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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Political Theatre

Tuesday
July 4, 2006

Happy Independence Day, everyone. It's nice to have holidays off. That, for the longest time, wasn't the case for me. Most people take it for granted; I don't.

If you aren't in the know, we had a positive thing today (successful launch of the space shuttle Endeavor without incident) and a not-so-positive thing (North Korea launching missiles in testing precariously close to Japan, where my sister is right now.) Kim Jong-il rules the country with an iron fist. He may look androgenous with his "grandma glasses" (as my friend Scott Massey called them years ago), but the man is a tyrant. North Korea is seen globally as more of the annoying kid of the street who does stupid stuff to get attention, and hopefully diplomacy can be used to handle them appropriately. That is not to downplay the fact that people there are horribly oppressed, but my hope is that peaceful means can be used to bring the situation to a calm solution.

Here's a pretty cool piece of video I stumbled across today. It's from NASA, showing a water balloon being popped in zero gravity. Take a look:

To avoid staining my website writing with the taint of too much reality TV, I've given Big Brother 7 its own section, since I know I'll end up having plenty to say about it.

In a bizarre interruption of the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci Fi, ECW aired live on the 4th of July. In pro wrestling the guys don't get holidays off, that's for sure. It was an ECW-only show in Philly, which is the ideal setting for Extreme Championship Wrestling. However, this isn't Extreme Championship Wrestling, it's the ECW brand of WWE (1/3 of the WWE, along with the RAW and SmackDown! brands), and until people get that through their heads, there is going to continue to be widespread anger and disappointment among those who think it's still 1997. Hey, I wish this was the old ECW, but it's not. The three winners tonight? Mike Knox, Test and Big Show. I've met Test, and he's a good guy, but he is someone who fits much better in WWE.

This isn't a knock on Test, or any of the wrestlers -- they do what they're told. But it should be obvious when Little Guido, Al Snow and Rob Van Dam lose that a message is being sent. Even when the live crowd takes a shit on it. I do love those Philly fans for their rude chants and for expressing their feelings for the in-ring product being presented to them. A family-friendly SmackDown! audience, they're not...


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