WWE Wrestling is Surprisingly Diverse

Last year a friend of mine introduced me to the strange theatrical world of WWE wrestling. At first, I only went twice a week to hang out with friends and enjoy some down time. As time went on though, I began to get curious about the wrestling moves and the odd story lines. My friend has been watching since he was young and knows just about everything there is to know about the WWE universe so he tried his best to fill me in. Let me tell you, there are some strange happenings in this sport. There was the time that Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE company, and his son Shane McMahon had a tag team match with The Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels and his partner the Lord. You read that right, there was a legit WWE tag team match where one of the contenders was God, when God came out there was just a spot light that ran down the ramp to the ring, one of the funniest things I have ever seen. The Undertaker, one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, is essentially an undead wizard! Randy Orton, another popular wrestler, burned down the house of an opponent with the corpse of his dead sister inside. You cannot make these things up! I went to a couple of live shows, and it is amazing to see these people do acrobatics in real life, I don’t know how they can jump off the top rope and not actually hurt the other person. They also are super good with the children that come to watch the shows. Once they brought a little kid into the ring to hold the belt, it was so cute. With the strange drama aside, this sport is surprisingly diverse. The Smackdown tag team champions at the moment are a pair of Samoan Brothers, the tag team champs on Raw are two immigrants, one from Ireland and one from Sweden. The women’s division has a multitude of women of color. Alicia Fox, Sasha Banks, and Naomi are all black women who have held championship belts. Asuka is an undefeated female wrestler from Japan who is still learning English. The men’s division is no different with wrestlers from many different countries and of all races. There are guys from, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, and people of color from all over the U.S.. So if anyone is looking for a fun live event that has athleticism and some theatrical drama, I highly recommend tuning in to Raw or Smackdown next week.

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Documentary Series Worth Watching

I recently finished watching a Netflix original show “False Confessions”, the show covers certain cases that involve false admissions, delving deep into the cases. As a psychology/sociology major this was very interesting to me and I really recommend it to anyone who is having trouble finding something to watch. I wanted to know more about this topic so, I decided to do some of my own research about false confessions and found that it is more common than we think.

Almost anyone can be forced to confess under the right circumstances, many people who make false admissions have been interrogated for over 10 hours and have been lied to by police.  Some cases even include DNA evidence that excludes the person who confessed, and they are still are found guilty and convicted. Mock Jury studies have shown that, to a jury, a confession holds more merit than eye witness testimony and DNA evidence and: “that people do not adequately discount confessions–even when they were retracted and perceived to have been coerced by police when jurors were told that the confessor suffered from psychological illness or interrogation-induced stress, and when the confession was provided not by the defendant him- or herself but by an informant who was incentivized to falsely implicate the defendant. This broad-based reliance on confession evidence at trial afflicts not only lay juries but judges as well.”

So why do juries vote to convict even when DNA evidence contradicts a confession? There are a couple theories as to why this happens.  One is truth bias, the idea that people generally tend to trust self-report regardless of contradicting evidence or the accuracy of the self-report. Jurors are more likely to believe admittance of guilt than their denial of guilt. Another theory to why juries convict despite contradicting evidence is that, a lot of the time, false confessions contain cues that are associated with telling the truth. For example, the confessions often have sensory elements, she said this, it felt like this, etc. They often also express remorse for the crime and have vivid details of the crime. These elements increase guilty verdicts.

Re-watching Doctor Who

Re-watching Doctor who has been an interesting experience for me, I really enjoyed watching it as a middle schooler and a little bit into high school. I have not really kept up with it in recent years, but re-watching I have found a couple problems as I am thinking deeply about the episodes. Recently, I have been getting bored of the episodes at times they seem to be so repetitive. Some episodes seem to really follow a formula of something weird is going on, Doctor and companion show up, its some sort of alien, Doctor figures out how to fix the problem. This formula gets boring when it is repeated over and over again. I also tend to to find plot holes and things that don’t always make total sense to me. For example when the weeping angels are just chilling out they can’t look at each other ever, that would be so confusing and weird. How do they communicate? How do they reproduce? If they are on a planet full of them then how do they get around if it is busy, someone is always going to be looking at them even if not on purpose.

