Friday, October 30, 2015

The Police Need to Sack Up

I'm confused by these police out here.

On the one hand, the police are supposed to be brave souls, the thin blue line that stands between decent society and chaos, the protectors of the vulnerable.  When everyone is running away from danger, they run towards it.  On the other hand, police are actually delicate flowers that need our love and support to adequately do their jobs.  That's what all these police union heads and chiefs and sheriffs are out here saying, and it's making their guys look kinda soft.

Yeah, the police aren't looking so good in the realm of public relations here lately, what with all these protests against them, just because their weapons keep accidentally discharging into people.  And the police aren't gonna stand for it.  They want you to know that they put their lives on the line to protect you every day and that you should appreciate what they do.  And in a perfect world, we probably would.  Except, we don't live in that perfect world.  We live in a world where they shoot unarmed black people of all ages, for no reason at all.  We live in a world where police are attacking school children for standing too close.  We live in world where people actually don't want to call the police, because less people will get shot if the police don't get involved in the business of protecting people.

People are actually starting to say, "I just got robbed, but it's safer if you don't come. I got my future to think about."  You're not supposed to say that to the police, that's something you say to your crazy uncle that keeps a straight razor in his boot.

But this is where we are, and the police are really in their feelings about it.  Despite all of the unwarranted shootings and assaults that they don't get charged for, they still feel like they're heroes.  They don't think anything is wrong with the idea that a segment of society fears them.  They still want everyone to tell them how much they're appreciated.  To them, it's unfair that people should say the harsh things that they say about the police these days.

Well, it's unfair to us that we can get assaulted or killed by them and no charged are ever filed.  Looks like we both have grievances.

And what's worse, they think that mean words and unequal violence are on the same plane.  Like, in their minds, I said to them, "Hey, you shot and killed me," and they're like, "Well, you hurt my feelings.  I guess we're even."  So, to recap, the police think a sassy teenager and an armory filled with machine guns are the same thing.

They would also have us believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is inciting violence against police, and there are two things wrong with that.  One, police killings have been trending downward for a while now, and two, anyone that wants to kill a cop was already in the business of killing cops before Black Lives Matter became a hashtag.  Like that dude rode the bus from Baltimore to New York to shoot some cops didn't have that in mind long before these protests started.  If killing cops wasn't already part of his daily thoughts (and it was), then a six hour bus ride would have been more than enough time for him to come to his senses.

So cops getting shot was already a hazard of the job, and has been since the day guns were invented.  Probably because your entire job is to stand in the way of someone's illegal hustle.  You're essentially a professional hater.  So when some dude got around to inventing the gun, the first thing he probably tried to do was use it on the government empowered peacekeeper that kept messing up his bootleg textiles operation.

So, no one sprung this on you, cops.  This is the job that you signed up for.  We didn't ask you to become cops, especially if you're gonna be out here shooting 12 year old kids.  I guess you thought this job was gonna be all shooting black people and violating our civil rights, but it turns out there's more to it than just the fun stuff.  Sometimes, the bullets come back.  Sometimes, people aren't going to like you.  Sometimes, it's going to be your fault and people will want you held accountable.  And if you can't deal with that, then maybe you shouldn't be a cop.

Because it seems like cops doing their job better is completely off the table, based on the statements that these police are making.

And it's not like they need the support of the people they police, anyway.  They haven't had the support of black people probably ever, and it hasn't stopped the police from getting pretty much whatever they want from Americans.  The police of Doraville, GA have a tank, and the population of Doraville is like, 10,000 people, and barely has crime.  They probably don't have tasers in Doraville, but they have a tank.  And the only time that tank is getting used is when they have to make YouTube videos about it like this one.  But they have it, because police get what they want, no questions asked.  The troops don't even have it that good, and the wars they fight aren't rhetorical.

So, let's not act like public support is necessary for operations.  You just want someone to pat you on the back and tell you that you done good.  And to act like your feelings are important at a time when you're shooting people like you're on XBox Live is fucking disgusting.

