Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rant: I Hate Figure Skating

I know this is a bit off the scope of this blog, but


Allow me to digress.

I had the ESPN2 going in the living room this afternoon, not really paying attention, or at least until I walked past. Then what caught my eye was this asian gentleman in a red and black flowing gay pirate/star trek uniform, merrily, spritefully and artfully skating along to some music I'd never heard of.

All of a sudden he stopped merrily/spritefully/artfully skating along and was coasting on one skate, backwards, looking behind him.

"Aha!" I thought. "Here it comes. He's going to do one of those crazy septuple lutz twist hop/skip/jump combo thingies, snap an ankle and take a Zamboni nap."

This is the part of figure skating I most vehemently detest. It's respectable enough, even commendable from a sissy standpoint, that anyone should be artistically inclined and skilled enough that they can merrily/spritefully/artfully ice skate. There is some admittable beauty to that. The same goes for dancing to music. A person has to be pretty d*** good to not bore me out of my mind, but there is at least some aesthetic merit.

But of all people, there is no way I, a glorified redneck, should be able to watch something highbrow like this and predict or anticipate an upcoming move, but I can. It's all too easy, because they are screwing up their own program.

When someone is merrily, spritefully and artfully skating along to some music I'd never heard of, they usually ruin all of the continuity and artistic merit of their program by setting up for one of their godawful 'look-what-I-can-do' moves. They suddenly put a stop to all merrily/spritefully/artfully ice skating, then devastate the flow of their program by suddenly skating backward on one skate across 3/4 of the rink. They might add a variation to this by slightly looking backwards, or perhaps hold one leg out as if to mark a fire hydrant ala canine, but the end result is ALWAYS the same. They perform some kind of spastic gymnastic move that completely contradicts the style of merrily/spritefully/artfully skating they worked so hard to choreograph up to that point.

Why do they do this? Probably just because it's hard, and they are trying to be impressive. Don't they realize they ruin the art of their program?

It would be like Mozart suddenly and abruptly interrupting a beautiful concerto to play a flute out of his @$$, just because it's difficult. Sure, I'd be impressed. But this novel physical challenge completely overshadows the pleasantness of the overall composition. They have no place in the same piece, because they have completely different and clashing objectives.

Which takes me back to the gentleman merrily/spritefully/artfully skating along on ESPN2. After my "Aha!" moment I stood there, riveted, waiting for him to finish his dog-marking windup, perform his 'move', and hopefully polish a spot in the ice with his red and black flowing gay pirate/star trek uniform.

You've all seen it before: He quickly flipped his fido-urinating leg back and, BOOM, he looked like a blow up doll in a tornado. WTF? Five seconds ago he was Mikhail Barishnikov on ice, now he is Taz from a diving board. It makes no sense.

Well, I was rewarded. I expressed my coffee in a snickering mist as he spilled his craft all over the ice like a bag of marbles breaking out on the floor at Wal-Mart.

Ok, I enjoyed it. That's not too tough to admit. I enjoyed the American Idol tryouts train wreck, too. But why on earth a person would want to subject themselves to that is beyond me.

There is a secondary disturbing part of figure skating, and that is what takes place immediately after merrily/spritefully/artfully skating. For some reason, the participants are forced to sit in front of a camera, panting and gasping for air post-orgasmically, while they post the scores from the judges.

It is a horrible sight. " align="right" vspace="10" />Their faces are flush, they are well beyond their anerobic threshold, and their facial expressions are constantly switching from happy to inflicted to vulnerable to bliss. Why are we subject to this coital imagery? Give them a cigarette, for crying out loud.

The bottom line is, I'm glad I'm a redneck. I pretty much had no chance of becoming a figure skater. I think I'll call my parents and thank them.

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