Our Stories Matter

We’ve all heard it: “Don’t take [comic books, novels, movies, etc.] so seriously, it’s just a story.”

The fact is, the stories we tell are vitally important to who we are as a people, and who we will become. They have profound impact on the deepest parts of who we and what we believe about ourselves, our neighbors and our country.

It’s no coincidence that so many far-left ideologues work in the entertainment industry. They know the power stories have to form public opinion and shape morality.

In a recent poll, respondents indicated that they believed over 35% of the population was [not heterosexual]. The number in actual society, combined, is around 3% – and that’s being generous.

That’s just one example, though. How many people have you met that parrot the tenants of moral relavtisim; consider marriage passé or form of female oppression; believe the (completely unscientific) premise that unborn children and not human or burden on society; believe that ‘climate change’ is a greater threat to humanity than the mass immigration of declared enemies of western civilization, that claim war, rape, murder, torture and slavery their religious right; believe that sex is merely adult play and holds no spiritual, psychological or moral consequences; believe that mind altering drugs are harmless fun that everyone indulges in; believe the (again, scientifically unsupported, constantly changing) theory of evolution is a fact etched in stone; believe that white people must be exterminated or excluded from public life due the inherent evil of their race or a (entirely fictitious) perceived privilege; believe that Christians are either naïve schmucks, sexual predators, gangsters, party-poopers or totalitarian lunatics; believe that all ideologies and sexual proclivities (including pedophilia, bestiality and sodomy) are equally valid and worthwhile regardless of how cruel, immoral or destructive; believe that disarming law abiding citizens is the best way to prevent gun violence; believe that they are systemically oppressed or inherently exceptional because of their gender and/or the color of their skin?

(Whew! That list got a little bit away from me there, but you get the idea. It’s bleak, yo.)

It’s no coincidence that those views dominate our pop culture, regurgitated endlessly by authors, artists, musicians, celebrities and politicos.

Our stories have been hijacked by immoral, perverse, greedy, cruel, far-left ideologues.

We must take them back.

This is a world-wide call to good, honest, moral people:

Write act, direct and produce movies and television. Make video games. Write and draw comic books. Make music. Write novels in every genre. Paint pictures that stir the soul. Broadcast the news, honestly and impartially. Become teachers and preachers.

Tell our stories. Tell the truth.

It’s not too late.

We can fight the rising tide of evil, expel the darkness clouding society’s collective mind.

Find a corner of the arts that interests you and pursue it. It’ll be an uphill battle in the beginning, but it’s a battle worth fighting. The future our world may very literally depend upon you putting your God-given gifts to good use.

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Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Every Christmas there’s a wave of party-poopers demanding that we not celebrate Christmas. The reason non-Christians engage in this idiotic campaign is obvious, but what is truly confounding is the (professing) Christians that jump on board.

The facts:

  • Contrary to popular opinion, Christmas is NOT a repackaged pagan celebration. Just as my church holds a costume party and hands out candy as an alternative to secular Halloween festivities, Christmas was created as an alternative celebration to a wintertime pagan festival. Celebrating your birthday on the same day as Adolf Hitler’s birthday does not mean you are also celebrating Hitler’s birthday. The same is true of Christmas.
  • Decorating a Christmas tree is also not a pagan activity. While it is true that pagans decorated trees, they also held feasts and danced and sang songs and got together with their friends families. No one in their right mind would suggest that Christians should not eat (my personal favorite Christmas activity), or spend time with family and friends or sing and dance. Similarities do not equal sameness.
  • Santa Claus is real. Giving a gift in the name of Santa Claus is not replacing God with a character created to sell toys. It is a remembrance of St. Nicolas, a cool-beans 4th century Christian Saint famous for performing miracles and sneaking around town and handing out gifts in secret. Look him up, he’s a great dude.
  • Stores decorating for Christmas is a wonderful thing, a genuine kindness to Christians, and a perfect example of good business practices. Identifying the desire of Christians to exchange gifts with loved ones over Christmastime, stores provide the desired products and created a friendly environment in which to buy those items. Literally nothing wrong with that. Stores stay in business, we get the products we need.
  • It’s your fault if you find Christmas to be too commercialized. No one is forcing you to even celebrate Christmas, let alone break the bank buying gifts. It truly is “the thought that counts” when giving gifts. Try to keep that in mind and spend within your means.
  • “Jesus was probably born in the spring!” Christmas is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, not His birthday.

Finally, in an age when Christians and Christian values are hated and despised, when Christianity is mocked and driven from public life, we should all be happy when Christmas rolls around to remind the world or our wonderful Savior and the Christian foundations of our country.

PS: If you’re one of the people railing against Christmas, stop being a Grinch and let people enjoy Christmas. The world is a big enough crap-hole without you ruining one of the only good things we have left.

Merry Christmas!

