Saturday, July 20, 2013

Good news, Skate Canada, Alexandra Paul is ALREADY Canadian

Piper has to jump the line. She just has to!

I just thought the amazing full color photo, above-the-fold article in the Toronto Star showcasing the utter urgency that American Piper Gilles get her citizenship ahead of other petitioners waiting YEARS and years, because Skate Canada really really needs the 18th in the world ice dance team to go to Sochi, was worthy of its own post.

Front page "news" with huge color photos.

What is wrong with Alexandra Paul, Skate Canada? She is already Canadian. Can't she make a valuable contribution to Canada as she is, a genuine, home-grown Canadian citizen? She's all warmed up and ready to go! No @CanFund emails "clearing this up" necessary (but thanks for sharing on twitter, @CanFund!).
But Alexandra Paul's not what they want. How come?

Where's the fire @CanFund? How does Piper QUALIFY
for an Exemption? Share with the class.

I found the Toronto Star article incredibly disturbing. How was it arranged? Who pulled the strings?  How is the plight of a back-of-the-pack ice dance team worthy of the front page?

Who has Gilles & Poirier so sure they, and not another team, will be in Sochi if Piper gets to be Canadian ahead of everybody else? I don't think they're deluded at all - I think they're going to Sochi and Paul will have to break his leg again directly on the ice for them to finish off the podium at Canadians, and even then I'm not so sure there isn't some five second broadcast delay in place that would trigger a blackout if that happens followed by the announcement they did a fabulous job but alas the digital record has been erased.

How does Piper Gilles qualify for an exemption? The incredible hardship created by her wealthy family pumping tens of thousands of dollars out of their own pockets into her undistinguised skating career, but if she gets to be Canadian she can siphon off some tax dollars? That hardship?

Is it the amazing prestige she'll bring to Canada by skating at Sochi with Paul? Who the HELL is going to notice Gilles & Poirier in Sochi with Virtue Moir there, not to mention Weaver & Poje  - besides what Barb, Debbi and P.J. can stuff down our maws on twitter and online newsletters?

Why did this article skirt over the existence of Virtue Moir and Weaver Poje? They made no case for Piper whatsoever. They mentioned the exemption she hopes to get, but completely failed to make the case that she qualifies for this exemption.

What contribution does Piper stand to make to Canada that Alexandra Paul cannot?

I think contributions are being made, all right, but I don't think it's to Canada. That's a lot of money siphoned into Piper's skating- I wonder if any is being diverted to other pockets.

BTW I have it on good authority the revamped Skatebuzz will be called Piper's Pipeline.

Because Virtue/Moir and Weaver/Poje exist, this obsession with railroading Piper through the waiting period reeks to high heaven. ESPECIALLY since by any objective measurement, Paul Islam, actual Canadians, are at least as good as Gilles Poirier, and in the eyes of people who actually care about actual skating, they're better. What's the worst that could happen? Weaver & Poje and Virtue & Moir finish the season earning another 3 spots for Canada, and Paul Islam are further back in the pack. What do Gilles Poirier contribute that would improve that scenario? Five places?

This is nonsense.

We'\re speaking here of a THIRD slot. For Sochi, Canada already has two incredibly strong teams and has no need of Gilles Poirier to keep Canada on the ice dance map.

So what the fuck.

Nowhere in the Toronto Star do either Poirier nor Gilles even pay lip service to the notion that the Canadian Championships are still to be held and that third slot is up for grabs.

Now why is that, unless it's NOT up for grabs and the championship is a mere formality?

I'm curious about a bunch of stuff, actually.  Such as, what the fuck, P.J. Kwong. She didn't think it important to share that Paul Poirier had broken his leg earlier this year, for example. Even though it was announced over a public address system. Why? Would it be inconvenient to have the Ministry know about his leg?

And what the hell is the urgency about getting THIS girl eligible for Sochi? Why is Skate Canada turning its back on an ice dance team that is already Canadian, in favor of leaning on the powers that be to make an American into a Canadian? Not a number one American, not a top ten American, a freaking eighteenth place American!

Why are they rending their garments over Paul Poirier's situation? Did somebody rip Vanessa Crone - an actual Canadian - out of his arms unfairly and force him into a partnership with Piper? Is that what happened?

Because, as I understand it, he chose to dump her ass, and hook up with Piper. Good for him, but why should the Canadian government give a shit about the problems Mr. 18th Place brought upon himself when he dumped a capable partner for a non-citizen publicity whore? He can do what he wants. But the Toronto Star, and Gilles & Poirier, and Skate Canada on twitter, through surrogates, through his Zoueva-wannabe coach, Carol Lane, through Bonnie Gilles, with money, with promotion, with media opportunities, have completely failed to tell us why we or Canadian immigration should care.

Just because a girl has a dream is no reason she shouldn't cover her bases.
Eta: Whoa.

In the comments below, a participant linked to this blog:

Olympian Piper Gilles

Which is a timelined chronicle of the publicity drive for Paul and Piper. Piper Gilles is not an Olympian.

Over on some of the message boards there's an attempt to equate Piper's situation with Kaitlyn Weaver's.  Kaitlyn didn't go to the Vancouver Olympics because she and Andrew came in third to Gilles & Poirier.

I think the Piper partisans are overlooking that Skate Canada has clearly guaranteed the third slot to Gilles & Poirier and any other ice dancer below the level of Virtue & Moir and Weaver & Poje will just be going through the motions at Canadians next season.

