The Biggest Moment of 2022

“I’m here to try and elevate everybody”

With no thought of the massive psychological damage it would cause to middle aged children and the dread it would impose on their already suffocating sense of mortality, with no consideration given to the fact that it was Christmas 2021, like, yesterday, 2022 is soon coming to an end. In previous years I have trailed the year’s Necessary Evil’s list of the year’s best music by naming the year’s best in comparatively unimportant sectors such as films and video games. 2022, however, saw an event so momentous that it renders all other debate on art or even the wider human condition comparatively meaningless, and so I owe it to my legions of fans, I owe it to the internet, I owe it to the culture itself to mention it. Not only that, but I’ll have to try and explain its importance to non wrestling fans, which might actually beyond my ability.

I’m not saying that this was the only thing that happened in 2022, just that all other stories pale somewhat in terms of significance and longterm repercussions. We all enjoyed the Conservative Party exposing the Capitalist lie that money indicates real value as some of the richest people in the country incompetently accused each other of being incompetent with such incompetence that it’s likely to freeze and/or starve a large section of their constituents. Lol! I am literally rolling on the floor laughing. I am a ROFLcopter. This isn’t new though, and of all the talk about opinion polls and potential general election losses, the ruling class fighting amongst themselves while the lower classes suffer is hardly new, will result in no revolution, and the best possible scenario in this country’s broken political system is the other party get in and basically continue the same shit. Sure, The Queen died, and in doing so revealed the longstanding lie that the UK is in some sense a developed country separated enough from its colonial history and repressed shame to be capable of rational thought. But will there really be any longterm ramifications of a gross head of a gross imperialistic state being replaced by a perhaps more gross son in a shamefully gross role? Come back to me when Charlie boy uses his accession press conference to bury the whole Royal Family and throw the whole system into doubt. In fact, have Charles Windsor come to me himself after that. I’d kiss his ugly face. Kings have press conferences, right? OK, we also had Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, after which Twitter had so much fun that Elon Musk decided he had to stop it. Because of… a weed meme or something…? Honestly, it’s hard to know with that nincompoop, he has the brain development of a thirteen year old Trust Fund kid, and so is extremely hard to understand as an adult. These things also happened, and I’m not ignoring them. The war in Ukraine also happened, which I am ignoring, because it’s difficult to make jokes over. Not necessarily for taste reasons – when has that ever stopped me before? – more that it’s a conflict with absolutely no good guys that any glib comment is likely to support fascism and imperialism in some form if just by association.

Hey! Speaking of ‘no good guys’! Speaking of… fascism…? No, I stretched the segue too far, should have stopped after the first one.

Go into business for yourself

Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs

Right, holy shit, so am I actually doing this…?

“Repeat after me…”

The Manic Street Preachers are the greatest rock band ever. That’s not an opinion, it’s a conclusion that I’ve reached and am now saying it loudly and not listening to any dissenting voices, which in 2021 counts as a ‘fact’.

Their greatness is… complicated… and not easy to explain in a simple intro to a blog post… These 100 tracks aren’t necessarily the greatest songs ever. Even as a pathetically dedicated Manics stan*, even I would argue that they’ve only ever released one indisputable, stone cold classic record from front to back (see if you can guess which one after you read the list!). They may have supernatural control over melodies and how best to ensure a chorus hits just there, but at the end of the day they’re just a rock band. They have never really challenged the very boundaries of music, never pushed things forward or necessarily introduced anything new sonically. I would argue that only one of their albums is truly challenging and experimental, rather than just being a break from what the band usually produce (yeah, it’s the same album…). I mean, Jesus, they once shamelessly released a song including the lyric “The world is full of refugees/They’re just like you and just like me“. That’s unforgivably bad, isn’t it? They can’t come back from that, artistically.

“You stand there and you think about what you’ve done”

(*I may occasionally use cool, groovy, young person lingo like ‘stan’ so you think I’m a hip young gunslinger. Not, y’know, old enough to be a Manics fan)

I’m not able to explain their magic here, but over the next one hundred (!) entries you’ll hopefully all have a better idea. It’s not as dominated by the 90’s as I was worried it might be, and every album is represented (apart from one. Because their tenth album is worse than Hitler). I’ve been wanting to find the time to do this for ages, partially inspired by the great What is Music podcast covering their entire discography and reminding me of how many big veiny stonkers this band had bulging out of their collective musical swimming trunks. They’re talking about Muse on that podcast now, a band for morons, so you only need to listen to the last season. My major blind spot is I don’t think they’ve done a decent b-side since 2001. Now, I’m sure I’m wrong, so please correct my ignorance in the comments. Tell me how wrong I am. Post your top tens. Your top hundreds. The Manic Street Preachers’ fan community is one of the greatest in the world, and no other band are as connected with their fanbase and feed off their adoration as much as The Manics. So let’s celebrate that by calling me a fat slut in the comments because I didn’t choose Little Baby Nothing.

If you don’t have time for such nonsense, here’s the Spotify playlist and here’s all the songs in order on YouTube.

And, er, you might wanna bookmark this page – motherfucker’s gonna be long. Your next 500 trips to the toilet are sorted.

Continue reading “Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs”

Money in the Ranked part 2 (10-6)

Fuck… I’m not going to finish this before tonight, am I…? Yeah, it’s gonna have to be a three parter. Sorry… 22-11 is here

10: 2018 Women’s MITB

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I was all set to start this entry off by explaining the massive caveat in the room. I was planning to sit you all down, make you all a nice soothing drink, lightly tickle you all round the back of the ear and in a cool, calming voice explain that no, this almost definitely isn’t really the tenth best MITB ladder match of all time. As I sensually stroked your inner thighs to calm your righteous sense of injustice I would explain how aware I was of rating the first two female MITB matches as scientifically the weakest two in the stipulation’s history, and how I must have been subconsciously desperate to rank their third go around highly in order to address this imbalance. I’d kiss your cheek as I explained how dreaded context meant it was important to slightly overrate a match that would probably be deemed little better than par for the course were it contested by people each holding a presumed pair of testicles and a thick, veiny and lipsmackingly tempting schlong swinging between their legs*. As your boorish fury at men being discriminated against once again built up, I would try and save matters by explaining that the ridiculously high placing was more in appreciation of how a perfectly serviceable ladder match was managed to be put together by wrestlers with next to no experience in the stipulation, at only the third try. As you angrily and loudly threw furniture around the room and fired off multiple Reddit posts asking whether it was even legal to talk about men any more, I would tearfully explain how I didn’t want all three female MITB matches to float around the bottom of this list, and by far the best of these three was ranked so high as mainly a symbolic recognition of great strides made. However, it’d be too late. By that point, I’d have already been officially and forever deemed a shameless ‘White Knight‘, and political correctness will have decisively gone mad.

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(*apart from [WRESTLER], ammi right, lads?! I’ll let you make your own joke their, as I am unarguably better than that, whereas you are patently not)

Continue reading “Money in the Ranked part 2 (10-6)”