Mr. Byrnside’s Bad News

After this weekend’s Extreme Rules and this week’s RAW, I decided I would revitalize my blog and share a few thoughts and opinions.

First and foremost, with the amount of part-time stars and injuries, it seems the WWE is finally starting to pull the trigger on some new characters in an effort to build new stars.

Joe Hennig’s ability has been “overlooked” for far too long. But Curtis Axel finally has a chance. He’s been given a golden opportunity in being a Paul Heyman guy. Heyman can teach him subtle psychology that cannot easily be taught and in the mean time continue getting him over as a proper heel.
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Supposedly Hennig has been one of Triple H’s pet projects and that showed last night on RAW. Triple H suffered some sort of an injury (most likely) at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Hopefully from here on Heyman and Axel will continue to milk that Curtis Axel was the main cause of Triple H’s anguish. If genetic predisposition is any indicator, Curtis Axel has all of the talent in the world to become “The Next Big Thing,” all he needs is a shove in the right direction and that very well can and, more than likely, will be Paul Heyman.

At Extreme Rules a lot of people were worried that John Cena would go over Ryback, and Ryback would continue to look weak. That didn’t happen. A lot of people complained about the finish of the match, but I thought it was appropriate and the match quality itself even surprised me. Technically, Cena is still the champion and Ryback looked like a BA in the process. What’s to complain about? The rematch at Payback will more than likely mean another win for Cena based on a technicality, but Ryback just isn’t ready to adorn the WWE title.

Fandango still looks a little shaky in the ring. Some people are saying that during their match at Extreme Rules Jericho’s timing may have been a bit off, but I don’t see how that can be possible. Nevertheless, Fandango as a character continues to entertain me. His antics on RAW were just funny but still did the job as far as heels go.

Wade Barrett has new music, which is an improvement.

Mark Henry seemingly took his ball and went home after Extreme Rules. Why? He’s been untouchable lately as a heel. He should be challenging Cena for the title in my opinion, not Ryback.

A small thing that I noticed during last night’s RAW was Zack Ryder’s match with Cody Rhodes. No, he didn’t win. But he wasn’t squashed either. And throughout the match he continued to show new signs of aggression and life. Then Ryback came down and pulverized him, throwing him into an ambulance. Is it strange that I am kind of hoping this means we won’t see Ryder for a few weeks or even months? Maybe Ryder can come back repackaged with a new attitude. This is probably a long shot, but I’m still kind of hoping for a reunion with Curt Hawkins, maybe as heels.

SIERRA. HOTEL. INDIA. ECHO. LIMA. DELTA. SHIELD. Need I say more? Their ascension to superstardom continues and their matches at Extreme Rules and last night’s RAW only solidify my point. ImageThey’ve got “all” of the gold, and they made relatively short work of their respective, well-qualified champions. Hopefully they’ll hang onto the titles for some time in an effort to reestablish the belts as legitimate prizes.

Another possibly long shot I’d love to see happen is a heel turn for Daniel Bryan. Last night’s RAW showed us a segment where Bryan and Kane argued over who was the weak link that cost them the tag titles. I’d like to see Bryan’s character re-evolve into something more serious. Potentially they could continue wrestling tag matches and even invoke their rematch clause with Rollins and Reigns at Payback, lose, and then split because of their issues. Unfortunately that’s something I don’t see happening simply because of the efforts being made to revitalize the tag team division.

Where were Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow this week?

Where does this week leave fellas like Sheamus, Big Show and Randy Orton? I’d like to see some responses in the comments or on Twitter.

As always, follow me on Twitter @byrnside. #AllTheTime.

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Online news posting/Twitter chat

I participated in a chat on an online news source at Marietta Daily Journal’s website:  http://www.mdjonline.com/view/full_story_sports/20790467/article-Pope-heading-back-to-playoffs?instance=prep_sports_news

The article was about my former high school, Pope and their football team making the play offs this year. The article was significant to me simply because when I went to school there, our football team was pretty terrible (no offense to any one that might be reading this). None the less, we still loved going to every game if for no other reason than it was something fun to do. So it’s cool to check in on the Greyhounds and see that they at least went to the playoffs this year. Seems that the two others that commented on the article were upset about officiating in spite of the fact that they won, which seemed odd to me. I wondered if they were students that were upset about not winning by a landslide. 