PWI Year-End Awards

It’s time once again to make our fan picks for the annual Pro Wrestling Illustrated year-end fan awards. Without further ado my picks:

Rookie: Kairi Sane – The Japanese marvel may not be fresh on the world-wide wrestling scene, but, like a newly purchased used car, she’s new to me.

Most Improved: Braun Strowman – Leaps and bounds better than he was last year. At only two years into his career, it’s exciting (and scary) to think how good he could be five years from now.

Woman: Alexa Bliss

Inspirational: Sting – Maintained positive attitude towards fans and WWE after in-ring injury and disappointing end to his career.

Match: AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar, Survivor Series 2017 – The only thing that tarnished this wonderful match was it’s placement on the card, making its result a foregone conclusion.

Wrestler: AJ Styles – Let’s stop wasting time and just anoint AJ the wrestler of the decade already.

Most Popular: AJ Styles

Most Hated: Enzo Amore

Comeback: Matt Hardy

Feud: Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens

Tag Team: Sheamus and Cesaro

Unofficial Official awards:

Brock the Doc: Brock Lesnar dissects opponents with surgical precision.

Proving that not all obnoxious hipster doofus millennials are lazy: Sami Zayn sprints to ringside to save Kevin Owens from bone-crushing Shane McMahon elbow drop off of the top of the Hell in a Cell cage.

Officially has more members than the Justice League: Revolving door of Roman Reigns replacements on the Shield.

The amount of times he’s slipped one past the goalie, he could have been a gold medalist in hockey too: Kurt Angle revealed as Jason Jordan’s father.

Off the top and into our hearts: Kairi Sane’s gorgeous Insane Elbow Drop finisher.

Expresses his “uniqueness” by looking and acting like every other whiny, tattooed, stank-bearded dirt-bag, and ripping off the Undertaker: Allister Black.

Gonna need shock-therapy to get that mental image out of my head: Teased Nia Jax/Enzo Amore romantic pairing.

Apparently, the revolution hasn’t reached Hollywood: Total Divas portrays cast as obnoxious, superficial, completely unlikable, narcissists.

What does 13,000 people shrugging simultaneously sound like? Watch a Barron Corbin or Dolf Ziggler match to find out.

Tone-Deaf or bullies?: WWE heavily promotes ‘Devil’s Blood’ Allister Black (whose finishing move, the Black Mass, is named after an occult ceremony mocking Christian Mass) in year full of church mass-shootings and bombings.

“Wow! Those shades of grey look amazing together!”: Said the color-blind designer of WWE’s hideous new “exploded clown” Monday Night Raw color scheme.

James Bond ‘Nobody Does It Better’ Award: AJ Styles.

Funniest show on TV award: The Fashion Files never fails to deliver laughs.

Behind the times award: WWE 2K18 doesn’t allow male/female mixed-gender match ups. WWE airs mixed-gender tag tournament, and a male vs. female match on Smackdown.

Ahead of the times award: WWE 2K18 omits James Ellsworth from roster ahead of actual release.

WWE New Year’s Refresh

With 2018 less than a month away (where did the time go?!) it’s time to look ahead to the next year in WWE.

WWE runs a minimum of seven new hours of programming every week, and monthly (occasionally bi-weekly) PPV events. It’s great. I love all the content. That said, it’s easy for a product with that much exposure to get stale. So, to keep things fresh, exciting and safe for the performers, I’ve got a few suggestions:

Retire the annual Hell in a Cell event:

The Cell should be the last resort for settling a bitter feud that been contested in every other way possible. Having the match roll around every October robs the Cell of its mystique, and asking fans to believe that feuds conveniently climax every October is ridiculous.

With the Hell in the Cell cage detached from the ring it really limits what can be done with the match. And pretty much everything that can be done with the Cell has been done – repeatedly. It’s basically a “meh” hardcore match outside the ring and a pointless (extremely dangerous, over-done) mega bump from the top of the Cell.

Bring standard cage matches back to the forefront:

Unlike the Cell, the standard cage match offers a ton of excitement. It’s a great way to cap a heated rivalry, the cage is far more interactive as it’s attached to the ring, weapons are easily introduced, the escape-to-win rule create instant excitement and uniqueness, and top-of-the-cage high spots are far less dangerous to performers but every bit as thrilling for fans.

The Money in the Bank match should be the exclusive home of the ladder match:

There’s clear motivation for a wrestler to participate in the dangerous MITB match – a guaranteed title shot at a time of their choosing. The annual TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) event provides no such motivation. Why would a wrestler risk life and limb for nothing? And using the ladder match too frequently, like the Cell match, minimizes its impact as a must-see match.

The Women’s division needs their own show, the Cruiserweights do not:

The current women’s division is stocked with talented performers – far too many to feature consistently within the current TV format.

I propose converting the stale 205 Live cruiserweight show into an all women’s program. There’s more than enough time to feature the limited cruiserweight roster on Raw and Smackdown, and honestly, fans can only watch the same handful of match-ups so many times before they tune out.

