In the comments section from yesterday’s post my Mom talked about me getting on the ice to skate. I have been thinking about it a lot for the last month or even a little longer. The itch got really bad about three weeks ago while I was listening to The Magical Mystery Tour and my body just wanted to make a program for Strawberry Fields Forever. Sadly, there are no rinks that are particularly easy for me to get to and I like things to be easy. I secretly hoped that there was a rink on the DePaul campus that I could sneak some ice time on but there isn’t. They have an intramural hockey team but they practice at one of the few city rinks.
The first event of the season, Skate America, aired Oct 28th and the second, Cup of China was on last Sunday. Happily, there will be skating on every Sunday (except one) from now until Dec 23rd. Even though it makes me incredibly happy to see the top skaters so often and gauge how they will end up performing this year as we get to Worlds in March I am also experiencing some frustration with the sport.
In my posts last year I talked about how much I love the new judging system (based on a base value of points for each element) because it really pushes the skater to achieve more than they had to on the 6.0 system and is much fairer. I still agree with that statement. However, I am interested in why skating in the Us, which used to bring in great ratings, is failing so much. One of the reasons could be the lack of people like Dick Button to get spectators excited about the new system and instead maintaining his typical curmudgeon attitude. Some people have said that the sport is suffering because it is perceived as unfair and corrupt because of the incident at the 2002 Olympics. That could very well be true. However, instead of trumpeting the merits of the new system as being a way to stop such practices, the system was rolled out as complicated. Maybe it is just m but I think it is easier to understand that each move has a point value and then the points are added up then a system where they get random numbers assigned to them based on a program as a whole. Even after a life of skating that system didn’t make all that much sense.
Anyway, I have digressed from my point. My point is that even a lover of skating such as me sometimes has a hard time with some of the skaters. I have my favorites, people that light up the ice and you can’t stop watching, and I have people that I tend to watch out of the corner of my eye. I think the problem is incredibly simple. They need to do something about the music. They need to bring back innovation and interest. I can’t stand to hear another program with the music from Carmen, Sing Sing Sing, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, The Mission soundtrack, or a Broadway melody. If I am getting bored with the music and I love the sport I can only imagine what the casual observer must think.
It isn’t as if there is a lack of music out in the world. There isn’t even a lack of instrumental music in the world. You don’t have to use classical music to be graceful and artistic. There are instrumental arrangements of popular music all over the place. Why aren’t people tapping into the true variety that is out there? New music would inherently bring new artistic expression and with new expression comes new excitement. How awesome would it be to see a short program to Da Funk by Daft Punk or a long program to some instrumental Radiohead piece? It would be entirely crazy awesome I tell you. Some people can carry off the classical pieces, they have a dance quality and a maturity that can actually express the music but some of the skaters just can’t get in tune with the traditional pieces. They need to recommend some selections to their coaches and choreographers, things that they like and motivate them. Sure, it may take the judges a little bit to get used to but if the top skaters do it I think it could work. I mean Jubert won everything possible last season to instrumental versions of Metallica. He was awesome. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The sport is progressing physically and is increasingly more complex. The music needs to get modernized as well.
Oh, and another thing, stop taking skating videos off youtube for copyright issues US Figure Sating Assn the sport needs all the viewers it can get. Dumbases.
1. Underneath the bridge/ top has sprung a leak and/ the animals I trapped/ Have all become my pets
2. I met you on a midway at a fair last year/ and you stood out like a ruby in a Black man’s ear. That Song About The Midway. Joni Mitchell. Identified by Mom.
3. Make a list little Lars never seen a star/ Put his fans behind bars/ Can’t you see mp3 means you’re stealing from me/ you should have bought a Cd
4. Daddy’s ghost behind you/ sleeping dog beside you/ You’re a point of mystery/ You’re the prayer inside me
5. Does it make you happy to ignore me on streets/ I guess by now you think I’m weak/ I wish you could have said something before now