Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A thought about Little Moir

I don't know how I feel about this video blogger:

twisted broad video blog on Louis C.K.

because I haven't seen enough of her. Her tag is "twisted broad" and she's a 40something wife and parent who opinionates on her youtube videoblogs.

However, this one video blog entry, linked above, struck me because she's talking back - politely - to the "most popular kid in class" culturally, and it's Louis C.K.

Her headline, when she works up to it, is YOUR KID IS NOT YOU. 

The Louis C.K. reference was what caught my eye, because recently, talking to someone about VM, a someone who has to market themselves in their own work, and talking with them about LM ("Little Moir", Virtue and Moir's three year old daughter), the person I was talking to remarked that somebody ought to have told Louis C.K. not to discuss his small child's private parts in his act, because that would really suck when the girl got older. Nobody apparently said DUDE, NO. Louis C.K. is being all real, so he's gonna go there, he's an obviously compassionate guy, obviously loves his kid, and this is who he is. His intent is not to harm -- and his kid is material. And it's universal. And she'll have to deal. I guess.

Getting to the LM part: Here, twistedbroad is disputing Louis C.K.'s lament about smart-phone dependent kids, and how nostalgic he is for his own tech-free upbringing. Her perspective is smart phones are here, and someone of their generation, including her generation, can't relate to what it means to grow up with today's technology (versus adapt to completely new technology as it's introduced). She disputes his POV that smart phones rob kids of empathy, alienate them from human interaction and thwart human connection. She dislikes his generalizations and his personalization. She claims her own kids are capable of putting down their phones and having a conversation, and that's because she gets to know her kids and it's because all kids aren't the same, and it's because it makes a difference if you don't alienate yourself from the environment your children occupy. As I'm describing it here she sounds like one of those assholes, but she goes into it thoroughly, and I get what she means and she has a point. Her main point is - the kid with the smart phone isn't Louis C.K. Her point is HER kids aren't her. So she (and Louis C.K.) can't impose their nostalgia or their uninformed (because it's simply not their experience) perspective on how negatively the smart phone is going to impact their kid's maturation and ability to relate/empathize/connect. And it's also unfair to impose on your child the way you want to feel about things (that one made me think of Tessa).

AND she says - Louis C.K. has no idea what it's like to have a famous parent. He has no clue. His daughter does. He doesn't. He doesn't know what it's like to have a parent that's famous that everybody loves and maybe you feel like crap and you're keeping it secret (she's not saying his kid feels like crap, she's saying his kid is not him, and his kid is having an experience that is completely different than Louis C.K.'s experience in life and possibly the phone helps. YOUR KID IS NOT YOU).

That's when I thought about LM and some of the shit VM have done either without a fucking thought about the blowback when she's older, or with the almighty arrogance that they know how it's going to affect her. Irrevocable, no turning back shit, from the exclusion of her throughout their Olympic careers while they simultaneously shout out everybody from their neices to their SYTYCD choreographer to their freaking buddies, to the revolting salacious fake gf image litter all over the web, to the "reality" show where mom and dad are telling us how honest they are while lying through their teeth before turning around and showcasing every media whore in their lives including their families and closest friends, and exclude their child, and then they bang the drum telling the world this is the real them.

They apparently already have met 12 year old Little Moir and know it's going to be fine with her and she's not going to feel like shit. They already talked it over with 30 year old Little Moir and know it's fine with her she's not anywhere on the record in her storied parents' careers and she has nothing public to show her grandchildren. (History is public. It's not private. Otherwise wouldn't all the scrapbooks Scott's freaking "buddies" have, all their memories, all their images, all their shared experiences with Scott and Tessa be enough? All the home videos? Why do they need a reality show to show off to US? They treat us like garbage. Why the need?* Because it's PUBLIC. THAT's history. They then become part of the permanent record.).

Nope. Tessa and Scott have spoken with 12 year old Little Moir and 30 year old Little Moir and she understands she's meant to be grateful and think the same way they think.

Or maybe Kate signed off on it all and that's good enough. After all, she raised Tessa. How could she be wrong?

Look at the decisions Tessa and Scott have made - look at their choices, their choices not to do things, side by side with the proactive choices they've made - how there's no wriggle room. How everything is all in, no exit strategy, no safety net or gray area. There's no - what if we're wrong? They've left nothing in the margins for "what if this doesn't play out for her as we've been counseled it would."

Nope. All in. On a child's life experience as she grows, repeatedly and purposefully compounded with every word out of their mouths, so there's not even the potential of Scott and Tessa saying "We made a mistake." Or "We were caught up." It's deliberate. It's concerted. It's intentional. It's repeated. They're fully aware.

They have no idea what it's like to be her, or will be like to be her, left with the detritus of Scott and Tessa's decisions, and they did it anyway. It's good to see the humility and the empathy. Maybe we can blame Scott and Tessa's smart phones? I, personally, think Windsor U's psych program has a lot to answer for.

I also know that no legitimate family counselor or psychologist who wasn't a star fucker would co-sign 80% of what they've put in public, knowing they have a child. 

That, I think, is another component of the sham that makes people recoil from Scott and Tessa and knocks us sideways with the arrogance. They don't know shit about her because they don't know what it's like to have themselves for parents. They're imposing they're own piety on her (all of this is holy on our part because we're keeping her OUT of the public eye) without calculating the effect of the shit they choose to put IN the public eye.

Scott and Tessa are faux-private parents whose tech and social media savvy, culturally speaking, begins and ends at text messaging. That's obvious just watching them anywhere else. They don't know cause and effect, how a relates to b, they have no long game, they don't know what consistency means, they don't follow through the logical implications of about half of what comes out of their mouths.

For me, it's the two things in combination that are a horror. What they chose to keep out (HER) and what they chose to put in public.

When they make a choice about one, that needs, for her sake, to impact the choices they make about the second. It didn't. They wanted it both ways.  It's keeping her out combined with what they chose to put in where the arrogance asserted itself. They didn't follow through on the respect they ought to have shown her, the respect that we must pretend initially drove their decision to keep her existence unacknowledged in the first place. If you keep someone out to protect them, following through means you have to be mindful of what you decide to put in. They weren't and aren't.
*Even Scott, a long time ago (way before the Olympics) was on his fb trying to get good, professional pictures of Skate Canada. What? Alma wasn't there with the camera? Why was Scott trying to get hooked up with the public material?

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I have been working/volunteering on a (non-blog-related, but computer-based) project that meant I couldn't stand the sight of a computer or do anything else while I was on it, but it's finally done. Apologies - usually I manage to show up and give a heads up as to still being among the living, blogwise, but in this case the time completely got away from me; throw in the holidays and that's where most of the month has gone. I did not even visit the blog, which is a first, so was not ignoring comments.

I don't have a "dog ate my homework" excuse. I was "helping" with something and it turned out to be so unexpectedly intensive, I couldn't muster the mental energy to keep up with anything else. Not just skating - nothing. Not politics, not gossip, not sports. It was purely computer-related brain fry  - I could read a paper, read a book, watch a movie, but I couldn't read shit on the computer. 