Giving the women their own show would allow stars like Mercedes Martinez, Kairi Sane and Toni Storm (and many, many more from the combined rosters of Raw, Smackdown, NXT and the May Young tournament) to appear regularly,facilitate cross-brand dream matches, and open the doors to multiple ongoing storylines.

Women and men are different:

As great as the women are, and as eager as they are to prove their mettle, they need to resist the urge to “do everything the boys do, only better!”

Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses.

That’s not a sexist statement, it’s just biology. It doesn’t mean that women are better than men or that men or better than women, only that we’re different.

A man’s increased muscle mass and thicker bone structure allows them to withstand more punishment. To ensure long careers and healthy lives afterwards, women should play to their strengths (speed, endurance, flexibility, agility) and not try to mimic the matches presented in the men’s division.

For example, women can still present hard-hitting, high thrills matches, just not with as many bone-jarring bumps or excessively dangerous high spots.

Just as no one in their right mind would want to watch a scene-for-scene remake of Star Wars with gender-swapped actors, no one wants to see men’s matches simply recreated with women wrestlers. This is a prime opportunity for women to define a style that is unique the their division.

Immediately retire (and forget) any match types that involve:

[Anything] on a pole.

Blindfolds.

Submission only stipulations.

(Technically, submission matches should be okay. The execution is the problem. Wrestlers almost always start trying for a submission immediately instead of working a regular – fun to watch – match and targeting a specific body part first.)

Being buried alive.

Lumberjacks.

Bring back classic WCW events:

Note to WWE – You own WCW, there is no need to continue dumping on your former rivals legacy. It’s time to cash-in.

Replacing throw-away WWE PPVs like Backlash, Fast lane,  No Mercy, Battleground and Great Balls of Fire with prestigious fan-favorite events like Starrcade, The Great American Bash, War Games, Bash at the Beach and Halloween Havoc is a great place to start.

Reviving classic WCW events (on PPV, not house shows that nobody gets to see) could potentially bring the roughly 4.5 million WCW fans that didn’t migrate to WWE after the purchase of WCW back into the fold, and transform garbage PPVs into must-see (must-buy) events.

Reviving Nitro as a replacement for Main Event or as an all women’s show wouldn’t hurt either.

Raw and Smackdown are hideous:

The title says it all. The grimy grey floor mats and barricade, the enormous Playschool branded ring poles, the hideous ring aprons, the excessive use of orange – it all spells UGLY.

The undisputed top wrestling company in the world should not look like it was decorated by a colorblind toddler with a pallet of finger paints and serious impulse control problems.

Keep sexuality and politics out of wrestling:

Families watch wrestling to escape the divisive, depressing politics of the real world – not to be reminded of it, and not to be forced into a “Why is that man kissing that other man?” conversation with a five-year old. Keep it fun and family friendly.

Know and respect your audience:

This goes hand in hand with the last point. Recently, characters have been mocking Christianity – whether they be decked out in upside down crosses, wearing clothing that declares Christianity a ‘bad religion’ or talking about their plan to turn the next year into a Black Mass – this isn’t acceptable for a family-friendly show, and just plain stupid considering that 80% of your potential audience (peeps with money) are Christians in North America.

Evil weirdos make great bad guys. Just keep their brand of weirdness fictitious, with no real-world analogue for kids to seek out and be scarred by, and that doesn’t unjustly bully or disrespect an entire religion.

More wrestling!

Commercial breaks are a necessary evil. I get that. What I don’t get is WWE consistently cutting away from matches 10-50 seconds after they begin and returning five minutes later to show the last minute of the bout.

Wrestling is the ONE thing that WWE can offer that no other genre can. It should be the centerpiece of the show, not an afterthought or time-killer inserted between twenty-minute interview segments, elaborate ring entrances, comedy skits, promos for upcoming events, and product pitches.

Challenge to WWE: Next time a competitor gets thrown from the ring a few seconds into a match, don’t treat it as a cliffhanger in the old Batman TV series and immediately cut to a commercial. Don’t make us sit through 20 ring entrances, show the first couple of seconds of a battle royal, cut to commercials, and return with 16 of the competitors already eliminated.

Less crowd shots:

Don’t cut to crowd reaction shots in the middle of matches. The crowd is literally visible in every shot. We don’t need to cut away from the action to see how random individuals feel about what they’re seeing. There’s ample time to feature happy faces during promos and other segments. Let everyone enjoy the matches, even those watching at home.

For the fans:

Beloved legends like Sting and Shawn Michaels did ‘the honors’ on their way out, losing their last matches. That may be considered the ‘right’ thing behind the scenes, but it’s the wrong thing for the fans. Fans deserve to see their heroes go out in a blaze of glory, not flicker and die like a spent candle.

The legends of Hulk Hogan, Sting and Shawn Michaels all deserve better.

There are surely other things that can be done to improve/refresh WWE in 2018, but that’s a blog for another time.

Enjoy wrestling, peeps!