All the honors that you’ve won in the past can’t buy you a drink at any bar in this country. @NoContextFlair, the twitter home for clips from wrestler Ric Flair’s history offered out of context, recently shared a famous promo from just after when Ric Flair stunningly lost NWA Wrestling’s Championship in 1987.
There’s some more ‘dueling wrestling leagues’ history as to why he lost to the 42 year old Ronnie Garvin at that time, but what caught my eye is the respectful, almost classical oratory that Flair employs. I’ve come to think of these promos as just goofy, maniacal attacks on opponents but watching this one out of context years later really impressed me. He’s not telling his opponent he’s garbage; he’s elevating him. He’s not suggesting that the match was bullshit, or that he cheated to win; he suggests that it was an entirely fair fight. Though it comes from someone who was known as the ultimate in ego and flamboyance, it comes across as surprisingly thoughtful.
Particularly at a time when so many sound bites from the cable news networks and the halls of congress are little more than glorified wrestling promos, I was really impressed with the quality of argumentation from this 1987 wrestling promo. You’ll see it embedded in two parts below, and then I’ve decided to sort of flow the key points just below that into my own original summary, so you can easily see what I mean.
Ric Flair’s Epistle to Ronnie Garvin, by Dave Coustan:
To you in the audience, I’m still the same guy, I’m still confident and boastful, I’m not emotionally defeated in the least. And I know that my victories from the past are worthless in the present. I’m only as good as my next performance.
I will be brief. To my opponent, you accomplished the hardest thing across our entire disclipine and all of those disciplines in any way related to it. I speak from experience, having done it myself four times.
I swear to you now that I will do it again, because I know the spoils and acclaim that flow from it. I know them so well that I think of them as part of the normal state of my life. I have come to expect them.
Therefore, my opponent, as I have said to the public already, it is plain to see that you have attained the peak of the sport through three marks: the caliber of your manager, the opportunity you have earned to compete for the championship , and your victory over the repeat champion incumbent, me.
So what’s next? Well, my worthy opponent, you are in the unenviable position of being the one who all the top talent are aiming to defeat now. You have an immense amount of pressure on you to keep performing perfectly. That pressure and stress is the flip side to all of those accolades and spoils.
In my experience, it takes a great toll on your sleep and peace of mind. You might become obsessed with worrying about all of the possible ways your opponents and their allies might scheme to beat you or cause physical injury to come to you. I’ve been there, and it’s intense.
In closing, I’ll leave you with two thoughts. First, I will continue to succeed in this sport because I am expected to. And second, my lavish and brash champion’s lifestyle continues on even though I have lost the match and the belt for now.
A Crocupine? Click in to this short thread to watch something go from an original idea to an actual thing in less than a month:
The return of Pass the Paddle. Look, we don’t have to always look to the current generation of tools and platforms to find good things to make. We can look back at features and rituals that were lost from earlier tools and platforms, and figure out how to graft them on to what we have now. I think this is becoming a recurring category in the bananas.
I am so excited about Telemelt!
This is a new web application made by Andy Reitano that allows you to play one player video games (or lots of other things) by taking turns and passing control from one person to the other, across geographies with no network latency. From the site: “Designed to be lowest hassle way to play emulated games with a friend or loved one, even if they are not tech savvy!”
I learned to call this style of play “pass the paddle” from my friends and co-workers Tom and Robert back in the HowStuffWorks/Stuffo days, but it is a cultural practice that goes back really far in video game history, at least as a part of console play. You might do it collaboratively to take turns trying to beat a really hard level, or just to keep a game going after one person got bored and wanted to watch for a while. It was also a mainstay of certain kinds of parties event before the advent of formal WarioWare. Andy Reitano, Telemelt’s creator, expertly sniffed out this gap in easy game play possibilities, particularly “in these times:”
“Gathering around a TV and collectively attempting to beat a game has been a consistent joy throughout my life, and is one of the rituals I miss the most with the ones we’re separated from right now. I wanted to create a way to play single player/hotseat games with friends remotely that was free and required minimal setup. Netplay has always been unsatisfying for this, since only the host had low enough latency for games that require tight timing. I started this project in March, and have been pouring my heart into it every day possible since then.”
Reitano even furnished a really thoughtful list of ways you might use this platform:
“Minigame collections (player transfer system is fast enough to keep up with switching on every stage)
Practice for a week then hold live olympic games (world/winter/summer/california games etc)
Live sound test or NSF/VGM listening party
Homebrews, hacks, and live demoparties (with live reactions)
Golf / bowling / fishing games to chill
Create music collaboratively in LSDJ/NTRQ
Painting games (mouse support!)
Grind through an rpg over a few weeks (savestates work great for this!)
Alternate copiloting an game no one has played before on gamefaqs
Hotseat tactical / turn based games
Teach a friend to speedrun with the ability to demonstrate and practice together”
Watching this animated history of music format market share, it’s impossible to watch the rise of vinyl and then cd’s and what happened after, and not see streaming about to be disrupted by something we haven’t necessarily seen yet.
Watch grown-ass French people in a snowball fight destroy a cyclist, in 1896:
Those are the bananas I found for you today. You can hit “reply” and it will go only to me. Thank you.