I also participated in #EngChat on Twitter way back on October 22. It was pretty interesting to see all the teachers and english enthusiasts that were participating. Unfortunately, I did not receive much feedback, but a couple of retweets from my classmates. 

Where I’m From

I’m from East Cobb

I’m from Suburbia

I’m from hide and seek on Saturdays

I’m from kick ball and kick the can

I’m from adventures in “the woods”

I’m from riding your skateboard all the way down “Kill-ya-Hill”

I’m from video store trips when you’re sick

I’m from wrestling matches in the living room

I’m from toy guns made from big sticks

I’m from SNICK and Nick at Nite

I’m from appreciate what you’ve got

I’m from get a job and save your money

I’m from East Cobb

I grew up in East Cobb county, Georgia, playing games outside with your friends. As a kid the master narrative did not exist. My master narrative is that East Cobb is home to upper-middle class people, aka the “East Cobb Snobs.” In East Cobb, stereotypically the parents are rich and the kids are spoiled. Everyone gets a brand new sports car when they’re 16. Everyone lives in million-dollar homes, and everyone takes extravagant trips whenever they feel like it. The few kids that get into trouble and have their parents bail them out. My counter narrative is that not everyone who lives or comes from East Cobb is rich nor spoiled. Some of us had to get jobs at 15 to learn responsibility and to save for our first cars that we bought ourselves. Some of us avoided trouble and if we found it, our parents weren’t there to bail us out. They were there to reinforce the authority. I am proud to come from East Cobb in spite of the jokes people make about it.

 

DS106 Assignment C: What’s The Meme?

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For my third DS 106 assignment I decided to create a meme under the assignment “What’s The Meme?” Using Pixlr I cropped a picture from my personal library of two of my friends (with their permission of course) and added the text. The meme is in reference to Halo 4, a video game that we really enjoy playing. Earning a “Killing Spree” is often tough and occurs when you’ve killed at least 5 opponents in a row without dying. Often we find ourselves prematurely celebrating this task and then we die because of some silly error, IE- falling off the map and dying and thus ending your spree.

Affinity Space: WWE

The WWE is the number one professional wrestling organization in the world. On average, over 3 million professional wrestling fans around the world gather to watch WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night RAW. Fans can be identified in many ways; by sporting their favorite superstar’s merchandise or even by creating a sign to display at a WWE live event.

Every week the WWE airs two primary shows, Monday Night RAW and Smackdown. Typically these events are mostly story line-driven television shows with wrestling matches thrown in the mix in order to further stories between the characters or “superstars.” These episodic television shows lead to a monthly pay per view event where the stories are usually concluded in the form of wrestling matches. Fans spend upwards of $50 every month to view a pay per view event on television and can pay anywhere from $20 to $500 to view the event at the arena in person.

Space can be shared by fans attending these live events or participating online in forums. Newbies are typically known as “marks” because they simply watch the programming and enjoy it for what they see every week on TV, they may not even know that the outcomes of shows are scripted. The master fans such as myself are typically referred to as “smarts” because we not only watch the shows, we analyze every segment of the shows and even try to predict or “book” the outcomes of upcoming events or matches and most importantly, we know that the show is scripted but the athleticism is legit. The marks typically root for superstars that the creative forces behind the scenes at WWE would like you to cheer and boo who they would like you to boo. The smarts tend to cheer the superstars they enjoy, heroes and villains alike based on talent.

