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Friday, May 31, 2019 - 20:31 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert

Fingers & Wicks

I'm torn as to whether a spoiler warning is really required for John Wick 3, frankly. You know the guy - lethal with guns, but any sharp object will do in a pinch (don't let him borrow your pencil). Parabellum doesn't deviate from that formula, but starts him off gently against a basketball giant, in unmistakable homage to Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Persona non grata amongst the criminal underworld after having violated Holy Ground à la Highlander regulations in the last instalment, Wick goes on to espouse an admirable dedication to ethnic diversity, by brutally slaughtering a bunch of Chinese gangsters in an antique store, before moving on to Caucasian/Hispanic generic toughs in a stable.

At its heart, however, the John Wick series exists as the greatest tribute to man/dog love since Lassie. Guy gets home-burgled, that's one thing. Vintage ride got stolen? Shrug, this ain't Fast & Furious, and ya gotta take the lows with the highs in da hood. But they shot his puppy?

One implacable murder machine coming, stat.

Our brave Pup Avenger soon finds the going too hot for him, which feeds into his backstory reveal - he's a Belarusian orphan, who happens to have one last ticket to call in from home. He expends it for a boat to Casablanca, where he catches up with an old flame and fellow K-9 admirer, who agrees to arrange a meet-up with her nominal boss, after some cashing-in of blood-oaths. The Master of the Mint dispenses some sage advice (follow the Little Dog star - sure, real subtle there), before shooting one of his visitor's dogs, after being refused it as a gift. Bring back any memories?

Yeah, wasn't a smart move. Much shooty-stabby and groin-gnawing ensues, after which Wick gets dumped in the desert to seek out The Elder, who seems to be the biggest boss of it all. Back in New York, the High Table has sent a suitably-androgynous Adjudicator to express their displeasure at Wick's continued survival (but really, a US$14 million bounty's on the low side for such a legend), and she duly recruits the nearest sushi shop to her cause. Of course, they're all ninjas, and Wick's adoptive mum gets literally stigmatized for her pains. Wick's past acquaintances don't get off easy either, with both Winston and the Bowery King given a week to retire.

The Japanese influence begins to seriously sink in now, as Wick is requested by The Elder to chop a finger off as penance. It soon transpires that the Adjudicator had made a serious miscalculation: she had basically hired the John Wick fan club to kill him. Head sushi chef tries to cozy up with Wick in the Continental, and all but asks him for an autograph. His main underlings have, like, two or three clear openings to slice Wick apart or headstomp him in the following gauntlet, but desist, probably out of fear on what head sushi chef would do to them if they stole his date. A slightly-embarrassed Wick has the decency to spare them in due course, and the final showdown ends with chef fanboy demonstrating proper seppuku form. That's some impressive plot armour going on there.

Well, one doesn't watch John Wick for the realism, so I'll probably be back for the fourth movie (scheduled for two years hence). Myself, I'm pumped for Ip Man 4 next. It's been plagued by the same powercreep problems; our Wing Chun master started out with some no-name Japanese soldier in the first film, went on to a British brawler in the second, and then throws down with freakin' Iron Mike Tyson in the third. It was always gonna be hard to top that - who could they bring in? Dave Bautista? Dwayne Johnson? Captain Marvel?

As it turned out, the producers exceeded all my expectations.

It's Ip Man versus FLAMING GROOT
(Original source: r/movies)

Chart Wicks

Thousand-buck swings
(Source: bitcoinwisdom.io)

The Bitcoin price chart candlesticks and wicks have been burgeoning recently, with the meme US$9000 level again breached yesterday, before immediately creashing back down to US$8000. Mayhaps a little earlier than I had expected, but with Malaysia the latest to propose a return to gold, the case for crypto might be getting more compelling...

Finger Fun

John Wick might have lost a finger, but on the bright side, at least it might save him from being banned for life from stadiums. Yes, that's exactly what the Chicago Cubs did, after one of their fans went all okie-dokie on live television; for that, he might as well have flipped the bird - heck, he probably would have gotten off lighter with that.

The magnificent 4chan trolls are probably rolling on the floor laughing at how their OK sign prank succeeded beyond their wildest imaginings, as they associated a previously-innocuous hand gesture with white supremacy through some cleverly-positioned social media campaigning, amply aided (as they had expected) by the PC outrage mob:

One doesn't achieve this level of trolling without much practice
(Source: twitter.com)

Emboldened by their flawless victory, said glorious trolls are targeting the Twitter hashtag next; having dubbed it the Fashtag with a convincing reconstruction of its fascist origins, the Internet's greatest troll machine is currently working its MEME MAGIC, with Twitter shareholders at their absolute mercy. But why stop there? Indeed, there have also been rumblings of WP in Trudeau's yoga pose (the arms form the W, and the legs the P, you can't unsee it), as well as the double V for Victory sign (they obviously come together to form a W). No pointing or knife-handing either, because they reference the 14 Words.

Who knew having fingers could be so complicated?

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