The Daily Pulse, 04.06.05

Well, I’m prepping for both my trip to Chicago and Masters Weekend. Fuck the NCAAs, this is the real start of spring. Oil’s changed in the Damn Vaninator, it gets washed tomorrow or Thursday, and I’m hoping the fuel treatment I bought will pay for itself in better gas mileage (of course, that means a savings of two and a half gallons).

I’m a little pissed, though. When trying to do a little prep work for this puppy, my Net connection went down at 4:30 on Tuesday morning, too late to do anything about it before I had to get to work. I somehow got it working when I got back from Wal-Mart, where I went in for an oil change, coffee filters, pepper, and bleach and spent a c-note. Then I found out that any e-mail I received from yesterday’s column was lost in the aether due to the fact that my insidepulse address has become a repository for financial spam…that makes no real sense. I’m a wrestling columnist doing this for free. Exactly what kind of interest would I have in financial spam? Do they think I make big bucks off of this or something? Assholes.

Well, I’d better get on with this…

THE PIMP SECTION

Gordi has pretty much the same general view of WM that I do.

Stein recognizes that WM is not the be-all-and-end-all of wrestling.

Nguyen‘s all over the map these days, but he somehow holds it together for you.

Baseball season’s started? Well, Tierney says so.

Padilla has to resort to covering hocky videotapes.

Stevens on the Marvel beat and on the DC beat as well. At this site, he’s Mister Consistent, believe you me.

AND MY VIEWS OF WRESTLEMANIA

Yes, I did finish downloading it. Despite PWTorrents going temporarily tits up, The Pirate Bay had a nice torrent available, so I killed my Usenet download and went with that. I decided not to do screen caps this time because, hell, I’m tired and don’t feel like doing captions for them. I can’t be as witty as I normally am. C’est la vie. So let me give you my impressions of the High Holy Days of the wrestling calendar…

Rey-Rey/Eddy was a nice example of a “hot opener”. They booked this thing really well. Instead of being a spot-fest, they turned it into a chess game, where neither guy could gain a clear advantage over the other despite pulling out every trick in the book. Even the quick, unexpected ending worked in this case, because it seemed like it’d be the only way for either to win it. And it was a damn good match to boot.

I’m not sure that following that up with the Ladder Match was a good idea. Maybe they should have put the Women’s Title match between the two. That being said, it was a great spotfest/train wreck. Although the ending was pretty telegraphed beforehand (well, at least to me; consult the Round Table for further details of my predictive skills in regard to this match), it was a fun ride to get there. The real winner in this match was Shelton Benjamin, though. There has always been doubts among the marks (and among the smarks) over whether he could hang with the upper-mid-card; he proved that he not only could, but given the opportunity, he can be damn entertaining. I wish that the WWE Main Event Style would allow him to take a few more risks, because given the evidence, he can handle it. That run-the-ladder clothesline was almost as good as any spot in the AMW/XXX cage match (my MotY from last year). Good work, guys.

Telling the truth about racism combined with beating up a retard…look, Hassan’s a face. Admit it to yourselves and it’ll be better. Look, Hogan showing up to make the save just proves my point (of course, those of us with long, intact memories had flashes of Evad Sullivan in that moment, God help us all). All the evidence is there; just look at it.

The Good: Any Undertaker entrance at Wrestlemania. They always pull out something special for it, and the glide along the fog was damn effective, although Tazz was a little undercut when he expressed amazement at the movement during a time in which they showed an overhead camera shot that clearly exposed the dolly. The Bad and the Ugly: the match that followed the entrance. When UT gives a shit, he can pull a good match out of his hat (witness WM17, at which he and Trip brought the house down with pure carnage). UT obviously didn’t give a shit in re this match. And, really, who’d blame him? I wouldn’t give a shit if I was having to face Randy Orton either. Rushed, botched heel turn just to make the ethos of this match clear, promos neutered to the point of tapioca bland, no personality to speak of…and UT had to sell for him to the point of Orton nearly winning. Orton’s been shot to hell ever since he won the title; this match, the whining promo on Raw, and the ugly display with Batista in the “main event” on Raw has sunk him even further.