Experienced is gained mostly by utilizing the portals of the internet or “dirt sheets” such as news based websites like Wrestlezone.com or, like in the days before internet, magazines such as the Pro Wrestling Insider, where credible, behind-the-scenes knowledge of the wrestling business is generated often in the form of spoilers. Fans can also participate in conversations on the forums of the aforementioned websites, but beware, if you lack knowledge of basic grammar, or you’re simply there to discuss John Cena, you may want to stick to lurking for a while before participating. Some fans can be pretty brutal if you can’t back up your claims.

Fans are the end all and be all of the wrestling business, especially with a billion-dollar company like the WWE. Perhaps one of the best and most recent examples would be if we were to look at a wrestler that goes by the name of Zack Ryder. Ryder was a floundering, yet underrated talent on the WWE roster for quite some time, until he began his own comedic YouTube show entitled, “Z! True Long Island Story.” Utilizing the combination of his YouTube channel and Twitter, Ryder gained millions of fans known as the “Zack Pack” whom he encouraged to purchase his merchandise, chant his name and carry signs at live events, in turn, encouraging the WWE writers to “push” his character. In other words, make him a star.

Whether you’re a “smart” or a “mark,” there’s no denying professional wrestling and WWE fans are perhaps the most devoted fans of any form of entertainment that I’ve ever witnessed.

-How do the characteristics of an affinity space help
you understand how and why people communicate
and share knowledge about a particular shared
passion?

Most people that become interested in a hobby or a topic tend to become passionate about that topic, and when they become passionate about the subject, they want to learn as much as they can to continue to be entertained. The affinity space essay is a great way to educate others on your affinity space.

-How is technology and media leveraged in the
affinity space?

The WWE is pretty much a media conglomerate, they utilize every thing from social media to television to the internet to YouTube to get their product to the masses.

-How does the learning in the affinity space help us
rethink classrooms? (without creating creepy tree
houses)

It can create a medium to mix entertainment or something a student enjoys into learning. Public speaking through a forum such as a YouTube video would inspire students who are discovering their voices in, not only their writing, but also in their physical voices. No body wants to be misunderstood, especially if someone outside of their classroom, perhaps a member of the affinity space, is viewing their video and hearing their voice. That student will probably want to do well in an effort to impress their peers not only in the classroom but also in the affinity space.

Social Networking

One thing from chapter 5 of Rheingold’s “Net Smart” that struck a chord with me was when Rheingold is describing his parent-friend who complained they didn’t know their children’s friends any more simply because they had cell phones and didn’t need to call the house. I can remember, up until I was about 17 or 18, that that’s how things were done. You wanted to talk to your friend or the girl you liked, you called their house, probably talked to their parents or one of their siblings and asked for them. It was almost always awkward, unless you really knew their family. These days, as Rheingold describes, are a lot different. People hardly even talk on cell phones any more because of texting and Facebook. I used to really enjoy it that way because it cut out the awkwardness. At some point, though, I realized vocally talking to your friends isn’t all that bad, especially when a lot of your good friends have moved away, some of them across the country.

I can also remember AOL chat rooms. And if I really wanted to show my age, I could tell you about Prodigy chat rooms as well. I would find NBA chat rooms or Pro. Wrestling chat rooms and chat with random people all over the world. Funny to me, how THAT is even dated now. Are there still even chat rooms? Facebook and Twitter have overtaken AOL and even MySpace which was seemingly the innovative and original giant. As far as I know (I recently deleted my MySpace account) a lot of people still use it, but mostly they’re for bands and movie promoters. Do your friends still use it? Mine don’t.

The Way It Should’ve Been

So for our DS106 assignment 2, I went with a FanFic assignment entitled, “The Way It Should Have Been,” where we were supposed to take a scene from a movie or book that we like and change it. I actually chose a scene from a recent episode of Sons of Anarchy. I know that’s a TV show, but this scene has really effected me over the last few weeks. In the original scene (spoiler alert), my favorite character on the show, Opie is shockingly murdered in prison. I decided this scene was perfect to “enhance.” So without further adieu:

“No!” Opie declared as he head butted the guard, sealing his fate. With one act of defiance, Opie had nominated himself to go into the secluded cell to fight to the death against, God only knows how many gang bangers, hand selected by Pope for his revenge.

