#beef women epic. respect them
meme comm for @sharkgirldick ! know your place.
Divine Scions (Scion)
I haven’t written nearly enough about Scion, so let’s fix that. If you’re following my blog because we deep dive into the mythological roots of RPG monsters, I've got news because this is the game for you.
Scions are the divine children and chosen. They are people who have stepped beyond mere mortality and, at a bare minimum, become capital-H Heroes. Eventually, they can ascend to become Demigods on the route to becoming true divinities. Not every Scion walks that path, but they all have the potential.
These Scions come from many walks of life. Herakles and Percy Jackson are examples of Born Scions, the literal offspring of a deity. Odysseus could be a Chosen Scion, he isn’t Athena’s literal flesh and blood, but she’s bestowed his favour. Ask and Embla are created Scions, carved by Odin and his brothers from tree trunks. Rama, Krishna, and the other avatars are Vishnu’s Incarnations, his manifestation in the mortal world. So are pretty much any comic book depiction of a deity fighting alongside superheroes, as are reincarnated Heroes, Demigods, and Gods. (If you want more examples, they are on Hero p. 18-20.)
As you can see from their possible origins, Scions are a diverse lot, just as their patron/parents are. They often reflect their divine sponsor’s interests, but they rarely are sycophants and never mooks. Each one is literally the Hero of their own story, a protagonist around which new myths crystallize. In RPG terms, they are walking plothooks, with the motives, magic, and fame to stir up stories wherever they go. Storyguides shouldn’t be using them as Faceless Goon #3, even when playing God, Scion’s top-tier game. Scions are heroic, they may also be tragic, but they are never meaningless.
Sun Wukong is dead. Red Boy finally caught the Monkey King with his true True Samādhi Fire; even the Victorious Fighting Buddha couldn’t survive that. The Shén pantheon, however, is unbothered. Sun Wukong left behind many Scions - both Born and Incarnate - one of whom will surely rise to claim his Divine Mantle and revive him. They are holding a martial arts tournament to determine the best candidates! Other fighters are welcome to enter to prove their prowess or to win the future Monkey King’s favour. All competitors must beware of the interference of Red Boy, White Eyebrow, and Erlang Shen, each of whom just wants a break from dealing with that damned macaque!
In the World, poetry and song recount Legends born last week and two blocks away. The epics of old, like the Iliad and the Mahabharata, have their place, but rap battles in the clubs and poetry slams down at the Arts Commons are just as important and influential. The beef that’s on everyone’s lips right now is between Farah Baqri, a Scion of Sraosha, and Hannah Yamada, a Scion of Susano-O. Both women are masterful poets and rappers, like their divine patrons. While the city is deeply divided about who will win their upcoming battle, the two Scions are close friends. Still, they know leaning into their rivalry helps them to play into their respective Legends and grow in power. However, lots of money has been thrown down on backroom gambling tables, and the less ethical bookies in town are looking for a way to fix the match.
Ayotli Castillo, an urban planner and daughter of Chalchihuitlicue, has a plan to power her apotheosis. The Mexicah capital Tenochtitlan once floated upon the great lake Texcoco, which has steadily been drained as Mexico City grew. Ayotli plans to restore the lake to its original grandeur by transforming Mexico City into a floating capital. Doing so without harming the 21 million people in the area will be a mighty Deed, one that Ayotli needs the aid of other Heroes to complete.
Will Neo and Cinder be Kidnapping Oscar or ..... someone else
Salutations Luna! Hmm…my money is on Ruby being the key target for our villainousFire and Ice-cream Duo.
It was teasedlast season that Cinder prompted Neo to help her get to Atlas and find Ruby.And once that was done, the rest would be up to Neo to enact her revenge on thelittle red rose as Neo saw fit.
So if anyone is in danger of gettingabducted or lured into any kind of trap by Neo and Cinder, it’s definitelyRuby.
Then again, I also have this smalltheory of what if…Neo and Cinder kidnap Oscar and use him to lure our Ruby into a trap?
An alternative to this would be thereverse where, while down in Mantle, Ruby is lured far away from her friends intoan ambush by Neo who was disguised as either one of Ruby’s comrades and/orteammates (perhaps Weiss or even Penny) or even a Mantle citizen in dire need of help.
Like imagineif…while down in Mantle, Ruby runs into a young woman who comes to herbegging for her help, informing Ruby that her little sisteris trapped somewhere in far Mantle. So without hesitation, Ruby follows the woman far, farout into Mantle. Eventually the woman stops and Ruby asks her about her trappedsister. The woman points to an abandoned building of some kind. Ruby goes intothe building but as soon as she enters, the woman reveals herself as Neo andblindsides Ruby in an attack.
Since CH9 mentioned that Oscar returnedto Atlas Academy with Ironwood, let’s say… that while up in Atlas Academy, Oscar is there with Ironwoodinside of his head office monitoring the Search and Rescue down in Mantle fromafar; keeping as much tabs on everyone’s whereabouts and progress in theirrespective evacuations since I’m assuming it’ll be ‘divideand conquer’ with the JNR_QRWBY and the Ace Opssplitting up all around Mantle to cover more ground and thus save more innocentlives.
Let’s say… Ironwood was communicating with his Ace Ops and Military forceswhile simultaneously working against Watts to stop him from infiltrating Atlas’mainframe or whatnot with his hacking. And while the General was busy withthat, Oscar monitored his teammates’ progress while keeping in close contactwith them on his Scroll. This was inclusive of Ruby until at some point; Oscar suddenly losescontact with Ruby. Her Scroll signal goes dead silent.
This causes Oscar to panic over whathappened to Ruby. He attempts to alert the others of Ruby’s disappearance but…imagine if…thisis thwarted by Watts’ successfully hacking into Atlas’ mainframe and scramblingthe system in such a way that results in Ironwood losing all communication with his troops in the field. Samefor Oscar. Perhaps Watts hacking doesn’t just mess with communications up inAtlas but down in Mantle as well.
Imagine if…while down in Mantle,everyone loses contact with each other since Watts did something to mess witheveryone’s Scroll signal. With the loss of communication with their allies down in Mantleand with no way of Oscar to alert the others of Ruby’s disappearance, Oscar hasno choice but to go down to Mantle to find Ruby on his own.
Let’s say…Oscarhad managed to make a record of Ruby’s last known whereabouts before she went offline and that’s where he headed. Maybe it’s Ironwood flying an airship who drops him off.
So while Ironwood goes on a hunt for Watts in agame of cat and mouse and the others handled the evacuation and appearance of TyrianCallows, Oscar dropped down in Mantle to find Ruby.
As for Ruby herself, as I said my headcanon is that Neo and Cinder lured Ruby into an ambush down in Mantlefar, far away from the help of her friends. In their minds, they had Rubytrapped like a rat in maze with no help from her littlepals this time. So basically no one wasgoing to come to Ruby’s rescue …or so the Fireand Ice-cream Duo presumed.
Do you know what would actually be a pretty wicked thing for theCRWBY to do?
Imagine if…the Rubyversus Neo and Cinder Fight pays tributeto Monty Oum’s DeadFantasy fan animation?
I’m not sure if you’ve seen DeadFantasy but it’s an old fan animation series that Monty had made that pinnedcharacters from the Dead orAlive videogames against characters from the Final Fantasy and KingdomHearts series. In the first Dead Fantasyvideo, it started off with Yuna from Final Fantasy X running through whatlooked like a maze while being pursued by Ayane and Katsumi from Dead or Alive.
The opening fight between these threegirls was pretty badass and just seeing Yuna hold her own while being doubleteamed by two powerful warrior women trying to take her down is pretty cool.Personally I think it would be very badass on Ruby’s part to see her fare onher own against Neo and Cinder working together at first to take her down.Especially if any kind of backup is to come to Ruby’s aid in the end. MeaningOscar.
While the sudden reappearance of Neoand Cinder did bug me since the show didn’t really provide much buildup during this season for them, if we do get another epic rematch for V7 that parallels V3, then this squiggle meister is definitely hoping it’sthe Rosebuds versus Fire andIce-cream.
We know Neo has her personal beef withRuby for holding her responsible for Torchwick’s death. However Oscar has hisown connection with Cinder Fall since she’s the one who killed Ozpin.
And since we never got to really seehow that fight went down outside of the small teaser from V3, it’d be excitingif Cinder and Oscar re-enacted her final dual with Ozpin.
Perhaps we could even get a moment where Cinder unfortunately overpowers Oscar and has him pinned down;menacingly whispering in his ear “Do youwant to know how I killed your predecessor?”before…I dunno, pulling the same move she did with Vernal where she piercesOscars’ stomach with her Grimm arm?
The CRWBY Writers did tease “exciting things for Oscar for V7″. I can’t picture Oscar just sitting out of the finale again. They’ve been teasing him fighting a lot for this season. It’s time for Oscar to kick some ass. Especially if it’s in a rematch against a powerful enemy that killed his predecessor.
Pinning Oscar against Cinder Fall for the V7 finale would be epic!
Not to mention that I’m still banking on my theory that Oscar will unlock his semblance to protectRuby. I’m still hoping for that.
I’m hopingthat CH9 won’t be the only episode this season that teased Rosegarden. Butjust in case we don’t get that, I hope we at least get to see Oscar in action. I hope we get to see Oscar do his ownlanding strategy, coming down to Mantle to aid his true rose in the eventthat Neo and Cinder go for her.
That’s my hunch.
The battle wounds of a DIY music blogger are directly reflected in the eye strain due to excessive screen time that such a human is subjected to, and this week, this writer is definitely seeing stars. This isn’t just because Solange and Carly Rae Jepsen are once again turning their sights toward global domination, or the fact that highly anticipated releases from folktale aliens Big Thief, blushing dreamweaver Hatchie, or hardcore angels Fury made great first impressions with their newly-announced albums. There was also scene heroes Emily Reo, Kitty and Potty Mouth doing things on their own terms, too, all the while up and comers BRUTUS and Jackie Mendoza continued to impress with intriguing new dimensions in their respective sounds. In short, this week’s music was very extra, and there’s still a heavy order left to discuss.
Here’s the best of the rest from the week of February 24th, 2019…
American Football feat. Elizabeth Powell - “Every Wave to Ever Rise” [Polyvinyl Records]
On March 22nd, American Football will release their third self-titled effort, and remarkably so, despite the long stretch between their 1999 genre-molding classic and the now, the Midwestern emo pioneers have evolved with the times rather than just rummaging through nostalgia in their sound. A major factor in that on this outing has been the inclusion of guest vocals beyond Mike Knsella’s own hum, as we recently heard third wave emo icon Hayley Williams of Paramore serenade the growing pains on “Uncomfortably Numb”. The LP’s latest preview “Every Wave to Ever Rise” is further proof of both, as it features Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell joining the quartet for a gorgeous listen of ghostly arpeggios that sparkles at the surface like refracted water, as Powell’s soft presence co-mingle a faint spell in layered langued. “Truth or dare / Love is the cross you bear / J'ai mal au cœur, c'est la faute de l'amour,” she sings in its chorus. American Football have also tacked on west coast dates to their North American tour, bringing along emotive next-gens Illumanati Hotties, Tomberlin, and Pure Bathing Culture with them.
