Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Russia and LGBT

I would feel weird not having a post about this since in the past the blog has beaten up Skate Canada and some Moirs about all things skating and gayness.

Some skaters have been asked about Russia's discriminatory policies against LGBT people and for the most part their answers are miserable. Even Johnny Weir, while reaffirming his beliefs, sort of solutioned the whole thing with "So go over there and be fabulous!" I may be selling him short.

First out of the gate was Jeremy Abbott on twitter who compared criticizing Russia's LGBT policies to insulting a host's drapes and taste in decor. Naturally one wonders if he'd have made the same analogy about Nazi Germany. Oh hey, not the choice I'd have made, but if that's how they roll over there, it's not our place to say!

Considering Abbott, one wonders if he'd have been a Jewish athlete saying that about Nazi Germany for fear if he spoke out against it, the US would boycott and he'd lose his Olympic moment. (The U.S. did not boycott the Berlin Olympics, so I don't know what Abbott is fussing about. They're not going to boycott Sochi, and if he speaks out, nobody's going to spike his Borscht. If it's courtesy that concerns him, how about courtesy towards Russian LGBT people and those that have put themselves on the line to protest and defend?) Abbott got his ass whipped for being such a pusillanimous little punk, but he can relax now, he has company among his teammates.

Then there's Lysacek who punted it to the IOC. He's not wrong - it's the IOC that needs to loudly clarify and reaffirm its position and policies, and it's the IOC that needs to acknowledge that the Olympic athletes are being asked to address it. In the artificial construct that is eligible Olympic athletics, the IOC is the parent.

The IOC needs to acknowledge there's a situation and recognize it publicly and address it more proactively than they've done to date. It needs to make a clear statement that the athletes can strongly get behind without looking as if they're passing the buck, which is how Lysacek looks, and how most of them look. Not all of them. Most of them.

I don't want to do much defending of the athletes. I know they lead circumscribed lives with a narrow focus and I know the Olympics means everything to them but give me a fucking break already. If you are intelligent - and certainly not all of them are - you don't need to study political science for years in order to formulate a position on discrimination. You know what that is if you dropped out in grade school. They all act scared to touch it.

Charlie White and Meryl Davis's response sucked so much I hope with all my heart neither Scott nor Tessa address this issue. White and Davis are two INCREDIBLY privileged people who answered like this:
“I don’t think we can speak because we haven’t really talked about between the two of us very much,’’ White said.

“I don’t think the Olympics is really the right place for an athlete to make a political statement,” Davis said.

Asked if this was not a political issue but a human rights issue, White said, “Unfortunately, it’s semantics. To Russia, it is a political statement. And they are the host country. I think that is probably all we will say on the subject.”
That's pretty damn close to keeping your mouth shut about the drapes, Charlie White and Meryl Davis. You can't criticize the host. (Again, Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics - would White think the same about that? Jews schmews, it's all semantics.).

What kind of reasoning is that? To Russia, it's politics, so to Charlie it's politics? To Russia, it's important to discriminate against LGBT people, too. Is Charlie deferring to official Russia there as well? When in Rome.

It's not semantics. Human rights isn't fucking politics, Charlie and Meryl.

They don't want to give offense, that's what it's about. They don't want to "offend" official Russia. Maybe they don't want to offend Kelloggs. Yep, don't criticize human rights abuses, you might offend someone in power (or someone who will sponsor you) who supports those abuses. It's such a tricky line to walk.

In this situation, Russia is hosting the Olympics in accordance with IOC policies. The IOC has clear anti-discrimination policies, including against LGBT persons. These skaters have been media trained within an inch of their lives and they can't re-affirm that? They can't say that they condemn Russia's discriminatory policies and practices against LGBT persons, but it's in conflict with the IOC's own position, and the IOC governs how the Olympics are conducted, and how everyone connected with the Olympics are treated, and Russia agreed to abide by IOC policy when they were awarded Sochi?

That's a basic diplomatic turn it around, how hard is it? How hard is it to say they're aware these policies are no reflection of the attitudes held by many Russian athletes and much of the citizenry, including the citizens of Sochi, many many of whom deplore these practices as well?

