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Under Great White Northern Lights

It's 1:34 am as I write this sentence. The White Stripes newest CD "Under Great White Northern Lights" came out 1 hour and 34 minutes ago and as of this moment I am halfway through it. Being the huge White Stripes fan that I am (they are my favorite band after all) I can say that it is every bit as good as I had anticipated. The energy put out by Jack can be felt immediately and it doesn't let up. I keep finding myself mouthing the words and bobbing my head during pretty much every song, which isn't odd for me when I listen to WS, however it is odd being that it's the first time I'm experiencing the CD and usually I like to take it in. Not this time though. It's too damn good.

All of their classic songs are here and Jack puts his unique style on each one, making it different from any other recording available for them. His improv is great to listen to and makes it the overall experience that much better. Every song has so much raw passion that it's hard to not be completely absorbed when listening.

I purchased this on iTunes so I haven't had the joy of seeing the dvd yet but I can only imagine how good it is. I'm hoping to make the leap at some point and pick it up on Blu Ray. I'd highly recommend it to any WS fan or just fan of music in general. This finds itself next to "Nirvana Live at Reading" as one of my favorite Live CD's of all time. Now I just hope this alludes to a WS CD with new material and a tour. Then I'll be an even happier camper!

Also, I finished the CD while writing this review.

Favorite films of 09...

Rather than write a massive post describing why for each of these choices, I'm just going to put the list there and let it speak for itself.

  1. 1. Avatar

    2. District 9

    3. Inglourious Basterds

    4. 500 Days of Summer

    5. Fantastic Mr. Fox

    6. Up In The Air

    7. The Hurt Locker

    8. A Serious Man

    9. Up

    10. Invictus

    11. Trick R Treat

    12. Zombieland

    13. I Love You, Man

    14. Star Trek

    15. The Hangover

    16. Carriers

    17. World’s Greatest Dad

    18. Funny People

    19. Terminator: Salvation

    20. Adventureland

    21. Crazy Heart

    22. Where the Wild Things Are

    23. An Education

    24. The Men Who Stare At Goats

    25. Saw VI


    1. Halloween 2

    2. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

    3. Drag Me To Hell

    4. Transformers 2

    5. Sherlock Holmes

    6. Watchmen

    7. Sorority Row

    Best Performance by an Actor

    · Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

    · Sam Worthington – Avatar

    · George Clooney – Up in the Air/Fantastic Mr Fox

    · Joseph Gordon Levitt – 500 Days of Summer

    · Brad Pitt – Inglourious Basterds

    · Chris Pine – Star Trek/Carriers

    · Sharlto Copely – District 9

    · Matt Damon – Invictus

    · Morgan Freeman – Invictus

    Best Performance by an Actress

    · Zoe Saldana – Avatar

    · Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air

    · Carey Mulligan – An Education

    · Vera Farmiga – Up In the Air

    Biggest Surprises

    · Avatar

    · District 9

    · Fantastic Mr Fox

    · Trick R Treat

    · Saw VI

    · Carriers

    Biggest Disappointments

    · The Lovely Bones

    · Where The Wild Things Are

    · Sherlock Holmes

    · Drag Me To Hell

Bout to get gay with some Rasslin

Okay so I'm letting the cat out of the bag: Yes, I watch wrestling. Yes, that stupid stuff you flip through and go "So stupid" then promptly switch back to reality TV. I used to watch it when I was younger (during the "Attitude Era") and loved it then. Of course, back then I thought it was real and had no idea this was all just "entertainment". I, like many others, thought that it was real. Of course, if I were to just use common sense I would have realized that there's no way it could be real. The way that finishers can in some instances knock people out for minutes, and then other times it'll just take them out for a few seconds. Oh how naive I was.

Onto my main point, few months back (October I believe) I started watching the WWE again. Also, it's very odd to say that since I was so used to the WWF. Anyway, back to the point, I started watching this again mainly due to the fact that I watched some youtube videos for Jeff Hardy (one of my favorite wrestlers). After I had watched pretty much all I could on him I moved onto some other favorites such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, HBK, and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. I believe that one weekend while my roommate was gone I watched about 20 hours worth of wrestling related video. I even read the wikipedia pages, finding out what has happened over the years. That was it, I was hooked. I made a decision I never thought I would make again: I will watch current WWE events.

At this point, I figured I'd just watch an episode, see how bad it is nowadays, then move on. Only I saw that many of my favorites were still around (HBK, Taker, HHH) and that some of the Wrestler's I wasn't so familiar with (Morrison, Mysterio, Bourne) were pretty great high fliers. I had seen some little snippets of the current "Main Eventers" previous to coming back to it (Cena, Orton, Batista) but didn't know much about them. So over the next few weeks I was able to catch up on everything that was going on, who's who and so on. Oddly enough...I liked it. The stupid storylines were still there (anything Diva related) but some was pretty good (Batista vs. Mysterio). It all just works for what it is: entertainment.

