The List (I’m back bitch)

That’s right, the blog that shudders at the thought of conformity is back and ready to take aim on, well, everything. My enforced absence from the blogosphere lasted only about a month, but lots of stuff sparked my interest in this time and so I ended up working on several posts simultaneously and so without further ado, I bring you “The List”. “What’s the list?” I hear you ask, well I’ll just starting counting things off of it and I’ll let you figure it out.

  1. You know those adverts for HD content on Sky, one has Wayne Rooney in, well if you don’t have a Sky HD box then you haven’t seen it in HD. And yes fuckwit, even if you’ve got an HD tele, that means you.
  2. Between the Lord’s selling their votes to the highest bidder, through the complete ineptitude of the Speaker and on to the MPs greedily playing the expenses system for everything they can get. You all suck and you all have to go. And before anyone suggests that a General Election should be postponed until after the investigation into expenses has been concluded, I’d like to add that even if an election is called tomorrow an investigation should still be performed and anyone found to have stolen money from the tax payer should be prosecuted, regardless of whether they have paid the money back. Floating duck island my arse. None of you are sorry for what you did, you’re just sorry you got caught.
  3. I know she’s covered by the previous item, but she needs a special mention. Did anyone really need any additional reasons to dislike Hazel Blears? Can everyone say tax fraud?
  4. I’ve been on a bit of a binge recently, I’ve been consuming books about software development, and in particular C++ software development, at quite a rate and Scott Meyers’ books were recommended by quite a collection of people (a hashmap?). A lot of what I’ve read so far makes perfect sense; I’ve come across lots of items that have made me cringe when thinking about my own code and plan to do some serious refactoring because of this, but two things (so far) have struck me as really wrong: variables with names like ‘a’ (sure you can get away with ‘i’ or ‘it’ in a loop, but how does naming a variable ‘a’ help anybody) and splitting the contents of header files into two separate header files, one for declarations and one for definitions (just no). Expect further posts on this subject.
  5. Did you see last weeks edition of Click, it was a Windows 7 special? First came the Super Bar, then came the new improved Live Search and finally multitouch, or the Dock, Spotlight and erm, multitouch as they are known to OS X users. So not that ground breaking then, especially as the only laptop that the BBC could find that supported multitouch was a Mac. You just know that these features won’t work as well in Windows 7 as they do in OS X and for that reason Windows 7 is on/in the list, well that and the stupid Window shaking thing – see what happens when Micro$oft try to think like Apple.
  6. I tried to find out how my attempts to repay my student loan were going this week, but unfortunately they only have records for up to March 2008. Fine, Focus RS it is then.
  7. E Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Denver Nuggets, decided that his team wasn’t going to do it in the playoffs and so booked the WWE to perform in his arena this past Monday night. Unfortunately for Enos, the Nuggets did make it to the playoffs. Uh oh, double booking. No biggie, just turf the WWE out, to hell with the fans. Douchebag (great word).

Like I said, I’m back.

The excellence of execution

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to read books about wrestling and in particular books written by the wrestlers themselves (who better to describe what happened than the people who were actually there). Since I find sun bathing so difficult, I can’t just sit there and do nothing – I get fidgety, I decided to take a wrestling book with me on holiday. I got two books for Christmas, “The Million Dollar Man” by Ted DiBiase and “Reflections of an American Dream” by Dusty Rhodes and decided to read Ted’s book first (it is shorter) and save Dusty’s book for my holiday. I also thought that I could contrast both books as one is WWE endorsed and one isn’t and I’ve always had my doubts as to whether I am reading the real history of professional wrestling, or just Vince McMahon’s account (did’t somebody once say that the victors get to write the history books?). Both books were dissapointing and for pretty much the same reason, they both felt like a transcript of an interview that the respective wrestlers had given rather than a thorough account of their lives/careers, written in their own words. That’s not to say that their personalities didn’t come through, far from it, I could almost hear Dusty uttering each word in his trademark manner and found a lot of what he said to be honest, humourous and insightful.