Opie was thrown into the cell all the while his three friends, Jax, Tigg and Chibbs looked on helpless, banging on the bullet proof glass that separated their friend from death, pleading with him.

“Keep it interesting, shithead!” ordered the guard.

The main guard tossed a lead pipe into the center of the room. This was Opie’s only hope, but once again, God only knew how many bloodthirsty thugs would be coming through the door on the opposite side of the room.

As his friends, his fellow club members, his brothers, looked on, “I got this,” was, once again, all Opie could mutter. Then a single spot light shown in the center of the room, shining down over Opie, and the door on the opposite wall opened and four large gangsters stalked through the door, surrounding Opie. Opie brushed his hair out of his face and clutched the pipe tightly, taking a swing at the thug number one, shattering his jaw.

A second tried to choke Opie from behind, but Opie flipped the banger over his shoulder and onto the first guy who was clutching at his face, blood pouring from his mouth. Like a bolt of lightning, Opie smashed the pipe over the second punk’s head, crushing his skull, rolling into the corner of the room where his friends could no longer see him through the window.

His back against the wall, Opie charged the two remaining guys hulking in the center of the room, back into Jax’s view, clotheslining one with pipe, shattering his larynx, leaving the guy hopeless on the floor, blood gurgling from his mouth. The man tried to release a scream, but there was just too much blood. He coughed and gagged and rolled away.

Three down and one to go, oddly enough, the biggest left for last. Opie dropped the pipe to the side of the cell and with his hands waved the guy over. This was personal, and so it would end, personally.

The two behemoths traded blow for blow, punch for punch. One of the gang banger’s teeth went flying and as cuts opened, the blood flowed from both men.  At the last second, Opie managed to hit a left hook above the banger’s left eye and the man staggered back. Opie used a right hook to the man’s gut to leave him breathless and as the man staggered once more, Opie quickly grabbed the pipe and, in an upward, diagonal thrust, across the face, ended the man’s life.

None of the members of SAMCRO looking on believed it would be possible.

Opie was left breathless, crouched in the middle of the cell, surveying the wreckage when the same door the thugs originally entered through, opened once more. This time, it was Pope and the head guard.

“You done pretty well for yourself, son,” said Pope. “I must admit, I’m quite impressed with you Sons of Anarchy. Perhaps we can work out a deal and end this misery between us.”

Just then the door that Opie was pushed through was opened and Jax and Opie were reunited face to face. Jax was as shocked as the guard and Pope.

“What’d you have in mind?” asked Jax.

The scene ends as Jax and Pope shake hands and Opie is reunited with his brothers.

TIBDMC

Thurs. 9/6: Today I started my “This I Believe” essay. I felt like it was imperative to start the essay first to try and get my ideas down on “paper.” I found, as I started writing, that ideas would start popping into my head on what to do for possible video ideas. Ie- pictures and music I would use.

Mon 9/10: Tonight I finally sat down and started to finish my “This I Believe” project. Once I had written out my essay I recorded myself reading it aloud using Garage Band. From there I imported the audio file into iMovie and added different images from Google, my own collection and a couple of websites, based on the timing of my voice. More often than not I used images that were fitting for the words I was speaking that emphasized my points further. I used a couple of techniques for editing that I discovered via YouTube help videos. I also added credits that cite where I found my pictures. I didn’t think using MLA or any formal citations were necessary as it was not for profit and neither would any students of mine be, either.

This just in- just uploaded my finished video to YouTube http://youtu.be/iMUhoZ9HC-Q Check it out if you want.

Overall I thought this was a really fun project. I had some (very little) experience creating vlogs using iMovie… “Teaching Using Wiki’s…” was very helpful in the process too. The parallel composing process helps, especially if you struggle as a writer, because reading aloud can help you discover minor errors in your writing that you may have missed previously. The parallel is also a great way to motivate students who may not enjoy writing, providing a “cool” way to write or topic to write about. It’s a fun project. If a student knows they have to record themselves reading their essays, it will motivate them to write better simply because they’ll want their voice to come out not only in the audio/video, but also in their writing. Furthermore, this is a great way to help students discover their “voice” in their writing.

