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  1. #841

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    Sorry it's offtopic, and I don't want to offend anyone, but you know, you have to LIVE in Russia to make this statement. I live here, I have friends of different sexual orientation, I work with them a lot and nobody beats or arrests anyone. I don't admire our politicians but the way the US media shows it...According to them, it's a wonder we all are alive here.
    I don't live in Russia, but these are the words of a gay woman who, until recently, did live there:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ay-laws-russia

  2. #842

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI View Post
    I think that perhaps Dave & Jenny should separate their review of the week's actual skating from the op-ed part of their podcasts. Put the skating news in This, and have a separate podcast for snark, opinion, gossip, conspiracy theory, and so forth and call it That. Then people that want to hear the opinion, gossip and the snark can find it easily, and people who want to avoid it can avoid it easily.

    After all, the standard media have their op ed pages and no one calls out their professionalism for having controversial stuff on them. I think a little self discipline about separating news and opinion would improve TSL a lot.

    OTOH, I would hope they could avoid mocking someone's voice, at least. They could also continue to refrain from saying neener neener, nyah nyah ne nyah nyah and other similar playground tricks.

    And they could avoid making unsourced conspiracy theories, like that the Shibs paid off the judges, or that Tessa was faking an injury.
    "The Skating Lesson" is described thusly on the "About" page on it's website:

    The Skating Lesson is a joint venture between Jenny Kirk and Dave Lease aimed at promoting the sport of figure skating.

    The two communications graduates aim to create a portal for figure skaters, parents and enthusiasts to connect and learn about the sports from a bevy of experts through interviews, blog posts, news and discussions.

    Originally a podcast, Jenny Kirk and Dave Lease’s vision is that TSL will unite the skating community in the Internet age and share the lessons learned along the way from skaters, coaches and a myriad of off-ice experts in the fields of athletic performance, nutrition, and sports psychology.
    So it's trying to be a site that "promotes the sport of figure skating," where people can "learn about the sport" as well as "athletic performance, nutrition, and sports psychology."

    Exactly how does mocking someone's voice, and spreading completely unfounded and damaging gossip such as paying off judges or faking injuries accomplish any of these goals?

    If this were claiming to be a mere fan board like FSU or Goldenskate, where anyone, ignorant or not, can just mouth off anyway they want, then fine. Everyone knows the stuff that is said on such boards is to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

    However, if they are actually trying to be a place where "figure skaters, parents and enthusiasts" can "connect and learn about the sports," then there is absolutely NO PLACE on that site for such comments. It's one thing to have a section of the site where you reveal about costumes, programs, music changes, etc. But to have a section where it's okay to trash people? These types of comments are nothing but disrespectful of skaters, their parents, and the skating enthusiasts Dave and Jenny are purporting to attract, and it damages the sport. And to think they actually want press credentials! What a disgrace. It's comments and people like these that perpetuate the myth that figure skating is more soap opera than sport.

  3. #843
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    I don't live in Russia, but these are the words of a gay woman who, until recently, did live there:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ay-laws-russia
    I've already said - I don't deny that this problem exists but I've had enough communicating with gays to know things are not THAT terrible. They live, work and nobody arrests them or supresses them somehow.

    Anyway, I'm deeply convinced that athletes shouldn't get involved here. There is enough policy in sport without it.

  4. #844

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    I hope Meryl and Charlie work more on what to say next time (or "no comment"). They are perfectionists after all. But they are in a very tough spot.

    I don't agree with Aunt Joyce's "idiot" comment, but he tends to say stuff like this about the ones he loves the most, with only a couple exceptions. Not an excuse, but something to understand.

  5. #845
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    Sorry it's offtopic, and I don't want to offend anyone, but you know, you have to LIVE in Russia to make this statement. I live here, I have friends of different sexual orientation, I work with them a lot and nobody beats or arrests anyone. I don't admire our politicians but the way the US media shows it...According to them, it's a wonder we all are alive here.
    Thank you. I was waiting for a Russian to throw in a couple of words to the discussion.

    To me as a European it sometimes seems the Americans are trying so hard to fix everything in the world or make everything look terrible so that they can go save it and make it work the way they think is best for it. But it doesn't work like that. Different countries have different religious, cultural and societal backgrounds, different history and different mentality of people. The Russians themselves are the ones who need to find solution to the situation and frankly, they are the only ones who are truly entitled to comment on it, because they are the ones who live with it every day.

