Yes, I am full-grown man and Yes, I still watch pro wrestling. In fact, as I have gotten older, I’ve started watching more wrestling then I ever did as a kid. I still watch Raw every monday and I try to watch Smackdown! whenever I can on friday nights. Yes I’m fully aware that its “fake” but I don’t care, I still love it. Also, it’s not fake, its staged. There is a difference.
I like to consider myself a “Smark”, a portmanteau of the term “Smart Mark” or someone who understands the innerworking of the wrestling biz. I grew up in Northeast Philly watching ECW on channel WTGW 48 during the years of Tommy Dreamer vs Raven, Taz and his Path of Destruction and Mr. 420 RVD (as a young kid, I had no idea what 420 meant but now I look back and a laugh at how ridiculously Van Dam was during his promos). I stuck with ECW until the end and I openly wept when Vince McMahon revived and destroyed my ECW. I still wear my ECW whenever I’m feeling nostalgic.
I also grew up during the “Attitude Era” of the WWF. I remember screaming my head off for Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Headbangers and The Undertaker. I watched Raw is War faithfully every monday but for some reason, I guess I grew too old for Rasslin’ so I stopped watching from about 2001 to 2005. I remember sitting in front of my Tv one night being bored and I flipped on Raw and I remembered how much I loved wrestling and I fell off the wagon again and became a Wrestling fan once again.
As much as I love WWE (still feels weird to say especially after that awesome Old School Raw with the old logo), I have to say I LOVE the indy scene. I’m a huge fan of Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Chikara. The guys in the indy leagues aren’t huge but they make up for with amazing Athletism. They do things that the WWE could never get away with and they make Wrestling fun again. It’s a strange mix of Drama, Humor and Awe-Inspiring Athletics. Chikara Pro is especially my favorite. It’s like a live action Comic book. Over the Top Heels, Guys in Luchador Masks, Fighting ICE CREAM CONES! I can’t put into words how Chikara changed my views on wrestling. The WWE is trying make wrestling PG and more family friendly, but they really should watch Chikara because they understand how to make Wrestling Fun.
My final thought about Wrestling is about my favorite wrestler in the world. Bryan Dani…I mean….Daniel Bryan. Here is a guy who went from wrestling in front of 50 fans in high gyms to 500 fans in a Bingo Hall to 50,000 fans in Japan and now he’s wrestling in front the of the entire world in the WWE. He is a guy who treats Wrestling like an art form, he trains in MMA and he honestly makes you forget that wrestling is booked because of the amount of passion he has for his craft. I had the honor of meeting him at a Chikara show and I was amazed at how humble he was for all of his accomplishments. He got shafted when he first joined the WWE, jobbing to everyone on the roster but now he’s garnering praise from Jim Ross, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, William Regal and he could on his way to being one of the top guys in WWE. His success feels like my success because I’ve been his fan for years and I’ve seen him grow from an Indy legend to a WWE United States Champ.
So yes, I am a grown man and I can proudly say, I love Pro Wrestling. Now, if you excuse me, I have some Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011 to play.
I briefly mentioned in my Harry Potter post my serious distaste for 3-D movies. I decided now to take the time to give a full on rant as to why I hate it. Put simply, if I had my way, James Cameron’s Avatar would never have existed (let’s be honest, it wasn’t that good anyways).
First off, 3-D is NOT a new concept, so Hollywood needs to stop treating it like one. 3-D has been around since the late 19th century and it’s technically called stereoscopy. All movies before Avatar that were 3-D were “anaglyph” and we watched them with those headache-inducing red-and-blue glasses that we all remember. It was exceptionally popular in the 1950’s, but eventually died down. 3-D got a little more street cred in the 90’s thanks to IMAX and Disney making special features and shows that used polarization, which is the 3-D tech we use today. Then came along James Cameron with his pockets full of cash and his fancy new cameras (that look like they’re eating the cameraman) and introduced us to a way to actually film in polarized 3-D. Little did he know that he would kick start the newest fad in Hollywood. He is now in my shit list along with George Lucas and everyone at Warner Bros.
Now, why is 3-D not good. Well readers, there are many reasons why is no good. Firstly, because Hollywood is using it as both a ploy to get more people and come to the theater and to get those swarms to pay more as well. You see, Hollywood faces a struggle now that it never had to face before. Home television setups are getting so advanced that they can seriously rival the movie theater experience. Hollywood needed to get people to come out and spend their hard earned cash. 3-D was the golden answer (but it won’t be for long seeing as 3-D televisions are well on their way to becoming halfway decent). After the runaway success of Avatar, more and more movies were being converted into 3-D and studios started switching movies that were about to begin production into the 3-D world. Now let me get this straight: post-production 3-D looks like complete shit. Don’t deny it. Clash of the Titans is prime example of this. Clash was one of the first movies to be struck with Avatar fever. Needless to say the quality was terrible, the 3-D was unnoticeable at best, and half of the movie wasn’t even altered. I hated it.