Control Top - “Chain Reaction” [Get Better Records]
It’s not very common for a band to have announced an album and its first single well into a year in advance of when it actually becomes slated on the release calendar, but that’s what Philly punks Control Top managed to do when they set “Type A”, off their forthcoming debut full-length Covert Contracts, into the wild last March. Despite the passing of time since, the trio -- comprised of frontperson and bassist Ali Carter, drummer Alex Lichtenauer of HIRS / Get Better Records’ and Bleeding Rainbows guitarist Al Creedon -- remain fiercely awake and confrontational on the LP’s second preview “Chain Reaction”. As Carter tells Stereogum, “The song takes place in the middle of an argument... Vitriol is flying and emotions are running high. With our culture’s growing appetite for anger and conflict, a petty disagreement can easily escalate into a full-out shouting match.” Knife-like guitar riffs daggering over even sharper angles are the vehicle for her choice words as thumping rhythm mimics the non-stop adrenaline drip that ensures emotions remain high and heated. “I'm looking for an open door / But all I see is a broken mirror I can't take it anymore / I wish I could disappear / What start,” Carter shouts, hurling herself at the edge of a point of no return. The album, by the way, officially arrives on April 5th, and they’ll be supporting Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers on the road this spring.
Covert Contracts by CONTROL TOP
Deafheaven - “Black Brick” [ANTI-]
It would seem that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction in Deafheaven’s catalog. Last year, the band released the listmaker Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, a listen that you could arguably consider their most accessible work to date in the way they focused on elements of slowcore, shoegaze, and even some gothic balladry thanks to an assist from Chelsea Wolfe, but make no mistake about it -- Deafheaven can be depended upon delivering a reminder that they’re still a metal band despite what the purists hate on them with whenever they push the genre’s corners out a little further into the experimental unknown. “Black Brick”, a new one-off single, is a sharp-toothed epic doing just that by ferociously pulverizing itself up through a scorched earth as George Clarke’s black metal howls damn us all to their intense hellscape. The listen will come in use beginning next week when the band heads out on a co-headlining tour with fellow metal outliers Baroness and avant outfit Zeal & Ardor.
Ex Hex - “Rainbow Shiner” [Merge Records]
Mary Timony’s Ex Hex is another one of the many artists with new music out on March 22nd, as the glammed out indie rock trio led by the former Helium frontwoman will break their five year stretch of silence since 2014′s debut Rip very loudly with the release of its sophomore follow-up It’s Real. So far, we’ve heard Timony, bassist Betsey Wright and drummer Laura Harris spin us through an intergalactic romance and toughened us up with a pep talk with their power-pop licks, but with the album’s latest advance listen “Rainbow Shiner”, the trio go full-on Detroit Rock City with a hair metal twist in their glittering of arena-sized riffs that’s got a big swagger to it. Cheap faux leather, studded vests, tatted arms, and chipped nail polish white-knuckling a vintage muscle car with the windows down may come to mind when taking this one in, which is to say, it’s smashes through the stereo with an effortless, dangerous cool.
Nothing - “Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping” [Relapse Records]
Shoegazing shape-shifters Nothing outdid themselves once again with one of last year’s best heavy albums in their third studio effort Dance On the Blacktop. Over the years, however, the Philly punk band has amassed an impressive string of covers released in the interim between albums, showcasing a malleable side to their sound in applying textures of loud echoes in the dark to listens you may not originally deem adjacent to Nothing’s own sonic vortex. If you ever wanted to have them all in one place, then you’re in luck, as Nothing’s takes on Concrete Blonde, Low, New Order, Ride, and their latest, a feedback-drenched interpretation of Grouper’s “Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping”, will appear on Spirit Of The Stairs – B-Sides & Rarities, due out on March 6th. The compilation includes those listens alongside B-sides, demos, and live versions of songs that stretch the full span of their catalog, making for an essential listen for anyone who considers them a completist. Like many, Nothing heads into SXSW as they tour throughout the entire spring, with one leg featuring CANDY and Tony Molina, and another co-headlining with Basement, supported by Gouge Away and Teenage Wrist.
PUP - “Free At Last” [Little Dipper / Rise Records]
Stefan Babcock is upping his Debbie Downer game for PUP’s upcoming third studio effort Morbid Stuff. Now that he’s made it perfectly clear to the “Kids” that life is meaningless (but it’s what you make out of it), he’s piling on the self-loathing and destructive habits with the album’s second preview “Free At Last”. The listen is characteristically wild and reckless in axe-edged riffs and beefed up drum crashes that topple charging versus into big chorus sing-a-long -- in this case, the deprecating, “Just ’cause you’re sad again, it doesn’t make you special at all...” -- that lifts Babcock’s gloomy sneer of reality into a comforting rallying cry of a punk anthem. Preceding its debut, the band released the lyrics and a basic chord chart to its fans asking them to record the song without hearing it, and those results are now the now the basis of its music video. Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks and celebrity stan Finn Wolfhard make guest appearances throughout the altered edit final instructional as well.
Show Me the Body - “Madonna Rocket” [Loma Vista]
Art-minded hardcore trio Show Me the Body have signed on with major indie Loma Vista for the release of their forthcoming Chris Coady-produced sophomore effort Dog Whistle, due out on March 29th. A slicker side of the studio as well as a cohesiveness in the trio’s carnage has already been defined through the crunchy static of the album’s lead single “Camp Orchestre” and again resurfaces through the collision of fast moving walls of ‘80s-era British post-punk and NYC hardcore of its second preview “Madonna Rocket”. It’s a dash that barely makes the three-minute mark over wiry guitars, relentless drumming and frontman Julian Cashwan Pratt snarling over the sea-sawing teetering that intensifies as the listen wears on. “When I meet someone that’s good, I want to die with them / Dead friends / I still want to say goodbye to them / Aside from me, aside from them / All I have is family / I will die with them” his words thrash into bodies. That he finds in the track’s accompanying visuals, a dual shot performance clip recorded at the band’s Corpus DIY spaces in LA and New York City.
War On Women - “The Ash Is Not the End” [Bridge Nine Records]
The great feminist punk band War On Women were also among one of the creators of last year’s best heavy-hitting albums with their sophomore effort Capture the Flag, an album built around unabashed socio-political anthems and a controlled grip around melodic hardcore aggression. Their screams for activism and change in a current climate that could stand to be burned to the ground by their plight continues on “The Ash Is Not the End”, the Baltimore quintet’s contribution to Adult Swim’s Singles series. What’s most noticeable about this listen, as opposed to the gritty firestorms of earlier, is how a greater degree in pop heroics akin to Paramore’s rockier moments in turn pronounce Shawna Potter’s time’s up declaration. “It’s all just a matter of time,” she spears through crisp cut riffage. You’ll be able to catch War On Women all over the world this spring and summer, including dates opening for Jawbreaker’s east coast tour.
Appearing before the Dramacourt: Hwarang: Poet Warrior Youth Ep 06
***If this is your first time browsing The Drama Files, please read The Rules section first for our reviewing and rating system***
Whether doing chores makes you a better person?
Whether putting a bunch of people who hate each other’s guts into one room and making them do things together is a good way of dealing with the animosity?
Whether anyone is buying this brother-sister act?
Whether the Ji Dwi/Aro scenes were convincing?
Possibly. That, or they’ll just end up killing each other.
Literally no one is buying this act. Including the characters themselves.
*sigh* We’ve been over this. There’s like zero chemistry between these two.
RedRosette J: I think I liked this episode. Not sure. I kind of watched it while in a cold medication induced haze (keep warm everyone. This winter sucks). What I got from it was that this was the “adjustment” episode. Basically all the new personalities and beefs trying to sort themselves out in the Hwarang House. Some of it felt very scripted and difficult to believe and felt a bit forced, but the others were quite convincing. If anything I’m very convinced about Ban Ryu’s agenda. He’s the best developed side character and Do Ji Han is doing a really good job of portraying the angsty-ness of his character (makes me wanna watch more of his work). The fight just felt like it was a scripted excuse to have Aro come and live in the Hwarang House. -_- We also finally got to see more of Taehyung in this episode, although his acting might have been a tad cringey. They should have just told him to be basically be himself because he’s hilarious and awesome when he’s being himself and because he’s similar to the character in real life (or at least from what we see in the Bangtan goofing around in videos) it would have translated well. I’m still (im)patiently waiting for the bromances. Come on, come on already.
So much angst
So much brooding
RedRosette J Aside: Here’s a bunch of shots of Taehyung (because he finally got some screen time):
Issue 1: Whether doing chores makes you a better person?
RedRosette J: Yes. Totally. I’m a huge believer that experiencing hardships makes a person better. For a bunch of rich spoiled brats, making them do laundry and cleaning up horse poop is probably as hard as its going to get. I think that eventually they’ll learn discipline and respect for people that do these hard jobs, and I think that that’s the point that the crazy teacher was trying to get across. The huge contrast between Sun Woo and the spoiled brats was so evident as they did chores and everyone can see that Sun Woo is by far the better person of the lot so far. Keep up the good work boys, you’ll be better people soon!
Rich brats doing laundry
So glad we don’t have to clean horse poop all day these days
When you’re forced to wake up at the crack of dawn
Issue 2: Whether putting a bunch of people who hate each other’s guts into one room and making them do things together is a good way of dealing with the animosity?
RedRosette J: To be honest, I don’t know if this strategy is a good thing. I keep thinking that if this happened to me, I’d just end up even more annoyed at the person being constantly in my face all the time. I think the point was that they would eventually transcend their differences by understanding each other or even just commiserating in their misery. The jury is still out for me as to whether this strategy is good or not, but it did lead to some stellar shots of hot guys in a shower together and lots of abs. So, thank you for that. And the eventual fight is the boiling point of putting all these personalities together. I saw it coming a mile away.
When you wake up to your nemesis
You tell ’em
All dem abs ;)
When you lose your cool
Issue 3: Whether anyone is buying this brother-sister act?
RedRosette J: I was talking to Jubiemon about this and we agreed that no brother and sister ever act the way that these two do. Honestly, some of the stuff is just ridiculous. Why did they have to take this route? It feels really unnecessary. Was this really the only way to throw them into a romantic situation? It’s just weird now. Not to mention, none of the characters are buying this act. Ji Dwi is the first one to be like ‘oh hell no’. I’m with him on that. Ugh.
Said no real brother ever
The assignment was an excuse for these two to have bonding time
When the 2nd lead crashes the romance and actually has more chemisty with the male lead
Issue 4: Whether the Ji Dwi/Aro scenes were convincing?
RedRosette J: We’ve been over this countless times in previous posts. These two are just not convincing. Ji Dwi has literally gone from jealous to obsessive now. That kiss? Uhhh I’m sorry but its not romantic when she’s backing away from him in actual fear. Again, it’s not romantic. As much as I’m a Hyungsik fan, Sorry. This scene was just disturbing. Dramas need to stop with the forced kissing. You could argue that it was a different time and that historically women were treated this way or whatever but it’s still really sending the wrong message to modern viewers because this is supposed to be a light-hearted comedy and not some historical epic that reflects what actually happened at the time. So please, stop doing it!
Still not getting the whole ‘sleep’ thing
Look at her face: that is FEAR
RedRosette J Aside: Can this drama try NOT to do ALL the drama-verse tropes in one go? We don’t need a birth secret. Ugh. I’m betting that Sun Woo ends up being the late King’s secret love child or something. -_-
Conclusion: Appeal Allowed.
Rating: 3 = MM. Okay. Fine. (Only because there was a lot more Taehyung and some of the stuff was funny)
File No: Hwarang: Poet-Warrior-Youth-EP-06 Appearing before the Dramacourt: Hwarang: Poet Warrior Youth Ep 06 ***If this is your first time browsing The Drama Files, please read The Rules section first for our reviewing and rating system***
BATTLE OF THE DOGS: DMX & Snoop Dogg’s VERZUZ Battle Was The Best Thing To Happen This Week
DMX and Snoop Dogg went hit-for-hit for their VERZUZ Battle and it was seriously the best thing to happen this week. It was a link up the culture needed. More inside…
Where my dogs at? We right here dog!
