So it’s a week and a bit after WrestleMania XXX, and the Internet Wrestling Community is still on a massive downer after the ending of The Undertaker’s vaunted ‘Streak’.
I understand that disappointment, and upset, and frustration. To be a wrestling fan is to know these things all to well. So it’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming Vince McMahon for The Worst Booking Decision Ever, since he’s the boss and nothing goes on the show without his approval (and by golly, he’s approved some clunkers over the years).
But that’s to assume the Phenom himself had nothing to do with it. And that’s just plain crazy talk. This is The Undertaker we’re talking about; the locker room leader, the elder statesman of WWE. Nothing happens to his character without his say-so. Make no mistake about it, the end of The Streak was his decision.
And more to the point, can anyone seriously say they didn’t see this coming?
Late with the notes this week due to a reshuffled production schedule. But the paper’s been put to bed now so I’ll get these thoughts down as I decompress.
Week 656 started with the NUJ’s Freelance Forum for spring 2014 at Buswells Hotel all day Monday, which was mostly helpful to me in terms of my confidence in making pitches for writing work. Not that I’ve made any pitches yet, but I feel like I know what to say when the time comes (ie not too much, just enough; and for god’s sake proofread it before you send it).
Most of the rest of the week was devoted to production: lots of subbing, laying out pages, and emails, emails, emails. That bled into the weekend a bit, too, meaning I didn’t have a lot of time for my regular freelance bits. So the week to come will see a bit of catching up there. It helps that there’s a long weekend to come.
Yesterday was Tabletop Day, and I spent a good chunk of it with Bee watching the live streams, playing Discworld: Ankh-Morpork (fun in the middle, but ultimately not really suitable for two players) and getting reacquainted with Race for the Galaxy (much better for two, and a lot quicker to play). Here’s hoping for some good board game vendors at the comic con in the RDS next weekend.
Work was mostly correcting InDesign page proofs this week — so time consuming! — with some review writing along the way. My few hundred words on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah went up on Thursday evening, and I’ll have some on new Irish film Calvary next week.
First there was snark, the “hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt”; bullshit criticism of anything that doesn’t fit one’s own flimsily constructed worldview. But as Gawker’s Tom Scocca posits, it’s a reaction to smarm, an equally odious posture of self-satisfaction; the notion of being above criticism of any kind, which is built on similarly shoddy foundations. Both are as smug, selfish and ignorant as each other. #·
No girls allowed
Or, how the mainstreaming of the video game industry reinforced gender stereotyping. First there was this: “Knowing that you have limited funding, you can’t just market shotgun. You can’t just go after anybody,” says [marketing firm president] Rodger Roeser. “You need to have a very clearly differentiated and specific brand because that’s going to play into where you’re running your ads and what kind of ads you run. That niche-ing, that targeting makes it easier for marketers to have a very succinct conversation with their target without overspending and trying to reach everybody.” That led to this: “The industry did the math. Companies like Nintendo aggressively sought out people who played their games … Publishers traveled to cities, held tournaments and got to see firsthand who was playing their games … The numbers were in: More boys were playing video games than girls. Video games were about to be reinvented.” And somehow that got written in stone, and society at large has simply accepted it without question. Which says a lot about us, quite frankly. #·