The Curse Of Memory

I can still see the fear in their innocent eyes
While they witness the horror of our family’s demise
An unspeakable violation, an erosion of trust
My piercing shrieks of agony upon every unwanted thrust

A moment of terror so vivid in my mind
Five years later it’s not so easily left behind
It burns and it stings and it lingers like death
I can feel it in my lungs every time I draw a breath

The lack of respect, the absence of love
A tough life that began with an aggressive shove
I was pinned by outright hatred and utter contempt
Will there ever come a time when my gender is exempt?

The distance of time can’t erase the pain of that day
I can’t remain silent when there’s always so much to say
There are many like me who’ll never speak out
The tide must be turned with a collective shout

No one deserves to live with this unrelenting ache
You can only be so strong before your foundation begins to break
Keeping up appearances helps prop up the lie
This mental torture continues and it’s hard to deny

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
10:40 p.m.

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm  Comments (1)  

CM Punk’s Steve Austin Problem

When CM Punk delivered his game-changing promo at the end of a June 2011 episode of Raw, he made a point of wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin T-shirt.  In interviews, the real-life Phil Brooks has expressed admiration for the Texas Rattlesnake, going so far as to cite him as one of his favourite all-time professional wrestlers.

Earlier this year, when Brooks tweeted a half-joking remark about wanting to face Chris Brown at WrestleMania 28, the R&B singer went nuts and falsely accused the Straight Edge Superstar of being a steroid abuser.  The current WWE Champion calmly responded with a brief online video denouncing Brown’s abusive nature and openly challenged the embattled singer to a real fight in the name of charity.  Brown, in a rare moment of wisdom, didn’t accept (Brooks never expected him to) and this silly Twitter war ended just as abruptly as it began.

This is specifically what Brooks said about Brown with regards to his vicious assault on Rihanna:

“…I don’t hit women…Period.  You [meaning men in general] don’t hit women.  In my world, women are to be revered and respected.  And I firmly believe that in this life there are consequences and repercussions for people’s actions.  And I don’t think Chris has paid for what he’s done…picking up trash on the side of a highway does not make amends for repeatedly striking a woman to her face and sending her to a hospital…Chris Brown isn’t a man.”

And this is what he promised he’d do to the singer if Brown was foolish enough to fight him:

“I will choke you out and I will make you feel as weak and as powerless and scared and alone as any woman who has had the misfortune of knowing the sad, cowardly little boy such as yourself.”

In 2007, shortly after the Chris Benoit murder-suicide tragedyformer WWF Womens Champion and beauty queen valet Debra Marshall appeared on Hannity & Colmes.  During the interview, she talked about her troubled two-year marriage to Stone Cold Steve Austin (they dated for two years prior to the ceremony).  Unlike CM Punk, Austin was a serious steroid abuser.  As Marshall put it, “…I have seen the steroid rages. I have seen him being paranoid. I have seen his panic attacks. I mean, for three times, I’d seen him attack me — I mean, and at work people would know it, and they would cover the bruises on my face.”

When asked if anyone within the WWE said anything about her abuse at the time, she responded:  “No, they’re not going to rat on the top money-maker in wrestling. And everyone else knew this was going on, but no one’s going to stop it, because Steve would make millions of dollars for Vince…And then like for me to have Stone Cold Steve Austin arrested? Oh my gosh, they so hush-hushed that — put it under the table. They put a gag on me for a year that I couldn’t talk about this, because they knew that I could totally bring down their top star.”

Marshall was speaking out many years later hoping her story would prevent another Benoit tragedy from happening.  Here’s how she described the 2002 assault that led to the end of her marriage:

“When Steve Austin was pounding on me that last time with his steroid rage, pounding on me, his eyes were bugging out of his head, and it was a rage like the most horrifying thing you’ve ever seen.

And when I called the cops, he ran out the door, yanked the phone lines out, unplugged the garage door openers, yanked the wires out so I couldn’t leave.”

Sadly, Marshall wasn’t Austin’s only victim.  Two years later, there was another incident involving another ex, Tess Broussard.  Austin has since quietly remarried another woman.

As admirable as it was to publicly condemn Chris Brown’s deplorable actions against Rihanna, where is CM Punk’s outrage for Stone Cold Steve Austin’s equally offensive conduct?   I’ll tell you where it is.  It doesn’t exist.