It was the battle of the dogs last night as DMX and Snoop Dog faced off for an epic VERZUZ Battle. East Coast vs. West Coast. There wasn’t any beef though. It was ALL love as both rappers showed uber respect for the other, which ended up creating a historic moment for Hip Hop.
The Hip Hop heavyweights rolled up in the studio a tad late, grabbing their essentials before they got it popping. Chicken tenders, Kool-aid and bubbly (Diddy's Ciroc) were on deck. Over 500,000 people tuned in via the IG Live. VERZUZ Battle co-creator Swizz Beatz was in the studio with the fellas and at one point told them they reached over 1 million views across all platforms. Throughout the session, X and Snoop kept clowning Swizz for boosting their heads up with inflated viewership numbers.
The VERZUZ Battle started with a prayer from X:
DMX’s opening prayer last night from his Verzuz battle with Snoop pic.twitter.com/QYSqcOzjvs
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) July 23, 2020
Then, Snoop kicked off the battle with “Deep Cover” and X responded with “Intro.” Snoop then played "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" and DMX responded with "What's My Name?" Snoop came back with "Gin and Juice" and X dropped “Get at Me Dog" feat. Sheek Louch. After playing the track, X revealed Snoop actually inspired the track. He said when he would link up with Snoop and when they were about to depart from one another, Snoop would say “get at me dog” and so he turned the phrase into a song.
From there, the rap legends went hit-for-hit, rocking out to their catalog of classics. And they didn’t shy away from tracks that would be frowned upon during these times. After X played “It’s All Good,” Snoop responded with Dr. Dre’s “B*tches Ain’t Sh*t,” which he is featured on. The song is misogynistic and very degrading to women. Folks were in the comments mentioning how the problematic lyrics didn’t age well.
”Every time I get mad at my baby mother, that’s the song I put on. On repeat,” X said as Snoop laughed. “On my grandmother. I’m telling you. When I get mad at my muthaf*ckin’ fiancée, that’s it!,” he continued.
”Before y’all get to cancelling just please understand cultural context. We were cavemen back in the day,” Power 105’s “The Breakfast Club” radio host Charlamagne wrote in the comments.
If a rapper was to release a song like that now, they would get canceled with the quickness. Peep the clip below:
DMX is currently engaged to Desiree Lindstrom, who is the mother of his youngest child, Exodus. He was hype to watch his dad perform:
View this post on Instagram
My baby is so hyped for his daddy #dmx #fatherandson #verzuztv #exodussimmons
A post shared by Desiree Lindstrom (@desi123love) on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:44pm PDT
X has 15 children in total with several different women. Oh, he also gave them a shoutout during the battle.
”I want to give a shoutout to my baby mothers,” X said.
”All of them?,” Snoop asked.
”Yeah,” X responded. “Dog love. Dog love.”
Right before he gave the shoutout, X yelled out “Where the b*tches at?!” as we all clutched our pearls at home. In the comments, Charlamagne asked if you can say “where the b*tches at?” in 2020 considering the climate.
As the battle continued, X and Snoop rocked out as the “Gangsta Holy Ghost” filled the studio. At the end, X and Snoop sat down like they were chilling in the neighborhood and started freestyling. It appeared X didn't really want to at first, but after Snoop hyped him up, he got busy. Peep the clip below:
It was a perfect rap pairing as Snoop kept the energy high, dancing all over the studio. X seemingly got winded while performing some of his tracks, but we’re just happy to see that he’s seemingly HEALTHY and out of trouble. This VERZUZ Battle was definitely a highlight of 2020.
Watch the entire battle below:
View this post on Instagram
Watch the DMX and Snoop Dogg celebration #Verzuz
A post shared by Verzuz (@verzuztv) on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:32pm PDT
X was an entire mood:
View this post on Instagram
Me. With some boiled p nuts, a red cup full of Tequila, and good ol problematic 90’s rap tunes playing. Energy I’m On Forever. Permanent Mood.....
A post shared by LENARD (@cthagod) on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:05am PDT
After the show, Snoop took fans behind-the-scenes with Swizz:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:03pm PDT
Photo: Verzuz's IG
[Read More ...]
WWE WrestleMania 36: Night Two coverage, recap, highlights, and more
New Post has been published on http://whitelighttv.com/2020/04/05/wwe-wrestlemania-36-night-two-coverage-recap-highlights-and-more/
WWE WrestleMania 36: Night Two coverage, recap, highlights, and more
The only way to follow an incredible first night of WrestleMania was with an epic part two — and WWE hit this one out of the park once again.
The Firefly Fun House was perfectly bizarre, the Scottish Psychopath won his first WWE heavyweight title, and the women stole the show on multiple fronts. All in all, it made for a perfect second night to the two-night extravaganza of WrestleMania 36.
Congratulations to the wwe superstars, referees, writers, producers, directors, and everyone that contributed to Wrestlemania 36. It was very entertainingI And thanks to the WWE Universe for tuning in. Hope everyone enjoyed it. #itstrue
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) April 6, 2020
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Kurt. And now, let’s recap what was a spectacular night of sports entertainment, shall we?
The main card heated up immediately, as we opened with Ripley defending her NXT title against The Queen, decked out in Dragonball Z-inspired ring garb:
GO GET HER, champ! 💪@RheaRipley_WWE #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/r8850tSUah
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 5, 2020
Hell yeah!! @RheaRipley_WWE with the Saiyan Armor!
— Pretty Ricky (@KingRicochet) April 5, 2020
After an early Riptide by Ripley failed to put away Flair, Charlotte took control of the match, focusing on Rhea’s left leg with stomps, submission holds, attacks via the ring post, and a vicious chop block to the back of the leg.
These two women laid it in, beating the heck out of each other for nearly 30 minutes in a physical, violent fight of a match, with Ripley seeming to turn the tide as time went on:
#TheNightmare is THIS close to becoming @MsCharlotteWWE‘s reality. @RheaRipley_WWE #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/ELb1WZJ5q3
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 5, 2020
But Flair’s attention to detail proved the difference, as she locked in the Figure Four, bridged into the Figure Eight, and became a three-time NXT Women’s Champion as Ripley tapped out:
_WWE went toe to toe with one of the absolute best women to ever step in the ring…her path to greatness has not changed one bit.#ProudOfYouBoth
…Night two sets the bar high! #AndNew @WWENXT https://t.co/xDtlY4MIUC
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 5, 2020
It was a well-earned birthday present for the Queen, and WWE Backstage’s Renee Young called it “an absolutely hard-hitting, brutal match” and an early candidate to steal the show on night two:
“Don’t mess with ‘The Queen’ @MsCharlotteWWE, especially on her birthday.” – @ReneeYoungWWE reacts to Charlotte’s victory over @RheaRipley_WWE at @WrestleMania.
Buy #WrestleMania Now: https://t.co/etKbhCA5h2 pic.twitter.com/NlHQQIz65x
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 5, 2020
Aleister Black and Bobby Lashley stepped into the ring next, in a match that Lashley had in hand, until Lana told him to change course and finish Black with a spear. Lashley listened, but ran right into a Black Mass that gave Black the win.
— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2020
From a battle of beef to romantic beef, the saga of Otis, Dolph Ziggler and Mandy Rose took center stage.
“Cute”? Maybe not after @HEELZiggler is done with him… 😬#WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/mN4iWrj6IH
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Ummm @otiswwe deserves the world
— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) April 6, 2020
Let’s go @otiswwe ! @WWEUniverse #WrestleMania
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) April 6, 2020
Otis exacted a much-deserved bit of vengeance on Ziggler, throwing him all around the ring and setting up The Caterpillar, prompting Sonya Deville to distract the official. Dolph capitalized, hitting Otis with a low blow — but that summoned Mandy Rose, who slapped Sonya, hit Ziggler below the belt, and left in the arms of the victorious Otis.
Buy #WrestleMania Now: https://t.co/etKbhCiupu pic.twitter.com/5x18DOWeWt
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 6, 2020
Payback’s a bi*** ! #WrestleMania Congrats @otiswwe 😘 🎊
— Mandy (@WWE_MandyRose) April 6, 2020
Awwwwwww! What a magical moment. You know, minus all the low blows, anyway.
BEST. #WRESTLEMANIA MOMENT. EVER. 💋@otiswwe @WWE_MandyRose pic.twitter.com/zqxQpwi22a
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
@otiswwe for the win!!!! 🐛🐛 #Wrestlemania36
— George Kittle (@gkittle46) April 6, 2020
The good times came to an abrupt end, however, as Randy Orton ambushed Edge by disguising himself as a cameraman before their Last Man Standing match, unleashing an RKO out of nowhere:
You never know when The Viper @RandyOrton will strike.
Buy #WrestleMania Now: https://t.co/etKbhCA5h2 (via @wwe) pic.twitter.com/0CRD2Y0oDh
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 6, 2020
Omg. Has Randy been moonlighting as a cameraman all this time?!?!? 😳 https://t.co/8n4khLeZ2O
— Austin Creed – Future King (@XavierWoodsPhD) April 6, 2020
The two friends turned enemies battled throughout the Performance Center, leaving carnage in their wake and utilizing every inch of the space, including Edge using a ladder to drop a massive elbow on Orton through a table:
🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯@EdgeRatedR drives @RandyOrton through a table!! #LastManStanding #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/zqMimJKXo3
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Edge and Orton brawled their way to the loading dock, where the Viper panted the Rated-R Superstar with a DDT atop a pickup truck. Edge recovered, however, as the two battled to the top of a trailer, exchanging spears and RKOs.
Last time you saw @RandyOrton in THIS much pain?#WrestleMania #LastManStanding @EdgeRatedR pic.twitter.com/xWP5AmdWie
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
Orton climbed down to grab a pair of chairs, ostensibly to set up a Con-chair-to on Edge. But the Hall of Famer countered, locking Orton into a choke hold and rendering him inanimate, before picking up the chair and delivering the devastating blow of a steel chair to Orton’s head atop another steel chair himself:
What… what has @EdgeRatedR just done???#WrestleMania #LastManStanding pic.twitter.com/NQuGT5D4J8
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
That lethal fight between former tag title holders gave way to a title change, and a title defense.
First, Gronk became a WWE Champion for the first time, winning the 24/7 Championship:
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Gronk is a WWE Champion at #wrestlemania . George Kittle @gkittle46 already planning the cage and ladder match between them for the belt.
— Robert J Molnar (@RobertJMolnar) April 6, 2020
I think @RobGronkowski just proved he doesn’t need Brady to win a championship #WrestleMania #Wrestlemania36
— David LaGreca (@davidlagreca1) April 6, 2020
Then, The Street Profits defended their Raw Tag Team Titles against Angel Garza and Austin Theory, with a little help from Bianca Belair, an NXT Superstar and Montez Ford’s better half, who neutralized Zelina Vega:
Don’t 👏 mess 👏 with 👏 her 👏 [email protected]
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) April 6, 2020
Perhaps inspired by the Profits (probably not, but still), Bayley next defended her WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship in a five-way elimination match that included her best friend, Sasha Banks.
