Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stop the presses. Carmen is difficult. (And a round up of other stuff)

Latest gem from Ryan Pyette of lfpress. Carmen is HARD.

Better late than never, I guess.

The article doesn't spell out WHY Carmen is difficult, however. Suppose Ryan doesn't know?

How can that be? He's a figure skating journalist!

Apparently in an early iteration of this article he wrote that Davis White and Virtue Moir each have two world titles.

The article headline also calls Virtue Moir a "pair". I know they meant it as in "couple",  but "pair" has a specific figure skating meeting, especially if the topic is a team's competitive program.

What does it matter? It's figure skating!

I can't blame him for believing Davis & White already have two world titles - all of the press this season for Davis White have positioned them as without flaw and completely unbeatable and Virtue Moir more or less chasing futility. Scott Hamilton called Davis White the "Best in the world". You'd think they were defending World champs and reigning Olympic champions. But that's the memo. Davis and White are IT.

Pyette points out that Virtue and Moir haven't been able to beat Davis and White so far this year.

Does he know Virtue and Moir have competed against Davis and White only once this year?

He also brilliantly says that the difference will come down to who doesn't make mistakes.

I don't think so. I think Davis and White can make a couple of non-element mistakes or even a blink-and-you'll-miss-it twizzle error and still come away with 10s in pcs and +2 and +3 GOES and all their levels, but Virtue Moir will be held to the fire. Davis and White will get credit for apparent speed (to me it's hectic,  and Virtue Moir cover more ice per stroke and are actually just as fast) and Virtue and Moir will not get pc credit for the extreme difficulty of their program, nor will they get credit for their unison, extended blade drive, and control - or their own speed. The stunning twizzle sequence will be eh and meh - at least compared to Davis & White.

It's not that Davis & White aren't good - they are. It's that they are judged by a different standard. From many accounts by those who have seen both teams in the same competition, there's not much of a speed differential, and it's claimed by some who were at Worlds 2011 that Virtue Moir were faster. Davis & White are "busier" though. They're nonstop, they're hectic, frantic, breathless - and of course none of this says anything whatsoever about control. Varying tempo and pace (which is not the same as speed) elongating and holding some moves while demonstrating exquisite blade control says nothing about your skating skills. You know what says a lot about your skating skills? Churning through the program at a breakneck, one-note pace.

Oh well, the writing is on the wall and the momentum is on their side.

Now I'm going to once again bring up something I put in the comments section in the post below this.

Scott proclaims the greatness of Canada and Canadians while treating Canadian fans like dirt. But if fans were really the reason the sham exists, why would it be so sloppy, so schizophrenic, so unprofessional, smirking and inconsistent? Why would the amount of sham and the numbers involved consistently exceed what would be required if privacy were the purpose?

Why would Scott and Tessa stir the pot just when fans were doing what Scott and Tessa presumably want them to do - back off? And how is it that the interest of the community and the family and friends has not waned? They're always available!

You'd think they were all still in high school. Maybe they wish they still were.

It's not fans whom Scott and Tessa are managing and keeping at bay with the sham. Fans are just pretext. The ones being managed are the other hangers-on, old school friends, old family friends, skating friends, family members, the needy at Skate Canda (are any more needy than some Skate Canada directors) and the needy at home - for whom Scott and Tessa's gold medal is the validation of a lifetime or for whom their reflected glory feels like opportunity.

The sham might be easier to get your arms around when considered as a home town community expedience. It redirects the home town community's focus away from Scott and Tessa themselves, personally, while giving the community an ongoing role to play in their lives, a role that proves Scott and Tessa haven't grown beyond the community. They still need the community, and the community wants the reassurance that it's still needed.

It especially gives Tessa that buffer.

Not that I think Tessa wouldn't and doesn't adore having hundreds of people consider her family, and entitled to know and speculate on all the intimate details of her personal life and decisions with Scott, to her face or behind her back or both, regardless of their actual relationship with her.
This isn't corruption. This is an honor.
In Moirville, there is nothing more important Quinn Moir
could be doing with her first breaths. Her uncle
(^The above photo made perfect sense. When a woman in my family gives birth, one of the first in line to hold the baby immediately after delivery is always the long-distance girlfriend of the mother's brother-in-law. Everybody wants her to display it as her profile photo immediately. There's nobody more appropriate.