Why doesn't the IOC, and the North American Federations - Skate Canada and the USFSA - get out in front so the athletes can get behind it. Instead the athletes are coming off enabling and mealy mouthed, appeasing, and frankly, creepy. Yeah, I'm human rights positive and everything but you gotta understand, my whole life is this skating stuff so you know, not really my problem.

It's not POLITICS, Meryl, but this is a woman who was famously (in my head it was famous) puzzled on twitter when Detroit was named the worst place to live in the United States. What about Ann Arbor?

By the way, here's Bode Miller:
"I think it's so embarrassing that there's countries and people who are that ignorant. … As a human being, I think it's embarrassing,"
That's more like it. There, he's standing with some of the athletes who have made scathing comments against discrimination while playing the notoriously LGBT-friendly game of football. If I were figure skating I'd be fucking embarrassed that football has a better track record of speaking out against LGBT discrimination, but maybe if they thought the Super Bowl was at stake some of those who have been outspoken would have reconsidered, I don't know.

Here's what bugs. What if Russia were, out loud, proclaiming, legislating, institutionalizing, making no bones, discriminating against Jews? Declaring it was going to arrest people who made a point of their Jewishness, who showed they were Jewish, who acted Jewish (in how they dressed or prayed in public, for example). What if it were aggressively discriminating against women - arresting women? Pick another category of humanity.

The creepy part is it's gayness, so it's "different" and it's okay to hedge. These athletes are acting like gayness policies are cultural. Was Nazi Germany cultural? Are some of the policies against women in the middle east and elsewhere cultural? Drapes and decor?

Athletes are not being asked to solve the issue. I think the athletes are asked their opinion vis a vis Russia's discrimination against LGBT persons. I think what is turning so many people off when they read what the athletes say is that many of the athletes who are equivocating appear to be doing so because they're afraid if they come out against LGBT discrimination they'll cause offense somewhere among people who support LGBT discrimination. Better not take sides. Fair to both.

That sucks.

I know they feel all hot potato and uncomfortable. In that case, don't comment. These people sound like they don't give a fuck, just please God, don't give the US or Canada ideas about boycotting Sochi!

Canada and the US won't boycott the fucking Sochi Olympics. If the USFSA and Skate Canada have told its athletes to say nothing, then the athletes should say nothing, and Skate Canada and USFSA should say something that represents them. Not point to the policy book - SAY something. Don't act so freaking terrified of the topic. Pull the stick out. Act human. The IOC should as well.

However, I don't think the Federations or the IOC have told the athletes to say nothing, because the athletes are saying stuff. So why is THIS what they're saying? What the hell are they scared of? Are Meryl and Charlie afraid of rocking the boat with Kelloggs? Neither one of them hesitates to tweet when they're chomping on a Nutrigrain. What's next - instagrams of Fiber Plus in their intestines?

Are the skaters afraid the US or Canada will boycott?

Is "figure skating" at large leery of turning off close-minded parents who will keep their sons from skating because they don't want their kids to be thought gay or turned gay, and speaking out against Russia's policies will just affirm that skating is gay? That's historically how cultures have handled discrimination, right? That's how change is effected. Wait til the scared and prejudiced people are comfortable - wait til the military is comfortable! Wait til this or that state's citizens gets used to having African Americans in the same restaurant.

What the hell do these self-styled role models think a role model is? Well, I already know - a sanitized smiley cipher that can lend its image to a corporate sponsor.

No comment is better than trivializing this and sounding like complete collaborators. There's the old saw about the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good [people] to do nothing. I don't expect the athletes to DO anything, but words are also actions. They're not responsible for this, how it's handled isn't their call, but PLEASE stop fucking acting like a fucking weasel. Shut the fuck up and just let Ashley Wagner and Bode Miller talk.

43 comments:

  1. THANK YOU for writing this.

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  2. i hope v/m keep their mouth shut too but im pretty sure someone is going to ask them

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    1. Scott and Tessa are very practiced at only answering what they choose to answer. If someone asks them something they don't want to address, it never happened.

