I was dropped off in the woods for three days. Something inhuman followed me out.
In the early days of February, just before my senior year. I was prompted by my father to undertake a right of passage as he called it. I was to be left alone to fend for myself in a section of Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest for three days and two nights. I was against the trip from the beginning. Sure, I liked hunting and camping, but this was extreme, too extreme for my tastes. But it was tradition; passed down from father to son in my family for generations. Who was I to break tradition? So, against my reservations, and against the feeling that this was a stupid idea, I packed up my backpack, grabbed my .30-06 bolt action rifle and climbed into the cab of my dad’s pickup. It was a long drive, broken only by stilted attempts at conversation and the heater going full blast as the tires rolled past endless concrete. I was a little pissed that my dad was basically forcing this on me, and our uneasy silence only made the hours feel like days. We only stopped once at a gas station about ten miles from our cabin. The stench of unleaded, and a cheap, convenience store hamburger would be the last remnants of civilization I’d see for the next three days. I mechanically swallowed my burger and slurped down the watery coke filled with too much ice as we turned off the highway and got on the rural backroads. It was fifteen miles of dirt to my dads’ cabin that his grandfather had left him, which would, in turn, be left to me. It was tradition, after all. But I wouldn’t be getting the luxury of a cabin, no. We were parking the truck, and my father was driving me up deeper into the woods on a four-wheeler to a random, undisclosed point. I would then have three days to find my way back. If I succeeded, I’d become a man in my dads’ eyes, and we’d also be getting a new swimming pool for the summer. It was bribery, but I would be going into my senior year in August, and having a big pool would cement my popularity. It was vain, and I was doing this for mostly selfish reasons, but I also wanted to make my dad proud. I stepped out of the toasted truck to the calm, frigid forest air. The cabin was a small two-story log affair, worn from age, but obviously well maintained. A new wooden wraparound porch had been built last summer and was in need of staining that we’d never gotten around to, but otherwise, the cabin was pristine. It was a tremendously peaceful place, far removed from the troubles of civilization, and I felt like I was intruding on hallowed ground. I brushed off the shiver that clawed down my spine and buttoned my long coat to my neck. Immediately most of the chill went away, and I shook off my unease. I didn’t want to admit it, but a part of me was looking forward to the trip, some primal part of me relished the opportunity to put all the survival skills I’d been taught over the years to the test. Before I could take a step to the cabin, my dad came around the front of the truck and held put his hand. “Thomas, hand me your bag,” he demanded, in a curt, no-nonsense tone. My dad and I looked so much alike in the face, the same unruly dark hair and deep-set eyes, but I could never hope to measure up to his terrifying drill sergeant voice. As he told me to hand him my backpack, I did so without question, and he immediately went inside, telling me to wait on the porch. I marched across the wood and sat in the rocking chair while my dad bustled around inside. Pots and pans clanged, and metal scraped against metal as he worked, breaking the sounds of the forest around me. For half an hour, my dad busied himself with my bag before the screen door creaked as he ambled back outside. “I loaded everything you’ll need for three days in the bag. You have a couple days of food, but its only for an emergency, I also added a flare gun for an actual emergency.” Dad kept his voice rough and only used that tone with me when he wanted me to really pay attention to him. He had a good reason. As fun and full of tradition as this experience would be for me, I was still spending several nights alone in the woods, and in the untamed wilderness. Anything could happen. He handed me back the bag, and it was stuffed full, a lot had been added to it, so much that string strained against the nylon fabric. I hefted it onto my shoulder, and though it was much heavier than before, it wasn’t cumbersome or unwieldy. I could carry it all day and I didn’t think it would bother me. After he handed me the pack, we unloaded the four-wheeler from the back of his truck, and we set off up the small walking trail next to the house. From memory, the path went on for dozens of miles and followed the stream as it snaked through the wilderness. We rode until the dirt road ended and humanity fell away to the deep woods. The ride got bumpy as we wound around trees and over small rocks and for a minute, I was afraid of hazards. My dad was an experienced outdoorsman, though and knew these woods well. A few hours later, we’d apparently reached the destination. It was a small clearing nestled under a copse, the remains of a previous campsite long since put out rested in the center of the dirt surround by a circle of rocks. “I was up here scouting a couple weeks ago, so I know the route I’d take to get back,” he said cheekily. “Be careful, son. And call me if there’s an emergency, I’m only a few hours away and I should be able to see the flare if there’s trouble.” “Yeah, because I’ll be able to get a signal out here,” I replied, holding up my now useless phone. “Well, there’s always the flare gun, but I’m confident you’ll be fine, and besides, the flares really only there if you decide to give up,” he said, laughing. With a parting wave, he departed, rolling back down the mountain and leaving me stranded in the woods for three days. *** The first thing I did was take inventory and catalog my belongings. I undid the pack and carefully emptied its contents onto the ground. I had a pair of long johns, some extra socks and underwear. A box of matches, a hunting knife and miniature shovel. A Ziplock bag filled with a blend of spices, a canteen of water, two days of vacuum-sealed rations and water pouches, and the flare gun. Along with my hammock and blanket. I had everything I needed to make camp and survive if my hunting skills proved to be lacking. I had over thirty miles of wilderness to hack through before I hit the main roads and could circle back to the cabin on the main road. Dad told me it should take me at least two days, three if I didn’t get lucky with my hunts. I had a few hours to kill before nightfall, and I wanted to get some miles in and find my bearings. The best bet, I thought, would be to hike along the stream until it ended. It was somewhat close to the trail, but not on it, as that would be cheating, but it would give me an excellent landmark to keep me oriented. So, with mild hesitation, I packed up and set off through the woods. It had been a good couple months since I’d last been in the woods, and I’d never been this deep in them. It was quiet, only disturbed by the rustling of trees and the occasional scuffle of an animal nearby as I trudged over rough ground and rocks. Staying near or on the trail would have defeated the purpose of the experience, so I stayed off it as much as I could and only traveled through the woods themselves. Of course, it slowed my progress considerably and I only managed to walk about two miles before I started thinking about stopping. I would have to hunt before it got dark if I didn’t want to go hungry, and I only had an hour or two before the light fell enough to make hunting impossible. After searching around for about ten minutes, I found a good spot to set up camp for the evening, and I dropped my bag and grabbed my rifle, chambered a cartridge, and double-checked the safety. My game was rabbit, since I didn’t have the tools needed to string up and gut a deer. I set off and crept through the brush, looking for signs of a nearby den. Rabbits are most active at dawn or dusk, so it was the perfect time to hunt them. Less than five minutes later, I found signs of rabbit trails in the underbrush a few hundred yards from camp; I leaned against the tree, just waiting. The rabbit I wanted appeared half an hour later, hopping out of the brush without a care in the world. It was a plump eastern cottontail; It stopped and sniffed, giving me my opening. The crack of my rifle pierced the air and the cottontail dropped dead. I’d hit my mark, taking it in the neck so as to not spoil any of the meat. It was a decent-sized rabbit, more than enough for dinner; I bagged it and went back to camp. Light was fading as I reached my campsite, which made fire, priority one. I grabbed the mini shovel and dug a small pit in the center of camp, spreading the loose dirt around the perimeter. I picked up a bundle of sticks and kindling just clearing the site, which gave me ample dead wood to burn. So, I piled a bundle in the ground with some dead leaves and twigs and got a nice fire going. When I had light to work by, I cleaned the rabbit, making sure to not perforate the bowels and removed the organs and skin. I walked away from camp and buried the offal and hide in a small hole next to a tree. When the meat was cleaned, I rubbed some spices into the meat to remove some of the taste of game and skewered it with a stick I’d sharpened. While the meat cooked over a makeshift spit, I tied my hammock to the only two trees close enough for it to work. By the time my bed was ready, I had to turn