Despite some tension and miscommunication between the two, Banks returned to the ring after being eliminated to help Bayley put away Lacey Evans for the win:
Just a couple of #WrestleMania role [email protected]
@SashaBanksWWE #WomensTitle pic.twitter.com/vNNAXEBb2Y
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Wedding day @itsBayleyWWE #muerte pic.twitter.com/pBP5DmpYHN
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) April 6, 2020
Now, with all due respect to all of the outstanding matches on the card, next up is what many of us were anticipating with bated breath — the Firefly Fun House match between John Cena and The Fiend.
Welcome to MɹƎS┴˥ƎW∀NI∀#WrestleMania #FireflyFunHouse @JohnCena pic.twitter.com/Gqw8K0QlRs
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
Cena made his standard entrance, only for The Fiend to overtake the broadcast, summoning Cena to the Fun House, where he walked through a door and met … a Vince McMahon puppet.
We’re just leaving this here…
Buy #WrestleMania Now. https://t.co/etKbhCiupu pic.twitter.com/GC6XGTwl3S
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 6, 2020
The former Doctor of Thuganomics was in for quite the trip. First, Wyatt (and not THe Fiend) made Cena relive his WWE debut, which the former cult leader called Cena’s greatest failure. Then, the two joined forces for an 80s style, cliche-filled Saturday Night promo:
BEST. MATCH. EVER!
Buy #WrestleMania Now. https://t.co/etKbhCiupu pic.twitter.com/YzwuE4AQBI
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 6, 2020
IS HIS NAME JONNY LARGEMEAT?!? IM NOT HEARING THIS CORRECTLY?!? THERE IS NO WAY IM HEARING THAT RIGHT!!!
— Austin Creed – Future King (@XavierWoodsPhD) April 6, 2020
Speaking of the Doctor, his time to speak his mind followed, although he was limited to rhymes as he poked fun at Wyatt:
The sweet sound of the Doctor of Thuganomics on the 🎤. #[email protected]
#WrestleMania #FireflyFunhouse pic.twitter.com/ge2CnVoaN4
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
Our journey through modern wrestling history continued through the original version of Bray Wyatt:
He’s got the whoooole 🌎…@WWEBrayWyatt #WrestleMania #FireflyFunHouse pic.twitter.com/E7xHzAKaT7
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 6, 2020
And an homage to Cena as Hogan, nWo-style:
2️⃣ SWEET.#FireflyFunHouse #WrestleMania @JohnCena pic.twitter.com/b5RCJecyxl
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
Truly, it was poetic. Cena was held to account for each of the stages in his career, before The Fiend made his presence felt, literally grabbing hold of the face of the company with the Mandible Claw:
LET HIM [email protected]
@WWEBrayWyatt #FireflyFunHouse #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/3YrNy5zKpR
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
In case anyone was wondering how Wrestlemania was going, John Cena is currently fighting his way through a supernatural projection of his own unconscious anxieties about his own history as a performer.
This is not a bit.
— austin walker (@austin_walker) April 6, 2020
this Black Mirror #WrestleMania episode is the greatest thing in @WWE history! #WrestleMania36 #FireflyFunhouse 🔥🔥🔥
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) April 6, 2020
“What in the hell did I just watch?” – @ReneeYoungWWE thinking the exact same thing the entire @WWEUniverse is thinking after the #FireflyFunhouse.
Buy #WrestleMania Now: https://t.co/etKbhCA5h2 pic.twitter.com/rezUkJW61s
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) April 6, 2020
That left just one match on the WrestleMania 36 card — the WWE Championship clash between Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre.
The two behemoths immediately went to war, trading Claymore Kicks and F5s:
What a CLAYMORE KICK to start things off for @DMcIntyreWWE!#WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/h3yooTAvCH
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
All these kick-outs got @BrockLesnar like…#WrestleMania @DMcIntyreWWE pic.twitter.com/HCgpdDfjuP
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 6, 2020
But it was McIntyre who got the upper hand, leveling Lesnar with several Claymores in a row to win his first WWE Championship:
#TheBeast has been [email protected]
is your NEW #WWEChampion! #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/ruWyhlBNer
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2020
I don’t care if there isn’t a live audience. Drew McIntyre is the WWE Champion, the face of the company… and nobody deserves it more. #WrestleMania
— Adam Pacitti (@adampacitti) April 6, 2020
Congratulations brother. @DMcIntyreWWE 3MB for life pic.twitter.com/v2NcT4KqGB
— Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) April 6, 2020
well done sir!!!! You freaking earned that!!!! See you around!!!!! Don’t forget I own you one!!! pic.twitter.com/q7vR1c2cWI
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) April 6, 2020
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 6, 2020
Memories of Fifties Britain
EVERYBODY who grew up in Fifties Britain will have his or her own indelible memories of their childhood, from the first taste of welfare orange juice to the birth of rock’ n’ roll. The nation was recovering from the ravages of the Second World War and the camaraderie of wartime was still evident throughout the country.
Children waking up on Christmas morning in 1952 had experienced rationing of food and clothes all of their lives. It was quite normal to go without the sweets, biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks that would be taken for granted by future -generations . Before sweet rationing ended in February 1953 the most prized thing in your Christmas stocking would have been a small, two-ounce bar of chocolate.
You probably didn’t get your first black and white television set until the late-Fifties. After all, only three million British households had one by 1954, with numbers increasing to almost 13 million by 1964.
But it didn’t matter if you had no television because you could play in the streets without the fear of traffic or the obstruction of parked cars. Buses and bicycles were the most popular modes of transport. In 1950 there were just under two million cars in Britain, with only 14 per cent of households owning one. The most-popular models in the Fifties included the Ford Prefect 100E and the Austin A35 saloon.
Many of us who grew up then have memories of houses that were draughty in winter with curtains hung behind the street door to reduce the flow of cold air and frost that formed overnight on the inside of bedroom windows.
Outside, the larger urban areas suffered with dense, yellowish smogs – known as pea-soupers – caused by fog combining with coalfire emissions. In 1952 a particularly thick smog shrouded London and caused the deaths of an estimated 12,000 people.
However, life was certainly not all doom and gloom. You grew up in a much safer environment than we can ever imagine these days. Children were able to enjoy the freedom of outdoor life. They played lots of rough-and-tumble games, got dirty and fell out of trees. The purple stains of iodine were always evident on the grazed knees of boys in short trousers.
We would also dress up like cowboys and Indians, wear holsters with cap guns and point and shoot at each other.
There was no such thing as health and safety or children’s rights. We were taught discipline at home and at school and corporal punishment was freely administered for bad behaviour.
There was no mugging of old ladies and people felt that it was safe to walk the streets. There was very little vandalism and no graffiti. Telephone boxes were fully glazed and each contained a set of local telephone directories and a pay-box full of pennies.
Youngsters respected and feared people in authority such as policemen, teachers, and park keepers, knowing that they would get a clip around the ear if they were caught misbehaving.
Home life was much different from today. Everyone seemed to have a gramophone, an upright piano and a valve radio in their front room and there were ticking clocks all around the house.
The kitchen was filled with products such as Omo washing powder and Robin starch and a whistle kettle was a permanent fixture on the kitchen stove.
Most adults smoked and there were ashtrays in every room, even in the bedrooms. Most homes didn’t have a bathroom so people would either wash in a tin bath by the fireside or take a weekly trip to the local municipal baths where they could pay to have a hot bath in a little more comfort. Toilets were usually outside.
We still managed to eat lots of wholesome food, which was always freshly cooked, and mums seemed always to be baking and though many of us didn’t have a fridge and went shopping for-groceries every day. Perishable foods were bought in small amounts just enough to last a day. It was quite usual to buy a single item of fruit.
On Sundays everyone had a roast dinner and leftovers were made into stews and pies to eat later in the week. In 1950, 55 per cent of young children drank tea with their meals. Bread and beef dripping was standard fare but we cringed at the sight of a curled-up Spam sandwich.
That was even worse than the daily spoonful of cod liver oil many of us had to consume.
Boys and girls played street games together, such as run outs, hopscotch and British bulldog. In the playground schoolgirls practised handstands and cartwheels with their skirts tucked up under the elastic of their navy blue knickers, while the boys played conkers.
We travelled in third-class compartments on train journeys to the seaside. In 1956 they were renamed second class. The change didn’t move you any higher up the social ladder but it made you feel there was a bit less of a social gap. At the seaside you wore a knitted bathing costume on the beach.
Do you remember Pathé News at the cinema? Going to the pictures was everyone’s favourite outing, with all those wonderful stiff-upper-lip British film stars such as John Mills, Jack Hawkins, Kenneth More and Dirk Bogarde and great war films such as The Dam Busters, epics such as Ben-Hur and comedies such as The Belles Of St Trinian’s. When the film ended everyone stood for the National Anthem and stayed until it finished playing.
For children the Saturday morning pictures provided the best fun. Every week, 200 to 300 unruly children would descend on a cinema for a couple of hours of film and live entertainment. The manager would regularly stop the film and threaten to send you all home if you didn’t behave and the solitary usherette was often forced to run for cover. It was controlled mayhem with the stalls and circle filled with children cheering for the goodies and booing the baddies. It introduced us to The Lone Ranger and Zorro and the slapstick comedy of Mr Pastry and Buster Keaton.
Dusty, old-fashioned sweetshops had high wooden counters jam-packed with boxes of ha’penny chews and other sweet delights. Remember Lucky Bags and frozen Jubblys and getting a sore tongue from sucking on gobstoppers, aniseed balls and Spangles? Then there were those old Smith’s potato crisps. The salt was in a twist of blue paper and you always had to rummage around for it at the bottom of the bag. All your one-shilling-a-week pocket money would go on sweets and comics (yes, we used old money back then, pounds, shillings and pence).
It was the decade of skiffle music with Lonnie Donegan and of the start of rock’ n’roll with Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. Did you know that Cliff’s first hit Move It is credited as being the first rock’n’roll song produced outside the United States? Other British singers such as Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury and Adam Faith first came to fame in the Fifties. But while everyone now remembers rock’n’roll, in reality the record buyers were suckers for-ballads and throughout the Fifties homegrown ballad singers had -British girls swooning in the aisles.
I have memories of Bob-a-Job Week, as a Cub Scout, you lend a helping hand to friends and neighbours in exchange for a small payment, it ended in 1992 after concerns were raised over health and safety and child protection issues.
“Sex was something mysterious which happened to married couples and Homosexuality was never mentioned; my mother later told me my father did not believe it existed at all ‘until he joined the army’. As a child I was warned about talking to ‘strange men’, without any real idea what this meant. I was left to find out for myself what it was all about.”
It is hard to identify the Britain of today with how it was back then. The whole appearance of the country has changed, particularly in inner cities where so much building and development work has been done over the years.
The wartorn dilapidated houses, derelict land and bomb sites that were the forbidden playgrounds of postwar baby boomers are now long gone.
There was something cosy about growing up in the last decade in which most children retained their childish innocence to the age of 12 or 13 and enjoyed a carefree life full of fun and games. The stresses of adolescence and then adult life could wait. We were lucky.
1950s: what it was really like
It was an era when women stayed at home, a 9-to-5 job meant just that, workers had a job for life and nobody had a Blackberry to ruin their holidays.
When the Queen was crowned in 1953, food rationing was still in force, supermarkets were unheard of, and fish and chips were our undisputed national dish. How things have changed. But is our diet more healthy now than it was then?
Despite the challenges of rationing, family diets still contained more bread, vegetables and milk than children have today.
There was a succession of callers to the 1950s house. These would include the rag and bone man, a man with a horse and cart and a call of ‘any old rags’. The rag and bone man would buy your old clothes for a few pennies and mend your pots and pans when the bottoms went through.