It wasn’t as ugly as the Women’s Title match, of course. But I do have to give credit to Christy Hemme for selling a little bit and making it into a slightly serious contest. But this was the Piss Match. The only memorable moment was Christy’s kick to Trish’s twat. Bet Hyatte’s pissed about that one.

Angle/Michaels..,.what it reminded me most of was a modern take on a mid-eighties NWA match. And that’s a good thing. A lot of Flair/Steamboat in this one, combined with some interesting booking and given enough time to really cook. Michaels made a true statement on Raw regarding this: everyone wants to see a rematch, especially if it’s as well-booked, well-timed, and competitive as this one. Not an MotY candidate, but fantastic for what it was.

The whole Piper/Wife-Beater thing was already unbearably nauseating to begin with, but the moment that Carly showed up, it took the situation into a new depth that Randy Orton is only beginning to touch. I had to watch it for the whole car wreck moment, and it didn’t disappoint. Total disaster.

The Sumo Match was…well, interesting. A little different, and a nice break of pace between the rest of the show and the main events. I can’t say anything more about it. It was just…well, there.

The Cena/High-Quality Speaker Boy match was exactly what I’d thought it would be: a Cena victory and triple-bag ugly. It wouldn’t even have qualified as a good Smackdown main event. Maybe it was last year, but we kinda expect title matches (and title changes) as something transcendent when it’s at Wrestlemania. Yuck.

As for Trip/Batista, well, it was the same match that Trip has wrestled for the past three years, only given more time. I’m still surprised he let Batista win this one, but there is a logic behind it, namely that there’s no one left on the Raw roster to challenge him right now. So let him spend time as the pursuer, then get the title back, because God knows that the universe will stop its motion if Trip is without the title for too long.

All in all, a good WM, but nothing really memorable per se.

Just a couple of stories before I kiss this puppy off…

TRUE PATRIOTISM

From Reuters:

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday urged Congress to renew controversial parts of an antiterrorism law that expire this year because America was still threatened by terrorists.

“Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups still pose a grave threat to the security of the American people, and now is not the time to relinquish some of our most effective tools in this fight,” Gonzales said at a hearing to discuss the Patriot Act — the law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings.

You mean the abandonment of civil rights in order to feel “protected”?

Among more than a dozen provisions of the Patriot Act that expire at year’s end are some of the more controversial measures granting FBI and criminal investigators authority to share information about terrorism cases and giving the FBI power to use secret warrants to obtain certain records.

“As Congress considers whether to renew these provisions, I am open to suggestions for clarifying and strengthening the act,” said Gonzales.

Here’s a suggestion: GET RID OF THE ABOMINATION!

Several Democratic senators praised Gonzales for being flexible after he said he would support changes to a portion of the law that would give subjects of certain searches the right to consult a lawyer and to challenge the warrant in court.

Some contrasted Gonzales — who only three months ago faced tough questioning in confirmation hearings on his role in crafting policies that critics say contributed to the torture of detainees — to Ashcroft. During his four years in office Ashcroft was a lightning rod for criticism about how he applied parts of the Patriot Act.

“This is a departure from what we’ve heard before … it is a good start,” said Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act. “I wish this day had come sooner, but I am delighted.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois praised Gonzales’s willingness to see some changes to the act. “It is a grand departure from your predecessor and I think it is the right spirit for us to address the Patriot Act.”

Oh, Dick…damn, buddy, I voted for you. Get some balls. And Russ, as a former constituent of yours, do the same. You voted against the Abomination; don’t give it a tacit blessing now that Gonzo says he wants to be less severe than Ashcroft. There’s, shall we say, a lot of wiggle room in that category.