Friday, July 24, 2015

WWE sacrificed Hulk Hogan to save themselves

Hulk Hogan is one of the most well known people in the world. He's also, apparently, a racist, and WWE has disassociated itself from him. They have to do it, because they don't want anyone looking their way for more racism. And we all know if people start looking there, THEY WILL FIND IT.
Hulk Hogan worked for WWE for more than 20 years, and has been closely tied to the company at the highest levels for all of that time. He used to hang out at the Vince McMahon's house and help write the shows. He used to tour with Vince for more than 300 days a year. He helped Vince get into movies. And he helped make Vince a billionaire. So they're close.
Hulk Hogan was exposed as a racist last night. I'm sure this news was no shock to Vince McMahon. Because he's probably told the same racist jokes and stories as Hogan himself.
Now, I don't have any proof of that, but I do know that WWE has a history of racist stereotypes. They've only had one black WWF Champion in their history, and they won't even refer to him as black. Vince McMahon got real close to saying some racist stuff about Booker T on live TV years ago, and said the word "niggardly" on Smackdown once, I guess, because he feels like he should be able to say "nigger" as openly as he does in his own house.   Then, called John Cena a "nigga" in front of Booker T because he thought it was funny.  D-Generation X did a skit mocking the Nation of Domination with four white guys wearing blackface.  More than once, the WWF has tried to run a "race war" angle in their programming, which was an excuse for white people to say bad stuff about black people in promos.  They had a Mexican tag team drive riding lawnmowers to the ring.  A couple of years ago, they fired Alberto del Rio for defending himself against racism. And they've employed Michael P.S. Hayes since the dark ages.
Continuing to employ Michael P.S. Hayes when people know him as a racist before they know him as a wrestler speaks volumes about WWE. Because you know he isn't the only one. I kinda wish Mark Henry wasn't under contract, so he could tell us every racist he's confronted backstage.  WWE has gotta be infested with them, because one thing I know about racists is that they like to hang out with other racists.
And if Hogan is a racist, and Vince is most likely a racist (a Republican from North Carolina who employs racists for 20 year stints, and hangs out with racist Republican candidate Donald Trump), then who else in WWE is a racist?  Racists always prefer to create environments where they're free to be racist, so you know there's gotta be a lot of them. 
And that's why they shut the door on Hulk Hogan, because they don't want anyone asking that question.  They had to get Hulk up out the paint before folks start connecting dots on this.  Sure, they don't want their company "associated with such virulent hatred and yadda yadda yadda, we totally nailed that press release."  Yes, they want people of all races at their shows because black and Latino dollars spend, too. They're just covered in chicken grease and dried beans. But the real reason is because they don't want anyone coming for them.
And that's not to make Hogan the victim. Hulk Hogan should be out on his ass. It's kind of hard to say that knowing how much I bought in to Hulkamania as a child, teenager, and young adult, but facts are facts. He doesn't like me or anybody who looks like me. So for that, fuck him. I'd be a fool if I wasted time trying to figure out the context for why this guy hates black people.  The answer, evidently, is that everyone famous in the 1980s was a piece of shit.  Sylvester Stallone is next, and having a small Italian beat up black men in five out of six Rocky movies is gonna be the proof against him.
So no, Hogan isn't a victim and WWE isn't mistreating him. They're just throwing him under the bus to save themselves. But it's too late. The racist train has already left the station.  Just like Donald Sterling, though, they aren't cutting ties with Hogan because he's racist, otherwise, they would have done it 20 years ago.  They're cutting ties with Hogan because you know he's a racist. 
This is a huge story already, and it will only grow from here. When we hear this racist tape, the question will inevitably become, "Did WWE know that Hulk Hogan was so repulsive?" And that's when all your favorite minority wrestlers will come out with stories to tell. Alberto del Rio is READY for your airtime, television media. And this might be the come-up that Virgil has been looking for. Koko's gotta make sure that the curl is juicy. And we might finally get an explanation about what the hell Akeem was supposed to be.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bioshock: Infinite - A racial look at a racial game

Heads up: Here be spoilers.

Bioshock: Infinite has a storyline filled some some of the most disgusting racists of all time.  It's a world where a bunch of racist elites leave mainland America to start their own floating colony called Columbia.  In the early 1900s.  It really is the kind of shit we all expect the rich to do, anyway, except in 2015, they'll call it "Elysium."  They're going to leave us all behind and create a world where they can do what they want, without us begging for "their fairly obligated tax dollars," or "a living wage."  
Columbia is just a more racist version of that, because they plaster that they hate black people on their walls, in posters, and in statues, all over the city.  Problem is, they have black people living up there, because everyone knows that racist elites can't be expected to do for themselves.  They need an oppressed underclass to serve them, otherwise, we might not know that they're rich.  