In re-watching the show, I do enjoy a couple of things, one being seeing the villains that I really like. For example, the Daleks are my favorite, so whenever there is an episode with the Daleks in it I get excited and enjoy the episode. I like how they talk to each other, they have a passive aggressive way of talking that can be really funny. I like the weeping angels, they genuinely scare me. The part in an episode where Amy looks at a video clip of an angel and she gets dust coming out of her eye and it becomes real, that is super freaky to me. The angels are a good example of a villain done well, they are super unique, and they are scary. I look forward to the newest season and seeing what they are going to do with a female doctor.

Why Captain Jack Harkness is Such a Big Deal.

The character of Captain Jack Harkness has been a fan favorite since his debut in the episode “The Empty Child”. With his wit and flirty nature, he won the hearts of fans. So much so that he got his own spin off show, “Torchwood” in 2006 and ran until 2011, directed by none other than Russel T. Davies. The show got mixed reviews in the early showings, but soon became a fan favorite and moved up from BBC 3 to BBC 1. Even earning itself a comic series, multiple novels, and two audio dramas. In all of which, the coy captain and his small team of investigators explore and solve cases involving the extraterrestrial and human alike. Unlike Doctor Who, Torchwood is aimed at an older audience. Exploring sexuality and other adult themes throughout the series. Creating a larger audience and giving the writers more freedom.

So why is Jack such a big deal? For one he is one of the only openly LGBT characters on the show. Although we never get a true label it is obvious that Captain Jack Harkness is interested in more than just human women. On more than one occasion we see him flirting with men and women of both the same and a different species. So why do we care? While media is getting better at including gay and lesbian characters, they often times fail to include bisexual and characters that prefer not to be labeled. Therefore, the inclusion of his undefined sexuality is important to those who are questioning their sexuality and to those who already have it all figured out. As a viewer, it was very refreshing to see a character what wasn’t just gay or straight. It is important to represent those who are bisexual and don’t always see characters that they identify with on television. LGBT youth are more likely to be bullied and commit suicide. Representation matters.

 

Diversity of American Accents

In class we discussed the different accent stereotypes in the UK, and how they can determine an immense amount about a person. For instance someone with a more middle or working class accent is usually considered poor or stupid. Although some people who are upperclass are proud to have a working class accent because it means they came from humble beginnings. In the United States, our perception of people’s economic class are not so much based on how someone speaks. Although we do tend to make assumptions about people’s attitudes based on accents.

One example of a well known American accent is from the land of one thousand lakes. The Minnesotan accent is one that we have quite a lot of at Wartburg. We all recognize the rounded “O” sound. People with the accent are perceived as silly and friendly. I always tend to think of the classic Minnesota expression “Oh dont cha’ know!”, although I have never heard anyone from Minnesota say that. Minnesota’s neighbor Wisconsin also has quite a famous accent. Ask someone from Wisconsin what day it is and they will say “Thursday” like, “Thursdee”, they also pronounce “Wash” like “Warsh”. People from these two states also call casseroles “hot dishes”, this is something that has been wildly debated among my friends.

Southern accents also carry stereotypes with them. One of which being they they are dumb because they talk slower that people in the midwest. Doesn’t matter which southern state your are from, be it Texas, Alabama, or even southern California, people just talk slower. One of my roommates is from Arizona and we often have to really egg her on to get her to finish what she is saying without taking longer than if one of us (native Iowans) were to say the exact same thing. This doesn’t mean she is dumb, she just has a drawl when she talks. Being from a southern state she also calls “pop”, “soda”, and “y’all” instead of “you guys”. We will tease her sometimes, but ultimately it is our differences that make people, as a whole, better.