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The Passing of a Legend: RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper

To four-year-old Tyler there were five wrestlers: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. The last two stuck out because they weren't like the others, they were straight bad guys. They could talk and they could talk a lot, being heralded as some of the greatest promo men of all time. Unfortunately Jake fell into drugs hard and it got to the point where obituaries everywhere were already written for him, just waiting for the time to go to print. So it is with great surprise and sorrow that today marks the passing of the other loose canon, Roddy Piper.

Piper was around during a time in my wrestling life where renting videos from Mammoth Video became my only way of watching. I'd see him in random segments and knew of his legend, but wasn't an active participant in his glory years. Still, I played with his action figure and would use his character in whatever SNES WWF game that was out. He was a legend.

He showed up years later on one of my favorite TV shows, "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" as what was essentially his interpretation of the main character from The Wrestler. He did awesome, by the way, so much so that he showed up again on Sunny later. It feels like a treat every time I see him pop up as The Manic because it feels like a little nod to wrestling fans. And he provided pop culture one of the greatest lines in the history of cinema via They Live, "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble gum... Looks like I'm all outta bubblegum."

Recently he even came under fire for a negative impersonation of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin which resulted in the cancellation of his PodcastOne show and the termination of his WWE Legends contract. I'm not sure how this will affect WWE doing tributes to him, but I certainly hope it doesn't at all. He deserves every bit as much praise as Dusty got during his passing. There are few wrestlers that were as big as Piper, and without him playing a fantastic heel, who's to say if the first Wrestlemania would have been the success it was. He deserves every bit of praise going his way.

But let's not pretend like he wasn't crazy. He was. He was absolutely insane in all the best of ways, providing for so many off the cuff moments where you were never quite sure where he'd go next. It made him one of the more intriguing personalities around. Even look at his last appearance on the Rich Eisen show, where Piper rambles on to the point that Eisen has to ask him what his point is. Anyone else and they would have been accused of being drunk or drugged but not Piper. He was just always crazy.

And that's how I'll remember him. A crazy, enigmatic personality who was one of the last living legends of wrestling. Just how big of a legend was he? Who else but Roddy Piper put Hogan over one more time. I'm sure he appreciates it, brother.

Quicksand (short fiction)

Randomly came across some writing of mine from college that I thought I had lost forever. This was the prologue for a novel I was developing. I lost most of my work on it and will likely never return to it due to the backlog of story ideas, but I still thinks it's an intriguing opening. It's a dream sequence so it feels disjointed and all over the place, but I liked it enough to share it. It's also in the present tense which is a little weird but I was a naive sophomore who didn't know any better. Hope you enjoy.


        Huge wisps of white mist fill the night air.  With each exhale Katherine's breath is frozen forever into meaningless space.  Hard on catching whatever air she can, she kneels over.  Barely able to hold herself up, she nearly collapses, using her hips as leverage.  Her eyes wander, just noticing the terrifying scene around her.
        Forest and hills cover most of the countryside.  A dark fog rests along the ground, almost graveyard-like in it's appearance.  The trees, their leaves long gone, stick out like knives poking holes in the sky, the sky...a dark pit of despair almost as sad to look at as the land itself.  Occasional raindrops fall as Katherine watches around her, a drop hitting her in the eye. 
         Batting it away with a blink she stares out from atop a hill, just small enough to climb but still tall enough to be intimidating.  It's presence mixed with the foreboding nature of the scenery.  Long vines and tall grass grows upon the hill, truly being enveloped by nature.  Several orange flowers lay scattered across the top of the hill clashing with the grim display of almighty nature.  They practically outline the young girl as she struggles for breath still.
        "I can't stop moving", she thinks, immediately regretting even thinking such a thing.  This was unavoidable.  It was something that he had been working towards for years.  She could not just give up at a moments notice based on some petty human reaction.  This wasn't like her.  The air escaping her lungs with no hope of ever returning, the hunched over posture which took away any chances of standing properly; none of it was right.
         Her eyes widened as she let out a gasp, staring down upon her ring finger with a wedding ring brightly adorning it.  Before even being able to react further, a howl fills the night air; it's fierceness penetrating the hearts of even the strongest of foes.  She cannot delay any longer.  She must get moving.

