Our way in…
Your way out…
The ocean is vast, and though it is filled with predators, we minnows outnumber the sharks a billion to one. It is to my dismay that no one has taken initiative sooner. Does no one see? Is the simplicity of our design not cracking the watershed? We must converge to take on the Upper Hand. We must seize what precious moments remain and raze the establishment, before the walls start caving in.
And so it is; that what must be done is left up to us—the incomplete. I understand what fear is. You must conquer yourself before you can conquer the world. And with a thousand pound weight on your shoulders, the fight is lost sight of; it takes a back seat to survival. You must shed that burden pound by pound, sin by sin, and remember that the only forgiveness you need is from yourself. God doesn’t care about you. Ring of Honor doesn’t care about you. Each institution molds your brain like putty, giving you “freedom” to be and to think as you wish. But the truth is not that. Listen close.
The truth is that every decision you make has already been made for you by enterprises like Ring of Honor. They dictate to you, and you turn a blind eye. Well, an era of transformation is upon you, my friend. Project 161 is here to open your eyes, clarify your vision, and reignite your intellect. We’re here to save you: One life at a time.
We are human.
We are your pariahs.
We are the ones that got away.
We wear black.
We are grim.
We are pessimists.
We are catalysts.
We are revolutionaries.
We are a collective conscience for the mislead.
We are waiting.
We are impatient.
We are a destruction crew at work.
We are the foundation for mutiny.
We are loyal.
We are betrayed.
We are your tears, your fear, and your dreams.
We are all the ways you want us to be.
We are the voice for the voiceless.
We are the hope for the hopeless.
We are the end for the endless.
Trying something new tonight. Above I have listed many of the ways we are. Now it’s your turn. Tell me friend, how, and what are you? What has brought you here tonight? Whether you believe it to be so or not, you are one of us as you read these words. Now tell me, what brought you to Project 161?
Doing the work isn’t the problem. I could smile a million more empty smiles, and scribble to the moon on every single napkin/scrap of paper/event program brought to me by any nameless, faceless, heartless asshole with a sanctimonious grin on his face. I’ll hug all your kids, and take pictures with them all, individually, and then together. I’ll shake your hand while you forget for a second, that later that night you’ve got message boards to fill with hate.
Now, try not to let our little moment there dictate the star rating of my match that you’ve jotted down in your little notebook. Because God knows we mustn’t compromise integrity. Honesty is at a premium people; and the price? Evidently, more than any of you can afford, so why bother to collect.
I chose this profession, yes. And I take responsibility for the inequity that is the price of this so-called glory. Part of my conundrum, though, is that dreams always give way to a common version of the truth. And in our haste, we lose track of what is avant-garde. If you have the power, truth is what you make it. This realization is how you are unlike us.
The other part of the problem is that I had allowed you, as ordinary people, to infiltrate my psyche. Thus, you had the advantage. Luckily, revolutions make me feel young again. And with this, we are free.
Free from the pitfalls of reality.
Free from you, and your smug articulations.
Free, because when your jaws hit the floor, may it be in Manhattan or Hartford or Detroit or Chicago, the silence will resonate, and silence my friend, is our greatest achievement.
As we amass your honesty, we’ll collect your heads as well.
Ahhh… Bright lights on the horizon; there is no better place in the world than New York City. A megalopolis so encompassing that its vastness sprawls further than even God can see. And that is probably a good thing, because I imagine He’d be as disappointed as we are.
Speaking of such a thing—disenchantment that is—I must say that I am sorely let down by you. We weren’t taking a break kids; we’ve been preparing. Just in case we’ve slipped your minds, remember, you haven’t slipped ours. And with a big weekend of shows upcoming, you’ve got to know that our presence will be not just heard, but felt.
Our meager beginnings will seem like nothing after we’re through with you, Hartford and you, Manhattan. We’ve been building. Not just an army, not just an impression, but a revolution. One piece at a time we have dissolved the veil. Close enough now that maybe after this weekend our countenance may be disclosed.
Do not blink. You might miss it. Do not look too far. You might pass it by. And mostly importantly, finders keepers.
We are firmly entrenched, and only digging deeper. We are not a bandwagon that puts up with the fake. Nothing we do is random. There have been no oversights. Every step we have taken has been calculated. Missteps are intolerable, and for us, practically impossible.
You can pretend all you’d like to live under the pretense that you are the antagonists, but the fact of the matter is that we have you by the throat. As your eyes scramble to focus anywhere but dead on, you must know—not fear—know that we have control. And that our control is not a bad thing. In the end, you will thank us for what we will have accomplished for you, and for humankind.
Accept no tasteless imitations. This is Project 161. And the next move is always ours.
