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Guest Columns

Sharon Austin




Greetings, sports entertainment fans! Well, I had a good idea for my column this week but than I received the latest TV Guide. In it, Phil Mushnick goes off on the Rock and the WWF and I had to talk about it. First of all, nothing's worse than an uninformed reporter and Phil makes it fairly obvious that he doesn't watch the WWF. Another thing that really ticks me off is when people want to ban things to protect children. My BS detector goes off big time over that, well that, and Bible thumpers.

I find that most people who go around talking about God or the Bible all the time are hypocrites. I'm sure you remember Jim Bakker or Jerry Falwell... Anyway....if you want to protect children, there are much more important things to worry about than the WWF programming.

Now the headline to this diatribe reads 'The Rock Is No Role Model' and the article starts with, and I quote 'The desperate hunt for TV ratings has inspired otherwise right-minded people to abandon their good senses. On March 18 NBC's Saturday Night live, a show that has long since led with it's satirical social activism, is taking a dive in the name of pop culturalism. The show's host will be Dwayne Johnson, aka 'The Rock', the premier performer in the WWF. Surely, SNL will earn a big rating. The WWF is hot, and the Rock is the hottest dirt-talking, groin-kicking, woman-degrading creep in the WWF's kid-desensitizing arsenal.'

First of all, Mushnick must not watch SNL because I can't remember the last time they 'led with satirical social activism'-he must be thinking of the early days when Belushi & Ackroyd were on. As for 'diving', hmm...last week the guest host was Joshua Jackson from 'Dawson's Creek'-he plays a guy who had an affair with his teacher-think Phil confuses him with his character? Then Mushnick goes on to say 'The Rock's signature battle cry is so profane that it can't be printed here nor in any publication that practices minimal civility. Suffice to say it includes a revolting expression for female genitalia. But it's not so revolting that kids in the WWF's live audience don't chant it along with the Rock. It's not so revolting that the WWF doesn't market the expression on t-shirts sold to and proudly worn by children.'

Geez, Phil, get a grip! Profane? He says candyass and that's profane? As for poontang pie-I guess Phil hasn't been around any schoolyards lately-you hear much worse than that! Is it the WWF's fault?

No. As for the tees-I think people like the 'Finally the Rock..' tee more. And last I checked, as a kid, your parent bought your clothes so if you have a poontang pie shirt, I think it's safe to say your Mom or Dad knows about it. But let's continue the fun, shall we? He writes 'The fact of the matter is that given the Rock's act, SNL staffers (especially the women) should be outraged that a show known for its lampooning of what ails the world is stooping this low. This isn't an issue of SNL flaunting its edginess or political incorrectness. This is SNL selling out, surrendering common decency for a fast and ill-gotten rating.'

I think Phil is giving SNL much too much credit. Edgy? Not for a long time now. Politically incorrect? Where? Considering that the Rock appeals to women-I mean look at him! I'm guessing that those female SNL staffers are giggling like little girls when he's around. Phil's obviously never seen any Rock interviews, he seems like a really nice guy. (And I've heard from regular fans who have met him that he truly is.) Again I quote 'At a time when responsible adults and even some advertisers are beginning to wake up to the WWF as porn for kids, at a time when people are beginning to realize what the WWF sells to kids what the world certainly doesn't need more of- gratuitous violence, negative ethnic and racial stereotyping and the physical and sexual degradation of women-SNL has invited the WWF's leading man to be the host.'

Wow, Phil, think if the WWF went away, the violence, stereotyping and degradation would stop?

I'm not saying I believe in everything the WWF portrays, Lord knows I couldn't care less about the Godfather and his hos or that 'she-devil' Terri but I watch the show with my 10 year old nephew and I'm naive enough to think he'll be more affected by what his family members do than what the WWF shows him. He asks me about if something is real, i.e., the Rock being locked in a casket while HHH destroyed it with a sledge hammer, and I tell him no.

As a parent, or a pseudo-parent in my case, it's up to them what their child learns. They don't need Big Brother around to raise children. Oh we can debate about the parenting issue and what's happening to children today but I find it hard to believe what the WWF does even registers as a blip on the radar screen. Sometimes bad parents have bad kids, hey sometimes good parents have bad kids! It happens! But it's too easy to lay the blame on something like the WWF, or video games or movies. I suggest Phil take a Valium and get over it.

Until Next Time.......

[slash] wrestling

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