the meat and get it ready to eat. A sprinkle of seasoning garnished the piping hot meat and I dug in when it was fully cooked. I wasn’t the best cook and didn’t have the right tools and ingredients, so the meat was a little dry and bland, but filled me up nicely, and I washed it down with a swig from my canteen. I even had leftovers. I wrapped them up in cloth and sat them by the fire, ready to be eaten for breakfast in the morning. With nothing else to do for the evening and night had fallen an hour ago, I decided to turn in for the evening and get an early start in the morning. I had many miles to cover and I would have to hunt again at some point the next day for dinner. I nodded off, listening to the sounds of the forest as they lulled me into a deep sleep. In the morning, I woke up refreshed from one of the best nights sleep I’d ever had and was eager to take on the day. I was in such a good mood that it took me a few minutes to realize something was off. In the middle of packing up my hammock and gathering my supplies, I couldn’t help but notice that the leftover rabbit was missing from next to the fire. I searched around for it in vain, thinking the wind might have caught it and blown it away from the camp. But there was nothing. I chalked it up to a wild animal, but that unsettled me. Deer’s didn’t often eat meat, and I didn’t think a deer would get anywhere near my campsite. The smoke from the embers of the fire would have been enough to keep most animals away. Black bears were common enough in the forest, but they should still be hibernating during this time of year. Right now, there wasn’t anything larger than a deer in these woods, so unless it was a coyote, it had to have been a deer. But there were no tracks anywhere around my campsite, so no answers came to me. I’d packed up camp, and went to relieve myself when I found something that confused and terrified the hell out of me. I went to piss by the tree where I buried the offal of the rabbit last night, and right where I’d buried them, was a hole. It was rough, with long claw marks gouged deep into the dirt as if something had ripped into the ground to get what I’d buried. I’d buried them deep enough to not attract the scent of wild animals, and I’d never seen claw marks like the ones next to the tree. I didn’t know what to make of them; wild animals weren’t that smart, and they were skittish by nature. No animal would risk getting close to a human unless they were starving, and no human had claws like the ones I’d found. Without hesitation, I grabbed my rifle and racked a cartridge. The air was calm, and birds sang through the treetops. It was a lovely morning, and I was petrified. I walked the camp in a circle, spreading out, searching for any tracks or signs. The only ones I’d found were some deer tracks about a hundred yards from camp that were at least a day old. There was nothing else even remotely resembling the marks I’d found. There was nothing for me to find, and even though I was freaked out, I still had to hike back to civilization. As the miles wore on, I began to rationalize the experience, thinking it to be nothing more than a hungry animal looking for food and brave enough to sneak into my camp. I just hadn’t buried the offal deep enough and some critter had smelled it. That’s all it was. As the day wore on, there was nothing to differentiate my delusions. The woods were normal, no ominous warnings, or foreboding feelings, just nature alive and well in the midday sun. I managed to bag another rabbit, purely on coincidence as it scampered out of the tree line. I snapped off a shot and my aim was lucky. I’d taken it in the head, which left little of its skull behind, but it left the meat ripe for the taking. I’d made good time through the woods, so I stopped and quickly cleaned the rabbit, leaving the offal and skin where they lay. If something wanted to eat them, then let it. After the rabbit was clean, I wrapped the meat in cloth and stowed it away. I was hungry from the hike, and the fact that my breakfast had been stolen that morning, but I still wanted to put some more miles under my boots before it got dark. I wanted to be far away from my campsite, just in case. As the sunlight faded from the canopy and my aching feet demanded a break, I found a spot to set up camp. It was a small campsite, nestled up against a rocky mound that stretched skyward for a couple dozen feet with a slanted shelf near the top. I felt comfortable having my back to the wall, and a brace of trees next to the rock ensured I could set up my hammock. I readied the campsite, built a roaring fire twice as large as the one last night just to scare away any nearby animals, and cooked the rabbit to perfection. I was ravenous and scarfed down the meat with gusto. Despite my hunger, there were still plenty of leftovers again, but this time, I was careful to stow the meat inside my pack, which I kept next to my hammock. Exhaustion had worn me down from the many miles I’d walked that day, and I was eager to get some sleep. I laid my head on my pillow and was out like a light. The stillness woke me, like a veil of silence had been draped over the woods. Not a single sound rose from the forest floor other than the rustling of the leaves in the wind. Not even crickets. Animals instinctively go quiet in the presence of predators, but this was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I lay in my hammock, straining my ears to listen to any sound I could. There was nothing but the wind. The fire had died out, leaving only coals that sparked every time a stiff breeze rolled in. The moon was fat in the sky and gave me ample light to see by as I stared up at the trees. For some reason, I was terrified to get up and look around. My rifle was next to me, resting just by head against the tree. I could grab it in seconds and there was a round in the chamber, but I couldn’t reach for my gun, couldn’t do anything other than stare straight ahead and try not to move an inch. Because I realized something was watching me. It started as a tickle of paranoia on the back of my neck as my hairs stood on end, but it grew to fear as sweat beaded on my forehead. There was a presence in the woods, its eyes were on me, and it was angry. Pure unadulterated malice oozed from just beyond my sight. Something was watching me, and it hated me. It’s a hard to describe feeling, the anger that was directed toward me, but I knew what it was on a primal level, something instinctual, right alongside the fear of being alone in the dark. I knew that feeling too. The presence persisted for a few minutes and didn’t fade. Sweat poured down my neck as I fought to stay still. Eventually, the silence and fear got to me and I had to do something. I couldn’t take it anymore and leapt from the hammock, hitting the ground hard. I ignored the pain radiating from my arms and scrambled for my rifle, scanning all around me, trying to find whatever it was. As I spun around, I saw it, perched on the rocks above me. For a single split second, a flash of neon blue eyes stared back at me from an angular, too pale body before it slunk out of sight. My heart pounded in my chest and my head felt fuzzy, like ants crawling over my brain. It became hard to breathe and I fought to keep from passing out. I was scared out of my mind because whatever that thing had been, wasn’t human, and it wasn’t an animal. It was a monster. I didn’t sleep that night, I built up the fire and huddled around it, clutching my rifle till morning. Screw tradition and screw these woods. I was heading back to the cabin at first light and I wasn’t stopping till I reached it. Nothing else happened through the night, but as dawn broke over the mountains, my nerves were shot to hell and my eyes ached with the strain of keeping them open. I stumbled to my feet, kicked out the fire and slung my backpack over my shoulder. I left the hammock tied where it was and set off towards the stream. I was going to follow it to the trail, and I’d be back at the cabin well before nightfall. It took an hour of walking, stumbling over uneven terrain till I found the stream, and from there I found the worn trail. I followed it for hours as the sun rose high in the sky. I was so tired, but the fear of death and that monster were the only things that kept me putting one foot in front of the other. I was hungry, thirsty and beyond everything else, utterly exhausted. But I kept pushing forward, no matter how slow and tired I was. I still had the rabbit tied up in my pack, but I couldn’t stop and eat. As the day wore on, I began to recognize parts of the terrain and I knew I was close to the cabin. I was so elated that I didn’t pay attention to where I was walking and rolled my ankle on a small rock that jutted out from the side of the trail. I lost my balance and careened off and hit my head on a nearby tree branch. Everything went black. I awoke to dusk. I’d been out for a couple of hours, whether from the blow to the head or the exhaustion, whichever it was, I was still in the woods, and night was coming quickly. The monsters never appeared during the daytime, so I thought I was safe in the light. But light was running out and I still had a mile or so till I reached the cabin. I picked myself off the ground and dusted the dirt off. I grabbed my rifle, checked that it was still loaded, and I flicked the safety off. My finger stood a millimeter from the trigger and I kept my head on a swivel as I hastily jogged the trail back to the cabin. Relief swept through me when I saw the wraparound porch come into view. I