Once again, Amy Purdy’s turn on Dancing With The Stars blew me away

0709-amy-purdy-1836Maybe I’m overestimating the difficulty of doing a fast swing dance with two prosthetic legs, but all I can say is that, when I watch Amy Purdy, I am beyond impressed.  She’s the one who caught meningitis when she was 19, lost both legs below the knee, and went on to become a champion paralympic snowboarder.  Now, she’s trying to become a Dancing With The Stars champion.

I don’t know that Amy will win, because there are some better dancers on the show, but it’s not always clear on DWTS that dancing is what it takes to win.  Last season, Amber Riley won, even thought she wasn’t the best dancer.  She was good enough, but Corbin Bleu was an extraordinary dancer — but she won.  Amber’s strength was facial expression and upper body movement.  Purdy has all that . . . plus she can dance. (And it doesn’t hurt that she’s working with Derek Hough who is quite possibly the best choreographer working in America today.)

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  1. jj says

    There are aspects of you that I just find fascinating.  Tight writing, sharp  mind, combined with a fondness for… Keanu Reeves?  Trashy – not even good, but positively trashy – romance novels?  Dancing With the Stars?  Fascinating.  

    • says

      It’s interesting that you say that, jj, because I’ve always marched to the many beats of my own drummer.  Looking back, it was one of the reasons I struggled socially in school — in a cliquish environment, there was no one clique that met all my interests, and the clique members found my loyalty suspect.  It was worse at Cal, where the stereotyping and social stratification was unlike anything I’ve seen before or since.

      As for the blend of highbrow and lowbrow . . . what can I say?  DWTS is the closest thing our modern era has to a Fred and Ginger movie.  Junk novels?  I’m a romantic at heart.  Keeanu Reeves?  Even I can’t explain that one.  It just is.

      • says

        Romance themes can do much to improve the social dysfunction of American youth culture. Not because they are a social model, but because it forces people to address gender roles in a realistic and educational format. In the land of the blind, slapping enough youths in the head with the knowledge of power, will make some See.
        I’ve seen a successful social integration of male gender stereotypes with romantic values, generally seen as incompatible in the modern West.
        The proto typical adventure/science fiction story from male standards is going back in time and learning how to become self sufficient with the local technology and limitations. A standard romance theme is time travel. A standard fantasy motiff is either a person from modern day sucked into a fantasy environment or a pseudo medieval world of magic and swords. An example of what would happen if you combined them into a romantic story geared for males:
        1. Male protagonist goes back in time, after living a life of dull modernity, unable to find true love in the dating scene.
        2. Crash course in survival and ancient technology, martial arts, military training.
        3. Fights battles, ends wars, creates communities. Standard imagination based male goals.
        4. Female protagonist is tied into the story as either the summoner or the cause or the solution to the time vortex.
        5. Romance+courtship.
        6. Some external problem.
        7. Some internal problem like the classic romantic “misunderstanding” or “sudden but inevitable betrayal”.
        8. Climax and resolution from the alliance between the two protagonists.
        Generally you won’t find that type of story construction in the West because… well, people like David Brin and John Scalzi run the modern day Guild of Writers. One guess who their allies are.

  2. jj says

    None of us are only one thing, but you take it pretty much to the edge.  I guess I enjoy it because I find it reassuring: I do it too.  I suppose that’s because of my father, who may have been the grand champion of sharing a body with several entirely different versions of himself.  It was nothing for him to spend the afternoon riding up and down a field on a tractor at the farm on Long Island, repairing whatever broke, worming a sick horse – whatever; come in, get cleaned up, and emerge in a tailcoat to go have dinner somewhere in the city with a bunch of old pals from all over the place he hadn’t seen since 1937.
    I haven’t worn the full white tie in twenty years myself – but my wife figures I’m probably one of the few out here with two tuxes hanging next to the jeans and Carhart work shirts in my own closet.  Never caught an episode of DWTS, but there’s plenty of Agatha Christie, John D. MacDonald, and Dick Francis in the bookshelves.  Don ‘t get Keanu, but I have seen both of the Hunger Games movies because I’ll watch everything Jennifer Lawrence does.  (Though that’s not a crush, that’s an acknowledgement of a transcendent talent: she’ll be collecting her 6th and 7th Academy Awards well after I’m gone.)
    So I appreciate, enjoy, and find fascinating those who will as readily spend an evening with the social commentary implicit in old Archie comic books  as they will with the social commentary of John Galsworthy – which, depending on the mood of the moment, I will do.

