Saturday, April 27, 2013

I'm preparing the next blog banner, and would love to use this quote from Today's Bride, but it's too long to fit:
"We have to enjoy the process, and we have to take these moments now while we're still competing, and just look around and think: Lucky us. Lucky us that we get to be here, everyone is fussing over us, we're getting our hair and makeup done," says Virtue, looking stunning in a strapless wedding gown.
"It's really special and it's nice to share with friends and family and have some good photos to look back on."
Jesus Christ, Tessa. Shut up. What are you - the fucking devil? This is horrible!

If she weren't lying, which she is. If she meant it, she would be some type of monster demon, so what a relief she's merely obtuse.

A monster is someone who'd actually mean what she just said. Meaning, this is a couple who don't admit their own child's existence in public, a couple whose nieces are held up in the front row at Worlds so the camera can't miss them. This is a couple who have been photographed hundreds of thousands of times - hundreds of photo shoots, countless publications.

Who are saying now that photo shoots and splashing the images immediately onto the web is such a special experience that despite being plagued/annoyed/aggravated/amused by never-resting skatefan "dreamers" who want them to be together, it's totally worth it for the still-resolutely-pretending-to-be-platonic Scott and Tessa to dress up like a bride and groom for Today's Bride and flood the web with the photos before they've left the studio. Why wait for it to hit the newstand! Check it out now.

(Even though their motives will be misconstrued which makes Scott so pre-emptively mad. But in the end, the lure of the make-up brush and white balance setting, the bounce board and the lens filter is a siren call impossible to resist. Right? That's all it is, you cute little fake bride and groom, you.)

And then after the pampering - the product! It's so nice to share with family and friends and have still more published-in-public-shared-on-the-web photos to look back on. Can never have too many. It's a perk and time is running out. Photoshoots aren't going to be as special after they've retired, apparently. Making them public concurrent with when they were taken also seems to be key.

It's their right, of course. This is their experience, their career. It's not their child's. Why should the kid want to look back on something published current with when it took place, just because mom and dad, cousins, fake girlfriends, paternal grandparents, etc., all have it? Just because the child's mother is telling the world how special it is, what a great experience it all still is, even after mommy's done it a thousand times and the child not even once. Be sure, mom, to stress that with less than 10 months left, time's running out to enjoy this.

The child has never shared the experience and never will. Yep - expurgated from the record of every last month, week, day, hour and minute. Why pretend the child isn't missing anything much? Screw that. Get it on the record, mommy, that this is so much fun, so lucky, so special, so the kid will know they DID miss a lot. Rub it in.

The reason Tessa can say this stuff that sounds absolutely hair-raising to anybody who knows Scott and Tessa's little one is a public non-person and excluded from all this special public stuff is that Tessa is lying.

She and Scott don't give a fuck about being pampered, fussed over, hair and make-up done for Today's Bride. They're not going to be scrolling through these shots years from now going "Remember when my platonic partner and I posed like bride and groom for that bridal magazine? SO glad we did that. I bet Tanith and Ben wish they'd had the opportunity so they could be looking back, all nostalgic."*

That wouldn't be weird in the least.

And since they're not actually platonic, and ARE married, they have real wedding photos.

Besides those, there are already enough nice photos to look back on to stock a Scott and Tessa library - many released to the public, a billion more not.

They did this to create buzz, to throw down against the Meryl and Charlie chemistry press and get some spotlight back. They've got nobody at Skatebuzz or Above the Crowd who gives a shit or can write for shit, who can counter program icenetwork, and the situation there is actually likely worse than that - to wit: Skate Canada doesn't want to support Virtue Moir vis a vis Davis White. Skate Canada thinks it would go against Piper and Paul's best interest (Piper met the prime minister recently, did you know? Finishing 18th at Worlds comes with plenty of perks).

Scott and Tessa are in bridal drag, obviously, for exactly the reason Scott claims they didn't do it.

