Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift! Nanananananananana na-na-na, Taylor Swift, Tayor, Taylor Swift!
Fuck, man, It’s Taylor, you bunch of fucking cunts! Somehow, amongst all the brouhaha, amongst all the controversies and talking points, amongst all the will shes and the won’t she’s and the have shes and the would shes, Taylor fucking Swift has now snuck five consecutive albums onto the Necessary Evil list. For a bit of context, Young Fathers – one of my absolute favourite modern acts – have had three. Radiohead have had two. Her talents are seriously beyond serious debate now, aren’t they?
I know I promised that I wasn’t going to do another one of these until next week, but over the period of about nine hours yesterday Bumble dragged me on a roller coaster of emotions, potential and of reaching ridiculously over my limits as a physically attractive entity*. I have to assume that you’ve all read Shawn Michaels’s esteemed memoir ‘Heartbreak and Triumph’? Well, that could well be the title of this episode of my delve into the grottiness of online dating. Except that there was very little triumph involved. ‘Heartbreak and Heartbreak’ might work a little better. Except that repeated word is a little functionally unnecessary, isn’t it? Yeah, the book of yesterday on Bumble would be called ‘Heartbreak’. Do you see where this is going?
(* though… maybe… really below… my mental attractiveness…? I don’t want to be cruel… Well… maybe I do, just a little, but as will soon become brutally clear I really need to claw back some self-respect out of this hideous situation)
What’s that? You think I’m far too obsessed with wrestling? Really?? Let’s see if that comes into play.
Has this even been a decade? Like, other decades were definitely decades, weren’t they? The 70s were definitely a decade, I’ve seen pictures. It was all flared jeans and Ashton Kutchers. I remember the 80s, it was all primary colours and He Man toys. Except I’m 29 years old, which now unfortunately means I was born in 1990, so I don’t actually remember the 80s. Shame.
The NINETIES though! Remember the NINETIES?! That was an unarguable ‘decade’! There was a undeniable vibe to the 90s. The 90s was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air doing the Macarena after scoring the winning penalty against Ginger Spice in the Euro 96 quarter finals. Remember that? It definitely happened and was definitely 90s!!
I turned 16 (or possibly 10) three days before the year 2000, and since then life doesn’t really deal in decades or conveniently distinct periods of time anymore. Every decade, every year, every day is now a seemingly unending trudge through hideous adulthood. Life and popular culture just trundles off in a different direction and your major marking points become all the more onanistic and self-centred. I started getting fucking old. And when you’re fucking old you’re beaten down by capitalism’s endless rat race that you don’t even fucking care what year it is.
All 22 WWE Money in the Bank ladder matches ranked. Listen, I thought the title would work better than it does, just go with it, OK?
The Money in the Bank (from hereon in referred to as ‘MITB’, because I’ve got a lot of writing to do and I am a very, very lazy man) ladder match is the best idea that WWE have had since Steve Austin’s turn to the dark side at the end of Wrestlemania 17 in 2001 signalled the end of the Attitude Era and drew the curtain on the last period which wrestling seemed in any way relevant or widely notable. It’s arguably the only good idea they’ve had in that 18 year period. Save perhaps having The Miz replace Ted DiBiase jnr. as the lead actor in ‘The Marine’ franchise from ‘The Marine 3: Homefront’ onward. Yeah, WWE make movies now. And yeah, they’re all terrible.
The premise- 5-10 wrestlers battle to use ladders to reach a contract swinging over the top of the ring which allows them a shot at any title they choose at any time they want over the next 12 months- is simple but ingenious, and allows for great storytelling potential and the chance to quickly promote a wrestler into the main event picture. Of course, this potential is more often than not completely squandered, because WWE are generally incompetent and we’re not allowed to have nice things.
Ranking the matches is difficult, because save a handful of amazing bouts and a smaller, Jeremy Beadle sized handful of slightly poorer ones, they’re almost always a similar level of ‘alright, pretty good, I suppose’. However, I am perhaps the greatest blogger of my generation- the ‘Heart Blog Kid’ Blog Michaels, or ‘Stone Blog’ Steve Blogstin, if you will- so I knew I had the ability to do it. I had initially planned to write this list in the build up to the 2018 Money in the Bank pay per view, back when there had been exactly 20 matches, and it would have made so much more sense. Alas, now there are 22 and, to be completely honest, I can’t even promise to finish it in time for 2019’s event exactly two weeks from today. But it’s a cash cow that the WWE are unlikely to put down for a long time yet, so there’s always the chance of a top 24 in 2020. Or perhaps a top 26 in 2021. I mean, I’ve started it now and I’ve already realised it’s going to have to be two parts…
How much do you think your life is governed by your own actions? How much do you believe it’s actually under the jurisdiction of outside forces that are not of your making, or even understanding? That’s right, it’s Boxing Day and, as Thomas scoffed at Jesus as he sceptically rolled his eyes, it’s time to talk about your locus of control.
See that picture there? Yeah, that pretty much explains what a ‘locus of control’ is. I’m going to explain it again here though because, I dunno, you might have a very specific type of blindness, or maybe your version of Netscape doesn’t support pictures. It’s important for me to explain it myself, because I don’t like to feel that a blog this insightful, inspirational and- dare I say it?- woke, could just as easily be written by pasting appropriate pictures from Google images. Also, my sponsor pays me by the word, so this completely superfluous paragraph has already made me a very rich man. Anyway, locus of control:
I mean, sure, write an incisive piece of what the success of From Earth With Love unexpectedly meant for the people of Lappeenranta, Finland in 1997. That probably comes close enough to proper journalism for the other writers at your office not to laugh at you and flick bogeys at you when you’re trying to eat your dinner.
Or maybe just write gushing pieces about how The Rolling Stones used to make 14 year old groupies eat their own faeces while they pissed on them and hi-fived, before pushing the young groupie so hard against the floor that she couldn’t breathe- choking in the mixture of piss, shit and blood from her nose that broke in the collision with the floor- and then all did lines of cocaine off her back. God, there used to be proper rock stars back in the day, didn’t they?? How often do you think frickin’ Twenty One Pilots do that?? The pussies wouldn’t have the stomachs! I mean, that groupie almost definitely didn’t die, did she?
You can only interview bands that you think are great and that we’d enjoy listening to. Perhaps their story will put their music in sufficient context for us to properly appreciate the songs? Don’t interview a band you hate and tell them how shit they are: you are not Lestor Bangs blowing the fucking minds off some sheltered faux superstars, blinded by the shining of the walls of their ivory towers, you’re just a prick who’s really irritating Snow Patrol. These artists are clever enough to understand how life isn’t a zero sum game, they are aware that some people don’t like their music, but they’ve decided to cater to those that do, those that have been throwing money at the band for years, people who had their first wedding dance to Chasing Cars.
Yes, these people are fucking idiots, but part of growing up is recognising that telling idiots that they’re idiots is not an honourable pursuit. However, me telling you that you’re a pathetic edgelord dingus is entirely necessary.