      • says

        Renaissance knowledge was principally Greek and Ancient Roman material, collected through preserved Christian monk copies. Foreign language copies weren’t that useful, since not many people could read those languages but educated people in Europe generally could read Latin.
        It is discouraged these days precisely because it is a virtue. As it tends to promote individual thought and reasoning. It also hooks directly into the ancient Art of War knowledge, which we all know the Regime doesn’t want people knowing about.
        A person that is confident in their own interpretation and translation of the primary sources, isn’t so easily led into the cult of personality that modern Westerners like to promote. They are often rejected by the status quo scholars like the so called Cold War historians. Independent individuals also lack funding and are usually only amateurs due to the time limit, but often exceeding pros in terms of detail and quality of work when it comes to creativity and free form art. This means that often times individuals don’t agree with each other and cannot be made to agree or conform to a social uniform standard. This is incredibly annoying to the Utopians and death cultists.
        On the Christianity thread, people were talking about the value humans put into paradise or the world. Hobbies like from the Renaissance era allows an individual to find something they like and can excel at, without some “boss” dictating the parameters of right/wrong. Because these are ancient and outdated settings, it’s often impossible or unlikely for modern society to realize that it needs legislating or regulating. For example, I read up some of the modern research (re-engineering) into Western European fencing and swordmanship manuals and techniques, in order to integrate the concepts into my own kenjutsu or sword techniques. Swords are not regulated anywhere near as much as guns, yet the lethality quotient and individual skill are there for personal improvement.
        A person does not really understand the value of life until they realize how easy it is to destroy life. That knowledge and personal experience only comes through direct relationships, such as studying marksmanship or some related field (jobs, life experiences, etc). Generally people think they lack the power to take a life, both physically due to lack of power and mentally due to the ingrained shackles put upon their behavior. By breaking free of society’s conditioning, looking outside the rules of right and wrong, a person can look back on their roots and finally realize what the value of the old moralistic codes were concerning life and killing. A person brought up under society’s rules and is obedient to social morality, is merely someone obeying authority. They do not necessarily understand why it is so nor do they understand why it is important to obey the laws when there is no punishment. Only through direct experience can comprehension rise.
        Medieval Europe had its own social morality, but the Renaissance allowed people to use Greek and Latin to re-engineer their own behavior by changing the source code directly.  No longer did they behave as they did because Society Said so. Now they behave as they do because that is how they comprehend what the Ancients advised about society and humans. The different language and culture of the Ancients allowed Europeans to defy society, while also obeying social morality. The alien quality of the ancient Greeks allowed one to think outside the common core, but not in a rebellious fashion such as Oakland or La Raza in the US. The Greeks had military stories about homosexual warbands of elite status, but the Church of Rome outlawed homosexuality. This allows dual processing, in that one can think about a subject in Box A, but in Box B we put up our mask and act normally.
        Learning foreign languages is often associated with Renaissance concepts or learning. I think the primary benefit is learning to think in a different language than the society which raised you, conditioned you to think in. Because it’s very difficult to reprogram yourself when you are using the habits you picked up, to change the habits you picked up. There are stories of Russian defectors that tried to do that when reading archives of Soviet atrocities in Russia. It took them decades to break through the Soviet conditioning.
        Because, in my personal example, swordmanship is “outdated” and no longer considered “dangerous” or “popular” or “useful” (along with H2H), it is much more useful as a way of personal transformation than utilizing a standardized profession such as… studying law, for personal improvement. Other more popular hobbies are woodcrafting, arms collecting, sports, and artistic creation. Many of these hobbies can be funded via small time funds and does not face legislative outlawing as more popular and lucrative fields do. Although in Australia and UK, our so called “free” brothers of the Anglosphere aren’t allowed to have a kitchen knife, let alone a real steel sword for practice or practical defense. So they have to find even more creative ways to find themselves. Which, given the amount of individual outlawing going on, is why they think the way they do, not merely because of media propaganda but the lack of any way to resist social propaganda too.
        One of the little unfortunate side effects is that normal fantasy and action doesn’t amaze me as they once did. After all, many of the “stunts” people do or write about are things I already know about, either on a theoretical level or a practical level. I need to get more “amazing” demonstrations before I get amazed any more. That’s kind of what happens when any martial arts technique I see, I can also reverse engineer and break down given time and study. That might be considered a super power in some comics or manga, but for me it’s the normal way these things are done. There’s no way people should avoid doing it that way, if given a choice.
        Concerning European swordmanship, almost all of the schools, bloodlines, and techniques were destroyed or lost. The Industrial Revolution really did a number on the descendants of the prestigious warrior and military schools and colleges. That’s why the European fencing or swordmanship you see in popular media isn’t based upon reality. There is no reality to base it off of, because nobody alive learned these techniques, used them, or studied how they were used, apart from WWII insurgency blades or bayonet work. This is why people are forced into re-engineering the techniques from basic principles. To do that, they need to discern what a “principle” is to begin with and to detect truth from false shadows. Then they need to test it, whether in sport competition or as a structured experiment.
        Individual education and liberty becomes at home. Specifically, the home of your brain and spine. What a lot of Americans think is the opposite, where they think liberty is what happens when the power gives it to the weak or entitled. That’s not how light and darkness works.

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