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  1. #1
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    The Figure-skating of Julia and the Alternation between Ostentation and Simplicity

    Look at an embellished crown, however gaudy—there is always one particular jewel that catches the light, now and again, so as to shine out more than the others. Of course all jewels possess the ostentation of simplicity; but it is not till the creator saw fit to give us a really glaring example of simplicity that the material world would really noticed what a wonderful thing it is—in our case, the simplicity of the heart in the figure-skating of Julia in this jaded figure skating world. In a curious way, you can see the same child-like quality of Julia in that very jaded figure skating world if you consider its fondness for make-believe; of course for the jaded figure skating world, the make-believe is preferably outward—that is, it is of the projecting variety. St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, you remember, when she was encouraging her novices to pray for the conversion of sinners, told them to think of those souls as a set of ninepins to be knocked down; she was always indulging in fantasies of that kind, so was St. Francis. When he felt tempted, one extremely cold night, to regret his vows, he got up out of bed, and went out into the snow just as he was, and made a snow-woman and six snow-children; and he pretended that they were his family. “There,” he said to himself—for he talked to himself, as all children do—“these must all be clothed; see, poor things, they are dying of cold; here there will be all kinds of trouble.” When you read stories like that and compare them to the figure-skating of Julia, you realize that it is not a very long way from the Little Flowers of St. Francis and St. Therese to the Little Flower of figure skating.

    It is, perhaps, rash and self-serving to venture on explanations on the plenitude of grace which overshadowed and transformed the figure-skating of Julia as to make the patrons of the satiated world of figure skating become aware of it. Here is where an intermediary may come in. For man is made of body and soul, body as well as soul *must* take part in his self-dedication to art or craft. Material edifices, of outward gestures, and skate and music, must be the complement and the expression of his inward attitude; otherwise, they are just mere show items. For instance, when God issued to Moses his moral law, or when our Lady preached to Bernadette of Lourdes her gospel of penance, in all the grandeur of austerity, they enlisted material things in the service of a spiritual ideal. That is the very essence of the figure-skating of Julia.

    As with painting, the office of figure skating seems to be merely initial, but the best pictures and skates can easily tell us their last secret; the best pictures and skates are rude draughts of a few of the miraculous dots and lines and dyes which make up the ever-changing “landscapes (with figures)” amidst which we mostly dwelt in this world. As such, painting and figure skating seem to be to the eye what dancing is to the limbs. When Julia has educated the figure-skating frame to self-possession, to nimbleness, to grace, the steps of the dancing-master are better forgotten; so the figure-skating of Julia teaches the splendor of color and the expression of form through regiment, yet from the freedom of spirit, and as I see the figure-skating and genius of Julia in this art form, I see the boundless opulence in painting, the indifference in which the painter stands free to choose out of the possible forms—as no mere mannerist can make these diverse, single figures from an uncouth spirit. Behind them is a kind of cogent sympathy, and in its figurehead, Julia, for whom Maturity tends to be only a totem, one sees tension and fear or the bravado of insecurity (i.e., discovery), and not paltry sentimentality. The style of gesture of Julia, the technical proficiency, the manner of presentation on the ice—you realize that Julia is not just a mere model for figure skating, Julia is a vision of it.

    An artist must have at least two brushes: the first, which is the more useful, gives the ground tints and rapidly covers the whole canvas; the other, a small one, is employed for the details of the picture. If you will put on one side the modesty of this expression, Julia’s presentation of flexibility is the former, and her subtlety in accents is the latter. The subtlety in her accents on the ice is the small brush; this works consists in etching in, while very dramatically, all the little daily details of the simplicity of heart with enormous care, not unlike one of the pre-Raphaelite painters, drawing every leaf and every stone with minute precision. Whereas Julia’s presentation of flexibility resorts to the impressionistic side; it gets its effects with broad sweeps of the brush: its ideas are big enough to live in the open air, while compact enough to reach out into the ether.

