ISBN 978-1-62130-682-5 (Kindle e-book), $5.99
Sequins and Scandals:
Reflections on Figure Skating,
Culture, and the Philosophy of Sport
by M.G. Piety
Foreword by Mary Louise Adams,
author of Artistic Impressions: Figure Skating,
Masculinity, and the Limits of Sport
Is figure skating sport or art?
Is the judging corrupt?
Why has figure skating's popularity gone into a death spiral?
The beautifully crafted essays collected in Sequins and Scandals
address these questions and more.
Informed by the author's training in philosophy and her familiarity
with the work of noted dance critics such as Edwin Denby and
Arlene Croce, Sequins and Scandals will help you glide effortlessly
to a deeper understanding of the mysterious world of figure skating.
M.G. Piety has written an important social critique in the form of a
series of vibrant essays about her chosen sport. Her main point is
that figure skating is naturally fun and that those who participate
in it ought to be having fun while doing so. She decries the fact
that so few people in the figure skating world - skaters, coaches,
judges, officials, and even fans - seem to be having any fun with
it. She further laments that the International Skating Union (ISU)
and other governing bodies systematically undermine efforts to
keep figure skating fun and that they contribute toward creating
a culture in which fun is nearly impossible.
But this lack of fun is not unique to figure skating among sports,
games, and other structured recreational activities. For example,
the National Football League (NFL) under the administration of
Roger Goodell has been bashed from many sides as the "No Fun
League." Yet fun endures in football despite Goodell. Its dominant
culture is one of fun. Joy extends from the field to the sidelines
to the stands to locker rooms to living rooms, infecting players
and fans alike with enthusiasm for the sport. Which is not to take
anything away from the success of grumps like Bill Belichick.
Contract bridge expert Charles Goren famously said of his
favorite game: "You should play bridge for fun. The instant
you find yourself playing the game for any other reason, you
should pack it up and go on to something else." Piety claims
that too many people associated with figure skating have
become disgusted with its prevailing culture of joylessness
and have indeed gone on to something else.