Pussy In The White House

You’re scared to death of being exposed
You’re trying so hard to stay composed
But the evidence is growing every day
And no one believes a word you say

So many fires collectively burning
You can almost feel it, the tide is turning
You’re starting to lose the lapdog press
Get used to the leaks and unrelenting stress

For far too long you’ve had an easy ride
They plugged their ears when you blatantly lied
Now the rivers of truth are rolling in
And they won’t be stopped by your pathetic spin

You should be ashamed of all the wars you’ve waged
And all the innocent victims you’ve tortured and caged
But you have no conscience and you have no heart
Your words and your actions are very far apart

You’re a moral coward who loves to hide
When challenged your “convictions” are quickly thrown aside
You never really cared about the middle class
Only concealing your guilt and covering your ass

You’ll continue to hound the defiant opposition
It’s why no one’s buying your old shield law proposition
The wolves smell blood and they will follow the trail
Soon you’ll realize your best option is to bail

For a man who has no issue launching all these drones
When it comes to closing Gitmo you don’t have the stones
You claim it can’t be done because there aren’t enough votes 
So the starving get feeding tubes rammed down their throats

Even if the prisoners were moved to an American venue
Humiliation and torture would still be on the menu
You must be proud of all your human rights abuses
Citing “national security” is the worst of your excuses

From this point forward expect to be on the defensive
The reports of your crimes will soon be comprehensive
We will know the full extent of your ruthless campaign
How so many civilians have been needlessly slain

We’ll also learn more about the growing surveillance state
How our privacy doesn’t matter in the midst of all this hate
Keystone’s going to happen and you will pay a price
For also drilling north in the melting Arctic ice

So go ahead and plan that very important speech
We’re well aware you never practice what you preach
Instead of being bold you’re as timid as a mouse
Who knew we put a pussy in the white house

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 19, 2013
4:26 p.m.

Published in: on May 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Songs For Rob Ford

(Dedicated to the embattled mayor of Toronto.)

1. You Crack Me Up (Huey Lewis & The News)

2. Pipe Dreams (Travis)

3. Smokin’ In The Boys Room (Motley Crue)

4. Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (Queens Of The Stone Age)

5. Gin And Juice (Snoop Dogg)

6. Basket Case (Green Day)

7. Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode)

8. Not An Addict (K’s Choice)

9. I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow)

10. Cocaine (J.J. Cale)

11. Elegantly Wasted (INXS)

12. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (Styx)

13. Mary Jane (Rick James)

14. With A Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles)

15. Sugar High (Sons Of Freedom)

16. Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)

17. Can I Touch You…There? (Michael Bolton)

18. Shout (Tears For Fears)

19. Assoholic (54-40)

20. Party All The Time (Eddie Murphy)

21. St. Anger (Metallica)

22. With A Shout (U2)

23. Out Of Control (U2)

24. Spiralling (Keane)

25. Mr. Self Destruct (Nine Inch Nails)

26. The Grouch (Green Day)

27. Perforation Problems (Iggy Pop)

28. This Is Hell (Elvis Costello)

29. Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)

30. Cigarettes & Alcohol (Oasis)

31. What An Idiot He Is (Ashley MacIssac)

32. Blowin’ My Stack (Weezer)

33. Day Tripper (The Beatles)

34. If It Feels Good Do It (Sloan)

35. I Don’t Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me) (Marilyn Manson)

36. I’m Waiting For The Man (The Velvet Underground)

37. Me & My Wine (Def Leppard)

38. Cracked Actor (David Bowie)

39. Trashed (Black Sabbath)

40. Because I Got High (Afroman)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, May 18, 2013
12:25 a.m.

Published in: on May 18, 2013 at 12:26 am  Comments (1)  

Songs To Ease President Obama’s Worried Mind

1. The End (The Doors)

2. It’s Over (Roy Orbison)

3. Time Is Running Out (Muse)

4. Down In It (Nine Inch Nails)

5. It’s No Good (Depeche Mode)

6. Welcome To My Nightmare (Alice Cooper)

7. Worried Now (Sloan)

8. I’m Your Villain (Franz Ferdinand)

9. Long Slow Goodbye (Queens Of The Stone Age)

10. I’ll Never Be Anyone’s Hero Now (Morrissey)

11. You Don’t Love Me Anymore (Weird Al Yankovic)

12. Fear Of Sleep (The Strokes)

13. Who Can It Be Now? (Men At Work)

14. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)