nearly sagged to my knees as I reached the cabin just as the last of the orange bled from the purple skyline. I had made it back. “Dad!” I yelled as I ran up on the porch. “Dad, we gotta go!” I ran around to the front door and stood stock still as my blood ran cold. The door to the cabin was open, and my dad was lying halfway inside and halfway on the porch. He’d been mauled. His body was nothing but ribbons and scraps of flesh that only half resembled what a human should look like. I stared in silence, my mind not comprehending what I was seeing. He’d been wearing the red and black checked flannel shirt I’d gotten him for his birthday, it was the only way I could tell it was my dad. His face had been ripped from his skull; too white bone peeked out from his empty eye sockets. The stench was ungodly, a mixture of fresh meat and the iron tang of blood filled the air. I clutched at my stomach and hurled bile on the wooden floorboards, sinking to my knees as my throat burned raw as I heaved my guts out. Absolute panic gripped my sanity and took it for a joyride as I tried and failed to come to terms with the fact that my father was dead, had been ripped to pieces by whatever was outside, stalking me in the dark. I had to leave, had to get as far away from that place as I could, or else, I’d be next. I screamed wordlessly and backed away from the porch. I turned and ran to the truck; it was my only avenue of escape and I had to hurry. Night had already fallen. I scrambled the driver side of the pickup and yanked on the handle hard enough to break it, but it held and opened the door after a second of sticking. I climbed into the cab and threw down the vizor, where my dad usually kept the keys, but they weren’t there. The only other place they could be was in the pocket of my dad’s jeans. And I would have to get them. Steeling myself for the inevitable, I clutched my rifle tight and exited the vehicle. I knew I had to be fast, knew I needed to already be far away from the woods, but my feet wouldn’t carry me any further. I stared at the mutilated remains of my father and tried not to throw up again or break down in madness. C’mon! You can do this, just put one foot in front of the other. Do it now! My rational mind screamed at me, trying to override the panic I felt at that moment. I stepped forward, an inch at a time and before I knew it, I was back, staring down at my dad. I breathed through my mouth, not being able to stomach the smell again and crouched, careful of the sticky and drying blood. I squinted through my eyelashes and patted my dad’s pants. The keys were in his left pocket, so as quickly as I could, I stepped to the side and dug through them. My hands clutched around the metal key and I yanked my prize free, nearly stumbling from the force. With the key in my hand, I bolted from the porch back to the truck. I just wish I’d been faster. As I reached the open cab, flesh thudded against wood and I turned, searching for the sound. Movement from above me drew my gaze and I finally got a good look at what had been chasing me through these godforsaken woods. It was on the roof of the cabin, clinging to the side of the slanted roof with ease. The monster was humanoid, but it crawled on all fours like an animal. Its skin was pale white like paper and thick and rough, leathery almost. But what marked it as being something inhuman was its head. It bore ethereal blue eyes that lit up the night, and a large arrowhead face that tapered to a point near its mouth. Its mouth which opened, revealing thousands of minuscule, needlepoint, silver teeth in rows stretching down its throat. The creature’s eyes never left mine and glinted with malicious intelligence. It upturned its too many teeth into a gruesome smile. I didn’t think, didn’t panic, I just reacted. I raised my rifle and fired. The bullet whizzed past its head and took it in the shoulder. Bright white blood spurted from the wound and splashed across the roof of the cabin to drip down the shingles. It let out a high-pitched shriek of pain and recoiled from the shock, it slid down the roof and into the tree line faster than I could line up a second shot. When it broke from my line of sight, I sprinted to the truck, tossed in my bag and rifle, and slid into the driver’s seat. Thankfully, the truck started on the first try and the engine roared to life. I flicked on the high beams, threw the truck in reverse and spun around as fast as I could. The shadows of the forest writhed in chaos as I sped down the trail, going too fast for comfort, but my mind and nerves were shot. It was all I could do not to floor the pedal and speed away as quickly as I could. I was driving recklessly, taking curves too sharply and doing everything in my power not to fishtail into a tree when a thud landed on the roof of the truck, crumpling the aging metal. I screeched, panicked and jerked the wheel, trying to throw it off. I spun the wheel too much and clipped an overgrown tree in the process. I tried to overcorrect myself but only ended up slamming the side of the truck into the tree line. The truck crunched to a halt, the passenger side crumpling like a bent can as tree branches snapped, sounding wooden gunshots through the forest. Whatever was on the truck was flung to the side as we crashed. It flew off the hood and hit a tree further into the forest. Bones cracked and when it fell to the dirt, it left a smear of white blood across the bark. I tried to start the truck again, but it just groaned and wouldn’t turn over. With a half growl, half groan, the creature picked its bleeding body off the ground and glared at me, its neon eyes glowing even brighter as it shrieked and crawled toward me. I grabbed my rifle and left the truck. I could follow the monster by its eyes alone and I perched my rifle on the hood of the truck and took aim. It was slow as it crept toward me, giving me plenty of time to line up the perfect shot. I had my crosshairs centered right between its eyes and I rested my finger on the trigger, a split second away from firing. The creature let out another scream, much higher in pitch than the others and my body jerked on its own accord. My hands spasmed and I squeezed the trigger. My shot went wide, flying off into the woods and thudding into an old tree. That had been my last bullet. My rifle only held four shots and I hadn’t brought any extra ammo. I squeezed the trigger, again and again. Terror gripped me as it slunk along the earth, leaving a milk-white trail of blood behind it. I threw the gun at it and ran for the truck, for the knife in my bag. I wasn’t going to let it get me, I wasn’t going to end up as food, as a mutilated corpse like my dad. I was going to kill it or myself if that failed. I wouldn’t let it eat me. The thing was on me before I reached the cab. It slammed into the side of the door, pinning me as I was halfway in the door. I lunged for my bag as the monster opened its jaws wide and bit through the metal door like it was cardboard. It ripped a chunk free and spat it on the ground as it eyed me with rage and hunger. My hand closed around my bag and I tore the strings, grabbing the knife that was at the top of the bag. I slid it from its sheath as the creature was poised to bite. I jammed the knife to the hilt in the side of its face, just below its glowing blue eye. It reared back in pain, sending a mind pounding shriek of pain splitting through my psyche. It stopped my heartbeat for a second as it jumped away from the truck and tried to dislodge the knife stuck in its skull. I thought then that I’d landed a lucky blow and it was going to leave, that I’d be able to get back in the truck and escape the forest, but more howls joined the first and two more of the monsters slunk from out of the shadows. This is where I die. It was the only thought running through my head. I couldn’t run from them, couldn’t fight them. I was going to die. But I wasn’t going to make it easy for them. I grabbed my torn bag and I ran into the woods as fast as I could. I was desperate to escape, but the howls and thuds of too many legs padding through the dirt behind me told me I wouldn’t escape. They were close at my heels, and the only thing that saved my life that night was gravity and my own clumsiness. I tripped on a branch and tumbled to the ground as one of them sailed over me, mouth wide as the thousand needles closed around empty air. It hit the ground a few feet away and turned, eying me up. I backpedaled but hit a tree as it lunged a second time. With nothing else in my hands, I brought my bag up as it clamped down, throwing me to the forest floor. Its teeth closed around my bag, ripping the nylon to shreds, but my mini shovel got lodged in its throat and it couldn’t close its mouth all the way. Clothing and food poured out of its jaws, and I scrambled out from under it. My hand hit something plastic as I crawled away from the creature and even in the dark of the woods, I couldn’t fail to make out the bright orange handle of the flare gun. It was a long shot, but it was the last weapon I had, and I clung to it as I stood up and ran away. I didn’t get far as the monster chomped through the metal shovel like it was a toothpick and spat out the remains of my backpack. It howled in rage and ran for me. Knowing I only had one shot, I stopped running, dropped to my knees and fired. Daylight split the night as my eyesight was obliterated by the burning red flare as it streaked through the air and hit the monster in the face. Like it’d been doused in kerosene, the creature went up in a gulf of flames. Its flesh sizzled and popped like grease in a pan as it cracked and blackened in seconds. It howled in agony, screaming such a high pitch sound that my ears bled, and I fell to my knees as my consciousness waned. By the time I rose to my feet and wiped the blood from my ears, it was dead. It was now nothing but a charred carcass burning under the crackling fire. The flare still burned, illuminating the night. And showing me the other two creatures that had crept up on us. I was out of weapons and out of hope, but they stayed back, just at the tree line, watching me and the flaming carcass of their friend. Fire was their weakness it seemed, and even though I had no more flares, I bluffed them. It was the most reckless thing I could’ve done, but I had no other options left. I raised the empty flare gun, and they flinched. They took a step back and stayed low to the ground, like they were ready to bolt. I pressed my luck and took a step forward. They turned and ran as fast as they could, deeper into the forest, howling as they did so. As soon as they were out of sight, I ran myself. