The world needs ditch diggers, but it doesn’t need annoying fucks with clipboards outside every grocery store

Aside


Mr. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, I propose that in lieu of extending unemployment benefits yet again, we ban the fuck out of the canvassing, telemarketing, and SEO scamming ads that litter our job listings and rob this nation’s job seekers of the morale and desire to work again that they so desperately depend on to take them through these dark days. Thank you.

CM Rolling

One of my favorite Metafilter posts ever went up yesterday, documenting very recent shifts in the presentation and exploration of pro wrestling.

In brief, at the end of June a wrestler named CM Punk brought two things to an episode of RAW that many found surprising: rhetorical sophistication and the impression that he might actually be sincere in biting the hand that feeds him with comments about WWE’s practices, management, and fans. In other words, for a few minutes a WWE broadcast teetered between the experience of reality TV and the experience of reality.

Whether these phenomena are actually novel in WWE or not, CM Punk’s rant (the convincing delivery of which is truly bizarre when paired onscreen with John Cena’s unconvincing hurt-and-stunned act) caught the attention of the mainstream media. More to the Metafilter post’s point, the attention has perhaps been a threshold event for the respectability of writers who cover pro wrestling from an informed-fan point of view.

I can take or leave the smart wrestling bloggers in approximately the same way I can take or leave Television Without Pity coverage, but it’s nice to know that something as large, weird, recurrent, and American as WWE can be treated knowledgeably and not merely caught between the people who think fakery is its only salient quality and the people who don’t register its fakery as anything of particular interest.

As for CM Punk, he’s done a fine job of bringing himself to prominence with charisma; a strange, smart populism; and streets-ahead savvy–but he’s clearly nobody’s revolutionary. He could be, though, perhaps the first non-lunkhead wrestling crossover star, and that could be a very good thing.

If, for instance, we continue needing to remake the everloving shit out of John Carpenter classics, then I believe I could get behind Punk taking Rowdy Roddy Piper’s place in They Live. (Don’t get your hopes up; it looks like they’re going to try to dumb down a Carpenter flick, which is truly some squaring-the-cirle, peace in the Middle East-level science!)

The other undeniable thing about Punk is that he reps Chicago hard. Why, he was even supposed to be on Q101 yesterday before that third fate did her job on the station. His demonstrations of civic pride are never subtle, and they don’t seem to be quite as smart as his phony anti-corporate rants, but given their context, they almost make it a little less embarrassing to admit I might want to watch wrestling this weekend. Samples:

Posted in yap

Aside

From me to you: it’s an ice cream sundae CSS background. In case you need, you know, a CSS background that sort of looks like a bunch of tiny ice cream sundaes. You can get it here.

Sample of sundae CSS background

Whatever gets you to the top of the hill

Quote

Waldo from "Hot for Teacher" video

Far be it from me to imply that David Lee Roth is a nerd rocker of any sort. However, this chorus from Big Train is the only rock lyric I know of to refer to the train-and-platform thought experiment used to demonstrate the special theory of relativity. You won’t get that from Rush. You’d likely be hard-pressed to find it in the annals of college rock.

Time gets movin’
When you don’t know what you’re doin’
And you’re wondering if you ever will

Honey are you with me?
Or is the train doing sixty?
Maybe you’re standing still.

No one's really sure what became of Waldo after graduation.

Posted in yap

Book it, kids

Los Angeles Central Library atrium

Los Angeles Central Library atrium

I really like this atrium, but the chandeliers bring back the eternal question: why do we juvenilize libraries in this culture? Most branch libraries I make it to are full of kids who–you’ll forgive me for saying this–I doubt very much need to be there. Even so, branch libraries tend to be built horizontally and laid out like romper rooms, so perhaps the kids belong there. But why does even the grand[1] Central Library building need to be Sesame Streeted up with bright colors and primitivist animals?

Have we ceded reading to the young ones, along with the top-40 list? Maybe we wouldn’t have library funding crises if taxpayers (so many of whom are adults) felt ownership in their libraries, or at least believed they aren’t merely subsidizing tween daycare centers. Is it so vital to the culturing of rugrats’ love of books that every space associated with learning needs to stimulate them with candy colors and nightmare fauna?

And can there be a space for people who enjoy badass spaces on their own merits and would prefer them not to be cluttered with sops to the whimsicalists who continue their roachlike invasion of every public space?


1. “Grand” in an LA fashion, anyway. It’s built in a pre-postmodern mishmash of styles and decorated with more, and more exotic, mystical symbols than can be found on all the wallpaper in all the Freemasonry lodges in all the world. But it’s still very, very dapper.

Posted in yap

Xavier Cugat was taking tickets at the Ferris wheel

Quote

But Muybridge’s neighbors in the White City were not only the dancing girls of the "Streets of Cairo," but an exhibit of $1,000,000 in gold coins, a model of the Eiffel Tower, and the Temple of Luxor. For all its technological miracles, the Columbian Exposition foresaw the Vegas Strip as much as anything else.
Chicago: Home of the World’s First Movie Theater – The 312 – July 2011 – Chicago.