Strange and Proud

Back in the 50′s there was a time when Professional Wrestling was the hottest thing on TV.


A uniquely American phenomena, pitting the forces of good against evil, it provided a regularly scheduled catharsis for a population undergoing enormous sociological, economic and scientific change. The wrestlers were flamboyant, loud mouthed fakers that strutted and developed bogus personas before a population of viewers eager to have something, anything, to identify with as a champion of the way they themselves looked at the world. The fact that it was ALL fake was easily ignored.

Belief trumps reality almost every time. Behind the scenes it was all cleverly managed to keep the show going and the viewers salivating for more. Today the only thing that has changed is the name.

We call it politics now. The candidates rise and fall as wrestlers always did, full of bluster and perpetually headed for some kind of a disaster. The Supreme Court plays the referee, forever looking the wrong way at a crucial moment.  It’s not that illegal activities or unfair moves are not taking place.  It’s just that they don’t quite see them.  It’s still uniquely American and as Americans, somehow, we just can’t take our eyes off the show. Unfortunately, then as now, only the promoters profit from our silliness and our culture remains trapped in an endless adolescence.

What it all really comes down to is the hideous reality that America, as a culture, was forced to invent the automatically flushing toilet.  We comfort ourselves with the notion that we did this to prevent having to touch the flushing handle of a public toilet, for sanitary reasons.  That’s just not true.  We were forced to invent them because Americans cannot be trusted to properly dispose of their own excrement.  We are a very proud people and we find ourselves with so little left to be proud of anymore…  when you come right down to it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Strange and Proud

  1. freeze43

    Good evening Mrs. neutron how are you?
    I am flabbergasted by political requirements, such as a good speaking voice and so on, when one considers what is needed to actually run the world, and although America may have the Big Top, I assure you other countries do have their own three ringers.

    Interestingly, I actually really enjoy pro wrestling precisely because it is fake. I spend a lot of my time being serious and thinking about careers, life and so on, but watching pro wrestling has this great spectacle. It is almost as if its fakeness is a security blanket that lets me turn my brain off for a couple of hours.

    • I understand freeze. I really enjoyed it more 30 years ago when it still retained its “purity”, if you can call it that. There was no sex, steroids or complicated TV contracts involved. It was just wrestlers who traveled from town to town… city to city putting on a great show. The guy in the picture is one of my favorites. The Baron von Rashke… The Clawmaster. We used to go see him when I was in grad school, in the Mid-West. There would be a shot stand at one end of the stadium and a cold beer stand at the other. The men moved in a circle all night and the old ladies, who made up a significant part of the crowd, sat up front and “booed” and hissed. The Baron, denying that he was once a Nazi Officer, worked the crowd into a frenzy. It was catharsis with a capital “C”.

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