Punk and Austin actually sat down for an extended interview over the summer with longtime announcer Jim Ross.  (You can see it here.  It’s the second video.).  Did Austin’s abusive actions come up even once during the conversation?   

What was the point of the interview?  To promote the new WWE ’13 video game (which features both men as playable characters) but also to rile up wrestling fans for a dream program:  Punk vs. Austin potentially for the WWE Championship, maybe even for the next WrestleMania.  Both men have taken shots at each other in the media (most likely for kayfabe purposes) and on each other’s official Twitter accounts to keep stirring the pot. 

But the elephant in the room cannot be ignored.  If CM Punk does indeed work with Stone Cold Steve Austin in any capacity and never addresses the Hall of Famer’s appalling abuse of women, he’s an enormous hypocrite.  I mean why go to all that trouble singling out Chris Brown while giving Austin a complete pass for similiar transgressions?  (Like Brown, Austin never served a day in prison for beating a woman.)  How can you be taken seriously as a defender of women if you only criticize certain abusers while protecting the ones you want to work with? 

All this being said, the idea of Austin having an in-ring comeback, even a brief one, has always been questionable, thanks to his recurring neck and knee injuries.  In fact, he had knee surgery not that long ago which prevented him from appearing on the 1000th episode of Raw back in July.  So, maybe this dream match will stay that way:  a dream.

Regardless, if you’re going to make it a point to speak out against those who needlessly abuse women, no perpetrator, not even a fellow professional wrestler you greatly admire should be exempt from your contempt. 

The result of such selective outrage?  Eroded credibility.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, October 21, 2012
10:59 p.m.

Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm  Comments (4)  

Heroism Is A Teenage Girl

“Nothing you build on inaccuracy or mere hope or longing or lies or laws that oppose the nature of things can endure.  When the wind comes in the form of a young teenage girl, it will all be blown away, down to the bedrock of what’s real, what’s true.”
– Augusten Burroughs, This Is How, pg. 227

Although he was referring to Claudette Colvin in 1955 in a chapter entitled How To Change The World By Yourself, The New York Times best-selling author could’ve easily been describing Malala Yousafzai in 2012 in his latest book (which I highly recommend, by the way).

This fifteen-year-old Pakistani native is one remarkable young lady.  In just four short years, Yousafzai has so scared the bejesus out of the Pakistan Taliban with her fierce and undeterred advocacy for girls’ education and world peace (indisputedly uncontroversial ideas to all reasonable people), they recently attempted to assassinate her on a school bus in broad daylight.  Stubbornly fundamentalist, the PT doesn’t believe in equality for women because they deeply fear it’s an American concept meant to brainwash and influence Muslims into the Western way of thinking, whatever that means.  As hopelessly destructive as American imperialism truly is with its endless campaign of heartless violence in the Middle East, resulting in all this radical and sometimes paranoid, conspiracy-obsessed extremism, “corrupting” Muslim youth with basic education isn’t a part of their agenda.  America prefers to kill rather than enlighten.  But I digress.

Thankfully, Yousafzai appears to be on the road to recovery.  Although she took two shots – one to the brain and one to her neck – from a masked PT gunman (two of her female classmates were also shot and have also survived) both bullets were reportedly safely removed during surgery.  She has thus far not suffered any immediate brain damage and is no longer in a coma.  She’s communicating, she’s writing, she can walk with assistance and her activist spirit remains high.  Amazing.  This is no ordinary human being.

Like Colvin, the first and youngest resister of Alabama’s degrading bus segregation policy (which was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1956), Yousafzai’s young life has been far from easy.  (The never-married Colvin was a pregnant teen at the time of her courageous gesture which deterred civil rights activists from publicly championing her cause.  They went with Rosa Parks instead.)  In fact, even before she was recently targetted, she faced years of death threats and ominous warnings from misguided, scarily violent opponents of her positions.

But no matter how many times she has faced such harsh, unrelenting opposition, she refuses to buckle, she refuses to budge, even after being shot at.  In 2009, she briefly submitted writings for a BBC blog under an alias documenting life in her violent neighbourhood.  Once her real identity was revealed, she became the subject of a New York Times documentary entitled Class Dismissed which considerably raised her profile and earned her widespread praise.  Despite the constant threats to her safety (as well as her family’s well-being, particularly her equally outspoken father, a big influence on her activism), including the very real possibility of another assassination attempt, she has continued to fearlessly advocate publicly for equal education and world peace.

