Misuse of unhappiness

ladyjane

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Maybe this is a wrong subject as a thread, but I just watched the exhibition at Skate America and I had a big problem with the 'jokes'. Not in general, although American humour usually is not mine. No problem, I just don't think it's funny and that's it. But tonight was something else. Why start a silly card game with a guy who is going to skate a tribute to his late younger brother? I think many officials knew Keegan Messing was going to do that. I mean, he was carrying this big photograph around, no secret. And then you ask him to take part in a game about inflated balls or not? Very funny, but not when you're planning to do a skate in honour of your brother. I don't blame the illusionist (how could he know?) but why did they do this? Why not leave him alone and let him do his thing? I was crying when he skated, but also angry with the organisors. Is this just me? Am I too sensitive or something? But I really think this whole thing was abusing the way Keegan was feeling. Not necessary either. Why not do that kind of game with another skater who hasn't just recently lost his brother? Sorry for the emotional content but I can't help it. Is this where we're going...trying to make fun of someone (and not succeeding) who is genuinely grieving? Yuck.
 

DonnaR

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I felt it was in very poor taste.

I'm also not sure what card tricks have to do with figure skating...
 

ladyjane

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I felt it was in very poor taste.

I'm also not sure what card tricks have to do with figure skating...

Well, that last definitely is a point too.It might be to showcase a bit of gambling Vegas, but I didn't get it either. And then picking out Keegan. Poor taste indeed!
 

Mishaminion

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I doubt Keegan would have agreed to do it if he felt it was inappropriate. I think it is nice that he's being so brave and keeping his smile and sense of humour despite his tragic loss. Sounds cliche but I'm sure his brother would have wanted that.
 

ladyjane

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He agreed....but I saw his face. He was so unhappy, He might have agreed beforehand, and maybe I'm making something big out of nothing. Just felt this was wrong.
 

Mishaminion

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He agreed....but I saw his face. He was so unhappy, He might have agreed beforehand, and maybe I'm making something big out of nothing. Just felt this was wrong.

It's called putting on a brave face and getting on with life, despite his grief. Of course he's not happy, his brother died... but like that Instagram video he posted, he's trying to cope and smile through it.
 

ladyjane

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Trying to do fun things can be a way to help cope with the grief. Just 10 days ago Keegan posted this fun video of him backflipping over a friend.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B3amkDhJZuE/

Haha! It's just that his skates (especially his short and his exhibition) make me cry all the time, and I can't stand it that people just walk over it. You're right of course, fun things help cope with grief. But Keegan's face at the end of his exhibition....well it got the tears running and I was just so angry with all those folk thinking he's just such a funny guy. I suspect I'm really just too sensitive here, feeling things he might not have felt. But he was so emotional....as I would be to lose my own brother. Maybe that's the sensitivity here. Thinking of the possible loss of my own brother.....
 

NanaPat

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I doubt Keegan would have agreed to do it if he felt it was inappropriate. I think it is nice that he's being so brave and keeping his smile and sense of humour despite his tragic loss. Sounds cliche but I'm sure his brother would have wanted that.

He agreed....but I saw his face. He was so unhappy, He might have agreed beforehand, and maybe I'm making something big out of nothing. Just felt this was wrong.

I think it probably didn't occur to him that he could say no.

They did change their plan: in the schedule S/B were shown as following "illusionist" but in reality Tomono did it instead. Someone probably figured out that it wasn't working with S/B.

The illusionist didn't know anything: he made a joke about Keegan not knowing anything about Tom Bradly "because you're Canadian".
 

Mishaminion

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Haha! It's just that his skates (especially his short and his exhibition) make me cry all the time, and I can't stand it that people just walk over it. You're right of course, fun things help cope with grief. But Keegan's face at the end of his exhibition....well it got the tears running and I was just so angry with all those folk thinking he's just such a funny guy. I suspect I'm really just too sensitive here, feeling things he might not have felt. But he was so emotional....as I would be to lose my own brother. Maybe that's the sensitivity here. Thinking of the possible loss of my own brother.....

Keegan is strong, he could have pulled out of Skate America completely but he didn't. I'm not sure I'd be as strong as that.