Essay:

I believe in professional wrestling. Most people laugh or make a strange face when I tell them I am a professional wrestling fanatic. They say, “it’s fake, how can you like that?” There is a largely misunderstood majesty that is involved with professional wrestling: superior athletes, legendary figures, and larger-than-life characters. From the time your favorite wrestler’s music starts, they walk down the aisle and climb into the ring, fireworks go off or maybe the lights go out, and the crowd, typically filled with 20,000 people, erupts into cheers or boos that can make your arm hair stand on end.  Much like reading a novel or watching any other television program or movie, the art of sports-entertainment tells many stories, often at one time. There is a beginning, middle, and an end. You wouldn’t watch a Harry Potter movie and say, “that magic isn’t real!” because that’s the whole point.

I have been a fan since I was five years old. That’s over twenty years of enjoying a misunderstood art form that most people assume is just for children. Twenty years of jumping out my seat, whether I’m at the arena in person or sitting at home on my couch. Twenty years of seeing my favorites parade around the ring in battle. Twenty years of heartbreak and loss. Twenty years of triumphs. Believe me, all fans have their favorites. There are heroes and there are villains. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the villains.

        Sure, the outcome is scripted and they don’t really punch each other in the face (usually), to me, that’s the most important thing. Great wrestlers make you forget that “real” fights wouldn’t happen that way. The athletes are often overlooked as anything but; they utilize basic psychology and sheer athleticism to make the fans “ooh” and “ah.” In spite of the script that you know is looming nearby, good professional wrestling suspends your knowledge of reality. From a Randy Savage flying elbow to Shawn Michaels’ “Sweet Chin Music.” There is always that moment where reality drifts out of the window, when I stand out of my chair anxiously waiting for the referee to count, one, two, three.

Ryan’s Comments

Uploaded TIB Essay to NPR: confirmed
Process Log: Go ahead and post the essay in the log. Then mark any changes you made between the written and the DMC. Also, don’t forget to respond to the reflection prompt.
DMC: Good work. Credits are tiny for the screen resolution you offer. Just FYI.

 

Check out my This I Believe DMC.

Collaboration

There are a few ways in which I collaborate via the internet/technology, the first of which is the obvious, through social media. First and foremost, I’m a Twitter-fiend. I use Twitter to make connections with other people, namely celebrities such as actors and musicians and professional wrestlers. I try to get their attention and make conversation with them, sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. It’s more beneficial in that I’ve made a couple of connections with some highly regarded writers/journalists that are involved with professional wrestling. Yes, I know to most people, “highly regarded” and “professional wrestling” don’t typically belong in the same sentence. I hope one day to make enough of an impact with these aforementioned gentlemen that I too might be able to crack into that world and have my opinions regarded very highly… As if they shouldn’t be already. I also utilize Facebook to connect with friends. I feel like I utilize trust, as Rheingold puts it, because I’ll “like” statues and pictures on Facebook and retweet peoples Tweets. This allows my friends that I know well and those that I don’t to see they can trust me because I value their opinions. Secondly, I use forums via the website Wrestlezone.com to discuss the events of professional wrestling, past and present, of which I am an avid fan. I link up with other users and oftentimes we get into huge debates on which wrestler or angle is better than another and why or why not. It can get very, very heated. Sometimes I’ll form connections with other users through commonalities similarly to how Rheingold describes. Thirdly, a few close-friends and I have recently started a Podcast that is available through iTunes for free called, HaloYeah! There are 5 (and sometimes more) of us that record ourselves during online play of Halo. We discuss the game itself but more often the conversation turns to other forms of entertainment and just casual social ideas of the day. It’s pretty fun and I would encourage any one, Halo player or not, to check us out.