Weasel Words

archie bunker
“Ya see, ya got yer Samoans, dey got da hard heads there.”

Reader dark-o writes in comments:

was he [Bobby Heenan] a racist? about the mexican jokes he made.

I don’t think he was a racist, it was just a bigoted buffoonish character. Society in general was a lot less PC in the 1980s — whether you think that is a good thing or not is another argument — and you could get away with a lot more on TV in 1988 [and prior] than you can in 2008. Everything on WWE TV is so sanitized now, which is why old Heenan clips are such an entertaining thing to go back and look at.

Another thing to consider is that cable TV had such a tiny share of the audience 20 years ago that a lot of people weren’t aware of WWF television shows. And that any concerted effort by self-righteous religious zealots and soccer moms to “clean up” TV was usually aimed at the broadcast networks, and not at the marginal shows that Bobby was featured on.

Archie Bunker [a character designed to explore ignorance] was way more racist than a couple of Tito Santana jokes [told by a character designed to piss people off]. I think that the atmosphere today would not allow a show like “All in the Family” to ever be greenlighted today on network television, even though the show clearly did not endorse racism but did the exact opposite and almost always showed Archie to be a loser and a moron. And by the same token, in WWE, you’re more likely to see out and out stereotypes promoted as positive attributes (like Cryme Tyme) than you are to see a heel character expressing heelish and subtly racist thoughts like Heenan, which actually takes some thought to dissect.

The Good, The Rad and the Fugly

Above: Rad (l.), Awesome (r.)

Hey everyone, look! It’s a new installment of WWE Superstar to Superstar. For you new readers, unfamiliar with this feature, imagine the following: it is something like “Inside the Actors’ Studio”, except if the celebrities were no one you cared about and the interviewer was a dumb dopey wrestler.

In this installment, our dumb dopey wrestler is Ashley, who is interviewing a mascara-wearing douchebag singer (“wiL”) in a band (“Aiden”) who she, like, totally, like knows and like recorded her awesome new theme song!

Ashley: wiL?
Oh my God!
Ashley: How weird is this?
wiL: So weird!
Ashley: How crazy! When I found out you guys were recording my theme song, I was like, Aiden! Aiden! … No way! How are you?
wiL: You were like, wait a minute, don’t I know those guys?!
Ashley: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that I know them. (laughs)
Yo, did you hear the song?
Ashley: “Let’s Light a Fire Tonight”?
wiL: Yeah.
Ashley: It’s awesome!
wiL: It’s so awesome!

abovE: fightinG thE oppressivE
rulE oF punctuationaL fascisM.

“It’s so awesome how I ran into the singer of some douchey band once, who capitalizes the LAST letter of his name because he is a rebel, and it’s like, a statement about not doing things the way the MAN tells, you, MAN! And I annoyed Vince McMahon for about 2 years to let him record my theme song, and finally he said, ‘I would suggest that no one cares what music is playing when you dumb broads come out to the ring anyway as long as you’re half-nekkid. I’ll greenlight whatever you want if you go get me a beer.’ AWWWEsome!”

So, WWE Diva… which one are you again? Ashley, right… back to the interview. How do YOU feel about this song? Excited? Or awesome? Please choose one.

Ashley: I am so excited. This is the best thing that ever happened!

Nice question, interviewer! You’re awesome!

wiL: Yeah, dude, I’m stoked.
That is so rad. I’m so excited, that’s awesome.

Yes, you mentioned that you were so excited, a moment ago. Awesome!

Ashley: So why do you think it’s a good fit for me?
wiL: Well it’s a good fit for you, because it rocks.

And you rock, because you’re awesome!

So wait, is this eye-makeupped, whiny douchebag ACTUALLY touting his own shitty song? Let’s try to imagine what Bobby Heenan would say in this situation. To do this, we will activate the Bobby Heenan Quote Generating Algorithm. And fire away:

“I’d rather listen to the drill while sitting in my dentist’s chair.
It has a good beat and you can dance to it!”

Thanks Bobby Machine. Seriously, “wiL” is a living, breathing example of why you can correlate the departure of Bobby Heenan with the super suckitude of WWE. Sure, there were always ridiculous, self-important douchebags around in the old WWF, but you had Bobby Heenan there to ridicule them. Now, everyone on the payroll has to wax poetic about how AWESOME the latest identical emo band is that comes down the pipe to perform the official song of the latest identical PPV, including (not that it’s his fault) poor JR. Bobby Heenan wouldn’t tolerate that shit.

We miss you, Brain.

wiL: It’s going to rock the house when you turn off all the lights and come out to it.

“Too bad we can’t play your awesome song during my actual shitty match when the crowd is perfectly silent! That would be RAD! And give them something do do other than stare at their own navels in silence, or buy yet more popcorn! AWESOME!”

Ashley: It’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait. I can’t wait for the Vol. 8 album to come out!

“But at least, while I wait, I can consume some of these other products associated with WWE: Castrol! Radical! Skittles! Fruity, delicious, fruity, fruity and AWESOME! Snickers! Totally, totally bitchin! And the latest film targeted to the 18-25 demographic! Uber-coolness!”

wiL: I don’t know of any theme song that rocks harder than “Let’s Light a Fire Tonight.”

