In Memoriam: Stephen Ambrose, who gave America a vivid, living past.
Well, we’re coming off the first of the uncelebrated holidays of the holiday season in the US, the type of holiday where we have no school or mail delivery, but the majority of adults have to work. I used to like holidays like Columbus Day when I was still a public servant. Double time for nothing…hey, I’m there. But now, it sucks. And it’s gonna suck worse next month. Dissing Italians working for Spaniards who weren’t the first to do what everyone thought he did is one thing; dissing veterans is another, especially when I’m one. There won’t be any really choice comments on that one, though, since I’ve already made my feelings clear on the subject and I’m reserving that column for the continuing froth of indignation I’ll have over the election.
Let me see if I can get some of that froth going now. Everyone seems to love it that way.
THE FIRST THING WE DO, WE PISS OFF THE CONSERVATIVES
Six words: Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize Winner. ‘Nuff said.
I feel like a goof. I lost the mail that I already had triggered as a You’re A Moron winner for this column through an act of stupidity. It was your typically uninformed conservative rant wherein the person asked me if I was “Carvelle”. I wasn’t sure if he was wondering if I was James Carville, political pundit, or Tom Carvel, ice cream tycoon. In either case, he’s wrong. As my fascist bud John King has pointed out numerous times in the past, I’m Paul Begala.
Speaking of politics, frequent writer Rob Bemis gave me an on-the-spot report on the New Jersey switcheroo for the Senate election. Yeah, it was illegal according to state law. You know, I don’t care if you’re Demo or GOP, you don’t break election laws, so I find it a bit despicable. But they got away with it, and the only true crime is getting caught. Then they pulled the rabbit out of the hat with Lautenberg, the one guy certain to quell the turbulent waters and keep the seat for the Good Guys. Sometimes you’ve got to admire raw cynicism like that. Of course, I grew up in Mayor Daley’s Chicago, where raw cynicism and acts of blatant illegality were brought to new heights, so I judge acts like this against the ones in my city’s history. If the 1960 presidential election was the prototypical *****, this one’s definitely an Angle/Edge or Angle/Benoit at WM17.
So, Dubbaya says that the Bali nightclub bombing was “designed to create terror and chaos”. Duh, you think? And now they’re trying to link this to al-Qaeda…you know, I swear that this administration has gained all its foreign policy knowledge about Indonesia from renting a copy of The Year Of Living Dangerously and they’ve hired the counter guy at Blockbuster to be a special advisor. Unfortunately, negotiations got snagged up with Linda Hunt. The Junta wanted her to play Condi Rice; she said “Dick Cheney or nothing”…
…oh, God, nobody’s going to get that. Look, go out and rent the film yourselves. It was done when Mel Gibson was still pretending to be an actor, so he actually gives a good performance.
THEY SHOOT, THEY MISS
Lotsa hate mail last week over my facetious comments about the Washington sniping murders, including a few that wanted to see me as the next victim. People kept focusing on my “serial killers are cool” allusion like I was some mentally-diseased maniac…wait a second, I am. You know, didn’t I use the phrase “I have no respect for the dead” last Tuesday? And people forgot that phrase one day later? Wrestling fans, thou hast no short-term memory.
As for serial killers being cool, I present as evidence the Number One movie at the box office the last two weeks. That should “silence” some critics, shouldn’t it?
So where did that particular attitude come from? You’ve got to remember that I’m a Chicago boy, and as an impressionable antisocial adolescent, I was able to get a major dose of saturation media coverage of the John Wayne Gacy murders. A gay pedophile serial killer who dressed in a clown outfit? It was so outrageous that it had to be cool. You had to remember that this was the late ’70s. Culture was all disco clones and dinosaur rock bands, and hardcore Punk hadn’t made a major impact yet. Something as bizarre as Gacy appealed to the suppressed dark side in all of us then. In my mind, no one beat Gacy on the cool scale for serial killers until Anthony Hopkins showed everyone what a cool serial killer was all about. I think that also answers the question from the one guy who asked me if I’d blow it all off if it was happening in Chicago.
So I guess my riposte to my critics on this issue is “Fuck You”.