         Steadily balancing her body she begins rocking back and forth till finally she launches herself forward, briskly rolling down the hill in graceful manner, hardly even visibly.  Reaching the bottom of the hill she raises herself, continuing her run deep into the ever-widening forest.
Dodging between broken down limbs and an amass of foliage, she sprints out, not even glancing at what could be behind her.  Out of the corner of her eye she spots something; a white flash moving at speeds almost unimaginable for a human creature. 
         Her face implants harshly against a solid object, nearly rendering her unconscious if not paralyzed.  She struggles for air as she realizes her face rests in shallow water. She lies; face down in a shallow stream.  Dazed, she looks around her trying to figure out what has happened. 
         The stream had appeared out of nowhere, causing her to trip and fall into it's depths. The height from the hill in which she plummeted and the stream was not life threatening, but still rather dangerous, especially taking into account lack of depth in the water.  Leaves crunch as footsteps can be heard making their way over the hill and next to the stream in which Katherine lies.  She knows that the fall delayed her too much.  Even if she were to stand up and run off as fast as she can, there was no chance.  She couldn't possibly escape them now.  It was all over.
          Katherine stares up over the hill as three huge figures walk to the stream.  On the ground in a flash, they softly step into the calm water; it only coming up to their feet.  As if someone had pulled a curtain on the world, the world goes dark.  Frightened of the possibilities of her surroundings, she softly weeps, her lower lip quivering with each sob.
         A flash of pain pierces through her and all that’s surrounds her is pure white light.  She grasps her head, trying to suffer through it but can’t as she screams out in desperation.  The pain doesn't stop.  It continues to increases, feeling as though a battle of fire wages inside her head. Suddenly, it all stops.

          There is no longer anything.  No pain.  No fear.  It is all simply...gone.  As is the sound of the stream and footsteps, disappearing as if it had never even been there in the first place.  A feeling of pure weightlessness overcomes her, feeing as though she is practically floating in the air.  Opening her eyes she sees nothing but several sets of mesmerizing white eyes.  "Forgive Me."

Random Thoughts for July 2015

The new Ghostbusters. I don't really care what they do with the film itself. I like Wiig but think that McCarthy's schtick can get old when she's not subjugated to a bit role. And Feig is better suited without full creative control. But dammit if Kate McKinnon doesn't look fucking awesome in that picture. Seriously, so hot. That pose is enough to get me to go to the theater. And that hair. Why does she have to be a lesbian? I totally had a shot. In Narnia.

Terminator Genisys was awesome. I'm writing a full post for this (and most of it is already written which is the only reason I'd even mention it out of fear that it'd just disappear into the ether) but I figured I'd still hit the key points. Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney are awesome as Connor and Reese and Arnold is finally back to top form. The action is spectacular and we have several awesome "Terminator" moments that have never been done in the series before.

I've seen more movies this summer than I have in years. It's been a refreshing reminder of why I go to the theater in the first place: to be transported. Usually it's ruined by some annoying teenager or crying child, but I've gotten better at ignoring it. Still wish there was an Alamo Drafthouse around here to avoid the bad stuff entirely. One day.

Pop music hurts my earballs. I did an article where I experimented with a bunch of pop music for Wolf in a Gorilla Suit. Ranged anywhere from Taylor Swift to Ariana Grande to Sia. It was an eye opening experience and provided for one of the most mentally exhausting days I can recall. Nothing about my person is accustomed to pop music anymore. Apple Music was what I ended up using to listen to everything, so at least it was all easy. Speaking of which…

Apple Music is pretty cool. It's really convenient and adds a lot of features that helps me find new music. The playlists could use a little work but having my entire music library available to me through the cloud (plus millions more) is pretty sweet. I just wish that I hadn't lost so much music when my computer crashed. Would have made it all the sweeter. Oh well. I'm not sure if I'll continue past the free trial due to budgetary reasons, but it certainly seems well worth the price tag.