While catching up tonight, I have read this about Ayn Rand (author of Tessa's favorite book):
13 year old girls absolutely love her because the idea of doing exactly what you want, and not compromising nor putting anyone else’s needs before your own, is the fantasy of every teenager in the world.

which sounds about right.

I am also curious about where Cassandra Hilborn's new lips went:

I am going to catch up with comments, and before doing so, wish to remark that when one is removed from the sham situation and then the brain returns to it, distance from it makes it look even MORE stupid and insane than we think it is. It is beyond retarded, and worthy of every potshot the blog and everyone else has taken. Absence does not put it into perspective - or rather, absence puts it in even clearer perspective - the self-importance and then the second-hand embarrassment at seeing the self-importance just rolls in waves off and around this thing.

Prior to being away from the blog, I'd understood that some of the VM facebook crowd were hoping that Scott and Tessa would be appropriately rewarded at the Olympics, as they had not been at the GPF. But Scott and Tessa were appropriately awarded at the GPF; it is Meryl and Charlie who were scored inappropriately. Even Cassandra's mother charged the judges with injustice to Scott and Tessa - which implies underscoring. Nobody is going after the Emperor's New Clothes of Meryl and Charlie's scoring, which is the core issue. Not even Tessa and Scott's non-Arctic Edge community.

OTOH, there's no problem with Meryl and Charlie using Scott and Tessa's reality show to polish their halo, as we see in this old trick from Lynn Rutherford:

Lynn Rutherford: For those who wondered: Davis&White say with so much media around this season, they're not distracted by Virtue&Moir's reality show filming.

The trick part is where you pretend to have received a lot of emails/inquiries about something so you can speak to a topic you're dying to address but don't want it to seem as if you're bringing it up yourself. Scott and Tessa use this ALL the time when they want to lay something off on fans, but of course, DW's partisans are using it where it counts.

Duly noted Rutherford declines to call it a documentary.

Congratulations to Piper Gilles for getting her citizenship - it's a good precedent that a skater in competition for the third slot on an Olympic team against teams that are already Canadian qualifies as contributing enough special services to Canada to be expressed to the front of the line. And congratulations to the MP who, without really explaining why, made her his special cause.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Scott's not a spinning stool

This comparison by Canadablue shows that Tessa isn't actually sitting on Scott's shoulders. Meryl is, however, lying on Charlie. I wonder what the mechanical texts on amazon.com say about those physics.

I think the spinning stool poster said Tessa using her thighs or butt made no difference, you just readjust your center of gravity. How did a retired engineer overlook that readjusting your center of gravity under these conditions takes tremendous core strength and a brilliant awareness/control of one's body in space?

Readjusting her center of gravity is something at which Tessa excels. She's a genius at distributing her weight and adjusting her balance. But this poster doesn't seem to recognize that adjusting your center of gravity is a skill. One that other ice dancers don't do as well after vaulting onto another human being off the edge of a skate blade.

Here's Virtue and Moir not being tight with their music, versus DW's own ballroom take on My Fair Lady.

Also some round up from the weekend:

Scott being a bad boyfriend:

This is just their "characters on the ice." Nice job,
even though Tessa recently told us she's a terrible, terrible
Scott/Tessa and Meryl/Charlie are each platonic partners where
the male partner is conspicuously dating somebody else off
ice and the female's romantic status is unknown. Yet
this sort of thing constantly breaks out when Scott and
Tessa skate together, even at a GPF, and it never breaks
out with Charlie and Meryl, even though they share a coach.

Maybe next time they'll bring in that emotion the free dance was missing.

Someone who saw these photos joked that Scott can't say his gf is in the sport, so "she understands", but after Mama Hilborn's fb vents this weekend it looks like the Hilborns believe helping Scott and Tessa hoax the public has given them credentials. They're now in the sport.

Judge Shawn Rettstatt

I'm reposting this from goldenskate by request (not the request of the poster, Matt K.  At someone else's request.)

It's about this guy:
Shawn Rettstatt
Here's the link to the original post.

Matt K's goldenskate post about Judge Shawn Rettsat of the US

Can anyone confirm that Rettstatt is on the Olympic dance panel?

Matt K's post (other people's quotes to which he is responding are in blue and purple regular type and italics). His post is in bold and italics. His pdf links are live on his post or they can be cut-and-pasted from here, I believe, but the links in this re-post aren't live, obviously.

Quote Originally Posted by Macassar88 View Post
Mr. Shawn Rettsatt of the USA
Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
Why are people assuming that it's him? Just because he's American? We don't know who gave what score (to all our chagrin), so I don't think it's fair to accuse him.

Shawn Rettsatt has been judging for years. If he was scoring people to undermine competitors, certainly he would have had a talking to by now.

ETA: If there's some history of him scoring V/M low in past events, then perhaps there's validity in the assumption, however please point that out rather than throwing generalities.

ETA2: Okay, apparently there was a judge at the 2011 4CC that gave V/M 5s in PCS and it happened to be that Shawn Rettsatt was on the judging panel. However correlation=/=causation. Unless it's been publicly declared somehow, there is no way to prove he was the judge in question in either situation. It's speculation at best. http://www.isuresults.com/results/fc..._SD_Scores.pdf
Since you asked I'll take you up on your offer. I researched the events that SHAWN RETTSTATT (USA) has judged V/M in from all the events from last year and this year. And in these events that Shawn Rettstatt was judging V/M, there is always one judge's set of marks for V/M that are significantly lower than the rest . Most interesting is at Worlds 2013 SD (where he sat on the panel and V/M got lowballed by one judge) vs the FD (in which he did not sit on the panel and V/M's marks rose again). I'll get to this near the end of the post.

CoR 2012: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gprus2012/
V/M judge #5 SD:

GPF 2012: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf1213/
V/M judge #1 SD: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._SD_Scores.pdf
V/M judge # 5 FD: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._FD_Scores.pdf

GPF 2013: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf1314/
V/M judge #7 SD: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._SD_Scores.pdf
V/M judge #1 FD: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._FD_Scores.pdf

Worlds 2013, SD:
V/M judge #1 SD: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc..._SD_Scores.pdf

In the FD, unlike the SD, SHAWN RETTSTATT (USA) was not drawn to judge on the FD panel. And surprise, surprise. In that segment, V/M didn't get lowballed by a single judge. In fact every single one of them gave them at least a 10.00 somewhere in PCS and all marks across the FD panel were consistently in the mid to high 9s - 10s: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc..._FD_Scores.pdf

I think it's hilarious whichever judge gave V/M 5s in all PCS marks at 2011 4CC, though. Shawn Rettstatt or not, seeing those numbers on paper is pretty funny You'd think that she or he would know better and might actually be asked to provide some explanation in the roundtable discussions.

You mentioned that "But in the end, again, it doesn't matter because the scores were thrown out". But when marks are so close between V/M and D/W, it does make a difference. At this particular GPF in Japan this one judge's marks for V/M were glaringly obvious in both SD and FD (8s?) that I hope is looked into.