The brutality towards their own non-favored skaters is something else, although not surprising considering the big mouths some officials have in full earshot when at actual events.

Friday, July 19, 2013

If that were true, Charlie and Meryl would be in trouble

The relevant quote from this feature from Meryl is:

"It's a power shift from Russia, to skating being rewarded for good skating."


and from Charlie:

"If you don't do your job, you're not going to be rewarded, and you don't deserve to be. We want it to be a real sport like that."

Charlie also says "In the olden days, the American teams just weren't what the judges were looking for."

In the olden days the judges were looking for the best ice dancers. Thank God those days are gone.

Says Meryl "This new judging system is what got us out of that funk."

For sure. Only under this new system could a team that fake-skates dominate against what may be the best ice dance team of all time.

The "new judging system" means that people only look at the protocols, instead of looking at the skating to see if the protocols are honest.** And that's how DW are getting away with it.

The "new judging system" produces fans like Peter Murray's favorite expert, Patrick Ryan. Ryan looks at protocols, not skating, to justify DW's win count, but he'll complain about protocols if he thinks they should be lower for Virtue and Moir, without getting specific about what they did on the ice that was overscored (he and P.J. Kwong would probably get along.).

He just believed they should have been punished more at the 4CCs 2013 for interrupting the program, and he also flat out declared (in his claim that they didn't receive ANY deduction) that Virtue Moir are a default second to Davis White, so deductions start from them with silver medal scores, not contending scores.

(When people started bitching about Virtue Moir and the 4CCs 2013, I thought it was just ridiculous at first. Virtue Moir won the short dance. What on earth could they gain by faking an interruption (a withdrawal, such as in 2011, is a different thing)? Then I was like "Ohhhhhh - we're supposed to believe Virtue and Moir can't beat Davis White in the free - Carmen can't get it done. We have to pretend they withdrew to save face!"

But the slings and arrows were so weirdly alike and so insistent.

Without the rationale that Virtue Moir were trying somehow to avoid being beaten, there is no reason for them to fake an interruption. That this bullshit idea got any traction at all shows how the politics are aligned against Virtue and Moir in the media and in much of the higher profile North American skating world (and some overseas). Why would the best in the world interrupt their program?

Oohhhhh - they're NOT the best. Davis White are.

When the ISU published that letter of inquiry claiming some skaters "misused" the interruption rule, they acted like puppets. I thought a lot of the reaction to Virtue Moir at the 4CCs came off rote as hell, and suspect as hell, and the silence from Skate Canada was fascinating. IMO, the ISU is making a political statement about Virtue/Moir and Davis/White - otherwise what on earth would motivate Virtue/Moir to interrupt their program and then finish the competition?

That letter isn't about interruptions or rule abuse. It's throwing in another piece of propoganda that DW are better. That's what "misuse" implies.

The gall here has no ceiling. We are meant to believe Virtue and Moir are a default second to Davis White. By claiming "misuse" in the letter of inquiry, the ISU is validating the claims that Davis White are better than Virtue Moir.

Davis White partisans, and they apparently include the ISU, want to establish that Davis and White are empirically better every time they take the ice. Ergo, without an obvious mistake (IOW, detectable to the casual viewer) by Davis and White, Virtue and Moir are skating to earn a SILVER model.  Gold isn't even on the table when they compete with Davis White.  The 4CC score differential at the end of the free in the 4CC's 2013 is the set score differential between VM and DW with both skating through their programs. That's Virtue and Moir's max. Got that?)

While Davis White pretend they're all about "reward what's on the ice!" they don't mind if their supporters veer away from skating into saying things like "I don't know much about skating, but Tessa and Scott are so sterile and Meryl and Charlie are so passionate, I am much more affected by them!"

They are trying to claim every inch of turf there is - the "it's a sport!" turf, AND the "best performance" turf, and at the same time, throw shade at Virtue and Moir.

There are two obvious things that stick out. One, Davis White don't do the job under CoP, and they're rewarded beyond anything they put on the ice, per the standards and criteria in the ISU's own rulebook.

That's not taking into account some of the things they do (or half-ass) under the rules that shouldn't be IN the ISU rulebook (a hop or knee-jerk into two sets of twizzles = Level 4, their spins getting Level 4's and called the best despite Charlie flinging Meryl around as a rotational aid. WHEN do they generate rotational speed off an edge?).

So this yammering on about how it's fair finally is just obnoxious. I guess it's the American way - throw shade at anyone better than you.

The other thing is the implication in this youtube feature embedded above is that Russians in the past were rewarded despite not doing their job on the ice.  Russians won because of  political "power", and not because they were the best skaters.*

When Americans win, it's truth and justice.

I don't blame DW for this but it's always, always been obnoxious on the part of North America. Always. American women, for a long time, kicked ass in women's singles because the USA had the best women. Canada and the US shared the best men with Russia (usually), on the world stage.  Russia won in pairs and dance because they had the best pairs and the best ice dancers.

This is just another case where everybody pretends nobody understands ice dance, so "the best" can be whatever the skating world's politics find it convenient to say is the best, and then the ISU gets busy enabling.