15. A Question Of Time (Depeche Mode)

16. The End Of The Innocence (Don Henley)

17. You Don’t Care About Us (Placebo)

18. All These Things That I’ve Done (The Killers)

19. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (Elvis Presley)

20. Unbelievable (EMF)

21. Ruled By Secrecy (Muse)

22. Silence Is Their Drug (Sponge)

23. Lies (Thompson Twins)

24. I Don’t Remember (Peter Gabriel)

25. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times (The Beach Boys)

26. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid (Hall & Oates)

27. The Dead Can’t Testify (Billy Talent)

28. Torn To Shreds (Def Leppard)

29. Watch Me Fall (Sianspheric)

30. Shame On You (Hot Hot Heat)

31. Scared (The Tragically Hip)

32. The Pretender (Foo Fighters)

33. Long Road To Ruin (Foo Fighters)

34. I Can’t Explain (The Who)

35. The Rising Tide (The Killers)

36. Criminal Mind (Gowan)

37. Church Of The Poisoned Mind (Culture Club)

38. The End Is The Beginning Is The End (Smashing Pumpkins)

39. Who Are You (The Who)

40. Let’s Impeach The President (Neil Young)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 16, 2013
8:19 p.m.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm  Comments (1)  

Extreme Rules 2013 Predictions (Part Three)

“I Quit” Match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship:  Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

The original plan was a triple threat ladder match for the WHC.  But after Swagger accidentally kicked champion Dolph Ziggler into a serious concussion on Smackdown, as they were both fighting over a ladder guest commentator Alberto Del Rio slid into the ring, that booking had to be changed.  (A headachy Ziggler couldn’t remember three days of his life and won’t be medically cleared in time for Extreme Rules.) 

It sucks because this has been a very strong three-way program heavy on action in and out of the ring that hasn’t really needed any memorable promos to be entertaining.  Swagger’s repackaging as a supremely tough anti-immigrant nativist, which began in the build towards February’s Elimination Chamber event, has finally allowed him to shine like never before.  Now that Zeb Colter, his outspoken cornerman, does most of the talking for him, Swagger can fully concentrate on destroying guys in the ring.  The way he used that ladder as a weapon on a recent Raw was particularly scary.

Even though Del Rio’s transition from snobby rich guy to man of the people has been rocky, there’s no denying his tremendous in-ring abilities.  You end up rooting for him anyway because he’s so talented.  Plus, he’s still benefiting from his longterm pairing with personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez who has played a major supporting role in his feud with Swagger.

But down to business.  With World Heavyweight Champion Ziggler recuperating from his serious injury, Swagger and Del Rio will now be competing for the right to be the number one contender for his title in an “I Quit” match.  The premise is simple.  Incapacitate your opponent to the point where he can’t take it anymore and utters those two words out loud on a microphone to stop the match.  There are no restrictions on how you achieve that goal.

Because Ziggler is a villain, picking the winner of this one shouldn’t be too difficult.  While Swagger and the World Heavyweight Champion have a history together (they were tag team partners managed by Vicki Guerrero at one point), the so-called Real American is also a bad guy.  Besides, a Ziggler/Del Rio title match on either Raw or a pay-per-view is the better booking.  Ziggler cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase to beat a vulnerable Del Rio in a thriller on Raw to become the champion the night after WrestleMania 29.  The Mexican aristocrat has never gotten a proper rematch.

Expect lots of interference and weaponry in this one but more importantly, expect the master of the cross arm-breaker to make Swagger give up.

Prediction:  Alberto Del Rio makes Jack Swagger say “I Quit”.

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship:  John Cena vs. Ryback

This is a crucial moment in the career of Ryan Reeves.  After being repackaged as the monstrous babyface Ryback a year ago, the former Nexus member has steadily climbed the ladder of success to become one of the WWE’s best new stars.  With an aggressive style quite similiar to The Ultimate Warrior he’s looked like an absolute beast in match after match after match.  But unlike Warrior, he delivers coherent promos.  He’s an underrated talker, in my view.

But he’s yet to taste championship gold.  Last year, while John Cena was recovering from his injuries sustained at Night Of Champions, Big Hungry took his place in the Hell In A Cell match against then-WWE Champion CM Punk in his first major title opportunity on pay-per-view.  Unfortunately, referee Brad Maddox screwed him out of the championship by giving him a deliberate low blow and fast counting him out of his deserved victory.  The Shield took him out in the triple threat title match with Cena and Punk at Survivor Series which the Straight Edge Superstar capitalized on in another match he should’ve won.  And The Hounds Of Justice made sure he didn’t grab the belt in the rescheduled ladder match on Raw back in January.  Punk won that one, too.