  6. #846
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    Thank you. I was waiting for a Russian to throw in a couple of words to the discussion.

    To me as a European it sometimes seems the Americans are trying so hard to fix everything in the world or make everything look terrible so that they can go save it and make it work the way they think is best for it. But it doesn't work like that. Different countries have different religious, cultural and societal backgrounds, different history and different mentality of people. The Russians themselves are the ones who need to find solution to the situation and frankly, they are the only ones who are truly entitled to comment on it, because they are the ones who live with it every day.
    I agree that change does have to come from within the country and the progression is relative. It's not very long ago that institutionalized racism existed here, compared to the timeline of human "civilization", on top of the fact that we still have our own problems.

    I don't think it comes from wanting to fix the world. In fact I think most Americans would like to get back to us. We have strained our resources, the government is in the midst of the most embarrassing political theater of all time, and a lot of Americans are wising up to the illusion of aid that's created by the government to gain support for military tactics driven by private financial gain.

    The Americans who do care, care because it's something they don't have live with. My life is far from perfect, but I feel incredibly fortunate I don't have to live with violence because I'm a gay...or black...or female. I think it's a terrible notion to say we should all just shut up and mind our own business because we don't live somewhere. I think there is a difference between supporting others and taking away their agency, by becoming the driving force of their cause in a culture you aren't a part of or really understand. It's not black and white. I think human right violations supersedes culture, whether it's female genital mutilation, femicide, genocide, religious persecution, etc. I don't think "culture" entitles you to these things. By your standard we should get rid of UN ambassadors and we should abandon our attention and voices for underrepresented minority people because it isn't our place to comment.

    Russia made a statement, putting this law into effect right before the Olympics. I think it's important to show support, if nothing else. It's a matter of setting a tone.
    I think the US has benefited from other countries who have passed gay marriage laws and/or included sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws. It's gives hope, it makes it harder to defend unfair thoughts and actions...support matters.

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    To me as a European it sometimes seems the Americans are trying so hard to fix everything in the world or make everything look terrible so that they can go save it and make it work the way they think is best for it.
    As an American, I'm afraid I agree with you. It is kind of a modern take on Kipling's 19th century "white man's burden" concept. Apparently, we are so much superior that we need to teach everyone else how to live.

    Still, I don't think it is accurate to say the US media is making this a bigger deal than others. I think the folks on this board, skating journalists, web bloggers, and gay media are treating this as a bigger deal than the mainstream US media at present. I think it would be fair to say that much of middle America don't spend their evenings debating Russia's anti-gay laws and getting annoyed at athletes who don't see this cause as their priority. It isn't like we stand on such high ground on this issue, anyway. Much of the progress in gay rights here has come through the courts. When it comes to the ballot box, time and again, majorities have voted against gay rights issues more often than not.

    In many ways, the establishment folks in some Western European countries seem to be taking a stronger stand than in the US at present. Someone upthread asked why all the rest of the world is not up in arms over Russia's new law and the answer is simple. Much of the world has even more draconian anti-gay laws, including a number of Muslim countries where folks can be executed for having a gay lover. On the world-wide scale, the Russian law that says keep it indoors where folks can't see it is nowhere near the worst. Don't get me wrong, I agree Russia's law is offensive, backwards and just plain wrong, but if it were not for the upcoming Olympics, it would not be getting anywhere near the attention that it has.
    Last edited by Susan M; 10-09-2013 at 12:58 AM.

  8. #848
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    I think all Dave was trying to say to them was, show more color and not be so dull/ PC every time they are asked a question outside of the rink. I can see how he was offended by their remark, considering he's LGBT.

  9. #849
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiazumi View Post
    I think all Dave was trying to say to them was, show more color and not be so dull/ PC every time they are asked a question outside of the rink. I can see how he was offended by their remark, considering he's LGBT.
    I've got no clue who he is but was he ever an athlete with a good chance at an Olympic medal, even gold? It might not have been the best answer and as literaryfreak pointed out, "no comment" might have been the better option, however, I can understand why they don't want to get involved and frankly, he should as well. LGBT or not, they've got different things on their mind right now that, currently, are far more important to them and he should respect that. He wants to be an acknowledged journalists, so he should grow up and not feel offended if someone doesn't take his side. JMHO, of course.