Here's the message(s) DW are trying to get out.
  • They're the best in the whole wide world. They're dominant. They "roll into" enemy territory and take what's theirs.
  • They're underdogs against corrupt forces conspiring to put Virtue Moir on top. How do we know when a competition is corrupt? When Virtue Moir win.
  • Virtue Moir know they're not as good as Davis White and "misuse" ISU rules to save face at competitions where they've won the short dance and are leading in GOE at the time the rule is invoked.
*I love how Punsalen & Swallow's remarks are framed almost to make their observations sinister. How - when champion Russian teams retired, they'd turn into coaches, and another would take their place. They had a system! It was a legacy. We saw decades of dominance.

That, of course, describes a country that prioritizes pairs and ice dance. They valued it. North America always prioritized singles. It makes sense. But this piece goes ahead and pretends that creating superior skating teams is some kind of iron curtain/Eastern bloc conspiracy that needed a complete overhaul and some good old North American honesty and fresh air. It's also incredibly ironic that the same system that functioned quasi honestly ONCE, when it made Virtue Moir Olympic champions, has now been corrupted to suppress Virtue Moir and throw monster scores at Davis and White that they didn't earn. This system has also clearly institutionalized a double standard in the scoring criteria between Davis White and Virtue Moir. And it's knocked the concept of "pcs" on its ass.

**And I want to know how that became the norm. How come so many supposed "skating knowledgeable" fans only look at the protocols and not at the skating to see if the protocols are applied with integrity? When did not looking at the skating itself become a thing?

P.S. - Scott and Tessa have made similar points about CoP, or used to make them, but that was back in the days when nobody was sure if the judging was going to make Domnina/Shabalin Olympic champions no matter what was on the ice, and Worlds 2009 justified any apprehension the skaters had about that. But the reality is, CoP no longer rewards what you put on the ice. If it did, Davis White wouldn't get the scores they get. CoP is just a tool for obfuscation. It's another excuse not to become informed about actual skating.

P.P.S. when I look at the posing sections, the stop and slides, the hopping in place, and all the other non-skating two footed bullshit in a typical Davis White program, I think those on Jacquie White's facebook who smirked about "didn't take a rest stop in the middle" have some nerve. IMO, the ones abusing the interruption rule are Davis White - they just call it choreography.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why would you ADD people?

As it defies common sense to bring even more people into the sham circus, that is naturally what Moirville is busy doing.

I'm bringing a comments section discussion from the previous post into this post.

As noted by a participant in the comments section below, this girl:

was a skating student of Alma's. She also tweets to the girl whose twitter screen cap is below, a girl who who calls Alma's attention to a fan she wants them both to sneer at.

They are all such assholes and I guess before Toddler Moir is even three she's being trained to be an asshole herself or else have tremendously thick skin. Otherwise I can't imagine anything more fun to find on someone's public twitter than my daddy being seen out with his girlfriend.

OTOH twitter has to be a dream come true for Scott in some ways. Obviously, Moirville has an unending supply of skating community members eager to get involved in Scott and Tessa's business, and with tweets like this Scott doesn't even have to pose for a photo. Someone can just tweet that they saw him. It's totally hands off. With Sochi less then a year away, let's make this as messy and dickish as we can, shall we?

That's asinine, but this, though, sucks:

Umm*, you know who else exists, you asshole, Alexandra Vaiay? The fan who made that playlist. This is an actual person, not some abstract group of "fans".

Why NOT humiliate her on your public twitter. Why NOT call Scott's MOTHER's attention to this fan on the assumption it's crazy and embarrassing. Let's mortify someone who hasn't done one fucking thing to you, you fucking sack of stupid. Yes, if I were that type of fan, there would be nothing more hurtful than having my innocent online fan activities called to the attention of my favorite's mom so she could endorse how ridiculous I'm being.  What Alexandra Vaiay is doing on her twitter is a hell of a lot more fan-like, bitchy and overinvested than a figure skating fan enjoying the sport enough and respecting her favorite's music choices enough to make a playlist.

OTOH, the playlist fan can take under advisement that she's targeted by people who can barely turn on their computers, so they probably imagine the playlist fan has spent hours working with  IT professionals to string that thing together, and to them, that's #crazy. But if they were the sorts of people who knew where the on button is, on their computer and in their brains, they'd realize online applications/software streamline the process.

What's not crazy is living through your kid and his wife, your brother and his wife, your neighbor and his wife, your coach's youngest son and his wife, your ex highschool classmate who left before graduation and his wife. And using twitter to fuck with your relative's fans and supporters. That's not #crazy.

What are they doing on twitter besides not providing any positive attention for Scott and Tessa's Sochi prospects? Do they run "Virtue Moir" through the search function to find out what fans are doing so they can mock them? They've probably got a lot bottled up since they restricted their facebooks. We know them. It's not enough to be meanspirited amongst themselves. They like a big audience of strangers.

Seriously - why don't Scott and Tessa petition to skate their programs in a lab? Keep the crowds out. Just run through the programs under the critical eye of the ISU's judges and have them report the scores later. Let the other skaters skate in public, in front of actual people.

I don't know if Scott and Tessa can skate their best breathing the actual air also being breathed by mere fans who paid mere money to watch them compete. Likewise, how on earth do they manage to perform in shows when all these fans are attending.

If they're not paid, they not only ignore fans, they actively and publicly disparage them. If they're paid, they will lay it on. When not paid, they do things like host a fanpage and then ignore all the fans who do basic things like say Happy Birthday, until they bolt for the exit because their newest fake girlfriend has just joined twitter and they don't want to be around when fans find out about it.