The milk man came daily and delivered your milk right on to your doorstep – again he would take away the empty bottles to be washed and re-used. The local shops would also deliver your groceries, bread and meat, the delivery boys using bicycles to make their rounds. The dustbin men worked extremely hard, carrying the old metal dustbins on their backs from the householder’s back door to the cart and then returning them back.
Fear of Polio held a reign of terror over this nation for decades. But unless you were born before 1955, polio may seem to be just another ephemeral disease that has been nonexistent for years. Those born before 1955 remember having a great fear of this horrible disease which crippled thousands of once active, healthy children. This disease had no cure and no identified causes, which made it all the more terrifying. People did everything that they had done in the past to prevent the spread of disease, such as quarantining areas, but these tactics never seemed to work. Polio could not be contained. Many people did not have the money to care for a family member with polio.
I can remember the days before the internet, local radio, Sky Sports etc. The was no information on Saturday matches other than the results on the TV and radio starting at approx 4.40. (Matches finished much earlier then. They started on time; there was only 10 minutes half time; there as very little added time)
In those days the only match reports on the day came in the Green’un. It was delivered just after 6.00 pm and, amazingly, there would be people queuing in the shops waiting for it.
The reports usually had a lot of detail on the first half but next to noting on the second half. (Not surprising as the reporters had to send their reports by telephone at half time and full time)
The green-un and a pink-un. One printed by the Evening World and the other by the Evening Post.
* We walked to school, had open fires and no central heating
* we spent our holidays in the UK
* No bathroom just a tin bath
* The outside toilet, you wiped your rear end with newspaper
* Cod fish fingers produced in Great Yarmouth were introduced in Britain in 1955.
* Chickens were for high days and holidays only as they were very expensive.
* Rabbit was eaten a lot those days.
* Pickled beef was a favourite of our family back in the 50s. The beef would be chosen and then pickled by the butcher.
* cows udder served warm with brown bread and butter. Also pigs trotters cooked until the crackling and meat falls off the bone.
* It was always stew and dumplings on Mondays as it was wash day and it was easiest to cook and always fish on Fridays.
* Mums used to do their weekly baking on Saturdays.
* In the summer we always went blackberry picking so had plenty of jams and pies. Some families had allotments so soft fruit was available.
* We certainly ate dates, they were delicious.
* worms in apples
* We had our first television set in 1955
* Butter was also sold from a large block and the grocer would pat it into smaller blocks with wooden paddles.
* Very few cars, lots of buses, neighbours talking on the doorstep and helping each other and the mangle in the garden for the weekly wash.
* fresh fish…cockles, mussels
* REAL butter
* chicken was only eaten at Christmas
* no ordinary family had turkey at Christmas
* The Corona popman would come round on a Friday selling bottles of lemonade. You’d save up the empty bottles which were worth tuppence each.
* broken biscuits from Woolworth
* cheese cut with a wire from a large block
* coal delivered in heavy sacks by filthy men
* boxes of shredded suet.
* toasting bread and crumpets over a real coal fire
* fruit salad with Carnation milk
* home made rice pudding
* Stewed steak and Onions
* bread and dripping with lots of salt
* Meat and Potato Pie
* Fresh bacon cut on a slicer to the thickness of your choice
* Bubble and Squeak on a Monday with leftovers from Sundays roast
* homemade Jam in a sandwich
* ration books!
* Sunday School
* Kids were still innocent and weren’t trying to grow up too fast.
* Very few people were fat.
* Kids rode bikes and played outside.
* signs in house windows that said ‘Rooms to Let: No dogs, no coloureds’.
* No fast food in those days, other than fish and chips!
* Pasta had not been invented.
* Curry was a surname.
* Olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet
* Spices came from the Middle East where they were used for embalming
* Herbs were used to make rather dodgy medicine.
* A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
* A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
* Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
* The only vegetables known to us were spuds, peas, carrots and cabbage,
* All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
* Condiments consisted of salt, pepper, vinegar and brown sauce if we were lucky.
* Soft drinks were called pop.
* Coke was something that we put on the fire.
* A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
* Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.
* A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
* A Pizza Hut was an Italian shed.
* A microwave was something out of a science fiction movie.
* Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
* Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking
* Bread and jam was a treat.
* Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
* Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle.
* Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
* Figs and dates appeared every Christmas, but no one ever ate them.
* Coconuts only appeared when the fair came to town.
* Jellied eels were peculiar to Londoners.
* Salad cream was a dressing for salads, mayonnaise did not exist
* Hors d’oeuvre was a spelling mistake.
* The starter was our main meal. Soup was a main meal.
* Only Heinz made beans.
* Leftovers went in the dog.
* Special food for dogs and cats was unheard of.
* Fish was only eaten on Fridays.
* Fish didn’t have fingers in those days.
* Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
* Ready meals only came from the fish and chip shop.
* For the best taste fish and chips had to be eaten out of old newspapers.
* Frozen food was called ice cream.
* Nothing ever went off in the fridge because we never had one.
* Ice cream only came in one colour and one flavour.
* None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
* Jelly and blancmange was only eaten at parties.
* If we said that we were on a diet, we simply got less.
* Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
* People who didn’t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
* Indian restaurants were only found in India .
* Brunch was not a meal.
* If we had eaten bacon lettuce and tomato in the same sandwich we would have been certified
* A bun was a small cake back then.
* The word" Barbie" was not associated with anything to do with food.
* Eating outside was a picnic.
* Cooking outside was called camping.
* Seaweed was not a recognised food.
* Pancakes were only eaten on Pancake Tuesday
* "Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.
* Hot dogs were a type of sausage that only the Americans ate.
* Cornflakes had arrived from America but it was obvious they would never catch on.
* The phrase "boil in the bag" would have been beyond comprehension.
* The idea of "oven chips" would not have made any sense at all to us.
* The world had not heard of Pot Noodles, Instant Mash and Pop Tarts.
* Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
* Lettuce and tomatoes in winter were only found abroad.
* Prunes were medicinal.
* Surprisingly muesli was readily available in those days, it was called cattle feed.
* Turkeys were definitely seasonal.
* Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
* We never heard of Croissants and we certainly couldn’t pronounce it,
* We thought that Baguettes were a problem the French needed to deal with.
* Garlic was used to ward off vampires, but never used to flavour food.
* Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.
* Food hygiene was all about washing your hands before meals.
* Campylobacter, Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and Botulism were all called "food poisoning."
* The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties …. elbows.
do you have any memories of the 1950s?
Posted by brizzle born and bred on 2019-08-26 12:58:13
Tagged: , 1950s , UK , Memories of Fifties Britain
The post Memories of Fifties Britain appeared first on Good Info.
How an Indonesian government official won admirers by blowing up boats
By Vincent Bevins, Washington Post, September 5, 2018
RANAI, Indonesia--Two days after Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo welcomed the continent to the Asian Games in August, the most popular member of his government offered the region a very different message. Susi Pudjiastuti, minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, sent 125 boats, mostly from neighboring countries, to the bottom of the sea.
It was the largest mass destruction of vessels linked to illegal fishing since Pudjiastuti entered government in 2014. And Indonesians seem to love her for it.
The explosions that scuttle the ships have become a national spectacle, making Pudjiastuti a wildly popular symbol of Indonesian strength by strictly enforcing nautical borders and adding to her image as one of the nation’s most powerful women.
A total of 488 ships now sleep with the fishes. More will likely join them.
“Our plan was to create a deterrent by blowing up the vessels, publishing the footage, and showing the world we are really serious,” said Pudjiastuti in late August visiting the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea. “Since the return of democracy [in 1998], a lot of things have improved in Indonesia, but nothing had changed when it came to our natural resources. The oligarchy still had control.”
“We had to clean up! That means being uncompromising,” she added, before puffing on a cigarette, smiling, and saying: “I’m nasty.”
Pudjiastuti’s focus is technically to regulate fishing, but she’s keenly aware that these chaotic waters are host to an array of serious issues. There is the fear of Chinese expansionism. There is drug smuggling, human trafficking, and piracy.
And she knows that her hard-charging, devil-may-care reputation has made her a celebrity on social media. Indonesians pass around images of her dancing out in the ocean, sprawled out sleeping at JFK airport in New York, and, of course, blowing up ships.
The president, Jokowi--though respected as a capable, relative moderate in the world’s fourth-most populous country--has not been particularly active in the global arena. Whether intentionally or not, it has often fallen to the famous “Minister Susi” to project strength abroad and fire up feelings of pride in the young, diverse nation spread across more than 15,000 islands.
She’s far more popular than the minister of foreign affairs, or indeed any other cabinet member, according to a survey released last year. This year, another poll indicated she is the most admired woman in the country, and citizens often describe her in epic terms.
“She is truly brave,” said 19-year-old Dali Hermansyah, a native of the Natuna Islands. “Maybe Indonesia has had greater heroes before. But they’re all dead. She is the greatest living Indonesian hero.”
It’s often reported that her beef is primarily with China. But more than half the boats destroyed--276--are from Vietnam, followed by vessels from the Philippines (90), Thailand (50), and Malaysia (41)s. Only one actually flew the Chinese flag, but she says most, if not all, of 26 caught and destroyed flying Indonesian flags were really under Beijing’s control.
Ministry figures assert that the stock of available fish has more than doubled since 2013. Imam Musthofa, head of the World Wildlife Fund’s Seascape and Fisheries program in Eastern Indonesia, says those numbers are exaggerated.
“According to us, that’s not entirely true,” he said, not only because it simply takes longer for fish, especially big ones like tuna, to regenerate.
But he said it’s clear her time in government has been good overall for the environment. “She has the right objectives and the political will, even if execution could be improved with more research.”
Pudjiastuti says they no longer use big explosions to sink the boats, because she has gotten the attention she initially wanted. And she denies that by littering the sea with wreckage, she’s simply creating underwater trash.
“We only sink wood and metal boats, while removing the fiber ones from the water,” she said. “Actually, the iron ships are good for creating future diving sites--they mean new reefs, new homes for fish--and we’ve even gotten requests to drop more near Bali to drive tourism.”
“Fishing makes up around 2, 3 percent of the Indonesian economy, which is still significant because of how big the country is,” said Yose Rizal Damuri, head of the economic department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta. “But support for economic nationalism is Indonesia is very high, especially in extractive industries such as mining and finishing.”
This desire to preserve Indonesian resources for locals, was one of the main drivers of the creation of the nation itself, when Indonesians threw out the Dutch Empire after World War II and then struggled to forge a path independent from the world’s economic powers--including the United States--before falling to decades of dictatorship.
“I just want to keep this spirit alive,” she said.
Scorpion Review (Side A)
Before I get into this review, I’d like to start off by giving you a synopsis of my history with Drake and his music.
Like a lot of Drake fans, I was introduced to Drake’s music when So Far Gone was released early in 2009. I may have heard a few of his songs with Lil Wayne prior to that, but I binge watched a lot of Family Guy and South Park around that time so my memory for most of 2008-2010 is pretty spotty. I really just remember chicken fights and singing pieces of shit (no, I’m not talking about Chris Brown) with random songs sprinkled throughout. Anyway, my point is that if I did hear anything by Drake prior to So Far Gone I didn’t find it compelling enough to skim through the rest of his discography, but So Far Gone was a different beast entirely. The production was incredible; a lot of the beats made me feel as if I was in a dream. Drake’s lyrics were also noteworthy; as a rapper Drake has his flaws, but he has always been a technically proficient rapper who was not afraid to come across as vulnerable, and I have always respected that. That combination is rare today, but it was nearly unheard of back in 2009; at least in the realm of mainstream hip hop. So here we had a lyricist with a great ear for production who was even able to sing pretty well on occasion; I was all in. I went back and downloaded Drake’s two prior mixtapes, Comeback Season, which is still great, and Room For Improvement, which is an interesting listen, but not really all that good, and played both of them dozens of times. For a few months in 2009 I was a full-fledged Drake stan.
