When Scott Moir once described himself as "not a classy guy" I think it's obvious he was saying he wasn't polished. He wasn't talking about being some kind of asshole. He meant his persona - the hyper, goofy, temperamental, un-calm and unsmooth dude. But so genuine.
The hyper, goofy, unpolished stuff, yes. Genuine - definitely not.
It seems to me that in their eyes, what they can be seen doing in public, or face to face, is the only time they care to demonstrate character. They also show the best of themselves when interacting with anyone who means something to them personally, or when fulfilling what they consider an important committment.
The people they treat well, apart from nearest and dearest, are either those Scott and Tessa consider to be sufficiently superior and/or of the requisite status level (sports, business, training, arts, society) or recipients of their patronage and tolerance (people occupying comfortably "humble" service sector positions - staff and custodians at different hotels and venues, for instance).
The ones in between are ordinary people and they don't rate at all. Or rather, these are the people vis a vis whom Scott and Tessa are eager to demonstrate superiority. Overly eager.
It's ordinary people that make up the segment of the public that pays to attend figure skating events and watches them on television.
With all the lying Scott and Tessa do, and their friends and family do, there's a component of righteousness which is a little tough to understand. THEY feel put upon. That put upon posture fuels their entitlement.
For them, it's all about who you are and not what you do. Are you one of us? Do I like you? Are you "my type of person?" "Do I know you personally?" "Are you famous, rich, of high status, can I benefit from treating you well?"
Those are the people Scott and Tessa show their best. They aren't at their best to everyone, because a lot of people just don't rate.
Scott and Tessa and their friends and family seem to feel as if treating others well is a perk they bestow on others, not something they should do because that's how decent human beings behave. They also seem really big on keeping score and one-upmanship in petty ways.
They have a superiority complex, but it's very insecure.
They feel superior as skaters - IMO they've earned it and there's not much need for modesty. I, personally, don't think D/W are equal to them or even nearly, and I feel that D/W are scored much, much too generously and leniently vis a vis how Virtue and Moir are evaluated.
But Scott and Tessa have seemingly taken their understanding of themselves as superior skaters and extended it to believing they're superior PEOPLE. They know better than most people. They're smarter than most. They're one step ahead. Other people are most definitely easily tricked by Scott and Tessa.
How they made the leap from being superior athletes/dancers to estimating themselves as superior people, superior minds, superior understanding - beats me, but they made it easily.
Much of what they say in public is meant to convey that no outsider understands, gets them, or perceives them accurately, but they themselves have everyone else's number.
They know what people think. They know what buttons to push. They're always ahead because to them, people are transparent. Meantime, they, Scott and Tessa, are so special they're unknowable.
They repeat this message all the time.
I know that the reasons Scott and Tessa have given others for the sham don't hold up - or no longer hold up - when examined. The reasons they have given, that have been accepted by many around them, don't fit their habit of baiting the fans and leading them on, of stirring up the fans so as to slap them down. That pattern can be anything, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with privacy.
It could be simply basic amateur hour p.r. Keep em guessing. It's also lazy.
Another thing it can be is self-justification. The sham has turned inside out and is now looking for reasons to exist. If that's true, then they have a stake in stirring fans up - they need to point to the "stirred up" fandom to justify all the cons they're running.
Recently, as part of the blog looking at WHY Scott and Tessa do what they do and how they do it, the home town friends and family have become the focus.
Over time, the split between the wonderful, generous, neighborly, down-to-earth, core-value holding folks we're told they are, and much of what they actually do, has become more marked.
First, there was how they treated Jessica.
I do not think Jessica was foisted upon Scott/Tessa and the Moirs against their will. The convenience was obvious to everybody (set aside the larger stupidity of the scheme and just look at - well, they've decided to do it, now what's the best set up).
At the time the Jessica/Scott pairing was first pushed into the public eye, Jessica's stock was as high as it was ever going to get, both among the general public and within the Canadian skating community. This was because when Jessica's face was slashed in Colorado, the event bound her even closer to Bryce, made her even more loyal and grateful to him, and made them closer than ever. This boosted her rating among the crowd in Western Ontario as well as with Skate Canada. She was back on the ice almost before you knew it. This seemed remarkable and heroic at the time.
It helped that her reaction, at least on the surface, seemed to confound some people's expectations of Jessica. She'd always been iffy on the motivation, and a head case.
In hindsight, time has clarified that event to the point where we can understand that Jessica's response was in character. While her choices were laudable, the motivation wasn't 100% noble and heroic. Jessica loves drama, loves attention - especially positive attention - and this trauma, while authentically frightening in the moment, ended as a psychological net plus for Jessica. The positive attention and all the drama wasn't the product of years of toil, either, but of a freak instant. That's another plus.
