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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doing it to you in your eyeholes

Or: Stuff about books.

I appreciate the irony on the fact that before he returned, I used to prattle on about Chris Jericho constantly, and now that he's back I haven't mentioned him once. Mostly because his return promo was kind of lacklustre [couldn't live up to its own hype, honestly] but this past week's RAW gave me a good feeling. The 'me want title match' promo had me rolling, and that Codebreaker/reverse backstabber finisher is pretty dope. I'd like to see them establish it as another finisher that can come out of nowhere, similar to Orton's RKO, turning their match into a 'who pulls the trigger first?' sort of thing.

Adding to my appreciation of the man and his career is the reader's copy of his autobiography my boss was kind enough to pass along. Truth be told, I don't think she's much of a wrestling fan and was glad to be rid of it. It's been awhile since I've read a wrestler's book, though I've read a lot. So many I often wonder if there's anything new they can tell me. I'm happy to say Jericho's doesn't disappoint in that regard. Y2J is one of the last guys who really had to travel the globe plying his trade, which makes for a more compelling read than some guy who played football, wrestled in one developmental group before going straight to the WWE. From tips on crafting promos [never bury your opponent] to stories on wrestling in Germany [which has a long if seldom discussed tradition of pro wrestling, or 'catch'], Jericho charms the reader from the first to last page, even if the writing might be a little casual for some.

What's cool about the age we live in is that with YouTube, most of these classic matches are available for immediate viewing. So if I read the chapter on Jericho's match with Ultimo Dragon at the WAR 3rd Anniversary show, I can watch it afterwards on demand. Pretty cool.

--Also pretty cool was Michael Eric Dyson's 'Know What I Mean?', a collection of lecture transcripts given on various subjects related to hip-hop. From commercialism to misogyny, to homophobia, to what it means to keep it really real, Dr. Dyson drops science like only he can, working Nelly and Michel Foucault into the same sentence, which is sometimes hard for a simpleton like me to keep up with, but it's always worth the effort.

--Finally, the current issue of Rolling Stone [the one with Jay-Z on the cover] has what I believe to be the first complete expose of the mythology of celebrated author JT LeRoy, with the full participation of the woman who created him, Laura Albert. Coles' Notes: earlier this decade a writer emerged on the scene, a 16-year-old, HIV positive, transgendered former prostitute turned literary wunderkind named Jeremiah 'Terminator' LeRoy. His books 'Sarah' and 'The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things' became beloved in certain hipster circles. Adding to the mystique was LeRoy's reclusive nature. The few times he did appear in public, he was spoken for by a pushy manager named Speedie. By 2006 it was revealed that LeRoy was the creation of writer Laura Albert, who also acted as Speedie during public appearances. The whole thing has been hailed and hated as one of the greatest literary hoaxes in recent memory. Hilarity and lawsuits ensued.

The Rolling Stone lets us know that it may not quite be a hoax, because Albert appears to be batshit crazy. As far as she's concerned, LeRoy is a real person who inhabits her body and speaks whenever he wants to, which seems to be less and less these days. It's a long and fascinating read, and worth picking up the issue or at least loitering at Chapters.

For the record: I read both of LeRoy's major works and thought 'Heart is Deceitful...' was good, if not a pleasure to read, I thought 'Sarah' was utter garbage. Backwoods hillbilly mysticism isn't really my bag, daddies.

So that's what I've been reading this week. You?

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