^This kind of shit illustrates how grandiose the position Scott and Tessa's fame holds in the eyes and minds of Moirville. Their accomplishment is felt personally, sustaining the connection is important for the ego and personally validating; Scott and Tessa must never outgrow it. They're still the same - and as so many Ildertonians are still the same - what's more validating than the belief that the hometown heroes are as well?.

It seems very important to these Ilderton people. Who Scott and Tessa are, personally, and what they become - and who they validate -  has an importance that is disproportionate to the place it should occupy in the real lives of anyone not Scott and Tessa themselves.

To too many of them, it's about them. To quote John Lennon, it's bigger than Jesus for them. And as such, they're making themselves ridiculous.)

No doubt Scott and Tessa's little one will grow up to be as uninterested in the lives of their parents as most little kids are in the lives of their parents. I believe Michael J. Scott and his wife, Tracy Pollan, have said that their children are bored by Family Ties reruns from the time their parents first met.

It will be a thrill for neices Charlotte and Quinn to hear their names in the Kiss'n'Cry in public archival video of Scott and Tessa's competitive career, but Scott and Tessa's own little one isn't going to care that they were completely erased from the historical record of Scott and Tessa's exciting competitive career  - a history that everyone else in Ilderton has tried to put their public fingerprints on in one way or the other.

And Scott and Tessa's grandchildren won't care either.

What's really important is that the grown Moirs, the Medway and Fanshawe alumni and associations, and other connections in Ilderton and London feel validated and elevated NOW. Everybody, no matter what they're doing with their lives, is reassured that Scott and Tessa didn't become "better than". They still belong to home.

Scott and Tessa have helped them think and believe this way by giving them a role "manipulating" one of the categories of people the home crowd feels comfortably superior to - a bunch of women, a bunch of outsiders  - many of them GRAY HAIRED - who can afford to attend figure skating events or follow it on the internet.

As much as I've read from this London/Ilderton group, as congenial as they are - self-questioning they're not. Self-examination isn't their strong suit and maturity isn't either.

They walked into this with big heavy boots without ever examining some of its dubious premises and assumptions. They dug a crater sized hole with this thing that says more about their near insatiable need for validation and importance-by-association, that says more about the outsize, oversize role figure skating plays in their world, than it does about the reality of Scott and Tessa's "relationship" with fans or the role figure skating celebrities play in the world of figure skating fans.

What sets Scott and Tessa apart from other famous skaters? Their community. And who are the only ones with the outsized, ridiculous, absurdist, egocentric and puerile fan relationship schemes that have no link whatsoever to either privacy needs or basic logic? Scott and Tessa. This is all emotion and ego-based. It's neediness.

There's a connection. The sham does reflect the community.

Even though Ilderton's got farming roots, I think that community could use a little fresh air and its denizens could do with getting out more. Out of the skating world, out of a complacent mindset. At least before they decide it's perfectly fine to fuck over people who've done nothing to them, when there's no need for it. All to gratify their personal need to feel important by proxy.

If any of these people actually do hold a low opinion of fans, fan expectations and fan behavior, all we have to do is look at THEIR expectations and behavior, and their need to be included and involved, and wonder how much they're projecting onto fans. They're needy enough themselves. But of course, in their own estimation, they're a lot better than fans. Fans must be WORSE.

I bet fans are not. I bet what fans want from Tessa and Scott - Scott, especially - is a whole lot more reasonable than what these people expect from him. It must a nightmare - people who actually know you, equipped with a fan's greediness for validation, entitlement to access and a belief that they're due the details.

And that certainly does put Scott in a unique position among currently competing figure skaters, particularly his training mates who hail from slightly more diversified home towns such as Ann Arbor and New York.