SPEAKING OF FUCK YOU…
Methinks I recall that Wampler Foods/Pilgrim’s Pride phone-interviewed me last year. They decided not to bring me in for a face-to-face. They get hit with a recall of 27.4 million pounds of deli turkey products. That wouldn’t have happened with me there, because I would have implemented a listeria testing program on the floor drains (which, by the way, is/was standard procedure at my current employer and past employers; I should know, because I did the testing at my last employer and ruined three f*cking pairs of pants because they used goddamn bleach on the floor and didn’t rinse it completely). The lesson to be learned here is simple: don’t hire me, pay the price. My wrath is as far-reaching and nasty as the Old Testament God.
ANOTHER IGNORED SPORTS WEEKEND
Bears had a bye week, so I spent the day relaxing with Belle and the Beast. As Keith and I have pointed out numerous times in the past, Disney does an incredible friggin’ job with their Special Edition DVDs. They’re a terrific bargain and are chock-full of fantastic extras for both kids and adults. They kicked six types of major ass with Beauty and the Beast. “Human Again” seems like such an organic part of the film that it’s shocking they couldn’t figure out the approach on how to get it in the first time. I also loved the commentary about Angela Lansbury protesting for hours about how she didn’t want to do the title song, because it was a ballad and she just didn’t do ballads well, then she went into the studio and knocked it out in one take. She’s a pro.
Since I did do a header about sports, let me knock out some sports comments:
The winless Rams do in the undefeated Raiders…had to happen. We saw what the Rams did last time with a backup QB. Is Kurt Warner the next Trent Green? If so, can we get him in Chicago, stat?
Nice to see that the ViQueens got their first win. Of course, it’s against the Lions, so it doesn’t really count, does it?
Baltimore Former beats Baltimore Present…f*ck the game, I want the Texas Death Match between Jim Irsay and Art Modell to determine the champion of the “I Betrayed My City And Its Football Tradition” division.
Notre Dame, still rolling, still undefeated, still dissed by the polls as being the lowest undefeated team ranked. I swear that if the Steers and Queers had landed up in front of them, I’d have gone ballistic.
Big Kudos to Phil Taturangi. Belts out a 62 on Sunday and nukes a damn strong field in Vegas. That, folks, is clutch. Maybe the Kansas City defense can take lessons. Of course, as a Bears fan, it makes me utterly sick to see Curtis Conway, Go-To Guy, making Drew Brees look like Dan Fouts.
Enough sports…well, one more.
THE FIX IS IN…WELL, NOT REALLY
Chris Jackson writes the following:
hey, I really enjoy your work and I don’t want to end up on YAM, but you stated how Dubbya fixed the Super Bowl and would probably fix the Series with the Twins or Cardinals, and my question is how would that be possible, I’ve heard of fixes in boxing but how would the President tell one entire team and staff to lose the biggest game of their life and keep it down? Just curiousity I guess…
Chris, the whole “Dubbaya fixes sports events” thing is an in-joke dating back to last year’s World Series. I said that as a former baseball team owner and someone still connected to the sport, Dubbaya would naturally use the World Series as a Wag The Dog in order to make America feel good about itself again after September 11th. The whole thing seemed scripted, and as wrestling fans, we have an instinct about that subject. The in-joke continued with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl (to gain acceptability for the atrocious Patriot Act) and the Kentucky Derby (with War Emblem being used to make action against Iraq acceptable). So when I say that Dubbaya is fixing a sports event, longtime readers get the joke and appreciate that, unlike WWE, I have a sense of continuity.
Now, as to this year’s edition of the Fall Classic, you could make a case that the Angels being there is a subtle pre-election message from Dubbaya to the Right-Wing Christian community, but that’d be a stretch, even for me. And the Giants advanced, blowing that whole conspiracy theory out of the water. Of course, they could have aborted it because I exposed it before it could happen. The Black Ops people read this column, oh, yes, they do…
THE PIMP SECTION
Vanderhorst worships Mick Foley. Don’t we all?
Rivett is back from a particularly nasty illness, and throws out a challenge to all of you.
Billy Gunn and Pat Patterson injured within the space of a couple days? Bad timing for Hyatte, because he’d go to town on those.
And, of course, there’s your Raw reports by PK and Keith. Which leads me to…
THE SHORT FORM
Yes, I actually watched Raw this week. So stop your bitching.
Chris Crass over the Mille Bourne Identity, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Jericho pins Helms, rope-assisted standard heel tactic, New Tag Champions): I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this one, knowing WWE’s Montreal tradition of jobbing Canadians, but it does help provide some mystery regarding No Mercy, since Kane now has no backup belt. And, hey, any match that Shane Helms loses and Chris Jericho wins is fine by me. Gotta give credit to the participants, though; it was a rather well-booked piece of violent chaos. Rivett may miss the twenty-minute opening promo, but I’d rather have matches like this, especially given the angles we’re having foisted on us at this point.