    On a side note, as long as there's not going to be a boycot from the US Team, the USFSA or else, I don't think the athletes are to blame for wanting maintain their chances to medal and keep their mouths shut. Yes, I would have the greatest respect for those who would give up their spot on the team in protest but it's the Olympics and I understand why athletes aren't doing it. After all, who knows what's going to happen in four years time and if there's another chance for them to go to the Olympics. Not just Meryl and Charlie but everyone.

  10. #850

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    Quote Originally Posted by leapfrogonice View Post
    Can Jenny Kirk be digging her grave any faster? I used to kind of admire her for her efforts to come forth with her eating disorder and for the effort to be a podcaster. But since she has hooked her anchor to Dave Lease, I'm sure if my regard for her could be sinking any faster.

    They were almost comical in their love for Meryl, but showing they are, they turned on her the moment Meryl did not voice views on this political and human rights issue which is very front and center and obviously important to Kirk/Lease.

    The level of hate for the Shibutani's is also just kind of getting to be a broken record. They obviously prefer Chock/Bates which is absolutely fine. Everybody is picking up on the fact that TSL has no respect for Maia and Alex as people either. They think the Shibutanis lied about being injured.

    I suppose it could be they try to turn on a dime there too. I guess it will depend on whether they make it a point of voicing a political opinion which aligns with Dave's.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Also, I think the question should be neither asked nor answered of or by athletes. Why would one make public comments about a politically suppressive country, and then visit there? IMO the only valid comment is boycott. Anything else is just window dressing.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  11. #851
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessiebanana View Post
    The Americans who do care, care because it's something they don't have live with. My life is far from perfect, but I feel incredibly fortunate I don't have to live with violence because I'm a gay...or black...or female. I think it's a terrible notion to say we should all just shut up and mind our own business because we don't live somewhere. I think there is a difference between supporting others and taking away their agency, by becoming the driving force of their cause in a culture you aren't a part of or really understand. It's not black and white. I think human right violations supersedes culture, whether it's female genital mutilation, femicide, genocide, religious persecution, etc. I don't think "culture" entitles you to these things. By your standard we should get rid of UN ambassadors and we should abandon our attention and voices for underrepresented minority people because it isn't our place to comment.
    I majored in culture studies, I've had zillion debates about whether cultural relativism is good or bad, whether people have the right to tell others how their culture should work. Of course I am against human rights violence, but my studies kinda also taught me not to judge other cultures from the perspective of mine.

    Also, I'm not saying don't show support. If you feel moved by the case, go ahead, get involved. But forcing people to get involved, to have an opinion and share that opinion in the media is what bugs me. So what if they don't wanna talk about it? Not everyone has to, right?

    I'm sorry if I offended someone by my America comment. I actually wrote a Master's thesis about the American Dream so I find your country rather fascinating. However I guess some things just do look different from here than from out there.

  12. #852
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiazumi View Post
    I think all Dave was trying to say to them was, show more color and not be so dull/ PC every time they are asked a question outside of the rink. I can see how he was offended by their remark, considering he's LGBT.
    I don't find them dull in interviews. Yeah, they usually say the right things because they're good kids and they know how to conduct themselves properly. I think they've shown their personalities just fine. They're out there in social media, sharing bits of their lives off the ice, and we've seen their senses of humor in interviews before. Just because they're not snarky or whatever Dave is looking for doesn't mean they're not interesting or relatable.
    My Blog - Author & Figure Skating Fanatic
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  13. #853

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    Quote Originally Posted by TanithandBenFan View Post
    I don't find them dull in interviews. Yeah, they usually say the right things because they're good kids and they know how to conduct themselves properly. I think they've shown their personalities just fine. They're out there in social media, sharing bits of their lives off the ice, and we've seen their senses of humor in interviews before. Just because they're not snarky or whatever Dave is looking for doesn't mean they're not interesting or relatable.
    Well said!

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    Last edited by Jiazumi; 10-10-2013 at 01:59 AM.

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    I think they were unpreparedly neutral on the issue. I am quite certain that if they had said anything different, it would have had more or less the same effect depending on which party took offense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiazumi View Post
    Beautiful. The music is the kind that'll get people singing along
    "Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him."

