Monday, December 1, 2014

When Time Ran Out Vs. Damnation Alley


I am scratching my head at trying to formulate a complete and encapsulating narrative of late.  I can’t tell if it is the time of year, the wildly larger work load, or just my ever decreasing mental aptitude but I have sort of fallen off with Blogging and Podcasting.  I’m still trying to hit one Blog a week as a benchmark, but failed at that last week while in the throes of ‘Holiday Madness’.  As for Podcasting, I just haven’t had any guests of late and haven’t taken the time to just go down into the cave and record.  I know this Sat. Heel Turn Radio will return because we’ll be prepping for ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ the CHIKARA season finale.  It has been difficult to ‘get the band back together’ when it comes to Heel Turn due to everyone’s conflicting schedules.  The Zack Attack has been crazy busy and I’m not even sure he wants to continue Antagonist Relations, although Z. if you don’t want to I’d certainly like to in your stead.  And the Insecurity Blanket has just lacked time, guests, and effort post Halloween pellet interviews.  One way or another I’m going to get another episode up this week, even if I have to fly solo, and overall want to commit to a once a month babble fest.

See even that last paragraph rambled into itself.  What I’m basically saying is my attention span and focus is sort of shot right now, thus the lack of consistency in these two endeavors.  So even though I have no over-arching ideas today, here is your mostly weekly installment of…


- We cut down Christmas Trees on Sunday and I had the treat of being around two of the best behaved and adorable dogs I have ever met.  Both were massive Great Danes, one 2 years of age and his counterpart a mere 10 months.  They rarely barked, I was only jumped on in a greeting once, and both were incredibly affectionate.  Even though it was brutally cold out as we trudged through the pot hole filled and snow covered expanse to pick out this year’s canvas where my lovely better half will paint her Christmas cheer, with lights and ornaments, I was warmed by having these two enormous and regal animals trotting alongside me.  Can I have a dog for Christmas?

- Congrats to Eager Edgar & Titanic Tiffany for their holiday news!

- Before anyone starts giving Cassandra grief, I know the answer is ‘No’, and it isn’t because she is not a dog fan, it is simply because our commute is too long, our schedule far too hectic, and our house isn’t really built for it.  All that being said, days like Sunday make me wish we did have at least one.

- I think I might have found my perfect stand-ins miniature wise for Modrons!

- Thanksgiving has come and went, and while I enjoy the holiday festivities I am MORE than eager to move on to the ‘Main Event’; Christmas!  I have wrapped about 85% of the presents that have arrived, and am just trying to figure out how to handle the rest, as my Christmas shopping has been done for a while now.  This has left me though with the burning desire to give gifts IMMEDIATELY!  It is a compulsion that I struggle with every year starting about November 1st and it lasts until December 27th or so.  Luckily starting this Wednesday I get to start handing out gifts to my Friends.  I’m going to give people the option of taking gifts home with them or opening them early so we can see it.  I am going to let them choose while I guilt them horribly about REALLY wanting to see them open what they are getting.  See that is the rub, I love giving gifts.  I truly enjoy knowing I got someone something they are going to use and that brings them some happiness.  Getting to see that look on their face is really what this time of year means to me.  So steel thyselves my Friends & Family for the Christmasing is now upon thee!

- I am sort of digging Trailer Park Boys.  I don’t know if I should even admit that in public.

- 1st Group D&D is up again this Friday.  After getting to the gates of Red Timber they finally will see just who brought them to this dying outpost.  It is a Sandbox style campaign so I'm very curious to see where the group decides to go.  The other big question will be just how will they deal with the potential political intrigue behind the walls of Red Timber.  They didn't really 'play ball' in Low Town so I'm very curious to see who they align with, who they target, and if they those with a more religious bent will attempt to establish a Temple in an outpost controlled almost exclusively by the Wood Cutter's Guild and the Temples (Banks) of Caelleus.  And let's be honest any time I get to have THE Karl, the lovely & multi-talented Cassandra, The Geneimal, Sassie Cassie, Electric Elyssa, AND Wheeler James at the table together it is going to be fun.  Now I just have to finish my prep work.

- I am currently listening to the Harmontown Podcast as often as I can.
It is an acquired taste, and one I devour with gusto.