People wonder how spoiled Tessa is, or how obsessed the family is with Scott and Tessa, but I want to know how spoiled that senior generation is - Carol and Alma & Co. They are certainly undisciplined and completely unaccustomed to the need to consider other people's feelings.  They act like they've never left the play pen, which, in a way, they haven't.

I think it's high time Moirville provided everybody with their profile of an acceptable fan. Apart from a willingness to shell out money for yellow sweatshirts and fabricated biographies, is anything else on the list?

Why couldn't this person who made that playlist be a fan of somebody with a fucking heart, like Moore Towers Moscovitch? Or ice dancers who have a freaking clue about publicly treating their public with basic decency (Paul/Islam).

I don't know, maybe Alma, Carol and the other Moirs with restricted twitter accounts should lay down a few guidelines for those they follow, especially people they know. Such as try not to basically single out a fan by name (or even screen name) on twitter, and shame them.

That would require thought. They are allergic to thought.  Things like thoughtfulness and basic decency are too much trouble. They're just a bunch of social media slobs but I also think, as the blog has said many times before, they have a sensitivity chip missing. Because, a lot of people, this type of insensitivity and casual cruelty just doesn't happen, no matter how careless or inattentive they're being on social media. If it's not in you, it's not going to happen. If that's who you are, however, then it's going to show up all over the place.

Ironically, nothing brings them to tears faster than they bring themselves to tears. Get them talking about themselves and the floor is littered with crumpled tissue. Other people, not so much.
*"Ummmm" is right up there with "shrugs" and "lol" in the pantheon of overused, ass-covering disclaimers on the internet in cases where someone is completely obsessed but trying to play  themselves off as not.

P.S. - this season, in addition to .gif-ing the shit out of Meryl and Charlie's programs the second they're unveiled, it might be nice to keep an eye on stories such as the one that came out recently about Paul Moir and Sherri Moir getting ice skates to that low-ranked ice dance team whose skates didn't arrive in time for them to compete. Track where stories like this come from. Who brings them to the attention of the media? How are good deeds like this discovered?

P.P.S., as this is a twitter post, and in honor of the tumblr linked in the comment section, here's a sample of the twitter stylings of Cassandra Hilborn:

You guys, she sobbed.

Scott was, of course, on tour with Tessa. Which makes Tour - 1, Cass - 0 sort of resonant.

This is also classically narcissistic sham. It's not life. It's about CASS.

I've said it before, Moirville has big mouths. And I sometimes wonder just how enthusiastically they embrace Tessa, or is it really that Scott loves Tessa, and Tessa is the reason Scott won a gold medal, so of course they LOVE Tessa, but do they love her in her own right, for her own qualities, or is it a Jackie/Ethel situation where they wish she was Ethel?

The tone of the sham - especially this iteration, with "Cass", calls that into question, IMO. It's like this Tessa dissing shit is creeping into things. It's probably all her fault they're stuck making asses of themselves shamming. If Tessa didn't have her own life, then she could hang. And everybody could crawl up her ass and into her business - for real, not just behind her back. Maybe Scott would be more available and less whipped.

And maybe Cass, who as we know is tweeting under Moir supervision - is just acting out some wish fulfillment. Maybe the competitive tone that creeps into all things sham stems from the source - those who run it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Marketing your way to gold

Apart from the Sale & Pelletier incident in 2002, which was more like a railroad job, has a figure skater or skating team successfully marketed their way to an Olympic gold medal against superior competition before, or are D/W breaking new ground?

They're so relatable!

We saw Meryl Davis sailing away with her Kelloggs Cereal on her Sunday sail, as you do. They're busy acquiring as many marquee names - like Derek "makin some shapes!" Hough as they can think of to help brand their upcoming Olympic programs. At the rate they're going their costumes will have to resemble NASCAR race uniforms.

This may as well be a "Four Your Consideration" campaign for Best Picture. Sochi will just be the venue for the announcement. The votes will have been cast already.

Their partisans are trying to create an issue out of what happened at the 4CC's 2013 with Virtue and Moir, and there's agenda all over that. That agenda is they want Virtue and Moir's scores to be lowballed through Sochi, to compensate for inflated scores at 4CCs.

They want us to believe Virtue and Moir were overscored at the 2013 4CCs, get out the memo that Virtue Moir are overscored, period. It's audacious, I'll say that. Silver medal and still overscored!

Nobody is talking about Davis and White's skating. It's all how Davis and White make people feel. And how unfairly they're treated. Once in awhile, they lose to a better team that outskates them every time they take the ice. Not that often, but from time to time. OMG - the humanity!

Some of their partisans are quite belligerant about how irrelevant they find the actual skating. And yet they think gold in Sochi in a freaking skating discipline is D/W's by right.

How much have we heard - if anything - about Meryl and Charlie's actual skating? Not "expression" - their SKATING?

How much have we heard about the stars who are helping them shape their programs?

How much have we heard about their Kelloggs sponsorship? How much have we heard about their work ethic and all around wonderfulness? The actual competition is a mere formality. #sochigold is inevitable, if this sport is to be considered legit. If North America is not to shame itself in Russia. If North American fans don't have their perception of the sport soured by the blatant and unfair score inflation for Virtue Moir. #sochigold. What's skating compared to matters of such urgency?