Her injury could have been much worse, but it wasn't. His blade didn't slice into her brain (as Berezhnaya's partner's did) and nearly end her life. The injury didn't affect anything vital - it was a matter of reconstructing the damaged cheekbone, suturing the scar, and waiting for it to heal. IOW, it was cosmetic and she was basically fine the next day, having no memory of what happened. It has lived on because they were in costume and skating on television. It didn't happen in a practice rink. It was much more dramatic.
Jessica had motivation issues and was injury prone long before the face slash and Bryce was doing yeoman's work motivating her before that as well. Afterwards, it can almost be seen that the fallout from the face slash provided Jessica with an incredible amount of adrenalin and motivation - she was on an attention high. As perverse as it was, the sum of it all was rewarding for her, at least until it wore off and she was back to being Jessica.
(It may seem un-p.c. or uncharitable to say these things, but it doesn't make them less on the mark. Not to mention that what people say privately and what they say publicly are also very different, and Jessica has been a joke topic for years inside the sport, not least because of the relatively free post-face slash ride. She wouldn't be the only one - athletes are a whole lot less histrionic and melodramatic about even the scariest injuries - their own, and other people's - behind the scenes than they are in public).
So, Jessica got on the sham train when her stock was highest.
And then her stock dropped.
Here's when I first noticed something weird about Moirville. While they were busy shoving Jessica down our throats on facebook - cramming her down our throats, setting us up with her, they were holding their nose.
The subtext was - here have her! But we don't like her.
Scott ignored her on camera at WTT, even though she was trying her damndest to seem like one of the group.
After being literally paraded at the Scott and Tessa Gold Medal Celebration, she was made to sit several rows behind the real friends and family, and afterwards handed off to the locals who were serving as her wranglers for the evening.
On facebook, it is easy to see Scott's friends, Scott himself, Charlie White and Cara Moir routinely mocking Jessica while pushing the sham - they aped her way of posting, they doubled down on butchered French, gorged on cloying internet slang and all caps - basically laughing in her face, having a great time.
They wanted us to take her for real but didn't want to be seen taking her seriously themselves. They're better than she is. As the blog said a couple of years ago - she was good enough to throw in our face, but they were superior to her and had to demonstrate it alongside the actual sham.
So IOW, Moir & Co. were down in the mud with Jessica but trying to prove they were better than she was at the same time. It was really really striking and didn't seem as if it were something the 'good people' of Ilderton would be doing if they really were good people.
Be frank about the lack of affinity in private, fine. But to make a spectacle of alternately ignoring/mocking her - to be really obvious about it in public - that's immature. That's boorish.
Is it Jessica's fault she went along with it? Hell, she might not be swift enough to realize it was happening, she might not even have cared. If she didn't realize it was happening that would be all the more reason for the Moirs to mock her - that's how they roll. They can pretty much sneer in her face and it'll sail by her - isn't that hilarious? If she did realize it, she got perks from participating, and, after all, the people in her real life (her training center, her family, her community, Bryce) were loyal to her.
If I were a figure skater who routinely let down my partner, who underperformed despite all the resources poured into getting me to get off my ass and out of my head and step it up, I might be pretty motivated to go along with something that not only got me a bunch of perks like international travel for my family and different types of media recognition I wouldn't get on my own, but also please my figure skating Federation.
The blog is not a Jessica fan, to say the least, but I'm not trying to sell her somewhere else. I haven't created a line of Jessica Dube products I'm hoping to market on another blog, to, say, a bunch of people who don't know this one exists.
Basically, it struck me as pretty "not classy" when the Moirs tried to push Jessica/Scott on us at every turn while blatantly ridiculing her on facebook and treating her like a leper in public (the whole perp walk set up at the Olympics still boggles the mind).
The Moirs were dealing with two elements beneath their contempt. One was Jessica. The other was the general public. But they wanted one pariah - the general public - to see the clues that they considered themselves superior to the other inferior one - Jessica.
It totally was a 'good enough for us' (fans) situation but she was in no way good enough to rate even elementary courtesy from the Moirs.
For people as decent as citizens of Moirville like to advertise themselves, this is not how it's done. If there's somebody you find a pain in the ass, or a bore, but you've chosen to work with them, you handle the situation like a grown up. You don't work with them at arms' length in a really conspicuous way, so everyone - even, in the Moirs' case, us, who they were conning - could see you consider her beneath you, and you can show off how superior you think you are to her.
When it was going on, it was easy to wank that the way the Moirs held their noses around Jessica was Jessica-specific. Hard to blame them - there's a lot that's specific to Jessica that would seem to justify it.
But subsequently we've seen Scott and Tessa and the Moirs display that side of themselves in non-Jessica contexts, and it must be considered that it was just how they are - it wasn't prompted by her.
Their behavior with Jessica looks bad, not just towards her, but overall, in the way it aimed to bolster and display their sense of superiority to Jessica while at the same time, using Jessica to flog the sham (the sham also bolsters their sense of superiority. That sense of superiority, so important to them, it must be noted, seems to require a LOT of bolstering.).