I think someone posted here that Shawn Rettstatt will be the US Olympic ice dance judge in Sochi. Oh Goody. When that time comes I'll keep my eyes peeled for a set of marks given to V/M that rivals that of Chock/Bates


Rettstatt lowballs VM in skating skills and linking moves.

I love Mrs. P. Oh it couldn't be, because if one judge were consistently screwing over VM, he'd be given a good talking to!

Yes, because figure skating is so so so so on the up and up. And judges faithfully refer to the rulebook when they score skaters. They're not scoring who is "tight with their music" "gives 110%" or "the real deal"; they're not getting the dirt done in GOE and pcs. It's strictly by the rulebook.

All the practices required in the judging game are there to promote the impression of integrity and to cover their asses, not to ensure actual integrity. We all know there are businesses that do the same thing; it's not unique.

I haven't read all that many interviews with judges, but the ones who do speak out sound like morons. I don't know what they're doing at those seminars - maybe making sure they know enough to pass the tests that get them credentials, and then that's the end of applying their training to their judging. I'm not simply referring to the judge who posts on fsu, but the former judge quoted as saying Katerina Witt was Carmen and other incisive observations about skating merit.

I'm sure everyone's eyes are rolling in the back of their heads when some people wax sanctimonious about how the ISU regulates itself to assure integrity. The ISU regulates itself to assure its ass is covered.

The incremental dings in the scores that make sure this skating team scores lower than the other skating team. The fact that CoP is pseudo statistical means that the dirt can be done in the margins, with fractions and shades, a lot of little point leaks, and then the protocols sheet looks on the up and up. One of the ways to cook the scores is to be the outlier intentionally, so you're the one tossed and the lowest score that would have gotten tossed stays in. The lowest score could be from a judge scoring more conservatively across the board than the rest of the panel. So for Virtue and Moir, that judge is counted because you scored much lower and got your scores thrown out. For Davis and White, you don't need to score higher than the highest scoring judge, you just need to score higher than the conservative scoring judge, so Virtue and Moir get that person's low scores factored in, Davis and White don't.

And we can't even tell if Virtue and Moir's Judge 2 is Davis and White's Judge 2, for example, because the ISU even wants THAT secret (because of that danger of undue influence and bribery which secrecy actually promotes, so that's classic ISU up is down logic). The ISU is the mafia of sports.

After this weekend's event, Scott echoed earlier quotes from Charlie about what a great story is this rivalry. It is? A rivalry where one team is never permitted to defeat another, even when the winners are outskated? What kind of story is that? Virtue and Moir aren't allowed to beat Davis White.

As to the integrity of the sport, in 2010 Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband said they had no idea until the ice dance event itself if their teams would be allowed to prevail. Everyone agreed that the ice dance event at Worlds 2009 came down to who coached whom. I suppose since Meryl and Charlie started winning everything that's when the sport became clean.

Here are some quotes from a 2009 interview with Maia Usova:

What are your thoughts on ice dancing today? Do you follow it? Ever since I decided to become a certified technical specialist – yes. I don’t know why, but I suddenly thought of getting back into elite figure skating. I still can’t explain it. I guess it’s because of what I saw, that most technical specialists are Canadians and Americans. Until recently, there was only one of ours, Sergei Ponomarenko. I thought this was wrong, I guess. You can always see that even technical specialists have their biases. The fact that such a judge receives practically no compensation only exacerbates the problem. I think that if those people had a solid salary, they would at a minim fear losing it.

Do you like that work? Honestly, I’m not sure yet. If I didn’t have a husband that makes me feel safe and protected in every way, I wouldn’t be doing it. I wouldn’t live in Russia, either. What’s more, over the last two years I’ve acquired quite a few enemies because of my work. Some Russian coaches just expect that I must automatically give their athletes high levels. But I can’t do that when the stuff isn’t there. Sometimes, though, they just don’t understand.

Rettstatt was on the USFSA board of directors, at least in 2005. He's a high profile member of the USFSA, appears at general conferences and seminars. He's one of their representatives. He's not somebody who is going to be taken aside. He's somebody who takes others aside.



He's not just a judge and former skater, his history is a high ranking voting member of the USFSA infrastructure.

Furthermore, if this is him, do we really think he's the only rotten apple in the barrel? That when you have a situation that we had this weekend, that the incremental differences leaving DW in first by an under two point margin is just how it all shook out?

When there's an off the grid mark, the purpose is to keep in the next lowest that would otherwise be thrown out. If it's Rettstatt, I'm sure he didn't invent this. If quick-on-the-uptake fans figured this out a long time ago, you know judging panels have.

Do we think there's only corruption in Russia among judges from former eastern bloc countries or countries with a big population from there?

Rettstatt IS fb friends with Jacquie White, but also with David Islam. Islam's a coach, though, not just a (grateful?) dad. It's like Tanith said - you need your judge there. And I guess not just to give you what you deserve, but to block your opponents.

 Ice dance is corrupt. It's always been corrupt. It's corrupt today.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Here they are

This is not dissimilar to B/S versus W/P at Rostelcom, in that the dirt is done in the short dance.

It does tell us that the judges have decided they can score DW ahead of even a perfect VM as long as DW don't make more than one mistake. So it's DW that now have the one mistake cushion.

The scores themselves are determined by how VM skate. If VM skate a world record, it doesn't matter how DW skate, DW's score will automatically be piggybacked onto VM's score with a +. We can see that here. If DW went first, no matter how they skated, they'd get the 77 baseline and, depending on how VM skate, VM would score fractionally below or a few points below.

As Tanith has been working hard all year to tell us that the non-skating free "dance" Scherherazade is the best free dance today, that's always going to be about three points ahead of VM. That's what this looks like, if the GPF is going to Rostelcom itself, if Rostelcom was actually the shoe drop to let us know how the Olympic scoring is going to work.

With B/S versus W/P, B/S's free dance is a hot, screaming mess. The judges surely know that. So they need a short dance cushion.

With VM versus DW, the VM short dance destroys the DW short dance. So tie them. Hell, as long as we're tying them, stick DW ahead. If the short dance were scored fairly, VM would be several points ahead of DW for the free, and if VM skated the free well, it would be difficult for DW to pull in an overall win even if they won the free. So because VM's short dance is so incredible, the important part is to never let them pull ahead in the short.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

So much for Rosie DiManno

Rosie's back to being ignorant
Months ago the blog tried to hope that Rosie DiManno saw an opportunity and was attempting to fill the gap where quasi-informed figure skating journalism ought to be but isn't. To do this, she would have had to educate herself about figure skating. Nobody was looking for her to be in-depth, just understand some fundamentals of technique and basic skating that can be self-taught.

Maybe she never tried, maybe she tried and it took too much time away from the bar.

In this article she comes up with a caustic but apt name for Meryl Davis on the ice (I don't find it apt based on Rosie's description of Meryl's face, but apt as to how Meryl functions on the ice in lifts), and then declares Davis White the most technically proficient team in ice dance and also declares that nobody, not even Virtue and Moir, can match their blazing speed.