    The figure-skating of Julia is about making the best of the little world we all live in, as a child will make the best of staying indoors when it becomes clear that the rain is not going to stop. By Julia’s power of make-believe—and what it made her believe was no more than the truth—she would turn her figure-skating and the little opportunities it had given, and is giving, into a glorious mission for simplifying the heart. Now, what is this gift of simplicity, which we admire so much in children? because it is natural. Do let us get rid at once of that favorite mistake: supposing that to be simple means to be ignorant. You see, there is only one Being who is absolutely simple; that is almighty God, and he knows everything. No, to be simple is to see things with the eye of God, that is, to see them as they really are, without the trimmings. To be able to distinguish what is important from what is incidental and doesn’t matter; to get down to the broad, primary truths, and forget what is merely conventional. And Julia is that to this jaded figure skating world. God, your soul, eternity, sin, judgment, those are the essentials; and the simplicity of a Julia is to distinguish those facts all the time, without effort, from the unessential facts that do not matter, although human vanity and snobbishness and worldliness of the jaded figure skating world think they do (e.g., with buzz words/phrases like “artistry,” “musicality,” “projecting to the audience” etc. etc.). The world is very old nowadays, and we are all very grown-up; you can grab the wisdom of the ages on a pamphlet or rule book. All these dubious conventions of a civilization—but can we look back at the age of St. Therese of Lisieux without feeling something of regret of our own childhood, something of that twinge which comes to us when we see, in the house where we were brought up, the familiar passage that leads to the nursery door? If the figure-skating of Julia has taught us anything, it is this: Let’s be wise according to our opportunities, to be ourselves, to laugh at shams and see things as they are.

    Julia was sent to a world in bondage, and to a figure skating world which rejoiced in its bondage. And its presence of material plenty had given rise to a general spirit of materialism; a spirit which loves the good things of this life and is content with the good things of this life, does not know how to enlarge its horizons and think about eternity. She was sent to deliver us from that captivity of thought; to make us forget the idols of Maturity. She could not wring tears, even so, from the hearts of a stubborn bunch. Surely, so many years will pass, and do we still come away from Julia’s Sochi arc dry-eyed?
    Last edited by FascinatingPrem; 04-28-2014 at 02:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    Do you have a tl;dr recap?

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    1. Julia and modernism

    In the skating of Julia, a predominant leitmotif is the concept of subcapitalist culture. However, if modernist nationalism holds, we have to choose between modernism and Spielbergian narrative.

    “On-ice packaging is part of the fatal flaw of narrativity,” says Tarasova. Tutberidze uses the term “postconstructive semioticist theory” to denote the mythopoetical totality present in Julia’s drawing of hearts. In a sense, this signifies what is ostensibly the crux of Tarasova’s critique of modernism, implying that the raison d’etre of the skating judge is significant, but only if the premise of subcultural narrative is invalid; if that is not the case, scoring must come from political machinations.

    Julia’s choreography promotes the use of material theory to deconstruct sexism. It could be said that Averbukh uses the term “modernism” to denote the common ground between society qua Julia and society qua society.

    Another primary theme of the works of Julia is the role of affect, specifically emotionally overwhelming spectators of her skating, excavating a prior-repressed urge to chant the name of the country which she represents in its mother (and I use that word advisedly) tongue repeatedly and with considerable volume and enthusiasm.

    2. Subcultural narrative and Mishinian camp

    The final primary theme of the skating of Julia is the economy, and eventually the genre, of subsemiotic identity. Wearing another new jacket, Tutberidze commented that “Julia’s 2014-15 short program will interrogate the culturally-inspired nexus between art and class.” In the future, Tarasova will use the term “icy modernism” to denote the paradigm, and subsequent rubicon, of textual narrativity. (This commentary will parallel her insightful post-Olympic description of the philosophical inspiration and significance of Soktikova’s 2013-14 FP.)

    If one examines Mishian camp, one is faced with a choice: either accept neotextual appropriation or conclude that the establishment is impossible. Though not free of hegemony, it seems difficult to deny that skating’s zeitgeist reflects the current obsolescence (planned or otherwise) of windmill arms, transitionlessness, and other hallmarks of Mishinian camp. Therefore, the contemporary subject is interpolated into a neotextual appropriation that focuses on Averbukh’s unique ability to language as a totality.

    If this prediction holds, we have to choose between Mishinian camp and Averbukhian deconstructivist theory. It could be said that the collective embrace of the latter is about as likely as Johnny Weir wearing a statement necklace on any given occasion. The programs of Julia next season will simultaneously articulate and deconstruct the continued relevance of her thematic materializations and their hermeneutical potentialities.

  4. #4
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    Of course any studied writing will often draw out puerile, demotic satire like the above. ...Well, can there be such a thing as demotic satire? Hardly. For satire is a basically aristocratic genre in which one enlightened person speaks to another over the heads of the benighted; it is a word to the wise. It happens to be a witty word, and one that makes fun of human foibles, often including those of the writer and reader. A certain intellectual complicity is necessary, as well as a certain refinement, for satire operates through irony and indirection, through subtlety and deviousness. Anything less than is purely reactionary, like the above. It is not satire but a mere broadside, squib, lampoon, and pasquinade. The unsubtle or untutored mind does not get the point: "But, Dr. Swift, we do not eat babies!" Significantly, great satire flourished in aristocratic and cultivated eras, such as the Augustan and the neoclassical; whenever culture declines, satire, too, declines or vanishes-- as is apparent above.