The Cassandra/Scott photos have all been sitting (or one sitting, the other standing).
Or the "party pictures" - cut off at the waist and in at least one Hilborn bent at the waist.
Was Scott standing on a crate? Is Cassandra sitting higher up on something or standing
on a box up there? Let's see full body Scott and Cassandra side by side.
P.S. - down below in the comments someone mentioned how profilic a girlfriend Cassandra is being on twitter - she's giving Jessica a run for her money with the swoony chatter about Scott and vacations after worlds and missing him and how she loves and adores him  - all stuff most people twitter about to their besties. Especially when your pals live in the same city. Why text when you can twitter in front of strangers? Scott likes the type - Jessica had the same habits.

The comments also mention that Tessa's presumed boyfriends are less prolific. Well, yeah. They shoot out an instagram or one of their pals feeds them an easy one about Tessa, and then they're out of material. And why is that? They lack an audience. If Tessa decided to annoint one of those Medway boys as her new boyfriend, twitter would see a whole lot more activity, because none of it is really for us. It's to give the folks at home something to do.

I remember with Jessica. She'd have up a profile picture of just herself. She'd be posting deathless status updates about Starbucks or Cafe Presse. Facebook would languish like this weeks on end. Scott has dinner with the Queen of England - not a peep from Jessica or any of her pals. Scott who?

Suddenly - the bell rings and she'd bolt from the gate. She'd start posting all over the place - most of all on Ildertonian & Co. facebooks. At times you'd see her losing focus - substituting exclamation points for content, but it was all happening in one manic spurt. She'd be here, there and everywhere. Someone in Ilderton would sneeze and Jessica God bless you'd.

And why was she all over Moirville? Because they were waiting. It was

When you're trying to give people MATERIAL, quantity matters. You can't have half of Medway descending on the same status update or comment. You've got to post something on your own wall for Carol, Cara and/or Alma and maybe a couple of others, then you have to go running around all over Facebookland planting opportunities for everyone else to weigh in. If she slacked off, she'd hear from the Moir Matriarchs, you can be sure, so she ran it like her hair was on fire. Then,  just as abruptly as it all started  - silence.

Tessa - she had Fedor. I don't think the people around Fedor really gave a shit about using Fedor's sham connection with Tessa to claim some turf for themselves alongside the exciting Moir Virtue ascension road to figure skating royalty. Fedor had friends in US skating mostly, he had friends in Europe, he had peer friends and not as many older people up in his business, and he had car friends. So a twitpic and a passing mention of Tessa sufficed. He was just lip servicing with his end of the sham. He wasn't trying to feed multitudes. Unlike Scott. And the Virtue side of the family wasn't looking to get in on Tessa's sham action. Her stuff was just to balance out Scott's end, and Scott's end created activities for those from his community who felt proprietary. Tessa's end of things didn't have that mandate.

Same with Ryan Semple. Clearly a little personal publicity and a slightly heightened public profile was all he was seeking. He wasn't trying to serve all of the Semples plus the Canadian alpine skiing community with his Tessa sham.

P.S. it's fascinating how Scott, who takes every opportunity to remind us all that he's not on the internet, has had two girlfriends who, once involved with him, break with all their past practices and loudly proclaim their love for him and plans with him in front of strangers on social media, while ostensibly just chatting it up with friends. But their friends never return the favor and chat up their love lives on facebook or twitter. When it was Jessica, her friends Julie, Sarah, Adrienne and Vanessa, and her sister Veronique didn't use facebook to blast Jtaimes to their boyfriend, talk about how they missed their man, or run around tagging their boyfriend with hearts and winks, even though their boyfriends were on facebook. They all chatted it up with Jessica though, about Scott.  Hell, Jessica gabbed more about Scott than Anabelle did about Cody.

And now Cassandra and her friends and family. Are the girls responding in kind, sharing their love for their boyfriends incessently by name on twitter, in front of strangers? Sharing plans? Or is it all Scott's girlfriend? Cause that's how it goes with private, internet-shunning guys like Scott who are famous in their field. They always want their private lives and lovey dovey chit chat regularly paraded on the web.


  1. "The sham might be easier to get your arms around when considered as a community expedience. It redirects the community's focus away from Scott and Tessa themselves while giving the community an ongoing role to play. It especially gives Tessa that buffer."