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    2. "Being that we have a very special, unique, platonic relationship, we don't feel we have insight on gay romantic relationships..."

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    3. While they've embroiled themselves in a clusterfuck of lies regarding their personal life, I think V/M's past comments/actions regarding significant issues impacting the skating world like the death of Joannie Rochette's mother, the Japanese tsunami, and the split of the Igor/Marina coaching team, were well crafted and professional. They both come across as intelligent individuals quite capable of grasping the bigger picture and stepping back to try and gain some perspective when they want to.

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    4. I agree, they have a (surprisingly, let's be real) decent track record on issues that don't directly impact themselves, although generally we have to wait for it. I hope this situation is no exception.

      oc

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  3. While I am personally sickened by Russia's discrimination, I am wondering if it is entirely fair to assume we know Davis and/or White's stance on LGBT. What if a person was undecided or still reconciling an issue within themselves and given that uncertainty, chose to remain silent? Maybe they've made their positions clear before and I missed it....if so, my bad.

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    1. Their STANCE? What are the options? Russia is throwing gay people in jail for being gay and saying they're gay. Please tell me what stance other than condemning this Meryl and Charlie could possibly take. I loved the part about how Meryl and Charlie hadn't discussed this between themselves. Does this mean Charlie doesn't have a point of view of his own, nor Meryl?

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    2. Meryl Davis and Charlie White are yellow bellied cowards.

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    3. This is not an issue of politics or of preference, it's an issue of human rights. The Russian law is unjust and undemocratic and would be no matter what group it was discriminating against. It basically asserts that LGTB individuals are extremists *because* they are gay, bisexual, or transgendered, that they are to blame for the hatred others feel for them, and that they should be punished for it. That's the long and short of it.

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    4. One of the saddest things about branding is how branding collapses in the face of anything real of difficult. Meryl and Charlie have been attempting to brand themselves as representing the best of America (an America whose Supreme Court not long ago invalidated DOMA - the Defense of Marriage Act). And we see what corporate bullshit it is. There's nothing real about it. These two pretend to be role models. Role models doesn't mean pretending to be in a fucking Disney movie. It's not always convenient no brainer shit like "I'm against poverty!" and "I feel bad for handicapped people!" either. It's real shit.

      They failed, failed failed.

      oc

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    5. 5:31 - this is what Nazi Germany did. It found a scapegoat. Jews.

      This is what Russia is attempting to do. It's singling out a group many people are reluctant to confront their ambivalence about and cowardice regarding (LGBT). It's clever. This ambivalence and cowardice exists in the West as well (obviously, look at these fucking figure skaters).

      They're conscripting them as the scapegoat for all that ails Mother Russia. Oh gee, it's not like there's an historical precedent for this shit, RIGHT MERYL DAVIS? (Poly sci student, mother fucking god).

      It's like Tessa Virtue studying for a psychology B.A. for 7 years all the while trashing her own daughter's psychological welfare.

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  4. LoL I was waiting for you to blog about this because I knew you would. Typical.

    Now if Meryl and Charlie would have done what "you" wanted , I am willing to bet $100 of my own money that there would have been NO post about it. No praise either, no nothing. Your agenda is so transparent; no wonder no one (with the exception of a few) can take this blog seriously.

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    1. Weak ad hominem attack is WEAK. Surely you can do better than that. Try again.

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    2. Let's not be hypocritical, shall we. The pro-DW sites, posing as legitimate reporting with their underhanded bashing of VM are not hiding their agenda either.

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    3. 5:18
      How do you figure having an agenda is the same thing as said agenda being false? According to you, what is the horrible agenda going on here?

      Blogger has said this place was to chronicle Tessa and Scott's lies. This is being done and the liars are Moirville and Co not this blog (which part of this is a wrong agenda?)