So these rich white folks brought black people to their new enclave and insulted and demeaned them at every turn.  And that's the undercurrent of this story where you're a white guy that's coming to rescue a white girl being chased by a giant bird.

All of which is fine with me, because I expect this racist society to be brought down by a black uprising.  You can't put that much racism into a game without the racists getting what's coming to them.  You just can't.  Otherwise, I'd wonder exactly how racist the staff at Irrational Games actually was. 

And that's exactly what happens.  In between Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth running and shooting and jumping between alternate universes, the black folks get guns and airships and start killing white folks.  As you do when you're an oppressed underclass fighting for your dignity.  Booker DeWitt gets caught up in their story, even though he doesn't give a shit about their rebellion, and in one of the universes, becomes a hero to these rebelling Negroes.  

This is where my problem with the game starts.  

Because up until this point, there was a very clear racial divide and in the story, there was expectation that the black folks were going to rebel and the white elites were going to get what was coming to them, and it was going to be amazing.  Honestly, it was the main reason why I kept playing the game.  But when we got to the rebellion, and the black folks started killing these crackers, the writers of the game decided that, morally, these murdering black folks were just as bad as the people who sought to oppress them. 

And that's fucking insanity.  

It's a very "color-blind" way of looking at things, and not at all based in reality when it comes to fighting for freedom.  It's the kind of thinking that has removed Martin Luther King from the list of black revolutionaries and added him to the list of people who want us all to hold hands and love each other.  Which he did, but he wasn't a fool.  And he was way more radical than he gets credit for.  But after 60 years of people only listening to the part of his message that makes them feel good, we're left with "I Have A Dream," and no understanding that freedom has to be fought for and people might have to die to accomplish that.  

The people of Columbia were never going to give up what they had in order to allow these people that they viewed as "inferior" and "subhuman" to sit alongside them.  They weren't.  And they would have killed them all and replaced them with some other black people before they let that happen.  The black people in Columbia were not viewed as human by the white people.  So I don't know how Booker DeWitt expected the black folks to gain their freedom without an armed rebellion, and yes, killing a bunch of white folks.  For him to judge them as being "no different" than the people in Columbia really turned me off to the game.  

To put it simply, you can't oppress people, and then expect them to talk to you when they've had enough.  You weren't willing to talk when you were oppressing them, so when folks have had enough, the time for talking is done.  

Because, to put it in it's proper context, this was 1912.  The Civil War ended 47 years ago.  There were people in Columbia who had fought in that war.  We were knee deep in Jim Crow at this time, and Columbia is an ultra right-wing community, filled with people who thought less of black people than the people who actually fought in the war.  The Klan was practicing open terrorism at this time.  Black people were still not allowed to do much of anything, aside from working for white people for low pay, then walking back to their segregated neighborhoods across town.  Which were not nearly as nice, because there was no money coming into them.  And this was considered "freedom."  

Yeah, the rebels were "no different."  Get outta here with that.  

Normally, the politics of the game makers doesn't really bother me, because being black, you learn to tune these things out.  But this game made black people and our history part of the story.  We weren't playable characters (still pushing that rock up that mountain), but we were a major part of what was happening.  And suddenly, these people were making judgments on things that still happen in the real world today.  It really took me out of what was a pretty fun game.  I haven't played it since.  Maybe one day, I'll get around to finishing.  In the meantime, I'll play something that doesn't make sweeping judgments about racial issues.  

Batman v. Superman: The stupidest argument of all time

Apparently, you have to have qualifications before you can criticize movie trailers now.  You can't just chalk it up to taste anymore.  You have to prove your impartiality before you can speak on movies now.  I don't know where this shit started, but it really needs to stop.  The Batman v. Superman trailer was leaked over the weekend, and naturally, some folks didn't like it, but folks got mad when they dared express that online.  Like, more than usual.

We're talking about a movie trailer about a fictitious alien that wants to be friends fighting a fictitious rich guy with an inability to let go of the past.  It sounds like the plot to a Pixar movie, but people were acting like they were investigating a murder, trying to figure out the motives of people who didn't like it.  This isn't exactly serious scholarship here.  Taking on critics of this movie trailer isn't going to get you a job at The Atlantic.

