When All The World’s A Stage — WWF, Trump, and The Importance of Being Earnest
I used to watch WWF as a kid. I would lug the big box television back out of its detention — my mother would often use the TV as leverage in matters of punishment — set it up next to my bed and stare endlessly into the bright glowing screen well into the night. At 12, wrestling was the realest play in the world. Even today, Shakespeare can’t hold a candle to Vince McMahon and his nepotistic posse of daughters, in-laws, and never ending plot twists.
Bigger than the Super Bowl. Twice as exciting as the moon landing, for two hours, wrestlers the size of semis in costumes as bold as drag queen’s, would defy gravity and the basic rules of man, for the entertainment of millions of viewers around the world. It didn’t feel like that at 12 though. At 12, it felt as if they were doing it just for me. At 12, I didn’t know the difference between feeling and knowing. I didn’t need to.
I eventually grew out of my awe of wrestling. Left The Undertaker and Stone Cold behind. Only taking the occasional nostalgic tangent to revisit their larger than life antics during the late hours of a youtube coma many years later. Like a father slowly becoming more and more human to his son, life has a way of graying even the most spectacular of men — redneck and demon alike.
It confuses me to see grown men still chasing the spectacle of wrestling, or really any sport, like they did as boys. To defend the storylines and characters with brutal feelings of attachment and responsibility the same way they once did many years ago atop the jungle gym. My confusion turns to fear and anger when I remember that these same men are capable of casting a vote. These are adults, remember. They have children and wives and careers. People look up to them.
As a young man, I understand the importance of escapism as much as anyone. Life can be cruel and daunting to the boy inside of us all. To neglect one’s obligation to the truth under the guise of entertainment, however, is carnage. And a vote for carnage has no place in the real world. Not now. Not ever.
The above piece was inspired by a recent NY Times opinion piece on How Professional Wrestling Explains Alex Jones and Donald Trump. View it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/opinion/wrestling-explains-alex-jones-and-donald-trump.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0