You nerds, who sit at your PCs, continually clicking the refresh button so as to promptly respond to any reply that doesn’t agree with your high, mighty, and all-knowing opinion of the way pro wrestling should be, will always find something grumble about. You are the same gullible kids who thought you would uncover the secret of Project 161 with a simple series of clicks. You are the same kids who thought you traced everything back to Ring of Honor promoter Gabe Sapolsky by doing your best lazy Sherlock Holmes impersonation. Is there any question why we have chosen this medium to take on this ride? Fooling you is almost as easy as it was for us to infiltrate your ranks during Death Before Dishonor Weekend.
Know this; we are always there, we always will be, and we’ll always a step ahead. Always. We know how you think. Shit, we practically guide you through the maze, as if you were a blind man. You expect a major development, and we do what we want—we spread the word. Hold your patience. Soon enough kiddies, every man, woman and child associated with Ring of Honor and pro wrestling will know our name; they will know our cause; and they will have a decision to make.
Are you with us? Or, are you against us? The only gray will be the storm clouds approaching. Everything else is black and white.
Hartford and Manhattan: be on your toes. Because if you are not, we’ll knock you off your feet.
We hide. You seek.
Every once in a while we give you a clue; we drop hints to guide you along the way. Maybe, we rustle in the bushes. Or, we leave footprints in the mud. Or, maybe we turn off your lighting system and lend you some words of wisdom. So what, you’ve heard it before? You can’t hear it enough. You’ll replay it over and over and over in your brain, trying to decipher something hidden—a key to unlocking it all. And maybe that key is there. Or maybe you’re just full of shit.
Now, I’ll make two guarantees—these are promises, you have my word. And why trust the man with no face? That’s for you to figure out.
Promise 1) there is more to come.
Promise 2) it only gets better from here.
Additionally, the non-believers will soon have no choice. This is as real as it gets. We are anything but a joke. Tonight, you were all witnesses. We have people in every city, in every dark corner, on every side street who are ready to soldier on. The cause is deeper than you can imagine. And when the time arrives to strike rich the crimson gold of reformation, you can be certain it will have been worth any amount of waiting.
Come join the united front. From ghosts to heroes; we’ll save your life.
Like thieves in the dead of night, we are only as silent as your ears make us. You, the not-so-unsuspecting, have left your doors unlocked and your porch light on. Your welcome mat practically reads, “Come in, Mr.161.”
While you are sound asleep, tucked away in your comfortable existence we will pillage all that you know. When the time is right, we will take from you what you hold so dear: your intelligence, your certainty, and most importantly, your safety. And when you open your eyes, there will be nothing left. Though you practically set the table for us, your expression will be one of shock. There will be a stir. You’ll make a scene, but know—we never came to you. You came to us.
One thing you are missing, though, is that this invasion won’t be the first time we’ve stepped foot inside your domain. Many times we have come and gone. We’ve cased your dreams. In light and in shadows, we’ve been lurking. Always invisible, but only to those who wish ignorance. You’re not missing anything at all. You are simply not seeing it as it stares directly at you. We don’t have to give you a warning because you’ve fabricated your own ghosts.
When the house is pitch black, we’ll be the hairs on the back of your neck.
The reason you talk about reality so certainly is because that ideology is the best excuse you can furnish for your worthless existence. Take a step off the assembly line and into the bathroom. Look at the circles under your eyes and the fat rolls under your neck. Know now that you are not like us. You need us. If it weren’t for us, you’d…well; you’d probably find something else to leech off of.
We are what, and who you want us to be. We are relevant. We are insignificant. We are shadows. We are messengers for the voiceless. We’ll claim any identity you bestow upon us, and then we’ll change your mind by cutting a new, shimmering facet into your dull imagination.
We are threatening and we are scathing. We are black, white, and gray. We are ultraviolet, infrared, and all the shades your little fingers can color us. Paint us sinister. Paint us irrelevant. Or don’t paint us at all.
Write us off. Delete us. Forget we even exist; I dare you. If it’s empty rhetoric you loathe, then maybe this is a little more forward for you:
RING OF HONOR, WE ARE COMING. AND WE ARE COMING SOON.
I’d call it a war, but it’ll be more like an occupation, because there will be no struggle, simply annihilation
The light inside you, however unique, is dimmed by the collective mind you embrace. I'd get to know you, but I've met you nine thousand times before. You're coming off the MTV assembly line. You're mind has been sculpted by the white picket fence dream. The world is filled with a product that has met and exceeded demands. That product is you, and your worth crashed when you flooded the market with copies of copies of you.
