(For the full three dimensional experience, please listen to “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen and performed by Don Henley here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKm4LtnWYlc
-Proud, jubilant news casters, sitting in the fancy, well lit, and dynamic news set from Russia Today, speak happily, though all sound is muted. They smile proudly as they converse with one another. The headline:
“The Bear is Back!”
– Behind them, on their video screen, is Ivan Stanislav. He stands proudly in the PRIME wrestling ring with his arms raised high in the air. Alexei Ruslan is on the apron, cheering him on with his hat raised in the air. It’s a photo finish.
“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded”
-We are in a packed Russian theater. No audio. On the big screen, Ivan Stanislav has Hayes Hanlon lifted in the air by the throat. He drops him and rocks him with the Iron Curtain, which sends him flying across the ring. In slow motion, the multitude of viewers in the theater rise from their seats and cheer with excitement. Hats are thrown in the air. Hands are clapping. Fancy editing shows Stanislav pinning Hanlon for the three count. They cheer. Women weep. Next, Stanislav is standing in the ring, “victorious,” while Hanlon raises hands with him.
“Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed”
-The same theater. Stanislav pins Shawn Warstein on screen. Again there is cheering, crying and even swooning from the Russian audience as their hero vanquishes another foe!
“Everybody knows the war is over”
-Finally, Coral Avalon vs. Ivan Stanislav. Their hero, on his back, roaring in frustration as Avalon wrenches The Russian Bear’s leg and knee. The people watch with shock as their hands over their gaping mouths. Some viewers hide their children’s eyes. The view shifts with rather shoddy editing. Stanislav is on his feet. Avalon is on the ground, hands between his legs. They cheer. Good once again is triumphing over evil! The cheers appear thunderous as the conclusion plays out and Avalon is launched through the ring, in slow motion, and then pinned.
“Everybody knows the good guys lost”
-Their hero is victorious. He and Alexei laugh together in the middle of the ring. The Russian viewers hug one another and cry tears of pure joy.
-We are now in a large banquet hall. Ivan Stanislav stands atop a raised platform upon which two long tables run. Old men in military uniforms, with plenty of medals, sit behind said tables. Blue, white, and red banners hang all along the walls. The press is packed on the floor. At the podium stands a very well decorated Russian military leader. Next to him stands the enormous Ivan Stanislav in his own tight, well fitting military uniform and a hat tucked under his arm.
Stanislav is not nearly as decorated as the other men, but he has a few medals upon his chest. The speaker claps as he finishes his speech and the rest of the men clap as well. Flashbulbs. Stanislav’s mouth twists into a wide grin as he salutes the man, and the two pose for the cameras together. A banner unfurls behind Stanislav. We magically translate it:
“Praporshchik Stanislav! Undefeated Hero of Russia!”
“Everybody knows that the boat is leaking”
-Back to a more private moment with Stanislav. He sits at his desk in Kaliningrad. It rains outside. That damned ceiling leaks. He has a frown on his face as he stares at his computer monitor. It shows images of the horribly botched campaign in Ukraine. Russian tanks are abandoned. Corpses lay along the sides of roads. Maps show the stymied Russian advance and gains from the Ukraine counterattack.
“Everybody knows that the captain lied”
-On his screen, Vladimir Putin looks tired, bloated, and out of sorts as he stands amidst his generals. Some may have been the very generals who were gloating with Stanislav in the previous scene. Ivan turns in his chair and looks at the much more spruced up painting of Putin in his office, flanked by Lenin and Stalin. He frowns.
“Everybody got this broken feeling”
-Close up of Ivan Stanislav’s old CRT monitor. It is Jabber. The words are all in Cyrillic, but the avatars and icons show who is replying. The Anglo Luchador. Lindsay Troy. Nate Colton. Others. Stanislav has written something, but there are rapid responses… no doubt unflattering. We see the screen, but also the looming reflection of Stanislav’s huge face glowering at the screen beyond our view.
“Like their father or their dog just died”
-The same view of the same monitor. In a moment, it explodes as Stanislav’s fist bursts through the glass and knocks the monitor off the desk in a torrent of sparks.
That’s how it goes…
Rapid images now.
-A newscaster interviews a Russian clothing seller who stands in front of an empty rack. Magical translation of the headline along the bottom of the screen: “Massive red suspenders shortage!”
