On July 16, 2015, right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one Muhammad Youssef Abdulahzeez shot up two military recruitment centers, killing five soldiers. He was killed in a gunfight with responding police.
I’ve seen all the “experts and analysts” that cite things they don’t like as the causes of these monsters. It’s apparently the sight and love of the Confederate flag in Roof’s case, and Islamic martyrdom complex in Abdulahzeez’s case.
Nobody and nothing anywhere made them do anything. Either savage could have declined, but didn’t. Dylan Storm Roof and Muhammad Youssef Abdulahzeez became murderers because they wanted to.
If the Confederate flag drove Roof to murder, then how did I survive cabbing in places like Rossville, Georgia, whose state flag includes the Stars and Bars? If Islam drove Abdulazeez to murder, then some critic needs to tell all the people in the mosques that they’re behind schedule.
Those two killers were merely products of the era: emotionally challenged punks who refused to grow up, replacing their coping skills deficiency with drugs, determined to punish people for not affirming their fantasy world. White Nationalism and Islamic martyrdom eased their conscience just enough to act.
Thus, Dylan Storm Roof and Muhammad Youssef Abdulahzeez, encouraged by manipulative supporters who risk nothing, and justified in their own drug-addled minds- the only place that matters to such animals- have left their footprints in the sands of time, and blood on the ground.
If desire, weapons, a “depression” diagnosis, and self-justification are all one needs to throw a lethal hissy fit, it won’t be long before a murder’s significance, and the value of the life taken, will be determined primarily on the social stances and identity of the people involved.
Next up, it’s time to deal with the alleged motivation for Dylann’s rampage… and the “S” word.
2015’s featured bouts have been years in the making. Many of these matches were believed impossible, which made their possible outcomes, and how they played out, even more anticipated. But the actual battle couldn’t match the hype. Once the winner was announced, that was it.
When Vince McMahon purchased WCW in 2001, WCW’s most steadfast star was expected to join WWE. Instead, Sting went to WWE’s closest wrestling rival company, TNA Wrestling. Debuting in 2006, at 48, Sting remained the lone major wrestling star that never worked for Vince.
In 2014, Sting finally made his WWE debut at the 2014 Survivor Series, and had his first match with Triple H, at WrestleMania 31(March 29, 2015). The buildup was good, but Sting’s losing, and immediate absence from WWE television, made his debut seem like much ado about nothing.
2008 saw boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather become the champ in several weight classes, and Manny Pacquaio dominate former champion-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Rumors about the two undefeated stars colliding began almost immediately.
On May 2, 2015, after six years of waiting, fans got to see Mayweather, the world’s greatest boxer, on defense for twelve rounds against Pacquaio. Despite incredible revenue earnings, the unanimous decision Mayweather win left couldn’t live up to the fanfare.
And then there’s the biggest main event of the 21st century. In 1996, two men in Hawaii wanted a civil union. Then-President William Jefferson Clinton passed a law forbidding federal recognition for such unions. In 2003, Massachusetts began recognizing gay couples, while other states refused.
For the next dozen years, churches with ever-increasing divorce and illegitimacy rates waged war with progressive activists obsessed with destroying Christianity. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriages federally recognized. The outcome was way too forgone.
Christians knew in 2013 they had lost. But for the winners, no victory that follows can match this one. People are fairly indifferent, just glad the worst of it is over. It was hardly a bout people wanted to see, anyhow. America can move on now, and will, even though the warriors can’t.
In addition, the Christian defeat did not and could not mean the end of religion. There are plenty of things to make sacred, and either Christians or atheists can find them. For more information, see politics or the latest veneration of, or blasphemy against, the Rainbow or Confederate flags.
In the age when the impossible will be made possible, and rhetoric sells a non-show, disappointments will surely abound.
One thing about it, the 40th Annual International Douglas Day wasn’t boring.
Rule #1: An enemy of my enemy is my friend, even if they run game on me, too.
Rule #2: I am whoever and however I feel I am, and you are who I feel you are. Society is to affirm me in it.