    I was thinking the same thing - maybe Tessa ended up getting stuck with a entire town of annoying inlaws. And the way these people diss MC- Tessa's background has a lot more in common with them than Ilderton.

    1. Can you imagine being the girl who - however exagerated - needs the kind of personal space she needs - becoming Topic A for years of an entire town who all have an unquestioned entitlement to know the particulars of her business, to ask her actual in-laws for information, and to butt in with their opinions? No matter how great these people are, I don't think a "the more the merrier" mindset is something Tessa shares.

    2. Aww, but isn't it sad Scott's home-town girlfriend doesn't love Tessa the way Scott does. Didn't Scott say that was a girlfriend requirement? It's being said Cass constantly tweets about her love and adoration for Scott. So where's the love and adoration for Tessa? I'm still waiting for the threesome Scott said was important to him. Bwahahaha!

    3. It's amazing how quickly she recovered from that brief bout of needing privacy.

    4. Where can I find Cassandra's Twitter account ?

  2. Just search her name. She's there but you have to request permission to follow her.

  3. how have you gotten her to accept that request? it seems odd to me that she would give that permission as she has wanted to keep her account private in the dirst place.

    1. She doesn't want to keep her account private. She wants to choose the "special ones" to follow her.

    2. Anon 1:54

    3. I don't know if Scott has major ego needs or the girls do, but I can think of nothing more fun for a kid growing up than to know the internet was littered with remarks from girls proclaiming how much they love and adore my daddy and want to be with him and miss him, wish they could go with him and can't wait to vacation with him - right in the middle of his career with mommy, when I was a little kid, and I was ignored as far as the public record went.

      I didn't exist as far as Mommy and Daddy ever said. There are old interviews of mommy and daddy when they were young and I'm little, and I don't exist. They never mention me, even when asked about off-ice time. Mommy says she skates and goes to school and shops and golfs. Daddy skates, golfed and was the recipient of unreciprocated twitter mash notes and facebook adoration from girlfriends.

      He poses for girlfriend photos with girls for people to see in public. But not with me.

      The private stuff is much more special, yes, I know.

      And the girls weren't mommy. And all these people on the internet knew about it. And there's all this stuff I can see and stuff I can't see but can read about.

      How important is it to be part of it anyway? Not very. We can see that from Ilderton. None of them have any great desire to be part of what Scott and Tessa are doing in any public way, to have a public role. Why should their own kid look back and wish they could see themselves in mom and dad's lives the way the rest of the family can? Why should they mind when their own kids ask - can we see you on TV or hear grandma mention your name and they say NOPE. But your aunt Charlotte and Quinn get mentioned!!

      No doubt Scott and Tessa will do a great job explaining that it's even more special to be completely unacknowledged in public and to be the only Moir whose existence is ignored during the heyday of Scott and Tessa's illustrious career was actually about how much mommy and daddy love you. All the other people who were and are so eager for public recognition in connection with your parents and received it just weren't as special as you are.

      Scott and Tessa have it down as far as being able to control and direct what people think, so of course they'll be able to manage the reaction of their own child just perfectly.

      I can go back 10 years plus to archives on the internet - forums that have been around for years, yahoo discussion groups and other chat boards and communities, relating to figure skating and to other topics. Not archives of stuff that was once physical copies and then electronically uploaded to the web - stuff that was being discussed on the web more than ten years ago. It's all still there and easy to locate.

      As this drags on I wonder if the sham girlfriends will just get younger and younger. This one is slightly younger than Tessa (as compared to 25 year old Jessica).

      Of course you never want to say "it's hard to imagine a truly grown woman" participating in this, since there are senior citizens on down who think there's nothing wrong with it. But a younger woman would be more likely to be unattached and also enjoy the game of it and also more likely to be less settled and fit into Scott's sham schedule.

  4. Anon 1:54
    Haha! So true! She lets me follow her for absolutely no reason.

  5. What's Cara Moir up to these days?

  6. So...what happens when even Facebook figures it all out?!

    1. Some of the facebook girls on addicted are starting to put it all together and realize what the truth is.

    2. I don't know. I imagine it's likely some members have realized it for awhile but only now are deciding to get their feet wet in public - admit what their real opinion is.