And of course Scott 'almost didn't want to do it' because he knew damn well everyone would know why they were doing it, and for some reason people knowing shit on their own pisses them both off, and he thinks saying things like that lends credibility instead of doing what it does do, which is make his nose grow twice its size.

It's basically once again they're so busy lying to cover their real agenda, that they take no care with their lies, don't get the meaning of context, and, as ever, what comes out of their lying mouths en route to hiding the truth unfortunately usually ends up correlating hideously, hypocritically and inadvertently with other things that are true.

*You know what's funny is obviously platonic partners who crawl into bride and groom clothes would be goofing off a lot, being silly, making fun, rolling eyes. Or, if the pretend groom was Charlie White, protectively crossing his hands in front of his crotch or his arms across his torso. They wouldn't be staring soulfully at the camera, not a mouth twitch in sight. It would have a bit of theatre going on, not the aura of being absolutely earnest.

P.S. I re-realized that Scott's Q&A response about how he'd trade places with his brother is not only an ill-conceived answer that turned around and stabbed his own child in the heart, but it's part of his profile in the SOI show program. So it's not some on-line interview that will disappear into the ether. It's a statement he's making about himself in the official SOI bio for that season - it's an actual souvenir. As the blog has said, for all their lying, you couldn't force Scott Moir at gunpoint to be cavalier about Tessa. I've never read anything from him where he's even trying to double speak or misdirect in terms of how he feels about her or her importance in his life, and these are two people who lie in public all the time that they're platonic and involved with other people.

I don't know how something like what he said can be said without pausing to consider his child as an individual who is not him, who is not Tessa, who is not "Virtue and Moir". Their child isn't Virtue and Moir, but a separate human being.

By the time the kid becomes aware that the reason they're not in any public material from back in the day, the reasons Virtue and Moir lied will no longer have relevance to the kid. The career will be over. The two of them will be older. Whatever was compelling about their motives won't exist anymore. And maybe I'm wrong, but I think "We pretended you didn't exist because we loved you so much" might be a tough sell. "We pretended you didn't exist because it was too much trouble to untangle the yarn of lies" "Because the Olympics were near and we didn't want to distract with that can of worms" and "We were already stretched thin - we couldn't handle "Hey, we're together" AND "btw - we have a child AND everything else." Not to mention: "Keeping you hidden kept a lot of our friends/family out of our hair."

Especially since the people they were protecting were themselves, not the child. The child is a collateral decision. They made the decision to become parents in the middle of their Olympic-eligible careers, in the first cycle of the new quadrennial, but didn't want to deal with that decision, not in public. So a human being gets swept under the rug. As I said in the comments section, the kid isn't ignored, unloved, unacknowledged in daily life - far from it. But is in public. Scott and Tessa might very well be exhausted by being so much in public most of their career - locally and more widely. But that's not their kid's reality and never would be. For the child, it ends up being exclusion, not protection.

The Museum of Hoaxes

I've called Scott and Tessa's lies a hoax, and so I went to the web to see how many categories of deception this sham fit:

A hoax most definitely:

According to the Museum of Hoaxes

There's no wriggle room. It is a hoax de tutti hoax.

It is, of course, also a sham:
[ sham ]
  1. something fake: something that is presented as genuine but that is not
  2. impostor: somebody who pretends to be something that he or she is not
  3. not genuine: not genuine and used for deception
Obviously, this thing could not be shammier.

With the book, they flirted with

confidence trick and con artist

They unquestionably use the specific con artist repertoire every time they give an interview, but it's questionable if the sale of a book of lies = the public was conned out of the price of the book. I would imagine this would be one of those times the legal system would remind us that self-promotion isn't the same as scholarship or journalism. If the public thought this was a real book, and not simply public relations, they were deceiving themselves, versus being deceived by Virtue, Moir and Milton. It's more of a small time, not-illegal hustle.