It just blows my hair back when people get this serious over fictional characters, as if it's going to make a bit of difference either way.  Instead of people just enjoying the fact that we're all nerds, people are out here acting like people who didn't like it are going to block off the theaters in an act of censorship.  People are actually drawing conclusions about the characters of real, living people based on what they thought about a movie trailer.  Because, as we know, movie trailers are the modern iteration of Rorschach tests.

And the thing is, I don't think people defending the trailer really understand where the problem is coming from.  People aren't loving the way this movie is turning out (and the one before it) because it continues the Batman-ization of the DC Universe, and it was something that a lot of people could see coming after The Dark Knight came out.

See, Batman is grim and gritty.  He's tormented.  He wreaks vengeance on those who wronged him so that others don't have to suffer like he did.  Basically, this dude is broken inside and uses that to punch criminals until they're broken like him.  That formula for a superhero made Warner Bros. a billion dollars.  And because movie executives are generally unimaginative, they said, "Hey, Superman is having trouble.  Why not make him like Batman?"  You know, completely ignoring the context surrounding Superman's movies.

I mean, the problem with Superman Returns wasn't that Superman isn't tormented, it's that it was two and a half hours of washing Richard Donner's balls.  But who has time for a true examination of the issues?

And that's why Man of Steel is the way it is.  That's why Superman is morose, everything is dimly lit, and there's no sense of joy or fun in a single frame of the movie.  That's why Superman doesn't save anyone.  Superman lives in Batman's world now, and in Batman's world, you need to learn that life is shit.  

Except that's not the world Superman lives in.  Superman is supposed to represent all of those good things.  He tries to save people before he punches people.  He's supposed to inspire people to be good and do better.  He always tries to de-escalate the situation, even though he's powerful enough to turn the person in front of him into a fine, red mist.  That's what makes him Superman.  Of course he can kill everyone on Earth, but he doesn't want to.  He wants to show us a better way.  Even if he's existing in Batman's dark, depressing, basement of a world, at the very least, he needs to be that.  He wasn't, and right there is the difference in opinion on Man of Steel.

Superman fans didn't need for Superman to change.  Batman fans needed for Superman to change.  And Batman fans loved that movie.

That's why some people weren't excited to see the Batman v. Superman trailer, because they're worried that it's gonna be more of the same: A Superman that Superman fans don't recognize. And there's a huge possibility of that if the movie is based on "The Dark Knight Returns," a story that paints Superman as a government-owned bitch.  The only people who want to see that are Batman fans.  It has nothing to do with a secret love for Marvel or an inability to let go of the Donner Superman movies or any other of the silly shit I've seen thrown out there this weekend.  Maybe it just doesn't look that good to some people.  We're talking about art, not an arms treaty.

We won't know for sure until the movie gets released, but in the meantime, dial back the hostility.  We're all allowed to have opinions, and none of us need to justify them to you.

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Real Issue With the X-Men: Apocalypse Casting

Last week, Bryan Singer announced the recasting of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm for X-Men: Apocalypse, and nobody really seemed to care, because who the fuck are these people?  They're like the cast of the new Fantastic Four flick, except for Michael B. Jordan. In fact, they're so anonymous that they might be the same people.  

The Storm casting did get some buzz from Storm fans, because she is once again being played by some girl who doesn't fit the Storm mold.  I get it, because everyone wants to see their favorites represented properly on screen.  It's the reason why I have decided that the Transformers movies are nothing more than a series of night terrors filled with slow-motion action shots and blurry metal shards that I can't wake up from.  Storm fans (myself included) want to see their girl shown as the powerful African leader that she is, instead of the sidekick to Jean with a white wig that she's become.  

But the really important issue with this recasting hasn't even been addressed:  We no longer have to watch Wolverine's love affair with Jean Grey that never made a lick of sense.  I assume it won't be there, because it would be really, really creepy.

See, I'm a masochist, evidently, because I've watched all of the X-Men movies.  And I watched them closely enough to realize that Wolverine knew Jean Grey for maybe a week, in total movie time.  So watching him tearfully kill Jean in the third one, and dream about her years after the fact, always made me sick.  I should have been crying, because I was the one who sat through X-Men: The Last Stand. 

That plot thread is something that is well known to folks who read the comics.  For a couple of decades, the comics teased the idea that Jean and Wolverine had a long smoldering attraction for each other, and in another world, they might have been together.  But Scott had that on lock (for reasons that continue to mystify us), so Jean would never act on it, even though Wolverine would sometimes press the issue.  

