Thursday, May 13, 2010

#243. Reading List: Sacred Games


The Reading List continues with:

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, which follows some of my previous excursions into Indian literature (such as The Satanic Verses and In Hanuman's Hands), and is the final of four epic-length books in a row. It was one of the books that caught my eye when I first started working in a bookstore, which I've found as a good way to catch some of the most interesting yet seldom talked about books being published today, at least as far as literary fiction goes. I still haven't gotten that much further along in my theoretical return to sci-fi/fantasy material, though I've discovered a title or two.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, meanwhile, has become one of my favorite books, so that's how the last one turned out.

#242. WrestleMania XXVI Thoughts


It's worth noting that "Living the New Fade" was written and posted over at the Modern Woe poetry blog.

Finally got my copy of the WrestleMania XXVI DVD from Amazon the other day. John Morrison and Big Show made some good work in a relatively short opening match. Probably the most dramatically-filmed match of the night, surprisingly. The Money in the Bank was interesting in that Evan Bourne was a surprise highlight. I haven't gotten to see a lot of him, whether he's been on ECW or Raw, because during his WWE tenure, I haven't had cable. The Undertaker/HBK match was slightly disappointing, because it followed the finisher escalation pattern a little too closely, but was still pretty cool. Jericho might have had his best WrestleMania match. The Hart-McMahon fight was like watching Angle-Guerrero from Summer Slam 2004 all over again, insofar as the relentlessness of it. Gail Kim was the hottest Diva, with Kelly Kelly not far behind. Alicia Fox apparently thinks she's Monty Brown. Vickie Guerrero, who has never and will never be a wrestler, manages to do just the right amount of blundering. Can't forget to mention Michelle McCool, who is my favorite Diva. Randy Orton probably also had his best WrestleMania, but he's been surprisingly good. It's funny to hear the crowd cheer his villainous behavior these days, just like his old friend Edge. CM Punk delivered a WrestleMania-caliber sermon. Rey Mysterio made an ironic Na'vi. It's still weird to think of Batista as anything but a crowd-favorite, because before his early-2006 injury, he was vastly more popular than Cena. Nice honor guard intro, though. Not much to say about Triple H and Sheamus.

The Hall of Fame this year was, thanks to Ultimate Warrior, dominated by old people, which was pretty evident during the ceremony. But it's great to celebrate some of the history that's made today's wrestling possible, as Gorgeous George's segments certainly made clear.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

#241. Modern Woe Continues


As goes the current poetry cycle, Modern Woe, I'm about to submit another lengthy piece that steps outside the bounds of the normal process (which is to basically write more or less on the spot, at the New Post prompt, which is something I mess around with every now and again, but rather actually deviate from; the last time was with "The Index" during the We'll See cycle). I've got to spend some real time on "Living the New Fade," because it's the latest in a series of poems I've been writing since 2003, and it's what I would consider my statement about modern times, the world we live in, which in one sense is exactly what I try to do with all my poems, but with the "New Fade" ones, I'm trying to define what exactly defines our times, and I've had it that we live in an age of increasingly fluctuating rules. I've been reading Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, David Lipsky's book about a road trip he took with the late David Foster Wallace, an author who at least in these interviews comes off as something who put a lot of thought into his worldview. I've been hesitant to read Infinite Jest, Wallace's best-known work, because in his writing, and even his ideas about writing, I don't know that I necessarily agree with him, but as a fellow thinker, I think we're more or less kindred spirits, which doesn't happen all that often for me.

Anyway, just wanted to write some about that.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

#240. 2010 Draft


Must...comment...on 2010 WWE draft...

The moves this time weren't all that huge, but they were pretty significant.

Chris Jericho - Biggest move, probably, but he's been on both brands rather prominently since his return.

Edge - Since this comes so soon after returning, doesn't really count as the big move it might have been. But it's nice for him to be back here, I guess, first time since he's really established himself post-Cena.

John Morrison - Could be a big move, if they want to use him to a significant degree, but we'll see.

R-Truth - Even though he's basically in the same position as Morrison, he stands to gain more, because there aren't as many expectations here.

Great Kali - Why not?

Hart Dynasty - I guess they made it official.

Ezekiel Jackson - Injuries kept him from Smackdown. So this makes even.

Goldust - Makes even.

Big Show - Same as Jericho.

Christian - Could be huge. He's this brand's Morrison draft pick.

Chris Masters - Could benefit much in the same way Dolph Ziggler has - in the long-term.

Kofi Kingston - Good timing, anyway. Could help him reach the next level. Okay, so that makes two Smackdown draft picks who resemble Raw's Morrison move.

MVP - Good move here. Positions him to feud with Jack Swagger. Hopefully that's the plan.

Kelly Kelly - Yay. :)

Chavo Guerrero - Right back home.

Cody Rhodes - No real benefit, which is not a knock on Rhodes. Might be another Ziggler.

Hornswaggle - No real change.

Rosa Mendes - Blank slate here.

Anyway, it's funny that the TNA-diots (a term of affection) still believe in their product as strongly as they do, even with the apparent loss in the new Monday Night War. What TNA lacks is a strong buzz star, which isn't to say they don't have wrestlers capable of providing that, but that they aren't champion. Nothing against AJ Styles or RVD, but they're more the kind of guys you'd want to appease existing wrestling fans than making new ones. Hey, guys, you've got Mr. Anderson, remember...? This would be a great time, now that he's firmly re-established, to give him what he was always denied in WWE. Maybe I'm just biased...

Still launching plans to take over the world via words. Revamped the Terror of Knowing collection, reworking a number of poems into single larger ones. Some comic book projects also look promising, at least as far as I consider them. But that's always the case. I'll continue updating with more specifics as they become relevant...


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