Those are the two most prevalent rules in society today. The first rule is the easiest to follow. All it takes is knowing how to say the right things to the right folks. It helps a lot if you’re already a celebrity or originally perceived to be an antagonist. As long as you rail against others as much as you con your own clique, then conning is actually forgivable.
Now, the second rule is a lot like the first. But a change in identity runs the risk of change in ideology, which makes the need to maintain the party line take on greater meaning. As long as they do that… well, see the last sentence of the previous paragraph. You can be who you want, so long as you at least publicly keep the same groupthink patterns of your past life.
Consider Rachel Dolezal, President of the NAACP’s Spokane branch. For years, she presented herself as a female with at least one Black parent. By her actual parents, White people living in Montana, to use the words of Atlanta’s 11Alive, Rachel was “outed as a White woman”. Anger and outrage over her years of her attempted black face ensued. But this, too, shall pass.
You see, Rachel was merely adhering to rule #2: she truly feels she is Black. She feels it, and therefore she is it. Wasn’t that what made the previous blog’s subject a courageous hero? Besides, if rule #2 fails her, she can always rely on rule #1. Yeah, her faux light-skinned Blackness was a ruse, but hey, she’s down with da struggle.
So yes, for now, Rachel Dolezal will be criticized for appropriating Black culture and victimhood, or have people insist her trans-racial identity mocks the trans-gender movement. But sooner or later, some common threat’s going to say… something to make Ms. Dozelal’s critics call for an armistice. After all, getting played from within isn’t half as bad as being threatened from without.
The main reasons why all these “rights” groups are so damned popular anyhow are pretty simple. They’re churches for the “virtuous”, safe havens for the maladjusted, and hen houses for foxes. The NAACP is just a prime example. When the smoke clears, Rachel Dolezal will still be standing as a trans-racial champion of social justice… and the hustler that got away with it.
The two golden rules demand it.
This is the end result of adherence to them, and those who tout them have no right to get mad when they’re used against them. And by the way, if a trans-racial movement sounds absurd, think about laws passed in 1996, and see what’s on the plate today.
William Bruce Jenner was an Olympic athlete, sports commentator, and actor. He was best known for starring in the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality show. Recently, Mr. Jenner all but disappeared. His achievements are on the public record, but the man himself no longer exists.
Jenner’s final act is what the media and lots of people are calling heroic and courageous. He didn’t give competing against the world’s greatest athletes another shot. He didn’t look for cars submerged in the Texas floods to rescue people from, either. Bruce Jenner, at 65, decided to live the rest of his life as a woman named Caitlyn.
As such, the former Bruce Jenner has decided to brave the single greatest fear imaginable. Caitlyn will now rock stilettos in public at the risk of people possibly laughing or saying something unflattering. There it is. Somebody might “judge” Caitlyn, and merely facing that possibility is a courageous and heroic act.
For this, the now Ms. Jenner is to receive an ESPY award for courage*, beating out an Iraq vet and a young lady basketball player who died from cancer. Hollywood stars are flooding cyberspace with their “support” (after mocking Bruce for years). And only the cruelest transphobe wouldn’t give Kris Jenner’s ex-husband props for not looking better than her.
Apparently, risking the ridicule of others in public is a heroic and courageous act. Hurt feelings is the greatest fear Americans face. America is doing quite alright if a man living as a woman is this courageous and the catalyst of yet another great and noble cause. That also means that Wal-Mart, block parties, and the mall are chock full of heroes.
*The same award was given last year to recent CFL recruit Michael Sam, who courageously told people he was gay, also heroically risking judgement and hurt feelings.
At WrestleMania XXIV, Nature Boy Ric Flair, clearly crying on camera, demanded his biggest fan give him the Sweet Chin Music superkick to end his career. “I’m sorry, I love you”, replied The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, and he did it. The dirtiest player in the game, at 59, was finally done. After 36 years of evildoing, he got to go out fair and square.
Ric Flair is arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time. Hogan and Austin made more money. Rock and Cena have more mainstream appeal. Shawn and Bret had better matches. But Ric Flair was successful for a longer period, the bulk of that time spent as a villain… who fans loved. His ascension was a clear sign of the times.