His emotions are clearly all over the place and that's normal. It's okay to be sad and crying one minute yet smiling and trying to have fun the next. Keeping himself busy won't do him any harm either, although it's been hard for him to concentrate.
 

theharleyquinn

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The organizers could have done more to be respectful to the skaters. I realize they want to make it a fun event, but they need to take the sport and athletes seriously as well. It even goes down to little things like when interviewing Anna, taking a bit more care to not excessively use a lot of slang so that she can understand the questions being asked. She did, of course, but there's always room to be more considerate.
 

Mishaminion

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Vegas is a bit tacky and tasteless tbh, no offence to anyone who lives there or loves to go there, but it is.

I can't say I'm surprised it was more than a little cringey
 

NanaPat

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I believe Keegan is going on auto-pilot at the moment, just trying to get through what he feels he has to do. In the "card trick" act, he was clearly not trying to distract himself by having fun, but was trying to get through it.

I don't think the illusionist or MC did this deliberately to exploit his grief: they are just clueless. It's too bad someone organizing the show, his coach Ralph, someone from Skate Canada, or one of the other skaters didn't object on his behalf.

Note to future gala organizers: check with the team leader before asking skaters to do something "extra" other than skate their chosen exhibition number. There may be good reasons they should not be "chosen", that you have no idea of.

I don't think this incident was especially harmful for Keegan. There are a lot of difficult things that he is going to have to get through, and this was just one among many.

It does, however, make the Skate America organizers look incredibly tacky.
 

el henry

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I agree with Keegan did not appear to mind, but it did seem particularly clueless.

At least the tacky between skates activity fits with Vegas :shrug:
 

viennaskater

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I was surprised that Skate America was held in Las Vegas in the first place. It just doesn't seem appropriate.

I haven't seen the gala yet, though.
 

Mishaminion

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I was surprised that Skate America was held in Las Vegas in the first place. It just doesn't seem appropriate.

I haven't seen the gala yet, though.

It was pure Vegas cringe and then some.
Still worth watching, of course, some great performances to make up for the WTH in between parts.
 

Coryocris

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I doubt Keegan would have agreed to do it if he felt it was inappropriate. I think it is nice that he's being so brave and keeping his smile and sense of humour despite his tragic loss. Sounds cliche but I'm sure his brother would have wanted that.

True. He could've thought that something funny was right to do for his brother's memory too. Us westeners think of death as a gloom and grief time with no fun allowed, but somethimes that is what you have to do. IDK, maybe Paxon liked magic tricks. Keegan doesn't appear to be bothered by it and we shouldn't think further than that.
 

WednesdayMarch

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I didn't get past Keegan Messing's heart-rending performance. I was a mess after watching that and couldn't face any more of the tacky between exhibitions stuff.
 

Mishaminion

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I mostly ignored the inbetween nonsense. The later performances are worth going back and watching if you get the chance.
 

WednesdayMarch

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I mostly ignored the inbetween nonsense. The later performances are worth going back and watching if you get the chance.

I've done some of that now. Couldn't pass up a chance to watch Jason Brown. I enjoyed his performances by far the best, both in the competition and gala. The gala performances were mostly disappointingly anodyne. It's almost as if the music was just there to prevent silence for many of those programs.
 

Sugar Coated

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Vegas is a bit tacky and tasteless tbh, no offence to anyone who lives there or loves to go there, but it is.

I can't say I'm surprised it was more than a little cringey

Vegas is absolutely defined by being tacky and tasteless. I absolutely love visiting (didn't think I would the first time around), but I really only stay for like 3-4 days max before its starts to lose its novelty and appeal. Haven't seen video, but it sounds like a tacky illusionist who makes joke with his participants is completely on brand for Vegas. It is a shame if it was not the right thing for Keegan at the moment though.
 

noskates

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Tacky or not - Vegas IS a great place to hold a skating competition. Housing can be inexpensive, food can be inexpensive, transportation to and from can be inexpensive and they're building some terrific venues. Flying in and out of Vegas again can be inexpensive. I say "can be" because if you do a little searching and don't need to stay on The Strip the town is very reasonable. It's set up for tourism and they want people to come ((for gambling, obviously) so they make it reasonable. As for inappropriate activities around the skaters - they can say "no" or the USFSA can say "no" - it just seems manageable. Keegan did put on a brave face and I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to be in the public eye while still grieving the loss of his brother. BUT - he did attend Skate America and had to have thought about what it would be like before he got there. More power to him.
 