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, not caring about the scrapes and scratches from the branches whipping at my face. I only cared about my own survival. I hit the road leading to the highway and ran for hours. There were too many miles between me and the highway, but I didn’t care. I just kept running. By the time I hit the pavement, it was daybreak and I knew I could stop running, but I kept on. Because I had nothing else but the run. If I stopped, it would mean accepting what just happened, and I didn’t think my mind would survive. I ran until I hit the gas station, we’d stopped at only three days ago, what felt like a lifetime ago. The gas station attendant took one look at me, out of breath, with bloody, torn clothing, and called the police. He was kind enough to give me all the water I wanted while we waited for the police. I drank it in silence while I sat huddled in on myself, trying to calm my racing heart and not to think. It took the cops nearly an hour to arrive from the nearest town, and when they did, I finally had to tell them my story. They didn’t believe me, because of course they wouldn’t. I sounded insane, raving about monsters with glowing blue eyes and white blood like a madman. However, the officer was patient and kind, taking down my statement word for word, despite the skepticism on his face. I told them where to find the cabin, the truck, everything. They found it all right where I told them it would be, but there was no sign of the creature I’d killed, not even ashes. My dad’s body was also gone. The only sign it had been there at all were the bloodstains. The police chalked it up to a wild animal attack, attributing my story to be just that, a story by a scared teenager who witnessed an animal kill his father. The reporters, the kids at school, hell, even my mother, they didn’t believe me. But I know the truth. I’m not crazy. There’s something evil in that forest. Whatever it was. Whatever those fucking nightmares were. There’s more than one of them, and they burn just fine. If you camp out in the Tennessee forests at night, be careful, learn from my story. And for the love of God, carry a fire source.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
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This post was written to resolve a specific argument with my friends that was happening on discord. If you're not one of them — what are you doing here? The goal here is to go through the 10 threads on the front of sneerclub right now, and gauge to what extent they convey valid, meaningful criticism. This will mostly take the form of me liveblogging my descent into this madness, with some kind of conclusion at the end (hopefully). Before we begin, let's be specific. Valid criticism entails:
saying something is bad or wrong
giving a reason why
bonus points if this is done with a minimum of insults, social posturing, and shitposting.
Valid criticism is not:
simply saying something is bad or wrong
simply saying something that amounts to "look at this low status behavior"
simply making a joke
Et cetera. Obviously, this is still somewhat subjective, but I will strive to be conscious and forthright about where the validity of a criticism is tenuous. It is worth emphasizing that valid criticism is not necessarily good criticism, is not necessarily insightful criticism, and not even necessarily right, so long as a good faith effort is made to point out flaws. Obviously particularly sloppy, trite, or ignorant criticisms should not count as much as actual quality posts, and this is something I will try to keep in mind. But I will be quoting every post I comment on. If this really comes down to the best output of /SneerClub being dismissable as a simply bad posts, well, that will speak for itself then, won't it? But before we dive it, it's worth bearing in mind the result we expect. The people I write this to boldly claim that less than 1% of Sneerclub posts are valid criticism. I assert that it's definitely higher than that. Thread: "a sneer from the handbook of biological statistics" This post is a screenshot from a textbook, presumably posted to dunk on bayesians. It essentially makes three points: - it's not clear how you can come up with priori distributions - most biologists dont use bayes, except in phylogenics where it makes sense - even if you were to switch to bayesianism, other biologists would not understand you Altogether, I'm inclined to call this a weak but valid post. Points off for calling Bayes adherents "cult-like", and the whole "dont do bayesianism because no one else is" argument feels kind of slimy. Also, the screenshot seems to cut off before the author starts praises an aspect of bayesianism. However, this post arguably might not be worth counting: technically, it's not from sneerclub per se, but an actual academic they are merely pointing at. On to the comment section:
I find the rationalist Bayes fetish to be really, really annoying. Bayesian statistics is great, just don't utterly misuse it, ignore all of its underlying assumptions, and pretend that the entirety of frequentist statistics is wrong.
Weak post. It has a nugget of a point, but doesn't provide much reasoning. I'm not going to call this valid, but it's not entirely worthless. Five replies to this comment, all worthless.
I bet the book was a few years old, because these days lots of real, practicing scientists (NOT bloviating rationalist frauds) are using Bayesian methods. I have used and loved the ‘brms’ R package, which makes fitting a Bayesian model (with Stan on the back end) as easy as fitting an LME4 model:
Bayesian stats are used in radiometric dating, which is pretty important for paleontology.
These two posts are valid, but arguably don't count as they're essentially counter-sneers. A promising result, and suggestive of the community not being completely shit, but when the highest praise so far is someone going "hey you're wrong", then to an extent that's damning with faint praise .
Yeah. That being said, with rationalists basically they don't understand that there's a case of having very well justified priors (coming from somewhere else), and there's a case of pulling a number out of your ass such that any outcome can be produced depending on what number came out of the ass. They also don't understand how "frequentist" probabilities allow to objectively establish a bound on a risk. E.g. if I want to do some process after which there's <0.1% chance of giving people an useless or harmful drug due to chance effects alone, I'd conduct the study such that if the drug is useless is harmful, the probability of me finding it to be useful would be <0.1% . That can be done objectively without relying on anyone to pull any number out of their ass. Pulling numbers out of the ass is of little interest to science other than maybe to an anthropologist studying rationalist communities. Meanwhile rationalist's idea of priors is invariably a number pulled out of their ass, not I dunno some reasonably chosen probability distribution, like Poisson distribution for clicks of a particle counter.
I don't think it's at all wrong to call this valid and perhaps even middling insightful, although i can't speak to how correct they are. (And I'm inclined to defend 'pulling numbers out of your ass', if one does it carefully, clearly and intelligently, with a good understanding of epistemics. But perhaps it's just that a lot of rationalists are sloppy about it?)
It's for this reason that I see text like that in the OP and think it sounds an awful lot like when Ken Ham tried to convince the world that paleontology is a pseudoscience.
It's not all fake just because some people find stats to be difficult to understand.
More notable counter sneers. I don't think there's enough here to call it valid however. In toto, out of a comment section of 10 posts, a conservative count yields 1 valid post, and a generous count is 3. I'm going to skip the thread "Congrats to u/stairway-to-kevin for making it into a Scott Aa. blog post". I think there is assuredly sneering in the comments (boy they hate scott aa), but it doesn't seem likely to be pointed. (Also, I don't have to time to sift thru 70 comments, honestly.) The thread "LIVE FOOTAGE: Cade Metz (NYT) and cancel mob STORM SSC" is a meme. It's referencing something I'm probably not cool enough to get. but there's also ten comments so let's see what we're in for. Top comment seems to suggest a major news outlet is doing "a hit piece" on SSC.