Individuality is not something you can buy. It's not something you can call yourself when who you are is a poster boy or girl for the status quo. I've seen you marketed on Hot-Topic ads. I've watched you walk the streets in a thousand tailor made variations of the suit you have on. I've had my fill of everyone crammed inside this mold of so called alienation and preach about how they suffer as pariahs and outsiders.
Everyone pretends they want out, but all they do is scurry like insects, trying to find their place within the system. All across the spectrum of conformity people like you jump to fit in.
From this corner in every room, it's all the same. Corporate board meetings or local rock shows, you're all the same. You'll never see me because you can't even see yourself for what you are.
You all want out, but in denying yourself the power to choose for yourself, you went deeper in than ever before. And from here, I try not to boast, but I'm the only outsider you'll ever meet. Knowledge is power and with it you'll find the key that opens all doors.
If you want to see where ignorance leads, look around, it's taking you nowhere. You're going to die as you live, unhappily but blissful.
Home is a trailer on the South side of town. There he sits on his Keystone throne, too lazy to give a fuck about giving a fuck.
It’s 2 a.m., and as the little ones have finally fallen asleep on the hardwood floor, he puts his game on pause and he rolls his first joint since dinner. Taking a puff, he sets it down to burn another hole in the recliner, and another hour from the night.
It’s 2:15 now, and she forgot some kid’s bacon. He gave her a hard time. She’s in the cooler now wondering if her sons got snacks before bed. She tries hard to remember the last time she was home to tuck them in. Before she can cry, the microwave goes off—bacon is done.
It’s 3 a.m. His snoring startles him and wakes him up. The boys are resting soundly and he figures he should find some food. The refrigerator is barren, and the cupboards empty. He grabs his keys off the counter and a beer from the pack. He pushes open the screen door and gets on his bike. He starts it up, revs it up, and heads to Wal-Mart for a bag of chips and a candy bar.
It’s 3:02 and she gets shorted for the third time in a week. She looks in her apron—into her tips—to pay for the remainder of the shorted bill. She realizes she doesn’t have the cash for this, and tells her shift manager so. They bicker, he accuses, and she denies. The line is drawn, but she won’t budge. Predictably, she retreats; she hands in her nametag and walks out the front door. She starts her car and heads home to be with her little sleeping angels. Tears flowing now, like blood from bullet holes, she turns onto Highway 915 and speeds off.
It’s 3:10 and the city lights in the distance are getting blurry. He snaps his head for clarity, but his attempts are futile. Sooner, the darkness will envelope his body and his mind once more.
It’s 3:11 and lighting a cigarette has never been so difficult. Her hands and lips trembling, the cigarette falls to the floor. Shit. And she quickly reaches down to pick it up.
His front tire crosses the center line.
Before she lights, she wipes the tears from her eyes.
Before he can shake his head again…
Before she has a second to notice…
The heartbreaking thing, however, is not how people die, but rather, how they live. Middle class America needs a wake up call. And frighteningly enough, tragedies like this occur ever single day. Though notice is quickly taken, it is dismissed even more so. No one feels a thing until they are meant to. No one makes a change until they are taught how. No one knows the truth until they are shown the way.
Skyscrapers double as high walls, and if the air pollution doesn’t suck the life from you, they will.
At rush hour, the business suits scatter like vermin. Freed from these prisons, they litter the streets, and not just with Starbucks and McDonalds, but with footsteps and fingerprints.
I pass them and see nothing more than wasted flesh. Maybe they see the same in me, but chances are, they see nothing at all; their eyes unable to discern uniqueness any longer. I pass them and feel the filth of their ignorance layer my skin, like a membrane. I wonder if their water proof, stain-resistant khakis are also bullet proof. I doubt it, and I smirk.
Everyone’s making names for themselves now. Escaping trust fund shadows. Building their own lives and fulfilling their parent’s dreams. American dreams. Nice stuff and modern things coming quick.
Who’s the last one on the board to install heated sidewalks?
What size are your wife’s breast implants?
When’s the last time you forgot your stepson’s name?
Where are your winter homes?
Why should you not kill yourself? There are no good reasons. No one would care for more than a month. Your wife doesn’t love you, she loves your money. Your kids don’t even call you “Dad.” And ask yourself this, would you give a shit if the intern who forgets your coffee at least two times a week blew his head off in the bathroom? And he’d probably care even less if you did. He’d probably even laugh a little.
Their scent is predictable. Every cheap Younkers fragrance that came with the teenage sales girl’s phone number you can imagine amalgamated in a must only comparable to formaldehyde. You know what they say, everyone is dying. I pass them and I hear nothing. If you try hard enough, so much noise can become silence. Cinematically, this is where the bombs go off, but who has the balls for that?
Only the kids whose names you forgot. The kids you raised.