Lance Storm over Al Snow (Pinfall, superkick): I’m not sure if this fulfills the Canadian Content Requirement or the ECW Content Requirement. I do know that it fulfills the Pimp Regal Requirement and the Bleh Requirement. Dull.
Jeff Hardy over Rico Constantino (Pinfall, Swanton): Oh, God…no, I’m sorry. I’m tapped out of gay jokes right now, and, let’s face it, there aren’t enough of them to go around in this one. La Cage aux Folles and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were less extravagant than this one. FF material, definitely.
Trish Stratus and Jackie over Molly Holly and Victoria (Pinfall, Jackie pins Molly, DDT): Gee, a women’s tag match with four trained wrestlers. Wasn’t Bisch supposed to have ended that off in favor of T&A, or did HLA get that out of his system? Buncha blown spots, but I wasn’t looking at them due to My Beautiful and Beloved being Special Guest Ref.
Chris Harvard over Tommy Dreamer (Pinfall, full nelson slam): Okay, we’re finally getting the obvious program here with Harvard/Snow, and that’s damn good for Al. He gets some exposure and can help Chris a little with his heel promo skills at the same time. The match was nothing per se, but it does establish what should be a decent mid-card angle in the future, and that’s something WWE needs more of at this point. Oh, and, Al, while you’re helping Harvard with his heel promo skills, can you do something about Randy Orton? I haven’t seen someone as uncomfortable cutting a heel promo since Goldberg.
The Big Show over Booker T, Falls Count Anywhere Excuse For A Jericho Beatdown Of Booker (Pinfall in the women’s shower, Jericho chair shot (told you so)): Remember, there’s no more Hardcore matches in WWE. So how is this not a Hardcore match? And is a trip to the women’s area mandatory in these types of matches? Most of the audience doesn’t remember Benoit/Sullivan, so there’s no rub-off magic to be had anymore from it. Give it up.
Trip over Stoner, Canadian Lumberjack Match (Pinfall, Legend-ference): So Trip screwed Bret? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was inv…oh, sorry, Hebner was in the ring. Didn’t notice him until he did his standard “ref breaking up the illegal move” spot. The whole match was Booking By Numbers designed to pimp the PPV, including the clusterf*ck group spot and Kane’s run-in. Yeah, I’m so inspired to fork out the bucks now.
The Camera’s THIS Way, Honey: Jesus, Victoria, if you’re doing an intense heel promo, the impact is increased if you look at the camera that’s actually filming you, Coachman there or not. You also need to work on your delivery too. Intense, no. Whiny, yes.
True Confessions: First of all, the irony of Terri Runnels telling someone to get something off their chest is so obvious, I don’t need to talk about it. Now, let’s get on to the meat of this alleged angle. It’s the Ol’ Ted Kennedy Excuse, and they managed to combine it with just a whiff of necrophilia…and people say I’m tasteless. Yes, I’m tasteless, but I admit it. WWE doesn’t. This isn’t soap opera, it’s just…I dunno. Jerry Springer doesn’t really describe it well enough. Hell, Trip isn’t even buying it, and he’ll sell any angle to prop up the Bitch of the Baskervilles (that promo with Terri was one of the most awkward he’s ever done, and that’s saying something). All I know is that if this continues, they’re going to start alienating the core audience, who are the only ones sticking around right now. I won’t even mention the blown continuity regarding Kane and Tori (remember her?). Yeesh.
The Late Intercontinental Title, Dead At 23: Isn’t it strange that after all those attacks on women, it’d be Pat Patterson injured by Rosey and Jamal…no, as I said earlier, I’ll let Hyatte handle this one. It’s his trademark, and I respect that (I’ll anticipate him, though, and say that the leather strap routine was more of an appropriate tribute to Patterson than anything else). Nice retrospective video, though. Personally, the best moment of this routine was Bisch screwing the pooch and referencing WCW. Slip of the tongue, or glimpse of the future? You decide.
Oh, shit, guess who’s late for work again? WidShish will keep you updated during the day if anyone else was injured or if Patterson recovered enough to use those leather straps on Jeff Hardy. I’m just going to luxuriate in the fact that my PHB is in Kansas City for three days at a conference and try to get some actual work done. See you tomorrow.