Yeah, Virtue and Moir are faster. This last demonstrates that DiManno isn't even looking. She attends the competitions but she thinks speed is defined in a special way when it's on a rink and not on turf or asphalt, I guess. A lot of term definitions become inverted when it comes to figure skating, that's how people can call a team the best out there when they're not actually skating.

This is what it's like with figure skating "journalism". You read something like Rosie DiManno and get all worked up contemplating registering with a screen name to comment, and then realize it's like pouring a thimble of water on a campfire. There's no push back on the ignorant. The many people/erzatz journalists who write about figure skating "for fun" LIKE that they don't have to know anything about it to write about it with authority and make sweeping declarations. It's a vacation from actually researching their real articles, or knowing what they're talking about.

These quotes:

From Scott: But at the same time we like to measure up — measure ourselves up to the best in the world. This competition, not only with Meryl and Charlie but the top six teams in the world — it’s always fun for us competing against that calibre of skater.

Charlie: Technically, I think we’re a very strong team and always have been. That’s always been our base. But certainly the maturity that we’ve shown on the ice, the storytelling, the character and just making it believable.

support some comments to the post below this that Virtue Moir are always happy to recognize their competition, while Davis White are self-referential. And for the untutored, what Charlie means by "technically" is "technicalities". They do all the work arounds the rulebook allows - and the ice dance rulebook leaves plenty. That's not even taking into consideration that some low level ISU seminars pro-actively instruct novice judges to disregard the rulebook and look for "being busy with the music and doing lots of stuff. Also, give 110% and don't be too pretty."

"Technically" Meryl and Charlie are not proficient in the skating sense. But that's not important in ice dance.

The first practice report mentions that Virtue Moir struggled a bit with the forward facing lift and then did it properly many times in succession. I also hope they did the footwork sequence properly many times in succession. I'm sure everything is going to be perfect at the event itself, no aggravating glitches that hand Davis White their 47th GPF win in a row. There's no reason to expect anything but a winning performance, since Virtue and Moir hit the ground running earlier than usual after last season, and since their mental game is stronger than ever. The reality show hasn't been even the slightest bit distracting.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Virtue Moir versus Davis White 2009-(projected) 2014

Once again, thank you canadablue.

Some DW fans claim the reason Davis White's scores have risen is they've surpassed Virtue Moir (and I guess since some fans can't demonstrate how Davis White have improved, they instead claim Virtue Moir have declined, while being unable to demonstrate that, either).

The video is depressing, but instructive. But after CoR, the sport did show its ass. Or is it only B&S who are getting score inflation?

Again, great skating skills look the same from team to team, skater to skater. Technique in elements from one to another may vary. For example, Sergei Grinkov continued to glide when throwing his partner into the 3 twist or a jump, and Trankov pops off the ice in both, but both skaters have great knee compression, deep, powerful run of blade/ice coverage, and real speed.  Both skaters skate their program. How come Davis White are the only skaters out there whose basic skating doesn't resemble any other skater before or since with great skating skills?

I was looking at a pilates tape the other day. All of the advanced moves involved extending the plane of the body away from the core while maintaining control. Every single lift Davis White do reduces the move to cores and centers of gravity pasted together while pinning limbs with limbs or while hooking limbs - or by dispensing with control all together (Charlie swinging a splayed-legged Meryl up under his shoulders).

With Meryl, especially, she cannot control her own body weight (that's right, Meryl Davis can't control her own body weight no matter how she whittles down her size) without resistance. Resistance means give her weight over to something external and pushing against it, or have something external push against her. Or locking her limb in (for example, in the transitional move of a lift last year, she actually pushed down/gripped her own leg because she couldn't keep the leg extended without using her arm/shoulder to press down).

She can't control herself in space with her core and control of her body. She always uses external resistance. This simplifies moves even in training tapes for the at home consumer, but in ice dance, these moves score the same base value as moves that require truly superior body control and skating skills to execute.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yet Tessa and Scott Prefer to Be Whores

That's harsh, but attention was recently called to this interview with one of the most wonderful teams in skating, the Shibutanis:

ShibSibs: The Social Athlete

This Q&A focuses on the Shibutanis' profilic, cross-platform presence on social media, which includes ShibSib Production videos featuring other high profile figure skaters in entertaining, light-hearted video shorts.

The quote that stands out is this:

On a very fundamental level, our involvement with social media today probably has its roots in the fact that a very important part of what we enjoy as athletes – particularly in a performance sport such as figure skating – is the opportunity to share experiences.

I emphasize, because the blog, and anyone else with two brain cells to rub together, has said this for years. This is how sane athletes on social media market themselves.

Share experiences. Not share your personal life. Share experiences.

Not share your fake sex life. Not share your fake sex life some more. Not recast the part and then drag that faked sex life through the streets (literally). Not share your cooked up meltdowns. Not share your fake platonic passion some more. Not make an exhibitionistic jerk-off spectacle of yourself on social media while pretending that squeezing some other girl's ass on facebook helps protect your little girl.

Uh huh.

Not share your family restaurant - but be sour about it because you and your family are too good to try.

Not share your faked sex life again. Not share your faked will they or won't they dynamic for the umpteenth time. And most of all, not talking about yourselves.


It's sharing experiences. You don't even have to share actual experiences. You can openly create experiences specifically to share. No need to open a window on your private life or even key parts of your sports life.

But who is Alex dating?

Who is Maia dating?

What about the desperate times?

Does either ever wish they had a non-sibling partner?

Where are their parents?

We're not missing out on Alex and Maia's personalities, we're not missing out on any relationship dynamic that's appropriate to share with fans, and we're not missing out on their chemistry as siblings. It's all there when they share experiences. These experiences are small slices of skating life taking place in hotel corridors, an airport, or bus. It's not some tell-all, up-close-and-personal forensic examination.

What a wonderful option, as opposed to, you know, creating a fake LIFE while insisting in mainstream media that it's your real life. What a great alternative to a marketing scheme based on mocking, scapegoating, and scamming the public that supports your sport, thus revealing your actual attitude towards that public, which is superiority. What a clear rebuttal to the patronizing message implied in every profile, every public breath you take, which is that your deviant marketing practices are the only way.

That's just insulting. Don't blame us for your crazy.

And, what a splendid alternative to recruiting star struck, erstwhile journalists into serving as your personal gatekeepers and fellow scammers.

As the Shibs do things (and as Moore-Towers Moscovitch do it in more random fashion) we get to enjoy their "personas" while also enjoying the "personas" of other high profile skaters such as Jeff Buttle, Mao Asada, Ashley Wagner - hell, even Brian Boitano was featured. Xavier Fernandez, let's not forget him. And, recently, Moore-Towers Moscovitch have been included. If Tessa and Scott "marketed themselves" the same way, we'd enjoy the chemistry, enjoy the dynamic, and the rest would be belong to them. They'd still be able to push Lindt chocolate, Body Butter, Toyota, Audi, etc.