After losing to Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29, Ryback took out his growing frustrations on Cena the very next night on Raw which began his inevitable heel run.  (Big Hungry blames the current WWE Champion for not rescuing him from numerous Shield attacks on TV.  Ryback claims he always had Cena’s back when the champ was being ambushed by them.)

Since that thrilling turn, the character change has unfortunately been hit and miss, through no fault of Ryback’s.  Although there was a great exchange with Mick Foley on Raw, a tremendous pre-taped promo that established his beef with Cena and a marvellous Smackdown match with Daniel Bryan (which the monster won), the WWE Champion doesn’t take him seriously to the point where he constantly makes fun of him, which is only sometimes funny.  Furthermore, Ryback is being booked to be a coward.  He often walks away from a fight or just doesn’t get involved when it doesn’t suit his interests.  After building this guy up for a year as a fearless insatiable maniac, this is how you get him over as a villain?

Not helping matters is Cena’s achilles tendon injury which may or may not be legit.  (In the world of professional wrestling, it’s not always clear.)  If it is a real concern, that would explain Ryback’s reticence to slaughter Cena every time he sees him.  (It would be bad for business if Cena was out of action for a while.)  But if it’s a work, what is holding the big man back from being a true heel?

At any event, like I said, this is a crucial moment for Ryback.  He could go on to become the next Edge, a future multiple time title holder who stays in the main event picture for years to come or he could be R-Truth in 2011, a perennial mid-carder who gets one decent six-month main event push without becoming a world champion.

I suspect many are expecting Cena to retain on Sunday in their Last Man Standing match (where the loser can’t get to his feet before the referee’s count of ten) since the WWE Champion has never lost at Extreme Rules.  But since the next pay-per-view is Payback, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to drop the title on the 19th setting up the inevitable re-match next month?

Ryback has more than earned a title push.  It probably should’ve been the InterContinental title last year but even a month-long reign as the big cheese would at least be something different than the same old Cena.  I could be way off with this pick but I’m thinking this is going to be an upset.

Prediction:  Ryback rules.

Steel Cage Match:  Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

The Next Big Thing won at SummerSlam 2012.  The Game got the duke at WrestleMania 29.  Now comes their third and final pay-per-view confrontation at Extreme Rules.

From the moment Brock Lesnar attacked Triple H from behind more than a year ago on Raw, this has been one of the more consistently compelling longterm programs in recent memory.  Blood, pee-stained jeans, constant brutality, Paul Heyman’s untouchable stick work, trash talk, a trashed office.  What more could you want from a wrestling feud?

Originally scheduled for later in the year, this got bumped up for Extreme Rules.  A wise move.  With no CM Punk, Undertaker or The Rock booked, this is easily the most star-studded of all the matches on Sunday.

But who will win?  Lesnar was supposed to work a year-long deal with The Rock right after WM 29 (which would lead up to a match at WM 30) but The Great One’s severe injuries and eventual surgery put the kibosh on that plan hence this steel cage match with The Game.  Triple H is pretty much at the tail end of his career and truthfully won’t lose any luster if he puts over the beast.  His legacy is intact.  Since returning to the WWE on a part-time basis, Lesnar has gone 1 for 3.  (He also lost to John Cena at last year’s Extreme Rules.)  If he puts over H, his character will take a credibility hit which would hurt his eventual program with The Rock.

This one will be long and it will go back and forth for at least 20 minutes but in the end, Heyman’s client will squeak out a victory, take another break and then move on to The People’s Champ.

Prediction:  Brock Lesnar by escaping the cage.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 16, 2013
3:36 a.m.

UPDATE:  I’m happy to report I went 7 for 9 tonight.  (To be fair, Lesnar won the cage match by pinfall, not by escaping.  (I picked the right guy, not the right finish.)  And Dean Ambrose won the U.S. title without the assistance of his teammates.)  I forgot that Randy Orton was wrestling in front of his hometown crowd so I was wrong to pick The Big Show as the victor in their Extreme Rules match.  And the WWE Championship ended in a no-contest after John Cena and Ryback knocked each other out during a backstage spot.  (I expected Big Hungry to bring home the gold.)  At any event, I redeemed myself after going 5 for 9 (well, 6 for 10, really) at WrestleMania 29.  The road to next month’s Payback begins tomorrow night on Raw.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 19, 2013
11:37 p.m.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 3:37 am  Comments (1)  

Extreme Rules 2013 Predictions (Part Two)

Strap Match:  Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam 2011, The World’s Strongest Man was looking for some new competition.  When a longtime villain accepted his challenge on TV, the fans now had someone to root for.

