Friday, June 29, 2007

Stamford, we have a problem

I was a wrestling fan for a while, around the turn of the millennium when Vince McMahon had real competition and therefore was required to give a damn. I'm not going to elaborate much on that whole period, except to say in that time and right up until his apparent murder-suicide, Chris Benoit was definitely one of the best performers in the show. However, given his distinctively sack-of-potatoes-like physique, his steroid use should have been pretty obvious, at least as obvious as Scott Steiner's balloon-animal biceps. What the hell is the WWE's "wellness program" actually doing? (Keep in mind this is a business where the sanest performer out there is Mick Foley, who once jumped in a pile of thumbtacks and has taken enough head shots to make even Troy Aikman, Mr. Concussion himself, woozy.)

I mean, fundamentally, where can you go with this? A couple of years ago, the porn industry was hit with its worst nightmare, an HIV scare. Having been through it before, the San Fernando Valley shut down and cleaned up. The porn industry knows what's up -- ultimately, the health of your talent is paramount, and losing a little money to keep them healthy is a smart long-term bet. There are sports coaches who don't get this. And Vince McMahon obviously knows this, because he pays lip service to it on a semi-regular basis.

Pro wrestling needs to be cleaned up. Look at Paul Wight, abusing himself out of a career even though he must know damn well he stands a good chance of not making it to 50. Look at the endless list of names claimed by heart problems, drugs, and mental issues: Curt Hennig, Bam Bam Bigelow, Mike Lockwood, Miss Elizabeth, Eddie Guerrero, Rick Rude, on, and on (I'd add Owen Hart, but his death was pedestrian in comparison). And the injuries -- Darren Drozdov (paralyzed), Bret Hart (brain injury), Mick Foley (too many to list -- he's hamburger on the hoof), Steve Austin (cumulative knee joint damage from too many bouts while injured). And Vince, the ringmaster, changes things slowly if at all, and the minor feds keep on in the same vein.

Let's call a halt to the whole thing for a few months and put the industry leaders (especially Vince) under the threat of heavy regulation. Bring it back for the fall TV season with some safeguards in place -- wrestling may not be a sport per se, but it's damned intense and it's a very popular form of entertainment. The watchword should be "Fix it or else".

And after that's done, let's talk about legal protection for sex workers. You think wrestling's a mess...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

White's Path Sessions -- The Zookeepers

The Zookeepers on

This afternoon we taped a local group called the Zookeepers, out of right here in Yarmouth. They're a rather unique group, with bits and pieces of everything from Led Zeppelin to Sublime to Marilyn Manson in their sound. If you like experimental punk, definitely give them a listen. I don't know yet what they plan to do with the footage on their own, but if you're out of the C3TV viewing range check them out on Myspace.

UPDATE 7/2/07: I had the wrong URL for a different Zookeepers on myspace. The link is, and it's been fixed.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nice tomatoes, and the food's good too

As sometimes happens on letters pages in magazines, a spat has erupted on that one belonging to TV Guide. A couple of weeks ago, they published a Reader Jeer complaining about Giada De Laurentiis' trademark cleavage display. The following week, the letters page seems to be about two to one in favor of letting Giada dress however she wants. My perspective is as follows:

Lighten up. Giada is an excellent and creative cook with excellent TV presence, and she is also an attractive woman with large breasts. Proceeding on the assumption that she has final say over her onscreen wardrobe, I'd say she's earned the right to do the show on the beach in a Wicked Weasel if she wants (though that wouldn't exactly be a cooking-friendly wardrobe -- maybe add some board shorts :-) ). It's like Muhammad Ali -- at the end of the day, he may have been too political and too much of a braggart for many people, but in his day he was that damned good and had pretty much earned the right to speak his mind. (Compare incompetent skank Sandra Lee and grouchy, cheating Barry Bonds.)

So ease up on the cleaage already.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cheap publicity stunt (need bad advice?)

Soliciting questions on Craigslist

I just feel like trying the advice column thing. The disclaimer: you will likely recieve bad advice on whatever questions you ask. But hey, try it anyway. The best ones will be posted here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Breaks and promises

A few thoughts on one of my current favorite webcomics:

Okay, Sortelli is on a break. That's fine. But why progress reports on the next comic if you're on break, especially if it's supposedly inked already? A few points:

  • Duke/Nimoy Forever. Or, less caustically...
  • "A speckled axe is best." -Ben Franklin.
  • Real artists ship.

Good thing I have no actual readers, or I'd be blackballed from the EOI forums for this.

UPDATE: Sortelli posted a teaser on the comic forums. Looking good.