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Mark Arbour

California Culture: Circa 2000

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Alright Californios, where would Will, JJ, and Darius hang out in 2000, noting that they live in Malibu?

 

What about John and Marie, in Paly?

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Alright Californios, where would Will, JJ, and Darius hang out in 2000, noting that they live in Malibu?

 

What about John and Marie, in Paly?

 

For Will, JJ and Darius, the 3rd Street Promenade (Santa Monica), the Commons at Calabasas, the Promenade or Topanga Plaza in Woodland Hills for mall hanging. Cove parties at night in the various coves north of Pepperdine where teens can drink away from where the sheriffs can get to them quickly. By the time a deputy can get down the hill to break up the party, all the party favors are well hidden and put away, everyone is just sent home.

 

If JJ is a diva-ish as he is being portrayed he might have been into the cafe/club scene of rich kids that hung out in Beverly Hills. Being 16 wouldn't have stopped him from getting into clubs and this was when Paris Hilton and Kim Kardasian were just starting to emerge in the social scene in BH.

 

Raves were also big in Los Angeles in the late 90's, early 2000's, even though they were starting to go mainstream with huge events like Nocturnal Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival and Monster Massive. Even if the kids were not directly involved, they would have had many friends who were and many friends who were into X or Special K. Recreational drugs are abundant among the idle rich kids although most of the people I know/knew who had other things in their life going on, sports, clubs, etc skated on the edges and experimented, but never got into it heavy.

 

Also note that the story of Jesse James Hollywood was huge in Malibu in 2000.

 

edited to say north "of" Pepperdine, not "or".

Edited by PrivateTim
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If JJ is a diva-ish as he is being portrayed he might have been into the cafe/club scene of rich kids that hung out in Beverly Hills. Being 16 wouldn't have stopped him from getting into clubs and this was when Paris Hilton and Kim Kardasian were just starting to emerge in the social scene in BH.

JJ is fourteen, and he looks 12. That might make it more of a problem- I think John and Will would have it easier to get into a club because they look more mature. But eh. I'm sure if JJ slips a hundred dollar bill to a bouncer he'll get in.

 

The problem with JJ becoming a socialite ala Paris Hilton is the fact that he's a figure skater, and he's got to project a family-friendly, virginal image at all times. He can't really get away with openly going out to clubs or hinting that he has pre-marital sex, at least not at this point in his career.

 

Raves were also big in Los Angeles in the late 90's, early 2000's, even though they were starting to go mainstream with huge events like Nocturnal Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival and Monster Massive. Even if the kids were not directly involved, they would have had many friends who were and many friends who were into X or Special K. Recreational drugs are abundant among the idle rich kids although most of the people I know/knew who had other things in their life going on, sports, clubs, etc skated on the edges and experimented, but never got into it heavy.

They were big in Philadelphia, too. The drug of choice was stuff like X or Special K...cocaine wasn't really cool anymore. My sister did club promotions for raves circa 2000-2002. I remember being in 9th grade, and this girl was talking about how she went out to Philadelphia for raves on the weekends.

 

Also note that the story of Jesse James Hollywood was huge in Malibu in 2000.

 

I saw the movie that was based on- Alpha Dog. They made it seem like this was a generation of rich white kids who had grown up idolizing hip-hop and the ghetto fab image, and thus they imitated the thugs- until they were no longer imitating and actually had become that way. There was also another movie, called Havoc, which depicted Anne Hathaway as a Pacific Palisades Princess who gets caught up in the L.A. gang scene. The writer based it on the phenonomenon of a rich kid subculture in which they tried acting gangster. Urban was definitely "in" on the East Coast. Not so sure about the West, though those movies make it seem like that was the case as well. As Adam once said to me, "Everybody wanted to be black."

 

Here's a really cool video, Mark. It's Orange County, so it's not quite the same area, but it makes you feel like you're seeing what typical SoCal teens are like in their natural environment.

 

Edited by methodwriter85

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Here's a really cool video, Mark. It's Orange County, so it's not quite the same area, but it makes you feel like you're seeing what typical SoCal teens are like in their natural environment.

 

 

I like this one.

 

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JJ is fourteen, and he looks 12. That might make it more of a problem- I think John and Will would have it easier to get into a club because they look more mature. But eh. I'm sure if JJ slips a hundred dollar bill to a bouncer he'll get in.