Sheamus had entered the WWE in 2009 as a vicious bully who could destroy his opponents with one solid Brogue Kick.  Two WWE Championships, a U.S. title and even a King Of The Ring victory later, he was ready for a change in the summer of 2011.  Upon declaring himself ready to fight Mark Henry during an episode of Smackdown, he immediately became a babyface.

Their entertaining match at SummerSlam ended memorably.  Henry scooped up The Celtic Warrior and rammed him back-first through a portion of the protected barricade which led to a count-out victory.  The two never wrestled on pay-per-view again. 

Which brings us to to the build for Extreme Rules 2013.  After failing to secure a title shot against WWE Champion John Cena, Henry started attacking Sheamus during backstage interviews on Raw and Smackdown.  Sheamus would soon return the favour.  Then, they started having these very strange tests of strength:  a tug-of-war and an arm wrestling competition.  Sheamus would humiliate Henry rather than play by the rules which made little sense.

Curiously, their SummerSlam match has never been mentioned once during this renewed rivalry.  In fact, I’m not sure why they’re feuding in the first place.  Henry’s explanation during a backstage interview, before Sheamus tackled him off his feet, was awfully short on specifics.  It looks like the creative team have no idea what to do with either of them so they’ve been suddenly paired for this upcoming pay-per-view.

What makes matters worse is that they have the worst stipulation for their in-ring battle on Sunday:  a strap match.  A strap will be connected to each of their wrists which can be used as a weapon.  The object is to incapacitate your opponent so you can touch each of the four top turnbuckles in succession.  If you get interrupted you have to start over again.  Stupid.

Honestly, if these two top talents had a better framework to work within, this match would, on paper at least, look better.  But it doesn’t and both men are suffering for it.  Henry has been an awesome villain since 2011 and Sheamus is a likeable enough babyface who sometimes tries too hard to be funny.  (He’s much stronger when he’s completely serious.)  They’re a good pairing when they have a good story to tell as they did in 2011.  But this year looks like a misstep.  A different stipulation would’ve been preferable.

At any event, this is another toss-up for me.  I can see either guy winning but something tells me The Celtic Warrior is going to get the three-count and also a severe beatdown from an angry monster which should set up their rematch at next month’s Payback.

Prediction:  Sheamus

U.S. Title Match:  Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose

New dad Kingston recently dethroned the underrated Antonio Cesaro for this B-title during an episode of Raw.  At the time it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense until he was booked to defend it against the leader of The Shield.  Both men have had limited interactions with each other in the last week (a six-man on Raw and a run-in from Kingston on Smackdown) and Ambrose hasn’t really had a lot of single matches on TV.  He actually lost to The Undertaker by submission in his first one.

But since his Shieldmates are going for the tag belts (and the WWE isn’t reviving the Demolition schtick of having three guys alternate in defending the two titles, originally a Fabulous Freebirds gimmick), Ambrose needs a shot at gold, as well, to even things out.  Besides, he’s been outstanding on the microphone as well as in the ring so, based on that criteria alone, he certainly is worthy of challenging for a strap.

This could be the sleeper match of the show.  Althrough it was a late booking, both men are tremendous performers.  They probably won’t get a lot of time but they’ll likely make the most of it.  Kingston is looking like a temporary champion in this situation so expect him to put over the new guy.  But it won’t be a clean victory.

Prediction:  Dean Ambrose wins the U.S. title by pinfall with chicanery.

Tornado Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles:  Team Hell No vs. The Shield

Kane and Daniel Bryan’s history with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns goes all the way back to last year’s TLC event.  Because then-WWE Champion CM Punk was legitimately recovering from knee surgery, his ladder match against Ryback was postponed to the first Raw of 2013.  Instead of that title bout happening at the December 2012 pay-per-view, Big Hungry ended up teaming with Kane and Bryan to face Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose in a six-man TLC match where, for the first time ever, pinfalls and submissions could take place.  (Normally, you have to climb a ladder to retrieve a title belt in order to win.)

In their very first WWE match, The Shield came out on top.  With a few exceptions, they’ve been unbeatable ever since.  And it’s no surprise to anyone that Reigns and Rollins are in line for a title push.  They’ve been stellar workers and decent talkers.

