Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dudes of Cancer: Monsieur December

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

A men’s calendar of any genre or sexual orientation is only legitimate if it includes at least one professional wrestler. I can’t think of a more suitable final entry to this Dudes of Cancer Calendar than a real American patriot, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Duggan’s nickname is not complicated: he carried around a 2x4 piece of lumber, and “Hacksaw” sounds better than “Woody.” He was usually a face (i.e. good guy in wrestling terms), and his fans cheered him with a “U.S.A.!” chant. I guess back in the ‘80s and ‘90s a lumberjack was the symbol of the American way. Now, it is people of my profession: junior acquisition specialists.

Hacksaw wrestled before the advent of thoughtful signature maneuvers, and his was a three-point stance clothesline. That was probably a throwback to his days on the Atlanta Falcons before being released due to injury. It’s more unique than Hulk’s leg drop, so I guess I’ll give him that.

In 1998, Hacksaw was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He was fortunate to receive an early diagnosis, and after surgery he was back in the ring. He then feuded with the anti-American group, the Revolution, and was supposed to denounce the American flag after losing a pay-per-view match. Hacksaw refused and was beaten because of it. I find myself mouthing “U.S.A.!” and sobbing proudly right now.

Hacksaw’s major accomplishments include winning the inaugural Royal Rumble, earning the 1985 Feud of the Year with "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, and being ranked #157 on the 500 best singles wrestlers by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2003. I seriously need to get my hands on that complete list.

Happy New Year, my dear readers, and see you in 2011.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan saluting and holding 2x4

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Monday, December 20, 2010


My friend, Mr. Mountain Dew, is slow to adopt new forms of communication: he was one of the last of my friends to use instant messenger or get a mobile phone. Just about everyone on the planet has a cell phone. I see toddlers playing with plastic toy phones, and elementary school kids talking and texting on their smartphones. I’m always tempted to warn parents about the energy waves emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices and how they may be hazards to human health, especially to children whose brains are still vulnerable, but since the technology is too recent for long-term studies I can’t say for certain. But don’t claim I didn’t warn you: in twenty years, everyone will have a big, sexy brain tumor.

Up until a month ago, Mr. Mountain Dew did not have a Facebook account, either. But we had made a deal that when my book published, he would join so that he could be my Fan. It didn’t take long for numerous friends to post messages on his wall, like, “Good to know you’re still alive,” and, “Finally! Welcome to 2003.”

When I talked to him on our radiation devices a couple weeks ago he said, “Is there any way to turn off these e-mail notices?” I’m sure there is, Mr. Mountain Dew, but it would be far more amusing to see your inbox (and head) explode. So, to all my blog readers who recognize who Mr. Mountain Dew is: unleash the madness with messages, wall posts, and especially Farmville requests.

Although one-thirteenth of the planet has a Facebook account, Mr. Mountain Dew’s younger brother still isn’t a member. I amended this by making a deal with him: he joins after Facebook reaches one billion users. At that point Facebook may be the only way humans communicate with one another. Our brand-spanking-new brain tumors will develop ESP, and they will warn us about the aliens that have come to Earth to abduct Mark Zuckerberg and annihilate the rest of us. I wouldn’t want Lil Mr. Mountain Dew to miss the message.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Real 'Inception' is We've All Been Incepted

I watched Inception for the second time tonight, and it became clear that it was the best movie of the year, followed distantly by Kickass, The Expendables, Shutter Island, and The Town. Many different theories follow this film, which shows how great the story was. I devised one theory that I will expend no more than 100 additional hours pondering, and will then permanently put it in the can. My theory is...

Inception movie poster
Most viewers think the movie played out how it appears: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is falsely accused of murdering his wife, he takes a job in return for dropped charges, he places an idea inside Fischer's mind, it works, he gets back to reality and lives happily ever after with his kids.

That is the easy way out. It is also likely what the director, Christopher Nolan, meant to happen, as anything else would be too crazy and complex to even consider. That's where us silly movie-watchers come in.

One theory is that the entire movie took place in a dream-state, and that there was no reality. After seeing Inception the first time, this was the direction my mind wandered.

But, what if Inception was a hybrid of reality and dream-limbo? Here is my new theory which will likely change numerous times before my brain shuts down from overexertion and I slip into my own limbo state:

The main storyline—implanting the idea inside Fischer's mind—actually occurred, and the planning of this inception took place in the real world. Cobb and his wife really did have children, and slip into limbo where they lived some 50 years before getting run over by a train, which seemingly brought them back to reality. She later killed herself by jumping off a building. But what if killing themselves in limbo occurred simultaneously to the actual sedative wearing off in reality, meaning they would have "kicked back" anyway? In this case, dying by train was merely a coincidence.

At the end of the film, Cobb and Saito realize they're in limbo, so Saito kills Cobb and then himself in order to return to reality. Saito had since become a very old man, while Cobb had aged very little. In this case, what if Saito killed himself simultaneously to when the actual sedative wore off in reality—just like the train mentioned above? Again, the "kick back" would have occurred anyway. Cobb entered limbo after Saito, so his "kick back" wasn't due for another 40 years. When Saito shot Cobb, that sent him into a deeper layer of limbo instead of reality. This is the second inception: Cobb thinks he's gone back to reality, when really he's still in unconstructed dream space. He creates the world around him, including his children. Essentially, he implanted in himself the idea that he let go of his dead wife, let go of his regret, and joined his children in reality. Whoomp there it is!

Postscript: Actually, DiCaprio incepted all of us and we are in a collective limbo. Let me spend 1,000 hours trying to figure this one out and I'll get back to you.

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