 

A club proper, yes. A house or warehouse party like Tim mentioned would be more fluid. For instance, *I* looked twelve in 2000, but still got into places I'm sure my parents would rather they didn't know about (the hypocrites, thery got into way more trouble than I ever wanted to).

 

Urban was definitely "in" on the East Coast. Not so sure about the West, though those movies make it seem like that was the case as well. As Adam once said to me, "Everybody wanted to be black."

 

To a certain extent, this was true. There were white rappers that had "such a hard life." And some people really got into thug culture. And some of us that thought they were idiots. Granted, my sister and cousins were in gangs and I'd been shot at when I was less than ten years old, so perhaps the allure was just not as strong for me. Me, I just liked to dance. So I did.

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A club proper, yes. A house or warehouse party like Tim mentioned would be more fluid. For instance, *I* looked twelve in 2000, but still got into places I'm sure my parents would rather they didn't know about (the hypocrites, thery got into way more trouble than I ever wanted to).

That wouldn't be the issue so much as it is that JJ has to be extremely careful about what he gets into because of the squeaky clean image he has to maintain as a figure skater. What if someone snapped a photo of him at a rave? That wouldn't go down well with his sponsors and the judges- look at the crap that Michael Phelps had to deal with because he was photographed with a bong. Olympic sports seem extremely obsessed with maintaining a family-friendly image, particularly figure skating and gymnastics.

 

I think most of the drug experimentation/partying he'll do is either going to be behind closed doors with people he trusts, or when he visits places like Amsterdam.

 

 

To a certain extent, this was true. There were white rappers that had "such a hard life." And some people really got into thug culture. And some of us that thought they were idiots. Granted, my sister and cousins were in gangs and I'd been shot at when I was less than ten years old, so perhaps the allure was just not as strong for me. Me, I just liked to dance. So I did.

 

I think that was the point- it was only really an allure if you didn't actually live in the ghetto. I lived in it, so it wasn't appealing to me. My sister's high school boyfriend grew up in white upper-middle class suburbia, and it appealed to him and he got really into being thug. We called them "wankstas". I just remember the whole "urban" look was really in until the O.C. and Kanye West brought back prep, and also created "thug" prep. Around 2003 I remember guys started wearing Ralph Lauren polo shirts and feathered hair like it was 1981 or something.

 

Matt, thanks for the videos. I've seen them before. I really liked the Last Day of School one. It was 2009, so there's only really a five year difference, and there wasn't a huge fashion shift in the 2000's, The only real difference between that video and how guys dressed when I went to high school was the fitted plaid shirts and the lack of short-sleeved shirts over long-sleeved shirts. Layering was key from about 2002 to 2006, I think.

Edited by methodwriter85

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That's not a big worry, Jeremy, about being photographed at a rave. It's dark, oddly lit, and half the people have something in their mouths. :devil:

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That wouldn't be the issue so much as it is that JJ has to be extremely careful about what he gets into because of the squeaky clean image he has to maintain as a figure skater. What if someone snapped a photo of him at a rave? That wouldn't go down well with his sponsors and the judges- look at the crap that Michael Phelps had to deal with because he was photographed with a bong. Olympic sports seem extremely obsessed with maintaining a family-friendly image, particularly figure skating and gymnastics.

 

I think most of the drug experimentation/partying he'll do is either going to be behind closed doors with people he trusts, or when he visits places like Amsterdam.

 

I think that was the point- it was only really an allure if you didn't actually live in the ghetto. I lived in it, so it wasn't appealing to me. My sister's high school boyfriend grew up in white upper-middle class suburbia, and it appealed to him and he got really into being thug. We called them "wankstas". I just remember the whole "urban" look was really in until the O.C. and Kanye West brought back prep, and also created "thug" prep. Around 2003 I remember guys started wearing Ralph Lauren polo shirts and feathered hair like it was 1981 or something.

 

Matt, thanks for the videos. I've seen them before. I really liked the Last Day of School one. It was 2009, so there's only really a five year difference, and there wasn't a huge fashion shift in the 2000's, The only real difference between that video and how guys dressed when I went to high school was the fitted plaid shirts and the lack of short-sleeved shirts over long-sleeved shirts. Layering was key from about 2002 to 2006, I think.