      Blogger has also addressed the issue of the ISU's scoring of DW and shown through video images and analyses of their skating that in fact, DW's skating does not merit the scores they are receiving and VM's skating is being undermarked in what is clearly looking like corruption in ice-dance judging throughout this entire last quadrennial, Is this the horrible terrible agenda you are referring to? Exposing these issues automatically means the blog is in the wrong? How so?

      This blog has also talked about gays in figure skating and how some in the sport have handled this. It's only natural to bring up what is happening right now with the Olympics in a place that has discriminatory laws.. Again, is it supposed to show greater integrity not to address it? It's not the blogger's fault DW's answers were ridiculous and show a lack of thoughtfulness. It's on point with all of the blogs' discussions.

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    4. OMG, all this issue means to you is score keeping for Meryl and Charlie's pr vis a vis Sochi.

      In the past I've favorably compared Meryl and Charlie's public presentation to Scott and Tessa's, especially in and around 4CC's 2011. This included praising them for the respect they made a point of showing fans (as opposed to the garbage Scott and Tessa shovel) when Meryl said she and Charlie trust that their fans appreciate their relationship as it is, and because they trust in the fans, they feel no pressure to amp up or pump up their relationship to appear as more than it is. In a post written at the time Meryl said this, the blog noted the contrast between that intelligence and maturity and Virtue Moir's craven manipulation.

      However, D/W changed starting last year and "chemistry you can cut with a knife." That's when they started faking it. That's when they abandoned being themselves and started trying to brand themselves as all things to all people.

      There's a conspicuous divide between the Davis White of 2010-2012 and the Davis White of 2012-2014 sponsored by Kelloggs.

      They have both punked on Russia and LGBT. Jeremy Abbott was rightly l eviscerated on twitter when he said basically what Meryl and Charlie have just said, and WHY did Meryl and Charlie act like craven little punks? Because they're sponsored by fucking Kelloggs. Because they're so busy trying to be fucking role models (as part of their campaign towards Sochi inevitability) they've turned themselves inside out and perverted the meaning.

      If you haven't noticed, the blog has noticed. As corrupt as Virtue and Moir are when marketing their so-called private lives, that is how corrupt Davis White have become marketing themselves as skaters and a brand. It's the other side of the coin, and for the past year, this blog and many of those who have commented have commented on the irony.

      oc

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  5. Weak ad hominem attack is WEAK. Surely you can do better than that. Try again.

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    1. ^^^ Sorry, that was directed @5:18.

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  6. What I wouldn't give for one of the athletes to actually call out the IOC on its BLATANT hypocrisy, not only regarding this issue but its actions/statements throughout the organization's history.

    In uttering the asinine "the Olympics is not the place for political statements" comment, Meryl Davis was regurgitating the language of the IOC's official policy that the Games are not a "marketplace for demonstrations for all potential issues in the world."

    Who are they fucking kidding? Politics cannot be, and never has been, divorced from the Olympic Games. In fact, if one tried to separate the two, the Olympics would cease to exist altogether. Every two years, countries from all over the world send their athletes - decked out in their national colors and symbols - to compete in the hopes of winning a medal and bringing glory and honor to themselves, their families, and their NATION. The IOC can throw around comments about "the world coming together as one" all it wants, but the reality is that the Olympics is the largest international stage on which countries use sport to promote their sociopolitical and economic ideologies.

    The IOC is the ultimate power broker in this equation. It determines who hosts the Games, and its decision to give them to Putin's government, which is rife with corruption and focused on squelching political dissent, was a clear grease job to begin with. But that's not surprising, because the IOC has a long history of placing financial gain and power politics above other priorities, only paying lip service to human rights when it has benefitted the organization in some way. Mexico City in 1968? It looked the other way while the Mexican government slaughtered hundreds of people and then welcomed the Mexican President to officially open the Games anyway. Berlin in 1936? Beijing in 2008? Both governments were in the midst of blatant attempts to clear out undesirables from society (Nazi Germany being determined to annihilate the Jewish race altogether), but they agreed to lift the restrictions for a short while and hide the propaganda and voila! Problem solved. Meanwhile, millions continued to suffer, having been forcibly removed from their homes, threatened, or killed. The list goes on and on.

