Johnny Weir, his Wikipedia bio (locked to further editing until “disputes are resolved,” hmm) tells us he is a Russophile who taught himself to speak and read Russian. Well, that explains a lot — why his name is written on his skates in Cyrillic letters, why he speaks to his Russian coach in Russian, why his signs of the cross just before performing have a certain Orthodox flavor to them, perhaps even why, when he looks at the ceiling and gives thanks for not turning his triple Axel into a spinning buttfall*, you can clearly read his lips saying, “спасибо” — “spasibo” for those of you who don’t have the Cyrillic keyboard set installed, or, in ‘merican, “thanks.”
* “spinning buttfall” — phrase attributed to Dave Barry
I love Johnny Weir. I love how people want to ask him if he’s gay. Why do you even need to ask? Isn’t it obvious? Although it’s true, in a world where gay people have joined the mainstream and a fair number of them look, speak and act just like us, that some are still unnerved by how unlike-us he is. You’re not one of them Anderson Cooper-type queers, are you, you can sense them asking. Well, hell no. He’s fierce! He’s fabulous! When I look at him, I think of the line from “Little Big Man,” after Dustin Hoffman has returned to the Indian tribe of his boyhood and re-met Little Horse, his very sensitive chum with the great feathers: He had become a “heemanee” for which there ain’t no English word. Johnny Weir is a heemanee; there is no English word.
Anyway, I thought he got robbed. I was really pulling for him, and I thought he put on a fine show, and yes, I speak as one of those every-four-years skating fans, which is to say, I can’t tell a triple Axel from a triple toe loop, although I think I finally know a triple Lutz when I see one — the knee sticks out. Both the Lutz and the Axel are named for the skaters who first did them. And that’s about what I know. But that’s OK, because Scott Hamilton and Dick Button are both excellent color commentators. I encourage you to read this story on Button, the transcript of an NPR story that aired a couple days ago. Button’s opinion on Weir is one I can respect (the fierce costumes and “conservative” skating are like “two feet going off in opposite directions,” and hence the low scores).
When Button leaves us, I hope Weir gets that job. We need a heemanee’s take on the figs.
OK, then. I’m writing about figure skating to avoid writing about Angry Joe Stack, the kamikaze pilot. The question now seems to be whether the attack was or wasn’t terrorism. Hmm. I’m going to stake my position out thusly: It depends. The attack is roughly parallel to what Tim McVeigh did in OKC, with one major difference — I don’t think Stack identified himself as part of a movement, although lord knows there are many more out there exactly like him. McVeigh’s attack wasn’t a suicide bombing because he hoped to do it again. He thought he had compadres out there who would join him in his helter-skelter homemade revolution. (He did and he didn’t, and I recommend “American Terrorist,” out of print but still widely available from used bookstores and presumably your public library, as the best single book on the subject. No flashy theories, no big-journo showboating, just dense with facts by two plodding, diligent reporters.)
A lot depends on how those others react to this, and we’ve seen from past events that frequently one crazy asshole with a big idea gives a lot of other crazy assholes the strength to carry out their own big ideas. I know this sounds muddled, but all I can say is, like pornography, I know terrorism when I see it, and while I see some of it here, it doesn’t appear to be clear-cut. It will likely lead to more security in government buildings, however, which are already secured to the point of a Detroit liquor store. Expect paying a call on the Social Security or IRS or even the post office to become even more of a pain in the ass.
This is maybe more of a question for Pilot Joe, but I wonder what sort of attention general aviation gets from law enforcement these days. I wonder what’s stopping the Black Sunday scenario. It would appear the answer is: Not much.
With that, I’m sure I’ve irritated enough of you that it’s time to make an exit. Still much to do today. Much to do over the weekend. Much to do, period.