THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY, THE INSANE & THE RIDICULOUS.
"I don't care!"- Tommy Lee Jones The Fugitive
And first, a history lesson: Last summer two wrestling related events caught my eye. The first was when Jerry Lawler all but begged the readers of his website to besiege the WWF with letters to demand that the King be brought back. Jim Ross subtly responded to Lawler in his web address by pretty much saying that type of stuff is not only juvenile, but it pretty much does the exact opposite of what you plan to do. Later in the same year, Jim Ross himself asked the XFL fans (and by this I mean hardcore WWF fans who would do anything JR asked) to write their local sports reporters and demand that the XFL be covered in the local newspapers. Now me being an XFL fan (part of an exclusive group of maybe 100, judging by the nielsens), groaned at hearing/reading this. Why? Because what little respect that these sports reporters had for the XFL (and by extension the WWF) would be obliterated by this. And guess what? It was.
Little did I know that several months later I would join the ranks of WWFE officials and sports writers around the country as I had my eyes gloss over as I had to read letter after letter from people who can best be described as mislead acolytes, and at worst, complete retards.
But where did it all start? Apparently from an innocuous tagline at the end of one of my Smackdown recaps written for PWTorch. Now for those who do not know what a tagline is (and from the couple of slashwrestling.com articles I've read, they aren't used), it's quite simply the closing paragraph that usually has the writers name and what he has done. Since I find that pretty boring, I've used my tagline pretty much to set up jokes or make smart ass comments about the wrestling scene.
Lo and behold, a writer from slashwrestling.com took exception to one of my taglines. Now unlike "Michaelangelo", I'm not really one to talk about personal emails between me and anyone, but since he brought it up I guess at the very least I should give some sort of response to him that he apparently was so desperate to hear. I told "Michaelangelo" that not only was their a similarity of zero between our columns, that neither one of us came up with this so called infamous "GB&U" idea, but lastly that the entire thing was written solely to fit in the joke of "time honored tradition" of wrestling ideas getting stolen (and if Vince McMahon and the nWo doesn't put an exclamation point on that, nothing does). I was under the impression that not only was this issue dead, but completely stupid.
But apparently this wasn't enough for "Michaelangelo", who despite calling himself "not a petty man", went forth and did one of the most petty things you can possibly do as a writer. He not only printed our email conversations, which while of course not illegal, is pretty god damn shitty not to tell me he's going to use one of my "comments" in an article without me being able to know what they are or to respond to it. But "Michaelangelo" takes it the next step farther, liking people to the Torch and my column, which is fine, the more people that want to check out my Smackdown recaps the better. But then he goes and tells his readers to write me, and tell them "Micahaelangelo" sent you. Who would have thought that as the value of Enron stock dropped, the market for "stupid" went through the roof.
Now "petty" is not even a good word for this, "pathetic" would be a much more appropriate choice. Now I'm not saying every letter I got was bad, there were a few here and there that at least tried to be civil and even a couple that actually made good points. But, for the most part I had to suffer reading emails written by "Michaelangelo"s fans that were written "in character". I had to deal with the goofiest of screenames trying to give me an education on "ethical". I had to read letter after letter telling me that any and all responses would be ignored and deleted. I had people who had obviously never read a single thing I had ever written save for something someone cut and pasted on a slashwrestling message board, telling me that my writing was "ripping off Michaelangelo".
Now picture this. I'm from the Northeast, so maybe American History is just a little more personal up here than out in cyberspace, and maybe you may think this is petty, but I don't give a shit. I come from a country in which men put their names on a Declaration of Independence. For all they knew at the time they were signing a death warrant for them and their families, it's akin to a group of the Taliban signing a proclamation taking sole credit for the 9/11 tragedy. These founders had balls, they said, "I don't give a fuck what you do, this is what I believe in."
200 years later I get letters from people who can't even sign their real names to a wrestling review, or an email or a god damn internet wrestling message board.
My relative little time spent at slashwrestling has made m embarrassed to be an American.
So you can imagine how seriously I take these attacks. I don't think it would take a genius to read either my Smackdown Express or "Michaelangelo"s GB&U and think they are remotely similar. WHAT? I said if you think either of our styles are alike you are an idiot. WHAT? A buffoon. WHAT? An unintelligent monkey who is only taking up valuable air for the rest of us.
(All Stone Cold fans feel free to send email to email@example.com to vent about me ripping off yet another thing.)
I'm only glad that no one at slashwrestling read my taglines in which I explained outrage in which the movie "Lord Of the Rings" was misleading since it wasn't about wrestling. God know all I need is bunch of hobbit fans after me.
A member of the slashwrestling community, "Guru Zim" had a bunch of questions for me on the messageboards and unfortunately I couldn't answer them there, so I'll do my best right now...
A) I certainly can't be bothered to do research for a stupid tagline, especially since I read "Michaelangelo"s column after I wrote the tagline in question. I definitely would not use the slashwrestling archives as I would never even use the PWTorch archives. We are talking about a joke after all. Once you start taking yourself that seriously you might as well rename yourself "Bob Ryder".So to conclude I guess some apologies are in order. I apologize to the education systems of not only the United States, but other areas in the world, because they have had to deal with people who are obviously unable to grasp such simple concepts like "tongue in cheek". I apologize to the patrons of fast food restaurants, for they are going to have the unpleasant experience of dealing with several of the people who wrote me in the coming years. I apologize to Wade Keller for the unintelligible letters he must have got from lunatics which, while I'm sure he ignored, still wasted his time none the less. And I apologize to the wrestling community for engaging in yet another thing that makes the rest of the world think we are all a bunch of morons.
Maybe they are right.
Derek Burgan can be seen coping "Michaelangelo" every Thursday
night at PWTorch.com with his Smackdown Express reports. He appreciates
any and all comments/suggestions...even the ones by retards. He can be
contacted at Derekburgan22@hotmail.com
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