Think about that for a moment.  A tiny, teenage girl from a foreign land most of us have never visited and probably never will (because of its lack of stability) is so effective at communicating her message of equality and peace it has convinced a group of grown, perpetually angry militants in her native land to break one of its own principles (don’t kill women) in order to stop the spread of her growing influence.

That’s the power of truth, the power of honest communication, the power of basic human decency.  Real power as opposed to fearful violence propping up an illusion.  With mere words spoken and articulate sentences written, ideas of hope shared with a welcoming world, a brain-dead misogynistic philosophy (girls can’t go to school or they will die), only possible because of a violent atmosphere, is suddenly vulnerable, instantly discredited, on the long, demoralizing path to obsolescence.

In This Is How, Augusten Burroughs writes on p. 226:

“The world isn’t broken anymore.  Or at least not all the way broken.

Because one little girl saw something glimmer beneath the surface and she knew by the shine of it that it was the truth.

She believed what she saw with her own eyes.  She knew what she saw was the truth becuase that’s what the truth is, you see.  The truth is the thing you recognize instantly, even if you’ve never seen it before.  You know.

Your blood knows it.  Even the air around you knows it.

Truth is not an opinion.  It’s a force like gravity.

It’s the most valuable substance known to man.”

Again, he’s specifically talking about Claudette Colvin decades ago.  But he might as well be describing Malala Yousafzai right now.

More from Burroughs, p. 227 of This Is How:

“She had seen the truth.  She had spoken it out loud.  And this unleashed it into the world.

The world changed.”

CNN reported that one demonstration of support for Yousafzai after her attack (there have been many worldwide) attracted some 25000 Pakistani citizens; men, women and children of various ages united behind her ideals the rest of us take for granted.  World leaders like President Obama have publicly denounced what happened to her.  Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now working with the United Nations on global education, is giving her message political weight.  Angelina Jolie has started co-financing an education fund.  Many, many more of various backgrounds have voiced their public support, as well.

The goal of those assassin’s bullets didn’t silence hope, it greatly expanded its broadcast signal.

Now everyone is tuning in.  May the message remain loud and clear.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, October 20, 2012
11:07 p.m.

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Should The Tour De France Be Cancelled?

Is winning at any cost truly worth the risks involved?  Does losing with honour matter less than the desired result?  Is there just too much pressure to cheat and not nearly enough to play fair?  Most importantly, does deliberate rulebreaking tarnish a sport beyond repair?

These aren’t original questions.  They’ve been posed a million times before.  But as long as athletes continue to get caught breaking the rules of the game, they’ll continue to be asked.

Here’s another one:  should The Tour De France be cancelled?

The most famous race in cycling saw its profile raised considerably during Lance Armstrong’s era.  How could it not when the testicular cancer survivor won the damn thing seven times in a row?  I remember Toronto Sun columnist Peter Worthington once making the case at the time that because of this unprecedented accomplishment Armstrong was possibly the greatest athlete in history.  It didn’t sound so absurd back then.

But knowing what we now know about Armstrong’s chronic dependence on blood and hormone doping, it is.  Quite frankly, we should’ve been immediately skeptical of his first victory, let alone the six that followed.

I mean, honestly, the man is only producing 50% testosterone.  (He’s down to one testicle after a near-fatal battle with cancer in the 90s.)  That’s a huge disadvantage right off the bat.  (As far as we know, no one else he raced against went through a similiarly terrible ordeal.)  I don’t care how strong and dedicated an athlete you are, it’s highly unlikely you can survive and thrive in 21 days of cycling (with rest periods, of course) through some 2000 miles of French terrain and come out the overall winner cleanly just once.  Forget about seven.  Look, I’m no doctor of sports medicine but there’s just no way.

And now, thanks to a recent, voluminous report from the USADA (over 200 pages), the American regulatory body that oversees doping matters involving its athletes, we have proof of that doubt.  Armstrong and many of his teammates were deeply committed to winning The Tour De France by blatantly circumventing the rules of fair play and ultimately, the process of drug testing.  Attaining victory without honour never gave them pause.

Before the report’s release, many have long weighed in this year about this matter, most coming to the inevitable conclusion that Armstrong has a lot of explaining to do.  Unfortunately and incredulously, he’s long denied doing anything remotely unethical.  Even worse, he ruthlessly bullies those who have spoke out against him (including not-so-innocent but understandably guilt-ridden teammates and associates) going so far as to publicly trash their, in some cases, already soiled reputations and suing them in civil court. 

