Fannish vindication

  • Jan. 2nd, 2010 at 7:28 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Mark your calendars: James Roday and Dulé Hill from Psych will be guest-hosting Monday Night Raw on January 25th.

Suddenly professional wrestling is relevant to media fandom!

For those of you planning to tune in, I will be happy to field any and all of your wrestling questions.

Nov. 9th, 2009

  • 10:12 PM
crypto: (sarah looks left)
Oh, professional wrestling. When the chatters watching the WWE RAW stream take a break from making gay jokes about Legacy to call out the racism in your Randy Orton/Kofi Kingston feud? You've sunk pretty low.


Highlight reel

  • Oct. 26th, 2009 at 1:03 PM
crypto: actor glynn turman (glynn turman)
To stave off slipping back into lurker mode, I was going to do a "hits and misses" for my last week's worth of media consumption, but I'll just focus on the hits because the misses weren't interesting enough to mention.

Randy Orton, You're Beautiful, Kelly Cutrone, The Office, SYTYCD NL )

The Nicholas Brothers: In her recent post on Glee, [personal profile] hazelk  included a YouTube clip of their classic Stormy Weather dance number, which led me to the following tribute vid set to Kanye's "Stronger" -- perfect song choice, amazing dancers:

Bullet points

  • Oct. 7th, 2009 at 1:59 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I've been creeping through Babylon 5, of which I'd only seen the first couple of seasons when it originally aired, and last night watched 4x06, "Into the Fire." And, wow, the last fifteen or twenty minutes made me cringe with embarrassment for everyone involved. Please tell me this is not an unusual reaction? And -- while there's still plenty I love about the show (Peter Jurasik, you're so fantastic!) -- my resolve to make it through the remaining episodes is seriously weakened. Should I go on?

Returning to professional wrestling is making me realize how much of media fandom's interpretive lenses I've absorbed in the last few years. I can't say that I'm a slasher, but watching the Randy Orton-John Cena feud has finally made me "get" the dynamics of enemy!slash. They despise each other! They're obsessed with each other! They can't quit each other! Their matches involve handcuffs, and bondage-via-ring-ropes, and being locked in a steel cage together! Cena has a certain dorky Boy Scout air about him, kind of like Clark Kent on Smallville, and Orton -- well, he's closer in psychopathology to a Batman villain than Lex Luthor, but he does have a shaved head!

A few random links:

Notes on Going Under: A DEVO Primer (Rhizome) -- a fascinating look at the band, including their video art, and the surrounding cultural milieu in the '70s and early '80s.

Bound to Blog: Wonder Woman #9 (The Hooded Utilitarian), via the DEVO article -- a look at an issue of the 1940s comic: gorilla bondage! the reversal of evolution! William Moulton Marston's fetishistic feminism! And pages and pages of gorgeous art.

Terminology page at POPSEOUL! -- the most interesting ones are those that don't have a direct English equivalent:
examples )
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
So as far as wrestling goes, I haven't been much taken with WWE's current incarnation of ECW, which is really ECW in name only (wow, I sound like a disgruntled old-school Battlestar Galactica fan) compared to the original incarnation. But I did watch this week to see the (excellent) title match between Christian and Zack Ryder, and found myself drawn in by the show's theme song.

It's called Don't Question My Heart (link to YouTube). Now, I've barely made any progress on my alleged first vid yet, but this song really speaks to my inner Lord King Bad Vidder. The only problem is that it's suitable for so many shows and characters -- how to choose just one?

So listen to the song, and tell me which vid you see in your head.

Poll #1334 Don't Question My Vid
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8

The perfect subject for a vid to this song is

View Answers

Friday Night Lights!
1 (12.5%)

Aeryn Sun!
5 (62.5%)

Derek Reese and Jesse from SCC!
1 (12.5%)

Gus from Psych!
0 (0.0%)

Kara Thrace!
2 (25.0%)

Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach!
0 (0.0%)

Reva Shayne from Guiding Light!
1 (12.5%)

I will tell you in the comments!
0 (0.0%)

Are you nuts? This song sucks!
0 (0.0%)

...and if anyone wanted to make one of these vids, I could steer you to a copy of the song. Just saying.


Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

  • Sep. 13th, 2009 at 12:37 PM
crypto: (sarah looks ahead)
So I have some comments to catch up on, but I got sidetracked this weekend by finding out that one of my favorite wrestlers, Jeff Hardy, got arrested on Friday and charged with drug trafficking. I can't tell you how much that depresses me. The charges are based on the amount of drugs (Vicodin, Soma, and anabolic steroids) found in his home, and not (as far as anyone knows) any evidence that he was dealing them -- it's very conceivable that they were for his personal use, as Vicodin is a painkiller and the others are apparently often prescribed & used to aid healing from injuries.