In the flicks, Wolverine met Jean, spent almost no time with her in the couple of days he tooled around the mansion, then left the X-Men for an undetermined amount of time.  He showed up back out there just in time for them to get invaded, and never saw Jean again until a few minutes before she died.  She was an evil zombie throughout the next movie, so it's not like she was in a position to further explore their relationship.  Wolverine worked hard on his chest to impress her, so her rejection forced him to kill her.  Some of this might have been made up, because that third movie was so awful, and I really don't want to watch it again.

But saying that Wolverine knew Jean for a week is being generous.  

It's kinda like in Man of Steel, where Superman and Lois have no reason throughout the movie to get together, but they still have to kiss at the end, because that's the expectation.  Wolverine is a dude who trusts no one and hasn't for decades, but he meets this girl who's already booed up, spends no time with her, but when she dies, he's suddenly so close to her that he's on the brink of tears?  And in the next movie, he struggles to kill her, even though he hasn't had a problem killing complete strangers since this trilogy started?  Even though these movies were supposed to walk their own path, Wolverine and Jean had to eye-bathe each other, because those were the times.  Even if it doesn't make sense.  

That's the kind of foolishness that this recasting gets us from up under.  Sure, Storm is still underwhelming (and probably wasn't going to be a big part of the movie, so they're just filling a roster spot), but we're just that much closer to a movie that makes sense.

Monday, January 26, 2015

#CancelWWENetwork is a thing, and I don't blame you

Please don't misunderstand, WWE.  People aren't canceling their WWE subscriptions because Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble.  They're not canceling because Daniel Bryan lost, either.  That would be pretty stupid.  People are canceling their subscriptions because they're tired of your shit.

Your show is trash, WWE.  Raw is trash.  Smackdown is trash.  NXT is cool.  Your pay-per-views are trash.  And have been for quite sometime.

I quit watching WWE in 2007 or so, because your shows started crapping out.  They were not worth my time.  They were not entertaining.  And WWE was not missed.  The Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania came to Atlanta during that time, but I didn't care.  I wasn't watching, and I didn't, until 2011, because I heard about CM Punk and the "pipebomb" promo.  And once I saw that things hadn't changed at all, I quit watching again.  But I wanted to watch wrestling, so I watched TNA instead.  At the time, TNA still qualified as "wrestling."

I'd check in from time to time with WWE after that, right up until the present day, and it was never getting any better.  Boring angles, uninteresting wrestlers, the endless three-hour death march known as "Monday Night Raw."  Like, they named a guy "Bad News Barrett," in the tradition of "Bad News Allen/Brown," who was named such because, if you got into it with him, it was bad news for you.  The updated version of this gimmick?  He literally came out and gave people bad news.

We went from a tough guy to a guy whose gimmick was to say, "I've got some bad news. Your city sucks," or whatever he said that week.  This is the level of creativity we're dealing with here.

And all the while, ticket prices are rising and pay-per-views are getting astronomical in price.  Wrestlemania had reached $60.  The average price was $45, and there was at least one every month.  And you're getting Bad News Barrett for your money?

So then, WWE introduces the WWE Network in 2014, and for $10 a month, you can watch all of their pay-per-views, WCW's pay-per-views, ECW's pay-per-views, and all kinds of old shows and content.  Not only that, you can watch the new pay-per-views live each month, for no extra money.  It's a great deal, and eventually, I signed up for that.  Not to watch the new shit, mind you, because it's dogshit.  I signed up to watch the old shit.  But if you're gonna throw in that month's show for free, I'll check it out.  And that's what I started doing back in November.

And the three pay-per-views I've watched haven't been worth the ten bucks.  Just some of the shittiest damn wrestling shows I've ever seen.

Now, I know how disappointed I was, and I had just started watching again.  I can only imagine how folks feel when they've been watching the entire time.  Before the network, when you had to pay full price for these shows.  When you were paying all this money in ticket prices.  When you were watching their shows every week.  And the shows are just awful, but the people running the show don't care.  You're still coming, you're still watching, so why change?