Over here, we have Virtue and Moir, who have tied their own hands. They can't counter market without tying themselves in knots. "Look - a bridal magazine shoot where we pose like a bride and groom even though we're only platonic and by the way look at me and Cassandra in Aruba!"

Thanks guys. That helps.

Virtue and Moir are completely checkmated, marketing wise, by Davis and White. Davis and White may be nothing like the cheery Disney-fied versions of themselves they instagram and tweet, sunny one dimensional personalities with only hash tags and exclamation points in their heads. But I doubt very much they've got a baby and a marriage with each other on the down low, which means they've got a whole lot more scope for this marketing shit than Virtue and Moir, who simply have not put themselves in a position to put themselves out there. Davis and White have got the field to themselves.

Even if Charlie were, say, secretly hitched to Tanith, that's not such a scandal. It might be a little bit shady to have his wife comment on the Sochi ice dance event, but that's not a big leap from having his girlfriend comment on the Sochi ice dance event, so big whoop. There's really nothing that could come out that requires them to tie their hands now. They are free to work it and work it til we're barfing up cornflakes. (And btw, I'm not suggesting Charlie is secretly wed to Tanith. Just that it wouldn't really matter.)

Virtue and Moir officially (and of course, hypocritically) claim to shun social media, but social media is where Davis and White are hustling themselves into a gold medal before they've even unveiled their programs. Every single thing they do on twitter and facebook is making the case that they DESERVE gold as people.

One would think that Virtue and Moir partisans would enter the arena with the strongest weapon available to them - Virtue and Moir's skating.

That would require their Federation in their corner, and their Fed has abandoned them now that the Skate Canada officials have determined Virtue and Moir have either declined to serve or no longer serve the personal agendas of these officials. They're not going to get the word out they way they do consistently with Patrick Chan.

Scott comes from a huge skating family, yet as connected as they are in figure skating in Canada they don't seem able or motivated or I don't know what to use their connections to make the case for Scott and Tessa based on sport.

Maybe it just goes against the grain to treat the public as capable of understanding this as a sport. But that's the only counterargument available to them, because it sure looks as if DW have gotten the message that this medal is not going to be awarded for anything that happens on the ice. Here's how they're railroading this thing before the competition even happens - if Virtue and Moir blink at the wrong time in the same competition where Charlie and Meryl are two-footing, leaping, hopping, skipping, clutching, dragging, knee sliding and otherwise junkyarding their way through their program - then everybody will scream that Virtue and Moir were overscored because of an ill-placed eye-lash flutter from Tessa. They'll scream it before the season starts, they'll scream it at every competition Virtue and Moir skate before they even meet Meryl and Charlie, and at the end the scores they got vis a vis Gilles & Poirier at the last two Canadians will look like inflation while D/W's scores - it's only fair - will make Yuna Kim's scores look like Rachel Flatt's.

The More You Know

This is an article by David Foster Wallace, published in the New York Times, called Roger Federer as a Religious Experience.*

It's a paen to Federer's extraordinary tennis talent, not just his winning, but how he wins. It contains this observation:

The Moments are more intense if you’ve played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do.

Well, yeah. If you understand the sport, understand the mechanics, understand what the body needs to be able to do in order to execute certain tasks, then you're going to appreciate when somebody is absolutely extraordinary.

This is a stunning article that rises about as close to the level of poetry as sportswriting gets but despite the title it's not about the author's feelings, it's about Federer's tennis. It's specific. Wallace understands tennis, and his appreciation of Federer's game correlates to Wallace's informed understanding - not just of tennis, but of physics. That's how it works in a rational world. He has such passion and reverence for Federer's playing because he understands tennis. His appreciation is worth something.

In Mary Hadda's short-lived (but wordy!) contretemps with Peter Murray's facebook, Murray took great offense at the idea that actually learning something about ice dance and ice dance scoring might enhance his appreciation for Virtue and Moir. Nope, his emotions translate to his brain and spout out conclusions and that's good enough! However, he has a facebook friend whom he says is very knowledgeable about skating and scoring. I suspect this is because the facebook friend frequently says "I looked at the protocols." which is a very expert-type thing to say.

This facebook friend, Patrick Ryan, asserts that Virtue and Moir, who finished second at the 4CCs in 2013, received no penalty at all for interrupting and restarting their program. They started the segment in first, and finished the competition in second. How does that translate to no penalties at all?

Only if this expert believes that their starting point is second place in any free dance mano a mano with DW. So he's "looking at the protocols" to drop them further from their assumed second spot. First is out of the question.

VM lost five points. That's not enough. That's how much of an expert this doofus is.

What really strikes me about people like Peter Murray and Patrick Ryan is they have no respect for the sport as a sport whatsoever. If they did, they'd respect it enough to learn about it.

They also have no respect for the public, seeing as we're so fragile our "perception" must constantly be monitored. That idea of "perception of our sport" is the most self-aggrandizing, agenda-laden bag of bullshit anywhere.

People aren't that stupid, in the aggregate. I'm pretty sure that in 2002, just as many people knew Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, Skate Canada and the U.S. media were railroading that second gold into Sale & Pelletier's hands as thought Sale & Pelletier got robbed.

I guess that's how it works. The people who write constantly about the sport don't bother to learn an inside from an outside edge, or to identify the mechanics and best technique in any of the elements. That's how much they respect it. The people in the sport treat the public like a bunch of trolls sharing maybe half a brain cell. And that's the way they like it.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me what was an "embarrassment" about VM stopping and restarting at the 4CCs under the ISU's OWN RULES. Did they break a rule?