Seeing as they ARE interested in marketing themselves, to say the least. We're not ambushing them at home or stalking them. This is an alternative that doesn't involve fucking people over.

Why do Scott and Tessa do it the other way?

I figure it has to be because everyone around them in their communities is so obsessed with their relationship, a more logical path never occurred to any of them. They're self-obsessed, and the people around Virtue and Moir view Tessa and Scott as their own real life Bella-and-Edward. And Virtue and Moir are too fascinated by themselves to expend any energy understanding anyone or anything outside themselves.

Chemistry isn't the only reason fans - more in the past than now - speculated about their relationship and fan fictioned it. They were cuing off Moirville's own unhealthy and kind of overwhelming obsession with Tessa and Scott's relationship.

Moirville has no capacity, nor apparent interest, in understanding anybody that isn't them, so of course since they're obsessed with Scott and Tessa to a degree that rises to real life fan fiction, obviously they're going to scapegoat fans as obsessed. And by marketing Scott and Tessa around sexual titillation, they have an excuse to wallow in their own long-running obsession with it.

Would fans really have speculated as much as they did if we weren't constantly being fed stuff on both sides of the platter - the overt, intimate attachment, "platonic" passion and emotional fervor Virtue and Moir both display and cause to be written about, and Scott's fake sex life with fake girlfriends? Those two ingredients in combination get fans speculating, because Scott and Tessa go out of their way to show the chemistry, TALK ABOUT the chemistry, and behave as who they are, and then on social media it's look at Scott's sex life with this other chick.

The Shibutanis' approach is what actual business savvy and professionalism looks like. It's not whatever Tessa Virtue thinks she's talking about.

The pollution from Virtue and Moir is pro-active, not defensive. They've primed the pump from day one. It's not our obsession with their relationship, it's their own community's obsession with their relationship and celebrity that has driven this debacle.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gilles/Poirier versus Paul/Islam

With thanks to canadablue:

You look at the comparison between these teams and it's obvious Paul/Islam didn't arrive at this level of skating yesterday. They've gotten stronger, but they had this talent and have been attentive to the fact that their discipline is ice DANCE and all the nuances of technique and bladework that that entails since their partnership began.

And yet it appeared to me at times, particularly last year, as if Skate Canada would have preferred they'd go away, or at least not do well, because they threatened Skate Canada's promotion of Gilles/Poirier. That's nuts but that's how it looked.

When Skate Canada was in the midst of its Gilles/Poirier promotional frenzy, it didn't seem as if they lifted a finger to get opportunity for Paul/Islam, a team with no reason to take a back seat to Gilles/Poirier in any respect, a team of ice dancers whose ice dance skills and multidirectional bladework done in and out of hold is substantially more developed than Gilles/Poirier's. It was as if Skate Canada wanted us to ignore them, lest anything distract from Piper & Paul.

I don't understand that thinking. Even the "error prone" knock against Paul/Islam doesn't hold water. They're a developing team. They're not going for gold. Patrick Chan fell on his ass left and right in the quad before this and he didn't have a different kind of quad (jump) either, and nobody thought well, he chokes, let him fend for himself. This (and last season, and prior seasons) is the TIME for Paul/Islam to make mistakes, to have bad competitions; that's how you learn what you need to have good competitions, so when their quad arrives, they're experienced.* But you need opportunity. Skate Canada was able to create opportunity out of thin air for Gilles Poirier (freaking TEB gala last year).

Part of the problem is the system, but, to repeat, Skate Canada prioritized opportunity for Gilles/Poirier last season and didn't lift a finger for P/I. And we can see from this comparison it certainly isn't about the skating.

I don't understand the thinking, unless one looks where it's often worthwhile to look where Skate Canada is concerned - at the directors who show every sign of being more interested in feathering their own nests than in supporting their skaters. If there's nothing in it for the directors personally, the skaters go under a bus (even Virtue Moir have experienced this it seems).

(So naturally, one wonders what IS and what WAS in it for Debbi Wilkes & Co. to fall over themselves promoting Gilles/Poirier. Paul Poirier was part of a strong team with his previous partner, but Skate Canada has eyes, and, except for when they can fake it at home, they knew damn well he couldn't skate well enough for two right off the bat.).

When we look at this comparison, clearly there is no skating reason to favor Gilles/Poirier over Paul/Islam. By "skating reason" I mean level of ability, quality of technique. Where they are as a team at this point in time, their place in the competitive picture.

I don't see the U.S. throwing pairs team Donlon Speroff under the bus. That's a gorgeous team in every way with a big gap where her jumps (and sometimes her throw landings, and sometimes his jumps) belong. Easy to write them off as beautiful no-hopers, but, lo and behold, they won Ice Challenge and she was actually in the neighborhood of clean. It's taken time (and as pairs seems more and more a sport for thirtysomethings, they have the time). When she struggled, they weren't banished to their training center.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I see what you did there, Scott

This Q&A

reads like an email Q&A with cbc.ca*

has Scott answering this question:

Q: What made you decide on ice dancing?

With this:

Scott: Ice dance was a part of my life from a young age. My older brother ice danced and like many younger brothers, I wanted to follow in my older brother's footsteps. My first love was hockey, but it seemed the more I skated and danced with Tessa, the more I fell in love with the sport. Next thing I knew I had an extreme passion for the sport.

From Tessa: there was this:

Community involvement is also paramount, and I'm proud to say that both London and Ilderton have come together to help Scott and I in many ways. Needless to say, we have a wonderful support network that we rely on immensely. 

Do tell.

*Correct. The bottom of the interview says it was email.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Let's look at some BS

This is their mess-up at this key point. People say the
mistake was hers but when I look at him he doesn't look on point either.

And the nuances: 

Look at her. Look at him. Why is she doing the Duschenays' jungle program all of a sudden and she didn't let him know?

This is the screen cap as they're about to miss the key point hand hold. I have no idea what the fuck with either of them, especially his left heel.

Look at his "carriage".  What the hell is that?

This is just a screen cap of what Level 3 Finnstep is supposed to look like coming out of a Level 3 keypoint, bitches.

At least they skate close together, right? Except for that beach ball they keep at all times between their respective pelvises.

She, also, randomly sticks her heel into the ice. It jumped right out when I saw this section.

Thank God CoP has made ice dance judging legit. It's the epitome of a forest-for-the-trees scoring system. It's actually possible to give high scores to skaters who don't skate their programs.

68.42. That's what this got. For what?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tessa Virtue's Brain

About the interview with Russian fans, here:

and here:

If Scott likes people who are "out of the box" he's got one in Tessa Virtue. But what I really think is, she's so tightly wrapped inside her box she's out of the box. The way it happens when someone travels so far up their own ass the only exit is via a foreign solar system.

Based on what we can see here, along with Tessa's tremendous willpower and drive, she's someone very narrowly experienced despite her precocious personal life and mega miles logged in international travel. Someone who insufficiently examines the things that inspire her.

I mean, let's HOPE that's it.