  17. #857
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    I've got no clue who he is but was he ever an athlete with a good chance at an Olympic medal, even gold? It might not have been the best answer and as literaryfreak pointed out, "no comment" might have been the better option, however, I can understand why they don't want to get involved and frankly, he should as well. LGBT or not, they've got different things on their mind right now that, currently, are far more important to them and he should respect that. He wants to be an acknowledged journalists, so he should grow up and not feel offended if someone doesn't take his side. JMHO, of course.

    On a side note, as long as there's not going to be a boycot from the US Team, the USFSA or else, I don't think the athletes are to blame for wanting maintain their chances to medal and keep their mouths shut. Yes, I would have the greatest respect for those who would give up their spot on the team in protest but it's the Olympics and I understand why athletes aren't doing it. After all, who knows what's going to happen in four years time and if there's another chance for them to go to the Olympics. Not just Meryl and Charlie but everyone.
    I've been refraining from joining in on this topic while I've been mulling it over in my head, but here goes.

    I think it's worth remembering that of all the US skaters at this moment, Meryl and Charlie are the only really sure bet for a podium finish, and to boot, they have a very good shot at the gold medal. This may be their best ever shot at gold. Sure they could continue skating for another four years, but that would be four years of training, four years of wear and tear on their bodies, four years of putting their education and personal lives on the back burner. Meryl and Charlie have won all the major titles except for the Olympic title, and next year is realistically going to be their best chance. They really want that gold medal, and they have made that pretty clear.

    Figure skating is a judged sport. Moreover, it's now an anonymously judged sport. If Meryl and Charlie speak out very strongly against Russian anti-gay laws, it's very possible that a Russian tech caller or a Russian judge may, in retaliation, ding them a level or a point, potentially throwing the competition in favor of Virtue and Moir. And nobody would have any way of knowing that had been done because the judging is anonymous. People may call MC cowardly or self-serving if they want, but in the end, it's MC who will have to live with any consequences of criticizing the Russian laws. The challenges they'll face this season are not trifling. They have to get their routines (which are jam-packed with difficulty) polished and perfected; they have to train and cross-train and pay attention to every little last detail; they have to impress the judges at every competition. They have to time their training to peak at the right moment. They'll have a lot of traveling to do, and a lot of media: for the networks, for the USOC and the USFSA, for Kellogs and any other official sponsors. Everywhere they have to maintain their public image: intelligent, hard-working, pleasant young people. Competitively, they will have to face the formidable Virtue and Moir, who are gunning for exactly the same prize.

    As much as some of us might like to see MC speak out and champion the cause of global gay rights, would we--who count ourselves as among their biggest fans--want to see them jeopardize their chances of winning in Sochi by doing so?

    I've seen posters at FSU and on Golden Skate say "Well Ashley said this" / "Agnes said that"/ "Jeremy said something else." Agnes and Jeremy weren't even on the team for Worlds last year, and their chances of making the team for Sochi are hardly a guaranteed thing. If Ashley goes to Sochi, she's going to be an outside contender for the bronze medal at best, barring a complete meltdown of several top contenders in the ladies' field. None of the other US skaters--remotely--has as much at stake as Meryl and Charlie, so the consequences they will have to deal with are minimal to nonexistent. Similarly, athletes in timed sports, who do not have to worry as much about the politics of their sports, are freer to speak out. Meryl and Charlie are in the position of being top contenders in a judged sport, and before people like Dave and Jenny criticize them, they should show a little more respect for the reality of Meryl and Charlie's situation.

    Also, making fun of someone's voice is hardly professional journalism, unless Dave aspires to be the Perez Hilton of the figure skating world.

    Okay, off my soapbox for now.

  18. #858
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiazumi View Post
    I love how their twizzles are so perfectly synchronized that when Charlie is closest to the camera, you can't even see Meryl.

    Also, their lifts are so smooth and fast, it's just crazy.

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    Have any Americans found a video of their Shez that isn't geo-blocked for the US?

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    Well if anyone is uncomfortable with M/C doing the upside down lift, because they feel like it's too much like V/M, in V/M FD we have a W/P looking lift, a Shib looking lift, and a M/C looking lift (though V/M have done one like that in the past....the Umbrella program is the first to come to mind). And those lifts have been done by other teams.

    I think we all have to relax on the individuality of lifts. There are only so many lift combinations that will achieve levels, especially in dance where the height-weigh difference is very close. I think there is more to a lift than just the originality. The beauty is in the execution and how well it fits a program...though certain lifts I will admit I wouldn't be sad to see retire for five years or so.

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