For years, wrestling fans knew to cheer good guys, jeer villains, and whistle at the pretty ladies. But by the mid-1980’s, the deaths of brothers David and Mike Von Erich, the beacons of wrestling purity, and Vince McMahon’s televised confession that wrestling was scripted, kayfabe- keeping story line continuity, even outside the wrestling enviroment- was dying.
Vince’s confession was what most fans already knew. The attempts by Fritz Von Erich to downplay his sons’ flaws were what insulted fans’ intelligence. In this atmosphere arose the self-professed dirtiest player in the game, Ric Flair. Above all else, Flair never, not even as he faced villains, pretended to be a nice guy. He was honest about his dishonesty.
Flair on the mic didn’t hold back and enjoyed himself. He wanted the fans to be the same way. Decked out in custom-made attire, a Rolex watch, and a ten-pound NWA World Heavyweight Championship, he played the dozens with fans and opponents like the guy at the barber shop. Love him, hate him, or imitate him, Flair was the life of the party.
He ruled the industry for over two decades, but the transition from a full-time wrestling career hasn’t been easy; to walk away from a 36-year career as spectacular as Flair’s seems impossible. After WrestleMania XXIV, he continued to wrestle in other promotions besides WWE. Financial and marital woes are easier to handle with a steady income.
Flair’s youngest son, Reid, died of an overdose at only 25 in 2013. Afterwards, Flair seemed to enter the darkest stage the public had ever seen him face. Yet he managed to survive it, just as he had all those years with the NWA belt. In the last few years, he’s seen his youngest daughter succeed in WWE, and made peace with old business rivals, including Bret Hart.
For all the triumphs and tragedies, Flair accepts the consequences of his own actions, and makes no excuses or expresses guilt or regret, which would change nothing. He may try to make amends with those he may have wronged, but he doesn’t justify his deeds with some fake, selfless motive, either. Richard Morgan Fleihr lives to be Ric Flair, and he admits it.
I can deal better with people who just say or do as is than somebody who pretends to be virtuous, and the Flair persona seems to play a role in that. He didn’t hide or get trapped behind some great and noble cause; he was Ric Flair,and he enjoyed being the villain, as did his fans.
I constantly hear people talk about 1/3rd of men in a certain demographic dare likely to end up in jail. Some use it as a criticism, others use it as an excuse. NEITHER side dares bring up the 2/3rds that never go. That’ll kill the conversation.
Depending on who kills you, you can matter a lot more dead than you ever could alive.
Incidentally, many who mourn the police brutality death of another demographic would never do so for one of their own. Why? Because they know to disdain their own criminals.
The ultimate “supremacist” move? Leave the thug worship to lesser beings, and feel sorry for them when they do. They can’t help themselves.
To publicly say what other people say privately has a 50/50 chance of getting you paid-or fired. Telling people EXACTLY what they want to hear, and holding your laughter until you’re someplace private, is job security.
It’s a damned fool who would trust a chef they just sued to cook anything for them.
If your religion prohibits you from doing something, another person’s religion may demand it.
Ever notice how selective “nonjudgemental” people are about what they eat and who they mingle with?
Truth and kindness are seldom used simultaneously.
There should be marked differences between self-described opponents. Otherwise, one of you is just a store brand version of the other. And that’s about the only thing you two can debate.
Next time, what two guys named Richard taught me about being a hero- or more specifically, NOT being one…
Fox News has been the top cable news channel for at least a decade. Keeping Up With the Kardashians has had a long run on E! Entertainment Television. And John Cena is the long-time face of WWE. But Fox News is routinely trashed in mainstream society, the Kardashians are dysfunctional as hell, and adult males abhor Cena.
Those attributes are often overlooked by loyal fans. Conservatives will always watch Fox News. People will watch the Kardashians for… whatever. Cena’s Make-A-Wish work and popularity with women and children will guarantee him a career. But the aforementioned are also aided by another element: hate-watchers.
There are people so filled with hate that they often spend vast amounts of money and time just to tear something down. And don’t think somebody hasn’t noticed. Talk radio hosts and WWE did it first. Cable news and Internet personalities took notes, and laugh in their hate-watchers’ faces daily.