This rivalry with Kane and Bryan was renewed in recent weeks when The Shield interrupted The Undertaker’s post-WrestleMania speech on Raw.  Nothing happened to The Dead Man, though, because Team Hell No rushed to the ring before they could attack.  The Hounds Of Justice ultimately retreated.  Both sides battled each other in a six-man tag two weeks later with The Shield inching out a victory.  Later, after submitting to Hell’s Gate in a singles match on Smackdown, Ambrose, along with his teammates, put such a beatdown on The Phenom he hasn’t been seen since.  That angered brother Kane who lost to Ambrose in another singles match on the same show the following week. 

Meanwhile, The Shield has continued to rack up other victories on TV.  They’ve been booked so strongly that when they inevitably put another team over cleanly it will mean something.  Their opponents will get a big rub because of it.

But now is their time to become champions.  A Tornado match (formerly a Texas Tornado match) means there won’t be any tags.  All four men in this match will be in the ring at the same time like a Fatal 4-Way.  And that benefits Rollins and Reigns who can do anything and everything in their arsenal to earn their first championships.  Ambrose will likely give them a big assist by interfering.

Daniel Bryan and Kane are the longest reigning champions in WWE right now having held the tag belts for eight months.  Their year-long storyline has been one of the most unexpected delights of the decade so far.  They have somehow managed to transform from mostly amusing dysfunctional rivals into a mostly serious, seemingly unbeatable tag team.  Who would’ve thought a monster in his mid-40s and a cruiserweight in his early 30s would gel so seamlessly?

But the ride is about to end.  Rollins and Reigns are red hot.  In just half a year, they are already the likely successors to Kane and Bryan.  And on Sunday, they get their first championship push.

Prediction:  Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns win the tag titles by pinfall.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 16, 2013
2:17 a.m.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 2:17 am  Comments (1)  

Extreme Rules 2013 Predictions (Part One)

Pre-show match:  The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes

Talk about a late, random booking.  The Miz has just returned after making another movie (maybe this one will get a theatrical release) and the mustachioed one is pretty much directionless at this point.  Neither man has much of a history together and because this match was just announced on Raw this week, there’s been literally no time to give it any kind of a build.  (They apparently had a staredown on Main Event.  Whoopee.)  It’s basically a last-minute filler match to kill time during the pre-show.

The Miz’ babyface run has been a disaster.  He gives you absolutely no reason to root for him.  Meanwhile, Rhodes has developed a welcome sense of humour thanks to his cheesy new facial hair and strong association with the even funnier Damien Sandow.  Personally, I prefer Sandow and Rhodes together as a team and don’t understand why the WWE’s bookers keep trying to separate them.  In fact, they still can’t make up their mind about whether Team Rhodes Scholars are officially over or not.

The last time The Miz worked a pre-show match he won the InterContinental Championship from Wade Barrett at WrestleMania 29.  Then he lost it in a rematch to him the very next night on Raw.  (If that doesn’t screw with your head, I don’t know what will.)  Rhodes didn’t even get the chance to work the show because the eight-person tag match he was originally booked to work was cancelled then re-booked for that very same episode of Raw.  His team lost.

In other words, both men could use a clean victory on Sunday night.  Unfortunately, they won’t have much time to rumble, so they’ll have to make the most of their limited minutes.  As much as I’d prefer Rhodes coming out on top, expect The Miz to get the victory.  Despite their better judgment, the company really wants to get him over as a hero.  After half a year of failing, it’s time to admit failure.

Prediction:  The Miz by submission.

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

At WrestleMania 29, the former Johnny Curtis got the expected push.  Now comes their rematch which, curiously, doesn’t have any kind of added stipulation (unless they’re saving it for the actual pay-per-view).  Originally, they feuded over Jericho purposely and repeatedly butchering Fandango’s name.  (“It’s Faaaaan…daaaaan…gooooo!”)  Y2J can be very funny on the microphone so, for the most part, this bit worked.  (“Fandunghole”, a recent insult, was particularly inspired.)

Lately, they’ve been feuding over who is the better dancer.  (Terrible idea.  From what I can tell, neither are any good.)  In a 20-minute commercial-free segment that opened Raw this week (and went on far too long), both men were supposed to compete in a dance-off.  But thanks to some eventual chicanery, it never happened.  Instead, after all was said and done, Fandango attacked Jericho from behind once again, generating some much needed heat for his character.  (His catchy theme song was unintentionally making him popular.)  At one point, he took a square of the assembled dance floor from the ring and used it like a steel chair on Y2J’s head.  (I thought head shots were verboten.)