But WWE has invested a lot in this network, and they want it to take off.  It's been struggling to get subscribers, even at that low price.  They can't afford to lose the subscribers they have.  That's their weak spot.  They could ignore you when they were just on TV or on pay-per-view, because there are other entities involved that are providing money to the company.  Ratings had been dropping since 2002.  They didn't care.  They had advertisers and such to keep giving them money.  But this network is all on them.  And these numbers come to them in real time.  So frustrated viewers can make their voices heard.  By canceling.

Enough was enough, and when you can't do any better for one of your big four shows than what we got last night (and Survivor Series before it), well, I don't blame folks for canceling.  I don't know where this idea comes from that people can't dislike the shows that they watch, and they can't complain when something that was good isn't good anymore.  Some people enjoyed the Royal Rumble, but a lot people didn't.  And that's not because Roman Reigns won and Daniel Bryan didn't.  It's because it was a shit show, and along the way, they seemed to take special care to keep people from enjoying the guys they like.  If you gave Daniel Bryan fans (or Dolph Ziggler or Cesaro or Dean Ambrose) a good showing before he lost, people might not have reacted the way they did.

It wasn't worth $45 for PPV, or whatever people paid for tickets, or even the three hours it took to watch it.  Here's hoping that WWE finally starts to understand that.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

College players don't play any harder than pros, you fool

I get that some folks like college sports more because of this myth that college students play harder.  I don't know where it came from, but it had to have been started by someone who doesn't understand football. It's a really stupid argument that NFL players aren't playing hard all the time, because you will be killed if you play football at half-speed while everyone else isn't.  You could try to argue that teams collectively decide to slack off, but we've seen that before, too.  It's called the Pro Bowl, and the Pro Bowl sucks.

People really push this idea when it comes to basketball, though.  Personally, I don't buy the fact that pro players don't play hard, because there is no other sensible reason for Kobe Bryant to sweat that much.  If Kobe is sweating like that and not playing hard, I suggest that he see a doctor.  I mean, besides the one about to cut open his shoulder.

Now, if you told me that pro players didn't play hard every night, you might have an argument, and even then, I don't blame the players.  The players aren't slacking off because they're overpaid fat-cats that can't be bothered to entertain the fans.  The players are slacking off because they have to play the Knicks six times.

The NBA season is already an 82 game grind, and you expect these players to bring the same fire that they'd give to Chicago to the Philadelphia 76ers?  The good teams get more of a challenge playing themselves in practice.  Playing the Sixers multiple times is like the morning conference call of basketball games.  It has to be done to make the boss happy, but you're not about to pretend like it's truly necessary.

It's only an expectation because it's believed that Michael Jordan did it.  Oh, Jordan never took a game off.  And he probably didn't, because Michael Jordan is a lunatic.  You saw from his Hall of Fame speech how much trouble he's having adjusting to civilized society, where every perceived slight isn't grounds for some form of revenge.  When regular people do that, they usually need to seek some form of counseling, because making the other person keep shooting half-court shots for two hours until you win (this actually happened) isn't a realistic option.  But let's make Michael Jordan's rare psychosis the standard for NBA players.  Kobe shares this affliction, but you hate Kobe, and right now, he's trying to figure out how to tape up his rotator cuff so he can play next week.  This isn't healthy behavior.

Besides, the NBA season is four times as long as a college season.  Who can't bring it for twenty games?  True, being browbeaten by some redass college coach could be exhausting, but if you're any good, you're only gonna be there for a year or two, anyway.  When you're a 19 year old college player who has agents secretly telling him that he's going in the lottery, and girls sneaking in and out of your dorm room, you're not listening to the coach, anyway.  Play defense? Defense is for suckers.  Carmelo didn't play defense at Syracuse (and it was a zone defense, at that), and he has a $124 million dollar deal.

And that's what it's all about, anyway.  They're not doing this for some mythical love of the game.  This is their audition for the same millions that Carmelo gets.  They don't love the game any more than the pros do.  They just don't have to keep up the illusion as long.

But let these kids have to go on a six game road trip in the middle of a forty game season, through flyover country, against a bunch of schools that even Digger Phelps would struggle to recognize, and see how much effort you get.  John Calipari could offer his players cash bribes on top of their secret signing bonuses and Kentucky still wouldn't show up against Kennesaw State.  Hell, if they did show up against Kennesaw State and beat them by 70, these same folks would complain that Kentucky ran up the score.

So I don't mind if players take a few games off because who cares, they're playing Charlotte.  If Golden State really brought it for four quarters against Charlotte, Charlotte would lose by 200 points and Michael Jordan's anger would make him try to suit up again.