      It doesn't matter if the entire fandom figures it out and calls them out. Or even if the unlikeliest thing happened and fans were actually annoyed (I think it's far more likely the core fandom will be on Tessa and Scott's "side" and point to the blog as a reason they had to sham - disregarding that the blog was started in reaction to heavy handed, insulting shamming in the first place).

      It's becoming clearer that whatever is going on with the fandom is irrelevant. It's not about the fans. If it was, Scott and Tessa would have been interested in and pleased at the tremendous support and appreciation with which the Carmen program was greeted by their fans. Instead, they ignored reality, and, as is their habit, invented a fake story about what was going on with the internet complete with the apparently de rigeur self-martyrdom from Tessa and Scott.

      We've got nothing to do with this. As the above post said we're a pretext. We're the dog they'll kick to justify themselves doing and saying things that have absolutely nothing to do with us, but rather to do with the egos and demands of those around them and how Scott and Tessa are challenged to manage these demands and expectations without hurting anyone's feelings or being called too big for their britches.

      Apparently handling things maturely isn't an option. Treading on eggshells, playing the availability-non-availability game, pacifying, pandering and reassuring is the way to manage the folks at home.

      I said we're the dog they'll kick, but of course we've been the dog they kick all along. From the start. It doesn't matter what we believe or say we believe. It only matters what it's convenient for Scott and Tessa to say about us. Clearly whatever they say - no matter what it is - never gets even a cursory fact check. It's just figure skating after all.

      oc, not logged in

  7. "But if fans were really the reason the sham exists, why would it be so sloppy, so schizophrenic, so unprofessional, smirking and inconsistent? Why would the amount of sham and the numbers involved consistently exceed what would be required if privacy were the purpose?"

    ^^ This.

    "What sets Scott and Tessa apart from other famous skaters? Their community. And who are the only ones with the outsized, ridiculous, absurdist, egocentric and puerile fan relationship schemes that have no link whatsoever to either privacy needs or basic logic? Scott and Tessa. This is all emotion and ego-based. It's neediness."

    ^^ And this.

  8. Going back to the article, Randy Starkman a great Canadian amateur sports writer who died last year would be rolling in his grave if he saw this garbage - shakes head. And really besides Corey Perry is an NHL player now and who played for the London Knights in 2004-2005 and who played for Team Canada during the 2010 Olympics - would Tessa remain friends or acquaintances with...I mean really what garbage. I doubt Tessa is a huge hockey fan - let alone own a hockey jersey...once again - where is the skating analysis in this article? Skate Canada once again - BIG FAIL...
    Lastly it will be interesting to see when V/M update their website to add RBC (Royal Bank of Canada - their Olympians program) as a sponsor...

    1. The article was a mess. But this IS skating analysis today. And people ask how can the press either collude with Virtue and Moir or be fooled by them. Right. Because the sports press that covers figure skating puts Woodward and Bernstein in the shade. They're not a bunch of glorified groupies at all.

      Here's Pyette, basically:

      "Hey the pair team of Virtue and Moir - their Carmen program is super duper difficult.

      And, they'll be competing against Davis & White at the upcoming 4CCs. They have yet to beat Davis & White this year at that one competition where they competed against them.

      After that they will face Davis & White at Worlds in London, Ontario, their actual home town. You might think it's easy to win Worlds at home but it is so super hard and really rare. Just ask the ten following examples of figure skaters I'm about to mention who all won Worlds at home. Skaters who came up short on home ice? I don't need those examples - point already made!

      P.S. Apropos of nothing, didja know Tessa Virtue is friends with a bunch of London Knights from the 2003-2004 team? Better be on the lookout for her to be "dating" one of them on social media and in the stands come Worlds!

      Ta for now!"

      Just stellar.

  9. Guys, it's a sport. Don't know why you guys fuss over them so much. I just enjoy skating as artistic performances and appreciate their athleticism as an audience member.

    To write about them in length constantly, whether you support them or not, is excessive and unnecessary. The time spent on criticizing them could be better spent on more productive things.