Friday, January 11, 2008

Gladiating, American Style


So as a pre-teen, I was a complete fucking loser.

I read X-Men comics. I wore track pants every day of the week. I had a mushroom cut. Yeah... not exactly a taste maker.

And of course, I watched American Gladiators...

Yes, American Gladiators. The seminal ass-kick-athon that served as the ultimate zeitgeist of the late 80's/early 90's. It was a show where the men and women looked virtually indistinguishable - with 'roidly ripped delts and impeccably styled mullets/mullettes as far as the eye could see - and I'm pretty sure there was a strict rule in place that no other fabric except spandex was allowed on the premises.

It was glorious: hulks named shit like Turbo, Nitro, Gemini, Viper and the unarguably hottest bitch alive, Malibu (pictured in all his glory to the left, to the left) and she hulks named shit like Ice, Siren, Flame, Elektra and my persona all-time fave, the dark and lovely Blaze.

They would take on mere mortal athletes in a whole whack of sensational challenges mainly involving Nerf-coated instruments - there was a lot of foam padding is what I'm saying - such as:

- Joust... which saw the competitors take on a Gladiator atop narrow pedestals armed with over sized Q-Tips in hopes to knock each other off.

- Gauntlet... in which a competitor tried to get from Point A to Point B despite several Gladiators (equipped with foam instruments of destruction, natch) standing in their way.

- Powerball... which had the competitors trying to dunk Nerf balls into baskets amidst being mauled by the Gladiators...

- The Wall... which is pretty self-explanatory... they fucking climbed up a wall and the Gladiators chased them...

And my personal favourite,

- Hang Tough... and obvious nod to the New Kids On The Block, who were quite popular at the time, the competitors needed to get from Point A to Point B VIA SWINGING ON RINGS with the Gladiators chasing them. I fucking loved that one!

Of course this all culminated in the final event - THE ELIMINATOR - which was an arduous test of strength and will with too many obstacles to mention. I do remember that the final thing was this treadmill on a substantial incline that was right before the finish line and the fuckers would be so tired from climbing walls and manouvering the 'arm-bike' that some of them would collapse... OH! And one time there was this chick who landed wrong after using the zip-line - you were supposed to land on your butt, and she landed on her knees - and she completely broke her legs! It was NUTS!

Anyballs... My interest was piqued, to say the least, when I heard that NBC was bringing American Gladiators back. Although I totally grimace at the cheesiness of it all, I still find this shit terribly exciting. And with the absolute void of shit to watch right now what with the writer's strike, it's sure to turn into destination viewing for me. Which is so terribly sad. Shit.

Anyway... GUESS WHAT ELSE IS MAKING A COMEBACK?! Bitch I Love AND Hate... only I'm going to make them into weekly installments from now on...



Who: Resident she-hulk on NBC's smash-hit revival of "American Gladiators"!!! Born Robin Coleman, she's 6'1" (roughly my height) and 203 lbs (roughly my weight) and an utter ass-kicking machine. She frequently appears as the final Gladiator that the competitors need to face in Gauntlet, based on, y'know, the fact that she's a fucking WALL of a human being.

Why I Love Her: Because she is the most unbelievably bad-assed individual in the world, severity that is punctuated with the fact that "Hell" is IN HER NAME! Holy cow!



Who: Umm, yeah. Google it.

Why I Hate Her: Okay, here's the deal. She's mentally ill. We're effectively watching a mentally ill person with a reported monthly income of $700,000 trapse around the globe doing whatever cacamamy things she wants. I'm surprised she hasn't gone hot-air balooning yet. That's totally next.

I'm just so sick of all the coverage of her. I just subconsciously skip past it now - like people who live near train tracks learn to phase out the noise. Gah.

If this was the golden age of Hollywood, Britney would have been lobotomized a-la Frances Farmer by the powers that be at her record label. For real. Anyway. Sick of it. I'm just sick of the shit... onto brighter topics...


Bonnie Tyler is no doubt best known for her raspy pipes and songs such as "Holding Out For A Hero", "It's A Heartache" and of course, "Total Eclipse Of The Heart".

I don't even know how I found it, but I did... here's a version of her taking on "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls.

In a word: epic.

Download/Listen to it HERE!

Peace out,

--- Aj