Later on during a backstage segment, Jericho cut a deadly serious promo about his Extreme Rules opponent completely changing the tone of the feud.  Now it’s all about business.  No more joking around.  The right creative decision by the bookers.  It was typically compelling stuff from one of the best talkers in wrestling today.

So, how does it all turn out?  Who comes out on top? 

You know I find it a bit surprising that there’s no “extreme” element to this match.  This seems a natural program to incorporate one.  Then again, is it really necessary?  I haven’t seen their WM 29 encounter, a regular one-on-one booking, but from what I’ve read online it was well received.  This return bout will likely be no exception.  If there’s a third PPV match in the works for next month’s Payback, the prediction is easy.  If there isn’t, less so.

But I’m counting on a trilogy here.  Since Fandango won at WrestleMania, look for Jericho to win at Extreme Rules.

Prediction:  Chris Jericho by pinfall.

Extreme Rules Match:  Randy Orton vs. The Big Show

A stale babyface continues his nothing feud with a misused monster heel.  At WM 29, Randy Orton, The Big Show and Sheamus lost their six-man tag match against the unstoppable Shield.  Afterwards, Show, who had appeared to have turned ‘face again during the build for the Showcase Of The Immortals, knocked out his two partners restoring his heel run.  (He was upset about not being tagged in during a key moment of the bout.)  Orton was embarrassed because he had vouched for the giant the whole time.  Sheamus, who feuded with Show for the World title last year, needed a lot of convincing and ultimately regretted going against his instincts.

Following WrestleMania, Orton and Sheamus worked a number of free TV matches against the big man (one-on-ones, two-on-ones and even a tag match) trading victories with him.  But since then, Sheamus has moved on to Mark Henry, leaving Orton to face The World’s Largest Athlete all on his own.

Let’s face it.  The night after WM 29 when The Big Show absolutely creamed his former allies while interfering during their own one-on-one match-up on Raw was the last time this program generated any kind of memorable excitement.  Since then, it’s been “who gives a shit?”.

Even though anything goes on Sunday, does it really matter who wins?  Will either man truly benefit from a push?  The Viper needs to get back to being a cold, calculating villain and maybe a stunning loss to the giant would expedite that long overdue process.  Honestly, this is a toss-up for me but since I have to pick, I’ll go with the big man.

Prediction:  The Big Show by pinfall.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 16, 2013
1:44 a.m.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 1:44 am  Comments (1)  

Why Austin Aries Should Be Fired From TNA

Last week on the TNA wrestling program, Impact, ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake.  While introducing the participants in a tag team match, she erroneously referred to Bobby Roode and Austin Aries as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels, who were their opponents.  Looking extremely pissed off, Aries and Roode made their way down the ramp.  Upon entering the ring, Aries confronted Hemme and actually cornered her demanding that she re-do their introduction.  She got it right the second time but Aries still wasn’t satisfied.

He then climbed the second turnbuckle from the inside so his crotch would be directly in Hemme’s face.  While he was posing she couldn’t escape.  The startled ring announcer laughed purely out of nervousness before urging Aries to climb down which he eventually did.  According to reports online, this wasn’t a work.  Aries was genuinely upset at Hemme’s honest mistake.

But he clearly overreacted.  Honestly, ring announcers, like anybody else, are human.  I was watching a WWE DVD not that long ago that showed a late 80s Madison Square Garden match.  As Howard Finkel, who is considered the greatest of all time, introduces Ravishing Rick Rude he mentions that he’s being accompanied by his manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.  Unfortunately, there was no Heenan.  Just Rude.  If I’m remembering correctly, Finkel wasn’t publicly reprimanded by the former InterContinental Champion for his flub.  And furthermore, it’s not the only mistake he’s made (he’s also said the wrong name of a wrestler at times) but it’s the only one I can think of offhand.

At any event, Hemme simply got the order of the teams wrong.  Not a big deal.  But Aries has turned it into a workplace safety issue thanks to his atrocious behaviour.  Cornering a woman and then putting your crotch in her face is harassment, pure and simple.  Whether it happens in public or in private it’s also shamefully sexist conduct.  It’s like he was trying to send a sinister message to her like a neanderthal.  Don’t fuck up again or else.

Look, I get it.  Aries is on a tag team heel run with Roode and he probably figured he could get some heat out of his actions.  But in the world of professional wrestling, everything has to be approved beforehand.  Everybody has to be on board with the angles.  There’s no way that any woman, let alone Christy Hemme, would’ve ever consented to that kind of harassment. 