 

No one would know who JJ is. You aren't a recognizable celebrity in figure skating until you go to the Olympics, even then, just going is enough to make you famous you need something that sets you apart or makes you a story. No one at a rave in 2005 or even a gay club would have recognized Johnny Weir. After 2006 sure, but then he worked at cultivating an image and persona.

 

I have been with Olympians at public places the USOC and IOC would crap if they knew they were there maybe, but no one knows them, not even the ones I was with who were medalists so there were no embarrassing cell cam pics or videos. Michael Phelps is the exception, not the rule. Would you know Aaron Piersol if he was standing next to you?

 

The 2009 MHS video was pretty cool, but in terms of fashion thoughts, remember it was shot in mid to late June so there were probably more t-shirts and less long sleeved shirts than there might be in January.

 

It was weird watching the 42nd Street video and thinking that these were Will's peers, friends and contemporaries and then juxtaposing the idea that there is no Will really because you come to think of all of Mark's characters as actual people.

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I have been with Olympians at public places the USOC and IOC would crap if they knew they were there maybe, but no one knows them, not even the ones I was with who were medalists so there were no embarrassing cell cam pics or videos. Michael Phelps is the exception, not the rule. Would you know Aaron Piersol if he was standing next to you?

Good point, but I'm going with Daisy's assertion about the way figure skaters have to maintain image at all times. And when you consider JJ's inflated sense of self, he likely WOULD think he'd make a story if he were caught at a rave.

 

The 2009 MHS video was pretty cool, but in terms of fashion thoughts, remember it was shot in mid to late June so there were probably more t-shirts and less long sleeved shirts than there might be in January.

 

Well, yeah, but I meant that when I was in high school (2001 to 2005), it was popular for guys to layer short-sleeved shirts over long-sleeved shirts. Like what Sean Faris aka Will's wearing here:

 

Posted Image

 

Layering was really popular from the early to mid-part of the decade. My favorite look was the guys who'd wear two polo shirts with both collars popped. LOL.

 

It was weird watching the 42nd Street video and thinking that these were Will's peers, friends and contemporaries and then juxtaposing the idea that there is no Will really because you come to think of all of Mark's characters as actual people.

 

For me it's weird watching that video because those ARE my contemporaries(which is anyone who graduated in 2002 to 2008), and I went to a performing arts high school. High school feels at once just like yesterday and about a million years ago.

 

For the Gunn High School side-

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Gunnvideo#p/u/17/bqr8Q1rZQPQ

 

This was posted February 2006, so I'm guessing it's from the Homecoming Pep Rally either from fall 2005 or winter 2006. It's only about two years away from John Hobart's time at Gunn, so I'm betting John did something like that as well. It'd be funny to watch John do a cheerleading routine to "Toxic" by Britney Spears with his best buddies by his side.

 

Gunn High School apparently came up with these really lame videos promoting Homecoming and Prom. Gunn apparently REALLY takes their dance themes seriously.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Gunnvideo#p/u/15/BU6Nq-3MJNI

 

This is another 2006 video, so it gives you a good idea of how the kids dressed. It also gives you a good idea of the racial make-up of the school- there's a pretty high amount of Asians and other minorities that go there.

 

Gunn comes off as incredibly nerdy compared to Malibu. LOL. From what I've read, it sounds a lot like the math and science charter school that was upstairs from my school. People there were under so much academic pressure that most of my friends were addicted to some form of caffeine(some just went straight for the Adderall). Yes, it was basically like the episode of Saved By the Bell where Jesse is addicted to caffeine pills to stay up and study, only most of the people were like that.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Hey, Mark, I found something pretty cool. There's a Malibu High history teacher who posted up pictures from his time at Malibu High. There's a good many pictures, and from the time that JJ and Will are supposed to spend their time at school. It even includes some pictures from the class of 2004 graduation. I laughed and thought of Tommy when I saw that one kid was wearing a Hurley shirt.

 

http://web.mac.com/panish/Panishs_Site/MHS_Photos_I.html

 

It gives you such a great idea of how kids looked and dressed at the time. I really liked this picture...I'm guessing it's either 2004 or 2005.