The meeting with the Russian fans was mostly pleasant and relaxed, but punctuated with outbreaks, at expected junctures, with the usual graph-spiking WTF-ery we've come to expect from Virtue and Moir.(i.e.: the mega face reddening, downcast eyes and huge pauses following: "What does partner mean to you", the reality show where the cameras are just following them around as they carry on their normal routine, the "hard" year they trained the Latin free dance - that was such a hard year, what with Tessa's surgery and all, and they loved the program but never got it where they wanted it to be, all your fault, Baby Moir, and the part where they probably won't write another book because there's nothing left to tell - everything's out there.)

Just based on some of her interview responses when the Russian fans interviewed Tessa, Tessa misses clear connections between particular ideas - doesn't follow their implications in any sort of reasoned sequence - and she likewise fails to place some of the material that inspires her (such as The Fountainhead) in any larger context. She seemingly approaches life with an extremely narrow focus, while repeating how much she wants to be balanced.

Compartmentalization isn't balance.

She also again presents as someone whose method of dealing with information that doesn't conform to her agenda is to tune it out.

That's fine when your agenda is skating, and potential distractions from one's training focus, but it's a little scary applied to the rest of someone's life.

With Tessa we have a woman who would take both The Fountainhead and To Kill a Mockingbird - novels with diametrically incompatible world views - with her to a desert island.

Granting her the benefit of the doubt, she must read The Fountainhead narrowly, and not absorb that, in Ayn Rand's world, there are the elite, and there are cattle, and, in Rand's world, compassion isn't just a waste of time, but against nature. And the riff raff that is ordinary people are personally arrayed as obstacles between you and your goals, cause it's all about you. They're litter cluttering up your path.

And contempt is a good thing. If you feel contempt, chances are you feel it because you're a superior being for whom the presence of so much waste of space (humans not on your level) is an affront to your sensibility.

I will assume Tessa just relates to the single-mindedness with which The Fountainhead's protogonists follow their passions, and relates to their belief that there's inherent value to their passions (architecture rising to the level of what Rand thinks is art in Howard Roark's case in The Fountainhead). And maybe she relates to the Randian disdain for emotion (weakness) and her elevation of passion (fuel), as if those things are in conflict.*

(I love how Rand kind of rates "feelings" on a scale of values, and how it's the opposite scale of values of nearly all religions, and nearly all ethical systems.)

My best takeaway with Rand is that passion is what you personally feel for those who are your equals, what you feel for your exalted goals and your agenda, and emotion is having any feeling at all towards the rabble, and emotion is also the useless, base and trivial feelings experienced by the rabble, by the useless multitudes who contribute nothing.

I love how in Rand's world everything is compartmentalized - everything CAN be compartmentalized. There's nothing holistic or organic. No cause and effect or integrated systems. It's all ruthlessly parsed.

I want to look into that Windsor U psych program some day. Seriously.

Maybe it's a Windsor - "Psych!" - program.

The Maya Angelou quote Tessa used in the interview with the Russian fans:

Disclaimer: I'm not a Maya Angelou fan. I think she's the epitome of hot air. She may be a very nice person, but her whole deal is the regal demeanor, the deliberate, portentuous cadence, and the sonorous tonality. What she says SOUNDS like it must be pretty meaningful, but come on.

Tessa's quote:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Oh what bullshit. They certainly fucking do remember what you said and did. Virtue and Moir may WISH that people only remember how they made people feel, but people are going to remember and re-watch how they skated (that's what they did, isn't it?) and people are going to damn straight remember the epic, aggressive hoax, the bill of goods they sold to the public all the while proclaiming how open, honest and genuine they were being.

Let's look at some brand name famous people:

O.J. Simpson. I think people remember what he did.

Hitler: Same.

Miley Cyrus: Overdid the twerking.

Bloody Mary (Queen Mary I of England): She's called Bloody Mary cause people remember what she did.

Marie Antoinette: I'm pretty sure she's reputed to have said something people remember.

Henry VIII - What do people remember besides his break with the Pope and starting the Church of England (things he did)? He married six times and beheaded a couple of wives (things he did).

Kanye West: Imma let you finish.

Roger Federer: He played tennis really well.

John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Also, Marilyn Monroe.

Ted Kennedy: Drove a lady off a bridge and she died. Was a Kennedy. And a long term senator from Massachusetts.

Martin Luther King: People still watch his speeches on youtube.

Lance Armstrong: people are going to remember what he did. He won a bunch of Tour de Frances and was brought down by a doping scandal.

At holiday dinner tables around the globe people remember some hurtful thing said by mom, dad, sibling, cousin, etc. years before (especially if it's never been resolved). They remember that kind of shit more than the person who said it remembers. Same goes for the good stuff - they never forget when someone said the right thing at the right time or went out of their way to help.

How you feel about people is CONNECTED to what they said and did.

Maybe if you're drunk all the time how something made you feel is all you're going to remember, but where else is that true outside of Moirville?**

Unless you're blowing hot air for a living like Maya Angelou (forgive me, again, not a fan), in which case the whole game is about creating a feeling-based atmosphere that distracts from what you actually did (wrote a lot of empty poetry) and said (a lot of empty poetry and quotes that fall apart). You hope that what you made people feel (or, more closely, I think, what you made people experience) - will be your ticket to immortality, cause your words and deeds aren't going to cut it.

Well sure, where Angelou is concerned. She didn't do or say much worth remembering, but she did read and speak like it was engraved on stone tablets.

With Scott and Tessa, people are going to remember what they said (how they lied and lied and lied) and what they did (how they skated). How they made people feel will be embedded with both of those things, not separate from it, and only an idiot would think what people say and do isn't CONNECTED to how they make people feel. That was one of the most asinine things out of Virtue's mouth, and that's saying something.

P.S. Scott's first idea for a desert island book was The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO, but he realized if he's the only one on a desert island he doesn't need a book telling him how to treat people. Which - WTF.

I do believe they think how you treat people only counts as what you do to their face. If people don't KNOW you're treating them like shit, manipulating and exploiting them, it doesn't count as treating them poorly. And now it's even expanded to be, it's okay if people know, as long as you don't have to acknowledge it.

Life is all presentation mark to Tessa and Scott. It's all pcs. It's all the real world version of skating skills.

A blurb about The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO:
Jack discovered a powerful philosophy to reshape his reality and access his destiny. In this revolutionary yet gentle guide to living your life at its most authentic level

That's just sad. Well, as long as they live their skating life at an authentic level, lying their asses off and exploiting those lies for profit doesn't matter I guess.

*I did some more Rand googling, and got some bio details. Not such a surprise that in her life she was aided and abetted by the sacrifices of others - her family, and her husband (whom she apparently treated like crap). I can see if she's of the mindset that this was her due, but at the same time, just the fact that she needed these sacrifices by others in order to get anywhere refutes her ideas about superior beings achieving their goals through sheer force of their unfettered, inherent superiority. She was plenty fucking fettered at the start, and need tons of help to start climbing.

Furthermore, by doing a reality show and all of their other attention-soliciting of the rabble, Scott and Tessa are having it both ways. They're not being independent, proud artists. They're manipulators and exploiters who constantly go to the rabble for an attention fix.