This leads me to post-production versus actually filming 3-D. I really can’t stand either, but if I had to choose I would go with actually filming in 3-D. Nothing bothers me more than taking perfectly good, 2-D splendor and turning it into 3-D shit. This is where I want to strangle George Lucas. Many directors and producers are taking movies and converting them to 3-D and many are taking them from the past, but Lucas has taken it to a whole new level. Not only is he converting all the past Indiana Jones movies to 3-D, but he is also converting one of the most beloved and cherished film series of all time: Star Wars. George, Star Wars is superb how it is (except maybe Phantom Menace), you don’t need to add ANYTHING to it. Especially not 3-D. The original three movies were made with really old movie tech, and I’m pretty sure mixing those classic animations and effects with 3-D tech will not look good at all. While I’m on it, I may as well talk about another beloved series that is being converted to 3-D: Harry Potter. This one hits close to home. You can have Indian Jones and Star Wars if you must, but 3-D, keep your filthy paws off my Harry Potter! No matter how “cool” you may think it would be to see spells “flying out” at you, it WON’T. It will ruin the experience. Do you know why? Because those series weren’t meant for 3-D!
What do I mean by “meant for 3-D”. Well the answer is simple really. A movie is “meant for 3-D” if they plan on it being 3-D from the get-go, before filming even starts. But what happens then? What happens when producers and directors plan on filming in 3-D? Then they fill their movies with those stupid freaking “look! it’s popping out of the screen” effects that add no value to the movie whatsoever. James Cameron did one thing right: he actually made a 3-D movie the right way. If i’m going to have to live with this stuff (because it’s obviously not going away anytime soon), Avatar is the role model for all 3-D movies to come. The story might have been shit, but the effects were amazing and the 3-D was used in such a way that it wasn’t a complete nuisance.
Well, this has been an exceptionally long post, but I got my main points across. I hope I have shone a light on what 3-D truly is.
Family? Of Course. Health? Yep. Love? Umm…working on it.
I’m actually thankful for a lot this year. Tons of new experiences, lots of new friends. I’m actually genuinely happy for the first time in ages. I could go on gushing about how less crappy my life is, but I’m thankful for the little things.
Things Joe is thankful for…
New seasons of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, 3o Rock and The Office.
The Walking Dead and being really good for a cable show
HD gaming, glorious 1080p goodness
Chikara Pro Wrestling
Bryan Danielson..I mean Daniel Bryan
Subtitles on Netflix Streaming
Netflix in general (Nicktoons Streaming FTW)
The cool side of the pillow
Shit My Dad Says (The book, not the awful show)
Chris Pronger and Claude Giroux
Chad OchoCinco’s Twitter account
It was a pretty good year, Geek-Wise
Well-versed gamers who have made their way through Bioshock should be familiar with the enigmatic Andrew Ryan. After all, he created the infamous underwater city known as Rapture to escape the idealistic beliefs of Capitalism and Communism. Is this man a genius or a madman? That’s debatable. Andrew Ryan stands out as one of the industry’s more notable villains considering how fresh on the scene he is to gaming.
What is so special about this guy? Andrew had a sweet suit and a killer mustache. But, he has no special powers or even an over-the-top plan to destroy the world. Andrew Ryan was just full of ideas. But that’s exactly it. He was an intelligent man with radical ideas and wasn’t afraid to put them to action. He crafted a society where only the gifted were welcome and nothing but bliss was promised to the people that occupied it. Throw in some gene-splicing Adam and political turmoil… what could go wrong?
As integral as he was to the Bioshock lore, Andrew Ryan didn’t even get a proper boss fight. He had very minimal screen time. But, his voice and presence was constantly felt throughout the wet and dingy halls of Rapture. Once the player found himself in the company of Andrew Ryan, one of gaming’s greatest plot twists comes to fruition.
Who’s up for some golf?
“Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? ‘No!’ says the man in Washington, ‘It belongs to the poor.’ ‘No!’ says the man in the Vatican, ‘It belongs to God.’ ‘No!’ says the man in Moscow, ‘It belongs to everyone.’ I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose… Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.”
– Andrew Ryan
It’s that time of the year again: Harry Potter fever is in full swing, and I’ve caught the fever once again.
My interest in Harry Potter could most likely be referred to as an infatuation, but I personally don’t see anything wrong with it. Although I am in the middle of a movie marathon of the past six movies and I am re-reading the last book in preparation for my grand adventure to the midnight release, I am not nearly as obsessed as others. Feeling the need to spread this HP love, I’ve decided to get you up to date on the details of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (Some spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the books).
