.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Johnny Weir

There I was last night, watching the Men's Figure Skating, when I caught sight of Johnny Weir, perhaps the most unknown known quantity in US Figure Skating today.

I don't think I had ever heard of him, before last night.

I certainly have never seen him in any kind of commercial, before the Olympics, as we had seen with Michael Phelps, the swimmer, before Athens 2004.

Of course, there are many reasons for that.

One is that men's figure skating has never had the allure and following of women's figure skating, for whatever reason.

There are other reasons, too. Some to do with popularity. Some to do with personality. And some are intangible.

Let's face it:

When you think of men's figure-skating, one thinks Scott Hamilton or Brian Boitano -- two men who transcended the sport, into popular culture.

Both are gayer than a Judy Garland tribute float on Castro and Market.

But their gayness is worn lightly, perhaps because their maturity and professionalism were their two salient characteristics, not their sexual energies and catty tongues.

And this is where those two legendary skaters, and Johnny Weir, diverge.

When people made fun of the ambiguity and iconoclasm of the Worm, Dennis Rodman, I just laughed.

He, like his buddy Madonna, is a pretend iconoclast, who does things for show, and dough, as much as from genuine impulses deep inside.

It's Johnny Weir who is the real iconoclast.

The difference is knowing which buttons to push.

Pretend iconoclasts have as many buttons they are pushing in themselves, as those they try to push in their public.

Real iconoclasts are oblivious to anyone but their own needs, their own expressions, in private or in public.

That's what allows this mere strippling of a boy, to wear an old red Soviet Union t-shirt, with CCCP in gold letters, during an NBC meet-and-greet segment on the skater.

This is what allows him to say that he isn't rooting for his US teammates, Evan Lysacek and Matt Savoie, to do well.

And this is what allows him to mug at the rapt US audience at 11: 15 PM, just after his short programme, and roll his shoulders at the camera, as if he were Carmen Miranda flouncing at the Mocambo.

Everything about him says, I don't care, and I find that sociopathic, since when I look at him, I feel my skin crawl, in a way which is difficult to describe.

You know, just the night before, I had caught Karl Lagerfeld's fantastic interview on Charlie Rose on PBS.

Karl Lagerfeld is uniquely effeminate too, but dashing, eccentric, and genuinely interested in life, and all that life has to offer him.

He has an effervescence which jumps at one, and holds our attention like nothing else can.

And though both men are as gay as the day is long in third world sweatshops, and overtly, unapologetically so, one is all brilliance and fun.

But Johnny Weir is just another bitchy diva, on the wrong end of notoriety.

So, guess what?

I'm rooting for Evan Lysacek and Matt Savoie, instead.

P.S.: Weir said that he will write a tell-all book about figure skating when all is said and done, after Torino. "There are a lot of skeletons in the closet", he mentioned regarding the world of this almost cult-like sport.

Oh, this should be good. Pity I could care less.

FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY UPDATE: Maybe the Buddhists are on to something, because karma just caught up with Johnny Weir, Thursday night.

The person who said he wasn't rooting for his teammates, skated like a pussy: scared and tentative.

Meanwhile Evan Lysacek and Matt Savoie both skated like angels.

Johnny Weirdo finished 4th, and thus got a nice tin medal, which will look a treat next to his red swan glove on the mantlepiece. Sucker.

9 Comments:

  • I thought he looked better wearing a swan than Bjork did at the Oscars.

    So he's got that goin' for him.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Wed Feb 15, 11:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Weir is so effeminate that I have to wonder, are gay men that find him attractive closet heterosexuals?

    By Blogger XWL, at Thu Feb 16, 12:17:00 am GMT-5  

  • I thought he looked better wearing a swan than Bjork did at the Oscars.

    So he's got that goin' for him.


    A Glenn Reynolds HEH! and two snaps up. *snap snap*

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Feb 16, 01:13:00 am GMT-5  

  • Weir is so effeminate that I have to wonder, are gay men that find him attractive closet heterosexuals?

    Effeminate homosexuality is a topic I find fascinating, XWL.

    What you said, in jest as ever, I have thought about many times before, seriously.

    Because, at the end of the day, if a man loves another MAN, presumably for his masculinity, the essence of what makes him a man, why do some feel they have to act as women, or rather, odd facsimiles of women?

    If you're after a man, surely you would act as butch as you can, not the opposite?

    I've asked my gay male friends that many times, and never have I gotten a logical-enough response.

    Like, "some guys just like Twinks".

    See what I mean.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Feb 16, 01:17:00 am GMT-5  

  • Sexuality and gender are on a continuum, not binary (but those that argue (had to read this tripe in a philosophy of gender course, argggh) that sex also is a continuum are really stretching).

    Various mannerisms have been assigned to one or the other gender, but everyone exhibits a smorgasbord of masculine and feminine from time to time.

    But Weir is pretty much a woman with a penis in the way he presents himself.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    (still, can't imagine him being able to succeed in too many other sports regardless of his physical gifts)

    Oh and if you haven't seen this, click on the video link it's faaaaaaaabulous.

