I'm assembling elements for the new banner, which is basically lying faces and maybe some text. That's the idea at the moment.
It is excruciating going through old interviews with the old lies. The second hand embarrassment is mortifying. This one in particular was torture:
Jian Ghameshi is more on the ball than I remembered. Once you adjust to his cheesy d.j. tones, he's no fool. He's not playing gotcha, but when he pins them down on stuff, it's like facial expression jackpot for the blog's banner material.
Further down, I'm going to post some of Scott's facial expressions after Ghameshi asked Scott if he were "angry" at Tessa during the first run of compartment syndrome, because there's a comment or two I want to make about that moment.
And before then, here are some things culled from this interview that I think are in the spirit of recent comments section discussion about Tessa Virtue:
This is part of the Tessa Virtue mind block. You put aside your pain, you put aside the crowd – I mean – it’s quite fantastic what you seem to be able to do with your mind.
Figure skating is a tough sport. If someone is expecting you to skate like you’re injured, judges can look for that and mark you differently. Unfortunately that’s just the case. It was a strategic decision for us to say that we are healthy. . . It was tough, I felt a little bit guilty, but part of that was also convincing ourselves. The more we said it, that I was healthy and feeling great, the more we truly believed it, and we needed to believe it to win.
Yikes. Does that mean the more you say you and Scott aren't together, the more he performs with Cassandra, the more you deny your marriage and, with everything you do, deny your child, the more you believe it? That would be disturbing. Or maybe it's the more you do something, the more you're convinced it's okay? That makes sense. It can't be wrong if you keep doing it. Because if it were wrong, you'd stop! So the way to be right is to keep doing it.
I definitely get the idea it works like that with them. The photo with Scott on Cassie's ass isn't wrong; they published it and republished it, The more you do it, the less wrong it is. That's convincing.
It really made me get into this place where nothing was gonna stop me. And it was this zone, this mental state where I was so focused on the task at hand and I wasn’t allowing anything to distract me.
Yeah, we all kind of figure, Tessa.
I don’t know that it was necessarily that I was so strong. I just didn’t allow my thought process to ever go there.
Yep. Mind over matter. If your thought process never goes to damage to your kid, your kid won't be damaged. If it never goes to what you're doing might be really wrong as far as manipulating and hoaxing the public, you're not doing real wrong. Never second guess. That's the route to psychological health.
Looking back now and reflecting on it, I really convinced myself, almost, that I wasn’t in pain, and I tried to block that out.
Again - unsettling if this convincing yourself stuff applies to other things.
And for those who think the sham is necessary to protect their privacy, they go on to assure Ghameshi it's up to them when they're recognized.
We can pick our spots.
It’s not that often that we’re really recognized on the street so we can really fly under the radar.
I don’t think we’ve changed so much regarding our social lives but from a business perspective we’ve learned so much. As soon as we won the Olympics, it was like a flip of the switch, that changed and we were thrown into all these business situations and we’ve really enjoyed the process with that. Just negotiations with companies and you know, speaking engagements, appearances and always having to be on publicly.
(By her animation, word stress and tone of voice, Tessa really really likes the business stuff)
We understand that when we’re in an arena I think it’s pretty – it’s open for the public – you know, our personas, and I think that comes with the territory – we’re happy and we take that role really seriously.
Me: Someone pointed out a write-up on the documentary about Lance Armstrong, and the lessons from the Armstrong scandal are applicable to both the DW scoring situation and the Virtue Moir lies, as far as how a lie works; the mindset that rationalizes lying. With Armstrong, one of the things I found interesting was that his Dr. Feelgood actually resented not getting more credit for Armstrong's success. The mindset there was what is the difference between sleeping in an altitude tent and using whatever drug it was? (Another part of the write-up noted that the Armstrong lie was in plain sight for years and had even been noted by others in public, but there was no follow through.)
Virtue and Moir's rationale is "personas" and "performance". The problem is it's lying. It was so obvious they were and continue to rationalize with "personas", "marketing" and "performance" that I proactively set out to nail the difference between performance/marketing and just lying/fucking with people. I know they're fucking with people, and protecting themselves by calling it performance/persona.