But Armstrong isn’t the only culprit nor are his teammates.  According to this Guardian commentary, the vast majority of Tour De France winners in the last 45 years “have been tarnished or implicated by doping”.  So, here’s the big question.  How do you prevent cheaters from dominating this race when they are almost always well ahead of the latest anti-doping procedures put in place?

The answer is easy.  You really can’t.  Before the full extent of the Armstrong matter was revealed, other than those more tuned into the culture of cycling than the rest of us, who among us had ever heard of blood doping?  What about adding testosterone to your system in between stages?  Maybe I’m just not that clever of a human being but other than training like the dickens, eating the appropriate foods and getting the requisite amount of sleep before these kinds of races, what else would be needed to win?

You’d be correct in saying I’m hopelessly naive.  It’s a lifelong problem.  But when you’re guaranteed a 5 million dollar bonus for winning the Tour De France, maybe you wouldn’t think twice to do whatever it takes to win it, even if that means sacrificing your senses of honesty, integrity and overall decency.  Like I said, honour wasn’t a concern for Armstrong and company.

For almost everybody on Armstrong’s old cycling team, they couldn’t pretend all was kosher any longer.  That’s why the USADA has pages and pages of their sworn testimony exposing what they call “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”. 

But The One-Ball Wonder is another story.  He has yet to admit to any chicanery.  One wonders if he ever will.  He’s just that stubborn.  Or, as this stinging Guardian editorial notes, “more like a psychopath” and “a coward”.

He’s already lost his athletic reputation and professional career, and all his Tour De France championships.  All that’s left is his Nike endorsement (guess cheaters really move the merch) and his anti-cancer organization, Live Strong.  (Will it be renamed Live Wrong?)

But of course, Armstrong isn’t the only culprit.  Cycling is filled with competitors just like him, only not nearly as successful and wealthy.  Which brings me back to that question:  should The Tour De France be cancelled? 

Here’s a couple of follow-ups:  if cleaning up the sport is next to impossible, if not outright impossible, why bother to continue having this race every year?  If the legitimacy of victory can’t be taken at face value nor can the cheats be caught in real time, what’s the point of carrying on?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, October 13, 2012
11:32 p.m.

UPDATE:  Now he doesn’t even have his Nike endorsement.  The shoe company just announced it won’t be supporting him financially any longer.  Three other companies have also ended their commercial partnerships with the embattled cyclist.  Armstrong has also resigned his position as chairman of his Live Strong anti-cancer charity.  According to CNN, though, he’ll continue to work with the organization, mostly as a fundraiser.  Yeah, that’ll work.  What’s the point of quitting if you’re not actually quitting?  And who would personally give money to a fraud?  (By the way, just to be clear, Live Strong is and always has been a legit charity so feel free to donate to them directly.  Armstrong should just get out of the way already.  He’s the fraud I’m referring to, not Live Strong.)

Recently, Lewis Black commented on the scandal during a segment of The Daily Show where he noted that Armstrong not only had testicular cancer but also cancer in his lungs, abdomen and brain which makes all his cycling accomplishments even more preposterous.  A clip of a 2005 CNN report was played during his commentary which noted Armstrong’s supposedly impressive lung capacity that made him something of a superman compared to everybody else.  Is it any wonder he got away with this bullshit for so long?  Bring back healthy skepticism.  We miss it dearly.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
7:12 p.m.

CORRECTION & UPDATE 2:  Armstrong hasn’t lost his Olympic Bronze medal as I erroneously noted in paragraph 14.  That portion has now been deleted.  That being said, however, he may end up losing it after all according to this.  Furthermore, according to the recent documentary, The World According To Lance Armstrong (which aired recently on CBC News Network and CNN), the reason the disgraced cyclist developed cancer in the first place is precisely because he had been using five different performance enhancing drugs which he freely admitted to his doctor in the presence of three other witnesses.  In other words, Armstrong had been juicing his entire professional career.  It has literally taken the anti-doping authorities 20 years to nab him.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, November 1, 2012
4:47 p.m.

UPDATE 3:  As of last week, he’s no longer part of LiveStrong’s Board of Directors.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, November 12, 2012
10:20 p.m.