    Also Scott Hamilton is married with a young child.

    (Not absolute proof of his being straight, but I thought I'd throw it in there, Brian Boitano on the other hand. . . )

    My theory on sexual orientation is that it comes down to plumbing, there are sufficient physical differences to the equipment that it really takes someone with remarkable flexibility (or ambivalence) to be able to be excited or pleased by both.

    Clearly it's not physical acts because everyone can mimic the behavior of either, and it's not solely behavior because one of the frequent (but far from only) markers of homosexuality in our culture is behavior that more closely resembles the expectations of the opposite gender. So I say it comes down to whether indoor or outdoor plumbing floats your boat.

    (I like having the outdoor equipment and exploring the indoor, but that's just me)

    By Blogger XWL, at Thu Feb 16, 02:12:00 am GMT-5  

  • Sexuality and gender are on a continuum, not binary (but those that argue (had to read this tripe in a philosophy of gender course, argggh) that sex also is a continuum are really stretching).

    So those that argue that sexuality is a question of hormones, are wrong?

    Because that is not a continuum. It would be binary.

    Unless I am not grasping the idea your professors put forth. ;)

    Various mannerisms have been assigned to one or the other gender, but everyone exhibits a smorgasbord of masculine and feminine from time to time.

    Absolutely.

    I am an alpha-female, and thus have all the requisites of a domineering woman.

    But I am also a girly girl in my tastes, which I think is a nice compliment to this personality type (and not unusual, as many would have you believe).

    But Weir is pretty much a woman with a penis in the way he presents himself.

    That's exactly right.

    I also congratulate you on a guffaw-making comment.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Jerry Seinfeld's contribution to our lexicon, bless him.

    (still, can't imagine him being able to succeed in too many other sports regardless of his physical gifts)

    Not male gymnastics, because there's no true artistry involved.

    Perhaps archery?

    If 6'1 Geena Davis can do it...

    Oh and if you haven't seen this, click on the video link it's faaaaaaaabulous.

    I have clicked on the link, if not the video -- since I suspect I saw what it shows (the NBC interview...the one I mentioned with the Soviet CCCP on the t-shirt, blech).

    Also Scott Hamilton is married with a young child.

    I stand corrected!

    However, I do note that he didn't marry until he was 44 years old, and he's been very critical against the perception of gays in figure skating ("guilty" conscience?).

    I am rarely wrong with my gaydar sightings (a trait shared by most women, and gay men), so I reserve judgement. ;)

    (Not absolute proof of his being straight,

    But it can be said that these days, a man doesn't necessarily have to act straight, and hide behind marriage if he is gay, so that's a point in the favour of his being straight.

    Not that I could care either way, but since we're on the topic.

    but I thought I'd throw it in there, Brian Boitano on the other hand. . . )

    Uhh, yeah. ;)

    My theory on sexual orientation is that it comes down to plumbing,

    Hmmm. Veddy interesting.

    there are sufficient physical differences to the equipment that it really takes someone with remarkable flexibility (or ambivalence) to be able to be excited or pleased by both.

    I see.

    I think men are more malleable because, though it might hurt like the dickens, they can be penetrated as well as penetrate (aren't these terms so hum-drum when spelt out?) -- so the psychology is very flexible there.

    There is a lot more purpose to lesbianism, than there is to male homosexuality, because in part, it requires more thought and deliberation about (to use your term) mimicking certain sex acts.

    Clearly it's not physical acts because everyone can mimic the behavior of either, and it's not solely behavior because one of the frequent (but far from only) markers of homosexuality in our culture is behavior that more closely resembles the expectations of the opposite gender. So I say it comes down to whether indoor or outdoor plumbing floats your boat.

    Ah, gotcha.

    (I like having the outdoor equipment and exploring the indoor, but that's just me)

    Hey whaddayaknow.

    I like the outdoor plumbing, and exploring the indoor too.

    Night!,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Feb 16, 03:31:00 am GMT-5  

  • Wait...I forgot to include these books -- see, I too took a class on "gender in history".

    They are not for the faint of heart, obviously.

    Mema's House, Mexico City (On Transvestites, Queens, and Machos)

    The Third Sex

    I hope by posting these, that I triplicate my transvestite Google hits. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Feb 16, 03:35:00 am GMT-5  

  • You're either exactly right about Mr Weir, or completely wrong. In the biographical sketch leading up to his performance he made a remark about being shocking to the more "Republican" elements of the figure skating world. Really, though - is a book revealing who's gay and who's straight in skating really contain any revelations? Also, is he really that, well, prissy? Maybe he's just a super-straight guy going undercover?

    By Blogger Bob, at Thu Feb 16, 12:06:00 pm GMT-5  

  • In case anyone is still reading this thread, here is his myspace page.

    By Blogger Renato, at Mon Feb 20, 10:07:00 am GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


 




Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.