A Brief and Inadequate Mimi Parker Tribute

A friend and I are both similarly shameless man boys, and are equally shameless enough in our arrested emotional and intellectual development to get together once every week to watch old wrestling PPV events from the early 00s, 90s, 80s and – if we’re feeling especially fruity and devil may care in our appreciation of video quality – even the 1970s. After each event – some amazing; some unintentionally hilarious; many, many, many absolutely fucking awful – we look back at the evening’s entertainment, give each match a star rating, hand out our individual awards. And read out the Death List. The Death List is the number of wrestlers and personalities we’d witnessed perform that night at an event forty, thirty. twenty or even just ten years ago who were now no longer with us.

It’s unquestionably a morbid joke, one that never allows us to forget the insanely short expected lifespan of professional wrestlers, particularly those from the steroids n’ cocaine heydays of the so called Golden Era, from the 80s to early 90s. Despite our flippancy, it’s not a completely disrespectful exercise, it’s rarely less than depressing to note how many great talents were lost to us early by being sucked into such a thoughtless and treacherous business. It never allows us to forget that people are killing themselves and being killed just in order to provide us with our shits and giggles. Considering that I’ve only been writing these lists since 2007, and in an era when musicians’ and pop artists’ lifespan is considerably longer than your average professional wrestler, it’s not a trope I’d ever imagined repeating for my Necessary Evil end of year countdown.

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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

Legit Bosses pt.3: The 40 Best Songs of 2020

Hey! Top forty ! This is a nice, normal, manageable list isn’t it? Should I maybe have just limited 2020’s best songs to this workable and succinct top 40 list? What, and not mention Wock in Stock or I Don’t Know, Burn Stuff? I’m not sure I’d ever be able to forgive myself.

That’s all the introduction you’re getting, parts one and two were more than enough foreplay, there are some absolute modern classics in this final countdown, and if you’re as half as surprised as me at what comes out on top…

Maybe, I mean, I still might change it…

#40 Fiona Apple: Under the Table

A very ‘Fiona Apple’ Fiona Apple song, but that is obviously entirely a Good Thing. Lyrically, it’s untouchable, with Ms Apple taking issue with dinner party conversation and refusing to be silenced (“Kick me under the table all you want/I won’t shut up…I would beg to disagree/But begging disagrees with me”). Amongst the barbed and often hilarious response to tension, she also manages to squeeze in some absolutely amazing lyrical asides:

I’d like to buy you a pair of pillow-soled hiking boots

To help you with your climb

Or rather, to help the bodies that you step over, along your route

So they won’t hurt like mine

I’m going to be really noncommittal and say that Under the Table is definitely one of the best lyrics of the year. Don’t make me choose. No, seriously, don’t make me choose, you know I’d just give it to a 1993 Manics’ lyric and ruin the legitimacy of the whole operation.#

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Money in the Ranked part 3 (5-1)

OK, we’re definitely finishing this fucker…

Part 1

Part 2

5: Wrestlemania 24

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How many words have I vomited onto my fingers then indelicately smeared across my keyboard in respect of Money in the Bank matches? Ten thousand? Fifteen? A million?? Probably closer to the latter*. A lot, I think we can agree.

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(*Or should I say, probably closer to the LADDER?!?! Yeah. A good, solid pun. My worry is the word ‘latter’ is probably not in wide enough usage for the fucking killer joke to really hit home. I know, it’s not fair, my burgeoning comic career is being badly hampered by my audience’s lack of vocabulary. Again. It’s like when my 12 night stand at the Comedy Club received scathing reviews (“If AIDs had sex with cancer, and frequently drank moonshine during the pregnancy, the severely mentally disabled child would be Alex Palmer’s stand-up set” – Time Out) because nobody understood my hilarious observation of how the word ‘Brexit’ kind of rhymed with the third person singular active indicative of the Latin word for ‘understand’. Screw you, plebs, my 45 minutes on the topic are killer and I ain’t dumbing it down.)

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47 Superorganism: Superorganism

We have to stop talking about ‘The Internet’ like it’s a distinct and separate thing, a place somehow separate to everything else. We need to stop talking about ‘The Internet’  in the same way we talk about that time I wet my pants ‘at the zoo’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at Kew Gardens’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at the UN National Assembly’. Also, we need to stop talking about the times I wet my pants, can we not talk about your day for a change??

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‘The Internet’ is no longer this curious and hidden alternative to reality used only by weirdos to secretly find what other depraved people near them also believe that Star Wars was never really that fucking good in the first place*. ‘The Internet’ is now just ‘Everything’. It has no unique facets or distinctive characteristics, it’s just ‘The World’.

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30 Alvvays: Antisocialites

The Only Socialising You’ll Need

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I like to think the 2017 Necessary Evil list has so far catered to a lot of different tastes and requirements:

You’ve had Mark Lenegan , for those who want gravelly voiced ginger reminding them of a time when rock music was really cool; you’ve had Lil Yachty, for those of you who want your hip-hop history disregarded and even defiled on top of saccharine pop beats; Lil Peep, for those of you who just want to soundtrack their own descent into drug-induced senselessness, overwhelmed by life’s cruel meaningless; Arca, for those of you who don’t really want to enjoy the music they listen to rather, have it drill its own importance into their cerebral cortex and splatter its definite artistic statement over the wall behind; and Björk, for the people who… erm… well I still haven’t quite figured out who that album’s for. Perhaps just Björk…

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(…)

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42 Pixx: The Age of Anxiety

Anxious Geography

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“Here me/Hear me cry out/Everything is weird in/America”

America is a different country from Britain. Like, completely different: it has its own laws and everything, and is entirely full of people who are very different from the people in the UK. Not only is there a lot more of them but, let’s face it, a lot of them are probably a lot fatter, so their combined weight of humanity would be so much more that it would render Britain’s almost inconsequential.

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