One of the reasons I started drifting away from wrestling years ago was my growing discomfort with the idea that my enjoyment was inextricably linked to the spectacle of the wrestlers going to ever-greater lengths to do these amazing stunts which punished and injured their bodies, over and over again. And Jeff Hardy was always a prime example of this, with his wild leaps from the turnbuckles, ladders, etc. It made me feel uncomfortably complicit as I'd hear about serious and even permanent injuries, even career-related deaths, and dependence on drugs to get through a grueling touring and performing schedule.

So I don't know. I'd only just rediscovered my joy for wrestling, and now I'm already back in that place and have no better answers. And like all the problematic narratives and representations and erasures in media fandom TV shows (which are also present in professional wrestling, of course), part of me wants to find ways to reconcile myself to what my pleasures make me complicit in, and part of me wants to resist or defer that urge towards reconciliation. Because the obvious options in both cases -- compartmentalization, recuperation, subversion, critique -- still feel to close too denial or disavowal or accommodation. And I distrust the temptation to just figure out how to feel good about the stuff I like and feel good about myself for liking it, and rationalize away the rest. At the very least, I think I should hold on to that tension and discomfort, and the reconciliation tactics feel like they're geared towards relieving or resolving those tensions that I should be feeling and paying attention to.

Also there's another wrestling PPV event tonight which I'm actually not that excited about, due to the set up and stipulations, but there's a few matches that I do want to see. So the clock is ticking!

In the meantime, inpsired by [ profile] cofax7, I've been watching the third season of Avatar this weekend to distract me from drug busts and wrestlers' herniated discs. So far, so good! And I need to get to the comics store to pick up the latest Secret Six.


Stuff I've enjoyed recently

  • Sep. 9th, 2009 at 12:10 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Wrestling: The amazing match on last Friday's WWE Smackdown between Rey Mysterio and John Morrison for the Intercontinental Championship. Nearly half an hour in length and never a boring moment. Rivals the tables, ladders & chairs match between Jeff Hardy & C.M. Punk at Summerslam for the best wrestling I've seen since I started watching again.

Honorable mentions )

Soap opera: Stacy Haiduk's riveting performance as Patty Williams aka Mary Jane Benson on The Young and the Restless. Normally, I abhor the whole Fatal Attraction-style woman-spurned-turns-psycho trope -- like, I really, really hate it with a passion. I think it's the idea that this trope needs no further explanation -- that we're supposed to assume that women's psychology is such that they're only one romantic rejection away from insanity. And this case, at least on paper, should be no exception, especially on a show that already has two other female characters in the midst of nervous breakdowns (no, seriously! Driving one to random acts of shoplifting that landed her in a mental institution, and leading the other -- victim of a gaslighting plot preying on her history of mental illness -- to hallucinations, a hit-and-run accident, and a miscarriage-turned-hysterical pregnancy).

But Haiduk is so mesmerizing that I don't care. Even when the storyline has faltered, as it has many times, Haiduk infuses such conviction and commitment into the role that it smoothes over all of the plotholes and dubious motivations. And the layers and subtlety that she brings to the role somehow manage to keep her character sympathetic even when she's committing unforgivable acts (though it helps that most of the other characters involved with her aren't particularly sympathetic themselves).

Reality dance competitions: Okay, despite my fears, the America's Best Dance Crew Bollywood challenge last week ended up with some awesome choreography & performances. One especially welcome choice -- they assigned each crew a different "Bollywood" dance style to incorporate into their routines. A very strong episode overall, and tied with the excellent  "Bollywood" group routine on last week's results show for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, choreographed by Slumdog Millionaire choreographer Longinus "Longi" Fernandes.

Comics: Nothing special that was new out last week (Invincible Iron Man lost a bit of momentum after the last few issues), but I'm enjoying catching up on some stuff I'd missed -- most notably the sadly canceled Manhunter. It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite '80s comics, Steven Grant's Whisper.
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
I'll miss Jeff Hardy, but how much do I love that the WWE's new heavyweight champion C.M. Punk's gimmick is that he's straight edge, complete with magic marker 'X's on the back of his hands, and harangues the crowd about their drinking, smoking, and drug use?

(I am worried that last night's Bollywood challenge on America's Best Dance Crew will turn out to have been a train wreck, so I haven't watched yet. Anyone who's seen it, please advise?)