    You see, satire cannot be purely reactionary, cannot be gross; if it is, it is vulgar sarcasm (and nothing more), the condescension of fools to even greater fools, ponderously witless spelling out of the obvious.

  5. #5

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  6. #6

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    Man oh man do I ever hope that Julia has a restraining order against you.

    Oh, and Joshua's Schindler's List was still better - as the whole world will see next season.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Do you have a tl;dr recap?
    As the 140-characters-or-less micro-blogging syntax has infiltrated even the minutest corner of the literary e-journal community, I have resigned myself to a race of illiterates outside of the classroom. Worse yet, it has subsumed brevity into a signification of cool-- a sort of Tolerant Argot, where everybody should understand everybody until eventually substance becomes obsolete-- but until then, let's have fun with our convictions yeah! Never to learn that every revolution approaches terminal velocity sooner rather than later. Who needs substance and morals when you've got accessibility, right? It is true that language is a main source of power in social relations, but what this 140-characters-or-less writing culture has lost sight of how language works to establish our sense of proportion and perspective, which are not mutually exclusive.

  8. #8

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    Or, it's true that using big words in an attempt to make yourself look intelligent only serves to make your posts extremely difficult to read and off-putting to those who might want to try.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FascinatingPrem View Post
    Look at an embellished crown, however gaudy—there is always one particular jewel that catches the light, now and again, so as to shine out more than the others. Of course all jewels possess the ostentation of simplicity; but it is not till the creator saw fit to give us a really glaring example of simplicity that the material world would really noticed what a wonderful thing it is—in our case, the simplicity of the heart in the figure-skating of Julia in this jaded figure skating world. In a curious way, you can see the same child-like quality of Julia in that very jaded figure skating world if you consider its fondness for make-believe; of course for the jaded figure skating world, the make-believe is preferably outward—that is, it is of the projecting variety. St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, you remember, when she was encouraging her novices to pray for the conversion of sinners, told them to think of those souls as a set of ninepins to be knocked down; she was always indulging in fantasies of that kind, so was St. Francis. When he felt tempted, one extremely cold night, to regret his vows, he got up out of bed, and went out into the snow just as he was, and made a snow-woman and six snow-children; and he pretended that they were his family. “There,” he said to himself—for he talked to himself, as all children do—“these must all be clothed; see, poor things, they are dying of cold; here there will be all kinds of trouble.” When you read stories like that and compare them to the figure-skating of Julia, you realize that it is not a very long way from the Little Flowers of St. Francis and St. Therese to the Little Flower of figure skating.

    It is, perhaps, rash and self-serving to venture on explanations on the plenitude of grace which overshadowed and transformed the figure-skating of Julia as to make the patrons of the satiated world of figure skating become aware of it. Here is where an intermediary may come in. For man is made of body and soul, body as well as soul *must* take part in his self-dedication to art or craft. Material edifices, of outward gestures, and skate and music, must be the complement and the expression of his inward attitude; otherwise, they are just mere show items. For instance, when God issued to Moses his moral law, or when our Lady preached to Bernadette of Lourdes her gospel of penance, in all the grandeur of austerity, they enlisted material things in the service of a spiritual ideal. That is the very essence of the figure-skating of Julia.

    As with painting, the office of figure skating seems to be merely initial, but the best pictures and skates can easily tell us their last secret; the best pictures and skates are rude draughts of a few of the miraculous dots and lines and dyes which make up the ever-changing “landscapes (with figures)” amidst which we mostly dwelt in this world. As such, painting and figure skating seem to be to the eye what dancing is to the limbs. When Julia has educated the figure-skating frame to self-possession, to nimbleness, to grace, the steps of the dancing-master are better forgotten; so the figure-skating of Julia teaches the splendor of color and the expression of form through regiment, yet from the freedom of spirit, and as I see the figure-skating and genius of Julia in this art form, I see the boundless opulence in painting, the indifference in which the painter stands free to choose out of the possible forms—as no mere mannerist can make these diverse, single figures from an uncouth spirit. Behind them is a kind of cogent sympathy, and in its figurehead, Julia, for whom Maturity tends to be only a totem, one sees tension and fear or the bravado of insecurity (i.e., discovery), and not paltry sentimentality. The style of gesture of Julia, the technical proficiency, the manner of presentation on the ice—you realize that Julia is not just a mere model for figure skating, Julia is a vision of it.