YouTube sensation Tommy “Mr Controversy” Sotomayor’s commentary on the matriarchal ways of the Black community, while often scathing, is really just common private conversation made public. Somebody somewhere has already heard, said or agreed with his words. Tommy’s supporters are very vocal. So are those who don’t support him.
Tommy’s critics go so far as to create multiple social media accounts just to argue with him. That same hate has led Tommy to an offer from XM Radio (which he refused, citing that corporate sponsors would lead to outside creative control) at least a dozen popular YouTube channels, and an upcoming independent movie called “A Fatherless America”.
People will pay good money just to boo John Cena. People shred Bill O’Reilly, Kimye, and Tommy Sotomayor, but they give away money and/or time just to shred them. The hate-watchers get an assumed moral victory, but their focus gets a real, tangible payday. The person fueled by hate has more to lose in the exchange than the hated.
If the hated up and vanishes, where can the hater turn that negative energy? Suppose Fox News, Cena, Tommy or the Kardashians were either yanked off the air, or worse, just voluntarily left the scene? Their antagonists can’t just turn on a dime into a ray of sunshine. A change like that, even if it was gradual, would be the death of them mentally, if not physically.
By nature, the hate-fueled person would have to create something new to lash out at. It’s easier to detest something already there. Consumers have the right to spend their time and money however they like. But those who know how to manipulate hate to their advantage earn the right to pimp them, too. It’s an agreed-upon, albeit uneven, exchange.
Megachurch/prosperity preacher Creflo Dollar recently asked his congregation to purchase him a $65M private jet. 33-year-old Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) recently announced his resignation amid allegations of illegal spending. And Starbucks’ #racetogether promotion, an attempt to capitalize on the “national discussion”, is off and running to collective groans.
Now, of course, all the feigned moral outrage is taking place. Sure, the public can be mad at these men for their avarice, and rightfully so. The prosperity gospel, fabulous politicians, and the so-called conversation on race are all blatant hustles. All three also have victims. But all three are fueled and enabled by willing participants… who call themselves victims when the consequences hit them.
“Bless the blessed, and be blessed” is the so-called prosperity gospel, and to an equal degree, politics. Creflo’s World Changers congregants want him to live lavishly. They are not mostly single welfare mothers. They are simply people hoping their own greed and jealousy of their neighbors apparently better-off neighbors will be sated with a second-hand blessing, i.e. running a hustle on God.
Aaron Schock is the kind of guy the media obsesses over. He’s young, conservative, got abs, and has often been rumored to be gay. The novelty of all that, as is often the case, helped him at first, but hurt him when he came under scrutiny, which most gimmicks and hustles seldom endure (see Herman Cain).
The first major, post-Civil Rights “discussion on race” was in 1986, when Al Sharpton championed alleged rape victim Twanna Brawley. Just like with the “Hoodie March” and the recent “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” movements, it was also founded on a lie. But it only makes sense that a coffee shop that averages $6 a cup would want to cash in on the lucrative, if blatantly false, hustle.
Creflo’s congregants either defended him or feigned outrage and called themselves victims when their church was ridiculed (usually the latter). Schock’s spending only became an issue when his newness wore off. And not even the Black U.S. Attorney General could promote 2014’s greatest urban myth after months of analysis. But the hustles dies for now, and will rise again eventually.
When one concedes that their hustle on God can’t match Creflo’s hustle on them, they leave such a church. When people stop voting out of lust and/or envy, there will be no more Aaron Schocks. And only when a person looks at the body count in their own towns will they know whose lives actually matter to them. A hustle only works if somebody else is either in on it or goes along with it.
Sounds like my brewer going off. Next time, the reason why Fox News will ALWAYS dominate cable news…
For years, the WWE Hall of Fame induction has been the chance for longtime wrestling fans to honor and possibly even meet the legends of the industry they grew up with. The key to receiving induction hinges on a wrestler’s relationship with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. This has led to some notable exemptions and inclusions.
Chyna, the first female Intercontinental Champion, was fired from WWE in 2001, and went on to slam the company at the height of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide media blitz. Neither are often mentioned for Hall induction. Bruno Sammartino refused induction for years. Yet many people at odds with Vince have ended up inducted, often at fans’ behest.
