it may be to even 10% wonder what's up with Jessica's torso, there's no getting around the reality that these are a bunch of unoriginal, lowest common denominator operators who apply the same ridiculous lies and strategies to the same scenarios and so it's unrealistic not to have 10% degree of wondering if something other than the apparently most likely scenario is up.

P.P.S. If Dube/Wolfe compete in their GP assignment think what that means. They're a new team. The message everybody was given last season was let them find their groove. So what happens over the summer now that Dube/Wole are on the national team and have GPS assignments in the bag? Jessica slacks off and piles on the pounds to where the program isn't even ready to be seen at a training camp - or SHE's not. The already unlikely idea that Jessica and Sebastien spent the summer upping their game can be dismissed. A rudimentary pairs program was fine for their first season together, even though last season featured a number of new pairs who not only went for more challenging material but skated a lot better as a new team than Dube/Wolfe. But once their first season was under their belt it was time to develop greater difficulty as well as drill the elements, especially lifts, since Jessica never looked comfortable with them last year. What happens instead? Dube sits back and relaxes. It's a huge signal as to her intentions for the coming season and sends a signal about what she's actually in this game for.

That's if they compete.

Unless Jessica has multiple fractures in her ankle, and the Contre Coeur Familia photos say she doesn't, facebook photos of her in wedge heels say she doesn't, and a facebook cover photo of her freshly manicured tootsies say she doesn't, what would account for her not being ready for her first GP? When did this ankle oopsie happen?

This is the heroic Jessica Dube we're talking about here. The girl who was back on the ice ten days after her face was slashed. The girl who pluckily posed in the lobby of her Tokyo hotel after her wayward elbow blacked out her partner and she went crashing to the ice, owy-ing her cheekbone. The girl who put on some braces and splints following a variety of darn-the-luck mishaps like two car crashes (she was driving in both incidents), and went back on the ice and competed. This woman competed even when a skate blade got cought in the boards (carried off the ice in a Stokes, I think), who pushed through a long program as a singles skater despite having unexpectedly come down with a nasty flu virus that same morning, valiently concealing the symptoms (no unsteadiness, bleary eyes, swollen nose, scratchy throat, coughing, fatigue, etc.). A woman who skated a long pairs program despite sudden onset tendonitis in her split twist toe pick leg.

So now it's an ankle. She missed July's competition. She missed August's competition. She missed HPC yet she's going around on high heeled wedges. What exactly is Slipchuk & Co. going to be monitoring going forward? Her mood?

Jessica hasn't changed her skating or elements or layout since 2006. Is she really not ready to skate? Is whatever program she and Sebastien are going to unveil so athletically challenging there's no way it will be ready until Canadians? And Skate Canada will just jolly this along?

Let's see if it's a Tessa/Scott 2010-2011 pattern of - oops, sorry to miss this one, we can't wait til the next. Oh dear, much as we wanted to be at this next one, it's better to be 100% tip top. See you at the one after this. Oh, we would have, except our coaches said no, even though we begged. Well, here we are, 100% ready, fully trained, all set to compete, except for the first time in our entire lives we need to withdraw cause Tessa has a rogue quad cramp.

Then 2 months later they go and skate a delayed Worlds, later talking about how it was a roll of the dice and they weren't fully trained, because they keep their stories straight like that.

This smells like that, with Canadians being Jessica's Worlds. Let's see how it plays out. If the story is fleshed out, with amendments, corrections and embellishments.

The dividends from past services rendered certainly don't quit.

P.S. - I inexplicably spelled Scott's cousin's name as "Kara" in one of the lengthy comments underneath this post. It's "Cara".

*"pseudo" country boho is redundant, I realize.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I don't believe them

J3ssica and her then-healthy ankles frolicking in, presumably, Jamaica
So Mike Slipchuk says Jessica and Sebastien missed HPC due to Jessica's ankle injury that prevented her from training properly with Sebastien. What a shame to hurt one's ankle during the summer months when one would much rather be hard at work in a training rink than laying out in the sun, surfing the web, posting on pinterest, guzzling Starbucks, and playing with one's hair.