Maybe they broke some unwritten rules.

Skating while Virtue and Moir
Not bleeding enough
Not grimacing enough
Not limping and holding sides

What was the embarrassment - MEAGAN (she "liked" Patrick Ryan saying it was an embarrassment)? Did you feel you were an embarrassment when you and Craig stopped your lp at TEB? Why no, because there was blood all over the place, thanks to your skate blade slicing into his palm.

I might be embarrassed if I left my partners looking like battlefield casualties in the middle of a performance, but I don't think that's the sort of thing you find embarrassing.

I'm just wondering why it's so "urgent" to rectify a situation when the situation is that this year several figure skating teams in both the senior and junior divisions stopped and restarted their programs under the ISU's own longstanding rule, just as in previous years.

It seems to me - and maybe I'm making a leap here - that the ISU is suggesting that this year skaters abused the rule.

How did they reach this conclusion? Is there a blood splatter ratio they scrutinize? Is there a minimum grimace/wince threshold that must be met? How do they know it's abused? And who abused it?

It seems to me that Meagan Duhamel is saying that Virtue Moir faked it. There's no other reason it would be an embarrassment. And as I very much doubt they faked it in 2013, this is her way of sticking it to them for shits and grins over 2011 - which - how that's any of her business, beats me.

And since she's all chest-puffy about how important it is to represent the sport well in Sochi, I'm glad to see her wonderful loyalty towards her prospective teammates, Patrick (whom she dissed on twitter) and Tessa and Scott. It's funny, she aims her barbs at the most talented and successful skaters on the team. She's such a great sportswoman she retweeted someone's tweet questioning the validity of Patrick Chan's win at the World Championships.

Not that she's bitter.

Meagan, I'm looking forward to watching you in Sochi, I really am.

There are idiots writing about figure skating all the time. In that way, it's not like tennis. We can see for ourselves how tennis is scored. Ooops, out of bounds. Uh oh, into the net. Set's done - she's won six games by a margin of two games.

Like that. There's a little weird number stuff going on what with 15, 30, deuce, love, etc., and there are line call disputes, but once the camera zooms close-up on the line, there's not usually much debate left among the viewers. Overall, people seem to get it.

I've not seen another sport besides figure skating - not even gymnastics - where people willfully choose not to learn anything about it because they PREFER not to have informed opinions. They prefer to just take it into their uninformed brains, have their brain processor chew on it awhile, and then spit out some art. And then they pretend that taking their visceral impressions for a swim in their brain soup is the only authentic measure of a skater or skaters' merits. And they don't even think they sound like morons when they describe this to other people.

But they also want to complain about the scoring! What a bunch of narcissistic, righteously entitled** bitches some of these writers can be. Figure skating is just a jerk-off to them. Did it get me off? Well it got ME off - they must be the best!

Figure skating doesn't (or is not supposed to) score ANY of that bullshit. But how would these people know that? They haven't bothered to learn step one about it. That's fine - I guess.

But I do find it a little eye-opening when actual skaters in the sport who know something about it jump on board and encourage these people. Why don't some skaters want an informed public and an informed media? What's their objection?

This is the post where later I'll reassemble the facebook exchange underneath the ISU inquiry letter re program interruption and restarts.


*Can you imagine any skating "journalist" writing about figure skaters this way? How much prose has been pumped out about floating across the ice, sailing into the air, landing as if wearing slippers, etc. without ever addressing it as a real sport? All of it! All of it is written like that! (your and a few other place excepted).

**although I think "righteously entitled" is already implied once you say "narcissistic".

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Megan Duhamel is giving back her TEB 2008 medal

Above is a link to the ISU circular letter addressing the urgent need to amend the rules about skaters stopping and restarting the program.

And Meagan Duhamel likes this:

Of course, Virtue and Moir. What an embarrassment. They stopped and restarted, just like you did in 2008, Meagan. They didn't win. The ISU has never given a shit when it was other skaters, right Meagan Duhamel?

Of course, one reason Tessa and Scott never had to stop their program because one of them cut a vein on the other is because Tessa and Scott actually can control their skates and their bodies. They don't go full bore on the ice despite skating like they've joined a demolition derby.

Meagan sliced Craig's hand (the program stopped), with enough blood so that her costume was bloody when they stopped. That doesn't happen a lot to other skaters. The blood flies when Meagan's on the ice, though.

Maybe the ISU should make a rule about not being able to participate in the Grand Prix series or other international competitions unless you're a good - and considerate enough - partner to keep your skate blades away from your partner's veins, arteries and other parts of their persons that have a lot of vascularity.

This issue is obviously freighted with other issues the skaters have that have nothing whatsoever to do with Virtue Moir stopping, but has to do with other stuff about Virtue Moir. They're hiding behind this issue because they don't want to address what's really bugging them and I don't just mean the sham, but you know, being special snowflakes in general.

With Duhamel, I wonder if it's being a pair girl who waited for years to afford a ticket for her dad to see her compete internationally, while meanwhile Jessica Dube gets both parents at TEB and her parents and a brother at Worlds in Nice through no financial effort of her own or her family's. Even if the freight was paid by the Virtue Moir families, that has got to rankle, particularly when one factors in the extra and gratuitous publicity Skate Canada gave Jessica even when her partnership with Bryce was at an end. If you see yourself as a hard luck case who scraped and scrambled and trained to get where you are, and you see someone else sailing through hardly trying in part because of favors they're doing another set of skaters, it could rankle. Even if, upon analysis, it's not a really fair or rational resentment.

