Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where are the Tessa's Tour Tweets?

Last we heard from Tessa:

It's as if her twitter account vanished into a social media Bermuda triangle somewhere between the airport tarmac in North America and the Sea of Japan.

Edited because China is not Japan.

Where's all the "See these flat abs but I'm also fat because pastries?" What happened to sharing on social media her one-for-all, all-for-one team spirit showcased at the ISC golf event, while bonding with Olympic teammates, and during skating seminars with wholesome Canadian youngsters? Is Artistry on Ice chopped liver? We've got international travel, enthusiastic audiences, a bunch of other great skaters, and these costumes:

Nothing to say? Okay, they're not Kaitlyn Weaver, but skating stars don't come more lively and personable than Volosozaher and Trankov, who are also in Japan, and Maksim and Scott are meant to be friends. You'd never know from Tessa's twitter account. Maybe Tessa's ipad/iphone adapter malfunctioned.

ETA again: Since I confused DW's Japan tour with VM's China tour (or, I believe, it never registered it was in China, which is on me) I checked to see if it's possible to tweet from China, and apparently with a VPN, or with a phone with international roaming turned on, it is. Further googling showed that the firewall isn't even fireproof for Chinese residents, as one North American reports that her daughter is staying for three weeks in China with a friend of hers, and the friend's family has facebook (another blocked site). The US Embassy also tweets air quality reports to Americans in 3 Chinese cities, and those Americans have to be getting the tweets.

It might be a bit much to expect Tessa Virtue to want to work around a twitter block even with a VPN or roaming, being as she's so brand new to social media and so all thumbs on the internet. And besides, she's a recent product of Canton, and Canton is a place where, if Meryl Davis and Charlie White are anything to go by, they like to respect international local custom even if it's repressive.

Let's see how Kaitlyn Lawes is doing:
Plucky, this one. No "Tour 1, Kaitlyn 0" here. No wine and pastries mention either, but otherwise she and Tessa are like a couple of tuning forks.

Love this ensemble:

 A/k/a  https://allthetropes.orain.org/wiki/Hide_Your_Pregnancy

 Scott does look a little douche-istic, standing by with a box and a water bottle while Tessa's loaded down like a mule, but ... priorities.

I've been giving some thought to the sponsorship situation within this entire sham matrix, because it was getting depressing, the number of high profile corporate entities willing to partner up with a set of athletes engaged in actively hoaxing the public. It appeared to me that if you wanted to employ a bunch of athletes to tell us all how great your stuff is, you didn't want those people to habitually lie their faces off whenever they went on record. Even if people don't know the athletes are liars now, it could bite your company in the ass down the line. Especially when you're partnered with Scott and Tessa, who tell the opposite of the truth. What are potential Audi buyers supposed to think? Holy shit - Scott and Tessa are partnered with Audi - does that mean the engine mounts will give out, twist upward and pull open the throttle, causing rapid acceleration while disabling the brakes?

 Famous car recalls

Scott and Tessa say "Lindt is great chocolate!" Uh oh. How badly is Lindt contaminated with rodent effluvia and invisble particles of stainless steel?
Then I refreshed myself with marketing nomenclature, and confirmed that there's a difference between sponsorships and endorsements, even though the terms are frequently used interchangeably. I do think it's significant that so far Scott/Tessa and Kaitlyn Lawes/The Curling team, and all of the different Canadian athlete configurations we've seen on twitter, are shouting out sponsors, not so much lining up endorsement deals.
Sponsorships tend to be partnerships with an entity/class/category. Even if that entity is a human athlete, the partnership is with that human as an athlete, and generally the brand covers its bases by sponsoring a number of categories of athlete, thus emphasizing that the affiliation is brand/athletics, or, even better, brand/support of athletics/athletes, and not brand/individual personality. (I wonder, too, if there's any restrictions about renumeration; if the money needs to go to the athlete's athletic-related expenses, even if the "related" part can be stretched.)
Endorsements, OTOH, are brand/personality, and expose the brand to more risk should the person(s) representing their brand turn out to be a big, fat liar every time they open their mouths in public.
This link addressed the issue most directly:

