Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Eisler Takes a Plunge


Lloyd Eisler was a fixture of figure-skating circles in Canada some years back. Of late he was featured on ‘Skating with the Stars” - another in a string of otherwise forgettable televised ‘talent’ competitions. He has also, apparently. been coaching skaters. His suspension, for 1 year, by the Skate Canada for, allegedly, corresponding with a 15 year-old in a questionable manner was announced in the Toronto Star to-day.

I don’t know if you watch figure skating - the missus makes me share the ‘joy’ of viewing such extravaganzas from time to time. I have to admit I have been impressed by the level of skill and ‘art’ displayed. But, by and large it appears to me that figure skating, has produced more than its share of ‘odd balls’, particularly of the male gender. In Canada, any skates with toe saws are going to make you stand out on a hockey squad - and hockey, unlike figure skating, tends to be on the surface, at least, a high testosterone activity.

observation leads me to believe that the majority of men involved in figure skating are inclined to the Toller Cranston school of flaming homo-, or bi-sexuality. The opportunity to emote in some very fetching apparel, are golden moments for the 'mattachine' society. Where else but in a gay club, can one be puffed and poofed, made-up and costumed and get a prize for it? ‘Effemininity’ seems to be a mainstay of this particular ‘sport’. But, like ballet, it also attracts some of the other types.

Who can forget the effect that Rudolf Nuryev had on New Your Society in the 60's? Combined with great talent and personal presence was also a major predilection for the feminine gender and Rudy developed a notable reputation as more than a hoister. Ditto other Russian ‘stars’ like Nijinski, or the more ambiguous Baryshnikov. It must be all that lifting of taut and toned ballerinas that puts a lump in the leotard. Not inconsiderably, there have been some notable ‘coxswains’ attracted to figure-skating classes - the aforesaid Eisler, perhaps, being one.

His unremarkable performance on the ‘stars’ program was enlivened by a relationship that developed with his ‘skate partner’ - Kristi Swanson- which resulted in the Lloyd deserting his family - including a pregnant wife. To be frank, he came across on TV as a bit of an arrogant prick. And now the Lloyd is being pilloried for making electronic advances on a 15 year-old trainee. ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that’ (according to Seinfeld and some Republican politicians).As Ali G would say, if there's hair on it, it's do-able.

What gets me is Lloyd’s reported reaction to a Toronto Star reporter’s questions. I wonder what anyone would do when faced with probing on such a topic. Certainly a hearty protest of innocence might be expected. But, “Thanks for the information”, ”I didn’t know I was suspended”, “I’ll have to make some calls about that.” “ It’s all news to me” - if they didn’t call him first why didn’t he just say that? “ I don’t recall any e-mails.” It begs a snicker.

It seems that Lloyd has run onto some hard times. The Mrs. has reverted to her maiden name, and changed the kids, too. Lloyd and Ms Swanson are expecting a valentine’s bundle next year and now this. It would appear that thinking with one’s little head, while developing an inflated big one can get one into more than a pretty pickle. Hope Lloyd can wise-up.

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