 

http://web.mac.com/panish/Panishs_Site/MHS_Photos_I.html#96

 

I think this picture does a good job of showing the range of styles present at the time, and the commonalities. Whether they're dressed punk or prep, each boy is wearing a pair of pants so baggy you're surprised that they haven't fallen off. Even the preppy kid with the rugby polo and the soccer boots- his chords just "fit"- they're not tight at all. It's such a stark contrast to Brad's Be Rad crowd, where guys wore really tight pants.

 

Another thing to note is that the spiky hair look made popular by Ricky Martin was falling out of favor at the time, and more guys wore their hair naturally. That's getting reflected here, too- only one guy has spiked hair here.

 

But in 2000, it still would have been popular to wear spiky hair, so that's still "in" at this point. But that picture, I think, gives you a fairly good idea of how the average teenage boy dressed circa 2004.

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Hey guys, was cocaine still the drug of choice for soCal teens in 2000? Over here it had switched over to stuff like XTC and oxycontin. I saw some cokeheads, but it seemed to lean more towards the pharmaceuticals.

 

Would Will, JJ, etc know a good deal of cokeheads in 2000, or would their friends have been into stuff more like oxy and the like?

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Hey guys, was cocaine still the drug of choice for soCal teens in 2000? Over here it had switched over to stuff like XTC and oxycontin. I saw some cokeheads, but it seemed to lean more towards the pharmaceuticals.

 

Would Will, JJ, etc know a good deal of cokeheads in 2000, or would their friends have been into stuff more like oxy and the like?

 

 

I didn't know anyone at that time doing cocaine, it was all about the rave scene and X, Special K, crank crystal meth. Will and all would know some tweekers, but it wouldn't be their friends and they'd know people doing X on the weekends because a lot of the 'good' kids were into raves and saw X as pretty harmless. Crystal Method was a hot local band in that era and Tweekend, one of their albums, was being developed at that time.

 

 

LSD tabs were floating around too. Roofies were not as big as X in the rave scene, but still around and aderall was abused by a lot of people, especially those trying to get into Harvard, Yale, etc.

Edited by PrivateTim

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I didn't think Crystal Meth was big on the scene until the mid-2000's, but that's probably wrong.

 

I can't speak about No Cal, but in So Cal crystal meth became big in the mid, maybe even early 1990's.

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I was a bit young and virulently anti-drug during those times, but what Tim says rings true.

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I knew that cocaine didn't really seem like something that' would be popular with these kids! It seemed like for the most part, the only kids I knew who were serious about coke in the 2000's were guidos(which I don't think they have on the West Coast) and frat boys. Everyone else was using Adderall, Oxy, or something manufactured.

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Alright, since it looks like Will's considering going to Harvard-Westlake, I thought I'd ask the same questions I asked about Malibu High. So, if you're familiar with Harvard-Westlake, I'd like some feedback. Thank you.

 

1. Could a guy be openly gay at HW without it being a big deal? Like, if a guy took his male date to the prom, would there be a big reaction, or no?

 

2. What kind of cars did the rich kids drive? Was it mainly SUV type stuff, like Hummers?

 

3. How preppy is the school? Did kids there dress really preppy, or was it a lot more laidback? What were the popular clothing brands?

 

4. What is the socioeconomic/racial mix of the school like? Lots of rich white kids, or is it more diverse than that?

 

5. What were the popular slang terms?

 

6. What were the popular hang-outs?

 

7. What was the academic environment like? Was it high-pressure where kids were chained to their homework, or could you still have a social life?

 

8. What was the social life like?

 

9. How many class periods were there? What would you be expected to take as a college-bound freshman vs. a college-bound senior?

 

10. Is there anything about Harvard-Westlake's culture that sticks out in your mind?

 

***

 

See, when I think private schools, I think of Catholic schools or the school on Gossip Girl, so I know I'm out of my depth here. Thanks again.

Edited by methodwriter85

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No one would know who JJ is. You aren't a recognizable celebrity in figure skating until you go to the Olympics, even then, just going is enough to make you famous you need something that sets you apart or makes you a story. No one at a rave in 2005 or even a gay club would have recognized Johnny Weir. After 2006 sure, but then he worked at cultivating an image and persona.