From the link:
1) research findings that consistently show sponsorship generally fosters more positive feelings and behavior toward brands than endorsements; and 2) partnerships with organizations are less risky (though not risk-free) than agreements with individuals in terms of the likelihood of bad publicity due to scandal.
That makes sense. One approach - celebrity endorsement - just validates celebrity worship, while sponsorships align the corporation/brand with sports. As well, we can see where the corporate veil is between a given sponsorship of an athlete or category of athletes all connected by particular credentials - Olympic team, a developing sport, a para-team organization, women-in-sports - and an endorsement deal where the corporate entity is employing the athlete as a celebrity and creating an association between that athlete's individual appeal and individual credibility, and the brand. It's nice to know corporations still give a shit enough to at least cover their ass with semantics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cute Ice Princess Blog Looks at the Finnstep

It's just camera angles. From another camera
angle her left blade is actually OFF the ice.
Were it not for Meryl Davis fans, I would never
understand the importance of camera angles. From this angle,
it appears that the skater is on the ice. From that angle,
it looks like the skater is in the Kiss'n'Cry.

Thanks very much again to cuteiceprincess tumblr and to Lady B. And once again, Meryl Davis fans are invited to explain how Lady B has it all wrong.

Finnstep: DW's skating doesn't match their protocols

Okay, here we go. Let's remember that Lynn Rutherford justified VM's Finnstep levels in the Olympics by pointing out that VM had failed to get their levels in the past. That's it then. She's a figure skating "journalist", after all. Like every single mainstream figure skating journalist in existence*, her deal is, "I'm a figure skating journalist, but I'm not a technical specialist" which means "I write about figure skating but don't actually know what I'm talking about when it comes to what went on out there. I trust the judges when they produce results I support, and so should you even if you don't like the results. Should any observer deviate from the agreed upon official narrative (such as the inventor of the Finnstep disagreeing about how the Finnstep was scored), just disparage his credentials." This stuff about you need to be a technical specialist to write about the technical side (which is the damn win and lose side!) is hammered home to us fans, who are nevertheless supposed to invest ourselves in this "sport." Then there are the times a journalist gets worked up about an outcome, but, not having educated him/herself in the twenty years they've spent writing about the damn thing, makes a half-baked hash of it when attempting to challenge dubious results (looking at you, Steve Milton).

It's notable that people like Lynn Rutherford are interested enough in figure skating to work for publications dedicated to it, which means they write, tweet, attend competitions, etc., but they never manage to get interested enough to actually be able to tell what's going on for themselves. They like to tell us it's impossible to tell for yourself unless you're some sort of "specialist." Figure skating journalists have been using that one for years. Those who presumably do know technique, such as P.J. Kwong, don't talk about it when they discuss figure skating with fans and pretend to know nothing about it when a team like Davis White hijacks the Olympics from the rightful winners.

Yet mere fans, who have not spent years writing about skating, or rubbing elbows, are able to read and understand the rulebook, and evaluate a skater(s) performance vis a vis what's in the rulebook. Turns out this sport is observable. Turns out, the rules are comprehensible and applicable to real stuff. We can familiarize ourselves with the rules in whatever language we speak, and then see if the skating and the scores make sense per the rules.

The likes of Rutherford, and those in the comment booth pretend this is impossible to do. Per them, the only way to evaluate the legitimacy of a protocol is to see if the skater has been given similar protocols before. Cuteiceprincess tumblr, along with quite a few other fans (who are, of course, ignored because then the propoganda jig is up) disagrees. You can actually evaluate a protocol's legitimacy by looking at the skating. What a concept.

Here's Lady B:
The next image makes you see two keypoints that are needed to assign the level 4 to the first sequence of finnstep. To Tessa and Scott was awarded Level 3 and a Level 4 for Meryl and Charlie. Let us see for a moment

FIRST KEYPOINT: the woman must do twizzle and a half, and end on a right foot with an “outside back” edge.This edge must be CLEAR. And the foot with which he comes have to be ONE. We see clearly how Tessa comes with only one foot (the left is oriented forward as it should be to give the draw back on the right foot instead is on the outer edge) and a clear outer edge.
Meryl instead not only arrives on TWO FEET but even over a non-defined, completely flat (as is also visible in the gif).

Again, the gif.

This keypoint has been given the right to both Tessa and Meryl.