I imagine if Virtue and Moir ever deign to explain themselves, versus doing nothing, or versus recruiting a third party to spin it for them while they're out of reach and inaccessible, they'll sanitize the whole thing under the umbrella of "performance". It's the nature of the sport.

My on-line research is not complete, but it appears that cheating at sport isn't illegal in any non-sporting meaning of the term (Pete Rose went to jail for filing false income tax reports). The governing bodies in sports have rules, regulations, legal and illegal moves and plays, but "legal and illegal" as in it's allowed and not allowed, not "you'll find yourself in a court of law."

The governing bodies are meant to oversee any irregularities, but if the governing body itself is engaging in irregularities and ignoring its own rules, the athletes are shit out of luck.

Onward to Sochi.

It's interesting - or at least there's an irony - that Scott and Tessa have been dishing out the cheat for years to us, the public. Simultaneously, in their sporting lives they are being blatantly ripped off and hustled out of points they deserve while their biggest rival is awarded points for things they didn't do, and all of this very likely may lead to Scott and Tessa being deprived of a gold medal they will unquestionably deserve unless they are literally unable to take the ice. And there's nothing they can do about it but suck it up and play along, despite their vast experience dishing it out.

Friday, April 26, 2013

So IOW, that IS the reason you're doing it?

Virtue and Moir have done a photo shoot for

Says Scott:

“It should definitely create a buzz though, which is funny because that’s not the purpose of today at all,” Moir said of the romantic photo spread.
 As usual by Scott announcing what it's not we know that's what it is.

Scott also said this:

He adds, with a laugh, "It's probably what made us almost not want to do it."
What probably made you almost not want to do it? That people would guess what you're doing, and why you're doing it, and the two of you are so fucking arrogant you can't stand being seen? You always have to be miles ahead even on stuff so  obvious someone would have to poke their own eyes out to avoid noticing what's going on?

I think once in Scott's entire entire media life he said something respectful about the fans. It was about last seasons's short dance when he said the public could tell he and Tessa weren't completely at home in the original version of the program.

Shut up! The public could tell something without Scott and Tessa telling us first? What the fuck happened? Was Scott drinking when he said it?

Davis White have been dominating the entertainment media. They're shown on Dancing with the Stars. Davis and White have Derek Hough, a Sergei Diaghilev hologram and Fred Astaire's nephew choreographing their Olympic programs. Esteemed dance critic George Jackson is rumored to be  prepping a piece comparing Charlie to John Curry and Meryl Davis to an on-ice Maria Tallchief with the soft blade work of Janet Lynn.

The actual competition in Sochi is considered but a formality. The twitter hashtag #sochigold is up and running, to be applied, apparently, exclusively to posts about Davis White. The "this deal is DONE and DONE" approach worked for London, so let's carry through to Sochi.

What to do, what to do?

If they're doing a bridal magazine shoot before the season even starts, the Parenting magazine photo shoot is being saved for January 2014, where they'll pose on the cover with a pre-schooler and then let us know that it's all to honor their own parents and the careful nurturing that brought them to a second Olympics, and it's also a shout out to their new Olympic program in which the characters they play are a married couple experiencing family life and parenthood.

I really hope not because then their kid will get to hang the cover in their room with the child model's face crossed out.  Or maybe Scott and Tessa can show their usual class and pose with one of their neices.

I don't know. They went on and on and on in 2009-2010 about how they were kids. Read - we can't possibly be married/planning a family.

So now in the run-up to Sochi they're "play acting" bride and groom = we can't possibly be married for several years and the parents of a young child.

It's disappointing because it's the same waterlogged, dog-eared playbook that stopped working some time ago. Where's the skating? Where's the interview with some of the skating greats highlighting that Virtue Moir are the best. How does this counteract that Davis White are technically equal, artistically on par, and much cleaner and more reliable.

We ARE going to get pictures of Scott and Cassandra from their "beach" vacation - which is, IMO, at this stage, immoral on multiple levels.