That being said, Hemme isn’t the only female ring announcer who’s been given a hard time for making mistakes.  The WWE’s Lilian Garcia has also committed an occasional flub from time to time.  In one deeply embarrassing incident from earlier this year, supposed good guy John Cena scolded her in front of a paying crowd during a Smackdown taping saying she wasn’t as professional as Tony Chimel after screwing up Zack Ryder’s introduction.  (She called him “Jack Swagger” by accident.)  I know Cena is Mr. Charity and all but his behaviour was just as appalling in its sexism.  Can you imagine a male ring announcer being subjected to that kind of public humiliation?

But back to Aries.  According to this, he will be punished for his sexist, unprofessional behaviour.  What that punishment will be is not yet certain.  But I suspect it will be a short suspension with or without pay along with a phony, forced apology and possibly a de-push.  (Why do I think it won’t be sincere?  Because of this.)

It’s pretty clear that if this happened in an office or any other workplace, Aries would be unemployed right now, which is why TNA President Dixie Carter should send a direct message to everybody in the company by making his dismissal a reality.  (So far, this is her only public comment on the matterIt’s not very reassuring.)  If they have a “zero tolerance policy” on workplace harassment, then fully enforce it.  Don’t let this man think he can get away with being an asshole.

If he’s not fired, it means TNA doesn’t care about protecting its Knockouts and it doesn’t take the scourge of sexual harassment very seriously.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
10:27 p.m.

UPDATE:  According to this TMZ report, Aries has privately apologized to Hemme and has been fined an undisclosed amount by TNA.  Not good enough.  He should’ve been fired.  The toleration of inappropriate behaviour in the wrestling world continues.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 16, 2013
8:08 p.m.

Published in: on May 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm  Comments (2)  

The End Of Obsession

You’re being strangled by the darkness
Feel its ever tightening grip
You entered this traumatic state
After taking a poisonous sip
Temptation turned into madness
Lust gave way to fear
Peace threatened by violence
Whispered in your ear

Finding comfort in this torture
Is the definition of insane
It’s an illusion to derive pleasure
From being pelted by the rain
The repetition is monotonous
The message is always the same
You can’t reason with your captor
It only adds to your shame

But deep down within you
Is the last wave of resistance
It’s just waiting for your call
Can you overcome this persistence?
Yet you still believe in the lies
That seduce you into submission
And you can’t renegotiate
You already gave your permission

So what is the answer?
How will you be released?
Have you suffered enough punishment
Or will it be increased?
You can extricate the truth
Buried deep within your depression
And what you will uncover
Is the end of your obsession

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, May 13, 2013
5:51 p.m.

Published in: on May 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm  Comments (1)  

From The Published Archives: The Unborn

The Huffington Post believes that this young lady resembles Megan Fox.  You know, they make a strong case.  But, in truth, she’s not the only Fox doppelganger.

When I screened The Unborn in late August 2009, I couldn’t help but notice how much Odette Yustman resembled the Transformers star.  (Since getting married a few years ago, she’s now known as Odette Annable.)  That observation led to this negative review which originally surfaced on Monkeybiz.ca, long after its second submission, on June 28, 2010.  (It took two tries because my original contact at the site up and quit without telling me and without passing any of my numerous submissions on to the editor.  Once they were re-sent directly to the editor, however, they were properly edited and eventually posted.  I should’ve done that from the start.  Less stressful.)

My original draft ran a little over the accepted limit.  (Monkeybiz prefers critiques to be between 250 and 600 words.)  It ran 632 which explains why some of my bracketed comments were either cut down or removed altogether from the final version (among some other significant edits).  For this archival reposting, those comments have been restored.  I’ve also made some other minor changes and restorations mainly because I’m finicky.

Ultimately, I’ve decided to maintain much of the MonkeyBiz version because, for the most part, it was superior to my original submission.  I have a tendency to be overlong at times which necessitates tighter edits, like the ones employed for this review.  Plus, I misspelled Carla Gugino’s last name as Cugino.  Sometimes it’s good to have an editor.

Since The Unborn came and went four years ago, Annable has kept busy with recurring roles on House and Brothers & Sisters as well as appearing in the occasional feature film.  But she’s yet to have that breakthrough role.  Maybe she should read my advice at the end of this critique and take it into consideration.

Then again, maybe not.  What the hell do I know?

The Unborn: A Movie Review

Posted on June 28 2010 under Arts & Entertainment
By Dennis Earl

Odette Yustman has a real problem. With her long, flowing black hair, haunting eyes and stunning good looks, she could easily pass for Megan Fox.