**Okay, cheap shot.

P.S. - about another Tessa & Scott book - Tessa says not until they've lived a few more years and have had more experiences. That's easy to take as a signal there's going to be no reveal after Sochi. These people are consequence averse. They're accountability averse, especially to the rabble, as it were. So it sounds as if they want to get a whole bunch of miles (years) between themselves and their lies. That way Scott can continue to tout books that promote an authentic way of being without having his ass handed to him by everyone in sight.

2011 blog discussion of Tessa and The Fountainhead

Friday, November 15, 2013


This post will expand later. While the scores are good news, I would like to ask the relevant judges on the TEB panel precisely what a dance team needs to do to get +3 on the ss sequence. Do they need to actually fly? Do they need to finish up their doctoral dissertation while skating? Do they need to ask an audience member to join them on the ice while they continue hitting Level 4?

They got the level, so there's no tech nits in the case. It's just that somebody on the panel watched and thought - eh, +2. Actually only 3 judges gave +3. And one judge gave +1. It's amazing how the standards rise when VM skate, where when DW skate it's more like "Did they execute the element? Yes? +3!"

And one judge gave P/B (who are fine, don't get me wrong) higher pcs.

Take a look at the step sequence one judge thought should only be +1. And remember that the ISU claims judges are anonymous to prevent their identities from being known to those who might bribe or influence them. Not to conceal their identities so they can do shit like this.

This post pre-empted a planned post where the title "there's a baby in her shorts" was rejected for tackiness (my own). I had been reading the "investigative" tumblr about Tessa's pregnancy, and looking at the efforts of the person who has taken it upon herself to rebut this tumblr, a person who has used diagrams, outlines, logic, corrected timelines, etc. And of course, this person re-states that there are people, and this person is one, who know about Tessa's pregnancy not from "investigative research" of other people's pregnancies, or photos of Virtue taken from the web, but because they got the actual information from credible sources off line.

And that said, when I looked at the Gemini lounge photos, really looked, it was obvious the investigative tumblr creator missed half of Tessa's body. Tessa was a clever dresser.

So while it's a bit possibly tangential during TEB to have a post that diagrams some of Tessa's pregnant lady wardrobe strategems, and while I'm not as precise with marking the contours of where Fetal Moir resides as the tumblr participant is; it's close enough. And I think will be a worthwhile exercise in anticipation of the reality show coming soon to a television near us where we watch the platonic Scott and Tessa "Blow off steam" with family and friends. (Considering what has transpired in the sham albums over the years, I think that was a very unfortunate description.)

Somebody got new lips for their Olympic spotlight.

Normally I wouldn't think this merited comment, but if a small-busted sham girlfriend uploaded a cover photo with a close-up of her brand new rack, it would be rude not to notice. So same here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Old lies

I'm assembling elements for the new banner, which is basically lying faces and maybe some text. That's the idea at the moment.

It is excruciating going through old interviews with the old lies. The second hand embarrassment is mortifying. This one in particular was torture:
Jian Ghameshi is more on the ball than I remembered. Once you adjust to his cheesy d.j. tones, he's no fool. He's not playing gotcha, but when he pins them down on stuff, it's like facial expression jackpot for the blog's banner material.

Further down, I'm going to post some of Scott's facial expressions after Ghameshi asked Scott if he were "angry" at Tessa during the first run of compartment syndrome, because there's a comment or two I want to make about that moment.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NHK Thoughts

My thoughts are about GOE and how the judges award GOE to Davis & White even when their execution is flagrantly pedestrian, particularly as to form. Isn't good form part of GOE?
Lots of judges gave this exercise in strained compensation +3.  Scott compensates less when Tessa is standing on him. His core is engaged, that's how come.

GOE are sort of bonus points. You get them for the quality of your execution. That is where DW fall down. Look at that up there.

And this:
Meryl can't keep her own leg extended unless it's behind her. As always, Shouldn't Meryl's ability (or inability) to manage her own body be part of GOE? Why did this thing get so many +3s?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Key Points about Davis and White

If you're skating while Davis White and don't show your key point edge, the judges will pretend you did.

Meryl exits this 1.5 twizzle on a shallow back inside edge and got Level 4.

Getting your level can make a difference between silver and gold. The tech callers never miss the opportunity to throw Virtue and Moir under the microscope, and never mind what else they're doing that buries the competition.

Here is Meryl exactly as she exits the first key point.

Thanks to the comment below I'm looking at the next key point to see where Meryl exits. Meryl exits both key points back on her blade.

Key Point 2 (amended thanks to comment below this post).

To orient ourselves visually, blade wise, look at Charlie's blade - where his blade is on the ice. It's forward. Meryl is not on the forward part of her blade. She's quite clearly back. If we look at her boot's orientation to the ice, she's not on an edge either, but let's not say 100% because of the straight on angle.
But this is to show it's possible to see when she is on an outside edge, and from the same angle (this is a beat after the image above).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Three years worth of lift

I was reading the "bookie" thread on fsu, where it was mentioned how it's fine if Virtue Moir take a GOE hit when something isn't executed perfectly, but other teams shouldn't get a pass. GOE should be applied fairly and it's not. DW get a bye.

And this was used as an example:

Just glorious.
Some might argue this is the preparation to the lift, not the lift. I would say that's the lift, that's the entrance. It's integral to how they get in. Once the drag is on, they're in the entrance. His dragging her past him and swinging her up creates her motion in space that is arrested when he turns himself under her facing the opposite direction.

And look at Charlie. Look at Meryl. On what planet is that proper form for anything? Her ass is practically on the ice; she's in a shoot the duck "pose" but not a real shoot the duck since obviously he's holding her up. Also her free leg is angled to the outside and her blade knee is angled the other way, so it's not even a shoot the duck pose. She'd be flat on her ass/back without him (even minus the fact that he's dragging, if you slowed them to a standstill she couldn't hold herself aligned like that) and he's just standing there like he's just dumped something on the ground.*

We can't run around being "Oh, that's not the element!" when it's how they enter the element, and then be all "oh it is the element!" when they approximate musical style by flinging an arm in the air after they're done with the twizzles (done with the element) and receive character of the music GOE because - close enough.

So let's back up and look at this beauty, since it's the flashy highlight of their free dance - three years in the making:

Twizzle double standard

These are from youtube's aWaltzFlower

I encourage everyone to watch these. I especially appreciate that the videos have their own musical score (like a well-edited montage) which helps make it easy to watch many twizzles and numerous teams. The close editing is also a plus, each example starting and ending at the actual twizzle entrances and exits.

The material is, needless to emphasize, illuminating. :)

(ETA - I have just noticed, belatedly, that DW's twizzles are aptly scored with You Should be Dancing (yeah, too bad they're not) and VM's twizzles with The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing. :)

The videos fly by and instead of everything blurring, when somebody's twizzles aren't so hot it just jumps at you, when a team has grown, it jumps immediately. It's a great way to get information fast.

Let's note how fans are making the effort to scrutinize the figure skating and to notice if ice dance is actually being judged with integrity.

