ITEM! Hub City - Thoughts on The Green Lantern
Jerome Charyn writes his version of the Russian epic, fusing Stalin, movies stars, and his usual antics into an enjoyable read that will have you guessing who manages to survive and how, and none of it has anything to do with Hal Jordan or anything else Geoff Johns has written about in the last seven years. Although give him a moment...
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ITEM! Hub City - Reading List: Our Mutual Friend
Spoiler alert: This Charles Dickens book, famously saved as the last one Desmond Hume would ever read on Lost, is about the corruptibility of man, which is what Lost ended up being about, that whole argument between Jacob and the Man in Black.
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ITEM! Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x9 "Singularity"
Sulu fenced. Sisko built a clock. Malcolm Reed creates Red Alert. Sometimes those who get there last have all the fun. This is an episode in the classic mode of characters going off on obsessive behavioral pursuits.
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ITEM! Tony Laplume - "This Is No Time to Talk About Time! We Don't Have the Time!"
The line comes from Deanna Troi in Star Trek: First Contact. She's drunk and trying to explain how she completely failed to talk sense with Zephram Cochrane. This post is not so dissimilar. But I instead talk about how I got a short story in a new anthology.
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THE BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND
Dan Head talks about Bronx Angel: Politics By Another Method.
The recent release of CM Punk: Best in the World, a career retrospective on one of WWE's top stars, had me viewing Punk in something of a new light. Much like Chris Jericho in his two autobiographies (but notably in the second, Undisputed), much of Punk's journey seems to take place inside his own head. Plenty of fans have wanted over the years for his success to develop at a more accelerated rate, but the truth is Punk has seemed to have a blessed career from the start. His biggest obstacle was overcoming a family he ran away from, but found acceptance and a new home (and family) pretty quickly. His career as a wrestler began in a promotion he and his friends put together in someone's backyard, and apparently drew huge numbers in a short amount of time. He was always interested in bigger ponds. Though his tenure in ROH is covered, it is notably downplayed, and the irony of his becoming the company's top star only in his final months is an irony that is apparently lost on him. When he reaches WWE, Punk is disappointed to start at OVW, its development league at the time. Still, he makes the most of it. The real problem comes when he becomes a world champion for the first time, and feels he doesn't get the push he deserves. It does in fact take several years to reach the pipe bomb moment two Junes ago, and the going-on-a-year reign as WWE champion he's currently enjoying. I was as guilty as anyone of expecting more from the company than it was willing to give him at times, but there have been plenty of stars who got a lot less than Punk, even during the time he thought he got no respect at all.
Punk is a fan's wrestler in a new kind of mold, someone who enjoys the game as much as they do (his breakthrough moment in deciding to enter wrestling was when he noticed how similar he was to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper). Sometimes it seems like he loses himself to the image he's created as a performer. Maybe there's more Phil Brooks in CM Punk than I previously realized. That's always bound to be the case to a certain extent. Bret Hart will always deny it, but the frustrations his character voiced in 1997 well before the "Montreal Screwjob" still resonate a lot more than any reports that Vince McMahon simply acted out of selfish interests. Punk became popular when he broke the fourth wall and voiced his own frustrations. He's probably about as popular as Hart ever was. If you haven't followed wrestling in years, he's a company man who energizes fans who watch on a dedicated basis. He's not a Hulk Hogan. He's a Ric Flair.
The matches included in this retrospective cover 2006 to this year, and help demonstrate how his career, at least in WWE, may only be beginning. If you traced Hart's career to a similar point, you wouldn't have the famous WrestleMania match with Steve Austin, for instance. Sometimes when a wrestler reaches the top in the company and then drops below it again, their career can suffer. "Macho Man" Randy Savage, for instance, whom Punk emulates with an elbow splash from the top turnbuckle, had a hard time recovering from his first run as champion. Time will tell how Punk fares in the next several years. I hope he's genuinely happier with his success, and appreciates it for what it is.