Tonight, one of the world’s theatrical highlights will grace the screens of millions across the globe. It’s Wrestlemania. And in the spirit, even we at Hollywood Hegemony are having a #ManiaMoment – first of all with a gloriously fake feud between two of our contributors…
And then with the article that our own Jack Brindelli submitted to The Norwich Radical – a sample of which you can find, along with a link to the full article, below.
Wrestlemania is here – and I have a challenge for you. I dare you to watch. I literally dare you. Yes, that’s right, WWE, ‘make-believe fighting’ if you really must label it that, where grown men and women play-fight on television for the entertainment of billions worldwide. “But Jack,” I hear you cry, “You’re a culture writer for the Norwich Radical! Surely you know better than to revel in suchuncultured pastimes?!”
Now, in order to refute that, I could go into a lengthy and tedious history of the marriage between art, philosophy and combat. I could talk to you about wrestling in the world’s first democracy of ancient Greece, at the dawn of western civilisation. I could talk to you about the ancient Eastern martial arts that inspired Bruce Lee to greatness. I could reference Roland Barthes famous essay on the subject if I wanted.
I could, but frankly, I don’t fancy pandering to the inherent class-snobbery behind suggesting wrestling is a ‘lowly’ distraction.
Every nook and crevice of our daily lives is riddled with fictions – ‘common sense’ fantasies we believe to make sense of the world – or to justify the suffering and inequality that surround us. Wrestling, like any other art form, can equip us with the interpretive tools to see through those fictions, to the contradictions at the heart of our way of life. Sure, the fighting isn’t real, the feuds are fake, and the messages constructed; it is — often absurd — fiction. But because of that, wrestling becomes an artistic space that, even with the polluting influence of corporate interest, opens up the possibility of cultural and social critique, of accessible satire that can be received by a colossal audience on a weekly basis…
Stay tuned for regular new content throughout next month – but for now, enjoy our verbal smackdown there! And remember, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.