SECOND KEYPOINT: After another twizzle and half, the woman has to come with a light foot, right, forward, on a CLEARLY outside edge.
Now, let’s see how Meryl and Tessa are clearly arrived with a flat edge and not defined (not by chance that keypoint is the most difficult to reach). The blade is straight and there is a clear tilt in either of both Tessa and Meryl.

NEVERTHELESS, to Tessa is not given the keypoint, while Meryl yes.
Conclusion: Tessa, a keypoint only earned a level 3.
Meryl two keypoints not deserved, level 4.

What’s the story?
How is it that Tessa and Scott are counted at infinitesimal and Meryl and Charlie is not it?

I would like to remind you that the judges have MEGA replay of what happens during the keypoints and the keypoints that are fundamental to assign levels.

This thing happens all too often in the steps sequences, where Meryl and Charlie seem to automatically level 4 even if their blades are miles away, while Tessa and Scott struggling to get a level 3.
In any case, this is another chapter.

As usual, it seems to me that is rewarded the performance and not the difficulty and true technique. All the more reason why the Tessa and Scott shall be made a higher standard and will have to have everything perfect (all executed perfectly) to win, unfortunately.

As it turns out even when Virtue and Moir are not only better than Davis White, but as near to perfect as ice dancers can get, they're simply not allowed to win. We were all sold a bill of goods about the "storyline" of rival ice dance teams. There was no rivalry. VM were cast as foils meant to legitimize Davis White. Davis White are beating Virtue Moir! Ergo Davis White must be terrific! That's it. Virtue Moir spent the past quad propping up Davis White so Davis and White could appropriate what they did on the ice and pretend to best it. Virtue Moir were only fodder.

P.S. - Re-reading this analysis and looking at the screen caps, Meryl missed both key points in this performance, yet Davis and White got L4.

ETA: Figure skating is consciously, aggressively, perpetuating fraud not just on the ice but off the ice. It's connected. Both are tied to the current culture in the sport, with an accompanying condescension and sanctimony. Davis White are so deserving and it's disrespectful to question the outcome in Sochi. And hey, did we mention Virtue and Moir are GREAT people?

*As ever, excepting those figure skating journalists who write on their own web pages, or for skating-centric websites, but who do not influence how figure skating is discussed in mainstream media, on twitter, or in the comment booth.

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Tweets From Tessa

Tessa Virtue has been in a sharing mood. Almost an oversharing mood. Who'd have guessed that she'd jump into twitter at all, let alone that she'd launch with the swimsuit issue:
Do you think Scott's seen this picture? For
years he's paraded himself in his swim trunks
on social media, while Tessa not so much.
She won't even attend the same events
Scott attends if the event is near a beach.
Turns out we're all allowed to see it; it's only Scott
who's not. Good thing Scott's not on twitter. 
She looks great in what is no doubt a current photograph, considering she also tells us that for a straight month, this has been her diet:

I don't know why she tweeted about going into the gym, suggesting she needs to compensate for the booze and sweet tooth. Look at Tessa in that swimsuit. Our assumption must be that the swimsuit photo is current, and we know the "I've been pigging out all month so I'm glad to get back to the gym!" tweet is also current, but how can the sleek photo AND the pigging-out-get-back-in-shape thing both be current? She's magic.

Well, even if she is a bit out of shape, super high heels are slimming:

$295 CAD. I think she and Piper Gilles are
fated for a beautiful online friendship.
A lot of ladies eschew heels when they're pregnant. And until the very end, a whole bunch of pregnant ladies wear heels straight into the delivery room.
Posh could manage heels while
pregnant, but Tessa is no Posh.
(Or Kate Middleton, who also
wore heels when pregnant)
Tessa started off the summer drinking wine and pigging out on French pastries while posing in a bikini in a way that appears to contradict all the wine and pastries she claimed to have scarfed down, but hey, she's young and an Olympian. I certainly don't think that photo is older or anything.