Normally, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but for an actress trying to make a name for herself on her own terms, being mistaken for someone more famous can only take you so far. Her striking resemblance to the Transformers heroine is a big distraction in The Unborn, a cross between The Omen and Invasion of The Body Snatchers that is not very scary.

In the film, Yustman plays Casey, a college student haunted by bad dreams and brief glimpses of an Eddie Munster wannabe. Her mother (the lovely but completely silent Carla Gugino) died in the nuthouse under mysterious circumstances when she was little. Her father (James Remar in a rare, brief good guy role) has raised her ever since.

After a little boy slices Casey in the eye during a fateful babysitting gig, weirder things start happening. She hears noises coming from her medicine cabinet. While cracking open an egg one morning, a creepy-crawly mysteriously pops out. A baby she looked after the night she got hurt has suddenly died.

Once her father informs her that she had a twin brother who died in utero, Casey starts rummaging through her mother’s old items in a desperate hunt for clues. She stumbles across an old article about a Holocaust survivor (Jane Alexander) who, thankfully, is still alive and living in a retirement home.

For some unexplained reason, instead of telling the poor girl what she knows and how she can help her through her ordeal, the Holocaust survivor denies ever knowing Casey’s mother at all and freaks out over one of the pictures she’s shown.

But in a later scene she summons Casey by phone to an emergency meeting to pass on to her all the precious information she could have offered in the earlier encounter.

Meanwhile, except for the Holocaust survivor, neither Casey’s boyfriend Mark (Cam Gigandet), her best friend Romy (Meagan Good), nor a rabbi (Gary Oldman) she consults on the advice of the Holocaust survivor believe she’s in any serious danger.

As the movie crawls from one scene to the next, it’s puzzling why we should take any of this seriously. It’s not frightening, it’s not interesting and it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

That being said, the idea of an eye colour experiment unintentionally opening a portal to a netherworld of dastardly spirits has potential, but why would those evil entities want to cross over in the first place? What’s in it for them, exactly? Do they want to rule the world hiding in human bodies? Are they starved for sex after years of going without? Do they want redemption in the form of new lives?

The Unborn could care less about following through on any of these possibilities. It’s too lazy to even bring them up in passing.

The film does have its merits. Good has a couple of funny lines (when she’s not being mean) and Oldman is convincing as the mild-mannered rabbi (especially when he speaks in Hebrew). Elements of Ramin Djawadi’s score are effective, particularly the end title theme.

But the film’s supernatural storyline is neither scary nor believable. Yustman, the Megan Fox doppelganger, does not have much of a character to play. Despite having the most screen time of any actor in the film, I never felt compelled enough to root for her.

If Yustman desires permanent leading lady status, she needs to do two important things: change her look and seek out stronger material. Only then will we know her true capabilities.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 5, 2013
6:54 p.m.

Published in: on May 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm  Comments (2)  

I’m Your Conscience

I can’t penetrate your wall of denial
Your fragile beliefs are well protected
As reality surrounds you at every turn
You have no fear of being infected

Engaging with me does you no good
So you’ve cut off all communication
I represent what you can’t handle
The antidote to your oversimplification

You claim to be wise and in tune with the world
You even studied the Koran for half a year
But America’s crimes are not your concern
You’ve made that unmistakably clear

Force feeding the innocent, silencing the brave
These violations never raise your ire
If you think your President is heroic and noble
You’re either naive or a pathetic liar

How do you live in an ignorant state of bliss?
How do you rationalize your blatant inconsistencies?
How do you turn your back on human suffering?
Your hero has many deficiencies

The pace of change is always glacial
When you solidify your foolish misconceptions
One day you will remove your blinders
And be aghast at all his deceptions

But achieving that breakthrough is supremely hard
Your resistance to reason is a burden
You’re not at all outraged by the deaths of thousands
That much is painfully certain

Projecting your insecurities is a sign of desperation
Are you really as indifferent as you appear to be?
The most difficult leason I’ve had to learn
There are limits to your empathy

You scream bloody murder when it happens in the Congo
You keep demanding the arrest of Joseph Kony
But American violators don’t meet your same standard
You’re a preachy, self-righteous phony

You’re an unlikely shill for a decaying empire
Their unwitting spokesperson for hate
If you ever lived up to your values
Fearful Muslims would celebrate

But instead they suffer all on their own
As you endlessly espouse discredited orthodoxy
I’m your conscience, Ms. Bush
But I really shouldn’t have to be

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, May 3, 2013
6:00 p.m.

Published in: on May 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm  Comments (2)