Gonzales was quick to note that while he was open to suggestions for clarifying the Patriot Act, he would not support anything that would “undermine our ability to combat terrorism effectively.”

Name one thing, one f*cking thing, that the Patriot Act has done to combat terrorism. That list is a lot shorter than the one comprised of the civil rights that it’s trampled over like a pair of jackboots.

Gonzales specifically proposed making changes to Section 215 — the measure of the law that deals with secret warrants for financial documents, library, medical and other records.

He said the law should be changed to ensure that only records relevant to a national security investigation can be requested. He also said that people who receive a court order for records under that section should be allowed to consult a lawyer and challenge the order in court.
Gonzales said the Justice Department had been granted approval for a section 215 search warrant 35 times as of March 30, 2005. The warrants were used to obtain driver’s license records, apartment leasing records, credit card records and subscriber information.

But he said it has never been used to gather library or medical records. Complaints that the government was trying to use the Patriot Act to access peoples’ library records sparked an outcry during Ashcroft’s tenure.

Yes. There’s this thing, you see, called “right to privacy”. There are certain ways and means to circumvent that right in a legal fashion. Secret search warrants are not one of them.

Mueller said it was important to renew all the expiring provisions to give the FBI the ability to share information and use all avenues to catch terrorists.

“In renewing these provisions scheduled to sunset at the end of this year, Congress will ensure that the FBI will continue to have the tools we need to combat the very real threat to America posed by terrorists and their supporters.”

And exactly what has the FBI done to combat terrorism? Or was that whole September 11th Commission Report a fantasy, you know, the one that said that the FBI f*cked up big-time?

Mueller also called for an expanded ability for the FBI to obtain certain types of records without first asking a judge.

Gee, and doesn’t that make you feel safe knowing that our national cops are on the job to get records of you without asking a judge first?

And 51% of Americans tacitly approved this behavior in November. I really hope you’re happy with yourselves.

THE BIGGEST BLOW

From Xinhua:

One in five U.S. teenagers say they have engaged in oral sex, an activity that some adolescents view as not sex at all and certainly less risky than intercourse, a report released on Monday said.

Published in the April issue of Pediatrics, the study surveyed 580 Northern California ninth graders and found 19.6 percent having tried oral sex, while 13.5 percent said they had vaginal sex.

About 31 percent intended to have oral sex within the next six months, compared to 26.2 percent who intended to have vaginal sex.

Young teens believe oral sex to be significantly less of a health risk than vaginal sex, said the report.

“There is not much data about the chances of sexually transmitted infections due to oral sex, but there is a real risk,” wrote lead author Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a pediatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “When teens are engaging in or considering oral sex, they need to know about methods to keep themselves safe from physical as well as emotional risks.”

“Given the suggestion that adolescents do not view oral sex as sex and see oral sex as a way of preserving their virginity while still gaining intimacy and sexual pleasure, they are likely to interpret sexual health messages as referring to vaginal sex,” she wrote.

Oh, how the times have changed. When I was 14, I would have KILLED for a blowjob. Vaginal sex, that was too remote of a possibility to think about. But a blowjob? That might have been reachable. Well, that was before the Black Plague, and, besides, I went to a Catholic high school, so blowjobs were right out.

You wanna bet that the neocons are going to blame this on Clinton? “He made blowjobs acceptable to Americans! Evil! Evil! Evil!”, ignoring the fact that he’s acceptable enough to attend the Pope’s funeral. Of course, while they’re saying this, their daughters are going to be in some guy’s car going down on him. Hey, as long as the hymen’s intact and all that. They never seem to inquire about virgin mouths.

Of course, the question is, do these kids swallow or spit?

As for me, I’m swallowing the money that I’m going to be spending for gas and heading for Chicago. As I said, I won’t be here next Tuesday and Wednesday or for the Short Form this weekend, so I’ll bid you salutations until sometime late next week. Until then, I’m going to be enjoying myself, so you do too.