Sunday, November 23, 2014

Everything old is new again

Beverly Smith - Ilushechkina and moscovitch second chances

Wanted to share the above. It's a typically terrific piece from Smith, profiling two appealing, easy-to-root-for figure skaters, and it's worthwhile also for what it says about this team's funding situation.Without revealing numbers, Smith's article reinforces how expensive it is to train for elite competition.Thank heaven Tessa and Scott gave up the funding they were entitled to receive for not training and competing this year, or even more figure skaters would have found themselves up a financial creek this season.

Trophee Eric Bompard 2014 Short Dance Results:

Trophee Eric Bompard 2014 Free Dance Results

Look at that lockstep.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

FEET ONLY from Canadablue

I'm trying to get a new banner up, but the last few images are stumping me at the moment.

This "feet only" post is brought to you by this instagram of Tessa:

I know there's a method to Tessa's instagram aesthetic (pregnancy), but what she does with her face on instagram, not only in this image, but in previous images, is getting a little:

Is she gonna start shooting botox into her face by 30? Stuff implants into her cheeks? She seems to be a fan of the look.The profiles and full faces she's instagramming don't even look like her.

If we didn't already know that Tessa herself doesn't believe a word that comes out of her mouth, or posted on her instagram:

Sure honey. Do as I say, and all that. She'll still be coming out with sound bites like that one when she starts injecting her face and lips. She'll be one of those who thinks the work is subtle. To perfectionist Tessa, "imperfection" = any physical sign that you're a human being and not a store mannequin.

And finally:

Ha ha
Skating after the jump:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Reality-based figure skating from canadablue

This skating-centric post is brought to you by more of Tessa Virtue's reality-based instagram output, and her mirror image:

It wasn't a boob day that day. Not to mention, Tessa's photoshop genie decided to slice off the entire left side of her face except for her left eye. Interesting aesthetic choice. The left of her neck also doesn't work with the right side of her neck (image left and image right).

Whoever does these "right half of the image is differently aspected than the left" jobs for Tessa got sloppy with the skirt of the dress. Follow the skirt line on the left of the image up to her hand (the heel of her right hand). That line isn't going to bend behind her, but continue up. They cut it out above her hand/wrist (well, obviously, and as well as liquifying her waist and disappearing the boobs). Not to mention, if her hand is resting on her right hip, that is some set of wide hips compared to that waist and tiny boned upper body - guess Tessa is now an extreme hour glass shape when she's not a hipless wraith.

They also messed up the skirt line in the lower right. I recognize that bend at the bottom (bottom right of the image), because, when experimenting with photoshop/liquify myself, and also on freeware, that weird bend happens all the time when I'm hasty with the radius setting. Also, obviously the edge of the wall on the right is curving inward like nobody's business, but her arm and shoulder conceal the full exent of its inward trajectory. But good job with the extremely low resolution and matching Tessa's skin tone exactly to the wood tone.

Finally, besides the obvious differences between Tessa foreground and Tessa in the mirror, it's just interesting that Tessa in the foreground has skin that's practically synthetic, while the Tessa in the mirror has a back with more realistic skin texture despite being much further away.

This is going to be a very video heavy post with canadablue's annotated ice dance comparisons, but including canadablue's "feet only" videos. I LOVE feet only.

I will add gifs, I THINK, but want to get the post out first and see if having this many video embeds creates any issues.

Before getting started, and thinking that Tanith Belbin this week decided that Paul Islam lack skating skills and you can tell because Mitch yanks and pulls her through the step sequences, and how that started me considering just how ugly, in your face obnoxious, thuggish, asshole and foul the people around this sport intend to become, and how some good skaters are embracing the New Reality (not to be confused with "reality), I looked up some proverbs about lying, and found these, some of which I've read before, and some of which I think are outmoded and/or simply don't apply to the world of skating:

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain".

I believe he's saying if you lie, you have to keep track in order to keep your story consistent. We know that with Scott and Tessa, this doesn't matter. Whatever they said last is the truth. Just delete whatever they said the time before that.

"Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb"

Oh, well this one is already happening, but not on the internet. (I'm not counting fan gossip and fan lying.)

"No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~Abraham Lincoln"

You don't need a good memory to be a successful liar. You don't even need to lie successfully (i.e., have people believe you). You just have to not acknowledge that you're lying and have evidence that you're lying ignored.

"Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world. ~Thomas Carlyle"

No, it's because people suck that Scott and Tessa have to lie. They're very protective.

"A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb"

I don't think they agree. It's half and half. And shouldn't they get some credit for the true bits?

"Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it. ~Robert Brault.

Eh, I don't know how many lies people tell include lying to "ourselves". I think what people tell themselves is the truth. "It's easier." "It's more convenient." "Too much trouble to change the story now."

I'm going to start off with the feet only of Papadakis & Cizeron. Thank you canadablue

This is the short dance, where they were beaten by the Shibs. Please remember skating is meant to be scored to the weakest link.

Then PI:

The Shibs:

The Shibs: when she's got skaters whose claim to distinction is, you know, actual SKATING, Marina's choreography kicks ass. This is a fantastic, exhilerating program.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Short takes

These gifs aren't apples to apples comparisons. They're just my takeaways, distilling my impressions of Skate Canada and Skate America 2014.

Moore Towers/Marinaro:


Chock and Bates:

Not so sure about the curve part or
the "lift" part.

I can't.
What I noticed with Chock Bates is that after the uber stand-still, draggy, dramatic opening, and some effortful stroking, the program turns glacial. That's a thing now in ice dance.Be slow. Truncated run of blade is preferred. How can you be crisp, clean, and tight with your music if you spend any time on an extended, deep edge. By the way, very.deliberate.sustained.gesturing is the new "crisp and clean."

The other thing in ice dance is the less skating you do, the higher you'll score.Ice dance. Once the skate-iest of all the figure skating disciplines. Then the North American Feds and ISU officials realized the public and media didn't know the difference, so why not turn it into a favor swapping pawn, and a pile of crap, while bragging it's now legit, in the best tradition of the most corrupt enterprises in civilized history.

I can't even touch the base value and levels bullshit.

The Shibs. I want to cry. The blade run and speed alone. How many points behind Chock & Bates? North American figure skating is a bunch of assholes:

Chock and Bates, of course, have one of the most
rudimentary, mediocre step sequences in contemporary
free dance history.
Hubbell Donohue (switched to their 2014 skate)

They need better speed, but how relevant is that in ice dance anymore? Chock & Bates are slow, and Hubbell Donohue have deeper, longer edges, better unison, softer knees, more program content, and skate their program.

Gilles Poirier:

I think there's some sleight of hand with them where she's on an extended edge supported in some type of connection/hold with Paul (and hey, I won't look a gift horse) but he's doing the actual skating, he's the one with power, and that's how they achieve speed/ice coverage when they DO achieve speed/ice coverage. It's a more palatable strategy then just in-your-face dragging and pulling, and that's the best I can say at the moment til I sit with their program a little longer.

Update to the paragraphs that follow - here is the attorney's original article:

An Idiot's Tale

Her name is Javairia "Jia" Junaid. I don't know if her linked-in profile is current.

My issue isn't with what she describes as her "bias" - a bias that assumed the appealing (to her) famous guy was being targeted by a vengeful ex. Plenty of people harbor attitudes and biases at variance with their education, job description and experience.

My issue is with her stupidity and her inability to process information. There were two components to the original story. One was The CBC's announcement that they were getting rid of Ghomeshi. The other was Ghomeshi's facebook post.

Any lawyer - any regular person with common sense - would know that a publicly funded corporation the size of The CBC, run by a bunch of well-paid, lawyered-up corporate dudes, is not going to get rid of one of its longstanding marquee talents because some ex-girlfriend with a chip on her shoulder made shit up. But attorney Jia Junaid had no problems reaching that conclusion. I wonder what she charges per hour - her clients must get tremendous value whatever her rate may be.

