Saturday, January 22, 2011

Warning: Shield Your Eyes. Not for the Faint of Heart. Read at Your Own Risk.

Johnny reacts to the crowd
after performing Ave Maria at Holiday Dreams on Ice,
Flint, Michigan, December 2010.
Photo courtesy of David Ingogly.

Yes! At last! Gathered here together in one place, the SHOCKING posts that sent the USFS Facebook page into total lockdown! Read them if you dare. And then ask yourselves the dark question that can only be whispered, yet must be faced:

"Really? They deleted them?"

Um, yeah. They did. All the photos of Johnny, and every Johnny-related post made after about 4 pm yesterday. And then they changed their page settings to allow NO ONE to post on their page. Although they didn't block anybody thus far, so ... yay. Fifteen Johnny posts remain on their wall at the moment.

So hey: We had an impact. We got their attention. Without posting anything angry or rude or nasty. We just asked them, over and over, very very nicely, to invite the skater who won the Michelle Kwan Trophy to, you know, skate.

And now they kind of don't seem to know what to do. They're at a crucial point in their PR cycle: Nationals begin this weekend, and so of course they want people visiting and posting on their page. But I'm guessing they fear that the minute they restore posting capability, they're going to get flooded again with people asking the same question: "Look, you bent your own rules to invite Evan to perform this year. Why not also invite Johnny to skate in the exhibition after he receives his Readers' Choice Award / Michelle Kwan Trophy? In fact, why not start a new tradition: How about every year, you invite the winner of the Readers' Choice Award to skate in the exhibition? The fans have spoken--in fact, they speak in the voting every summer: The person they vote for is the one they would most love to see perform. So ... ?"

At a time when one of the Discussion topics on their own page is, "What can fans of figure skating do to help the sport regain it's popularity?" (BTW USFS, since you are such a stickler for rules, that should read "its," not "it's"), it's almost impossibly ironic that the answer is staring them right in the face--or it was, until they went on their "remove post" frenzy.

So anyway, now we're in some sort of detente. After fans realized we couldn't post anymore, we burst briefly onto the NC2011 Facebook page and started posting. But then there were some second thoughts about that. With Nationals set to begin, and all those really wonderful skaters preparing for the competition of their lives, repeating our postings on that page seems not quite right. It's time for the spotlight to shine on those skaters who have worked so hard this season to make it to Nationals, and, speaking just for myself, I don't want to see that page get locked down because of Johnny's fans. So we left it with about nine polite posts, and agreed to regroup over the weekend.


You know, USFS could really go a long way to resolving this by simply issuing a response to all the tweets and emails and posts requesting that they bend their rules for two skaters, not just one. Even if that response is a flat "no." At least they could do figure-skating fans the courtesy of acknowledging our communications to them.

But of course, a "no" forces them to pretty much admit that yeah, they bent the rules for Evan, but they won't do it for Johnny--not even if it would mean more viewers and more money and more popularity for their sport and more happy fans.

And a "yes" would make them seem like they're giving in. Which I don't think is a thing they do too often. I'd probably go with "never."

So my guess is they'll just live down to my lowest expectations of them, as usual, and continue to cling desperately to the "ignore it and maybe it'll just go away" approach. Time is on their side, and they know it. January 30 will come, and after that, it's a moot point.

But until then--or until they offer the simple civil courtesy of responding to a simple civil question--it is not unreasonable to ask the question, politely, with class and grace. There's no harm in asking, IMO.

So while we mull this weekend (interrupting ourselves at frequent intervals to watch the George Lopez clip over and over), here's a really excellent blog post from Anastasia Pryanikova summing up what happened yesterday. I LOVE the title: "Social media death spiral: U.S. Figure Skating deletes comments and disables fans’ updates on its Facebook page as 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships approach." Please take a moment to read it.

And finally, here are the SCANDALOUS, OUTRAGEOUS, DREADFUL, MIND-BOGGLING posts and photos that simply had to be deleted. Oh yes. Really. Think of the children. And then call them in to join you while you read post after post of gentle Johnny love that was just simply too ... SOMETHING ... for US Figure Skating to handle.

Which has a sadly familiar ring, doesn't it?

Very special thanks to Anastasia Pryanikova for all the screen caps. Please click on any screen cap for a larger view. Among these are some of the few that remain on the USFS page, at least as of this writing.

Johnny tweeted recently:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

Please vote for Johnny on Twitter
in the #sports category of the "Shorty Awards"!
Just tweet your vote at this link!

Designer T. Rains and Johnny have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project! This organization is "determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources." Proceeds from the "Army of One" t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation. Order yours today! Your support is greatly appreciated!
For more information, please visit

Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik's "Showtime!"
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Please remember to
register to receive
the JW Art Project's email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the Artbook when you sign up!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly /
David W. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

BOOYAH! we are just so scarrrrrrrrrrrrrry, aren't we?


sorry, USFSA, but the Johnny-love will just not stop!

thank you, MM and Anastasia!

germansoulmate said...

Great post even if I might getting blind.

Yes, let´s regroup.

Thanks to Anastasia from me as well...and to you, Binky. But you already know that.

WheresMyKoppy said...

Thank you for screencapping my post because I didn't, even though I knew there was a chance it would be deleted. Gee, those are some big, bad, nasty rude posts they deleted! WTF?

Anyway, great job MM, and great job Anastasia, who I also left a comment! I'm glad we dropped the idea of posting on the other page because it shows the USFSA we respect skating and the other skaters, probably more than they do. Thank you for going to all this trouble MM! We love you for it!

WheresMyKoppy said...

Oh by the way, your title for this Blog is brilliant! Shield your eyes indeed!

Maggie St. said...

* I love the smell of USFS fear in the morning*

Next time I post - if allowed - I am going to screen cap it myself. Heaven forbid posts with pictures of the Reader's Choice be taken down. I am so angry (yet bemused) that all that comes to mind right now are some Very Bad Words. So I will refrain and, later today after some house-cleaning, will get my tweet on.

BTW, beautiful photo David! Can't wait to see the hundreds more you took ;)

Anastasia said...

MM - Thank you so much for putting all the screencaps together in such a brilliant display of love and determination (I'll add a link to it from my post). And thanks for the shout out to my blog post :)

MommaOwie said...

wonderful job, Binx! I wish M's post was in the screen caps because I think it is important that they are alienating they "next generation" of fans as well. But I can just tell you guys that here. My 11 yr old daughter posted. She and many of her friends have been brought into following figure skating because of Johnny. They are really shooting themselves in the foot, cutting off their nose to spite their face, or whatever phrase you choose to use to describe this behavior.
It is very sad.

wendydolls said...

I really don't understand why Johnny has not been invited to skate much less deleting all the posts. So many people love Johnny and are deeply moved by his brillant skating. He won this award, the people's choice, so why not let him skate. The people have spoken and no matter how many posts are deleted, we will still love Johnny Weir and will continue to support his skating career.

Lauren / Ren said...

Wow. I just told my parents. Both of them remember the figure skating of old. My father remembers when Dick Button won his Olympic Gold medals in '49 and '54 and my mother remembers Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming. And both love Johnny. They were both quite angry about this. Lets just say the Federation, is alienating more than the 'next' generation.

aaaack said...

I'm in my fifth decade and I approve this message, roflol!