 

I have been with Olympians at public places the USOC and IOC would crap if they knew they were there maybe, but no one knows them, not even the ones I was with who were medalists so there were no embarrassing cell cam pics or videos. Michael Phelps is the exception, not the rule. Would you know Aaron Piersol if he was standing next to you?

I had someone very familiar with figure skating weigh in on this. Here's what she said:

 

I think JJ definitely has to have a pristine image - the media may not care too much yet about someone who is still at the junior level (but that's definitely going to change once he's a senior), but the pessure from the USFSA would already be enormous. Skaters don't go to parties, raves, or anything like that. Skaters go to school, practice, and church. 0:)

And I agree, he wouldn't do much sexually either, even behind closed doors, because he really does need to focus on school and practice, and both is very time consuming. There's not much time he could spend on socializing.

 

So yeah, no raves and clubs for JJ. At least, not yet. He can't do the kinds of things that John and Will are doing because of the pressure he's getting from the USFSA.

 

Which is refreshing, because I'm finding that I'm having to bare-knuckle my way through reading about 13-year olds having sex and experimenting with drugs. LOL.

Edited by methodwriter85

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It is sounding like JJ going up in the skating world is going to be a non-starter. No matter how pristine his personal image is, he's still going to be Will's older brother, Brad and Jeanine's son, Stef's nephew, and Tiffany's student. (And Ella's uncle, but whatever. Actually, I bet she'd call him Aunt JJ if she was bratty at all. I would.) Never mind the gay aspect, which seems bad enough, but Robbie is a Hollywood producer, who with his partner regularly attends exactly the kind of parties they'd find so troubling.

 

Anyways, my point is that there is no real way to play by their rules, because his very existence, birth, and nurturing seem anathema to one trying to maintain a pristine image. And yeah, he could say, "They're just my family, I'm sane." But, could he really say that? And would it work anyways? He could also try the "f**k the police" route, and let his talent open doors that his behavior may not. Either way, it could turn into an interesting story, perhaps if he gets a go at narrating. If not, it'd be an interesting plot point for either Brad or Will, or even Matt if Tiffany, Jeanine, and JJ split the family up and head to NJ.

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If Jeanine DOES take JJ to NJ, he could train at University of Delaware and butt heads with Johnny Weir. I think that'd be one hell of a rivalry. And if you've looking for a place for a guy to train relatively incognitio, Delaware's a pretty good choice. It's not like the figure skating program there is some rube- they have some pretty impressive credentials. Tara Lipinski and Kimmie Meissner are other alums of the UD program. And when the suburban college town life drives JJ crazy, he can always go shopping at NYC on weekends. Then come back for practice wearing more designer clothes and Louis Vuitton purses than pre-fame Johnny Weir could ever possibly afford, pissing JW off even more.

 

We've actually talking about that, my figure skating consultant and I. She believes that JJ would defnitely not skate under the name Schluter, and he'd keep tight-lipped about who his family is. Maybe just skate as "Jeremy James", and tell people he's an orphan who was adopted by his uncle, who would prefer to remain anonmynous. It's a version of the truth that would be more palatable to the "family-friendly" world of figure skating.

 

We were also thinking about the fluff pieces that JJ could do for the media leading up to the '06 Olympics. It'd be cute if he took Courtney(I think she'd be 10 at that point) to Disneyland. It'd make him look adorable and cutely innocent to do so. I was also thinking maybe he could do a speech at a high school under Students Against Drunk Driving, with his grandmother Isidore. Possibly, to promote the renassiance of Claremont, JJ could do a shift at an ice cream shop(let's say Coldstone Creamery) opening up at the Shoppes at Claremont Factory.

 

Here's what the fluff pieces look like:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAo3KaeK8gQ

 

 

Okay, after watching Evan, I can hear JJ going, "You know, when I was born dangerously premature and abandoned by my parents, my uncle worried that I might not even live. Who would have ever imagined that I would get a shot at the Olympics? I thank God every day for having such a special plan for me, an orphan that wasn't even expected to make it through his first night." Off to the sides, I can imagine Darius and Will rolling their eyes and making little violin fingers. LOL.

 

Daisy, you wanna weigh in on this?