- Speaking of Podcasts I was enraptured with the Art Of Wrestling’s almost two hour sit down with CM Punk who finally broke his silence on what caused him to walk away from not just the WWE, but from professional wrestling as a whole.  I can’t, nor will I attempt, to do the conversation any justice here.  Instead let me just point out that a lot of my internal fears about what life as a performer for that company is like were not just confirmed, but the situation is worse in some respects than I ever could have dreamed.  Granted Punk is bitter, oh he says repetitively that he doesn’t want to sound bitter or upset, but he is.  He is, and I think he has a reason to be.  I have come to think of Vince McMahon as your grandpa with Alzheimer’s.  One moment he is magnanimous, kind, parental, caring, and lucid the next he’s bitter, vindictive, aggressive, classless, forgetful, underhanded, and out of touch.  Vince has lost that golden touch he once had, and he knows it.  He sees the glory of his past, and so can you for $9.99 a month on the Network, and can’t figure out a way to grasp the now to make it just as a lauded triumph.  He is on his last legs creatively, and really needs to step away.  For the love of Pete, who I don’t actually know, they are a multi-million dollar corporation now, not a mom and pop operation that can afford the luxuries of employing ‘Yes’ men, and bootlickers.  So reading about how Vince was ‘hurt’ over the comments from Punk doesn’t surprise me.  He thought of Punk as ‘family’ and once he left and now has made public the reasoning I’m sure it stings.  However, Vince put Vince in this situation.  Well let’s be honest, Vince, Steph, Hunter, and the upper management, and apparently physicians, put the ‘E’ in this situation.  Punk has never steered away from speaking his mind or from taking on the system, and he felt wronged here, rightfully so in my opinion, so he came out swinging.  How you can let a guy perform when he is that sick, has MRSA, and is that burned out is disgusting.  How you think you are going to get away with publically bashing him on television and then cutting off his royalty checks is just dumb.  Oh and firing someone on their wedding day, because your feelings are hurt is beyond classless.  If you do this to most folks you might be able to scare them with a ‘you will NEVER work in this business again’ tactic, and the ‘E’ knows how to ‘Be A Star’ doesn’t it, but when you do this to someone who at the best of times was going to speak their mind and not expect a clusterf*#k of mammoth proportions is just dumbfoundingly idiotic.
I think the ‘E’ poked him enough to get his attention with the royalties’ issue, but Hunter slapped him in the face with the letter to fire him on his wedding day.  It should surprise no one that Punk then got a “vicious” lawyer and the two have come to a settlement, one Punk claims to have gone his way.  One of the sadder portions of the tale is that Hunter is unfortunately the guy a lot of us always thought he was an egoist with a ‘shovel’ who buries talent out of jealousy and a strange need to stay relevant.  Add this to the racial issues that Del Rio brought up when he was fired and you have an upper management that comes off as incompetent and possibly racist.  I’m not even going to touch upon the scathing stories he tells of the ‘E’s vaunted medical staff as if they are true even in the slightest then none of those individuals should be employed in any capacity, ever.  A few other things sort of struck me profoundly as well.  First up was Punk’s admission of being an asshole, difficult to work with, and the last 6 months to a year of working of the ‘E’ being the most miserable man alive.  This isn’t much of a shock as Punk is usually the first to point out his short comings, but I thought it highly telling how bad things had gotten for him as well as Cabana reminding him constantly in the interview.  For those that don’t know the wrestler who hosts the Art Of Wrestling Podcast is one Colt Cabana.  The Podcast is fantastic, he’s hilarious, and a thoroughly likable human being.  He also happens to be Punk’s long time best friend.  He pulls no punches during this interview as he reminds Punk that he was getting to ‘go through’ this with him via phone calls, texting, etc.  He seems to hold him somewhat accountable when he starts to get into full blown rant mode, which he states numerous times is not his intention.  In the fallout it seems telling that most of the people backstage who are leaking information or giving nameless quotes who dislike Punk are in the same boat as those that do like him as they all find his claims to be sadly true according to the ‘Dirt Sheets’.  The next thing that really stuck me was Punk’s parting ‘shot’ at Christ Jericho.  I am a long time Jericho fan, but have been keenly aware of in the last four years or so his penchant for vainglorious self-congratulatory behavior and self-hype.  It seems at some point Chris Jericho the person sort of become Chris Jericho the character.  The fact that a month or so ago Jericho went on and on about how Punk hasn’t spoken to him, how they were ‘tight’, and how he should just come on his Podcast and tell his story really seemed sort of odd.  Punk’s statement that he would never be talking to Jericho, who he called fake, about his being fired, was actually sort of sad as he seemed genuinely hurt that he felt he was being used by someone he thought was his Friend.
He said he had distanced himself from many in the business as he felt they were trying to use him for their own gain.  That is a damn sorry indictment upon the business in my opinion, but it shouldn’t surprise me.  Last, but no least was the ‘Dirt Sheets’ saying that by doing this interview on his Podcast Colt has basically been ‘blacklisted’ from the ‘E’.  They had been courting him, believe it or not Hunter being his main supporter, for an announcing job for some time.  If what is being said is true then it is just another example of how a publicly traded company that should be run like a business is still being run like a mom and pop family business complete with blood feuds and shunning.  For me on a personal level I thought it was good to hear, from the source, just why Punk left.  It makes me incredibly sad that a person that I do admire in some ways had his passion and joy for something that had defined him for a long time snatched away on his industries largest stage.  I am sadly not surprised by a lot of his pulling back of the curtain on what it is like to survive in the ‘E’ day to day, and that really bothers me.  I support this company with my money and I’m not sure I still should.  One of the reasons Punk resigned with the ‘E’ a few years back was a publicly stated desire to change the company from within.  He wanted to fix a system that he saw as broken.  He said he been inundated with comments like ‘You can’t change something from your couch!’ after his walk out and subsequent wedding day firing.  The reality is he could and he did.  In order for the ‘E’ to get the message they apparently had to be called out publicly, lose their 2nd largest draw, and be destroyed in the court of popular opinion over it.  In my opinion, by walking away Punk may have done more to change the industry than any GTS to ‘Jern Potato Salad’ ever could have.  No more will we have a Voice Of The Voiceless, and while that sucks, I'm happy to know that while the man lost one muse he is at least finally happy.  So good luck to Punk on all that comes next, I for one will still be cheering.

Good GAWDS is that a lot for me to jabber on about.  Maybe because I'm getting SUPER old....*sigh*...Hell I’ve even forgotten about everything else I was even thinking about talking about.  SO OLD!  Oh well, I suppose that is enough for today.

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