But Cassandra didn't do this out of the goodness of her heart. Her prettiness needs to get out there. The quickest route to getting people to look at photos of Cassandra is to hook them with photos of Scott. Then after they've looked at those they'll check out all the other auto-filtered poses. She isn't getting any younger either - both modeling and figure skating have a short prime time. She did show up for Worlds and sit in among a mess of Moirs, so she's due the quo part of the quid pro.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Derek Hough choreographs Davis White's Olympic short dance

Just bursting in to comment on this.

I love Derek Hough, but hands down he's the expert on helping his celebrity partners fake it. He's the most brilliant choreographer in two dimensions in the Dancing with the Stars universe. 

I say two dimensions because he finds lines and shapes, and then his choreography tends to be transitioning his partners between different "pictures".  He often links elements with athletic (not dance) maneuvers. He's a showman and shrewd. He's a good dancer and very musical in his own right, but this is how he's worked on the show, and to great effect.

I've only watched this season sporadically, and so far have been frustrated that he choreographs for Kellie Pickler exactly as he choreographs for past celebrity partners who weren't the best movers but could hit good lines and had athletic ability. He is still about going from shape to shape, and much less about the feet and the floor.

I'm curious if the short dance cleans up Davis White's slop, because however else I'd critique Hough, he favors very clear shapes, and no filler.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things

Tango NHK Trophy 2010.

This was a straight line transition to a rotational.
This shows Meryl changing positions for the rotational
and the exit.

Skate America

There's a sort of weird symmetry to the first version transitioning to a rotational lift and the second version being instead of a rotational lift Meryl climbs down off of Charlie to be dragged rotationally around on the ice.

NHK. This I found interesting. Trying to glide in different holds and changes of direction, with no hopping, trotting, skipping, jumping or yanking even when they're linking. They do it.

Skate America. It seems to me that Charlie's edge catches a bit there after they pass the judges. Also, he seems less able to just stay in the moment and work the glide. He's starting to violate the spirit of the thing.

I gifed this thing (NHK Trophy) both real speed (above) and slow mo (below) because what the fuck is it? I don't get Charlie's skid stop at the beginning and him having to angle himself back in order to control it and i don't get why, when she gets up, Meryl does this half assed tip-toe thing close the space between them and get in hold.

Once they're in hold (and before the broken legged kicking and other what the fuckery starts) - look at their feet. They're bracing themselves on each other, bearing down on each other to get stability for the way they have to actually try and glide into different poses and positions before they launch themselves across the width of the rink. They are not skating. All the power and energy is coming from the top down, from the grip, to balance themselves. They're stablized by each other, not their blades. Once they start covering ice they're back to jumping, hopping and kicking.

And here it is at Skate America, below.

Man, before the fall even, see how Charlie just yanks her. You know Marina and Igor didn't tell them to do it like this. This was how they understood it. What I don't get is the skating. How does the sport wind up with two time World Champions who don't skate their programs and can't dance them?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oh, look who can turn her own torso in a lift.

 Maia dropped before grabbing Alex. What will she do if they're not glued?

Both legs doing well, Alex's posture and alignment doing well.

Her left arm hooked through his, not around his neck in a headlock. Her alignment is very good. She brought her own leg back in the catch foot - it wasn't already wrangled there for her to grab.

Her chest, shoulders, neck and head reach past the plane of Alex's torso.

As can be seen in the gifs in the post below, there are a number of rotations done in this alignment. Look at Maia's neck and chest. It's not just her control and extension, but she's not bracing her chest, shoulders and head against Alex.

Maia's left arm. Where's the headlock?

Yep. Slam dunk. Davis White have the best pcs in the business.
For these caps the difference is the working space they occupy and how they work with each other without climbing onto and clinging, their line and posture while moving and posing, and what Maia can do under her own agency, such as transition.


They continue to skate. Maia hasn't decided to hang out on two feet with bent knees because they're going to do a lift. Their lift is going to come out of the skating hold and stroking with which they skated into this entrance.