    Currently, in its infinite, debased wisdom, the IOC has succeeded in sloughing the attention of the world off of itself as an organization and onto the shoulders of the athletes, who are being fed conflicting messages by their organizing bodies, the Russian government, and the IOC itself. They're like deer in headlights, stupidly stammering on about semantics and highly questionable assessments of national sovereignty. They are NOT victims, but they are most certainly pawns in a larger game.

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  7. Great post, hadn't seen their answer. Very disappointed. As OC basically said at 8:06, most of us here respected D/W as people and professionals much more than we did V/M. But they've been screwing up more and more once they've realized that gold medal might be theirs. Sorry, but I don't like their PR any better than the funny farm that is V/M's, although sadly D/W's is much more effective.

    On the other hand....this is only from the persepective of an outsider, so I'm not trying to put down the USA as a country, because there are obviously plenty of Americans who this does NOT apply to - but if D/W really in their heart of hearts have ambivalence about the issue, is their opinion not quite in line with a significant portion of the US population? Not that this entire portion wants to throw gays in jail per se, but...it may not be just Kelloggs they're worried about. It seems the issue tends to split right down the middle in the USA, but their fan base could significantly be made of up those that are somewhat homophobic. And that is possibly where 5:18 is coming from. It's possible that some of their fans are quite satisfied with D/W's answer. I would hope that if people really stopped and understood the issue, they would see that this is a human rights issue on a scale even beyond the same sex marriage debate (as much as I think that's a human right as well). It's less politically complicated and even more morally obvious. It's like confusing the debate about abortion with having Russia pass a law that it's legal to rape women.

    OT.....TSL is tackling IJS now. So will they (a) actually educate themselves about ice dance? (b) Pretend they have, but somehow still twist it to make D/W look ok? (c) At one video a week, run out of time to cover ice dance in any depth at all?

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  8. 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM
    DW could have all the ambivalence in the world about this issue, and that so-called ambivalence is a legitimate target for criticism.

    What if they were ambivalent about black people? What if it were, you know, in my heart of hearts, I GENUINELY don't know how I feel about integration. I'm still processing. Is it really fair to criticize me when I haven't worked through my feelings on the issue?

    Fuck me, fuck YES it's fair to criticize me, or DW, or anyone who is all, OMG, I really am not sure where I stand on criminalizing gay people because they're gay.

    Just because it exists doesn't make it beyond criticism. Furthermore DW partisans are falling over themselves telling us that between VM and DW, DW are the best people. The best people who don't know how they feel about a host country throwing a category of human beings in jail just for being who they are? They're deferring to the host country's choices about that?

    I agree with 10:21 pm that the buck stops with the IOC, but at the same time, I'm less sympathetic with the fact that this issue has fallen to an extent on the shoulders of the athletes. So fucking what. They are participating in the Olympics. What do the Olympics freaking STAND for (as 10:21pm points out). The athletes aren't exempt. Yes, the reality is many athletes don't care and are in it for themselves, but also, too bad, sometimes the world encroaches on that bubble and because they're Olympic athletes they ought not to be protected from the freaking world outside their sport. They have to pretend to care. They're Olympians.

    They have no burden here. There's nothing on their shoulders. Their Feds haven't sent a memo requiring them to speak to Phil Hersh about this, or to tweet about this. They can keep their mouths shut.

    As to conflicting messages, why are they looking to the IOC to tell them what to say about legislated discrimination in Russia? Again, the IOC hasn't said to them, be quiet, we'll do the talking. The USFSA and the IOC obviously didn't tell Ashley Wagner what to say. I'm sure Wagner wants to go to the Olympics. I'm sure she wants support from her sponsors. She didn't wait to parse the conflicting message from the IOC, she had her own message, in her own working brain. She didn't need the IOC to tell her her values. Who needs the IOC to tell them what to think about discrimination?