You'd think this would make them question their priors around any other news story they read that might rely on a few choice commentators. But yeah, that's not going to happen. (Gell-Mann Amnesia for the folks who love naming biases)
This seems to be making a point, however i will not count it as valid as it's not clear what in particular it's criticizing. (What rationalists trust these sorts of news articles? It surely happens, perhaps even with regularity, but if I was skeptical I would not even begin to pay heed.)
Of course, we are the ANTIFA equivalent for the rationalists.
I have enough context to read this post as making the point that rationalists have an exaggerated perception of SneerClub. But I'm not disingenuous enough to call this valid criticism. (I've skipped three mostly worthless posts by now.)
Silly question, but given the content that these fine folks put out, wouldn’t a hit piece be redundant?
I think that's the joke... they know perfectly well that even most positive coverage imaginable would constitute a hit piece.
Similar to the above, you could twist this into an interpretation where it's criticizing rationalist pr. I don't think this is valid criticism. Nothing of value in this comment section, but I think we expected that. Thread: "TUTORIAL: How to mine the culture war thread for racist comments" This is a screencap of /themotte, and I think the joke is they just opened the thread and the first comment is "I dont think blacks will ever be as successful as whites..."? First comment and its reply are pretty lukewarm gotchas, honestly more about right wingers than rationalists. (to be fair, that is what /themotte is). Skipping four posts. One i think was rather good, but not a valid criticism.
Love how the first reply is literally saying Ireland started doing much better on IQ scor3s [sic] after economic development but still can’t realize that this makes all IQ related claims essentially bogus. Like ... so close to getting it
I am going to stab my eyes if I see those people talking once again about Kolmogorov’s complicity and SJW being the most powerful people in the world, unquestionably projecting their influence
I was sort of browsing through the discussion in my usual vague way and then I hit on the back end of a comment which characterises Stalinist architecture as “High Modernism” which - albeit a common enough trope - is still just the most bizarre idea to come out of popular discourse on 20th century architecture
These are valid and specific criticisms, but I will not count them as I do not consider themotters to be rationalists. Little of value in this thread, but again there was every indication this would be the case. Thread: "*chad gamer voice* Yes." This is another screenshot, of a twitter post by James Lindsay who posted a screenshot of an antiracism piece and went "this is what antiracists really believe". As far as i can tell, Lindsay seems to be a random physicist whose claim to fame is participating in the grievance studies affair, aka sokal squared, to own the libs. I'm not sure if this bloke has anything to do with rationalists. ...Oh wait, I looked at the image again, and this was retweeted by Aella, who is rat-adj I think (only know about her because she's another whom sneerclub loves to dunk on). Four comments are largely worthless and eyeroll worthy. Even if they weren't, this is another thread with little to do with rationalism. Thread: "Kind of offended I didn’t get an email about this" another thread about the upcoming hit piece, this time linking to a more relevant /ssc post about it
I think the most notable thing for mainstream press to investigate would be relation to Damore (and to note the discussion of how his manifesto was cribbed from Scott). I'm mildly surprised that didn't go mainstream back then.
Not valid. I quote this as it (to me) is an interesting observation.
Kind of funny how they were like, "They sent it to people who organized meetups rather than prominent community members!" I'm not a reporter but if I weren't embedded that would be the first thing I'd try? Especially since real names are often attached and I would presume that somebody setting up a meetup is, in some sense, prominent? They are also 100% not going to devote the time and effort to, like, actually find out the real shitty stuff in the SSC community.
I think this is rather cut and dried valid criticism. At the same time, it's also rather low stakes so it's understandable if it doesn't count for much. (There's a reply which largely serves to echo this post without adding much worth commenting on)
I know this sounds a bit elitist but I don't want SSC and this subreddit to get more popular than it needs to be.
Tbh, I've felt the same thing about /badphilosophy for years, but we're also elite as fuck, but but there're also things to be said about knowing the subject matter, the norms of discourse, the community, etc. I don't care about /ssc, like, a sliver less than at all, but I feel the concerns of their regulars, at least in kind rather than content.
Not criticism. Notable for its empathy, i suppose. There's one post which is just quoting scott giving advice to people the reporters will interview. He at one point goes:
Remember that reporters sometimes take things out of context and so you should try to speak defensively and say simple things that clearly reflect what you mean.
One comment replies:
say simple things that clearly reflect what you mean.
Is this really the time to experiment with an entirely new form of communication?
I quote it here because it made me laugh. Next I skip over twenty posts which aren't all bad, but aren't very critique dense. Worth summarizing that sneerclub isn't gleeful about this article, and many think it wont be good for anyone involved. (and then there's a guy who emotes rubbing his hands like a cartoon villain and saying "this is gonna be Good", so y'know, bringing in all types) Skipping the rest of the posts in this thread. Cant remember if there was anything good here. I'll tally it up when I'm done with the futile venture. Thread: "Hsu mega-sneer series" this is a NSFW post, which in sneerclub parlance ostensibly means it's sober criticism and not emptyheaded dunking. it links to a blog about the history of the alt right, this post in particular being part of a series on some rando named Stephen Hsu. Near as I can tell he's some university boomer who ignited some controversy or other? I don't care and I'm not sure it's relevant to rationalism Thread: "LOL: A message from George Mason University leadership" robin hanson said something dumb on twitter (normal day), and the university he works at does damage control. Cant really localize criticism to a single post, but I think the general thrust of "hey, dont say blantantly racist shit on twitter, that shit is bad" is pretty uncontroversial, if not particularly insightful, and I will count it all as a single criticism. Thread: "Robin Hanson has a very reasonable, racially sensitive question" Fifty comments about another dumb hanson tweet. skipping. Thread: "Eliezer Yudkowsky is statistically almost certain to be smarter than anyone who will ever read this comment"
Lol fucking product managers as the pinnacle of brilliance. Pipeline: get lucky to be on a product where people actually making it know what they're doing, then get promoted for their success. Get hired at another company as a cargo cult mov
It is also such a weird hyperspecific part of capitalism to focus on. Also, I heard about people who managed researchers in the past, who have a similar (but less end goal focussed) job related to product management. And here was his trick to getting the most out of the researchers 'ensure they interact with each other regularly'. That was it. Same applies here, all these qualities he lists exist in different ways in different people, you just need to makes sure there is regular interaction so they can talk about each others concerns. Those seem to be the additional requirements which are needed for product management compared to regular management.
(There's a third response in the chain too long to bear quoting) I'll count as this as one valid criticism. the rest of this thread is mostly just dunking on Yud, which I don't begrudge because he's fun to dunk on. Thread: "Scoots can't help himself" Ah, another thread about Stephen Hsu. I guess he did have something or other to do with rats after all. Reading scooter's post, it inclines to be sympathetic to hsu (as it's supposed to, i imagine), but I know nothing of what he's done. Let's see what lies in the comments.
Please, you can't expect people to google stefan molyneaux before doing a podcast interview with him
Oh, i'd say this is actually a fair point.
It's amazing the extent to which the outside people commenting have no clue what's going on
Not going to count as this as valid, but i think there's a point here. (skip two posts)
Scott is one of those guys who thinks he isn't a racist because racism is a red tribe phenomenon, and he is clearly grey tribe.
I want to count this as a valid criticism, but I feel like that would be controversial..
He thinks to be a racist, you have to specifically hate people for their skin color. Not because you think they're mostly negative stereotype associated with race which is clearly different.
Don't think this adds much to the above, honestly, so I wont count it.
i want to count this, but i wont. Last thread coming up. Finally I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It'll be over soon.
kill me Thread: "Looks like we won't be seeing another HBD moratorium anytime soon...." Screencap of what looks to be the depths (+130 deep) of a bibliography. Scott A (both of them) are cited. It's not clear what the context is or what this has to do with HBD or why it's bad. Comments time. This is it boys, we'll see if the SC can do anything to redeem itself. Let's dive in
Molyneux was, "not a controversial figure in 2017,
Well that sure as fuck is false. Also "controversial figure."