    An artist must have at least two brushes: the first, which is the more useful, gives the ground tints and rapidly covers the whole canvas; the other, a small one, is employed for the details of the picture. If you will put on one side the modesty of this expression, Julia’s presentation of flexibility is the former, and her subtlety in accents is the latter. The subtlety in her accents on the ice is the small brush; this works consists in etching in, while very dramatically, all the little daily details of the simplicity of heart with enormous care, not unlike one of the pre-Raphaelite painters, drawing every leaf and every stone with minute precision. Whereas Julia’s presentation of flexibility resorts to the impressionistic side; it gets its effects with broad sweeps of the brush: its ideas are big enough to live in the open air, while compact enough to reach out into the ether.

    The figure-skating of Julia is about making the best of the little world we all live in, as a child will make the best of staying indoors when it becomes clear that the rain is not going to stop. By Julia’s power of make-believe—and what it made her believe was no more than the truth—she would turn her figure-skating and the little opportunities it had given, and is giving, into a glorious mission for simplifying the heart. Now, what is this gift of simplicity, which we admire so much in children? because it is natural. Do let us get rid at once of that favorite mistake: supposing that to be simple means to be ignorant. You see, there is only one Being who is absolutely simple; that is almighty God, and he knows everything. No, to be simple is to see things with the eye of God, that is, to see them as they really are, without the trimmings. To be able to distinguish what is important from what is incidental and doesn’t matter; to get down to the broad, primary truths, and forget what is merely conventional. And Julia is that to this jaded figure skating world. God, your soul, eternity, sin, judgment, those are the essentials; and the simplicity of a Julia is to distinguish those facts all the time, without effort, from the unessential facts that do not matter, although human vanity and snobbishness and worldliness of the jaded figure skating world think they do (e.g., with buzz words/phrases like “artistry,” “musicality,” “projecting to the audience” etc. etc.). The world is very old nowadays, and we are all very grown-up; you can grab the wisdom of the ages on a pamphlet or rule book. All these dubious conventions of a civilization—but can we look back at the age of St. Therese of Lisieux without feeling something of regret of our own childhood, something of that twinge which comes to us when we see, in the house where we were brought up, the familiar passage that leads to the nursery door? If the figure-skating of Julia has taught us anything, it is this: Let’s be wise according to our opportunities, to be ourselves, to laugh at shams and see things as they are.

    Julia was sent to a world in bondage, and to a figure skating world which rejoiced in its bondage. And its presence of material plenty had given rise to a general spirit of materialism; a spirit which loves the good things of this life and is content with the good things of this life, does not know how to enlarge its horizons and think about eternity. She was sent to deliver us from that captivity of thought; to make us forget the idols of Maturity. She could not wring tears, even so, from the hearts of a stubborn bunch. Surely, so many years will pass, and do we still come away from Julia’s Sochi arc dry-eyed?

    Fine, thanks, and you?

    IOW, a skating fan with a brain and a big vocabulary - big deal.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    Or, it's true that using big words in an attempt to make yourself look intelligent only serves to make your posts extremely difficult to read and off-putting to those who might want to try.
    At first I thought it was a bad computer translation of a Russian interview.

    I'm a skilled writer and reader. And I have no idea what 'puerile demotic' satire means. And I'm not motivated to find out.
    Last edited by Japanfan; 04-28-2014 at 08:59 AM.

  11. #11
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    You could have saved yourself alot of time and just said that when Julia skates rainbows and unicorns come out of her a#*.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    At first I thought it was a bad computer translation of a Russian interview.

    I'm a skilled writer and reader. And I have no idea what 'puerile demotic' satire means. And I'm not motivated to find out.
    Me neither

    Quote Originally Posted by asdf334 View Post
    You could have saved yourself alot of time and just said that when Julia skates rainbows and unicorns come out of her a#*.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  13. #13
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    WOW! OMG! AWESOME! HAVE A NICE DAY!
    Have a nice day!

  14. #14

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    Are you a troll? If yes, an old one with a new name or just a new one? The style somehow seems familiar, so it may be the former.

    If you are not a troll, my apologies.

  15. #15

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    Does anyone not notice the "Banned Member" now under the username?
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Does anyone not notice the "Banned Member" now under the username?
    Thanks for pointing out. I should always check that before asking the dumb question I asked ("Are you a troll?")

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    Man oh man do I ever hope that Julia has a restraining order against you.

    Oh, and Joshua's Schindler's List was still better - as the whole world will see next season.
    I disagree but it's a matter of taste. LOL about the restraining order though.

  18. #18

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    WOW! That was illuminating. I shall now go rest my brain.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Does anyone not notice the "Banned Member" now under the username?
    I think that's their User Title, but they're not all that literate and they mis-spelled "Band".


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