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    1. I'm not sure if you're responding to me (10:56), but of course it's fair to criticize. I thought I made it clear that their response was completely inappropriate. My point was that your original post made it seem like they were saying what they said out of cowardice only, maybe to placate their sponsors, and my point was - it is possible it's also a cloudy version of what they themselves believe, or that they are aiming to please their fans. Is that just as rephrensible? Of course. More so, really. But the USA as a country has a significant problem with this issue, and so it's not like they'd be alone. So while the morality of the issue is on the same level as racism or anti-semitism, much of their society hasn't moved beyond that yet so it's perhaps not as shocking, even though it IS as troubling.

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    2. Understood, 2:33PM. I think I'm responding not just to comments here, but discussions elsewhere that treat these skaters as people pulpae, too unformed to properly cope. They want the privileges of being an Olympian, they should step up. I mean, of course they'll get the privileges if they do or don't, but I didn't know "Olympian" had to mean coddled in every way other than when you train. It often does, but it's not an excuse for ignorance. Their insulated existence is self-selected.

      Excusing them on that basis (not that you were doing that, I understand) is insulting to countless students, and student organizations comprised of people the ages of skaters and much younger who are much more informed and engaged with the world and who also have their own responsibilities, pursuits, goals and challenges, including the transition into adulthood, and still manage to be those things - informed and engaged.

      If you're going to posture as representing the best of something, you have to walk the talk. DW so far are face planting at a record clip.

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    3. "Excusing them on that basis (not that you were doing that, I understand) is insulting to countless students, and student organizations comprised of people the ages of skaters and much younger who are much more informed and engaged with the world and who also have their own responsibilities, pursuits, goals and challenges, including the transition into adulthood, and still manage to be those things - informed and engaged."

      This is even more the case for DW, who actually DO love to talk about how they are students of the world, particularly Meryl, and to imply what great role models and great people they are.

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  9. I also noticed a change in DW's p.r. when they participated in an interview that insinuated Virtue and Moir shouldn't have won Worlds 2012. They laughed and joked along and never once said Virtue and Moir are wonderful skaters and deserved it. They were just parrying and encouraging it from a know-nothing "reporter" (this reporter thought "Frantic" was a positive thing to say about DW's performance).

    Maybe DW have always done this but I noticed that after 2011 whenever Virtue and Moir defeated them in a segment, they acted "puzzled". They never reviewed their own performance and said maybe we lost points here or this or that could be stronger. Nope. It was always hmmmm, that's strange. We'll go back and look at the video and find out why our points for this program came out so oddly. If we have to be even MORE perfect and beyond criticism than we were in this program, well, we'll go and do that. We're plucky like that, no matter how unfair it is!

    I noticed when Meryl and Charlie were practically on life support at the end of Die Fleudermaus at the 4CC's, gasping, flailing and sluggish, Tanith, and Andrea Joyce immediately told us that we hadn't seen what we'd seen, that the two skaters doubled over on the ice in front of us hadn't shown an ounce of wind or fatigue in the program. When the scores came up, same deal as what DW have taken to do it. "Oh." flat voice. "They didn't get it." flat voice.

    What DW and their partisans are trying to insinuate is if they don't come out in first, the competition is fixed.

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    1. "Maybe DW have always done this but I noticed that after 2011 whenever Virtue and Moir defeated them in a segment, they acted "puzzled". They never reviewed their own performance and said maybe we lost points here or this or that could be stronger. Nope. It was always hmmmm, that's strange. We'll go back and look at the video and find out why our points for this program came out so oddly. If we have to be even MORE perfect and beyond criticism than we were in this program, well, we'll go and do that. We're plucky like that, no matter how unfair it is!"

      I've been aggravated by DW's placements since 2009, and I can't quite remember when various things got started. That said, as long as I can remember, unlike pretty much every other skater and team out there, DW have seemed completely oblivious to what they actually did in their own performances. Everyone else, VM included, always seem to be able to pinpoint and list off what they feel they need to work on the next time around. You never ever hear DW say that something was off about their performance, that they made errors, etc. It's always puzzlement about why they didn't win. It's always flipped over onto the judging.