What's embarrassing?  They weren't dinged enough to be off the podium? They won the fucking short dance. Duhamel/Buntin weren't dinged enough to be off the podium. Zhang & Zhang weren't dinged enough to move Shen & Zhao up to silver.  Does Meagan think splattering gore on the rink is not embarrassing, but a debilitating cramp is? What's her hierarchy of acceptable health or injury issues?

Not for nothing, I also think the ISU should make a rule about celebrating on the ice before the program is over - another habit of Duhamel's - but nobody seems to find that as embarrassing as finishing with a silver medal at a 4CCs where they won the short dance and are the defending champion.

Maybe Duhamel thinks that unless you make a big histrionic show of it, it's not fair.

I don't think Virtue Moir faked it in 2013, but I think they did in 2011. And I still want to know - what's it to YOU, Meagan Duhamel? Don't hide behind the embarrassment to our sport bullshit when the real embarrassment to ice dance is how it's scored.

What actually is your problem? What did they gain by faking it in 2013, if you think they faked it in 2013?

I think someone like Patrick Ryan, who obviously is unhappy VM weren't dinged off the podium, should count his blessings for the scores D/W receive and didn't earn according to the criteria in the CoP. The hypocrisy is incredible. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Marketing Tool's New Frontier: What's off the Table?

Scott and Tessa have either created a credibility gap for the marketing of every other figure skater that comes along, or they've created fabulous opportunity by opening up the field for marketing initiatives in areas where athletes may have previously believed they were required to tell the truth.

If there's one thing Scott and Tessa have shown in their shamming, it's a lack of respect for boundaries. They don't half lie. They don't shade the truth. They get up in our face, claim the truth is lies, rumors, silliness, fantasy and delusion, and they push fabrications on us as reality. Not just in social media, but in the mainstream media with this rift shit. Their concept of marketing is broad-spectrum. It's not simply denying what may be true. It's proactively building a lie and then proactively marketing that lie. Denial is so early 00s. Totally making shit up - that's the new wave.

I think the only boundary they respect might be death. If someone in the family died - or either one of them died - they might not lie about it, or use it. But we can't be sure. Who knows what the hell they respect? They're innovators.

Let's look at some of what is now possible in figure skating public relations.thanks to Scott and Tessa:
  • Future Joanne Rochettes: it might be okay to question if their mother actually died during the Olympics, or if it's a fabrication shoved under the umbrella of marketing. The public mistakenly believed nice people wouldn't lie their asses off and use innocent babies to sell it, so maybe we're delusional to think death is out of bounds. 
  • A skater who has no child can pretend to have a child to get some media sympathy and stand out from the crowd in the press. Is that wrong or is that just marketing? Why couldn't a girl in the ladies division tell the media and social media that her niece or cousin was her actual child? It's just a marketing tool.*
  • Someone like Patrick could be rolling in money while going around to media outlets complaining about how Canada doesn't support their figure skaters and it will be okay because it's marketing.
  • Future Megan Duhamels can be trust fund babies but tell the media how their parents worked two jobs just to get by and her dad stayed up 48 hours once so he could drive hundreds of miles just to have breakfast with her because she was homesick.
  • Did Paul Moir and Sherri Moir really find skates for that low-ranked ice-dance girl, or did everyone get together and decide that story would be a great marketing tool for the Ilderton Skating Club as well as for an obscure skating team? 
This new frontier will unfortunately throw shade on genuine events and people's real experience, but the upside is it opens things up creatively, public relations-wise. Particularly two areas: boundaries, and specificity.

Scott and Tessa have also demonstrated that if a person or group or category is powerless and/or voiceless, then they can be lied about at your convenience.

Well, it's not even a lie. Scott and Tessa also believe that it's only a lie if they're speaking to someone they know personally (know, not "have met"). Otherwise, it's a marketing tool.

What's off the table, per the standards Scott and Tessa have set and per the people who've enabled them?

I've also been thinking about how Jacquie White "liked" that facebook snark that said D/W won 4CCs without having to stop in the middle.

Setting aside the shit the Moirs like to sling, would that type of shade have been thrown at the Shibs or any other figure skating team who stopped?

Was it prompted by the potshots the Moirs had taken at D/W in previous seasons?

Was it prompted by the fact that there seems to be more on the line in Sochi than there was in Vancouver (in Sochi, D/W partisans feel they could/will/may actually win gold) and so in some passive aggressive way there are people inside skating willing to slam VM because they know VM are lying liars who lie?

 I have trouble believing that if, for example, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch had had to stop and restart, that people would be anything but sympathetic. Has it gotten so that real, sincere things that VM do are used as a stick to beat them for the insincere, shady stuff they do?

*They can have sham mom and dads, sham siblings, sham grandmas, too.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Quick and dirty version of someone else's vision, but apropos to D/W discussion in recent past.

*a/ka "left it all on the ice"; a/k/a "skated their hearts out".