The real point of this post is a few of Tessa's upcoming tweets came my way, and I thought I'd share them here:

I'm going to put out something else I think: 1) I don't think Tessa's midsection up there is actually on the same plane as her swimsuit bottoms; 2) where is her belly button ring - is it dim because of the filter used on the photo or is it gone; 3) the actual naval is a different size than previous shots we've seen of Tessa.
Here we go with posts sharing more great work from the cuteiceprincess tumblr and Lady B. I'm starting with the analysis below, but will continue with the Finn Step and other comparisons.

cuteiceprincess tumblr link:

Stuff every ice dance judging panel missed, year after year, but with all the good intentions in the world

Thanks very much again for the permission from the cuteiceprincess tumblr and thanks especially once again for Lady B's astute comparative analysis of technique and mechanics.

I'm going to say a few things first, and then Lady B's analysis will be clearly highlighted.
We see right here why Davis White crushed Virtue Moir in pcs.
The sport is subjective. We all know what that means.
Subjective means you can either ignore standards and criteria

 and judge however you want, or it means nobody really
knows what the hell is going on out there because we're
talking micro-seconds of time for each thing being judged,
so not even judges are able to tell in real time if the skating
matches the rulebook. Even when you can sort of tell,
the rulebook is just one of the things used to score
this sport. There's all this other stuff, such as is a team on
the ice said to be always giving 110%, or is it just 100%?
To some judges proper technique and deep edges are
important. For others, a mere gesture in the direction
of proper 
technique without actually executing said technique
what they're looking for. As Lady B says in her anaylsis, go
ahead and "pose" technique instead of actually using it.
Indeed, this past quad, it's what MOST judges preferred.
I love this first illustration from the cuteiceprincess tumblr because it highlights Meryl's characteristic rocking her torso up and down like Duncan the Drinking Bird.

She never re-orients her center of gravity using her core and power from her blades. It's always this jerry-rigged mess. The strange aspect of her hyper extended arms in the top right screen cap is that her chest is closed and her face is aimed face down at the ice. Good extension/alignment involves an open chest, everything expanding/initiating from the core, opening from your center. Meryl's shoulders and chest are as unengaged as always, she's just got a freakish hyper-extension going on, as with somebody double jointed. The compensation in this woman's "technique" is, as always, both bizarre and mystifying. I wonder if the hyper extension with her arms stems from all the back-hooking she does with her arms, jamming her arm behind her, hooking it over her partner's shoulder up to the armpit in order to anchor herself in many lifts, seeing as she can't balance herself.

After Dancing with the Stars, I said I should really refer to Davis White fans as Meryl Davis fans, since Dancing with the Stars certainly exposed that as true. So, when referencing supporters of the American team, I'll try to remember what to call them.

Meryl Davis fans are welcome to come on in and show why Davis and White are actually doing some great skating here, and why their technique is superior to Virtue and Moir's. In the past, I've seen some Meryl Davis fans link to gifs or screen caps that show, for example, VM on their toes, apparently in the belief that a phrase of movement specifically choreographed on toe picks to highlight latin hip action is just the same as running across the ice on your toe picks in between elements because your stroking is subpar. It would be nice if just once, one of their passionate fans demonstrated how Davis and White are stronger skaters than Virtue and Moir in a way that correlated to the rulebook that governs scoring, and if they used Davis and White as their example. There's been a ton of bizarre complaints that slow motion distorts technique (it doesn't) or deconstruction of technique is irrelevant to the whole (even though taking a program's execution apart piece by piece is precisely how this "sport" is scored). I'd love to hear the case from Meryl Davis fans why Davis & White's skating, technique and execution is superior to Virtue Moir's, using Davis & White themselves as Exhibit I. They were given a gold medal in Sochi - how difficult can the challenge be?

Even Charlie is a mess in the bottom right hand screen cap.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I could never promote that message of concealing who you are with all of this going on in Russia. I’m kind of happy that I did it on my own terms.
Ms. Bucsis said she finally opened up after friend and teammate Kaylin Irvine encouraged her “to actually live an authentic life.”
Anastasia Bucsis, Olympic speed skater.
Bucsis reputedly participated in an LGBT documentary
filmed in Sochi on the dl. Sounds great, but no way
it's as raw and
real as Tessa and Scott's Journey to
Silver in Sochi, Which They Were Lucky to Get,
Considering How Their Skating Has Deteriorated,
and How They Work Each Other's Last Nerve.
Anastasia Bucsis tweeted the image in the blog's post below this one, and she's the athlete standing next to Scott Moir.