It's an especially comforting read when one absorbs that she's worked in advocacy sectors. NICE.

My original remarks:

I don't know what kind of idiot juice some media types are drinking in Canada, but one of the many naval-gazing Ghomeshi "think pieces" was from a media-type/lawyer (a woman) who confessed that when Ghomeshi's firing was first announced, and she read his facebook post, she believed him, and imagined that he was being victimized by a bitter ex girlfriend, probably a model/actress wannabe (I will hunt down the link to the article later).

Think of the brains it took to default to that assumption. This legal light immediately assumed that a corporation the size and power of The CBC would fire its famous signature face/name/brand because some anonymous, wannabe, resentful ex girlfriend decided to make trouble by making shit up. An actual lawyer figured that. A lawyer assumed The CBC just went - sure, probably true - he's gone! The subtext in this lawyer's assumptions was that it was probably a pretty girl, and therefore entitled and uppity, and you know, they get publicly funded major corporations to do their bidding all the time.

SO so incredibly stupid. And she had no problem publishing this.

I bet this woman/lawyer defaulted to that assumption without ever having once in her entire life witnessed/experienced an ex-girlfriend taking down some guy. She believes in myths more than she believes in real life. I would love to ask this lawyer exactly how often in her real life experience, and not her soap opera viewing, somebody's vindictive ex-girlfriend, all on her own, not only attempted some sort of combination smear campaign/stalking strategy against a guy, but against a much richer, more powerful, famous guy, and succeeded.

This woman is now regretting her default reaction because as it turns out, a couple of well-known women are accusing Ghomeshi, so now she knows it's not some phantom model who persuaded CBC to ditch the guy whose 20 foot poster was on the side of the building, but a few People Who Count.

I am dying to find out what firm pays this woman for her legal expertise, what her hourly rate may be, and what clients pay through the nose for her work. I hope it's not Siskinds.


Enjoyed this from MacLean's latest on Jian Ghomeshi:

Stories circulated at the CBC about his penchant for “rough sex” but they were mostly dismissed as gossip, says Paul Malcolm, a Q producer for four years. “I heard rumours of punching for as long as I was on the show, but I didn’t believe it.” “Jian was very private,” says one producer, who noted he seemed to have different tiers of girlfriends. There were high-profile women with whom he was aligned —Ani DiFranco, Sarah Polley, Lisa Ray, Tessa Virtue—as well as far younger women who would accompany him after show tapings in other cities.

Nice, right? Virtue and Moir are lucky Ryan Semple only appears to be a quasi-virtual-douchebag on twitter and instagram. But I bet anything they don't know much about him.

Virtue and Moir's social media alliances are paper thin, there's not even rudimentary due diligence, it's all cosmetic Stepford bullshit. Virtue and Moir have turned themselves into brittle, pageant-esque, image-burnishing paper dolls each an inch deep. It's so bizarre - years ago all they seemed to care about was skating, and Tessa was adament that neither she nor Scott had any interest in becoming celebrities. That attitude was either a complete lie at the time - wouldn't be surprised - or they've morphed into opposite sorts of people, and what are they getting out of it? They don't want to be adults? They want to stay in their version of high school their entire lives? There are twelve-year olds with more guts and character than either one of them.

At least with the Ghomeshi case causing people in media to come crawling out of the woodwork to confess how insular, dishonest, self-serving and inverted their "industry" and "community" actually is, we know the sorts of people with whom Scott and Tessa have affiliated themselves, and there's that saying that you know someone by the company they keep. Without even needing to, Scott and Tessa have adopted a community and are being reinforced by a community that is self-admittedly immature, self-promoting, self-obsessed, afraid, and insecure.

This post is brought to you by the windows behind Scott and Tessa:

There's been a lot of Funhouse Mirror-themed decor in the events they've attended this summer and fall.