This post has a point IMO, but not enough substance for me to deem it valid. Comment chain continues:
I can't even remember when Molyneux wasn't "controversial" but it sure as hell wasn't 2017
Yeah, he made a video called "Stopping America's Suicide By Race" in 2014
Also posts I consider pointful. (It's still not clear what this whole thing is actually about.) Skipping six posts. One of them is sober, but not a direct criticism.
In case you missed it, Hsu is a physics professor, not genetics. His professorship and research therein isn't threatened, only his admin role as VP of research.
So, Claire is misrepresenting things again?
Yep!* I mean, I guess he might lose a fair amount of income after being demoted to mere tenured professor, so I guess that's his "livelihood'. Also, Lehmann's post doesn't even mention the hundreds of MSU faculty who signed their own letter, but she knows her crowd really dislikes uppity grad students. *Edit: listing in the department
Seems to be fair point. I'll call it valid.
Why didn't he sign this with his legal name?
Wait, this is the petition thing Scott mentioned, isn't it? Huh, ok. (Next top level comment confirms this. One reply skipped.)
lol of course it's Quillette
Quillette is a site of notably ill repute, pointing this out is worthwhile if i hesitate to elevate it to the level of genuine critique. 10 more posts skipped. The end is near :pleading_face:
While the biggest 'lets end racism' protests in a long long while are going around, this is a post they are adding their support to. While they both are still silent about the BLM protests. Typical. E: what is important is to team up with Quilette (who for some reason has so also include a bit of transphobia in their call to action for Hsu)
It's quite something that with everything going on in the past month it's this that finally got Scott riled up enough to post a petition about. Not black people being murdered by police, but a university wanting to disassociate itself from people who amplify fucking Ron Unz. I'm really starting to think Scott is crypto-fash
Can I call this valid critique?
Yeah, this is what is important to him, not trans rights (for which now important things are happening in the UK iirc), not black lives matter etc. The BLM thing is esp important as this just points to the failure of his 'coordinate meanness' idea (which is what cops are) which you would think would be important to at least say something about. But nope crickets. E: not sure if he is crypto-fash or not, but I think he is just way to in love with the idea of talking things out 'rationally' and very very conflict avoidant (esp in analyzing his own ideas and motivations oddly enough). E2: When SSC finally writes about the current protests it will be wild however, he will blame all the violence on the protestors, just like he did with the gay rights movement before. But that is something to look forward to in 2040.
This is a reply to the above exchange, but I quote I separately as it seems a separate point. Particularly the bit where it references a specific idea of scotts. Not sure if it's differentiated enough to add another point. Probably not.
I used to think he was open-minded. That's why I read his blog. But his tell was the way he reacted to progressive politics. He didn't seem to understand the motives or reasoning of anyone wanted social progress or change, and that showed in the way he tried to interpret those positions -- i.e. badly, unfairly and with barely concealed contempt. There was no steel-manning to be found. The whole rational, above-it-all-ness of the SSC brand is a massive lie. Also I don't want anything to do with a person who, with open arms, excitedly welcomes full-on Nazis to be a part of the community and discussion.
I'll count it Skipping the last five posts in this thread. Over all, there were nuggets to be found. Whew, that endeavor is done. 10 threads, 161 comments, and what do we have?
1 thread dunking on bayesianism that not even sneerclub itself fully support
1 thread which seems to be a social post.
1 injoke meme post
1 joke dunking on the fucking motte
1 meme post about some anti-sjw retweet by some random rat-adj.
a thread talking about some new happening in the community
a link to a article about some cancellee that scott likes
2 threads about hanson being stupid
a thread dunking on big yud
a another thread about that cancellee
(Also apparently I cant count, that's 11) Of those 161, you can chalk up about 6 to be meaningful criticism, 14 if you wanted to be really generous. And if you really wanted to reach, be charitable to the point of bankrupcy, I don't think you'd count above 20, and definitely not 30. 6/161 is just below 4%. If you think even half what I posted is valid criticism, then you are wrong to assert that less than 1% is valid. However, I was wrong to be confident that the total would be much higher than 1%. Furthermore, I internally expected the quality of criticism there was to be higher. I also don't think I had an accurate gut feeling of how little single digit percents are. You have to trudge through so much cruft to get to those cogent posts, and it was mentally taxing. Granted, that was because I tasked myself with passing judgment analysis upon them, but still. I think that the result might have been better if I chose instead to focus on the top posts of say, last month, or last year. But what's done is done. Someone else can do that analysis, but I ask them to reconsider. My conclusions, drawn from all of this, are:
SneerClub is a den of shitposts and memes. When meaningful points are made, they are made because it amuses them to do so.
You should not go to SneerClub looking for time- or space-efficient criticism. You should not send other people to SneerClub, as if they will find anything engaging there.
Where there are criticisms, they are not often specific, and they are not often insightful, and they are not often actionable. SneerClub didn't arise as a vehicle for improving the rationalist community, and you cannot use it as one any more than you can sail the ocean in a flower basket.
(As a sort of post-script, it is worth pointing out that this not quite so damning in context. SneerClub is a reddit community flush with daily posts. Even in the made up rhetorical world where SneerClub could have been some kind of bastion of piercing criticism, the rationalist community simply isn't in such a state of disrepair that a entire community could be maintained on just high quality analysis of it. The beliefs of the people who suggest SneerClub as a font of criticism (my past self included) don't even hold up internal consistency.)
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As we enter a new decade, I think it’s worth continued speculation on where eMusic is headed, if anywhere. The #20 is to be cute but also b/c putting them all in separate posts would be overwhelming and treat this sub as my personal fiefdom (which I don’t want it to be, and it was getting pretty close before the recent breakdown). Please respond to whatever catches your fancy.
Can anyone give an account of using the eMu tokens to buy music? For something so heavily hyped, I’ve heard nothing but the skepticism on this forum in response, both before and after actual implementation, which I think we can assume was the big development eMu staff hinted to u/peterfrederics last fall.
Clearly linking to 7Digital (which wasn’t affected by the breakdown) hasn’t meant the end of eMu. I’m still eagerly awaiting something from 2020 I find worth downloading, but there’s clearly a growing quantity of stuff. Can someone provide examples of reputable labels with something from 2020? (I see both Wire and Of Montreal on the charts.)
Easy one: How many albums/tracks are currently in your Wishlist? My attempts to reduce mine are proving futile, so I’ll settle for staying under 400.
Has anyone noticed any labels departing recently? That seemed to be the main topic of 2018-19, and in the past half year the pace seemed to slow considerably. I think the culls of Sept./Oct. were the last ones that really hurt (Merge, Gondwana, Jellyfish, etc.) Alligator’s actual departure date is hard to pinpoint.
Based on 4., Would it be too much to hope that the catalog has stabilized (albeit at a level where most folks have severe difficulty finding things they want to buy)?
Any guesses on whether booster packs will continue to be deeply discounted? Even further discounted? soulcoal finds them particularly reprehensible; I see his point but also that eMu is fighting for cashflow to stay alive rather than throwing in the towel.
Has anyone actually switched over mainly to 7Digital? Better selection, obviously, but I’d rather explore the mass of cheap stuff I’ve never heard of on eMu.
Can someone confirm which countries, if any, are like the U.S. and allow full-album downloads at an often discounted price (i.e. 99 cents)? I understand Canada and the UK are both on a per-track basis, right?
For the naysayers, would you care to update how and when you predict the lights will go out entirely (i.e. the whole site being gone)? How has the recent hiccup and the eMu staff’s response affected your assessment?
If another breakdown occurs w/out reassurances of a return, might remaining subscribers get a heads up and any compensation for yearly payments unfulfilled, or would you expect the end to come as suddenly as the late Feb. breakdown?