Sure, we're talking apples and oranges. There's no parallel between Bucsis's journey, and Scott and Tessa's desire to commodify their chemistry, aggressively foist upon the public their publicly platonic relationship as the real deal, so tune in, cause you don't get authenticity this genuine every day, while pursuing a pattern of baiting, switching, jerking the public's chain, while concealing from their targets the fact that they're married to each other, and parents together. Scott and Tessa aren't inauthentic inauthentic. It's just the public they're screwing with, and we know what we're worth. Pffft. Everybody who matters knows about Virtue Moir. Grappling with private and public acceptance of your sexuality and lying about it until you and yours come to terms is a serious matter; making idiots out of a public that earnestly supports you, defends you, and believes everything you say is just fun.

Still, I hope Bucsis doesn't become a regular sham facilitator. I'd like to think that synapses do fire somewhere in Canadian sports.

Randy Starkman is an "Olympic Sports reporter", who, in April 2011, had this article published in The Toronto Star:

22 year old Anastasia Bucsis is Patrick Chan's girlfriend

And we have this from The Advocate, published in 2013:

Anastasia Bucsis proud to be gay

in which Bucsis says she came out to family and friends two years ago. Which means, in 2011. This timeline suggests that in April 2011, at age 22, Anastasia Bucsis was in a thriving romantic relationship with Patrick Chan, inspiring him on and off the ice, according to Starkman. But before 2011 was done, Bucsis realized she was actually gay. Wasting no more time, she came out to family and friends.

Being closeted and not knowing any other speed skaters affected her performance in 2010, where she competed in the 500-meter event.

Closeted means "knew she was gay." In 2010.

I suppose Bubcis could have been so fearful, so committed to denial, that by 2011, she was in an actual romantic relationship with/deceived a young man who just happened to be Canada's highest profile male singles skater, the front-runner for 2014 Olympic gold, a guy who just happened to be promoting his short program as the story of a young man in love for the first time.* Whatever, by the end of 2011, Anastasia was done living a lie. I hope Patrick took it well. That has to be what happened there. It can't be that the relationship was an expedient publicity thing for both, for their separate agendas. What are the odds?

In the 2013 article, it's said Bucsis doesn't want her sexual orientation to be her entire identity, and her coming out publicly, in advance of Sochi, was a response to Russia's anti-gay policies. Not wanting her sexual orientation to be her entire identity certainly puts Bucsis ahead of Scott Moir, who wants his heterosexual, active duty penis to be most of his public identity. It never takes a rest, that thing. Always on task.

I'm not suggesting that Kaitlyn Lawes is gay. But as soon as it emerged that Kaitlyn Lawes was Sham Girlfriend V.3, we knew that Kaitlyn Lawes was promoting herself in a fake relationship. That's not anything we knew about her before. She handed us that one. In our role as the dumbass dupes, or at least in our role as the absolutely powerless, are we supposed to pretend not to know it's a fake relationship? Is it okay to ask why Kaitlyn Lawes would promote herself in a fake relationship, or to wonder, since she's in a fake relationship now, if her prior public relationship with DJ Kidby was also fake? I don't want to pussyfoot around, knowing she's got to be shamming for a reason, getting all euphemistic when it comes to one possible hypothetical (i.e., is this a Bucsis situation), while being perfectly comfortable explicitly hypothesizing the potential existence of a legit boyfriend she (and he) prefer to keep on the dl (a/k/a "the Cynthia Phaneuf option"). Both hypotheses are, in principle, equally benign. But we all know that not everybody, especially in Canadian sports, feels the same way.

Key point - when Bucsis came out, there was no mention (that I've found) of her having previously been "out" as Patrick Chan's girlfriend. Her contemporary narrative is that Bucsis was a painfully isolated closet case who, with the love and support of wise friends and mentors, found the courage to live an authentic life. But, if we remember that she was Patrick's public girlfriend, that's problematic - for Patrick. Sure, we now get Bucsis's side of things, but what about him? Why would he promote a fake relationship?

Let's not open that door. Just press delete instead.