      As far as DW's PR in general, up until recently, I thought they had slick PR. Now though, I think they've crossed a line from being slick with the PR to being obvious (and OTT) with the PR. They're behaving like desperate, pushy snake oil salespeople.

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    2. I didn't pay much attention to them before Vancouver but I will always remember Meryl rolling her eyes at VM's CD placement (and no, I don't believed for a minute that was because she thought VM were robbed by DS).

      In 2010-11 they had an air of entitlement every time they stepped on the ice, and they won everything, so there's not much to say about their behavior. I agree with what's been said about 2012 on. Too forward and obvious.

      I was surprised that a pair as PR-savvy as they would say those things about the gay rights issues. They always make a point of showing how educated and worldly they are, how Meryl speaks all these languages, how they appreciate and absorb the culture of every country they visit. I could understand taking the Lysacek pussying out approach of standing behind the IOC, but let's not be disingenuous - we haven't even talked about it!?? College students talk about gay rights a lot, and surely in the types of liberal arts courses Meryl takes, and surely the two would have at least discussed it considering it's a huge political issue taking place in the backyard of where they will be skating in the biggest event of their lives, and you know, the USFS just trained them on it during the annual Twitterfest, I mean, Champs Comp. But nope, they haven't even discussed it! This is a couple that researches the cultures behind their dances and works with specialists to supposedly get the moves right, but it would not even occur to them to talk about this, not even for the utilitarian purpose of preparing a media response.

      They're just so fake.

      Here's another gem. Talk about "semantics." Let's glamorize the grittiness of Detroit to make a point about how hard we work and to try and turn our lack of grace into a positive quality!

      I think OC was quite right - they're privileged as fuck. And people who are privileged and not only don't acknowledge it but also try to pretend they are empathetic to other cultures are the lowest of the low. I mean, he learned a lot from his superwealthy oil magnate father working downtown? Seriously?

      http://www.freep.com/article/20131003/SPORTS17/310030044/ice-dancing-charlie-white-meryl-davis
      “I think being from Detroit, we can definitely feel that in the city,” Davis said. “Kind of that work ethic, willingness to put yourself all into what you’re doing, whether it’s the auto industry or starting something new.

      “While ice dance is an artistic sport, it certainly has its nitty-gritty moments. Training isn’t all lipstick and sparkles every day. I think that definitely the feeling of Detroit, that work ethic, is something we take to the ice every day.”

      White, 25, said the city planted another seed, as well.

      “Growing up, my biggest idol was Steve Yzerman,” White said. “I think he was a great ambassador, not just for the Red Wings but for the city of Detroit. He led by example …

      “Having my dad work in downtown Detroit (too), these are sort of the things that you pull into yourself without even realizing it. I think it’s something we take to the ice.”

      White also argued about the ability required in his sport, using some skate-anchored context. Average shifts in hockey last about 45 seconds, while ice dancers move and jump and spin for four minutes or more.

      “There’s no reason you shouldn’t be just as exhausted at the end of a figure skating program as any other sport,” he said.

      That’s Detroit Tough — with a dash of the finer things


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    3. ugh d/w are so full of themselves

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    4. "I didn't pay much attention to them before Vancouver but I will always remember Meryl rolling her eyes at VM's CD placement (and no, I don't believed for a minute that was because she thought VM were robbed by DS)."

      I don't agree with this. D/W had never won a world medal, they had a different vibe back then, they seemed thrilled to win silver. Their recent success has gone to their heads, I don't believe they started out completely delusional.

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    5. "hey're privileged as fuck. And people who are privileged and not only don't acknowledge it but also try to pretend they are empathetic to other cultures are the lowest of the low. "

      BINGO

      " They're behaving like desperate, pushy snake oil salespeople."

      Careful there anon some crazy D/W fans might make a twitter account quoting you

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    6. I believe Meryl WAS rolling her eyes VM being scored lower than the Russian team. Until the od it was a real concern that 09 was going to repeat and D&S assisted to the top of the podium. I think it was pretty clear that DW were reconciled to silver. They'd never even been on the world podium at that point and VM had been there twice.