And you shouldn't care, either, because it's not like those games get aired by anyone except NBA TV.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

CM Punk should be your hero

Seems like everyone has had a few choice words for CM Punk this year, whether it was because he left, how he left, or because he explained his reasons for leaving. Everyone seems to think he's a bitch for walking out on Vince McMahon, like doing the right thing matters in that situation.  In 2011, he was cool for saying everything we had been saying about the company, but now, he's whining. And I don't get that, because the people who are talking shit should really understand where he's coming from. I know I do.

Right now, I'm working a job that I hate. It isn't the first time, but hopefully, it'll be the last time. I get burnt out dealing with the same, easily fixable bullshit that happens around here, or being told that management is listening, but they ignore you when you show up with ideas. Or having to be the one who takes the hit when other people can't or won't do their job correctly. That shit gets tiring and stressful, and if it wasn't for the fact that I don't have millions in the bank, I'd tell that place to go fuck themselves expeditiously.

So I understand where Punk is coming from, and that's before you factor in that he had to risk his already injured body to make dangerous people like Ryback look good for six nights a week. No matter how much money you make, some days, you just lie in bed and dread the amount of shit that's coming your way.  And goddammit, you just don't want to deal with it anymore.

Maybe we don't want to understand his side because he's living our dream, and we think that's what we want. And because it looks awesome, that's what he should want, too. He ain't digging a ditch.  He travels and he's famous.  He gets to be at Comic-Con and on Talking Dead.  Plus, he's a millionaire, and stupid people think that means you lose your right to complain.  But that's part of the problem, and like Punk says, Vince is taking advantage of that.

Just because everyone wants it and thinks they're willing to put up with it or its been done this way for so long doesn't mean it's correct. Slavery was practiced in America for 400 years. Rape and dowries used to be a part of the courtship process. Drilling holes in the skull used to be a legitimate medical practice. And just because John Cena is willing to go 400 days straight with no break doesn't mean that CM Punk should have to suffer in silence. If he isn't physically or mentally capable of holding up anymore, for whatever reason, then he should go home.

And that's before we get into the petty shit that WWE does.

Yeah, WWE is petty, and we've known this since the Huckster and Scheme Gene. We've lambasted WWE for decades because Vince McMahon is a very small man when he wants to be. He was the bad guy when he did those skits and he continued to be the bad guy up until he fired Alberto del Rio for slapping a racist backstage. He lets all sorts of bigots, sexists, and bullies run rampant in his locker room. He encouraged his wrestlers to use steroids, while at the same time telling those wrestlers that they didn't really work for him.  And even though they didn't really work for him, when they left his employ, he limited their employment opportunities elsewhere (no-compete clauses). He's your best friend when he can make money off of you, and when you're all used up, ready to die, or completely hate the business, you never hear from him again. And people don't put up with it because they love fake fighting or because they're heroes. They put up with it because they've been raised to believe that this is how it's supposed to be, as long as Vince is paying you.  For one guy, the money wasn't incentive enough to keep coming back. And that's the guy you call a bitch?

Man, fuck that. You've walked away from jobs and people for way less, so miss me with this shit about how Punk should have stuck it out or that WWE was somehow in the right. If Punk's story is correct, he went home because he was hurt and burnt out, WWE didn't want to fix anything that was wrong with him (because he's an "independent contractor"), then they fired him on his wedding day (and of course they knew all about it, because fucking AJ Lee had to have that time off).  If Punk's story wasn't true, don't you think WWE would have immediately sued him for telling it?  Don't you think they would have responded online? Vince had the floor just last week on Stone Cold's podcast, and didn't refute a damn thing. 

No, I don't fault CM Punk at all. In fact, I'm jealous, because I wish I could do that shit.

Because as badly as I'd like to see him cutting promos and giving me one solid reason to watch WWE, now he's living my dream. He has the freedom, like Chris Jericho or Rob Van Dam, or John Morrison before him to go explore the other shit that they like to do. And if he ever decides he wants to wrestle again, he can. And if not, he doesn't have to.  CM Punk should be your hero, because he told the establishment to kiss his ass, and legally speaking, they did it. 

Only this time, it wasn't kayfabe.  And that's unfortunate, because I was hoping he'd demand the ice cream bars again.