Saturday, 26 June 2010

WWE has the edge over Hollywood!!

So who's your favourite actor? Or should I say, who do you think is the best actor? Before you answer that question you should think deep about what acting is about. The main idea, as we all know, is telling a story in the most realistic way possible, or a vivid depiction of real life events. I have to point out that, in my opinion, the best acting performances have been in films that are based on real people's lives; acting as someone that exists/existed is very challenging, because there's no script describing the character or their attributes. Basically, the actors have to indulge themselves in some other person's life, and then portray it in the big screen, which is a big ask. But they're coping.

My favourite films have mostly been depictions of real people or real events; Malcolm X, City of God, John Q etc.. But the all pervading power of Hollywood doesn't come from these rare but outstanding performances, it actually comes from the repetitive, myopic, stereotypical and predictable films about heroes, love, lust and greed. The ones where the loser from school eventually gets the cheerleader, and the hero always sleeps with the hot girl, even if she's his sister; and most importantly, the ones with the irksome one liners like "I told you not to scratch my car" (guns firing, rocket launchers and grenades thrown around, because of a scratch). These types of films don't require much talent, all they require is looks and a decent grasp on the English language; and even that is sometimes unnecessary if we consider Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, since there's a lack of good actors, where do you suppose they are? I'll tell you where they are, they're busy wrestling.

So the other day I was watching WWE, to my defence may I add that it wasn't by choice, and instead of concentrating on the wrestling I decided to take a deeper look at the essence of the show, the reason why it's so successful. A while later, I realised that the wrestlers were pretty damn good at acting, and not Kevin Costner good, am talking Marlon Brando good. If you think about it, these wrestlers have had a substantial audience for over 55 years now, and the WWE alone grosses over $150 million a year.

I think the idea of WWE has been construed from the wrong point of view by us cynics. We shouldn't really be looking at the wrestling and how gay all these muscular idiots look when they fall to a slap on the wrist. We should look at it as a long ceaseless film. You should also keep in mind that the acting that comes with the back stage drama is Oscar worthy.

So this is the conclusion to my idea. Wrestlers are either the best actors in the world or the audience have an average IQ of 7. Believe me, to some of those spectators, watching wrestling is not merely an avocation, its a f***ing job.

I think the best actor in the world is Bret "The Hitman" Hart. 34 years active and still going.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Football and the Media

The funny thing about this World Cup is that so far it has been the most unpredictable. First things first; most of the talk before the World Cup was about how baleful the inhabitants of Johannesburg are and how unsafe the whole country is. So far though there have been no complaints about violence towards the fans; maybe just a couple of journalists were hassled, but if you ask me, they deserve it. Because honestly no one really likes journalists, not because they're useless, which they are most certainly not, but because of their influence on news headlines. At this point most of you would say that I should be blaming the media not the journalists, but no, journalists are a pertinent part of the media anatomy. We'll get back to journalists later. Now, the second unpredictable thing about this World Cup is that it has been a World Cup of goal keepers. The people that have shone the most in this World Cup are the goal keepers, the level of goal keeping is arguably the highest in history. They've been the players that have given hope to teams of second round qualification, and hopes of World Cup glory. Thirdly, on average, the under dogs have out-played the prominent teams. England have been poor, Spain are very beatable, Brazil are boring, Italy is just a waste of time and France is coached by a baker. On the other hand, Chile and Mexico have shown exuberant attacking finesse, Switzerland have broken defensive records (even though they shouldn't be in the World Cup), South Korea entertained us with team work and slick passing football, and last but no least, New Zealand have equalised with Italy (the so called World champions).

Now, back to journalists. I know there's global animosity towards the media, whether for conveying irrelevant news or controlling the content of news, but the effects the media has are unfathomable. Overpowering teams has detrimental consequences. The English media has been hyping England's World Cup chances ever since they started their very impressive qualification campaign. Labelling the cohesion of the national team and Fabio Capello a match made in Heaven. This was easy to absorb and accept given Capello's CV and the list of world class players at his disposal. However, it was obvious from the qualification stage that England were following in the footsteps of Capello's previous managed teams, winning unattractively. However, this didn't register with the media, as the team seemed invincible. Now, the media fed the English team's ego and sent them on a suicide mission. If you ask me, I think they're lucky to be advancing to the second round. This is a basic and mundane felony executed by the media.

The real crimes committed by the media are those concerning the French national team. One article in titled "Traitors, Secrecy, Back-Stabbing and Mutiny - France's South African Story", talked about the contemptuous state of France's football team. It criticized the players' attitude towards the coach's decisions, and their incessant attempts to abdicate Raymond Domenech. Now, these problems were reflected in their results on the pitch; for this reason the media (NOT the fans) had the chance to blame on-field incompetence for off-field dramas. So the blame goes something like this, "The players refused to train, hence they are revolting which doesn't reflect decent role model attitude, and were rewarded with zero points in the group stage". Fair enough. But then they go on to say that the players are being obnoxious and apathetic to their stature and what they mean to others around the world. Now, the reason why the players are receiving this kind of criticism is because they have not produced any results, they were discordant. If we take into account a winning outcome, then the dilemmas on the training ground would be made obsolete and the players would be considered heroes. Therefore, I can conclude that the shame/abashment/incompetence/pettiness that has been so intensely advertised by the media has nothing to do with the players' actions in training, but solely on the results of their matches. So what the media needs to do, is look for another place to harass people and leave our World Cup alone!!!

Austerity measures.. Really? Or not really?

Whenever one puts on BBC these days, whether on TV or on the Radio, all one can hear is a repetitive, echoic rendition of various financial dilemmas. Whether they're in Greece, Spain or France. One expression in general that I think is being over used is "austerity measures". Now, this is being so overused that the viewer/listener is forced to think that no one really knows what it means. For starters, Christine Lagarde (French Financial Minister), said on BBC Hard Talk that in France they don't use the expression "austerity measures", or they are not familiar with it. Basically, her point is that in France they don't know any policies that would compel people to cut their spendings. In all honesty, I really think she doesn't know what the expression means. NO ONE DOES. So why is everyone using it? One news channel's definition is: "citizens cut spending", another definition is "the country cuts spending", some other definition online was "people spending the same, but wisely".

You want to know what I think, I think this is the exact same story with the term "derivative", which was created by Wall Street to confuse people when it was under the spotlight for being the main cause of the financial crisis. One can actually picture it now; people gathering in a tumultuous crowd, irate and virulent, outside one of the main banks on Wall Street demanding justice and reparations. So, a random employee from one of the banks chooses a spot, above the crowd, and shouts at the top of his voice "It's because the derivatives were bad". Clearly, no one knew what derivatives were but harmoniously they all hang their heads and walk away defeated. This means less questions for Wall Street, since no one knows what derivatives are, it's the easiest thing to blame the crisis on. The same thing can apply for these failed European economies. Since not even the most salient economists can solve this problem, the easiest way out is to propose a measure/solution that no one knows how to execute. Hence "austerity measures" was begotten.

So, there's a trend here, whenever there's an insolvable crisis, the solution is to come up with an expression/term, that no one understands or can execute, to describe the predicament. I bet you anything BP are working on theirs right now. Good morning!!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Back by popular demand!! (not really)

So, suddenly I realised that I was arguably the most unproductive human being on the planet! Therefore I decided to write. What about? I have no clue. You're just going to have to be patient. And since there's a lot happening in the world right now, you should expect something very soon. However, don't for one second think that it will be about engineering again, because lets face it, engineering is boring, always was, always will be. See you soon!!!!