I still haven't watched True Detective. And I'm talking about neither the first or second season. I've seen the first two episodes of the first and it was good, but I just can't get into it. Part may be attributed to the fact that it was one of the productions around when I was in New Orleans (a time that I greatly despised) so I unfairly associate it with that. Or it could just be another in the long line of dramas that I take forever to watch (see: The Wire) because they're so emotionally draining. Yeah, I'm going with that one.

Mad Max: Fury Road may be my favorite film of the year. It was unlike any action movie I've ever seen while still having a tight script that never drags during it's two hour runtime. Furiosa may be the best female character of the last 20 years. This generation was deeply in need of its own Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor and Fury Road provided that.

Ant Man was really good but… I couldn't help but think about Edgar Wright's version while watching it. There's just as a certain kinetic style that he brings to his films that this film was sorely missing. I could very well just be bias since Wright is one of my favorite director's (probably only behind David Fincher) but I really wish that we were able to get Wright's version instead of Reed's. Hell, the pure fact that Patrick Wilson would have been playing the step-dad instead of Bobby Canavale makes it worth it for me and that's just a very small reason. Oh well, another movie added to the list of "Oh shit, another Marvel movie is coming out, better binge all the others."

I read an issue of Wonder Woman for the first time. I didn't hate it nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact, I would say that I quite enjoyed everything going on with it. It all felt very reminiscent of an issue of Thor: God of Thunder (I think #13) and her costume was fucking badass. Unfortunately, I then read the next issue and every problem I ever had with the character was ever present: trying to put a feminist slant on her while still perpetuating sexist stereotypes.  Just not my cup o tea.

50 Favorite Films (in no particular order)

It seems like everything I start writing for this blog, ends up going over to Wolf in a Gorilla Suit. So I decided to finally do something that I'd been meaning to for a while now. I used to create these types of things all the time, but it's been years and years since I've even broached the subject. So, using "Empire's 300 Greatest Movies of All Time" list to guide me along, I'll be figuring out my top 50 favorite films. Rather than listing them in order, which can be a tad tedious for me to go through and decide "Well I like this one more right now because it features this actor who I really enjoy, but I don't usually like it this much so maybe it's just temporary blindness to the fact that I'm in love with Mary Elizabeth Winstead" and then the list changes a million times. Not gonna do that. Instead I'll just be spitting out 50 movies to gauge my tastes for the year 2015.

Let's get started:

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  2. Battle Royale
  3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  5. Young Frankenstein
  6. Scream
  7. The Crow
  8. The Incredibles
  9. The Iron Giant
  10. An American Werewolf in London
  11. Dazed and Confused
  12. Boyhood
  13. Gone Girl
  14. The Social Network
  15. Seven
  16. Ed Wood
  17. Shaun of the Dead
  18. Her
  19. Children of Men
  20. The Goonies
  21. The Life Aquatic
  22. Halloween
  23. The Dark Knight
  24. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  25. The Wrestler
  26. Groundhog Day
  27. Ghostbusters
  28. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  29. The Truman Show
  30. No Country For Old Men
  31. City of God
  32. Inglorious Basterds
  33. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  34. Lost in Translation
  35. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial
  36. Jaws
  37. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  38. The Shining
  39. A Clockwork Orange
  40. Drive
  41. Die Hard
  42. The Usual Suspects
  43. American Beauty
  44. Aliens
  45. Jurassic Park
  46. Goodfellas
  47. Fight Club
  48. The Shawshank Redemption
  49. Pulp Fiction
  50. Lord of the Rings

If you've read the Empire article, then you'll notice that my order is mostly drawing from that. I gotta admit, it was pretty funny seeing the list, as it was "reader-generated." This meant that films like Kingsman and Avengers: Age of Ultron were on the list. Not to say that these films are undeserving but it was very clear to see what was fresh in the minds of readers. I tried to avoid using super recent films, as I don't really know the long term impact they'll have on me. Sure, I really enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World, but are they top 50 movies? Only time will tell.

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