These articles aren't information. They're chum. They're vehicles that provide the "journalist" with a clip, while positioning the subject(s) inside whatever frame it's decided serves their immediate self-interest. That's it. Whether the journalist is an "Olympic Sports Reporter" or a purple prose spewing groupie like Rosie DiManno, same difference. These "journalists" are hype hacks. For anyone who anticipates that the media will play connect-the-dots when/if Scott and Tessa reveal, nobody's going to connect the dots. Narratives are never matched against prior narratives. The only relevant narrative is today's.

At least Anastasia and Patrick didn't spend most of the 2011 Star article telling us how really really really real their love is, like it or not. Bullshit is standard operating procedure when athletes and celebrities position themselves in the public eye. It's content for content's sake, buzz for buzz's sake; the actual narrative is transitory, and often celebrities know the public is in on that. Scott and Tessa are different. These two continually underscore that they are not only the authors of their narrative, no matter how often it changes and/or contradicts itself, but the sole interpreters. They instruct fans what to think. They don't just lie their faces off, they take pains to emphasize how incredibly transparent, open and genuine everything is. It's one thing to market your bullshit, which pretty much everyone does, it's sort of another thing to market your bullshit specifically and proactively as standing apart from everbody else's due to how authentic and real it is, and then pat yourself on the back for your generosity and transparency. That extra step is pretty thuggish. They're not content to think the public might be responding a la - "Blah blah blah that's this week's story - maybe next week's will be more interesting." Tolerating any sort of sophistication or empowerment in or among elements of their public isn't in Scott and Tessa's playbook. They prefer to be better than, and condescend.

ETA: I just want to elaborate a bit more on the difference between what Virtue and Moir do, and regular spin/image shaping. Regular spin/image shaping doesn't often deal with facts, but attitudes, feelings, etc. For example, skating partners love and respect each other, can't imagine skating with anyone else, really appreciate this experience or that opportunity, aren't sure what their next step may be but are excited at what's ahead, blah blah blah. They could hate each other, be x-ing off the calendar til certain things are accomplished and they can be rid of the other person, they could find certain obligations and experiences tedious or worse, they could resent a whole bunch of shit, but at the end of the day, we're talking people lying about how they feel. If you think feelings are facts, maybe that's bad, but we all have to be diplomatic in our jobs. That stuff really does go to the professional side of things. Then there's the fake relationships, but very often, as with Chan and Bucsis, the two participants at least are actually single.

There's also stuff like Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kris Humphries, where he later said something like he doubted she entered into the marriage with genuine intentions; it was all about the show. No duh, but, whatever her intentions, she actually DID enter into the marriage. Kardashian/Humphries weren't being marketed everywhere as an engagement/wedding/marriage while the reality was he had a wife and kids stashed somewhere and the entire thing was, factually, a charade.

Plenty of things are charades emotionally. "I hate you, but I have to pretend to love you." (Or vice versa, as with Scott and Tessa's "reality show.")

Scott and Tessa distinguish themselves because they actively, aggressively, market lies as facts. The selling point is that they're giving us facts. Where else is that done?
*That's stronger promotion for Take Five than, say, "In Take Five, Patrick portrays a young man in love, a milestone the 20 year old has yet to reach in his off-ice life because he still shares a room with his mom."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Scott and Tessa mark


the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects

As I was about to hit "publish" on this post, I remembered the P&G "Moms" commercial, the one where Alma Moir recalled what she told Scott and Tessa as they were coming up in ice dance: "You need to leave your Scott and Tessa mark."

This past week, I watched Life Itself, the new documentary about the late film critic, Roger Ebert, who died last year. Ebert's original partner, Gene Siskel, died in 1999. As a team, they'd become multi-media celebrities, often more well-known than the movies, directors and actors they reviewed. On top of their own program, they were regulars on talk shows and were interviewed by all the entertainment outlets and major publications. But, when Life Itself looked at Siskel & Ebert’s career, it kept striking me as amazing that as their fame and influence grew, they remained movie critics. They continued to honestly critically evaluate the movies instead of Tina Brown-ifying themselves. If Martin Scorcese made a crap film, they called it a crap film, despite their admiration for his other work, and even more despite Scorcese’s particular vulnerability to their opinion thanks to a time he'd felt boosted by them when he’d been at a low point in his life. They respected a lot of Rob Reiner’s work, too, which didn’t stop Roger Ebert from saying this about Reiner’s movie, North.
I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.
Imagine an era when somebody thought an audience could be insulted! Here’s the link:
He wasn’t just getting his hate on; he makes the case. Of course, it's also pretty funny.

