THE TONYAPHILE FORTNIGHTLY COGITARIUM
By JOE HARAN
BULLETIN! EMERGENCY! MAXIMUM EFFORT! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!
Attention, Tonya fans! It's time, right now, to rally 'round our Favorite Figure-Skater and Best Little Buddy: Tonya Maxine Harding. As you may know by now, Tonya was involved in a motor-vehicle accident in which--thank the Deity--she wasn't hurt. Nobody else was involved. Nobody got hurt. Tonya's Ford F250 lost traction on some ice and ended up in the ditch. A photographer from The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington, showed up and took her picture. She smiled broadly for the camera.

So? you may ask.

Well, it's at times like this--when Tonya "makes the news"--that certain people (media of communication, figure-skating moms, Tonya-bashers in general) rise up and reinforce their own uninformed opinions by ridiculing Our Friend. The media, as you know, love to run with any and all negativity that can be pinned--however inaccurately--on Tonya. We, as people who care about her and support her in many little ways, must also rise up and tout her honor. Traditionally, whenever Tonya News has hit the street, Tonya fans have been conspicuous by their silence. Naturally, dear reader, you aren't the one who heads for the hills. It's all those other people, who should stand by Tonya, who can't get out of town fast enough. Whenever Tonya Consciousness appears on the horizon, we must get on our horses and ride-- not to the "rescue," which Tonya seems to dislike (for reasons best known to herself), but rather to her support. Get the idea? Okay. So let's do it! And let's do it NOW. One thing you can do is go to the Columbian site, enter the "Hot Topics" zone and leave a pro-Tonya message. (Check out the one I left there.) Back in the days of The Tonya Harding Fan Club, which was pretty much still the pre-internet era, some of us used to work our butts off contacting big shots and sponsors and television networks and media moguls in general--all in an effort to bring public support of Tonya to their attention. It was hard work, but it often paid off. Well, nowadays it's much easier to do this sort of thing. And here's how. (Of course, it takes a bit longer when you have ancient equipment like mine.) Get onto your butts in front of your computers, access the internet and FIND THOSE FIGURE-SKATING SITES. They're all over the place. (My favorite ones, apart from the Tonya sites, are the Sarah Hughes sites. But no matter.) And one of the best is Shallah's Passel of Polls, here. Shallah, bless her or his heart, has thoughtfully provided an excellent tool for democratic expression. And, by the way, media gate-keepers know of these polls and read them. There are all manner of categories pertaining to figure skating in Shallah's polls. So go there and vote! Early and often! Some of Shallah's categories allow one vote per day, others five (count 'em) votes per day. And don't forget to sign the guest book. It's obvious to me that Shallah isn't a big Tonya Harding fan, as categories such as "best jumper" and "most athletic" are conspicuous by their absence. So, send an electronic-mail message to Shallah here and tout for Tonya. If there's a category in which Tonya's name is absent (a "best" category, never a "worst"category), add it on--if there's a window for that purpose. Then go to Figure Skating Discussion here and discuss! Then go to Support Figure Skating part one or part two and do some work for Tonya. That site even has on-line petitions to the media! Go to all the Tonya sites--to which you can find links here at theFriends of Tonya Harding Society in PuppetLand-- and leave messages. Enter other figure-skater's sites and leave messages. Those other figure skaters have major-league publicity operations behind them, with hundreds of people willing to flood all internet sites with supportive stuff, so let's get busy NOW and do the same thing for Tonya. Now is the time! Not the day after tomorrow or next week. Our buddy Tonya is the greatest figure-skater of all time--and she's a fine person, too (I know from personal experience). So let's get cracking here! Massive public-support for Tonya is not a luxury, IT'S A NECESSITY.