Looking at how "journalists" write about figure skating, and the mindset revealed in the figure skating marketing and commentary, and guided by the behavior of ice dance's biggest stars (Virtue and Moir) - figure skating in general and ice dance in particular is merely a delivery system for romantic fantasy, or material for relationship voyeurs. Those fans exist but what is accomplished by marketing as if those fans define the public interested in figure skating? They don't.

Virtue and Moir are the sport's greatest skaters, and they're just not interested in talking about their skating. They concentrate on whoring out their (fake) relationship, using the chemistry as a teaser, playing around and baiting, even though at the end of the day, every time, the public is led down a road to nowhere.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Opposite day edging

In figure skating, one is supposed to use one's edges to glide across the ice. One is not supposed to (solely) use one's body weight, via poor alignment and pivoting your body to and fro in a rocking motion, to push edges into the ice for the sake of showing your edges are in. Skating is form follows function. DW do it the other way around, and it's exhausting. They have to apply energy on top of, and because of, their labored edge technique, instead of getting strength and power from it. They are in a state of perpetual compensation, working against the ice, the blades, and the whole point of skating.
Rolling shoulders forward, head forward, "digging in" as if their blades are a spade.
Look how wide a step they're taking. Instead of having long blade
run, they take big steps and push the edge in. It's driven by their
bodies but there's limited reciprocity with their blades carrying their

First Grand Prix program comparison, short and free, compared by transition length

This post and its header have now been updated with canadablue's free dance comparison. Thanks once again to canadablue for permission to share these terrific comparison videos.

This post is a companion piece to a post I want to do about DW's edges. Once their edge strangeness was pointed out to me, I couldn't not see it (they shove their edges in deep, but don't get long blade run out of it). That means they're not USING their edges, they, instead, are using their bodies, and body lean, to drive their edges into the ice. It's backwards. As it's supposed to work, one has a deep edge and the body follows the line of that edge - it's edge up. Not pushing from the body down. No wonder DW are exhausted after every skate. Yes, there's a mutuality going on  (you need strength to get deep into the ice) but that edge lean is supposed to travel up your body helping the skater move with power and security and long blade run. The skater's body is aligned along the edge lean. The skater isn't supposed to be bending over, leaning and swinging trying to get that edge IN without it going the other way.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pyette and the "rural areas of Ontario".

Editing to say that now that I've processed the interview more, Scott went out of his way to avoid saying "Ilderton". In fact, he steered our attention to Tessa and him being "true Londoners". Always before Scott made sure we knew he bled Ilderton sod. His buddies, and "my family" are Ildertonians, but it was Pyette who asked if they'd shot in London and Ilderton. It was the perfect opportunity for Scott to get in his usual compulsive Ilderton plugs, but I don't think Ilderton came out of Scott's mouth. "Rural areas of Ontario" my ass.

And, as someone pointed out in the comments, who the hell else touts their projects with declarations about how sincere and genuine and real they're going to be? As opposed to what? When they've been something else? Have they been deceptive, manipulative assholes in other projects or something?

They always do this. Scott flops and twists and shifts like a fish on a dock, Tessa always goes where you just think if you pricked HER skin, the needle would break on the solid ice in her veins. The exceptionally weird in Scott's facial expressions are how tight and twisted his mouth is and he keeps trying to smile with it while keeping it tight and twisted.

Could it be Love?

This is sort of a round-up post:


Davis White's Kelloggs spot. As with most Olympic promotionals, second-hand embarrassment swamps the viewer like a load of toxic off-gas. Whether it's Virtue and Moir and their moms suddenly discovering they were really, really upset not to be on the 2006 Olympic team, and, retroactively, could hardly watch the event because they thought they should be there, and didn't even know if there would ever be a chance to go to another one, or this, Meryl and Charlie's great love sponsored by Kelloggs, it's enough to make you choke on your morning cereal.

Back in March 2012, the blog approvingly reported that Meryl said this:
But I think people respect and appreciate Charlie and my relationship, and we would never want to pretend it was something else.”*
That was then. Now all bets are off, baby.

That's closer than they get on the ice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm ready

I've been practicing, and if Tanith, or any other ice dance commentator, is unable to perform, I'm prepared to step in. See below.

Before beginning, be it noted that if Virtue Moir fans question Davis White's high scores, it's whinging desperation. Let V/M beat freaking W/P and every other Davis White uber suddenly finds what a judging panel decides to do open to question and fair game. It's just amazing.

But not as amazing as Meryl and Charlie.

Okay, here goes. They key is to comment on the most ordinary attributes of Davis and White's program as if nobody else in skating has, does, or can do these things.

Wow. And she's wearing a dress.*

This is so difficult. Except for the transitions, they're doing
this entire step sequence one edge at a time.

They're just - that's an incredible lift. Meryl is upside down
and then she changes position in this same lift.*

And Charlie has to rotate while holding onto Meryl at the same time.


The core strength!

Those twizzles. They're rotating them in synch.

And side by side.



What makes this section stand out is their Finnstep
pattern is in time to the music.
Exactly - the music has that bright, lighthearted quality to it, and these two are able to match that in every detail from their costumes to their smiles.

They're smiling now!

It's just ... remarkable. It really is.
*Charlie's in a modified snow plow and Meryl is literally on her boot. Look at the blade.

*This season, we learn that no ice dancer has ever been upside down in a lift before, forget what you've been told by your lying eyes. And if they have, were they able to keep their legs straight up while clinging to their partner for dear life with both arms?

With permission

These videos are embedded with permission from youtube's Canadablue.

Compared in the video below are the Senior B outings of Virtue and Moir's and Davis and White's short programs. The structure and actual skating content of these programs do not alter performance to performance. In terms of skating skills, they are not equal in their real world base value. This is not something that changes with a strong performance from one team or the other.

Free Dance:

I love this - 2013 free dances.

Thank you, Canadablue.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This is the woman who claimed she cut her contacts to seven
so she could focus on Vancouver. Gold must be a lock in Sochi.
They're thisclose to turning into drag queen versions of their pretend 2010 selves.

Also this:

34 year old Stockard Channing playing 17 in Grease.
30something Gabrielle Carteris playing a high schooler in 90210.
Poor Cindy Brady.
Down the road:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tessa and Scott: It's not our skating that's special.

Well one preview and that's the takeaway. It's always the takeaway.  Leave the special, magical, dominating, gold-inevitable, sophisticated, soul-connected skating to Meryl Davis and Charlie White. That's not what make Scott and Tessa special.

Scott and Tessa are just special.

I'll say.
Blah blah blah unique unique haven't picked up a thesaurus in four years. 
What's a synonym? Unique. We needed a book of lies AND a documentary of lies
four years later to say we're unique.
What am I missing? Didn't we journey to Ilderton and
the Unique four years ago in the book?

Not that many people outside parts of the Jersey Shore hang out in full make-up and swarovski-studded swimsuits. So that's special-ish.

Give her credit, she's not biting her lower lip over Detroit while she's doing it.