UPDATE 4:  And now he will be stripped of that Olympic Bronze according to this.  In Part One of her exclusive interview with Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey was able to accomplish what no one has ever been able to do before.  She got the disgraced cyclist to finally admit on the record that he was in fact a drug cheat during his racing career.  Unfortunately, he’s still disputing certain accusations against him as well as severely downplaying and conveniently forgetting his leadership role running his cycling teams.  (Tyler Hamilton went much further in The Secret Race.)  While it’s a good thing he’s finally starting to admit to some shenanigans he has to cop to everything.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, January 17, 2013
11:11 p.m.

Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm  Comments (2)  

The Top 5 Entries In The WordPress Era

On October 10, 2010, The Writings Of Dennis Earl officially moved from Windows Live Spaces to WordPress.  After more than four and a half years on the former, the site relocated to the latter.  (Yes, I actually made the switch on the 9th but I count the 10th as the official new beginning because that’s when I first started posting at the new digs.  So there!)  Microsoft was shutting down the Spaces program through a six-month phase out period.  Those who wished to continue blogging wisely transferred all their existing entries and comments to the new location within that time frame.  All the remaining Spaces sites that stayed put by mid-March 2011 were automatically deleted. 

It wasn’t a particularly productive period for me.  Postings had become maddeningly infrequent.  Enthusiasm had dropped off considerably.  The internal hope was that a change of scenery would be reinvigorating and inspire more entries.

Sure enough, in those first three weeks I posted ten new pieces, the highest amount of monthly entries since February 2010.  At first, that number could not be repeated or surpassed during the early days of The WordPress Era.  But over time, I regained my literary footing and found myself much more engaged with blogging, even though I’ve not been able to consistently maintain the entry levels of the first two years of the Spaces era.  (To be fair, a good number of those early entries were old pieces written before the site’s existence.)

In the near two years I’ve been here, the site has grown faster than expected.  Exact numbers are not available for the Spaces era but based on Microsoft’s flawed Statistics feature I would conservatively estimate that The Writings Of Dennis Earl achieved between 40000 and 50000 hits between February 2006 and October 2010.  Not great but not bad, either.

So far on WordPress, which thankfully keeps far more accurate statistics, this site has generated more than 46000 hits in just two years.  To put this into perspective, it’s taken me less than half the time to reach this modest milestone here than during the entirety of the Spaces era.  A very encouraging sign.

Also encouraging has been the occasional breakout piece, a particular bit of writing that generated far more interest than usual.  To help celebrate this site’s second anniversary on WordPress this week, I want to count down the five most popular entries in the new era.  Here we go:

5. Unanswered Questions About Gene Simmons Family Jewels (1100 hits)

Originally posted on October 23rd last year, this was the sixth piece I wrote about the sixth season of the now-cancelled A&E reality series.  Following the much ballyhooed wedding episodes of Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and his long suffering Playboy centerfold girlfriend Shannon Tweed, as evident by the title alone, I had a lot of unresolved inquiries about the show and the state of the Tweed-Simmons clan.  (What can I say?  This damned thing sucked me in.)

A week later, I posted an update that acknowledged Simmons’ announcement on Twitter that Family Jewels was coming back for a seventh season (which turned out to be its last).  That answered question 36.  The third and final update pointed to an Entertainment Weekly item about the show’s return this past May.  The program was officially cancelled in August.

Unanswered Questions received almost a hundred hits during its first day of public viewing and would receive 400 more by the end of 2011.  So far this year, its generated about 600 more hits, bringing the total to about 1100.  Now if only someone would satisfactorily answer those 35 remaining questions I posed.

4. Why Shannon Tweed’s Desire To Adopt Is Foolhardy (almost 1200 hits)

During the seventh season premiere of Family Jewels, a new storyline was introduced.  Shannon wanted to adopt a baby.  A terrible idea, said her remarkably well-adjusted kids, Nick and Sophie.  No kidding, thought the audience.

Too bad Gene was too much of a pussy to publicly side with all of us as the season continued.  Instead, he refused to make an open stand (he was always against it privately) hoping his new wife would grow tired of the idea.  (He clearly doesn’t know Shannon very well after all these years.)  Because of his constant hedging (he didn’t want to hurt her feelings), this nonsense was needlessly dragged out for several episodes until finally, after regaining her sense of reason, Shannon decided everyone was right and ultimately backed down. 

Honestly, what was she thinking?  That was the premise behind Why Shannon Tweed’s Desire To Adopt Is Foolhardy which was written and posted on May 28 of this year, the same night the seventh season premiere aired.  Unlike last season, it was the only Family Jewels piece I wrote for this final season.  An update about Shannon’s change of heart was added in July.