To what extent do you think the site’s continued existence is based on the whims (and funds) of the CEO, Mr. Koch, at this point? Were his tweets about blockchain being the future delusional, deceitful, actually true (I’d love to hear from a true believer), or just what he had to say to promote eMu’s token system?
Many have already gone on the record on this, but for others in the nearly 550 (and growing), why are you still subscribed, and what would be your last straw for pulling the plug?
To those already gone, what wildly unimaginable—but specific—scenario would tempt you to return to the fold?
To those already gone, have you stuck w/ downloading from other sites or switched to streaming? Which sites/service (especially if something more exotic than Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify), and are you satisfied?
Hadn’t linked to them for a while and don’t want to repeat obnoxiously, but they’re both a good bit more useful than all this yammering, I bet. Clearly I’ve got some skin in the game now and don’t want eMu to fold and obviate all that compilation work. For the record, I count about 100 record labels in my “top tier” and hundreds more with worthwhile catalogs remaining. Seek and ye shall find!
For those under 30, is the future of buying (including both physical media and downloading) music limited to those who A) know that streaming pays most artists pennies per month & B) are unusually obsessed with artist compensation? Is even Bandcamp thereby doomed to old audiophiles declining purchasing power?
I’ve found a lot of new stuff since posting about different countries and genres and need to update old posts. Does anyone have guidelines for how much new content merits an entirely new post (rather than tweaking something waaaaay down the scroll bar)?
Budget constraints have slowed my purchasing, but currently on the to-do list (as yet not posted) are album/label lists for the following: Afrobeat; alt. rock; ambient; big beat electronica; chamber pop; funk/soul/R&B/disco; dronescapes; dub; dubstep; drum & bass/jungle; goth; industrial; Latin alternative; new wave; punk; reggae; shoegaze & dream pop; Sub-Saharan Africa; surf rock; trance; trip-hop & urban electronica. I’ve got a start on most of them, but finishing will take a while and a big deep breath before spending more on boosters. Any requests or which to prioritize?
Well, that was probably overkill, but I’d sincerely like to know. Thanks for any feedback! I’m braced for the sad possibility of crickets but welcome you to stomp them.
Another bet the sub might like to get behind (FIBA World Cup 2019)
After our incredible journey on the 5 day cricket test match, I would completely understand if you didn't want to put yourself through the emotional rollercoaster again. I wouldn't post on here unless I had done some research and determined that I really liked this bet. I'll preface the write-up by saying that this is no "lock of the century," but I do think the bookies have underrated this severely. I will explain my reasoning below. Format: (1) The pick (2) The odds + bookmakers (3) Reasons why this bet could LOSE (4) Reasons why I really like this bet (5) TLDR (1) Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the 2019 FIBA World in total points scored (2) I got in at 5.00 (decimal)/ +400 American on Bet365, however, regrettably this has gone down to 4.5/ +350. On other Aussie bookmakers, you can fetch:
4.6/ +360 on Topsport
4.0/ +300 on Beteasy
4.33/ +333 on Sportsbet
3.5/ +250 on Pointsbet (sorry, I made this one drop from 4.5/ +350 as well).
I'm sure my international friends can find comparable odds at your respective betting sites. (3) It's always important to consider how the bet can fall apart. Only considering the positives lends itself to making biased decisions, nit-picking only the information which helps your argument. So, here's where things can go wrong:
We need him to beat a field of essentially 100's of other players - although realistically it's about 10 guys who can win. To name a few, we have Bogdanovic of Serbia, Mitchell and Kemba of USA, Mills of Australia (woo!), Schroder of Germany, Fournier of France, Jokic of Serbia and so on.
Giannis sat out Greece's last warm-up game with "knee irritation". This is most likely just a team cautiously sitting their lone star in a meaningless game, but you never know. Having not heard anything to the contrary, I am assuming he will not miss any time, but injuries are just a reality we have to deal with when betting on sport.
We are relying on Greece progressing past the group stages: if they somehow fall apart and do not progress, then this bet is kaput (if you don't know what that word means, look it up).
(4) These are the reasons why I think this bet is tremendous value, with the final point being the real kicker.
I think it goes without saying Giannis is the star of the tournament. He averaged 27.7ppg last NBA season and is the reigning MVP. His play in the warm ups has shown he is in good form and is very passionate about leading Greece. This isn't a chore for him and there is no hidden agenda. He is here to win.
He should score with ease; his size puts him up there with most team's tallest player, while possessing the agility of a guard. As an example, he scored 26 points against Dominican Republic the other day in a measly 22 minutes. A couple weeks ago he had 18 vs Italy in just 19 minutes. Keep in mind that FIBA matches are only 40 minutes, and Giannis will probably see 30+ minutes on average. In previous World Cups the top scorers usually average points in the low 20's. I think Giannis should comfortably reach that benchmark, hopefully dropping a 30 point game or two.
Greece are the third favourite to win the tournament, suggesting that they are expected to make at least the final 8 (you'll understand shortly why that is the benchmark we are aiming for).
The format has changed this year. This is the most important point and where I think the books have missed something. Try keep up...
2010 was the last year that the World Cup included Classification games. These are games in which teams who got knocked out in the quarter finals, would still play consolation games to be given a final classification (i.e. to determine who officially finishes 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th).
So this means that even if you got knocked out in the quarter finals (final 8), you would still have 2 more games remaining, instead of ending your tournament prematurely.
To see a visual representation, see here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIBA_World_Championshipand scroll down to Championship Bracket. You'll notice that Russia get knocked out by USA in the quarter finals, then subsequently lose to Argentina in the Classification round, yet still play another game against Slovenia to determine 7th place.
Now you might ask: do these games count towards "tournament points scored?" Which is exactly what I was wondering...
This year they are bringing the classification system back!
ALSO... (this is important too): they are now employing 2 group stages. There will be 8 groups of 4, with each team playing 3 games. The top 2 teams from each group will move on to the second group stage, where 2 teams from one group will merge with 2 teams from another group to form a new group of 4. They will then proceed to now play another 2 games (this is because they don't play against the team who was in their group in stage 1). So by making it out of the first round, you are automatically going to play 5 games. If you make it out of the second group stage you are now in the quarter finals. Regardless of whether you win a game from here or not, you will play 3 more games (because, remember, even if you get knocked out at this point, you move to the Classification round). See here: http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019#|tab=event_brackets for the official bracket format for this year's tournament.
So how does this dramatically boost Giannis' chances? Anyone who has made a bet like this (be it, most goals scored in the Fifa World Cup, most goals scored in the AFL Finals series, Most points scored throughout the NBA playoffs) will understand that this is partly a bet on the individual player, but also a bet on the team. If the team gets knocked out early, it is rare - almost impossible even - for the player to win the statistical category. But all Greece need to do is make the quarter finals for Giannis to reach the maximum of 8 games. At this point, no player can play more games than Giannis and it is essentially a bet of who will average the most PPG. If it comes down to a PPG battle, I think Giannis would be an odds-on favourite to win that.
What do Greece need to do to reach the quarter finals? First, they must finish top 2 in their group. The other teams they are competing with are Brazil, Montenegro and New Zealand. I am fairly confident that Greece should not drop a single game here (for context, they are paying 1.10/ -1000 to beat Montenegro in their first game of the tournament). If they proceed to group stage 2 the top two teams in their group will merge with the top 2 teams of group E (USA, Czech Republic, Turkey, Japan). We can assume that USA will probably emerge as the top seed in this group, so the only place our bet can really falter, is if Greece somehow finish below the team who accompanies USA from group E, or the team which accompanies Greece from group F. Keep in mind thatpoints from group stage 1 carry over to group stage 2. Meaning that the team accompanying USA from group E will likely have 1 loss and (assuming Greece sweep their group), the team who accompanies them will also have a loss, while USA and Greece will be 3-0. This would be highly advantageous in terms of advancing to the quarter finals.