However, Drake had slowly started to fall out of my good graces by the time his debut album, Thank Me Later, came out in 2010. In hindsight, I don’t really remember why. Maybe it was the fact that he was singing too much for my taste. I was a stereotypical hip hop head back then. All I wanted were complex punchlines and rhyme schemes over a gritty or soulful beat and I was satisfied. Drake definitely had his fair share of “lyrical miracle” songs, but he also started to venture into R&B territory a bit too much for my liking. For whatever reason, I thought that his music was too “soft” and self-indulgent. I grew up in the suburbs, so I really have no right to call anybody soft, but that’s how I felt at the time. I definitely liked quite a few of the song that Drake was putting out, but I just didn’t view him as the guy who was going to bring “real hip hop” back to the mainstream anymore. On Take Care, which is still probably his best album, Wheelchair Jimmy Champagne Papi The light-skinned Keith Sweat Drake continued to toe the line between rapper and singer, and I was such a hip hop elitist that I dismissed damn near ⅓ of the album because Drake was singing too much. I’ll save my final thoughts on that album for another day, but I certainly didn’t give that album it’s due at the time.
As Drake continued to dominate the radio with inescapable songs, he became harder to hate on. Eventually, I accepted the fact that Drake was no longer
This is fine for an intro, but it’s a bit underwhelming when compared to Drake’s past introductions. He even says that he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself because this is “Just the intro” when on prior opening tracks he has rapped much longer, sometimes for what felt like an eternity, and used the intro to catch us up to speed on what has been going in his life since his last album dropped. Here he mostly treads water, bringing up the Meek Mill and Diddy beefs he was involved in over 3 years ago, although he does seem to take a few shots at Kanye. Anyway, this was pretty good, just not as epic as I was expecting. “My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions” is an all-time great Drake line, though.
I hate this song. The beat is fine, but this is probably the most annoying flow and cadence that Drake has ever used. In the second verse he starts doing this weird thing where he mumble whispers (?) the first half of each bar, then raps the second half in his regular voice, and it’s just terrible. On top of that, the song title isn’t even accurate because I stopped this track at least six times to make sure that this was actually a song by Drake and not something from Lil Overdose’s new album. This might be Drake’s worst song ever.
There was literally no way this song could have been worse than Nonstop, so at least it already had that going for it. This song still isn’t anything special, though. I like this beat a lot, its celebratory and ominous at the same time, I imagine this is the beat Thanos heard once he got all six soul stones and snapped his finger. Unfortunately, Drake didn’t snap on here, so we get a lot of very forgettable lines. Girls seem to love that line about God playing favorites, though.
After giving Drake a pretty mundane beat for Survival, No I.D completely redeems himself here by giving Drake one of the best beats of his career; it’s so soulful. Drake uses the first verse to take more shots at Kanye and Pusha T, and uses the second verse to make excuses about why we didn’t know he had a son until Pusha played detective. Props to him for calling out the people who take dozens of pictures when they go on vacation for 2 days then post those pictures a month later so they can flex like they’re still vacationing, but what the hell does that have to do with us knowing you have a kid? Your son barely even knows that you exist, so how do you expect him to know about the lives of people on social media? The kid won’t be old enough to even understand what is on a phone for several years. It’s a good line, but it is also really dumb, but this is hip hop, not a thesis defense, so I’ll let it slide. Finally, a song I want to listen to again.
Originally released as part of Drake’s Scary Hours EP, along with another way better song called Diplomatic Immunity, God’s Plan quickly rocketed up the charts and became one of Drake’s most successful songs ever. I like it, I just don’t understand why it was so popular. Drake has released a lot of other singles that I felt were destined to be chart toppers in the past, but for whatever reason this one was way more successful.
This song came out a day after Drake’s Duppy Freestyle, a track that became a bit of a footnote after Pusha T sonned him on The Story of Adidon, but still a good diss in its own right. Duppy got a pretty warm reception when it first dropped, and I think I’m Upset initially suffered because of that. There is a pretty stark contrast between the two songs. Duppy has more of a classic hip hop feel, with more of an old school beat and Drake adopting a quicker flow with a lot of slick punchlines. I’m Upset is very clearly a modern hip hop song, Drake raps over a much slower beat and gives us a lot of lines that are easy to digest and remember, the type of lines you would see under a picture on Instagram, but that isn’t such a bad thing. While this isn’t one of Drake’s best songs by any measure, I do think it’s better than people initially gave it credit for. Ironically, Pusha’s diss track that dropped a few days later makes this song sound better, as a lot of the first verse is clearly about his baby’s mother.
8 out of 10
Drake mentions that he likes to take things from an 8 to a 10, which sounded nice until I remembered that he once rapped about going from 0 to 100 real quick. Now I’m left wondering if he has slowed down and abandoned his more reckless ways now that he has a baby to care for. Anyway, upon first hearing Scorpion, this was one of my favorite songs. However, after listening to Joe Budden’s excellent breakdown of the meaning behind a lot of these lines, I’m beginning to realize that, even though I liked this song, I didn’t really appreciate it as much as I should have. Drake utilizes Boi 1da’s beat to take more shots at Kanye and Pusha T, but a lot of the lines are so subtle that they might fly over your head, and I mean that as a compliment. When he wants to be, Drake really is a lyricist, and he puts that on full display in this song. Listen to Budden’s analysis of the bridge for this song and tell me this man doesn’t care about what he writes. This is my favorite song on this album by a pretty wide margin at this point in time.
Aside from maybe Chance the Rapper, Drake is pretty much the least threatening rapper to have ever lived. Not only does he spend like 40% of his discography crooning or crying to women, but even his public persona is that of an unabashedly a corny guy. He is like the opposite of Doggystyle era Snoop Dogg and that’s completely fine, people love him for it, so why does he always have these random songs in which he transforms into Only Built for Cuban Linx era Raekwon and pretends to be some kind of mob boss? We know you’re not putting hits out on people dude, just chill. Granted, a lot of rap is built on people building up fake personas, but at least they stick to them. Yeah Rick Ross is a liar, but the guy has always stuck to his character. We know so much about Drake’s personal life that it’s hard for me to take any threats that he makes seriously. Anyway, I didn’t mean to rant for so long, this song is ok. I like this beat, but I just don’t think it was well suited for Drake, it seems more like something Migos would have picked.
Can’t Take a Joke
Lmaooooooooooo what is this flow? Maybe this song really is a joke because this weird sing/rap flow actually made me laugh the first time I heard it. Aside from Nonstop, this is pretty easily my least favorite song on the A side. I’ll be skipping this one.
Drake finally got a beat from the legendary DJ Premier and the collaboration doesn’t disappoint, I do wish Preemo had scratched on the hook, though. This isn’t an all-time great Premier beat, but it does the job, and so does Drake. While there are a few pretty weak bars in here, most of the punchlines are on point, so much so that a few of them went over my head on my first listen, and Drake rides the beat well. I wish Drake would rap over beats like these more often, my 3 favorite songs on this side have all featured soulful vocal samples.
Talk It Up
Drake and Jay-Z seem to have thrown subliminal shots at each other several times in their careers, yet Jay seems to be one of Drake’s favorite collaborators (he has appeared on 3 Drake albums, as many as Lil Wayne). Drake has a cute little double entendre about lump sums, but aside from that his verse is pretty forgettable. Jay fairs a little bit better, but not really. It seems like 2010 Jay usually only raps about being a boss or his past as a drug dealer, and on this track he chooses the latter. Jay’s verse is ok, but this pretty easily the weakest of their 3 collaborations, which is a pretty impressive feat given that Jay spent his second verse on Pound Cake interpolating a Rihanna song. This was kind of a waste of a great DJ Paul beat.
Is There More?
Drake asks the same question that I have been asking for the vast majority of this album. I would have sworn that this was a 40 beat, but it was produced by Wallis Lane. This is one of Drake’s better lyrical performances on the album, arguably his best. Drake presents himself as someone who has finally made it, but is now left wondering what else there is to accomplish. However, Drake spends a lot of this song bragging about how successful he is rather than talking about how becoming successful has left him feeling empty, so I wonder what his goal was with this song. The title and the beat suggest that the song would be more introspective, and a few lines in the first verse are, but most of this sounds more like Drake asserting his dominance over the rap game again. Even if the subject matter is a bit confusing, this is not a bad way to end this side.
Trash, this whole side sounds like a bootleg Jon B album. Maybe that’s why he called it side B.
I’m just kidding! I’ll give my thoughts on Side B soon, but that’s a lot more to write and a lot more for you guys to read, so for now I’ll stop here and give you my thoughts on Side A. This isn’t a bad album, but it’s pretty bland. There are a few highlights, most of which feature soul beats, but Drake sounds very uninspired on the majority of this album. He switches up his flow every now and then, but it’s usually to his detriment, and a lot of the punchlines on here are bad or non-existent. Drake has always had an excellent ear for production, and that remains true on this album; there isn’t a bad beat on here, I just think Drake used them wrong or wasn’t suited for them.
Swishes: Emotionless, 8 out of 10, Sandra’s Rose
Bricks: Nonstop, Can’t Take a Joke
Overall, I’d give Side A a 6/10
Why Katy Perry Apologized to Taylor Swift After Years-Long Feud (Exclusive)
Katy Perry recently sent Taylor Swift a literal olive branch after years of feuding with her, and a source tells ET that Perry definitely gave her apology to the "Gorgeous" singer a lot of thought before sending it.
According to the source, Perry was even willing to keep trying if Swift didn't accept it. Of course, Swift did respond kindly to the peace offering as well as Perry's handwritten note, filming a video of it for her Instagram Stories and stating, "This means so much to me."
“Katy planned a very personal, sweet apology and took time to write a kind note in hopes Taylor would see how much she cared about putting this behind them,” the source says. “Katy told friends if Taylor didn't accept this apology, she would keep trying because she is done holding on to the past and wants to be part of the change in today's society. She wants to set a good example for women, so she planned to never give up, if that is what it took."
“Katy hopes they finally can be supportive of each other's music and maybe one day soon even hang out together again," the source adds. "Katy realizes they need to take it one day at a time, but that this is a great start.”
Swift, 28, and Perry, 33, have not so subtly been feuding since 2014, when Swift told Rolling Stonein a revealing tell-all that she had a beef with a fellow pop star, which inspired her hit song, "Bad Blood." Since then, the two have taken numerous shots at one another -- like when Swift put her entire singing catalog on streaming services on June 8, 2017, the day when Perry's Witness album dropped -- as recently as March, when Perry threw a little shade at her on American Idol.
“Katy and Taylor's years of cruel comments about one another in their interviews, their shots at each other on their social media and their full-blown attacks in their music videos, continued to show their one goal -- revenge," the source claims. "In the beginning, both Katy and Taylor were to blame for their digs at one another, but Katy has been trying to make amends for some time. Each attempt by Katy to apologize or show Taylor respect went either unnoticed or worse, ignored.”
“Most of their friends have come to terms with their disdain for one another, but it hasn't made social situations easy for anyone," the source continues. "Their mutual friends often felt obligated to choose ‘Team Taylor’ or ‘Team Katy.'"
But according to the source, Perry has been eager to reconcile with Swift, and has been trying to cut out the negativity in her life.