I'm sort of surprised that Jessica's ankle problem kept her from the Liberty competition (July 17-21), the Quebec summer competition (August 9, 21) and HPC (this past week of September). Her ankle must be brutally injured. This is a girl who stabbed her toe pick into the ice for the 3 twist in pairs one day after tendonitis in that same leg took her out of the long program competition in singles. This is a woman who competed in the 2010 Quebec summer comp despite owy wrists, and someone who has skated with various joint braces and supports after various accidental sprains and strains, who skated another lp suffering from a horrific 24 hour singles flu virus. This ankle problem just drags on and on and on, she can't work herself up to skate even at HPC level? Think of her Worlds and 4CC level last season, her Liberty level last season, and she can't skate through it and get feedback on the layout and transitions? Wow. Poor poor Jessica.

By any chance is this ankle stuff bullshit, a placeholder sweeping what actually went on under the rug?

It's SC and it's Jessica - what are the odds?

Did the team have a falling out and only patch it back together late in the summer? Did Jessica decide to take the money and the summer off, claim ankle issues, figuring she'll be ready by Canadians and who cares otherwise? It's not like pre-season or GP has ever developed her skating in the past. She skates all "feh" till Canadians, steps it up, then dials back to wind up the season, even if it's the Olympics and Worlds.

I'm so curious. Is her ankle post-Jamaica getaway but pre-hard work bad? Is the ankle a cover up for something SC doesn't have the spin for yet, and is waiting til more immediately important stuff has has passed? If Jessica is claiming ankle issues, is SC taking her at her word?

I look forward to Grand Prix season. If she shows up, at least she has her falling-on-ass excuse built in for 2012-2013. The ankle flared up again. Troublesome ankle. Seemed fine, but just as she went for the salchow, it gave out.

There should really be a betting pool.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chumps Camp

HPC 2012

There it is.
The reason Barb has scrums, and has the "reporters" crowd the personal space of the subject, is to get the reporters/subject together in shots like this and convince us how impressive and high level everything is.

There's no legitimate reason for scrum staging at a regional training camp where the lapdog media has to get credentialed before getting access.* They're not ambushing anybody, this stuff is scheduled. Who the fuck schedules and insists the media arrange themselves in a scrum.  That's a contradiction in terms. Barb does. It's her one idea. She's fixated. I'm sure the media would rather have a few chairs and so would the skater, but then the logo board would need to be lower and wider and it's all about the SC logo.  And the twitpics would be less important-looking.

Let's clarify scrums via looking at wikipedia:
A media scrum is an impromptu press conference, often held immediately outside an event such as a legislative session or meeting.[1][2] Scrums play a central role in Canadian politics[3] and also occur in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The same term is now also used for similar gatherings of journalists in the United States.[4]
Other definitions include mob and ambush. Here we have a bunch of flunkies doing what Barb told em to do (or one of Barb's flunkies directed these flunkies).  Those reporters are so intent on getting the truth about Patrick Chan's new short program we can hardly see the marionnette strings in their backs.

So, the fact that Barb insists on fake scrums at High Performance Camp is super lame and an embarrassment. I can hear the other skating federations snickering, especially members of the federation due south and the guys and gals at  What a classy operation Skate Canada, the biggest federation in the world (I think that's among Debbi Wilkes' boasts during her tenure) has become, mimicking The Learning Channel's Toddlers & Tiaras erzatz low-budget reality show nonsense.

Key elements are "impromptu" and "outside." The scheduled press opportunity above is staged for maximum ridiculousness in scrum form, even though Patrick Chan is not only inside the venue, but positioned in front of Skate Canada's logo board, and the media is not a mob, but a a few invited, credentialed members of the media who had to show their fucking credentials before they got into the building. 

Dube and Wolfe aren't at HPC. Who dumped whom? Who is injured? 

I wonder if blogspot has a poll feature. If it does, maybe I should set one up for that subject.

 I'm not expecting an announcement until SC decides on the spin and then delivers it. An improvement over Jessica and Bryce telling the world the real reasons they split and SC spending the following season re-writing it to flatter/victimize Jessica.  They will want to get the SC version out first this time. (If it's not something like tendonitis or sudden onset long program flu.)

It's very hard to tell from Jessica's various social media presences if she's actually in competitive shape, because she never looks in competitive shape, so who can tell. All throughout the Olympic season she looked in worse shape than she'd looked the previous season. That said, she doesn't look in competitive shape.