(5) TLDR: Bet on Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the 2019 FIBA World in total points scored at odds of about 4.5/ +350 because the changed format means that it is very likely Greece will play the maximum of 8 games, and if that comes to fruition, Giannis will be the overwhelming favourite to outscore everyone else. EDIT: There is also a classification round for teams 9-16 and 17-32, but I do not know if these games will count towards the official tournament statistics. If they do, then I think this bet is even better, but I am not relying on it. If anyone knows the answer I'm keen to hear.
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Redbet, a premier online casino brand name intervened in the on theinternet sporting activities reserving industry. This site was produced in 2002 with a mission of producing fun for the individual by attracting them to the website by supplying successful chances. It is a well-reputed website where the gamer's joy is the initial issue.
FonBet was introduced previously in 2002. This site is a Russian bookie site. Russia as well as Eastern Europe birth a substantial number of participants of FonBet. This bookie is certified in Curacao. Therefore the certificate, the site detains, UK as well as UNITED STATES consumers are limited from making use of the on-line bookie.
ComeOn became a brand-new bookie website in 2009. It is a secondary firm of Co-Gaming Limited. Malta Pc gaming Authority administrates the site. To operate in the UK, they are accredited from the UK Gambling Compensation. Markets of Scandinavia are the prime focus of the site.
Marathonbet was acknowledged in 1997 as a self -reliant bookmakers site. It is run by Panbet Limited, a firm that is in charge of running retail barters in the UK. This bookmaker website is deeply committed towards the UK members although it is well-reputed worldwide
It is hosting the tremendous variety of sporting competitions regarding greater than 14,000, this site is a significant on-line bookie and has a superb great deal of customers around the continent. Besides offering various high-grade sportsbook events, it designates the players assurance with the modern technology that is comparable to Europe's safety criteria.
This is the primary and the most relied on the site of India. It is an on the internet showing off occasion betting site. The web site is amazing as well as uses straightforward expression. Individuals can select BetBarter versus their competitor whenever. The bargains made by BetBarter protrude the marketplace. BetBarter likewise inspects the internet sites which provide fast payments and also various other feasible means of withdrawals.
Bodog888 is recognized to be a participant of the world-famous gambling enterprise Bodog and is sometimes acknowledged as Bodog Asia. This site gives a huge range of moral online casino and also texas hold'em wagering. It also involves Oriental bettors by sporting activities reserving. This site has gained the distinction by offering the very best performance as well as illustratory attributes. The website supplies the best aid and also rewards.
Arised from Asia in 2016, BetEast asserts to be the most effective expanding wagering brand name. This business offers a substantial range of eSports solutions, casino site and live wagering as well as values subscriptions from worldwide. Its emphasis is to make a dash out there of Europe. The simplicity of the website format hits the customer instantly. The company has a substantial interest in the UK Betting markets. The site offers a comprehensive betting experience with giving a substantial number of on-line port video games.
This company arised in 1999 later on releasing its website in March 2000. It soon became a supply firm and was provided at the stock market. This website is a credible sponsor for worldwide game events. It supplies betting odds on prominent gaming occasions. Followed by more than 4 million customers, it has become one of a kind sports scheduling site in Europe. All the info regarding the wagers placed as well as payouts are offered on their site.
This website offers important odds on pc gaming and also horse racing. The website is compatible with mostly all mobile devices. The website has a substantial collection of slot video games and gambling enterprises for the customers. It additionally features a live gambling establishment with single and multiplayer choices. The website likewise aids the individuals through live Chat.
It is a little gambling establishment on account of the gathered earnings, yet is taken into consideration a hot area. This internet site is readily available in a range of languages. Live betting games are readily available with different payment methods. Live Conversation is not open 24/7 that is somewhat a drawback to the website.
This bookie website, established in 2014, emerges from Australia giving online betting and sporting activities remedies to the clients. This site is a subsidiary of The Celebrity Team. This website formally funds the Australian Football Organization.
This is a South African bookies website established in 2008. The website captivates clients from around the continent. In addition to offering considerable betting games collection online, this site runs 50 land-based stores in Africa. The arrangement with EFC includes in the compatibility of the website.
As opposed to the suitable bookies, Casinia wagered offers fewer choices for online betting as well as video gaming occasions. Still, the considerable contests are offered proper coverage that makes it challenging for the punters to separate between the leading bookies and also CasinoBet sportsbooks.
This is a leading online video gaming website as well as online pc gaming. This website amplifies your exhilaration and gives you with a pleasurable experience with its thrilling wagering system. Customers can challenge themselves and also others with day-to-day and regular promotions.
This site interacts with a large range of video gaming markets. This website supports bitcoins which includes in the variety of individuals around the world. This website has gained significant repute quickly by providing high odds on numerous betting games. It gives its clients with appreciable services.
This is a legally run business in Greece and also declares to satisfy also one of the most requiring clients This is website offers you to bet on above 11,000 sports events taking place on a monthly basis. The site likewise offers excellent probabilities with low price margins to its valuable consumers.
This site is greatly giving a greatly favorable experience to its customers. It is dealt with by passionate staff member intending to offer an outstanding service to the punters. More than 20 sports are available for live betting at this reservation website.
This website is very recommended for scheduling on competition. They supply great recurring offers together with other recognized promos. This is a powerful yet well-assisting platform for on-line betting as well as sportsbooking.
Wager at Home
Bet-at-home is the certified bookie based in Malta and also Austria. Their company went on expanding with the discussion of an on the internet gambling establishment in 2005. They later on developed into a supply partnership and also in 2009 became a part of the Betclic Everest Team. Their management centre is currently at Portomaso Business Tower in Malta as well as is accredited and controlled by the Malta Gambling Payment.
It is just one of the earliest name present in the field of on the internet sporting activities betting, having actually grabbed popularity amongst customers given that its facility right around ten years in the past. Authorized by the UK Gaming Commission, it is just one of the most relied on on-line betting sites available.
One Hash is already the market head in wagering all over the world, with a huge variety of clients in many countries. Their wagering deals pre-competition or online wagering is very broad. Additionally, this manager communicates its online gushing TELEVISION terminal, countless pc gaming competitors.
On a remarkable assortment of video games, a vast array of wagers are used by bookmakers, which are determined based on chance. By wagering on these unique possibilities, a bettor can get money on rewarding wagers. It is consistently the situation that the very best online wagering sites for sports will be those that use the very best prospective benefits.
Betting sites Best cricket betting sites. Sports lovers outside of the Commonwealth might not expect it, but cricket is one of the most popular sports worldwide. Calculated based on its global fanbase, TV viewership, rights deals, and popularity on the internet, most studies place cricket among the top three most popular sports. It must be noted that the top cricket betting sites on this list, come with Odds Overround in the 105-107 range, indicating that each of the these bookmakers is offering active markets, and competitive odds. 5. Dafabet. Dafabet is a Phillipinne based bookmaker, which is licensed and regulated by the Phillipinne Government. Best Indian Betting Sites. Since the topic is on cricket betting sites, we cannot avoid talking about the most cricket crazed region out there: India. The market for online betting in India has exploded over the years, and now there are more options than ever when it comes to gambling. Here are our top betting sites for Indian players: Major cricket betting sites like Bet365 and Betway offer punters a number of markets to wager money on. These range from the basic match/tournament winner and top batsman/bowler bets to the more advanced markets like man of the match and highest opening partnership. Here we have explained the most popular types of bets in cricket. The best online cricket betting sites cater to all International, T20 and many domestic competitions around the globe. While naming the top 10 international betting sites for cricket is a tricky task, the World Gambling List has spent years wagering on this sport and has picked up many things along the way.
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