Watching wrestling now and watching wrestling back 15 years ago, for me at least, are two very different experiences. The main difference being that I used to believe that this was all real. Obviously that makes the whole experience completely different. Instead of going into a match thinking "Oh I like him better, I hope he wins!" I go "Well they'll let him win so that this will set up perfectly for the PPV" or something to that liking. It's also pretty funny to notice all the overacting that goes on whether it's them trying to sell a finisher or just during one of their promo's. This brings me to something else: one little technical difference between the two eras, again for me, is all the terms. Stuff such as Promo's, Kayfabe, Face, and Heel meant absolutely nothing to me nowadays. I knew about two things: wrestling and the stuff that caused them to wrestle.

Rather than making this a separate post I'll just throw this in here since it's all related. One thing I noticed was that I quite enjoyed many of the wrestler's around nowadays so I figured I'd throw around some of my opinions on them.

Randy Orton - Probably my favorite out of all the "Main Eventers" and definitely one of my favorites on the entire roster. His storylines aren't very layered but he makes for a great heel (even though the crowd loves him). His finisher is pretty cool and he always seems like a huge threat whenever he's out there. The veracity of his moves make him intriguing. Wasn't a huge fan of all this Legacy bullshit going on. Can't believe that's been going on for so long. Glad to see them leaving that behind. Also, his entrance music is awesome and I always have it stuck in my head.

John Cena - Arguably the most popular of all current wrestlers, I can definitely see why. Cena has a charisma that is not matched by any other current wrestler. His promo's are the best out there usually and he stirs up a crowd like no other. Everyone seems much more involved in the match when he's around. His finisher's somewhat lacking. The Attitude Adjustment is definitely his best because it packs the most punch. The 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' is about as lame as the 'People's Elbow', especially since you can see it doesn't even connect to the person half the time, but the "You can't see me!" taunt that always precedes it is quite entertaining and the crowd really gets into it. Another person whose music is pretty kickass.

John Morrison - This is one that I didn't even realize until the Elimination Chamber, which as of this post was about 1 week ago. The only person I can compare him to is early Shawn Michaels. His look definitely resembles that and his high flying capabilities definitely impress. Starship Pain (terrible name, I know) is actually a very cool move that I always enjoy seeing just because it's something I don't think I could ever replicate. I just wish he would drop the fur coat look and make himself look like more of a badass and less of an 80's rockstar.

Chris Jericho - Now this is one that I like more for the man himself and not the character. He appears on several VH1 shows (ie. I Love the 80's) and he is definitely one awesome dude. So that tends to carry into my liking for him in the WWE. He makes for one great heel and does some pretty entertaining promos. Every time "Break the Wall down!" I immediately perk up and know something cool will happen. Some people may not like the Codebreaker, but I enjoy it. Simple yet effective. I remember Walls of Jericho from back when so that's some nice familiarity.

CM Punk - My opinion of Punk started when I found out that Jeff Hardy was no longer affiliated with the WWE and it was Punk who beat him in a career ending match. With Hardy being my favorite Wrestler, I obviously wasn't a fan of him upon finding out that information (though yes, it is all apart of the storyline and Hardy just wanted to leave). But he definitely grew on me. He makes for one fantastic heel. His "Straight Edge" gimmick is the best one out there and always makes for an intriguing watch. His finisher's aren't very memorable, with the "Go To Sleep" looking rather tame compared to most finishers that put the opponent in such a compromising position. Also has pretty damn good entrance music.

Edge - Back when I watched, Edge was teamed up with Christian and they always were feuding with either the Hardy's or the Dudley's, so to see him as a "Main Eventer" is kind of odd for me. It's unfortunate the others haven't achieved the success he has (outside of Jeff Hardy who quite obviously surpasses him). His promo's are some of the best out there and it seems like he's just having a good time which helps to connect with him. His "insane" look is just about as entertaining as it gets.

Kofi Kingston - Not very popular yet but I have a feeling he'll be getting bigger and bigger. His feud with Orton gave him plenty of publicity so hopefully he starts appearing in bigger events. He just has a style that I enjoy quite a bit. He doesn't really have much of a gimmick outside of being himself. He has some great high flying moves as well. Trouble in Paradise isn't quite as cool as some other finishers, but it gets the job done.

I'm not going to take the time to name some of the old wrestlers still around and give them their individual spotlight but Undertaker and HBK are looking old. They need to retire and let the new guys get some attention and vie for the Championships.

Now, people can look down on me all they want for it but I still really enjoy wrestling. Hell, even my dad refuses to admit that I watch it. He's extremely embarrassed by it but what do I care? At least I like it so what does it matter? One thing I have noticed is that I definitely won't be letting someone I just met know that I watch wrestling. There are far too many stereotypes that go along with it so I tend to leave that part out.

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