Let’s see. Well for starters there’s “Real American.” No matter what you think of Hulk Hogan, that was pretty cool. The nWo music rocked. The Big Bossman song had that nice Lynyrd Skynyrd-country rock thing happening. Then there was comedy ones like Ted DiBiase and HBK. And…

Huh. I just realized it would be easier to list all the ones that actually suck MORE than Ashley’s shitty music that leads her out to the ring to signal an upcoming shitty match. Let’s see, there’s… uh… well I was gonna say Great Khali, but they have that cool Indian thing in the beginning, so that’s pretty cool. And John Cena’s music sucks balls, but the intro isn’t so bad, and the beat is OK until he ruins it by rapping over it. This is harder than I thought.

OK WWE — you stumped me. I can’t think of one entrance music ever that is gayer or less memorable than this piece of shit by some band whose name I forgot already, for the wrestler named whatshername. It is the worst entrance music in history.

Ashley: Yes! Oh I can’t wait… Oh I’m so happy. Thank you so much for doing it.
wiL: Thank you for letting me. It’s awesome.

I have a few questions here. Does he mean his song is awesome? Or her letting him record the song is awesome? And not that I really care what the answers are, but just for the sake of structuring this thing somewhat like an interview, are we ever going to get an actual question and answer that doesn’t entail how awesome these two rejects are?

Oh, and does he really think she “let” him record the song? Can he possibly not know that she has absolutely nothing to do with the process — that she is just a live human product that WWE is promoting by sending her out to do poorly executed clotheslines in lingerie?

Oh, Bobby Heenan Quote-Generating Algorithm, what do you have to say about Ashley’s wrestling skills?

“Well, I would say that as a wrestler, she is a terrific lingerie model.”

Thanks Brain! And now we continue the awesomeness!

Fig. 1: Artist’s rendering of Ashley and wiL’s
circular vocabulary.

Ashley: So why will this song pump up our fans when I enter the area?
wiL: Because it rocks!

And why does it rock?! Because it’s AWESOME! And why is it awesome? Because it is RAD!! And why is it rad? Because it ROCKS!! And why does it rock? Because it will pump up the fans!!

Ashley: Heck yeah, it does. And how about what’s going on with the band lately? What’s next for you guys?
wiL: What’s next? Well we put out Conviction in 2007.
Ashley: I know, I liked “Teenage Queen” and there are so many. Aiden is my favorite band.
wiL: Oh rad! Awesome.

“Well, the band of the new guy I met in a different diner is a tad awesomer. But you’re still like totally radness n shit!”

Ashley: Awesome. So you going to hook me up with tickets or what?
wiL: Yeah, dude. Whatever you want, man.
Ashley: To Austin, you know I got to go.
wiL: Consider it done.
Ashley: Sweet.
wiL: Well if you want to bring anybody, I’ll put you on for you plus one or two or whatever you want.
Ashley: OK, cool. My brother might come.
wiL: Cool, I remember him.

Note to WWE: this is not an interview. This is called “making hangout plans”. This is a portion of the conversation that could have been had via text message, and not foisted upon the readers of WWE.com. I’m surprised they’re not discussing what restaurant to go to afterwards.

Ashley: Yeah, seriously guys, you do not want to miss this show, it’s awesome. I cannot believe that I’m doing an interview with you right now!

You aren’t. You are just talking about how cool things are. An interview implies some questions being asked and information being gleaned for the listening audience. Two self-absorbed dummies talking about how awesome they both are doesn’t quite qualify as an interview.

Bobby Heenan Quote-Generating Algorithm, how do you feel about Ashley’s interviewing?

“I guess she dropped her Journalism 101 textbook when she
was down by the docks with the 104th Fleet.”

That’s not very nice, Mr. Heenan. But funny!

Ashley: Like that’s crazy. Like I am through the roof, I am! I can’t believe it. That is so rad. Thanks man, I really, really appreciate that you’re doing it. I’m so stoked.

Status report: Like, still stoked, still rad. Awesomeness is likely.

Ashley: So I’ll be seeing you soon huh?
wiL: Yeah, like five days I think we’re there on tour, in Austin.

Better hope she doesn’t meet any other really sensitive emo singers between now and five days from now, kiddo! Or you might have an Ashley themed “why did you dump me” album coming out in late 2008.

Ashley: Five days, I’ll be there. … So everybody look out for Aiden’s new theme song for Ashley, “Let’s Light a Fire Tonight,” because I’m sure it’s going to kick you-know-what.
wiL: Kick some butt.

HE SAID IT! HE SAID BUTT!! WHAT A REBEL!!!!!! Someone get a muzzle on this guy pronto!

That concludes the AWESOMENESS portion of this blog. We now return you to regular English spoken by moderately intelligent adults.

heenan“Just in time, too… I got an early bird special at the Oriental buffet.
Monsoon’s paying.”

Speaking Out


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