We can look at the levels of toxic 'tude reeking from Moirtown when we walk back to just after the Olympics, for example. There's so much, but the one that stuck out the most to me was Scott LAUGHING while talking about all the fans who said things like "We can see you're in love - stop lying to yourselves." and "Just date!" He totally held that stuff up to ridicule.
What was making him laugh? It wasn't at the romantic notions of fans who wanted a couple of platonic figure skating partners to hook up off ice. Tessa was Scott's WIFE. What was so amusing? That all of those fans were begging him and her to get together, to just try dating, when he was so far ahead of them it was hilarious? Fans didn't get it. They were married!
Was that the funny part?
Oh, okay. Scott and Tessa found their gullibility hysterical. OMG - even though we're pretending to date other people and I'm parading skeevy photos of myself in facebook with Jessica and half these people never heard of me or Tessa until the Olympics anyway and even though we've instructed everyone who interviews us to bring up the dating question so we can deny it we still can't get over how amusing we find it that people are stupid enough to believe us. OMG we are so much smarter than everyone! People are ridiculous!
Coming at it as someone who knew Tessa and Scott were together I found him joking about fan cluelessness super douchey.
In the "since then" category we have Scott and Tessa simpering in front of the skype-esque camera at last year's
Yep, the sham is all about privacy. It's about preserving their freedom on the ice, Tessa being so high strung, self-conscious and super sensitive. That's why they both face a camera lens and game it. That's why they set bait. It's because they're so private and sensitive.
It's not because they're insecure, desperate to prove they rate, and they find these scams psychologically reassuring. "At least we're not as stupid as THESE bozos! Look how easily we can pull their strings!"
Prior to that there was Carol Moir taking a photo from one of her albums and making it her profile pic. Carol, Alma, their sister Marj, and beloved patriarch G-Mac - G-Mac flipping the bird directly at the camera.
What was that about? She just thought it was cute? All of the fans could see it. Was she sending a message to the teeny tiny regions of the internet that were criticizing Virtue Moir and possibly the sham and too bad if a whole bunch of "innocent" fans felt a little unsettled by that profile picture? Was Moirville so hypersensitive they didn't give a shit about all of their defenders and instead got righteous about the relative few who criticized them for something they were actually doing - lying? It wasn't a false accusation - it was the truth. They were lying. So why not suck it up and ignore it. Why act out?
They feel entitled to lie. They didn't ask permission, they didn't poll the general public, they just decided, all on their own, inside their own community both neighborly and figure skating, to con the people who loved Scott and Tessa as fans. What earns the bird about that? People figuring out they were being conned and saying so? The Moirs are so much better than everyone else we have to be polite and not notice they're lying? They're entitled to scam the public and how dare anyone push back? Did we forget our place or something?
I just don't get that one. THEY were and are lying. There's nobody making them lie. Why the hostility?*
Maybe they just resented that one of the people who knew better came out and said so. We're all supposed to flatter them that they're so slick they've fooled everybody. We're supposed to enable their belief that they're smarter than the rest. That's so important to them.
And now we have a very typical Canadians preview from Scott. The framing is typically them and us. Us - Scott and Tessa, are courageous, boundary-pushing champions. "Them" are fans who box them in, don't get it, never will get it, don't even like figure skating, only understand romance novel swill.
Scott and Tessa make like they have to work inside an environment that is inferior, that confuses fantasy and reality and it frustates their ambitions, but they'll defy expectations and courageously forge ahead.
Look at us. Look at what Scott and Tessa deal with.
We can't tell the difference between Carmen and Tessa or between an ice dance program and real life (even Scott and Tessa's ideas are puerile - those claims are pathetic).
It's so important to them to establish their superiority in every media interview they will will even trash their previous free dance programs as "look at each other and sigh." Why? Because it's part of their need to trash their public. The public liked those programs - as they like Carmen as well (and Scott and Tessa will never EVER admit that). Tessa and Scott don't want support. They want to manufacture adversity, to defy the obstacles, to be victimized and the only ones who understand.
To me it appears that, in the overview, a common thread in every Scott and Tessa interview is they are superior to the public that supports them. They come right out and say it. The sham, also, validates that for them, and perhaps that's why it persists.
The public not appreciating their new programs validates that for them. The public falling for the fucking sham validates that for them.
The public liking their programs validates that for them, as long as Scott can re-frame his past programs as pandering trash. Oops, we, the public, were suckered into liking artistically inferior programs. That just proves we're unworthy of their art.
What type of people need to create straw opponents over whom to prove their superiority?
Insecure people. Psychologically fragile people.
I think within their bubble, Scott and Tessa are secure and tough-minded. Outside it, they don't know what the fuck they're doing, are unsure and have no steady frame of reference, and it certainly appears as if their friends and family (maybe it's the small town thing) are no help there. So to bolster their confidence, they have to set up everyone outside the bubble as adversaries, as stooges and dupes, because that's the only way they can feel confident.
*I think the hostility is there and just looks for an outlet. The chip on the shoulder must be issued at the hospital with the birth certificate.