A much-needed end of week palate-cleanser (or rocket-polisher if you prefer).
Remember, brother, back in the day when Hulk Hogan in his promos would point to his hand, like in the above pic, and exclaim, "There lies the power!", brother? That, um, isn't where the power really, er, "lay":
Yes, my friends, apparently Terry Bollea's "Li'l Hulkster" undergoes a "fundamental transformation" whenever he dons the yellow tights and the red & yellow tear-away shirt and the red & yellow boa and the red & yellow do-rag - aka "Hulking up". It's my theory that he uses Antman's suits for his condoms, that the "vitamins" he used to tell "Hulkamaniacs" to eat were Viagra and Cialis, and the "training" he extorted them to undergo, well, got filmed without his knowledge. Probably because his "best friend" whose wife he was banging with his "big leg drop" - wait, sorry, that's his climax - figured the resulting tape would be a lucrative souvenir, and perhaps blackmail, uh, tool.
Unfortunately, none of that ever "came" out in the just-concluded, and highly transparently named "Gawker" trial:
A Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker Media, stemming from 2012.
The outcome comes after two weeks of testimony and hours of deliberation on Friday.
The jury found that Hogan has suffered severe emotional distress in the last three years since Gawker published excerpts of a video, which he claimed was secretly recorded, of himself having sex with his best friend's then-wife. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was the first to take the witness stand and testified that the publication of the sex tape has "turned my world upside down."
Oh, with the Paul Walker-esque car crash of his son Nick in 2007, Nick's subsequent criminal trial and conviction, the lawsuit from the family of John Graziano, who was permanently crippled in the crash, the resulting falling apart of his family culminating in his long-time wife Linda divorcing him and cleaning him out (which does much to explain his three-year stint in TNA) in the settlement, and the surfacing of audio recordings of his engaging in very un-babyface-like racist commentary, it's beyond dispute that the Hulkster's life had already been turned upside-down, as well as inside-out and other perambulations in higher dimensions. What Gawker did to him was like one more Agent Smith landing on the pile crushing Neo.
I think we can all agree that the $115 million jackpot is a bit excessive, since I find it more than a little, er, hard to believe that Gawker made THAT much coin off of the "secret" tape. And that's the compensatory damage award; they haven't gotten to the punitive number yet. Heck, I'd settle for a single million myself, even if I don't have the sort of friends that would invite me to shag their wives, or friend's wives that would ever do such a thing. And nobody would want to watch the resulting tape, anyway, other than to enter it on an adult version of one of those "America's funniest home videos" shows.
But maybe from the defendants' roaringly unrepentant attitude, we can begin to see why the jury raised the stakes:
Gawker argues that its publication of the footage was protected by the First Amendment.
"I believe in total freedom and information transparency," said founder Nick Denton. "I'm an extremist when it comes to that." [emphasis added]
Ah; so I'm surmising that he would have no problem with Hogan marketing an (unauthorized) parody male enhancement video which depicts Hulk Hogan's penis as the "after" and Mr. Denton's miniscule member as the "before". Maybe photoshopped, or using an actual snapshot, assuming the photographic intrepidity of Mr. Bollea, or that he just beat the snot out of Mr. Denton to obtain it. Perhaps with infotainment sales pitch like, "See, little Hulksters? This is what happens when you don't say your prayers, do your training, and eat your vitamins, brother!" And rather than pointing at his hand, he'd be pointing just where you think he'd be pointing, and laughing heartily.
I love this "First Amendment purism" from people who have never asked themselves if the Founding Fathers 227 years ago were really thinking of entrapping foolish celebrities into acts of sexual debauchery for involuntary public consumption when they wrote, "Congress shall make no law....abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...." Rights are natural, God-given, but no right is absolute; as the Director likes to illustrate, your right to swing your arms stops at the tip of my nose; the same thing applies with speech. I have the right to yell, "FIRE!", but not in a crowded theater where people can get hurt or killed in the ensuing stampede. And we don't have the right to maliciously ruin the reputations and lives of others with our unfettered speech.
Without getting into the whole topic of the "introduction of the Bill of Rights to the States" - read about it for yourself - the First Amendment also enshrines the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." That's what Terry Bollea AND Hulk Hogan did. And now the Hulkster has replenished his depleted bank account, tax-free.
Hopefully, assuming the inevitable appeals don't go against him, he'll have learned his lesson this time and won't squander his fortune. Which would include learning to live away from the spotlight, and finally find some peace.