While skating side by side in hold, Maia hooks her arm under Alex's arm. The hand they held while stroking stay together, so this transition is organic. She's swung around and while the knees are bent. She's in space. She's not wearing a human harness.

Maia's got her arm around his neck but her torso's trajectory is going around his side.

Why her legs aren't miles apart with knees bent and ankles flexed, who knows.

She's swung into a sit and only now does Alex take the plie/besti squat.

He does a nice little dip move here that can be appreciated in the gif.

Over she goes. Her legs seem to be doing some of their own work, plus she's being flipped over his right shoulder, not cross body.

That's about where Meryl hit it but with Charlie pinning her "straight leg". Maia has a nice arch in her upper back here. I guess that's it.

Grab her leg, Alex.

 Oh my. He grabbed one, but let go of the other, and look at Maia.

This must be where the Shibs lose pcs to Davis White. This sort of thing.

Continued next post.

Charlie's arms. And chest. And Meryl's trunk.

Everything about this. Charlie's arms. Meryl's splayed out. Her legs.

Wait, that's it? I think she hits something a little higher. She's only got one arm free still though. Still grabbing.

There we go. Only her chest is lifted (remember this when we see Maia) and though Charlie's got an arm "free" it's actually backed up behind Meryl's right leg.

There we go - Meryl's core bisecting Charlie's shoulder, left leg doing whatever.

He's got both legs pinned but Alex releases his right arm from Maia's as she arches her torso up near verticle and her knee is bent against his back.  We could also see Alex's face because Maia could actually lift her own trunk.

I think the key here below is the core over the shoulder which pretty much makes her butt 'buttressed" by Charlie's head, so once again she's using only her chest and he's handling the rest.

You can see the mechanics here. His head is like a bumper in a pinball game with her butt, hips, pelvis and stomach lodged/pinned to his neck. He's got her right leg pinned. Her left leg is whatever.

Again, everything is backed up against his neck/shoulder, plus she's ripping, plus he's about to go on leg/hip duty.

Pasted. Like a glue trap.

It truly takes a village. look at her right arm, shoulder across his neck and then down the length o his shoulder, look at his alignment, look at his left hand, look at his chest vis a vis her back and butt. For real, there aren't more efficient and yet HARDER ways to do this, ways that show control of your body in space and some technical skill?

Again, love Charlie's sudden "look, my arm is free!' while Meryl's right arm continues as a human straight jacket plus why the fuck can't Meryl hold her own leg up?

Well, that arm wasn't free for long. Also, look how high his hand is on her leg.

Her arm. His alignment. His arms. Why is it this much work? Why  are they still superglued?

The best part of it all is the head and arm escaping that mess, signaling madly to the crowd how awesome it is they can lift their chin and extract a free arm while their bodies are snarled like an L.A. traffic jam. What is the free arm and chin celebrating or proving?

Shibs next.
In 2011, the Shibutanis had this lift:

And in 2012 Davis White had this one above.

The Shibs lift evolves into a rotational but the partner mechanics, types of transitions and positions are similar.

I think the edge would have to go to Davis White because Meryl rotates into the lift.

Jessica Dube did a little rotational into a lift in 2006 with Bryce, so you know this type of entry kills. Then she did hers from the other direction - a little backwards rotation. Meryl goes forward so let's look at it. Let's look at the whole lift. There will be some awkward caps, but I included awkward caps for the Shibs too.

First, Meryl and Charlie:

Oh, okay, nothing's happened and she's already grabbing
onto him. Considering how often this happens, this must be part of the level.
As always, her feet, and how she carries herself, kill me.

Prepare for some flipping into this lift.

All tucked in.

Wait, what - lying down? Meryl for Christ's sake GET UP. I know you have abs.

At least she's got the arm a/k/a "flag of difficulty" flying. Charlie's occupied, using himself as a human car seat, complete with straps, as usual.