For those who are not avid readers and/or watchers unlike myself, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One is the first half of the last Harry Potter book. This was smart move number one: there is just too much information in this novel to fit into one 2 and a half hour movie. To be specific, the first movie ends around Chapter 24, which is where Voldemort acquires the Elder Wand. This was smart move number two: it’s a tricky play when deciding where to split the book and I feel this part works well because David Yates, director, will be able to end the movie well enough so it doesn’t just stop but leave the audience thirsty for the next movie (which happens to come out July 15th, 2011).
Now this movie has had fan worried for a couple reasons. One reason is because this story is unlike any of the other books. No longer are Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the enclosed world of Hogwarts; now they are introduced to the harsh, real world. This involves a whole new filming style to go along with the change in atmosphere. Another concern was the fact that someone along the line had the brilliant idea of making the last two movies 3D. I, personally, am anti-3D and can’t stand the fact that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to make an extra buck (I’m looking at you, George Lucas). It bothers me even more because none of the other six have been in 3D and it wouldn’t even be the “good” 3D, it would be the post-production “slapped on” 3D. Not what I want from my Harry Potter movie. Thankfully, someone at Warner Bros. had two braincells to rub together and they cancelled the 3D treatment for Part One. Hopefully this will make them realize that Part Two doesn’t need it either.
Getting back on path, Part One just recently had its red carpet premiere and the reviews are starting to pour in. As of now Part One currently stands at a solid 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite some sour reviews, the majority are saying that Part One gives enough action to entertain while building up nicely for the grand finale in July. Music to my ears.
Needless to say, this is a pop culture phenomenon and everyone needs to get out and catch Harry Potter fever.
There are times where we just don’t believe in what we’re capable of.
But let me tell you, as much as people can love, hate, judge, criticize, or even bitch about things that you do, you have ability. More potential than you can possibly give yourself credit for.
I had no idea I was capable of award-winning material, and yet here I stand with two grand prizes, and an honorable mention in my possession. I didn’t think this was possible. But for some odd reason, it is.
Every award ceremony, I have to slap myself, thinking “how the hell is this possible?” I can’t say I stood out in any facet of anything in the past, but here I stand, holding an array of awards. This is what I do. This is the only thing I CAN, and WANT to do. And now, I believe I can do it. There were times I never had that belief. But let me tell you this.
Just as a certain two-tailed, orange fox once taught me…BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
Fly high so you can fly to the highest of the heavens. You have the ability, you just need to believe, and work hard. It may be tough to summon the courage to actually believe if you never had reason to believe before, but you have so much more ability and potential than you usually give yourself credit for. So don’t feel bad for being cocky, or a little bit egotistical every once in a while.
You deserve it.
Share a laugh. Be awesome. Gain the confidence to be someone you’ve never been before because of this newfound belief. That’s what’s happened to me in these past couple of days. I never thought I’d be victorious again, as life seemed to keep on bashing me over and over again, as if trying to stop me from doing what I needed to. It’s about time we tried to stop this onrush of feeling blue about yourself or your abilities. Because you’re capable of more than you think.
If you’re ever feeling that way, take some time to figure out what you do for people. Write down one thing that you do for people every night. It will certainly set you on the right track.
Just believe. You’ll see what I mean once you do so.
Hip hop artist Kanye West finds himself back in the headlines this week. Apparently, this man is completely drawn to embarrassing himself on national television. His latest debacle involves a recent interview he did on the Today Show with Matt Lauer.
At the top of the interview, Matt Lauer tried to get some reaction from Kanye when showing a clip of the recent interview Lauer did with former President George Bush. Bush stated that Kanye’s controversial comment during a live Katrina fundraiser was “one of the most disgusting moments” of his administration. When shown the clip, Kanye stumbled on his words and nervously searched for an explanation stating, “I didn’t need you guys to show me the tape… prompt my emotions or whatever…”
Somehow Mr.West isn’t familiar with how television works. A television network airs relevant video in the backdrop to give valid background info to fill in the television audience. It’s not unusual, it’s just common practice.
Kanye inevitably puts himself in the role of victim when his MTV Music Awards spectacle was shown. He went on to say during the interview, “Yo how am I suppose to talk when you’re gonna run this video when I’m talking?” referring to his infamous moment with singer Taylor Swift.
Matt Lauer kept his cool and tried to tame the idiotic ego that is Kanye West. Much respect to Mr.Lauer as a journalist. Kanye’s behavior was nothing short of childish as he went on to tell the off-camera crew to quite down and told them, “Please don’t let that happen again… it’s ridiculous…”
I’m sure to conduct this interview Kanye would’ve needed to have agreed to do it. It wasn’t as if NBC dragged him into the Today Show and forced him to do this interview with Matt Lauer.
It could have been a moment where Kanye made amends on air for his embarrassing and immature behavior. But quite the opposite, he simply went on air to reveal every true inch of his assholish soul. Mr.West desperately victimized himself and did nothing more than truly show how childish he was and that there is no extent of humility in this man.
Kanye went on to tweet how upset he was of the interview, the details of the twitterbomb and the interview can be found in the video supplied below.