On ‘The New Day and Being Black in WWE’

There’s a problem with this article on Vice Sports, editorially speaking. It sets up a kind of straw man argument: that The New Day, as singin’ and dancin’ black folk, are perpetuating a decades-old racial stereotype befitting an unfortunate longtime trend in wrestling. The fact of the latter, that wrestling has a problem with race and “being black is the gimmick”, is inarguably true, to varying extents. But that intro doesn’t credit Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston with any agency in the way their characters, as they are now, are portrayed. I mean, the quotes from their own voices confirm that they know exactly what they’re doing, and always did.



The Obama Doctrine
“For all of our warts, the United States has clearly been a force for good in the world. If you compare us to previous superpowers, we act less on the basis of naked self-interest, and have been interested in establishing norms that benefit everyone. If it is possible to do good at a bearable cost, to save lives, we will do it.” If only that were completely true, the ‘acting less on the basis of naked self-interest’ part: even a great power with great responsibility like the US never acts out of altruism; it always puts itself first. (Hence the alarmingly eager redirection towards drone-based interventionism.) But the quote demonstrates that Barack Obama is the most human president the US has had in years, and for all of his warts — and there are many — he is one of the most important. #comment   ·

Japan’s women wrestlers fight to win
High-brow re-acceptance of wrestling as an idiosyncratic art form takes its inevitable detour through the Japanese puroresu underground with this beautiful photo essay. #wrestling   ·

Don’t Teach Data Journalism Without Teaching Mobile-First Design
My old comrade Markham cuts to the chase: it’s not enough for infoviz/data journalism to be meaningful, it also has to be legible. #media   ·

The Reckoning: The Story of Claire Wilson
It’s desperately sad but revelatory, and refreshing to get this kind of deep-dive journalism from a casualty of tragedy, rather than the perpetrators often obsessed about. #aux   ·

Q Prime’s Burnstein And Mensch On Managing Metallica And Jimmy Page, Playing The Label Game, And Staying On Top For 33 Years
I’ll never get enough of these behind-the-music things. Also: so that’s who Louise Mench married. So why does she act such a blathering idiot on social media? #sound   ·

The art of being in the wrong place at the right time: behind the scenes of social media newsgathering
News orgs at all levels really need to consider the situation from their quarry’s perspective before they pick up the phone or dash off a tweet or email. #media   ·

‘A Front-Row Seat. To Misery.’
The NYT caught up with some of the Mets fans whose anguish its photographer captured during the play that cost their team — our team — the World Series last year #LetsGoMets #aux   ·

Percentage calculator
No excuses for not getting my relative percentages right. #aux   ·

Pandoc, a universal document converter
Never know when this might come in useful. #aux   ·

How drug laws aimed at pregnant women penalize their children
Lawmakers in the US have created a catch-22 whereby women are punished for doing the right thing. Probably done by the same moralising arseholes who think it ain’t no thing for a woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant to carry their child to term because adoption exists. #comment   ·

More Microlog entries →


Enlarged Heart Radio #8

Three days later than scheduled, here’s episode eight of Enlarged Heart Radio, making up for last edition’s lack of metal with a whole noisy slab of it — plus a decent portion of newer tuneage from the promos I’ve been digging through.


Photos old and new

Seagull in the sky

I spent a day or two over my mid-March week off trawling through my photo archive, going back quite a few years, looking for things worth posting to my dormant Flickr account. It turns out there were quite a few, and they’re not half bad.

I’ve grouped them into albums as I’ve done before to make things easier. Keep an eye on my smartphone shots, which I expect will be the one most regularly updated going forward.


Weeknotes #759-761

There goes March without much fanfare and, apart from the day job, little to show for it in terms of productivity. Not compared to my busy February, at any rate, when I ploughed through freelance work and the words flowed from my fingertips.



Elsewhere: My Goodreads review of My Life In Wrestling … With A Little Help From My Friends by Gary Hart

Reblogged from my Goodreads list:

“Now - I’m not down on wrestling fans, but fans don’t know what they want. They shouldn’t know. That’s not their job. Their job is to come and be entertained - and hopefully be tricked - so they’re elated with adrenaline rushing through their body.”

Now there’s a distinct whiff of bullshit from many of Gary Hart’s words in this memoir of his life and times as a wrestling manager in the territory days, and later in the Crockett/Turner NWA. It’s impossible to escape the notion that the reader is constantly being worked, as he contradicts himself from page to page as the circumstances demand.

But every now and then there’s a glimpse of wisdom that stands out for its crystal clarity. And it’s those, as well as the general entertainment value of reading Hart tell his stories no matter how much he might be kayfabing you, that make this worth seeking out for any dyed-in-the-wool wrestling fan.


Enlarged Heart Radio #7

Up early, accounting for the fact that I’ll be on coaches and trains for Easter tomorrow, here’s Enlarged Heart Radio number seven, featuring Racebannon, Guerilla Toss, Charalambides and no metal for a change.

More Macrolog entries →