I finished Dusty’s book within a couple of days of arriving in Florida and so made sure to stop by the bookshop in the Florida mall when we visited; I knew exactly what book I was looking for as I had been waiting for it to be available in the U.K. for ages. I walked straight to the sports section of the shop and immediately identified the book I wanted by it’s distinctively coloured spine. Pink. Anyone who knows anything about wrestling knows that pink is the colour of the Excellence of Execution himself, Bret “The Hitman” Hart and this was his book “My Real Life In The Cartoon World Of Wrestling”. For reasons obvious to anyone who knows what happened to Bret in Montreal in 1997 (what can I say, read the book), this book was not WWE endorsed, so again the prospect of a wrestling history more accurate, if less favourable to the WWE, was a good reason to read it. The hype surrounding this book was ridiculous, Bret kept a tape recorder with him throughout his career and so his book offered a chance to read his thoughts as captured at the actual moments he thought them, a prospect that excited wrestling fans the world over. This book reminded me exactly why I’m such a huge Hitman fan, his matches were exactly the style of wrestling that I mark out for: realistic, hardcore, technical wrestling (not to be confused with the hardcore style of wrestling made popular by ECW) and Bret Hart the regular guy was someone I respected for his dedication to his profession and to his family and his complete unwillingess to compromise his morals or beliefs for anyone (I think this is something that I was particularly able to relate to). This book was compelling reading and turned out to not just be one of the best wrestling books I’ve ever read, but one of the best books I’ve ever read period.

I guess it’s true what they say: Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be! Sorry Mick.

Parental guidance programming and gimic infringement

I have nothing against the WWE deciding that it needs to produce programming that is more suitable for family viewing. My Mum has stated on several occasions that if I had been a young child during the attitude era, I would not have been allowed to watch wrestling – I agree with her judgment. Hang on a second though because that’s not the end of the story, the WWE can’t just decide overnight that they are abandoning an entire fanbase in an attempt to become more acceptable and therefore generate more advertising revenue. Don’t give me that crap about Vince McMahon being able to do what he wants in the arenas he hires… we pay for them with PPV sales, merchandise sales and television subscriptions. How can the WWE get all bent out of shape about fans with signs saying “Cuck Fena”, when they have been making money out of t-shirts emblazoned with “Ruck Fules” and “F*ck fear, drink beer!”. Why was the WWE not worried about young children when Steve Austin was flipping them off at live events and drinking copious quantities of beer in front of them? The WWE hasn’t suddenly grown a conscience, they just want the advertising revenue, in the words of Vinnie Mac himself, “It’s all about the mon-ay!”. I actually don’t disagree with the shift towards PG rated programming and renaming John Cena’s finisher from the “FU” to the “Throwback” seems like a reasonable enough thing, I just don’t believe the motive is anything other than money and that if it would make him more cash, Vince McMahon would abandon PG and have Shawn Michaels and Triple-H spit roast Katie Vick on RAW Monday night.

Beef number two has to do with gimmick infringement. I’ve got no problem with Michelle McCool being a part of the WWE roster. She is one of the Divas that I look forward to watching, since she can really go in the ring. She clearly worked extremely hard in OVW and DSW and continues to do so in the WWE and the fact that she is a Diva Search reject, but still made it to the big league, is testament to her passion for wrestling and her desire to succeed in life. Do I care if she is in a relationship with Taker? Not really, I doubt that gives her any extra pull, but good luck to her if it does. I do have a problem with Michelle though – her finishers. When she started using the Angels Wings I was a wee bit suprised, but hey, in reality it’s just a variation of a double under-hook facebuster so as long as the name is different it’s not the end of the world, but now she debuts her new finisher on SmackDown! and it’s the frickin’ Styles Clash!!! I know that Crash Holly used to do something similar way back when, but I can’t help but think that there is some kind of ulterior motive to her using the finishers of TNA’s male wrestlers (so far Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles). Like Eric Bischoff says, “controversy creates cash”.

A Lion’s Tale

OK, so I completely mark out for wrestling biographies and have read them all. That’s not completely true, I didn’t read Bill Goldberg’s book because he doesn’t interest me at all (the business is better off without him) and I didn’t read the Hardy Boyz book because they were so young when they wrote it, I didn’t think they could have life stories to tell, but apart from those exceptions, I have pretty much read them all.

I preordered a copy of Chris Jericho’s “A Lion’s Tale” months ago, it arrived a week ago, I finished it last night. Jericho’s book was a brilliant read, this is not true of all wrestler biographies, I read them to get a balanced view of things, but some of them suck. There were a lot of genuine laugh-out-loud moments in this book, and Y2J’s candidness was a stark contrast to some of the ego trips that have been other wrestlers books (and actually served to get him over). The decision to include the Benoit family in the book was a plus, I don’t understand why people seem intent on forgetting the Wolverines legacy, instead of forgetting his moment of madness. I guess including Benoit wouldn’t have been possible had it been a WWE book (they seem to be the chief proponents of the Benoit censorship campaign).

So, the big question is this: who better, Foley or Jericho? Well, I would suggest that people not familiar with the wrestling industry (people who can’t help but use the words “wrestling” and “fake” in the same sentence) read Mick’s first two books (which my friend Nige promised to read, if I remember correctly). However, if you know your fujiwara armbars from your figure four leg locks, then Jericho’s book should be your choice. In summary, best book goes to Foley, whilst best wrestling book goes to Jericho.