Friday, January 22, 2010

Armchair Critics #1

Anybody out there like ice skating? No? Well that's a pity 'cos this post is about ice skating. Like many couples Mrs Dilo and I like to relax in front of the telly watching something we both enjoy, and for us that's ice skating. It appeals to her appreciation of athleticism and to my love of dance and it's all so nice and bright and spangley. The European Championships are on the moment. But, and perhaps because of our deep feeling for it, it tends to bring up some emotions that otherwise remain hidden and repressed:

Ah, what a great contest this is going to be, and thanks to Romanian TV we're first going to see the Romanian contestant, who's currently lieing in 37th place. "Zoltan", though? He sounds like a Hungarian.
It says Romanian. He's probably from Hargita, it's full of Hungarians, and it's the coldest place in Romania, they all do skating there, there's nothing else to do.
Ah, I can lip-read what he's saying to his coach - he's speaking Romanian!
Great! That's all right then. Next up it's a Swede.
Hmm, he looks like a woman - he moves like a woman. He's like one of those, you know, "funny boys".
No, he's an artist, you have to give artists free range to express whatever's in them. But I see what you mean. Oops, just fallen over three times - you don't have to worry about the effeminisation of Western society for the time being.
Ok. Ah, now it's the Italian. We like him don't we.
Indeed we do. Remember when he skated dressed as a cowboy in Helsinki last year? You fancy him.
A little bit.
Well, he's not going to win 'cos now it's a German.
Do we want the German to win?
Forgive and forget.
He looks like a dwarf. He's got a funny face.
That doesn't necesarily mean he's a dwarf. We'll have to wait until he's standing next to some real people to see whether he's a dwarf or not. Ha, he's just fallen over - go home Herr Nibelung, no gold for you today!
It's the Frenchman. Why don't you go outside and....
Oh no, not this guy. The "jumping machine" they can him, as he always takes off and lands perfectly, and then usually wins, despite the fact that he has absolutely no artistry whatsoever, no soul...
Why don't you make some tea, you know how this man upsets you.'s like watching a clockwork rabbit - I mean, I've got nothing against the French, some of my best friends have been French, but this guy....
Take the cats into the kitchen and give them something to eat.
Yes, good idea, there's no reason why our little darlings should be subjected to this travesty.
Is he in first place?
Yes. And his music wasn't proper music, he didn't really acknowledge the audience and he didn't smile once.
I knew it.
Now it's the Russian.
Yes? That weird, blond, Roman-Polanski-lookalike stick-insect??
Ha, he can do a job for us! He's technically excellent and relentlessly competitive. I'm going out again, I can't stand the tension.
Did he? He did? Smashed him. Nothing else matters now, I can go to bed.
There's still to come a Czech and a Swiss who's very good - don't you want to see them?
Nope. I like the Czechs and the Swiss have never personally done me any harm, but they can just get out there and enjoy themselves as far as I'm concerned, my evening's enjoyment is now complete. Goodnight.

To end, something from the Golden Age of British Skating; no, not John Curry in his sailor suite or that Robin Cousins who sewed on all his own sequins, but of course our very own Perfect 10s Pearl and Dean (or was Torvill and Keith Harris? I can never remember):


Alice Scradcza said...

Next to welding, I like grinding. I would like to have been blade sharpener on that great Olympics documentary, 'Blades of Glory'.

Gaw said...

Sorry I'm allergic. Must go off now to deflate my face.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I feel cold just watching them. Her thighs need defrosting if you ask me.

Madame DeFarge said...

Insightful critical analysis as always. You should do 'Dances on Ice' over here, would brighten up no end.

Pearl said...

So funny!

I love how quickly we become experts on whatever is on the TV. :-) I've watched the Olympics for years and have become quite adept at thoughtful athletic criticism. Or maybe it's just criticism -- I've usually been drinking.


Gadjo Dilo said...

Alice, great ambition. You could also have been Tonya Harding's weapons manufacturer!

Gaw, ok mate, I understand, I know it's not for everybody.

Bananas, she's keepin' 'em fresh for you!

Madame, what's 'Dances on Ice' - some kind of celebrity has-been contest? Luckily I would fail the 'celebrity' part of the criteria :-)

Pearl, that's what they is for, surely, so that we can all pat ourselves on the back (and in the comfort of our homes at that) for not making the mistakes that the professionals make!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I love ice dancing. It's the frocks, mostly. And the twirls. As a dancer Gadj you must be a fan of "Strictly"?

Lulu LaBonne said...

I never caught the ice- or ballroom-dancing bug. I do like the fights though - that Tonya Harding affair - Now that's what I call entertainment.

Kevin Musgrove said...

The frocks and the twirls are wonderful, I love audience-watching.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Daph, the frocks ahould get a mark all of their own. I've never seen "Strictly" - if I was ever in the UK when it was on then I must have ben otherwise occupied!

Lulu, Tonya Harding is indeed a treasure, and should have had her own show - in fact that's given me an idea for another post...

Kev, alas it seems that the audience nowadays are all wearing t-shirts with their hero's name on it and a rather silly grin.

inkspot said...

You're quite right, some of those skaters are absolutely gorgeous. And their frocks are pretty, that's the only way they have an edge over the high-jumpers and pole-vaulters.

Brit said...

Chas "Michael" Michaels is the only skater I can relate to.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Inkspot, very true, a skater's costume does at least represent a slight tease whereas a polevaulter's merely says "If you can't see it,
I'm not wearing it" :-)

Brit, I regret to say I've never seen that film and have only now acquainted myself with its story - it sounds perfect.

Camilla Jessop said...

I think some of the costumes, and the moves, are very vulgar; they incite women to display their front bottoms, and men to stare at them with impunity. The sooner we implement the proposals shown - quite seriously I thought - in Blades of Glory, the better.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Camilla, I must see that film as soon as is humanly possible, though unfortunately I can't think of anybody I could watch it with here who'd "get" it :-(