Edited by methodwriter85

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:lol: I had actually never seen this fluff piece of Evan. I swear he read the script off a teleprompter, and the script was written by a USFSA person. He does not speak like that, and I doubt he even thinks like that. When Weir started to become too famous and, um, outgoing, the USFSA had a serious problem with the image of figure skating in the US, and Evan being JW's main rival (i.e., the only one who could beat him on the National level), they found him a girlfriend (ice dancer whom the USFSA had gotten expedited citizenship...) and made him say all these things about positive attitude, being humble, and showed him how to act straight. Very amusing. (and Evan certainly wasn't the first one to get a SO and attitude script :lol: )

 

Anyway, I agree with Jeremy, JJ would have to uphold a pristine image from a very young age on. It's not just about who becomes so famous that even the average football fan knows them, but it's about the USFSA having a pristine image internally. Figure skating parents don't want their kids to do a sport in which they see other kids partying, not having good grades, doing questionable substances, or having sex (or even worse, sex that the bible doesn't approve of). If parents start withdrawing their kids from figure skating because they observe too many Johnny Weirs on the junior level or above, the USFSA gets less money...

 

And (perhaps unfortunately so) within the figure skating culture, people can become famous before they even hit the junior level. A lot of juniors already have official websites, agents, and internet forums led by 50-yr-old housewives with hundreds of regular posters who don't spend their days on Farmville but on the Jeremy Schluter/James Message Board, discussing cute photographs or how they emailed his mother and "she sent *such* a sweet reply!!! I'm totally friends with her now..." I'm not exaggerating.

 

I would imagine that these days kids have to be even more careful about what they do in their private life because of facebook...

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:lol: I had actually never seen this fluff piece of Evan. I swear he read the script off a teleprompter, and the script was written by a USFSA person. He does not speak like that, and I doubt he even thinks like that. When Weir started to become too famous and, um, outgoing, the USFSA had a serious problem with the image of figure skating in the US, and Evan being JW's main rival (i.e., the only one who could beat him on the National level), they found him a girlfriend (ice dancer whom the USFSA had gotten expedited citizenship...) and made him say all these things about positive attitude, being humble, and showed him how to act straight. Very amusing. (and Evan certainly wasn't the first one to get a SO and attitude script :lol: )

If you add JJ into the picture, I think they would really play up the fact that JJ is an orphan. I could've SWORN they did that with Oksana Baiul, or some other skater. Then they could go with the angle of JJ being adopted by a kind, benovolent uncle(they'd probably have him stop calling Brad 'Dad'), and a nice nanny that became a surrogate mother to him. It'd win sympathy points, but by going "my parents are dead", JJ might be able to deflect probing into his background. And the press could dub him as Little Orphan Jeremy, with Brad in the role of a much, much hotter Daddy Warbucks. That when if/when public scrutiny on the Schluters hits, JJ can basically say, "Well, I'm adopted. I'm not like them at all." I mean, he'd be a complete and total dick for doing it, but it's a lesser thing compared to what some people are willing to do in order to win an Olympic Gold Medal. *cough* Tonya Harding *cough*

 

Figure skating parents don't want their kids to do a sport in which they see other kids partying, not having good grades, doing questionable substances, or having sex (or even worse, sex that the bible doesn't approve of). If parents start withdrawing their kids from figure skating because they observe too many Johnny Weirs on the junior level or above, the USFSA gets less money...

So basically, with the exception of wealth and charitable works, JJ essentially has to live the complete OPPOSITE of the way in which the Cramptons/Schluters like to conduct themselves. He can't even smoke pot, because pot will show up in a drug test for a year.

 

And (perhaps unfortunately so) within the figure skating culture, people can become famous before they even hit the junior level. A lot of juniors already have official websites, agents, and internet forums led by 50-yr-old housewives with hundreds of regular posters who don't spend their days on Farmville but on the Jeremy Schluter/James Message Board, discussing cute photographs or how they emailed his mother and "she sent *such* a sweet reply!!! I'm totally friends with her now..." I'm not exaggerating.

This is JJ's face:

 

Posted Image

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure he's going to attract a fair share of stalkers. He's got that perfect "non-threatening" cuteness that little girls like in their teen idols.

 

It'd be funny for Mark to write the ways in which JJ tries to elude the crazy fans that want to know more about him and his family. I imagine he'll start taking to wearing oversized Louis Vuitton sunglasses whenever he shows up to big famly functions.

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