Foolhardy earned over 100 hits on its first day.  By the end of July, it had been accessed a little over 800 times.  As of right now, it’s been seen more than 1160 times.

3. Gene Simmons & Shannon Tweed Need To Get Real With Their Audience (3300 hits)

Noticing a pattern?  This was first seen on July 20, 2011.  It was a follow-up to an earlier entry about the sixth season premiere of Family Jewels (see number one).  It generated more than 280 hits on that day, 910 for the month of July.  Viewings would drop off dramatically in August and September, just 160 hits combined.  But when the second half of the season resumed in October, it picked up an additional 646 hits. 

By the end of the year, this piece was seen a little more than 1800 times.  So far this year, it’s generated 1500 more hits.  Despite another sluggish period between January and April, upon the return of the last season of Family Jewels in May, monthly hit counts averaged between 300 and 400 right up to the end of September.

One side note:  my comment about Shannon and Gene splitting up, of course, turned out to be wrong.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was fooled at the time.  Who would’ve expected these two to ever get married in the first place?

2. 29 Things I Love About Storage Wars (4100 hits)

I was on my way home one afternoon late last year trying to figure out what to write next for the site when it hit me.  Why not do a piece on Storage Wars?  (My Dad had watched the first season on A&E but I got into the show through reruns on OLN.)  Originally, it was going to be a memorable moments-type entry but it ultimately got reworked into this things-I-love-about-the-show posting.

When it debuted on November 17th, 2011, it generated a measly 6 hits.  You can imagine my immediate disappointment.  But over time 29 Things I Love About Storage Wars became a surprisingly enduring piece in spite of its slow start.  At the end of the year, it was seen a little over 300 times.  But in 2012 thus far, it’s been accessed an additional 3700-plus times.  (The best month was July:  nearly 500 hits.)

Like the Family Jewels pieces, whenever A&E airs new episodes or runs those frequent marathons, 29 Things gets a nice boost in hits.  Now that Storage Wars has concluded its third season, however, viewings have fallen back down to earth.  But when it returns, there’s a very good chance hits will go right back up again.  Yup!

1. What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons? (almost 16000 hits)

After watching the sixth season premiere of Gene Simmons Family Jewels in June 2011, something bothered me.  I couldn’t understand why Shannon left Gene over a photograph.  Also, she had mentioned to their on-camera therapist that she had been continuously weeping for three straight years.  What made her cry in the first place?  Then, I remembered:  the sex tape.

For some inexplicable reason, Gene’s videotaped dalliance with another woman was never mentioned in that episode or any other that followed that season.  (There was no mention of it in season seven, either.)  I found this very strange and proceeded to write about it.  Little did I know how big the finished posting would turn out to be in comparison to everything else I’ve ever written.

At the end of last year, I recapped what happened in the six months after its debut in Part One of Remembering My Sixth Year Of Blogging.  Essentially, What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons? was viewed 10003 times between June 18 and December 31 in 2011.  Since then, it’s been seen an additional 5700 times. 

Let’s put this in perspective.  Of the 46000-plus hits this website has generated in two years on WordPress, a third of that total can be attributed to this one posting alone.  Nothing I’ve ever written in the six and a half years I’ve been doing this has inspired more thoughtful comments and more page views. 

Now if I can only top it.  Repeatedly.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
2:02 a.m.

Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 2:03 am  Comments (1)  

Hateful Vision

Corruption bleeds through this gentle facade
Unmasking a phony image, a once-impeccable fraud
No conscience oozing through the cracks in this veneer
There’s nothing but evil intentions hibernating in here

Pretending to have honour in the presence of those
Who worry about being cast as the next to depose
The wider the grin the larger the deception
The smart ones look past the rosy perception

Fiercely protective of aggressive actions
Stunned to discover all the angry reactions
Stubbornly persists in causing more pain
Sacrificing respect for permanent disdain

Calculating the odds of a possible defeat
Sharpening the knives with blatant deceit
Pounding the weaknesses of the other side
Boasting of murder with disturbing pride

Mocking those who rightly grumble
Drunk with power and far from humble
Never concerned with obeying the law
Arrogantly deluded, the fatal flaw

Resentment exploding at every turn
Violence accelerating while ambitions burn
Distantly observing a failed mission
But unable to revise this hateful vision

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
7:32 p.m.

Published in: on October 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm  Comments (2)