      I just did a post on the Detroit article which was offensive in the extreme and put DW's shamelessness on parade.

      As to DW being privileged as fuck, yes. so are the Shibs. So are VM in many ways. I also think privileged people can be legitimately empathetic to those less fortunate. That's not what DW are doing in this Detroit Grit article. They're saying "Detroit - C'est Nous". It's not empathy. They're appropriating Detroit's suffering, putting it through the p.r. churn and having it come out as their own training tradition, which is fucked up as hell. Or disgusting. Take your pick.

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    7. DW had not won a World medal yet, but they had won 2009 4CC and 2010 GPF over VM, as well as winning Nationals over BA, who had finished above VM at the 2009 Worlds. I don't think it's out of the question that they considered themselves serious contenders for the gold medal in Vancouver and were annoyed to fall from 2nd to 3rd in the CD once VM skated.

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    8. "I don't think it's out of the question that they considered themselves serious contenders for the gold medal in Vancouver and were annoyed to fall from 2nd to 3rd in the CD once VM skated"

      Hoping that they might have a chance at gold is not the same thing as rolling their eyes that their training mates were placed higher than them in the first of three segments, a segment that at that point they must have known was not the strongest card in their hand.

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    9. Yep, I have to agree with @12:39 and OC on this issue. D/W seemed genuinely happy with their placement and with V/M's success in Vancouver. Meryl's eye-rolling seemed directed at D/S's scores being as high as they were, especially considering that by that point, both Canton teams had worked with Elena Tchaikovskaya on that compulsory and V/M had scored higher on it than D/W had all season long.

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    10. Why the eye-rolling? D/S clearly performed the compulsory the best. Expecting to score higher just because you have Elena Tchaikovskaya on your team is corrupt.

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    11. No, D/S didn't perform the compulsory the best. VM clearly had larger patterns and deeper edges, more lean and better unison.

      D/S had great, mature style. They understood how to present the tango. That's not the same as skating it the best at the level of their blades. When I look back at the CD I'd put it VM, DS and then DW. At the time I'd taken DW's abilities as given and didn't scrutinize their skating. When I look at it now their movement is impoverished and their patterns are smaller than either of the other two.

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    12. It's still unsportsmanlike even if she was rolling her eyes at a rival team from evil Russia, and we all know how she feels about the Russian ice dance tradition. And I just don't see her as a very empathetic person so I'd be surprised if she was pissed off about anyone's placement but her own.

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    13. Anyone think Meryl was rolling her eyes at VM's low scores this weekend at Finlandia?

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  10. Changing gears a bit:

    They really are something else:
    https://twitter.com/eelinpaas/status/385765173023092737/photo/1/large

    If DW tried something like that, they both would have ended up with their bottoms on the ice. Meryl would have pulled Charlie down like a boat anchor.

    Tessa's quote with this one is amusing: https://twitter.com/eelinpaas/status/385764472331063297/photo/1/large

    There's also this one:
    https://twitter.com/eelinpaas/status/385734930593898496/photo/1/large

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    1. You know as soon as I saw those photos, which make it look like "Mahler II" and the quotes that it picks up where Mahler leaves off, the romantic vibe from the photos, I knew there were sham photos in the pipeline and Moirville is counting down on their watches waiting to press "publish". Any time Tessa and Scott talk about program content - and their program content is always man/woman, and especially now that it's the next chapter of Mahler (which was about engagement and marriage) it's time for Scott's fingers to do the walking on Cassandra's ass again.

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  11. DW's hit parade of PR continues: http://www.freep.com/article/20131003/SPORTS17/310030044/ice-dancing-charlie-white-meryl-davis

    Obviously, VM are missing a few chips when it comes to some things, but DW are missing some major chips in other areas.

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    Replies
    1. The synchronicity - if that's the word I'm looking for - is something else. Virtue Moir led the way with the perverted marketing of their fake private lives, but boy DW are catching up - and in the SAME WAY - with the marketing of their personas as athletes.

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