“She hates that feeling of having bad blood," the source notes. "She often told friends she wanted to end this fight with Taylor, but didn't know how to make that happen. Katy's attempts to apologize through her interviews seemed to have no effect on Taylor. She kept trying to show Taylor she cared and wanted to end this rift, but Taylor wasn't having it."
Although, this time, the message was definitely received.
"Thank you Katy," the text on Swift's video of Perry's gift read, along with pink heart emojis.
Katy Perry sent Taylor an olive branch for the opening night of the reputation Stadium Tour! pic.twitter.com/6GDamcxezI
— Taylor Swift Updates (@TSwiftPR) May 8, 2018
Swift kicked off her Reputation tour on Tuesday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Tuesday, where she made no mention of Perry or the end of their feud. She did, however, open up about her much-publicized drama with Kim Kardashian West.
"A couple of years ago, someone called me a snake on social media and it caught on," she told the audience at one point during her show. "Then a lot of people were calling me a lot of things on social media and I went through some really low times for a while because of it. I went through some times when I didn't know if I was going to get to do this anymore."
"I guess this means I wanted to send a message to you guys, that if someone uses name-calling to bully you on social media, and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn't have to defeat you," she continued. "It can strengthen you instead."
For more on Swift's epic show, including the sweet shout-out she gave to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, watch the video below:
-- Reporting by Adriane Schwartz
Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry: The Complete Timeline of Their Feud
Taylor Swift Kicks Off Her 'Reputation' Tour With an Epic Show -- And a Sly Reference to Kim Kardashian Feud
Katy Perry Sends 'Old Friend' Taylor Swift an Olive Branch to End Longtime Feud
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The Sequel - 827
André Schürrle, Juan Mata, other Chelsea/BVB players, and random awesome OC’s (okay they’re less random now but they’re still pretty awesome)
original epic tale
all chapters of The Sequel
“I just made taco beef and then folded it into a big bowl of liquid cheese. It’s so fucking good.”
“Do you make your own seasoning for the beef or use a packet from the store?”
“I make my own, but it’s pretty much the same. Just without the weird chemicals. Babe, can you bring me another soda?”
“Oh me too, please!”
Christina and Stefanie each held their glasses of ice and lemon up behind them, for André. He made the mistake of getting up from one of the cushy recliners in the theatre in the basement- an invitation to act as the girls’ butler. He’d already been their slave for much of the evening. Christina planned her day around being available to go to Signal Iduna Park with him to watch his team take on Hoffenheim in a direct battle for third in the Bundesliga and a place in the Champions League group stage. Ironically, Marco scored an incredibly offside goal and it was allowed to stand. It was enough to win the game. In return for Christina going with André, he was taking care of the girls during their Kentucky Derby “party”. The two riders wanted to watch hours and hours of the pre-race coverage. André brought them snacks and drinks and took care of putting Lukas to bed, letting the dogs out and in, and feeding himself. It wasn’t so bad. Their elaborate analysis of the Derby contenders, and those running in the races on the undercard, was sort of interesting. The food Christina made in advance was good- particularly the nachos with the aforementioned spicy beef and cheese, and the bourbon glazed chicken wings. The girls were appreciative of his looking after them too. There was a lot of please and thank you, and he got extra smooches.
“Are you sure you don’t want more mint juleps? There’s a little bit of mint left,” he pointed out before taking their glasses. They were both on the enormous beanbag, on their stomachs, with a heavy and sturdy tray in front of them with the platter of nachos and a bowl of salsa, along with the empty little metal tumblers in which he served them Derby-inspired cocktails.
“Maybe later?” his wife asked more than answered. “Bourbon and mint don’t really go with nachos.”
Every year we get through this weekend without buying a racehorse is a good year, the player thought on his way upstairs. He’d listened to the horse crazy women discuss names for a racehorse, the qualities they’d want in a racehorse, their “secret” desires to exercise ride at a track, and how much fun they thought it would be to own a stakes horse. Christina did that every year during the Triple Crown races, or at least the ones when they were in the same place and watched them together. He assumed she thought about the same things on the other years too. May was, traditionally, not a great month for them. They were usually very busy doing separate things. André regretted poking the bear so to speak on Thursday night at Brody’s when he took a jab at his wife in regards to her being home for Lukas’ birthday. She’d teased him about being unsophisticated, or easily impressed, and that sounded like “dumb” to him. It hurt a little and aggravated a lot, so he took a shot at her in return. His hurt a lot more. It ruined the night. Christina retreated into a more demure, quiet version of herself for dessert, the long ride home, and bedtime. On Friday morning it was as if nothing happened, but the footballer knew he made a needless mistake. That was another reason to be helpful for Girls’ Derby Night In. It eased his guilt.
“If all the horses in our barn were Thoroughbreds, who do you think would be the best racing horse?” Stefanie posed as a topic of debate while her coach licked cheese off her thumb.
“Kimi, because he already is more Thoroughbred than the others,” she chuckled. “Or Rio, I guess. He’s always in a hurry. But then again...”
“Dirk. It would be Dirk. Just say it.”
“Yeah, it would. He’s the most competitive, he’s got a stride like a locomotive, stamina for days, and he’s fast. As far as I know, that’s what you want in a racing horse. But Jelly Bean, actually, could be good. He’s sort of built like one, and being batshit crazy has never hindered a racehorse,” Christina laughed heartily. Stefanie wasn’t offended. Everybody knew her gelding was nuts. “Oh, check it out. I would loooooove to have a facility like that.” Her tone turned longing as the American broadcast covered the story of one of the Derby contenders’ injury in the run up to the race. Girvin, the entry of a very young trainer and his retired jockey wife, had a quarter-crack in his hoof, which is pretty easily repaired and is no major drama. It does, however, as the girls knew, require a tiny break from meaningful training, just from a compression and stress perspective. The repair job would hold up better if given time before the hoof expands, slips, contracts, etc. during work. Girvin spent four days swimming instead of running on the track. His pool was a small circular track, indoors, designed specifically for horses. Some of Christina’s show jumping colleagues had similar setups at their stables, or underwater treadmills. Her horses that went to hospitals or clinics for major treatment in the past had used facilities like that, but she never really imagined having them at home. Tom mentioned during the planning process for her new property that they could easily build state of the art rehab and fitness facilities, including a pool, but it was more like a fanciful thing than a serious suggestion.
“Why don’t you?” Stefanie asked bluntly.
“I can’t really get my mind around spending that much money for something I don’t need. I mean...my horses are already among the most fit in the business, and we really have fewer injuries than average. What percent more could having a swimming pool get us? Certainly not enough to justify the cost,” the older rider explained flatly, without emphasis or emotion. That changed as she got to the second part of her answer. “And...I don’t know. I like the idea of doing everything possible to keep my horses feeling good. I want them to be happy, and healthy, and not suffering any for the wear and tear I inflict on them, but also...”
While Christina paused to decide exactly how best to express her feelings, André paused at the bottom of the stairs. He didn’t know what they were talking about, but he recognized strain in his girl’s voice, and the stress of her being careful about what she was saying. The staircase was narrow and walled in, so he could wait there and be completely concealed while he eavesdropped. Whatever she was saying, he wanted to hear it, not interrupt and maybe divert the conversation. It sounds like she’s talking about not knowing if she still wants to compete, again, he thought. It sounds like she’s talking about something she should talk to me about but won’t, which is why we aren’t perfect again yet.
“I think if you take that step- If you go past magnetic blankets and electronic compression wraps and get into swimming, and treadmills, and hyperbaric chambers, that Theraplate thing, and aeromasks...aren’t you kind of pushing past what is normal and natural? Aren’t you treating the horse like a piece of equipment you can just keep trying to enhance and repair? To me that’s not fair to the horse, and it’s almost like cheating. I want to know what he has inside- what he was born with, and what he’s learned- not what I can get out of him artificially. I mean I don’t even use a lot of complicated supplements or do tons of joint injections. I think it would be crazy to have facilities like that- to go from using intelligent nutrition and common sense fitness training complemented with massage, basic acupuncture, some magnets in a blanket, and cold and compression therapy that have been around forever and are just sort of made easier by modern technology to using an AquaTred and a hyperbaric chamber to heal injuries faster. I just don’t like the idea of going that far. That’s too much technology and not enough horsemanship for me.”
Phew. Nothing to worry about there, André concluded. He continued through the little hallway and open door into the theatre room while Stefanie told Christina that she could understand and respect that point of view. It was a relief to him to realize their conversation wasn’t about what his girl wanted from life, or from her career, or anything else significant like that. It was a relief to him to know there wasn’t something on her mind that she felt she could speak to her friend about and not him. He put their drinks down on the tray and moved the julep cups full of melting ice to the stairs, then got settled in his wonderfully human-absorbing microsuede sectional.
“Thanks, babe. Do you want more nachos?” Christina’s leggings-clad butt wiggled when she reached for the soda.
“I still have some. It’s a while until the race. I’m trying to pace myself.”
“Did you pick a horse yet?” She turned around on her elbow and raised her brows expectantly. There was no way she could pass up making a wager against anyone who would take it. Her competitive streak was strong in all circumstances, and horse racing was developed almost expressly for the purpose of betting. In what her partner felt was a foolish and emotional move, she’d selected the horse in the outermost post position, with a lukewarm racing record, and only one eye. His name was “Patch” and he was one of three entries of Calumet, one of the most historic and successful breeding operations in the sport. Their history was less important to her than the fact that their silks were black and yellow, like Borussia Dortmund. Plus, the horse was “super cute”, and his name was “adorable”. The morning line odds on Patch weren’t good. A lot of sentimental money was placed on him throughout the day and that brought his odds down enough to make it look, on the tote board at least, like he could factor in the result.
“Which was the one that you said has a good sire?”
“Lookin At Lee is by Lookin At Lucky, who was a Baffert horse that won the Preakness. Always Dreaming is one of the favorites and he’s by another Baffert horse, Bodemeister, who is by Empire Maker and out of a mare by Storm Cat. Bodemeister was second in the Derby and the Preakness. Empire Maker was second in the Derby and won the Belmont, and the Wood and the Florida Derby. Storm Cat is one of the most popular sires ever even though he only raced twice. His granddad was Secretariat. J Boy’s Echo is by Mineshaft, who won lots of stuff but none of the Triple Crown races. I saw him race at Belmont. What a horse. He was by AP Indy, who is my favorite. He’s the one in the picture from Saratoga that’s in my office. Tapwrit is by Tapit, who if I’m not mistaken is currently the most successful sire ever in terms of money earned by his offspring. His own racing career was meh. Irish War Cry is by Curlin, who is also super important. He has Deputy Minister two rows back. He was third in the Derby, first in the Preakness, second in the Belmont, and then won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeder’s Cup Classic, the Dubai World Cup, the Jockey Club Gold Cup again, and then retired after coming like fourth in his second Breeders’ Cup Classic.”
“How the fuck do you have space in your head for all of that?” André asked, distraught. I thought I was asking for a simple answer, like one horse and maybe the place in the Triple Crown that the sire came. She doesn’t even care about racing. She knows more about things she doesn’t care about than I know about things I care deeply about. HOW DOES SHE DO THAT? There were a lot of things about Christina that made her partner personally jealous, and few did so as significantly as her memory for detail.
“I dunno,” she shrugged, turning back to the screen. “If I read something, it goes on my hard drive. And most of the time I went to the track with my dad. I didn’t do a lot of things with my dad. Those days stand out,” she finished, her voice trailing off.
“Wait, didn’t you tell me about another one whose sire you saw race?” Stefanie complained. She hadn’t settled on a contender yet either.