-A proud father holds his infant aloft. The infant wears an Ivan Stanislav outfit, complete with fake beard and suspenders. The father proudly smiles for the selfie. The child looks bewildered.
-Back in Stanislav’s office. A female aid in her twenties, dressed in a skirt suit, lugs a large postal bin overflowing with letters and pours them on his desk. Ivan’s desk runs over with mail while he reclines in his chair, crosses his arms, and beams.
-Ivan Stanislav is back in his mother’s apartment. They embrace. She’s crying tears of joy and kisses his cheek.
-Ivan Stanislav walks, in slow motion, towards our view. His face is turned down in a frown. Huge fists clenched. The movement continues, but he slowly becomes more transparent as other images play in front of him…
“And everybody knows that you’re in trouble”
-Stanislav bites Hayes Hanlon’s face.
-Mortimer Knightingale sails through the air and through a wall.
-The Russian Bear yeets Shawn Warstein across the wrestling ring with The Red Scare.
– Ivan no sells a Rhongomyniad from Coral Avalon. Then he slaps Avalon down to the mat.
“Everybody knows what you’ve been through”
-More rapid fire images from Ivan’s PCW and OSW days, all in slow motion. The show names appear near the bottom of the screen:
Decimation 2001- Ivan Stanislav Red Scares Jeremy “Krayzie” Howard from the floor, over the top rope, and into the ring.
Fusion 48- Trashcan Man stalks Stanislav, only to be waffled by a chair, from behind, by a grinning Alexei Ruslan.
Turmoil 56- PCW luminary Clyde slams a cattle prod into the skull of Stanislav, who stands up and laughs despite being electrocuted.
Back to Old School 2001- Ivan Stanislav Red Scares Tyler Nelson directly into the top turnbuckle.
Supremacy 2001- Ivan Stanislav swings PCW announcer Steven Smith and slams him into Frisco like a baseball bat.
Fusion 34- Ivan Stanislav launches Jon Kano through a soda machine.
Turmoil 54- Ivan Stanislav stands with his foot atop the defeated “Monster” known as Meanstreak. He is handed the PCW World Title.
ReVolution 101- A younger Alexei Ruslan stands on the apron and chokes an equally younger Lindsay Troy with a flagpole from behind. He leans in close to her ear and trash talks with a grin. Cut to another portion of the match. Stanislav lifts Troy by her ponytail, then drops into the Iron Curtain.
“From the bloody cross on top of Calvary”
Several pictures of old Red Army members move across the screen. Ivan still thunders towards the viewer in the background.
Loyal Communist Party Member Wang
The Two Women
“The Polish Punisher” Tom Walczak
“To the beach of Malibu”
-Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Ruslan watch a private viewing of his match against Coral Avalon. In this rendition, Ivan very clearly buries his boot into Avalon’s privates. The two Russians are nearly falling over each other as they laugh at his plight and their victory.
“Everybody knows it’s coming apart”
-Ivan is in a PRIME ring, but we’re unsure when or where. We see the reaction of an American audience. They’re booing. Stanislav is in the periphery. In the ring, he lifts someone and they are sent flying in The Red Scare. A woman covers her eyes. The men look defeated. Stanislav stands in the background, arms raised triumphantly. He’s clearly won.
-Ivan now stands in Red Square. The sun is out and it appears to be relatively warm while he wears his shirt, pants, and suspenders. A veritable tsunami of young people clamber to him, all clearly Russian. They take selfies with him. They have him sign their shirts, their books, and other personal items. Two cute girls unfurl a banner in front of him that reads, thanks to magical translation “WE LOVE PRAPORSHCHIK STANISLAV!!”
-PRIME carpenters are covering the hole that Mortimer Knightingale made when he was unceremoniously thrown through it.
“Take one last look at this Sacred Heart”
-Katya Belova cries into a handkerchief in her battered apartment. Her face is bruised. Her eyes are swollen.
“Before it blows”
-The blue and white PRIME logo appears in front of the still semi-transparent Ivan. It rests in the middle of our view. The blue turns red. The white turns yellow. Stanislav stops walking, grabs the logo, and breaks it in half. The pieces collapse off screen.
That’s how it goes…