Mishaminion

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He looked mostly confused/bemused amusement at the card trick, like "wth is this crap? lol"

People do not just turn into a humourless "everything must be misery 24/7" kind of person when suffering grief. Emotions are up and down, and laughter is good medicine.
 

el henry

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OT, but since it’s been mentioned, but I think this was a great venue for SA.

Smaller rink, entertainment and tourist setting in its own right, skaters liked it, easy to get to, hotels.

I think USFS should hold Nats there as well. :)
 

NanaPat

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I actually thought the illusionist was good. The card (and money) tricks were very clever and well done. It's just that they needed the right watcher (I'm trying to come up with the right word: victim, sidekick, antagonist?).

Keegan fell way flat, C/P and the volunteer were both OK, Jason was really funny when he kept trying to grab the money (which would have totally spoiled the trick), and Tomono was exactly the reaction they were looking for. I'd have loved to see what Zach Donohue would have done with it.
 

TallyT

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OT, but since it’s been mentioned, but I think this was a great venue for SA.

Smaller rink, entertainment and tourist setting in its own right, skaters liked it, easy to get to, hotels.

I think USFS should hold Nats there as well. :)

Did they manage to fill the stands for any of the disciplines? Let's be honest, a small rink fairly full does look better than a big one... very empty.
 

el henry

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Did they manage to fill the stands for any of the disciplines? Let's be honest, a small rink fairly full does look better than a big one... very empty.

I don’t know, but I agree with your comment. A small rink that is fullish has energy and atmosphere and the skaters can hear you, and covering the upper bowl in a larger venue looks like, well, covering the upper bowl in a larger venue ;)

And someplace like Vegas might actually get that mythical casual fan we all love: oh look honey, skating, let’s go watch, as opposed to a deliberate trek to Greensboro, where there are no tourists:laugh:

And you have magicians right there :biggrin:
 

Tonichelle

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I doubt Keegan would have agreed to do it if he felt it was inappropriate. I think it is nice that he's being so brave and keeping his smile and sense of humour despite his tragic loss. Sounds cliche but I'm sure his brother would have wanted that.


It probably helped take his mind off of it. He had a few moments before, during, and after where he was definitely fighting emotion. To have even something as silly as the card trick to distract was probably welcome.

Keegan also goofed off at the end of the gala with Zach Donohue and it was the first REAL smile I saw from him that night, so :shrug: if he could find humor and joy in a moment of grief, good for him.


And I will say that the illusionist didn't have a whole lot of knowledge on who he was dealing with. He made a comment about Keegan not knowing much about deflate gate because he's "From Canada" - which yes it's a good guess considering he *skates* for Canada... but it's well known in the skating community where he grew up... doesn't mean the illusionist who has no real connection to skating is going to know - so he probably didn't know Keegan was dealing with a very new reality.
 

MGstyle

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That side show was completely pointless and irrelevant, I kept thinking they could have invited another skater or two to perform instead of this silly filler.
But picking out Keegan of all skaters was... really, seriously??? ... Keegan, the good sport that he is, bless his heart, played along - but it was cringe worthy.
But anyway, his performance was just so breath taking and heart breaking, in the end I totally forgot about it!
 

skylark

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Keegan is strong, he could have pulled out of Skate America completely but he didn't. I'm not sure I'd be as strong as that.

His emotions are clearly all over the place and that's normal. It's okay to be sad and crying one minute yet smiling and trying to have fun the next. Keeping himself busy won't do him any harm either, although it's been hard for him to concentrate.

This reminds me of a well-known comedian whose son died tragically. He lived in NYC, where people were always greeting him with a laugh, a joke, a high-five, and so forth. After his son died, people would see him and immediately go sad-faced. He put out a statement that he appreciated it, but hoped that wouldn't continue. He was a funny-man, and that's how he wanted to relate.
 
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