“Real Quiet is the grandsire of Sonneteer, one of the other Calumet horses. He was another Baffert horse. Actually he might have been like one of his first big time horses that made him famous. It was...98 I think? He won the Derby and the Preakness and then came up short in the Belmont. I was there. Everyone thought he would do it. He was super cute too. Yeah! He was the second big Baffert horse, because Silver Charm was in 97. He did the same- first in the Derby and Preakness, and then couldn’t win the Belmont. It was déjà vu for everybody at Belmont with Real Quiet. My dad bet on them both twice, so that we’d have the Autotote slip if the horse won the Triple Crown but could still cash in too, though I don’t know why that mattered. They both went off at even money, more or less. I still have them somewhere,” Christina added, staring at the enormous screen. They were really too close to it, but the girls had been listening more than watching anyway.
“Okay well which one of those you just talked about would you say is the best?”
“I don’t know. Hence has AP Indy blood too. He’s the third Calumet entry.”
“Ugh,” the footballer groaned in frustration. “You find something of note about every horse in the race!”
“Well they don’t get to the Derby by being un-noteworthy, boyfriend.”
“I’m taking Always Dreaming, because I like his name, you said his trainer is very good, and he won his last two races,” Stefanie confidently declared before downing a whole beef and cheese covered nacho. She was pretty much the only person in Dortmund that Christina ever felt like hanging out with besides André and Espen, in terms of adults. There was no regular sharing of deep and significant thoughts and feelings between them, but they could have fun together, and they could relate on many levels. Being able to stuff her face in leggings and a sports bra and talk about horses and Derby hats was just better with a girlfriend who also rides, as opposed to doing it with André, who couldn’t care less and simply humored her because he was nice.
“I want the one who looks like Dirk, but you said he’s not competitive,” André commented while poking the sole of her foot with his big toe.
“She’s never won a race, but that doesn’t mean she can’t do it,” the one who believed in horses more than people replied. “She has Tapit in her pedigree too, and Storm Cat. Tapit’s grandsire is AP Indy by the way, and did I mention that AP Indy was by Seattle Slew? You guys have heard of Seattle Slew, right? And his dam was by Secretariat. They bred him to a mare by Mr. Prospector, who was by Raise A Native, and they had Pulpit, who was big on his own. Then they bred Pulpit to a mare by Unbridled, who also had Mr. Prospector blood, and out of a mare by Nijinsky, who was by Northern Dancer, who-“
“All right stop. You’re just showing off now, or making this up.” Her favorite blonde poked harder at her foot and wished he had something to throw at her. He had trouble remembering the names of the humans that far back in his own pedigree. “I’ll take the girl horse. I’m trapped in Girls’ Night right now, so it’s fitting.”
“Oh like you have something better to do right now.”
“I could be out with the guys. They’re celebrating a little.”
Oh. I didn’t know that, Christina thought apologetically to herself. I didn’t know he chose to hang with us and bring us drinks. That’s extra nice of him. I was already trying to be nice to him for being nice, but I guess I should be extra nice too. Though I don’t know why everything is so transactional with us now. It’s been that way for so long. We make concessions for each other on a one for one basis. It used to be different.
“What’s the girl horse’s name again?” André questioned.
“Untrapped,” Stefanie supplied. “Even more fitting for you since you said you’re trapped in Girls’ Night, yeah?”
“I think Chris’ horse is going to do it,” he said with a smile that was a little fake. He poked softly and repeatedly at his girl’s foot again too, feeling like he needed to make up for saying he could have gone out. Her silence made him think of that as another misstep, like what he said at Brody’s. And he really hated that he had to think so much about individual responses. That too was different. It wasn’t always like that. He didn’t like needing to be hyperaware, or feeling like a lot rested on small interactions. Their relationship used to be effortless. “The world needs a happy story right now. What could be happier than a one-eyed horse winning from the outside?”
“Why haven’t the commentators discussed which horses are best in muddy conditions? That seems like a big deal. Don’t they usually address that? It’s so muddy there.” Stefanie was oblivious to anything happening below the surface of the conversation.
“The Churchill surface is really good. It doesn’t necessarily race as sloppy as it looks, and also this Derby field is such low quality across the board that it might not really matter. I think nobody has any idea who’s gonna win,” the American said. The horses and their connections were beginning to make the walk from the backside to the paddock, and it was the first chance to see the contenders live and up close outside of their stalls. Christina tried to study each one the way she did when she was at the track, believing she could see a special something, or even spot flaws. Sometimes she didn’t like the way a horse walked. Sometimes she loved the look in the eye. It could change her betting strategy. “They’ve really steered away from serious technical analysis this year, or they confined it to the coverage they do earlier on the sports channel instead of putting it on the main network part. Maybe they don’t want to make it about betting. Wait, see? Figures Donna Brothers would be the one to bring some perspective here. She just said she’s going with Classic Empire because he’s the only one who’s won on a sloppy track. I love her. Did you know the horse she usually rides out there to interview the winning jockey on the way back after the race is actually Bob Baffert’s? She borrows the horse he rides during the morning workouts.”
“No, I didn’t know that.” The younger German rolled her eyes. “How would I know that?”
“Well I mean some people deduce it because Bob’s horses always have the blue fuzzy on their nosebands and the horse she rides has it too...”
“What? Okay fine.”
“You guys should have a race,” the non-rider in the room suggested. “With Kyle. You could do it on the tractor path, couldn’t you? The whole point of doing the bluestone dust instead of the gravel was to make it so you could ride on it, yeah?”
“Not exactly. I didn’t mean to ride on it like ride, ride. I wanted that because walking on gravel is kinda not brilliant on the way to the ring. We pick out their feet before we ride to make sure there’s nothing in there to cause problems. To then go walk on little gravel would be stupid. I don’t know that I want to go galloping on the path though. I wish we had grass. I really miss galloping out. So does Calvin.”
“What happened to asking the neighbors if we could ride over and use their empty field?” Stefanie chimed in before her coach could become too melancholy over the limitations of her property. André was glad for that too. He was still really unhappy about it. He hated that there was an oversight that meant a significant change in her training plans.
“I haven’t gotten around to it.”
“Why don’t we go talk to them tomorrow? I can’t imagine any German horse people telling you no. You don’t say no to the woman trying to win Olympic medals for you in a couple months when she stops by to ask if she can ride on your empty grass. Especially if you bring them nachos.” Stefanie gobbled another loaded chip and looked momentarily panicked when some of the cheesy mixture fell under her chin. There was a paper towel there to catch it.
“You know what?” Christina asked, as a total non sequitur. “The 7 looks more like Dirk than Untrapped. Which one is the 7?”
“Girvin. He’s the one trained by the husband of the lady jockey,” Stefanie supplied. “I think Sonneteer is the closest to Dirk. He’s the only true black. The rest are just dark bay.”
“Thank god the color of the coat determines performance. Really makes this easy,” André joked while he picked up his personal plate of nachos. They’re about to go into serious horse talk here, he reminded himself as the post parade began. The riders were up and the horses were out on the track. The camera got up close to each one and gave viewers a really good look at how they were moving and how they were behaving. Some looked unbothered by the six-figure crowd. Other were pumped and jigged around the way Rio always did immediately before and after jumping. A few were held tight by their pony riders, and a few trotted out alone. The girls would get into the nitty gritty and talk about things like the slope of a horse’s croup, and he didn’t even know what a croup was so it didn’t matter to him. I like the look of McKracken. He seems like a good guy, the player thought. Very chilled out and relaxed like this is no big deal and he’s got it. What did anybody say about that one? I can’t remember. Even if I paid attention, I probably still wouldn’t remember.
I know Chris hasn’t said anything lately about being unsure of what she wants from her riding, or if it really matters to her, or if she wants to keep doing it on the same level, but I know she’s still thinking about it. I see it in ebbs and flows. That’s the phrase, right? Sometimes she goes on and on about training, about every little thing, and it excites her just to speak about it, and other times she sounds almost resentful about the amount of time it takes and the hassle of traveling to competitions. But how can anybody who loves horses as much as she does- and loves them in the context of competing in particular- ever consider giving it up or scaling it back? Racing doesn’t even matter to her and she has all that information learned because it’s a horse thing and she wanted to know about it at some point. She has the drive to know things. Horses battling other horses to show what they’ve got inside is like the most important thing to her, like she was just saying when I came down. There has to be a way to balance that with everything else so that she enjoys her career more than she resents it. There has to be a way back to that. It used to be okay. It’s getting better. I wish I knew for sure that the reason we still have problems between us is that she hasn’t found the balance, and not that the reason she hasn’t found the balance is that we have problems. I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg, let alone which came first. I lie to her when I tell her I know for sure that it’s the horse situation she needs to fix first so that we can be perfect again. It could be that we’re on track to be that way and that it just takes time- that there’s nothing else we need to do- but I don’t want to wait. How long can it take? The problem was made over almost a whole year. Could it take that long to fix it?
“Great, my horse is last except for the one who pulled up at the start,” Christina groaned a few seconds after the 20-horse field broke from the gate. There was a three-way battle at the front between Always Dreaming, Irish War Cry, and Battle Of Midway. No one spoke as the field moved down the backstretch, and there was no clear leader by the time they turned for home.
“I’m going to win!” Stefanie said gleefully when her horse, Always Dreaming, finally started to look in control. The rest of the pack shifted some, and there was a horse in black and yellow closing fast but Christina couldn’t tell if it was her horse or one of the other two Calumet colts. In the end it was a near wire-to-wire victory for Always Dreaming, the only horse who wasn’t covered in mud. Lookin At Lee finished second, and Battle Of Midway third. Neither of them were ones that the girls talked about a lot, but the winner was among what they considered the class of the field, even though they said that class was far from the quality of horses entered in other years. The win wouldn’t pay much. Place and show would pay quite nicely.
“I wish they’d show the full finishing order,” Christina lamented. “I wanna know where my Patch pony ended up. And also what happened to the Godolphin horse that stopped. I couldn’t tell if he was injured or just having some kind of hissy fit. Usually they tell you. I haven’t seen any ambulance or anything. Actually, what would have happened if the horse totally broke down right there? It was before the finish line. Would they stop the race since it would otherwise be in the way when they come back around? I’m surprised that’s never happened.”
“You each owe me €20.” Stefanie sat up and held her hand out. Her hosts said they’d pay her later. André picked up his phone to try to find the full result for Christina, and Christina breathed a sigh of relief when the commentators said Thunder Snow, the horse who pulled up, appeared to be fine. She got to watch the start again, from in front of the gates, and saw that her horse broke badly and was hampered from the get go. He finished 14th. Untrapped came 12th. The TV beat the footballer to showing the information, but Christina got up and came to him anyway. She needed to stretch first, and then lifted the armrest out of the way so she could sit next to him on the comfy sectional and lean over on his arm. The other equestrian was busy texting or tweeting about her victory.
“Which horse did you really think would win, pretty girl?” André asked in a quiet, just-between-them way. He was sure Patch was a sentimental choice.
“I dunno. I really didn’t think about it,” she yawned. “Like the TV people, I just wasn’t that in to breaking down the past performances this year. There wasn’t a lot to go on anyway.”
“Yeah. Bed soon. I want to get started at the regular time tomorrow so I can watch Arsenal and United. No staying in bed half the day.”
“Mkay. It’s almost 1, so...”
The unspoken point was that it was time for Stefanie to go home, and she was ready anyway. She helped take plates and cups upstairs, verified the barn agenda for Sunday, and said goodnight. André was ready for sleep, and Christina was ready to snuggle and try to sleep.