Oh update - PJ Kwong tweets this:
Just confirmed w/SC 'ppl who come to the HPC are expected to be at a certain point for readiness and they weren't there yet" re dube!wolfe *
I am SHOCKED. All of those pinterest words to live by about fitness, you get out what you put in, I don't dream, I work were just pre-emptive spin (sort of like when Jessica made like the Happiest Girl In The World prior to letting it be known she'd cut Bryce loose.).

As anyone might have predicted. Paul and Piper have been assigned the role of Skate Canada's Alex Shibutani imitations, with Skate Canada's propensity to completely miss the point on display.  To wit, Paul and Piper are mostly waxing excited and hyper about all things Skate Canada.

How much does Skate Canada suck when it uses skaters to promote the organization instead of the organization to promote skaters?
*Let's face it, the media isn't falling over itself to go to Mississauga and those that do either drew the short straw or are fans/groupies as well as journalists. They're on SC territory so you can't scrum INSIDE the venue. Scrums happen in no man's land and not for figure skating. So, in keeping with SC's primary public relations policy of "let's pretend the opposite is true" Barb tries to stage the impression of fevered and pressured media interest in their figure skating team. And while scrums aren't unknown in other sports, the media interest in the sports that have scrums is genuine and deployed for genuinely high interest events.

**If we're meant to believe that's the reason and not either uncertain partnership status or injury, let's consider what "not there yet" would have to mean.  Jessica and Sebastien got the three twist in the latter part of the season last year and did a serviceable job of execution. Jessica's programs with Sebastien are basically the programs she skated with Bryce, slightly dumbed down (her programs with Bryce were always pretty bare bones, but at their best a foundation of speed and power, plus hitting more elements than their Canadian competitors kept them in the mix). So what's not ready?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scott Moir is 25

Today is Scott Moir's birthday.  Last year, for the very first time, Scott Moir actually acknowledged the 100+ fan well wishes left on his fan page. It was insincere. He was baiting a planned sham sting.

I expect now that he's a big grown-up, a quarter of a century, he may actually say "thanks" without a poison pill embedded. What does he have to lose? It's not like people are banging down his door (because they don't know where Bubble Boy lives, do they? They don't even know what town. And at last year's Canadians there were Canadians in attendance who didn't know who VM were.).

Let's see how the day plays out. I know he's busy, and, unlike with sham things, there's no point in showing up for five seconds to acknowledge fan well-wishes when there's nothing to plug (his family's restaurant, a show he's appearing in, the sham, etc.), nothing in it for him. And no swag involved. No jewelry, cars, shoes, perks (royalty, galas, etc.).

It would be fun if he'd realize sincerity unattached to some type of plug or bait has benefits, but that's long-term thinking, which in terms of fans is not something Virtue and Moir have ever shown a willingness to understand and also something I doubt is in any type of business model Tessa and Scott find intriguing. It's weird considering that training mates DW and now, especially, the Shibs, are state of the art role models for genuine fan engagement that's going to reap Kwan-esque benefits long term, but the lesson is either lost or VM lack the interest.

On his and Tessa's webpage (, he and Tessa published a statement to fans, assuring them that all of their support, expressed in well-wishes, videos, gifts, etc., "do not go unnoticed." Very nice. Is that the blanket "hey thanks!" for the rest of their eligible career? Happy birthday Scott! Then go to the webpage to be assured it doesn't go unnoticed. It's almost insulting. Oh hey, I know some of you gave us the benefit of the doubt and thought we were too busy to notice, but we noticed! We ignored you on purpose!

At Scott's age, 25 (younger, actually, as she didn't turn 25 til May 1996) Katia Gordeeva was a recent widow, a mom, a 2-time Olympic champion, and skated the excruciatingly heart-rending "Celebration of a Life" in front of fans and fellow skaters in February 1996. For her, I'm emphasizing her personal courage and willingness to be who she is at such a young age, despite her private nature.

At 25:

the frontal lobe (impulse control) is finally fully developed in most men.

blogger Eva Markvoort was sharing her life and losing battle with cystic fibrosis.