Well it's some kind of tool

I haven't summoned the, I guess patience, to watch the Strombo interview as yet, and this post is a placeholder for that topic. The post will embed the interview

and, with it, embed the videos that show how much Tessa and Scott are lying about the rift. I mean, they are lying HUGE about the rift, but what's in the public domain, let alone what's actually the truth, all by itself shows how much they're lying.

Meantime, a few remarks: according to what I've read of the interview, they now say they may have sent the occasional text, which is an upgrade from what Tessa emphatically said in this interview:

Q: In your book, you say you stopped communicating for a few months after the 2008 surgery. Do you mean you literally didn’t speak?
TV: We didn’t even send text messages. Isn’t that weird? This time, we’ve been diligently talking every single day.

 "We didn't even send text messages" means "We texted."

"We're platonic" means "We're married parents."

^  "All the time that she was ailing and she was doing her rehab, they worked every day in Tessa's apartment on little things like the lifts - they put the music on, they play with the expression, they did everything imaginable to try to be in really good shape while she got the legs working again. So it wasn't - I mean when they were off, they weren't just off, they were continuously working.

And they had a very wise way of training when they came back."
Marijane Strong (and by that, Strong means they may have texted).
Relationship to truth, hell. Relationship to language.

This is all under the marketing umbrella, it seems. A world where words don't need to mean what they mean.

Brain trusts, these two are not.

More interesting, and I'll have to watch the interview in full to find out how much more interesting, is the way they say that their relationship is a marketing tool.

I find their - and Debbi's - idea of "marketing" interesting. Always have. It's indistinguishable from lying. 

Marketing, just like "business", is an umbrella term that for them, legitimizes lying. WHERE DO THEY GET THAT? It's a convenient rationale, but it is not rooted in anything real about marketing or pr. Although maybe it's time to research the marketing program in Michigan in the 1970s and find out what they were teaching back then. Debbi has an undergrad degree from that era.

 Marketing and pr is editing, it's focus, it's selective emphasis, it's positioning - it's not fucking fraud. Any time in entertainment it has actually been fraud - such as when it turns out a singing group is doing no singing at all, for example, that group blows up and its career is destroyed. Or when someone turns out to be exactly the opposite of how they market themselves, there's a meltdown.

There are degrees of truth shading - truth shading - not throwing the truth out the window and making something up whole in its place.

So let's say this story they tell about themselves and can't keep straight - is a marketing tool. What are they marketing? This is a very specific story. They're intimate, they're as close as close can be, but they're platonic. That's what they're selling. What are they selling? I can't work it out. Is it selling tickets to competitions? No. Is it raising television ratings for skating competitions? No. Is marketing themselves this way helping to sell Lindt chocolate?

It's not moving that Roots gear off the shelves.

If a specific story you're telling about yourself is a self-described marketing tool, what's the product they're selling? Virtue Moir Perfume?

I think it simply means this is the version of themselves they're giving to the public. Period. Not to sell tickets to shows or competitions, not to move units of Lindt, not to raise television ratings or sell anything but themselves. They have basically decided that life is as legitimate a performance as a program, and they are telling us that this is the version of themselves they've decided to tell the public about, and there's no need for it to relate to the truth, because it's marketing.

I think they've totally screwed the pooch for other Canadian athletes in the public eye. Lowered the bar til where we need to dig a trench to even find it. Since they think that appearing in public "as themselves", off ice, is no different than creating characters on ice, the question can be asked of every athlete out there if they have the same philosophy that what they say to news outlets and entertainment media outlets and what they say while representing a sponsor or brand can be completely made up. And it would certainly be something I'd ask the Moir skating business about anything they had to say about their skating business. It's marketing - it can be a complete lie. They've divorced what they say from what is true, and I don't think that's a good move for anyone in business. Many people have enabled them who are also in the public eye, which suggests they think this choice is valid. That's going to be good to keep in mind when these people tell us other stuff.

P.S. - if this were a few years ago, before the full extent of Scott and Tessa's unyielding dedication to the sham had revealed itself, it might be tempting to view this interview as a baby step, heading towards this type of progression:

2010: We didn't talk or even text the entire time.
2013: We may have texted some.
later 2013: When Scott and I would talk, I didn't share the full extent of my fears.
early 2014: We were living together, but it was a stressful time.

P.P.S. I'm taking my own baby steps getting through this Strombo video and it's not helped that right out of the gate Tessa's Canada Day answer is mortifying. There's canned and there's inane. She's crossed over.

Also love how Scott tried to semi-walk back the rift story, first by joking they let Tessa away from the rink for a couple of weeks, then saying they didn't talk for about a month (he cut the official version in half right there) - the exact sort of jokey remarks one would make about a rift so painful it brought tears to your eyes when you first talked about it 3 years ago. Scott's efforts were bootless as Tessa seized on "abandoned" and drove that sucker into the ground, making equivalencies and building new framing devices. All the while she's talking about her abandonment, she's talking about the guy who was in bed beside her nearly every night the entire time.

I wonder if Tessa kicks into auto-pilot - if that's her defense mechanism, a la when a mistake happens on the ice (Skate Canada 2009) - when shady topics come up.  The Canada Day answer was purely inane. The "abandonment" speech was a word shield. She kept talking and talking until she killed the question. Who'd want to follow up on that?

Tessa in the middle of her 2008 recovery

John Labatt Center Colitis Foundation
Event, London, Ontario, November 19, 2008
a/k/a Scott texting Tessa from Michigan
while Tessa feels really abandoned