The difference is notification. For example, even with Scott and Tessa's shilling of P&G embedded in what at first glance seem to be regular interviews, we're informed these are plugs. The only difference is they disclose on the back end, so we've listened to the whole thing before we hear "sponsor". But we're notified. If we go away from these plugfests thinking it was a real interview, it's on us, because there was disclosure.
The sham, the reality show, etc., isn't performance/marketing with Virtue and Moir because there's no disclosure.
But here's notification for how this is going to play for those of us still alive when Scott and Tessa's actual status is finally on the public record:
Ghameshi points to how the book says:
“Everybody’s, since then (when they were paired) wanted you to become a couple to exercise their own romantic fantasy.”
He's good. When I first listened I thought he was complicit with them, sitting there with them commiserating about how people want them to be together to fulfill their own fantasies. But he's not. He says that's what they say in the book. He's smooth with it, conversational, rumbling along, but he gets that distinction in there.
What was interesting for me in this cringe-inducing interview was when the interviewer asked Tessa: “When do you think you’re not that good.”
She'd just run on about how she’s very critical, had always admired Scott as a fantastic skater, but had doubts about how good they were together, and that it wasn’t until they went to Waterloo and skated with the bigger teams that she started feeling more convinced, and not even then, and even now she can feel she’s not that good. She describes this as pervasive throughout her career, she's just that much of a perfectionist. She actually warms to the topic.
So the interviewer of course asked her to nail it down – when do you think you’re not good?
She couldn’t come up with any examples from the times she’d just described. She actually gave an answer that had nothing to do with being self-critical – it had to do with reality. Post-2008 surgery she couldn’t train and was afraid it showed or that people thought she was no longer as good as Scott.
The disconnect between how she just described her thought process and the example she used to describe it really stands out. She does get very histrionic – saying she thought people were laughing at her and saying Scott’s so much better, etc., but she definitely ties it to her self-consciousness over the difference in training.
In 2008 we had Tessa coming back from the biggest injury of our lives and Tessa and Scott don’t even know each other anymore.
I always feel that if you've gotten to the point where you can speak of yourself in the third person, you need to double back to the starting line and re-set.
Let's recall that in this part of the interview they emphasize the complete blackout on all communication - didn't lay eyes on each other, never picked up the phone.
Meantime they were living together in London the whole time, and made at least two public appearances anybody with a youtube account can see (the Skate America interview) or can see with google (the photo of their appearance at the John Labatt Center event). And of course there's Marijane Strong at Canadians letting us know Scott and Tessa worked together daily at her apartment during Tessa's recovery.
Now here's some screen caps of Scott's reaction when Ghameshi asked him if he was angry at Tessa during her original bout with CES:
Here is what I think we all know to be true: If something you're doing makes you look like Scott looks in these screen caps, you shouldn't be doing it.
Those caps look like some epic Biblical struggle where the protogonist wrestles with himself and loses. You know that moment in a movie when the character's expression transitions into the one Scott's sporting in the last cap above and the audience goes, Oh fuck - it's Zuul!*
I suspect the question provoked such discomfort in Scott for the same reason a lot of questions provoke discomfort in Scott - the lie requires him to deny who he is. Considering that he's proud of who he is, that what's transpired with him and Tessa is close to his heart, to deny it in this way is a degradation. One he chooses, but still a degradation.
They're still lying in these two videos but they're not upping the ante, taking the truth and clubbing it to death, throwing it in the trunk, driving to the farm in the dead of night, motoring across the field and unloading it to decay in the manure pile.
How he and Tessa handled her CES, how their relationship thrived during that time, how the best that each believed about the other was validated and then some, is a core part of their real story. Obviously there is no part of their story they won't publicly warp and then prostitute, but it's got to do damage to their core selves down the line. When they decide to do this, it's painful. It's so not necessary to anybody's "persona" or anybody's sham.