Bret Hart, The Ultimate Warrior, Bruno, and even former business competitors like AWA promoter Vergne Gagne had major issues with WWE, but are all Hall of Famers. Abdullah the Butcher never even competed in WWE, but was enshrined nonetheless. And then there’s the case of one “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
David Shoemaker, a.k.a the Masked Man of deadspin.com, did an obituary of sorts for Savage just after his May 20, 2011 death. It’s also the source of the Hofstadter quote from last time. Shoemaker’s “Dead Wrestler of the Week” articles are written by a longtime fan of sports entertainment from a real-world view. The article piece pretty much sums up why people loved Savage.
He had the perfect woman (as of 1984, his real wife, Miss Elizabeth), and was jealous. He had the zany ring gear that still sells. He was believably brutal and agile in the ring. And that intensity in matches came through in spades when he was on the mic. The dream match between Savage and the Rock would be a hit if only for the promos between the two.
But there always seemed to be that underdog trait to Savage. He was the wrestling Orthogonean, the striving up-and-comer nipping at the heels at the elitist Franklin WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. Much like the most famous Orthogonean, Richard Milhous Nixon, he would finally be the man, but he didn’t soundly beat the man, and was haunted by it.
Savage and Ricky Steamboat stole the show at WrestleMania III in their Intercontinental Championship Match. (Savage reportedly went over every single detail of it for days prior to the match.) Vince decided that Savage deserved a chance to be WWF Champion, and prepared him to replace Hogan, who was about to become a new dad.
Savage won the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IV after Hogan’s interference. He lost the belt to Hogan at WrestleMania V. Savage then replaced Elizabeth with Sensational Sherri Martel. He tried to establish himself without two key figures in his career, but it just never felt right. WrestleMania VII saw the Liz/Savage saga come full circle.
Minutes after a “retirement match” loss to the equally nutty Ultimate Warrior, Savage and Elizabeth reunited to tears and cheers from fans. The couple had a “wedding” at SummerSlam 1991, and Savage won a second WWF Championship, and defended his wife’s honor, from Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII. Liz divorced him the same year.
In 1994, he up and left the WWF to join Hogan in WCW, where he got to play a sidekick- again. He even got to reunite with Elizabeth for a spell. Only when he signed with the upstart TNA did Savage, with his career nearly over, truly fly solo. His final televised match at TNA’s Destination Point event in December 2004.
Randy Savage was actually promoting his upcoming WWE action figures and video game appearances at the time of his death. Yet at the Hall of Fame Induction prior to WrestleMania XXVIII, the first after his death, he wasn’t included. Almost instantly, conspiracy theories exploded.
Was Macho Man Randy Savage being denied a shrine because he took the Slim Jim commercial deal to WCW with him? Did Savage refuse to be inducted over the WWF’s “Nacho Man” parody of him? Or was it because of the most bizarre, and therefore most popular, conspiracy: that Vince caught Savage trying to hit on a then-teenage Stephanie McMahon?
Savage’s brother, “Leapin'” Lanny Poffo alleged that the Macho Man only wanted to be inducted if Lanny and their late father, Angelo Poffo, could also be included. Since Lanny is only vaguely remembered for his short stint as the poetic Genius, and hardly anybody remembers Angelo’s Poffo’s ICW promotion, the induction was a no-go.
Vince refused the request, just as Elizabeth Ann Huelette’s family refuse to allow her to be inducted. They feel the wrestling industry killed her (she died in 2003 after an accidental drug and alcohol overdose). As the only surviving immediate family members, Lanny and the Huelettes get to make the call. Lanny finally decided to allow only his brother in.
Savage’s longtime frienemy Hulk Hogan is inducting Savage in the Hall, which loads yet another conspiracy regarding their association at Savage’s death. Meanwhile, fans and non-fans are all celebrating the career of one of the greatest wrestlers ever.
If Hulk Hogan was what kids wanted to be, then Macho Man Randy Savage was who many of us knew we ultimately were. Intense, talented, but too insecure to appreciate what we could do in full.