Siskel & Ebert hobnobbed. Although both lived in Chicago, the job required they be in the thick of the show business scene. They were at the Oscars, the parties, in green rooms, at film festivals. They knew and regularly interacted with the people whose worked they critiqued. Despite this, if you were a movie-goer, you could rely upon Siskel & Ebert giving you their honest opinion about the merits and deficits of a film, without pandering. Jian Ghomeshi, they were not.

After watching Life Itself,  I found this from an interview they gave in 1998:
We have tried to move beyond the mainstream, and review foreign, documentary, independent and restored films, but audiences are more than ever driven by marketing campaigns. "Siskel & Ebert" is one of the few shows left on television in which opinions are even actually expressed; the vast majority of entertainment "coverage" consists of vampirism, in which media outlets attempt to borrow the fame of celebrities without expressing an opinion on the worth of their work. There is more coverage of a major movie BEFORE it has been seen than after. Example. I was recently asked to "write 600 words on Armageddon movies," and append my own list of the "top 10 Armageddon films," for a national magazine, as part of its coverage of the upcoming movie "Armageddon." This movie is unseen by me and probably by the magazine. I declined. Would they be interested in what I thought after I saw it? No, by then the hype will have moved on.
That was 15 years ago. Ebert called it Vampirism back then; today it's synergy. It’s about fame and self-promotion, for the journalists as much as for the subjects they cover. That’s it. Unlike with Siskel & Ebert, we, the public, don’t get anything out of it, certainly not enlightened discussion of the sport, definitely not any genuine insight into the skaters, not even into the skaters as athletes. The journalists are product, the athletes are product; we’re consumers, consumers are stooges, the end.
Although the Kaitlyn Lawes roll-out as Sham Girlfriend V.3 still appears to be in the early stages, upon review it mostly looks like a blatant attempt at a slicker level of execution, a semi-pro attempt at synergy. The curlers appear to want to enhance the profile of their sport, and when stars of "this" sport intersect with stars of "that" sport it's a good hook for instagram and twitter. That's the "Look how all grown up the sham has become!" part of it, but I think that’s only a piece of it. The other part is regular old sham. It's the curlers as burgeoning public personalities, or, as Tessa Virtue likes to put it, “personas.” It’s clear the curling team has launched a campaign to more widely disseminate and establish their public personas, and it stands to reason that, as individuals, they have varying levels of comfort with how real each wants to get with it. Should you want to get really really fake with it, Tessa and Scott are a natural, synergistic fit.
Jessica Dube and Scott came off as if they were personally branded by Debbie “I’m a genius!” Wilkes – that sham had a parochial, self-congratulatory vibe. Cassandra seemed like a straight up quid pro quo – Virtue and Moir were casting for a hometown girlfriend to appear in their reality show, Cassandra was an aspiring model/star wannabe who belonged to their London/Ilderton crowd, and ergo. Neither sham promoted skating, or did much else other than tell us Scott's penis had a female exercise partner, and it wasn't Tessa.

This sham seems to have agreed to promote curling, and the curling team (the newly sophisticated, synergistic part), and Kaitlyn must have her reasons to want a fake boyfriend, reasons which would be connected with how her own profile grows along with the widening profile of the curling team at large.

Were I Kaitlyn, I’d find a better candidate than a married father who has been aggressively hoaxing the Canadian public for seven plus years, but I’m sure I’m out of touch. This is the new normal. When I think about it, Virtue and Moir have lowered the bar, and clearly, their approach is making inroads. The likes of the Kardashians are so old school. The Kardashians actually are a family. Although a lot of people thought Anna Wintour trashed up Vogue when she put a woman famous for a sex tape on the cover, I think maybe one day we’ll be nostalgic that Kim Kardashian marketed a sex tape where at least it could be said she was actually having sex with that guy. As of now, the Kardashian level of authenticity is quite a few notches above Virtue and Moir’s, and I think pretty soon the Kardashian way of doing things will be obsolete. That's the Scott and Tessa mark.