Orson Welles coscripted, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane.

Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly alone across the Atlantic*

Evan Lysacek was teased on the SOI bus for being a quarter of a century old.

In one way, Scott merits mention among the accomplished and courageous aged 25 and under, but one element doesn't fit. To pretend you're something you're not, out of cowardice at best and out of expedient, self-serving profiteering at worst, to live in a bubble despite the fact that outside the bubble is nothing more daunting than a syncophantic press and quasi high-school bitchery, to pretend you're not with the woman you love and you're not a dad, to pervert the definitions of honor and courage (and the meaning of role model), to turn values inside out, to forever weasel out of opportunities to present yourself honestly and maturely - these are not the hallmarks of people of honor aged 25 nor of honorable people much younger. It's just pathetic and evidences a self-absorption worthy of Jess Dube.
*At age 21, Annie  Sullivan met Helen Keller.

P.S. - I'm just tacking this next bit onto this post even though it's only very remotely related. It does go to out-of-touchery and faux sincerity masking a complete lack of "getting it".

A couple of years ago I saw some internet video of fans at an SOI autograph session. Cynthia Phaneuf, Jeff Buttle, VM, maybe Kurt Browning, can't recall. The fans got an autograph and Scott asked if they were coming to the show. The fans (who were young, and possibly students) looked a little uncomfortable and said they thought it might be sold out. Scott heartily said "Sold out? I don't think it's sold out!" and said more - pushing them to buy tickets, told them to call the box office. He really woke up for this. The fans looked even more uncomfortable and hedged even more.

You know what I think Scott? I think they couldn't afford to go and were embarrassed to admit they wanted to meet you guys and get an autograph despite not having the dollars to attend SOI.

You know what you should say when fans say they can't or aren't going? Say, thanks for coming here to see us! Thanks for the gift! Good to see you!  (I think these fans gave VM a very nice gift but am not sure so won't mention what I think it was.)

And not to leave Tessa out of things; she very generously gave an interview to a Russian journalist after the 2009 TEB press conference. She mentioned that one benefit of training in Michigan was the shopping was better. The journalist said "Oh, is there more sales, better prices?" because bargains, especially in 2009, is where a lot of people's minds go when they hear the shopping is better. More importantly, it's obvious that's where this woman's reality was - what she thought of as better shopping. She was also thrilled and happy to be interviewing Tessa, and laughed a lot from what seemed to be both nervousness and excitement. Tessa said no, more things to buy. Bargain? What's that.

I just think they could be more clued in. A LOT more. They're already hurting feelings on purpose (lots of the sham nastiness). Don't do it by accident. What they do is a product of spending every single conversation thinking about yourself and not the other person. If she'd clued into the journalist's nerves and excitement, Tessa might have been more diplomatic about shopping. If the finances of your average student had occurred to Scott - and he has no excuse for it not to have - he wouldn't have pushed, would have understood what "think it's sold out" was about.

...VM aren't alone - I could call Meryl out as well. On twitter a couple of years ago, she reacted to the report that Detroit was the worst city in the USA to live by tweeting: "Have they never been to Ann Arbor?"  Jesus Meryl. But to her credit, she does a lot more to balance that out (in public) than Tessa and Scott, so it's easy to give her a pass.

Basically if you want people to buy what you shill and you want people to spend scarce disposible income on figure skating, act like you see them as something other than a wallet with legs.

...When Gordeeva skated "Celebration of a Life" (to Mahler), Marina Zoueva, the choreographer, was watching in the wings. It's clear to me that Zoueva learned an enormous amount after her experience with G&G.  I don't think she was in their business, but Gordeeva was super sensitive and that was an awareness Zoueva has obviously brought to her thriving relationship with VM and DW. It's hard though, not to wonder if she ever compares what VM are sensitive about to what Gordeeva went through, and if she wonders what has happened to make the newer generation such self-indulgent, self-obsessed babies. Or maybe that's not it. Maybe Scott and Tessa want to pretend they're "kids" as long as possible - maybe married and baby isn't marketable. Considering the attendance and revenue since they won gold in 2010, the massive amounts of revenue "we're in love but not" has brought in, they can't be as big a couple of idiots as that.

When this was created, the cartoonist was being satirical.